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[BTS] Enter the noob

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by prettification, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. prettification

    prettification Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Hi everyone!

    First things first: Im a newbie newcomer. I have been roaming here from time to time, never daring stepping into this hardened veteran community.
    I like the game, but i dont know if ever will have the level to be a constructive member (Im a noob,Im sick, etc)

    It basically boils down to a one way request of help :blush:.
    Saladin pangaea on prince.

    Turn 160:
    Im at war with Sumeria, the close neighbour whom I razed one city early to settle Damascus. I basically rushed settling on the west to secure the sumerian border and snatch the wines (first three cities are Medina Baghdad and Damascus).

    I then discovered very juicy ground in the south that i proceeded to rush settling, since it got lot of grasslands, hills, and bonus ressources (whats more to ask?). I noticed that the AI was not rushing.

    As I have space and good land, I settled for space (never won by space, only conquest and culture on noble, standard continent).

    I was set up on manageing growth of the empire when resenttul :)mischief:) Sumeria invaded, took Damascus ( I had not prepared for him invading since i was sharing his religion thanks to missionary spamming Izzy), that I wrested back from him. As he was losing my defending war, I proceeded to invading and took Ur in the SE.

    -------------------------

    Early game was quite logical for me (even if its a noob logic), but now I have arrived at the point, already experienced in other aborted games, of feeling 'lost'. I have no more logic to follow, every step feels like a potential pitfall.

    Its not the first time so I came here wailing for help :)blush:), in case some charitable guide would be so kind as to examine the clumsy scribbling of a toddler :blush:.

    I dont even know if going on with the war is a good idea (conquest was simpler: conquer all :mischief:).Land is good but wars are costly, and there are new frontiers with more more powerful AIs.
    Izzy and Suleiman are delopping in my backyard, which frightens me, even if they are pleased buddhist allies.

    I am really bad at teching.

    I dont know which block to join, staying in the buddhist one or betraying later and going in the hinduist.

    I really dont know what to do (apart from settling cities on the west).

    :blush:

    Thanks for your attention.
     

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  2. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    Heya, despite feeling lost, your situation actually looks pretty good.

    Make the war decisive.
    For this, you need to commit. Actively push production towards military (more siege, macemen). Gather your units on the frontline and stack them. Capture core cities and kill Gilgamesh. Do not be satisfied with capturing the peripheral ones.
    See ? This is in the head. A state of mind.
    Isabelle is your friend, keep it this way. You don't need units in the west. If you want to be cute, you can train some archers to relieve your garrison axemen.
    Most important : build barracks (whip) : too many of your units are not promoted (makes the war a lot more costly than it should be if they die easy).

    After the war is done, push further against another neighbour and kill him too. For this, conservation of units is essential. Hence : Barracks, promotions and siege (enough siege to bombard in 1 or 2 turns).
    Acquiring more land increases your maintenance but it's also the easiest way to increase your tech pace. So, it's not at all contrary to the objective of "going to space". With a definite amount of land, your tech pace reaches a definite plateau. The more land, the higher the plateau.

    You got distracted by the empire management somewhat.
    If you're playing with the governor's build suggestions, you should turn that off and make your own decisions. They ought to be better.
    Jungle : gives unhealth alright. Don't build aqueducts to solve the issue. Cut the jungle, whip workers if you lack some. Build settlers and acquire more health resources. Trade for health, too. All better reactions.
    To help with your tech pace : commit to commerce multipliers in your capital. A library and an Academy are the basic buildings, then aim for Bureaucracy. You can produce the Great Scientist for the academy in the city of your choice.

    If maintenance becomes too much of an issue, maybe aim for Banking or commit to Courthouses.
    Set priorities for your Empire (war/peace) and switch into your civics accordingly.

    Have fun !
    :)
     
    krikav likes this.
  3. soundjata

    soundjata Be like water

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    wtf it's BIC :eek: :crazyeye:
     
  4. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    What can I say ? I make it a point of honour to visit these boards at least once in a lifetime. After the resurrection.

    re : being decisive. Do not be afraid to completely overwhelm Gilgamesh. This is how wars are won. And your army will carry over to the next target.
     
  5. prettification

    prettification Chieftain

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    Thanks for the attention and reply.

    I know about the promotions. What happened is that I did not plan to attack. He invaded me and took a city when i was peacefully extending in the south, so I just whipped units to take it back asap, without havig time to put a barrack in the middle. He appeared vulnerable so I invaded back :mad: with my no barrack infrastructure/units.
    I also know about the jungles. I did whip some workers some turns ago, I initiated aqueducts because health tends to hold my cities growth back more than happiness (especially with hereditary rule). Courthouses are costly, so I assumed some more cottages thanks to better health was better..

