"Educated" newbie still seeks help. (long)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by ZenMonkey, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. ZenMonkey

    ZenMonkey Chieftain

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    So...I have read the manual cover to cover, played the tutorial, read Sulla's and some other "intro" walkthroughs/tutorials, and numerous posts on this board. That said, I still need help. I'm brand new to Civilization so I don't have background knowledge on how any of this works, so I apologize if some of these questions are beyond obvious (as I'm sure they are).

    I've been playing in Settler mode as Catherine, focusing on building cities and keeping the peace, to learn how things works. I'm trying to stay out of war for now since that's a mechanic I'm not too familiar with, but I did make my second city my "military" city, with a fort and all my combat units coming out of there. I initially directed my workers but once things got more complicated I automated them so I could focus on other things.

    I feel like I'm just randomly building things without a plan. I know I want to go the culture route, so I'm researching techs that lead towards drama and so forth. But do I need to be placing theatres, libraries, etc. in EVERY city? Or just my capital? Do you build things solely to counteract problems in the cities? For example, Moscow was getting too big and the health was declining, so I built a granary. Should I then build a granary in other cities, or only if their health declines?

    Also: religion. I founded Hinduism in St. Petersburg (military city) and Judaism in Moscow, and I don't really know what to do with them. Should I be building temples and cathedrals for both religions in both cities? If I've decided to make Judaism my state religion, should I still bother fostering Hinduism? And what about missionaries -- I kept sending them to London to convert the masses to whatever religion I had at the moment, but is that the right strategy? And once you've sent a missionary out, do you need to send another? I feel like I'm just randomly choosing religious tactics.

    At this stage I've been skipping out on building wonders because they're too expensive and don't give me the exact bonus I need. However, I assume as the game gets more difficult, you want to race to build each wonder before everyone else does...is that correct?

    Finally, regarding new cities...I keep getting the message that I should create a settler to found new cities, but I already have my hands full trying to understand what's going on in the three I have, and develop them. Is it necessary to keep expanding, or can you focus on what you have?

    I know I need to play and experiment more to understand these things, but any suggestions you have would be appreciated. The guides are helpful but I'm still too much of a noob to take full advantage of them. Thank you!
     
  2. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    First, if you're going for a cultural victory you only want to emphasise culture in three cities. Let your other cities concentrate on other aspects of your game such as gold, science (beakers) and military.

    Second, granaries are one of the essential buildings. Build them everywhere so that your cities grow faster. Do not wait to build them.

    Highlighting the question:

    Not if you want to do well. While you certainly should build things in a city to counteract problems, this should be secondary to the city's main purpose. Determine what you want each city to do. If you want it to produce gold, have it build stuff that allows it to produce gold more efficiently. Similarly for science and gejust general commerce (divided into gold, beakers and culture). If you want a military city concentrate on building buildings that allow it to build better units faster as well as building units.

    Are you sure Judaism was founded in Moscow? Or did it simply spread there from another city?

    The option to build temples, monasteries and cathedrals are advantages of having a religion in a city. Whether or not you shouild build them is unrelated to your state religion. Choose to build them based on the benefits they provide a city with.

    I'll let someone else talk about spreading religions.

    No. The vast majority of wonders are white elephants. Their usefullness depends entirely on your strategy. Usually only one or two are truly useful. There are no must have wonders (though some strategies require certain wonders to be really effective).

    It is refreshing to see a new player not building wonders. It can lead to the false mindset that they're neccesary and that not building all wonders means that you're playing badly.

    You might wish to turn off some of the advisors in the options menu. You might not wish to also. I wouldn't place a lot of weight on its (as I recall) repeated requests for more settlers.
     
  3. asabahi

    asabahi Warlord

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    Every building has a purpose. At settler you have many bonuses over the AI, including more happiness and health. Now, if your city pop grows beyond your happiness cap than building a theater will give you one happiness point. Building a market will give you a commerace boast but also a happiness boast if you have the right luxuary resources(fur, wine, and some others). But in a production city building a market does not help unless you need the happiness. Some buildings give you a health boast, such a granary and aquaduct. If you do not have a health problem why build an aquaduct. Building a granary is a must because it increases city pop growth rate. A grocer will also boast health. So as you can see there is not a need to build every building. Also you can have a hybrid production/commerace city that builds wonders, but you do not need to build every wonder. Build the ones that will complement your playing style. Religon, if you build a monestary, or are in the organized religon civic, you can build missionarys and spread your religon. If a city has your state religon it gets one happy point. Than its temple gives one more happy point. If you build the Holy temple for the religon, you need a great prophet for that, you get one gold for each city that has the religon. The way to get a great prophet is to build a temple in a city and than assign a priest in the city. Do not automate workers!
     
