Emperor Difficulty

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by EmJayLambert, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. EmJayLambert

    EmJayLambert Chieftain

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    Hi,

    This is my first post. I played Civ most of my life - IV & V and then a lot of VI but I've never gone beyond a play for easy wins, so mostly on Prince difficulty.
    Recently dusted it off, intrigued by Frontier Pass, and have been finding King very winnable with a little thought.
    So I've moved onto Emperor and BAM I'm losing every game within about 70 turns by just being invaded by the strongest civ around.
    I've tried investing everything in defence but it's still not enough. Is there likely to be anything I'm missing? Is it all down to luck? What are the advantages that AI have to make their army three times the size of mine by turn 60?

    TIA
     
  2. MrRadar

    MrRadar Emperor

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  3. EmJayLambert

    EmJayLambert Chieftain

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    Thanks.

    Part of my problem is actually I don't have much time to invest with kids etc. - maybe 3 hours in the evening so it's hard to spend time reading up on everything and watching YouTube stuff.

    I think the key will be perseverence and flexibility.
     
  4. enKage

    enKage Follower of Zoamelgustar

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    Don't worry, if you win civ4 on prince. Civ4 prince somehow equals civ6 emperor, so probably the factor is 1 minor thing. Beside watching any video on youtube, post a savegame of t50 or so, we can find out what may be a problem
     
  5. GunsGermsandSteel

    GunsGermsandSteel Warlord

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    I made the jump to emperor a month or so ago and have started winning most games now. It's all about your early game survival/setup. It does take some getting used to. It will depend on your civ and what unique units you might get but usually you want a slinger 1st or second production. I hardly ever build scouts early now. You'll want a setter pretty early(3rd or 4th production) and get religious settlements pantheon for your third city. I also recommend going with strong start civs (Sumeria, Egypt, Nubia etc) until you get the hang of emperor. And when it comes to religion either go all in or completely avoid it.
     
  6. MrRadar

    MrRadar Emperor

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    On Emperor AI starts with 3 warriors as opposed to your 1, so it is only natural for them to have an army 3 times the size of yours from the start :)
    It is also the first difficulty, where AI gets a free settler upon founding their first city. They also have bigger research and production bonuses. Your task is to survive the beginning which may include an early AI rush or an unlucky barb onslaught from a triggered camp or even more camps.

    Speaking about barbs, try not to let a barb scout to see your city (it gets an exclamation mark on top when he does), or don't let that scout to return to his camp, because that triggers a barb raid. Destroy or deflect him long enough. Triggered camp produces barb units at an increased rate, which could make your life more difficult. In any case, barbs can't take your capital (but they will raze your other cities if you let them).

    Speaking about AI, it is easiest to avoid early war by handling them diplomatically. On standard speed they will accept your delegation on the contact turn (but likely not later), and that gives a positive modifier. Satisfying their agenda, signing open borders, sending trade routes or gifting will boost your relations even further and when they turn to friendly (smiley face) they will likely accept a Declaration of Friendship which means mutual immunity from war. Without a DoF they can and will happily attack you if they are stronger, even when friendly. If you have a DoF, you have guaranteed peace with them for 30 turns. Extending DoF on the turn it expired is also as good as guaranteed, unless, maybe, you're very close to victory.

    Or else, if you have a close neighbour, often it is very profitable to conquer them. Found another city asap, and with two cities, or maybe three max, you can start taking over the world. Try to build units using respective policy cards for faster production. Agoge for early melee and ranged, Maneuver for early light and heavy cavalry. Three-four warriors and then three-four slingers into archers should help you to survive early attack and make your first conquests, then add chariots and horsemen if you have or can trade horses. Upgrading earlier units into later ones with gold is more effective than building those from scratch. When cities get walls, bring battering rams and catapults or more modern siege for more modern walls.
    Cities strength is based on the best melee unit that AI (or you for your cities) has ever built (including ships), they fire based on the best range unit they've ever built.
    If you're at war, don't forget to pillage your enemies for gold, science, culture and faith.

