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Evaluate my Rome Strategy

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Redaxe, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    I know there’s been plenty of Rome strategies presented already but I’ve found most of them are very brief and don’t really apply to BNW.
    So here is a specific strategy I’d like people to review and try out. It’s quite fun as you will soon see.

    Strategy Essentials


    1) Start conditions should include ‘Raging Barbs’
    2) Start area must have at least 6 iron (it's worth restarting if this is not the case - this strategy requires early Iron)
    3) Beeline Ironworking except for luxury techs and Pottery
    4) Build Statue of Zeus
    5) Unlock Warrior Code and Discipline
    6) Build Heroic Epic & then start on Legions & Ballistas for conquest

    Strategy Outline

    The first policy to pick is the Honor opener so as to provide bonuses against barbarians and additional culture.
    The next social policies will be to unlock the left hand side of the Liberty tree. Once the left hand side is completed, the following 2 policies should be put into unlocking Warrior Code & then Discipline.

    Now it is obvious that it is too much to expect the capital Rome to be able to build the Statue of Zeus, Heroic Epic, settlers, workers, infrastructure, caravans as well as an army so we need to designate some tasks out. To maximise the benefit of the Roman UA we don’t want our capital to miss out on any buildings.

    The Capital should focus on 2 scouts, granary/shrine/worker, 1 or 2 early units to barb hunt, and the Statue of Zeus. If the city is on a coastal spot it is worth considering the Colossus. The gold from this Wonder is enough to fund an early army and the free caravan can be used to grow the second city.

    The second city which will be built with the free settler will focus entirely on building the Roman army. This city requires decent productivity and access to iron. This is important as Warrior Code and the Forge will provide a +30% bonus to building Legions.
    If it is possible a coastal site will allow for sea trade routes which will grow this city faster.
    Rome needs to have a caravan built and supplying food to this new city as SOON as it is built. This new city must grow as fast as possible and should quickly get essential infrastructure in e.g. Granary, Watermill. Then it must build a barracks and the Heroic Epic.
    Once the Heroic Epic is in this city will start producing Legions. Build as many Legions as you can and then switch to Ballista’s

    Once you have about 3 legions move them towards a neighbour and declare war. Fight on the edge of their borders to use up their army while you wait for more units to arrive. You can build forts on the edge of their terrain and let them attack you first. Legions should always fight in line to maximise the Discipline bonus and flanking effects. Once you get the Great General and have about 5 legions and are comfortable that you have dealt with your opponents armies you can consider attacking a city directly. Your Legions should have a strength of around 26 against units (before promotions) and 29 against cities (with Statue of Zeus). So base strength of 17 (+15% Heroic Epic, +15% Warrior Code General, +15% Discipline, +10% flanking bonus) should makes your Legions about as powerful as Musketeers and this is before promotion bonuses!
    It’s funny to watch composite bowmen do single digit damage against your Legions and see even a Legion at 50% health kill a comp bowmen in 1 move and suffer only single digit damage!
    Don’t waste too much time on Legions building Roads, their primary job is to conquer and you only have a limited window to do this in. If you must build roads make sure the payoff is worth it, i.e. you can move ballista’s into position faster through rough terrain…. Otherwise it’s better to use captured workers for this. I would also prefer to use Legion promotions towards getting the March promotion but others might prefer Cover.


    Back to the Capital & Empire. Now that the capital has most early structures built you should prioritize the National College, Writers Guilds etc. Buy a Library in your second city as that city must continue to focus entirely on producing the army. At this point you should be able to roll over any resistance you encounter so you can decide to settle new cities or puppet captured ones. For social policies at this point you can finish the Liberty tree and then decide to invest more points in the Honour tree if you desire.
    I would not prioritize religion as it can be a drain on resources but if you can get one Guruship & a gold Founder belief can be very helpful. For technology Metal Casting is important if you have Guruship so your Workshop specialists produce 4 hammers. The Forge is also an essential piece of infrastructure and the city with the Heroic Epic should have one purchased with gold ASAP. After this you should beeline Education to get universities.

    Continue conquering as long as you can or until you decide you want to go for a different victory strategy. Build as many ballista’s as you can before you get Trebuchets. Remember that Ballista’s are a lot cheaper to build then Trebuchets and once you are able to build Ballista’s every 3 turns it doesn’t matter too much if they are a bit obsolete because you can still overwhelm with numbers and Legions will still be able to hold their own against Renaissance era Musketmen.

    So what do people think? What difficulty level would this strategy be successful up to?
     
  2. TamirLenk

    TamirLenk Chieftain

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    Fold in some cashflow. I find it better to build/buy warriors and upgrade them. Cheaper than buying Legions
     
  3. Winsling

    Winsling Chieftain

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    In BNW the Colossus does two things:
    * Provides a free cargo ship + trade route
    * Makes trade routes to that city more valuable for both partners
    Notably it no longer adds gold to water tiles.