  4. Snakehead

    Snakehead Chieftain

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    Good advice already flowing in from the denizens of the CFC BB I see! :)

    I think you mean barracks. I like to get a barracks in one city too, to supply better troops for all of my empire. Having said that, if you play with raging barbs and take advantage of terrain (fight defensive battles), your virgin troops will rapidly progress to veteran.
    It's true that you can automate workers to reduce your micromanagement requirement, but I think you can only do this and hope to win at the lower difficulty levels. As you progress, if your experience is anything like mine, you will bemoan the LACK of workers as they have so much to do, and you will want to guide their efforts to the highest priority tasks.
    Granaries are good because they double the growth of your cities. I tend to build them early to grow the city, not late for the health benefits. If you are able to build everything that you have available, you maybe have time for a wonder (you mention them later). Although I cannot claim to be an expert, city specialisation is generally reputed to be a key to succes. Even if you can build everything, the order is still going to be important. Perhaps a barracks for the troops in one city, followed by a forge for higher production. In another, a granary (and plenty of irrigation) will give a big city, with many specialists, which can be fine tuned by your buildings to give the great people that are of most use. If you found a religion, build the shrine and financial buildings to maximise its effect.
    Your state religion gives benefit from certain civics to those cities that have it. There is nothing to stop you having more than one religion in a city, and if you want to pursue a cultural route, this is probably essential. Each time you complete a certain number of temples per religion (I think it's 3 on standard settings), you can build a cathedral or equivalent, which gives a 50% boost to culture. So if you have 9 cities each with 3 religions, with a temple each, then the 3 cities you need to become "legendary" can each have the special building for EACH of the three religions and so produce huge great gobs of culture. There is a guide to doing this on deity level somewhere on these forums, but the principles apply throughout. I would say one religion is always good, if you can spread it to your neighbours and make friends, and if you are pursuing a cultural route, then more religions will be very helpful.

    On higher levels it becomes very difficult or impossible to build every wonder, nor should you need to to be successful. As an example, if you have founded a religion, or if you are creative (free culture per city), then you might not need Stonehenge. It's very much a question of horses for courses.
    I find that you continue to get this message throughout the game. Even when the landmass is chockfull of cities and the last remaining available tile is an iceberg near the south pole, you'll be getting advice to build settlers. You can use your judgement in this matter.
     
  5. ZenMonkey

    ZenMonkey Chieftain

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    Wow, lots of great advice, exactly what I needed. It helps to know that I should continue to specialize, which makes it a lot easier to pick buildings for each city. Also good to know about the Wonders; I'll continue to build them only as necessary for their benefit.

    I should have mentioned that I only automated my workers in the practice games and I don't intend to make this a habit. For now it's just one thing less to worry about while I learn more about everything else (since I'm focusing on learning, not winning, right now), but once I'm more experienced I will definitely be directing my workers manually.

    Yep, I remember because I thought it was amusing when Moses was born in Moscow and built the Temple of Solomon there.

    I look forward to trying another game with these suggestions. Just wait until I start combat, then I'll really be up a creek!
     
  6. Bushface

    Bushface Deity

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    On religion. Having a state religion is definitely a Good Thing (at least until you have the option of running the Free Religion civic) because of the advantages it can bring, such as the +25% building production you get in cities where the state religion is present when you run Organized Religion (which requires Monotheism, which also founds Judaism for the first discoverer). It doesn't matter which religion you choose, but it's sensible to use the first one you found. In the city where it was founded you will have the option to build the Shrine for that religion, which uses a Great Prophet, and you then gain 1 gold per turn for every city where that religion is present (whether it is your state religion or not). So it's then a good idea to build some Monasteries to train Missionaries which you send to other cities to spread that religion and so get more gold. The other cities need not be your own if you have Open Borders: spreading your religion into foreign civs not only brings gold but also, provided you do indeed have the Shrine, allows you to see some details of what your opponents are doing there.
    To use a Missionary, send him to a city where his religion is not already present; at the end of the row of action icons, the religion's symbol will appear; click on it to cause him to try to spread his faith. This does not always work, though, and the missionary is consumed whether the faith spreads or not. For the greatest probability of success there should be no other religion present. If at first you don't succeed, keep trying - one missionary at a time per city.
    Temples and Cathedrals give Culture and Happiness in the city in which they are built. Monasteries give a +10% research boost, until you develop Scientific Method, after which you can't build any more and they stop giving the research boost but can still be used to train Missionaries - for which you don't need Monasteries if you are running Organized Religion. Building the Spiral Minaret produces gold from all your State Religion's buildings.

