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Emperor continents space victory - my hardest win yet

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Fish Man, May 20, 2017.

  1. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    So I moved up to emperor, and tried something new, a continents science victory with IMHO a pretty strong civ, Darius I of Persia.

    The starting location was pretty much all I could ask for in terms of food but pretty garbage in terms of commerce (financial helped a lot though). I decided against an immortal rush after seeing England had swords fortified on a hilltop cap (the AI seems to love this tech). Oracle slingshot to CS meant commerce skyrocketed, allowing me to tech and produce crazily. Some catapults and swords later, England fell. The Zulu were a tougher nut to crack, because of their unit spam and because at this point I was basically bankrupt, at one point I think making negative income with 0% research. Still, I beat them with knights, trebs, cats, and maces (hybrid warfare was needed to keep losses low), and large amounts of whipping (this is the most I've used slavery in any game, I think). I managed to recover after courthouse spamming and building forbidden palace while running a mostly farm-based specialist economy (the lack of rivers was kind of disappointing on that map...).

    It turns out that my fears of being out-teched were unfounded, because Montezuma was on the other continent and couldn't science to save his life even on emperor. On the other hand, he had pretty much swallowed the entire continent, which was...worrisome, to say the least. After Kublai fell, it was a race to get the last few techs and launch before Monty could try something.

    But then, it turns out the Incans were literally 10 votes shy of winning AP diplo win. I was about 20 turns from science win at that point, and I thought the game was lost, until I cam up with a genius idea: give Huayna electricity, radio, and mass media so that he would obsolete the AP himself before he could win. As expected the AIs were too dumb to refuse free techs, so I won pretty handily, building some modern armors because I knew I couldn't trust Monty.

    Two turns after my t329 science win, Monty DOW'ed. I demolished his initial cavalry stack with modern armors, but at this point suffice to say I'm in no position to defend and would be definitely out-teched and outproduced in the long run, given how, y'know, everyone else in the world was his vassal by this point. Oh, and I nuked two of his cities, because why not.

    This was undoubtably the most intense game I've ever had. Was on the edge of my seat the entire time. After this, I think I can safely say I don't think I'm ready yet to move to immortal, not when there are civs that can effectively cannibalize 2/3 of the world while I'm not looking. Scary stuff. Seriously, the entirety of the other continent covered in Aztec green is kind of disturbing...

    Now on to the critiques. I feel like I definitely did a lot of suboptimal and "wrong" things even though I obviously did a lot right (because how else would I win on emperor, lol). So for your convenience I've posted a collection of all saves in that game, so you can go to whatever stage of the game you'd be interested in and nitpick on whatever you want.

    Here are all the saves (file size too large to upload normally): https://www.mediafire.com/?y77urv1nq6co6lk

    As an added bonus, I pose a challenge to everyone who wants to try: win a "second victory" by vassaling every other civ on the planet, including kicking Monty off his high perch and making him your lil b*tch.

    Have fun reading/playing/criticizing!

    PS: bonus points if you know what the civ and leader names are references to (they allude to separate things).
     

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    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  2. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    I'll give it a whirl. Darius is a pretty strong leader.

    Part1 1680bc 3 Cities.
    Spoiler :
    Persepolis, London and York. SIP, horses in BFC for 1 city immortal rush. Might try for Glight.


    Part 2 950bc 4 Cities. GLight.
    Spoiler :
    Glight at 950bc is pretty late but better late than never. Downside of killing Liz is lots of barbs but cheap xp for immortals.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  3. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Hmm, nice. Seemed like you went all in with immortals. Impressive...most impressive.

    On the other hand, have fun with your crippling maintenance with London being quite a ways away. Also, Shaka will still try to kill you and take your stuff, I guarantee it - or at least he'll take up all the space you had wanted to expand to, soon enough. And why waste hammers on GLH when you could've waited for Elizabeth to build it and then take it from her forcefully? ;)
     
  4. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    You could improve your late game economy a ton. Looks like you mainly have farms and no corporations.

    There are two main options to consider in a space game: Corps or State Property. If corps, found Mining and Sushi, spread them everywhere and of course conquer as many as possible of the resources they need. If State Property, beeline communism, replace everything with workshops and watermills. In either case most hills without resources should be windmills in the later eras, especially with a FIN leader.

    State Property is probably the easier option to pull off. Next time you are heading to space, get to Communism quick, have an army of workers out by then to rework most of your lands, then go State Property+Caste. You'll be surprised how easy it is to outpace the AI when every flatland tile you work is equivalent to an iron mine.
     