    I hesitated about turning on Izzy later in the future because she is isolated, contrary to the other block which is fused and thus scares me more.

    Yes Im scared a lot on this game. I am actually terrorized by the tech pace and the always impending tech osbolescence. It actually stresses me a lot during the game :eek:.

    I took note of your guideline and will strenghten the tentative war.

    Somehow, I have some reluctance to the crush and absorb strategy that seems to be the staple of success in this game (especially at higher levels). I have this yearning to success built on cooperation and deft administration without being forced to resort to the bleed and devour strategy.

    The last game I quit because I conquered my island (moderate size) but was outteched by two behemoths on the continent. The only thing i can think of doing better whould have been to take on the weaker AIs to get bigger. Is this really the best way to success and competition in this game? I am asking the question so as to really have a grasp on the logic and mechanism of success in the game.


    Anyway I will follow your advice and switch to trouncing mode. It gave me direction and helped me a lot.

    Thank you very much. :)
     
  6. Hesha

    Hesha Prince

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    I just did something similar in s Pangaea game on EMP. Attacked a neighbor early on with a bunch of Phalanx, when I was almost done, Izzy threatened, I refused and she dow'ed me instantly (no plotting) so I pumped out more pointy sticks, wiped her out, too. Joao was next. Somehow I managed to build mids in the first AI cap I stole, almost managed GLH after that. I fell behind in tech hopelessly, ran at -25 gpt on 100% taxes, but I'm pretty confident I will win the game. Joao had Longbows before I had Currency, but I managed anyway without siegers and only Phalanx and the odd sword. The is strength in numbers (and units with 6 promotions!)... So yeah, commit and curb stomp!
     
  7. earthy

    earthy Warlord

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    Don't worry too much about tech obsolescence. Even if the enemy is ahead of you in tech you can still overpower them with numbers and focused attacks. Siege units are especially helpful in this regard(build extra and plan to lose a lot of them). And yes, land is indeed power. More land can increase your tech pace, but it also increases how many units you can pump out, how many you can afford, etc. And like BIC said, it's all about committing. No half measures. If you're going to war, you put all of your focus into winning that war and forget about research for a while.
     
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  8. lymond

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

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    Yeah, I'm going to disagree with most here and say your situation is bad..relatively speaking. This does not mean that you can easily turn things around and mop the floor wit the AI. But there is just a lot fundamentally wrong here.

    As a newer player, it really does not do you much good to take advice at this point in your game. You need to set a groundwork of fundamental basics from the very first turn of the game. Civ IV is a game in which the early turns are vitally important.

    Play a game from Turn 0 here, getting advice from the very start. You will find on Prince level that your situation will be far different, and you will start to set down habits that will allow you to soon move up levels. It's 1000AD and you have basically no libraries, but all these unnecessary aqueducts.

    Oh..not sure if you play with BUG/BULL mods, but it is highly recommended. Use the SP custom assets install option. I'll link it here:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/download-bug-and-bat-here.274636/

    You can, of course, continue this game based on the advice given, but you are not really learning in the process. The learning you need comes far far earlier than 1000AD.

    For perspective, keep in mind that at this level with good fundamentals you should absolutely trounce the AIs in every regard.
     
  9. prettification

    prettification Chieftain

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    About the libraries I simply did not have enough commerce to justify, in my opinion, the 25 percent more for the hammer (notwithstanding the dismal research rate i got mostly stuck with). That was my logic (which is probably wrong).

    I think there are things for me to learn in this game. I am now bound to my little kingdom now, and BornInCantaloup gave me a direction Im eager to test out. There may be not much to see for an accomplished player, but at my level, there are tons of situations to garner and challenges to overcome (like the sweeping conquest I was told to undertake).

    Of course the straightest way is the one you indicated. Until now Ive never really felt like getting in touch with the community. You seemed too strong and I was just an intermittent dabbler.

    Its just this game I got really discouraged and I chimed in on a whim. I am tempted to try it some time, but I am afraid to be spoonfed the optimal receipt, like an impersonal code that will play the game instead of my imperfect self. I dont know.

    Right now I have geared my kingdom for conquest ( I mean transient conquest, still aiming for space, my first space victory :trouble: ) and I am well on my way to swallow Sumeria. I willl fall behind in techs and will have to extend the conquest to somebody else, probably Brennus (which is quite a new and exciting challenge for me).

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  10. lymond

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

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    You have plenty of commerce, but you haven't developed your land as you should either. But it is not just that, you need libraries to run scientists. Actually, as you can see on Prince level you are really not behind in tech per se, but you are not near where you should be yourself here. You can absolutely drown the AIs in tech by this point on Prince level.