    Experiment will show you the benefits of religion and teach you what and when you should build. The same is true of every aspect of this game ! Oh, and don't overlook the snippets of information you can get by mousing over practically everything, whether it be in the campaign screen, the city screen, or one of the adviser screens.
     
  7. mnf

    mnf King

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    In my experience, automated workers are only good up to Noble. You can get by quite comfortably up to Warlord using fully automated workers who chop forests and destroy towns to get to that oil. But that's not important.

    I think the two most important thing to learn now would be (1) knowing how to read the map and see what each city is suitable for; and (2) getting used to manually controlling the workers to maximize each city's terrain.

    Just knowing these two things, even without any overall strategy, is enough to move up to Noble, where one unconsciously starts to avoid unnecessary buildings.

    If you've read a lot, then the earlier you move up the difficulties the better. Settlers is like a drug for us new players. I still go there occasionally to fill up my ego. *cough*

    As to knowing which buildings are "needed" and which aren't, I suppose you'll just need to ask yourself the question "is this building effective in this city, or are its effects insignificant and a waste of hammers?"
     
  8. ZenMonkey

    ZenMonkey Chieftain

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    *laughing* That's exactly right. I'm playing at this level so I can safely experiment and screw up without getting frustrated, but I admit it's also fun to keep seeing myself at the top of the score list by a very comfortable margin.

    I want to say thanks to everyone for your great responses in this thread. I've taken your suggestions and comments into account as I play and it's also been an education as to just how many different ways there are to play this game. This seems like quite a smart and welcoming forum and every post I read makes me more excited to keep playing and learn more about ths game.
     
  9. oopsy poopsy

    oopsy poopsy Warlord

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    You can play settler to learn the mechanics of the game and explore what the buildings do and get an overall sense, but you won't learn the first bit of how to win the game on settler. It's just too easy. I did the same thing to learn how to play, but don't stay in settler for more than 1 game. Even if you only move up 1 level each game 'til noble (you'll probably stay at noble for a couple games at least once you're there). That's when you'll start to learn how to play.

    A few things that I didn't see mentioned. If you found a religion, you absolutely must find a way to get a great prophet. This means either building wonders with great prophet points or running priest specialists (preferably a combination of the 2) in one city to generate one so you can build the shrine, then your religions turns into cash as you build more temples and monastery's and spread your religion to other cities. IMO, the spreading of religions is more dependent on whether you have the shrine (or are intending to generate a gp dedicated to the shrine), then whether it's your state religion. If you have the shrine it's very profitable to spread a second religion, although this takes valuable resources away from other projects. Also, IMO as soon as you feel comfortable with the basic mechanics, start playing with slavery, forest chops, and later buying production with gold. Just learn how they work 'cause they're both incredibly useful parts of the game and especially important for exploiting the one advantage you'll always have over the AI, intelligence. Also, never automate a worker ever again, even on settler. I know you say you won't later, but learn how to use them now and spend the time to think about what the right improvement is for each square for each city. When people talk about specialization for your cities, how you improve them is the 80% of the job. Sure you want to build the right buildings for that city as well, but whether it's cottaged or farmed/mined (and those decisions are usually based on the overall makeup of the cities terrain) is the primary way to specialize a city. You'll also still want to pay attention to when your cities grow and making sure the citizens are placed on the right city squares. You can beat settler if you let your cat walk on the keyboard, so use the time to get used to the kinds of decisions you'll be making in all aspects of the game.
     
  10. Bushface

    Bushface Deity

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    But how do you cope when your cat likes to sleep with his head on the ESC key ? I couldn't see, at first, why the menu kept flashing up at me !
     