    Builders are also vital for improving your land and getting early eurekas to help you progress faster in tech.
    Don't forget scouting - scouts get all sorts of useful stuff from tribal villages and make contact with city states - they are amazing. Try to adapt your game to make use of city state bonuses.

    Civ 4 has slavery for speeding up production, Civ 6 has chopping and harvesting of resources. With governor Magnus this becomes exceptionally strong. At the start, if in emergency, you can just chop out your starting army, settlers, or essential districts. See other governors and their promotions too, they also have very useful bonuses.
     
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  7. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    When you say you've invested "everything" in your military, can you be a little more specific? You aren't building something else? Also, what size and type of map are you using, and do you add any AI Civs beyond the default number?

    My opening works about 80% of the time:

    I build 2 Warriors immediately, giving me 3, just for scouting around. Then I build a Slinger. I don't use Scouts to scout until later, because they have no military value. I also avoid fighting Barbarians until I get Discipline. Fighting a Barbarian takes time away from reconnaissance, and then my Warrior either has to waste more time healing or move on with reduced hit points.

    When I have 3 Warriors and a Slinger, I'm at my first decision point: Either another 2 Slingers or a Settler. No Monument. No Granary. No Builder. No District. Expand or fight. That's it. By this stage, I've scouted around my capital, at a width of 1 "expansion ring." There are 3 possibilities here: 1) I haven't met any other Civs yet; 2) I've met a Civ who's clearly going to attack me; or 3) I've met a Civ who's leaving himself open to attack.

    #1 is easy - I build a Settler. #2 is also easy - I put in my mouthpiece and get ready to rumble.

    #3 is a little more open-ended. If another Civ is already inside my "first expansion ring", [stuff] is gonna jump off, 'cause I can't have that. If they're a little further away, I frequently go ahead and build a Settler. Sometimes they leave themselves so open to attack that I feel dumb if I don't take advantage of the opportunity. Regardless, I need to get a 2nd city asap, whether I build it or capture it. At this point, I still haven't built any buildings or districts at all. Unless I'm still fighting a war, I'll often build a Builder in my Capital, and a Monument in my 2nd city. Then I get a 3rd city - again, either by building a Settler or building more military units.

    It's worth noting that you need to be able to mop the floor with an AI army that outnumbers yours a little bit. I get mad at myself if I lose even 1 unit early.
     
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  8. AlanC9

    AlanC9 Chieftain

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    Being outnumbered by the AI isn't as much f a problem as it was in Civ 4. 1UPT means that you can shoot their army to pieces as it comes, assuming you have decent ranged troops and fortifications.
     
  9. Lily_Lancer

    Lily_Lancer Deity

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    Probably because you invested wrongly in defense. What do you build for defense? Scout? Even if you build a dozen scouts I guess they are easily destroyed by a few horsemen in few turns.
     
  10. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    The play style difference between king and emperor is only that you have to hustle a little to win, by which I mean you do need to think about science, culture, defense, etc from the start.

    The larger difference is psychological- the extra starting units and city for the AI seem much more overwhelming than they are. Once you get over that mental shock of seeing a huge, advanced AI army, you can play a lot better.
     
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  11. JesseS

    JesseS Warlord

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    Attacks around turn 60 are almost always preventable (if you want to avoid them) through a mix of diplomacy and base military strength. Building two warriors and a slinger is certainly a solid and safe opening, but, as long as your Capitol isn’t within 10 tiles of an opponent’s Capitol (in which case you should start immediately prepping for a turn 20-30 war by churning out warriors and rushing for archers), you can get away with greedier scout-slinger or scout-settler openings, even on deity. Just keep your initial warrior relatively close by. Investing everything into defense is not the best way to go—you need to find the balance between expansion, getting enough culture to get the relevant civics for early defense (flanking & support bonuses, first government), and building just enough military for safety. Here are some tips for relatively peaceful play on higher difficulties:

    Send a delegation the first turn you meet an AI, get open borders from them as soon as you can, and sell any resources you have for bulk gold (including your only luxury).