  5. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    I went state property but then mass unhealthiness from all the late-game production buildings meant I had to farmspam to keep pop at barely 20, sometimes less. Any tips on this? I feel like I should've spammed more cities and then use commie workshops to get them to build things quick, to boost net research/gold/espionage, especially seeing as how I didn't occupy the eastern part of the continent fast enough to stop Huayna from forward-settling my private continent.
     
  6. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    For starters, don't hook up oil. With factories oil adds 2:yuck: in every city and gives you nothing, except the ability to build some units, which you don't need as you are alone on your continent anyway. When you have uranium you don't even need oil for units.

    I'm not looking at your save, but can see an Industrial Park in one of the screenshot. For all the unhealthiness it adds, and being an expensive building, it's usually not worth building very many of those. Personally I might build one in my IW city and that's about it.

    Other than that, trade for more health resources. Again, not looking at your save, but in the end you should have access to just about every health resource in the game, either through direct control or through trade. In your screenshot, you're missing wheat, which would be +2:health: in every city. It's quite rare that nobody would have that available for trade. Sometimes you might need to suck up to the AI a bit to get them happy enough to trade.
     
  7. diegobueno

    diegobueno Chieftain

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    i find that people always talk about sushi, but how abaut mils? cost less maintenance and gives more food per resource, (if you have the same amounts of resources of course).
    this is as strong as founding corps like mining inc+ Cmils?

    this is a problem in the early moder era with japan, what about, selling some :) resources for :health:, build groseries, supermarkets, ecology-genetics adds more :health:;
    i dont find this to be a that hard as to leave slavery in the late game when emancipation starts pulling :mad: -8 ~ -10
     
  8. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    Depends on map type, but on watery maps there are usually more sushi resources. On other maps Cereal Mills can be better.
    Again, depends on map and other settings. I know that on normal speed SP and workshops can fuel a large empire so that you tech the last eras at 1 tech/turn and launch the next turn after discovering the final tech. It can't get much faster than that. Corps are slower to set up, but can be much more powerful once they are. On marathon speed the slow setup doesn't matter that much and you need more power with larger tech and build costs, which makes corps superior on slower speeds.
     
  9. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    Part 3 225ad 9 cities.
    Spoiler :
    Went for early IW, immortals v barb spears ain't fun, founded my first city east of capital for iron+marble. Built units and settlers, still plenty of barbs. Shaka founded confu which I adopted, up to pleased (which don't mean much). Then went for lit for parthenon/glib. Going to head for astronomy coz Shaka ain't trading techs.


    Part 4. 940ad. 11 cities.
    Spoiler :
    Pretty quiet, got a GM which bulbed MC, machinery for xbows coz I still don't trust Shaka. Picked up some techs once I discovered other continent, used GS for optix, GS to finish astronomy 940ad, resource trades for health and happy. I think I'll try lib>steel and prepare for war.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  10. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Better kill him quick before he lays eggs. I personally used a knightrush supported by some maces and cats/trebs, because cuiras were too late and needed a tech completely irrelevant to science win (military tradition).

    I kinda wasted lib on economics since I was afraid there'd be someone like Mansa on the other continent who'd get to both before I did - but all I met were civs who hadn't even researched paper. If I'd used lib on something else like astronomy, steam power, or even physics it could've been a better use potentially.
     
  11. Lennier

    Lennier Emperor

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    Also, Sushi comes sooner than Mills.
     
  12. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Yeah, on a map like continents or other maps where AIs are not reachable by galley, for Space games grabbing at least an early Optics is a good idea to meet those other AIs as soon as you can. Not just to gauge the LIb race, but for more tech trading opportunities. And Astro too will help with foreign trade routes, resource trading for gold or resources missing from your own continent...and getting up those observatories. So I would not delay this too long. So yeah, holding out for a better and more expensive tech to Lib is always a good idea. Heck, you can Lib Communism (Lib is a direct prereq or requirement) or try to Lib a corp tech, which ever is better for the map.

    And map can make the decision for corp vs. state prop. As mentioned, Sushi/Mining is generally the best option for going corp. Mining is usually always feasible, but Sushi not so good if there is not much seafood on the map anyway...obviously good for watery type maps. But State Prop can be really strong. As Elite said, you can start setting up a hammer economy with workshops, watermills and windmills. However, I would not bulldoze your research hubs. Let those cottages do their thing until you get the techs you need. What you can do though is pre-improve the cottages with watermills and workshops and then complete them when teching is in the bag and space part building is in full force.
     