  11. ZenMonkey

    ZenMonkey Chieftain

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    Oh come on now. That's ridiculous. My cat ALWAYS has to play Hatshepsut and she refuses to improve any fur resources on principle. Besides, she likes WoW better (see her attempt to learn enchanting).

    But ANYWAY...thanks for all the great advice. I actually only automated workers on my very first game so I could see what else was going on; they're not automated in my current game (except for one unit who's building my trade network because they were bored). I totally agree about wanting to learn now how to play later. I'm only staying on settler long enough to know the very basics since I've never played any RTS or TBS before. In fact a friend had to sit down with me yesterday and walk me through the mechanics of combat...and I swear I've read the manual!

    I think I might be ready to advance once I finish this game.
     

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  12. mnf

    mnf King

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    The manual is so vague I actually think they put a lot of effort into it. It's actually quite hard to say so much yet say so little.

    What I also find very useful is to read through some of the Succession Games people often talk about. There's always Sulla's Civ4 walk-through, definitely a must read, but his site seems to be down. Then there's the Immortal discussion going on in the Strategy board.

    Then you could always post a savegame when you get stuck and can't beat the AI, and people could point out where you can improve, etc.
     
  13. xxsyrusvb

    xxsyrusvb Chieftain

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    I completely agree, as I am an intermediate player and have been playing on noble for a decent amount of games now. This is where I am feeling most comfortable "learning" the game as its a good balance and when i screw up, I can STILL find a way to win. It also gives a great medium to test out the different economies (Specialist Economy and Cottage Economy). Oddly enough, I learned about those first hehe.

    Btw to the OP, Ive had the same problems when I started. These guys have already gave you great information so you do just fine. Good luck with the rest of your adventures.
     
  14. Ben E Gas

    Ben E Gas King

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    I'm not sure if it was mentioned above. But something I just recently discovered how to do. If you have trouble seeing 'the bonuses' that each terrain has, there is an icon in the lower righ hand corner above the mini map that you can click on. It reveals Bonuses on the tiles. By bonuses I mean oil, horses, stone, etc. For me it was hard for me to figure out what each one was without 'mousing' over the terrain. And sometimes I'd miss some bonuses and didn't even realize they were there. But by clicking on that button you can toggle on and off 'show bonuses'. It adds an icon to the map to allow you to see the bonuses a little easier. There are other icons above the mini map that help you see other things as well.
     
  15. mnf

    mnf King

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    Ben_E_Gas: those were the first hotkeys I got to remember for Civ4. :D

    Ctrl+R = Toggle resources (iron, horses, rice, dye, oil...etc.)
    Ctrl+Y = Toggle yields (food/hammer/commerce)
    Ctrl+T = Toggle grid (good for planning)
    Ctrl+B = Toggle base terrain (rare use this one, though)
     
  16. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    Just my 2-cents: Play lots of games in Duel---and analyze and restart everytime your strategy goes awry.
     
  17. clut

    clut Warlord

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    I'm not sure I agree with the 'restart everytime your stragey goes awry' suggestion.

    If you learn to play like in this manner, you'll be useless when it comes to facing a map full of AI civs. GoodGame was certaintly right when he said to analyse each game, but the best way to learn from your mistakes is to keep going in spite of them.

    If you make a mistake and restart the game (or even a load up from a few turns back) you'll only know how to play a perfect game... which just doesn't happen. Nothing makes you learn from a mistake better than suffering the consequences, and few things improve your game better than overcoming the defecits caused by your mistakes.

    Someone else has mentioned reading the some of the Succession Games. This is a MUST for people learning to play the game. I started playing Civ III and couldn't win even on cheiftan (the lowest level). Someone on these forums directed me to the succession games and it really opened my eyes as to how civ should be played.
     
  18. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    I agree with you in that learning a perfect recipe is less useful than learning adapative strategizing. (applies to humans and AI). So just restarting isn't useful.

    My point was just that I've learned a lot playing with a 'renalyze and restart' approach very quickly (I've only been playing Civ4 for 1 week now, after years of Civ3). I was so confused by the changes I started at like Settler (I've now just won all victory types to Noble).
    It does make play errors obvious if you've failed the third time in a row to get a goal, and the small size of duel maps make it easy to see the errors.

     

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