    I don't fully understand your concerns or reservations about this forum, but I will say that this is forum is a great way to learn about the about the game. Everyone here is welcoming and helpful. We like to help newer players. I'm not sure if you actually have seen a shadow game before but it is a great way to learn, and the input from experience players and collaboration can be great. Just look at this recent game by Hesh:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/shadow-game-monarch-ramesses.652665/

    Not actually the start I would like for learning, there was some odd situations here, but still Hesh, who was relatively new, learned a low. Not he is very active here and helping others too...and he just started like a month or two ago.

    If you are going to pursue your current game, you need to make some quick adjustments right now. Whip those libraries in Mecca (put 1 turn into then 3 pop), Damascus and I think Medina can whip there's now. Run scientists there. Improve that pigs in Mecca..fine to mine early on but should have been pastured long ago still.

    I would peace out with Gilgs now. No point in continuing a war you are not prepared for. You can get HBR and 180g right now in peace. Get your empire in order. Improve those calendar resources. Forget Aqueducts..ugh. Build granaries in cities that don't have them.

    Feud you can trade for. I would already have pursued Liberalism here, but you haven't produced Great Scientists for bulbing. You could go Guilds here for Camel Archers which don't require horse. They should still be pretty effective on this level. Raise slider on Feud a bit this turn and you can trade CS to Mansa for it. (get his incense now)

    couple of turn of slavery so you can whip libraries. and then try caste system to max some scientists where you can. You can also use artists for borders pops where needed instead of building monuments.

    And you should be in Bureaucracy and OR already. I would wait a turn or two so you can whip a library in Mecca and then switch Bureau, Caste and OR.

    After Fued, lower slider to 0% for a bit until you have enough gold to tech Guilds. Once guilds is in you can start whipping Camel Archers.
     
  11. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    Why would you talk about peace, Lymond ?
    Your first post, you imply that any Prince level map should be owned in the BCs with Horse Archers...
    Second post, you talk peace and 0% tech rate ? prettification has the 2nd largest army and his power rating is 1.4 compared with that of Gilgamesh. He has 10 catapults produced, a horde of axemen and can now produce macemen.

    Gather the troops, make a stack, actually produce military, instead of getting a unit here and there, conquer. This is a very reasonable and short term plan. There's no need to retool before killing Giggles. But getting stronger so as to run over a 2nd target is at hand.

    Yes, there's no use in running the science slider at the moment. It would be better to amass gold first and to backfill on the important infrastructure first (i.e. libraries ; gives more bang for the bucks).
    The game is at tech parity with land and food advantage. Position is winning.

    Absolutely valid concern, sir.
     
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  12. lymond

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

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    I went back and looked. Honestly, I was initially just focused on the basic stuff and did not really look very closely. Notice he took Ur and had like 3 units there, so I thought that is all he(or she) had. I now see a stack next to another city ready to bombard and attack. So yeah, the war can continue with more focus on it as you say. Certainly can knock out Gigs . May be bit of a grind and should be noted that at this point in the game Gigs could be very close to Feud.
    Well, actually that was not what I was implying at all, BiC...and good to see you by the way :)..though you and I know that that is true ..if one actually has horses..ha. I was simply pointing out that the early game needs improvement and by 1000AD..the date of the save...one would be in a far different position....certainly not fighting the AI with classical era units.

    Anyway, I don't think one has to think of it as an "impersonal code", so to speak. There are even just a few basic concepts that you are missing right now that will totally change your game and move you up levels.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  13. prettification

    prettification Chieftain

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    Sorry for asking again.

    Its 50 turns later (211th) now. I have destroyed Sumeria (razed the capital and founded two cities instead, retained the other ones). I did what BornInCanteloup told me: i went full on conquest and geared the empire towards military production (building courthouses in the south when i could).

    I have a huge army and invaded Brennus, who was next on the right and warring with Mansa. I actually finished bombarding the capital during this turn and Im up for the assault next one.
    Brennus is the second biggest land as for now. Im the largest by ten percent more.

    The problem is that I have no research, I have been steadily falling in tech behind, squeezing out some gold at 0 percent for some times now. The Ai is not that far from rifling, and I am afraid of the future.

    I cant think of anything apart from whacking brennus, taking as much space as possible, vassaling him if needed, extorting techs, and then go and whack somebody else, probably wang kong, to extort more techs, all the while developping my huge (but backward empire, ie mass cottageing). But Im hugely doubtful, especially for a space victory.

    Im actually lost in the same way as yesterday, 50 turns before.

    What would an experienced player do in such a situation? Is there something to do with this game or am I doomed to wither out of backwardness into a huge and pathetic demise?