  13. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    OK, I think I get it now. I delayed optics for guilds and education for knightrush and unis/oxford in my cap and science cities asap. Teching at 20% is hard.

    There's about the same amount of seafood and nonseafood on this map, so I'd say both would be fine, actually. I prefer cereal because slightly more food, and because electricity would be a tech I want anyways.

    Pre-building workshops...I didn't think of that, actually. At that point, though, I'm so tired of worker micro I usually don't reimprove a lot of tiles or build railroads more than the bare minimum.

    Switching to caste would've been even better, but how do I deal with emancipation unhappiness? Or happiness/health in general? This map was surprisingly devoid of resources, and I don't think anyone else had wheat *available* to trade for the entire game, period.
     
  14. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    Part 5. 1460. 17 cities.
    Spoiler :
    Lib>steel 1230. Declared on Shaka, couple of stacks of cannon/medieval, slowly ploughed through the Zulu empire until Shaka capitulated. Just got to communism. Going for conquest/domination. Rifling>physics>artillery.


    I had a look at your 1750 save (no major spoilers, I'd already got maps). Surprised by the shortage of cottages and large numbers of specialists, not sure this is best use of financial.
     

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  15. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    The main problem I have with cottages is this: how do you maintain a cottage economy and grow your cities to work those cottages while having enough production to build anything useful? Ulundi had been surrounded by cottages from the moment I took it, but it struggled to grow beyond size 10 until biology, and even after that capped at size ~13. I know corps exist, but even when beelining them they seem to come too late, and at any rate I was trying for a commie economy due to distance maintenence.

    Also,



    How do you crap out so many settlers and not go completely broke? I was crippled by maintenance until mid-industrial era pretty much...

    @lymond : Perhaps it'd be best for me to post a game here starting at, say, 1000 AD and ask for turn-by-turn instructions. Late game is where I seem to stagnate, and though the advantages I build early on are usually enough to compensate, it probably won't be sufficient on immortal or higher or when I'm playing against high techers.
     
  16. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    With factories, power plants and +10% from communism, a (non riverside) grassland workshop building research gives you +8.4:science:/turn. A town boosted by Printing Press would need library+uni+observatory to compete with that. Chances are that by the time you have Communism and build your factories, there won't be many cities with all those research buildings and a bunch of developed towns. If a city has only a library, any towns should be bulldozed without remorse. If you have an Academy or even Oxford, then you should of course leave the cottages.
    A workshop takes 6 worker turns. To prebuild them, group 5 workers together and every turn you move them->build workshop->cancel. This way the micro isn't that bad.
    Here's a random city in a random lategame save from your .zip:
    Spoiler :

    Here is the same city after I worldbuildered it 4 pop smaller and changed some improvements around it:
    Spoiler :

    In the later image you will notice there is no unhappiness, it is far from unhealthy, it makes 11.60 more :science:/turn and 27 more :hammers:/turn. And this is without Caste System. With Caste the difference would be much greater. So, I ask you: why is it so important for you to have your cities at pop 20 or above? (And I didn't even notice you weren't working the oasis... Should definitely be worked in that situation.)
     
  17. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    Grassland cottages are food neutral, a couple of food sources and a city can grow to a decent size working cottages+ food tiles+1-2 hammer tiles. On the other hand its difficult to combine cottage growth with heavy whipping.

    Later in the game (c 1000ad+) workshops and watermills are often better than cottages because you get the tile yields immediately and don't have to wait for cottages to grow to towns.
     
  18. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Just to clarify, I did state research hubs which should have all those buildings and Labs, like your cap or any heavy commerce city with lots of towns. But yeah, most cities in that case should switch to hammer based economy especially captured AI cities which usually have a hodge-podge of improvements all over the place and less infra. But at minimum, you certainly don't want to bulldoze your nicely cottaged bureau cap with all those buildings and an academy to boot until you are ready for it to build parts.

    Free Speech is another thing. I don't know...I rarely ever use the civic or have an empire that suits it.
     
  19. Rusten

    Rusten Deity

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    Spoiler :
    IMO 1-city immortal rush is a mistake here. You should be able to scout the pig+gold+fp city early on and really want to settle it. Immortals are good in the 1000-1500 BC range too! I chopped them out with mathematics. I also saw that London was on a hill which pushed me further in the direction of a later attack.

    I have 9 cities 900 BC (and the GLH too).
     
  20. Rusten

    Rusten Deity

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    Save.
     

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