    Keep a scout positioned near your neighbor’s border, to open the opportunity to steal a settler, receive early alert of any army marching your way, and generally harass/slow down advancing units before war is declared. In the most extreme choke point situations, a single unit can entirely block an AIs advance. Unlike a human player, the AI won’t declare war to clear out that unit blocking the choke point—they always wait until they have units at the borders of their target city. So if they can’t advance, they just mill around until forgetting about their war plans. More frequently, a scout can slow an advance by a few key turns by just being annoying—blocking a river crossing, turning a 2 tile mountain pass into a 1 tile pass, etc. The AI is bad at moving units around other units and you can really mess with their pathing this way.

    These positional and diplomatic tricks aside, by turn 60, you should have at least 2 archers and 2 warriors, in addition to 1 or 2 scouts. This is usually enough to dissuade attacks and effectively defend against barbarians and any actual attacks.

    The AI assesses your combat strength based on the melee strength of your units and cities. So even though ranged units are better for actually defending yourself, garrisoned melee units are great for dissuading the AI from attacking. In my last game (deity difficulty), my neighbor Greece was nominally friendly, but refusing to accept a declaration of friendship and marching four or five hoplites and warriors past one of my cities and towards my Capitol—sure sign of an impending surprise war. At this point my military consisted of 2 scouts and my initial warrior. I rushed out a warrior in the Capitol and two slingers in other cities. After the warrior finished, they turned back immediately and took the declaration of friendship.

    Use defensive terrain to your advantage. If you settle towards an AI, settle on a river across the direction of their attacks, ideally on a plains hill.

    If all this fails and an AI declares war on you, don’t panic. They tend to be quite bad at offensive wars. Damage all their melee units once with your archers before focus firing for kills. Your melee units should be used to soak up damage in defensive terrain, target their archers, and/or protect your archers, depending on the details of the battlefield. Prevent them from besieging your city. Keep your own units alive by rotating them forwards and backwards. Build walls asap. You should know that the AIs entire war strategy is to rush for either your Capitol or a border city. If they manage to take that first city, their units will start aimlessly wandering, giving you time to regroup and retake your city. You’re only really in trouble when they have such a large tech and military advantage that they can move randomly and you still can’t kill their units.

    Lastly, as you’re learning how to put all of this into action, I strongly recommend save-scumming difficult situations. Reload to 10 turns before a war declaration to see how you can better prepare for or prevent a war declaration. You learn a lot more from doing that than just quitting. After a few games of reloading saves when necessary, you’ll get a feel for when the AI is likely to declare war and just how much defense is necessary and when.
     
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  12. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    fwiw, I never give other Civs open border agreements - I mean, never - and it doesn't seem to have any negative impact (or at least, it's not a net negative).
     
  13. JesseS

    JesseS Warlord

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    It’s buying open borders from the AI that gives you a positive modifier. I will generally not sell open borders to my neighbors but will sell it to civs further away, as long as they’re will to pay ~2gpt or more for it, but that’s more a small gold optimization thing.
     
  14. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    Really? That seems counter-intuitive. Anyway, yeah, that I do all the time. Although, I'm not sure that I do it in the early time-frame the OP is talking about. iirc, open borders agreements in a previous edition of Civ provided a bonus to international trade - which I think is what's usually meant by "open borders" in the real world. I'm not sure that's true in Civ VI, though.
     
  15. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    All of this helpful tactical advice is meaningless when you don't settle your cities next to good production tiles, at least a couple of +2 food, +2 production tiles in the first ring. That's by far the most important thing on your list in the early game. Without production, even the highest IQ play is too slow. It's probably the biggest beginner mistake but also the easiest to fix.
     