    Thanks.
     

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  14. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Could you provide a screenshot or two, an overview of the empire perhaps?
    Opening a save is bothersome, easier to chime in from just looking at a screenshot!
     
  15. Major Tom

    Major Tom Immortal

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    You can build wealth (or research). Pillage their land. Delete unnecessary units. Have traderoutes with others. And as mentioned, courthouses, Forbidden palace. Perhaps bulb some techs. But as lymond mentioned, work on the early game. Post a shadow game and get Strategy & Tips.
     
  16. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Your army is big enough to take Bibracte, though you will lose most of your catapults in the progress. It's not a big deal as you have access to trebuchets which is a much stronger unit. You should be building trebs and wealth, not much else (well, granary if the city doesn't have one). You should whip a work boat in the city top left corner. Barb galleys can't enter the fish tile as it's in the ocean, not on coast so they can't pillage it. I wouldn't settle a new weak city in that area. You have a great general sleeping in one city. Attach it to a scout and take medic promos. This super healer will heal your main army. Scout is a good choice for healer as it won't defend thus it's hard to lose it.

    You should take all the money AIs are offering you. In the resource trade screen you see many AIs willing to pay you for resources. It's free money for you, take it. Many of your cities have lots of cottages but you are not working them. I'd turn governor on and click emphasize :food: and :commerce: on.

    Spoiler :
    This is a great city but you are not using it to it's potential as it's not big enough to work all the cottages. If you are not working them they do nothing. Putting so many :hammers: into an aqueduct was unnecessary. In general :food: is much better than :hammers:. Growing is good, whipping is good. One more thing - chopping forests is very very good.

    Civ4ScreenShot0126.JPG


    edit: razing and re-settling is generally a very bad idea. Capturing a city with pop and buildings saves you a LOT of :hammers:.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  17. prettification

    prettification Chieftain

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    Thank you very much for the tips it might not seem much to you but it gives me grasp and direction.

    I have attached some screens (research in 6; army in 8, global view in 5 and the current battle in 7) as requested for easier access.

    Cottages are in excess in the town because there was jungle and I did not want to come agains wasting workers turns. And the health was recently upped.

    The big question is: Is something exploitable in getting biggger and bigger at the detriment of research, and is it recoverable in the future?
     

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  18. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    If you manage your empire well, bigger will not lead to the detriment of research at all. Bigger empire, bigger cities will lead to bigger research.

    Also just noticed that you haven't spawned a single great person in the entire game. That's great for your current position as you can get one out quickly and perhaps start a golden age.
     
  19. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    Seconded. This is probably the single most efficient way to get you out of the hole.
    Select a city that let's you hire specialists : you need a madrasa and a good food surplus. Hiring specialists gives you :gp: points and, eventually, a Great Person that can provide various bonuses. A golden age will last 8 turns and provide an extra hammer and commerce on each tile that already produces some.
    Having at least 8 food surplus would be good, so you could hire 4 specialists and get your great person in 9 turns. Get some workers to help if you need to farm some.

    Also sampsa is right that you would probably benefit from clicking the food and commerce button in most of your city screens : the city will then emphasize working tiles that give you commerce and food.
    Misconception : unhealth is not fatal. Nor is unhappiness. Unhappiness is actually worse than unhealth. Unhealth is quite benign. What does it do ? It reduces your food surplus. Instead of eating 2 food, an unhealthy citizen eats 3. Does it matter much for a size 8 or 15 city ? No. You still get a food surplus ; it's just slightly lower.
    So, let your cities grow.
    If you run into unhealth/happiness, do not switch to working mines, this is not the way : instead, select a unit or building, put some hammers into it and sacrifice some population to rush the build. Slavery civic (i.e. "whipping"). You'll get into it eventually. A combination of chops and whips is how most builds are done because just using mines takes too long.

    Another more long term thing you can aim to do is make Brennus capitulate. He'll agree to it, eventually. Once you have a vassal, you can direct their research, which can help big time getting back in the game via trading... if you can research a tech that they do not have, that is.
    The AIs are still another 50 turns away from Rifling, I suppose. You can still power your way through. Make trebuchets, not catapults, though : they're much stronger against cities (i.e. fights that actually matter).
    It is getting important to focus on your eco, though. So food, commerce, grow and try that "rush production" button on some infrastructure (Madrasas, Forges, Courthouses). For regerence, when whipping, you gain 30 hammers per population point that is sacrificed. You get a malus if no hammer has been invested yet.
     
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  20. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    This little guy is the culprit. Probably the most loved/hated functionality in the game.
    Just below are the emphasize functions. Emphasize Food&Commerce + rush builds is standard.
     

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