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  16. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    1 scout is great a dozen scouts is puerile
    The scout start may not be your preference but this is just childish and unhelpful
     
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  17. montalaar

    montalaar Chieftain

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    knowing map is cruicial for starting build choices.
    id say you should start with either scout or slinger, then start to pump builder, when capital pop hits 2, switch to settler, when settler done, back to builder.
    while at that, try to get bronze and archery eurekas.
    try to get eurekas with builder now - irrigation, wheel, horseriding, masonry.
    that is how you compete with AI in research - you cut down research time with your eurekas.
    next improtant step is get to agoge(+50% melee/archer building). when there, get out little army. i like 5 archers, but i try them get out as slingers and then upgrade. few warriors. that is enough. almost always.
    second city shoulde be high production city or to cover boundaries. but more important is to have production.

    other thing is diplomacy. at meeting civ, send delegation in same turn. open borders if you have tech for that. send trade route. sell luxury. preferable all on same turn. that very likely will set just met civ to friendly. while at green status, make friends. that way you secure that direction for next 30 turns and probably for as long as you will want.

    and do not hesitate to reroll map on first turn. weak capital can be challenging and good for learning, but many lost games can take away courage from player. have good map. it helps so much. practically speaking, good map is win right there, from turn one.

    and about yt videos. most yt players play not very good. even more not explain their decisions. some deity videos is painfully to watch(when saxy gamer tries to convert 15 pop city with missionaries and such). some players are disorganized. but there are good players, but only few channels id say are worth to watch for learning.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  18. newbie2

    newbie2 Warlord

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    Its not what you wanna hear, but I learned a lot from youtubers: mostly Potato MCwhiskey for the chopping mechanic, TheGameMechanic for the importance of Factionspecifics and Era score timing.

    It also depends what type of player you are. I only go for science of culture wins (only sometimes diplo or religious), butnever domination. While early game it doesnt matter that much, optimising your mid and late game is something many guides overlook
     
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  19. Buktu

    Buktu Prince

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    Potato has quite a good over explained series running with arabia atm where he talks alot about his decisions, thought processes etc. Also he gets attacked by Rome around turn 80 or 90 and easily defends himself which should fit perfectly for OP's current issues :)
     
  20. EmJayLambert

    EmJayLambert Chieftain

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    Thanks for all the advice everyone, been trying to work through it all!

    I've been playing as Hungary looking for a Diplomatic Victory, just because it's the one I've not done so much. Hungary seemed a good choice because of getting all the envoys. So first couple of saves I was looking to get to as many City States as possible to get the first contact envoy so generally went Scout-Slinger-Builder. But then got rushed by AI.

    So after reading the advice I went Slinger-Scout-Slinger, got lucky with a Scout in a Goody Hut and then a second Settler.

    Discovered I was on a landmass with Korea and Georgia. Georgia attacked me but I got a City State Levied just in time to fight off the attack. Felt a bit sorry for her because when she attacked I only had 2 Slingers and a Warrior, then BOOM the next turn 3 more Warriors with extra Movement and Strength. Also found a Chariot in a Meteor site. So I Counter-Attacked, got a couple more City States Levied, and then turned it around to wipe Korea out. Seems to be going well around turn 100 now.

    A few observations and thoughts:

    I've been playing with a range of Civs and always aiming to make the very most of their abilities and bonuses as soon as possible. It seems this doesn't work so well at Emp or above...!
    I like the advice about city placement which again is something I have never thought much about before. Fortunately Hungary has bonuses for settling by rivers and it so happened that my Capital on this save was on the "right" side of a river to make Georgia's life a bit more difficult, but this was lucky!
    The advice on ignoring religion unless you're going all out for it is a good one, although I think I should have taken God King for the initial Gold to get a City State Levied even sooner.

    Thanks again for the help.
     

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