    More fundamentally, conquest is not difficult in BNW. The difficulty is finding enough happiness that you don't cripple yourself by over expansion, followed by the world hating you and declaring war. You completely ignore happiness in your writeup, so I don't take this plan seriously.
     
  4. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    TamirLenk - The only thing about upgrading warriors is you have to build them before Ironworking I think so you won't have the morale bonus from the Heroic Epic. But yes I can see that is an alternative. Although I wonder if it is better to save your gold to buy a library in 2nd city so you can rush the National College in the Capital, but then the 2nd city will get the +25% production bonus to building a library so it shouldn't take too long for it to hardbuild a library.
    Perhaps the best thing is to build some early archers and upgrade them to composite bowmen later with gold. Comp bowmen won't be in melee range so they don't need the morale bonus as much as the Legions will. Since this setup has "Raging Barbs" you need some early units for barb hunting anyway so that might be the way to do it.


    Winsling
    The Colossus also provides 5 gold per turn. Not a huge amount I admit but one good thing is that it doesn't require you to work 5 sea tiles to get the same amount of gold as the old Colossus would.
    Its a very valuable source of income for a Liberty warmonger player who is beelining to IronWorking. That income will pay for maintaining an early army without you having to worry about selling all your luxuries or going into debt which will ruin your science game. But like I said the Colossus is situational, I don't think Rome has a coastal bias.
    Another good (also situational) source of early income can be the Mausoleum of Harlicanissus if you have around 3 or 4 stone or marble. Generally it's not one of the greater wonders but that income is enough to make up for not having Tradition's Monarchy.

    Regarding Happiness I'm not sure what you mean by serious - after all this is a game we're discussing not something serious like curing cancer.
    But if you were a serious player I would say happiness is pretty obvious from this strategy. Firstly you're only building 2 ancient era cities so early happiness can be provided from nearby luxuries.

    You only settle more cities if there are new luxuries to claim and if they are near stone and/or horses so you can get more happiness from the Stoneworks and/or Circus. Once you have your National College and possibly Circus Maximus built then you can plant more cities.
    Some may consider it a little late to be planting cities but with workers quickly improving nearby tiles and 1 or 2 food routes a new city can grow very quickly, and Rome's UA helps here too.

    For conquest simply raze cities that don't have access to new luxuries and keep the capitals which almost always will have new luxuries. If you have been saving up some faith you may be able to adopt a nearby religion that has happiness beliefs or start your own religion.
     
  5. anthropophage

    anthropophage Warlord

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    I prefer going for mathematics rather than iron working. 3 or 4 ballistae with a spearman meatshield is quite powerful if you get there fast.
     
  6. TamirLenk

    TamirLenk Chieftain

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    You can bulld warriors until metal casting. So build or buy them and upgrade to Legions. 80 gold less than buying Legions outright IIRC
     
  7. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    You asked for an evaluation. So...

    - Rather than statue of Zeus, try going for Great Library instead to get iron working. You might be able to capture Zeus later anyway.
    - try this with holy warriors. Get the early HE (because of the early iron working), let your faith build your army while your capital builds buildings.
    - use the legion-built forts to farm xp. Like you said, just camping outside the city in forts, in a perpetual state of war is ok. You might even be able to do that against two civs at once, just to keep both AI's in check.
    - the strategy is good up to immortal and just barely. The problem is the wonder-building. Also you will be out-teched by one level, and that will require a few changes.
    - I like the idea of building buildings up to HE, and then spam units and conquer puppets. The puppets tend to build for themselves happiness-wise.
     
  8. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    Thanks for the input. Great Library is certainly risky and abover Emperor I would not consider it an option. But for lower difficulties I guess you research Writing, build Great Library and study Bronze working while the GL is being built. When that's done then you're able to get Iron Working for Free?

    But I think if you were going Diety it may be better to forget about the Statue of Zeus. +15% combat against cities is nice but the turns could be spent on something more useful perhaps. I suppose at diety level maybe it is better to forget the SoZ and build a settler and invest points in Tradition instead for faster growth.

    Regarding Heroic Epic, well it sorta seems to fit naturally with this strategy. Legions require Ironworking so does the HE. The other thing to is that by delaying war into the mid-classical era you give your neighbours a chance to build lots of ancient era Wonders which you can conquer. It also gives you the chance to fill out the left side of Liberty to get your second city out as well as to go into the Honor tree for the General and discipline.

    I think it would be an interesting strategy to try in multiplayer. Everyone in MP says to build comp bowmen and turtle with 4 city tradition but I think this strategy with Legions would be very powerful. Comp bowmen just can't do much damage to a strength 26 unit.
     
  9. Myth and Legend

    Myth and Legend Prince

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    I like this opened and I'm itching to try it. I'm a huge history buff and I love Rome but I haven't seen the benefits of Rome in Civ 5 yet.

    For Deity:

    - Swap out Statue of Zeus for the Pyramids. SoZ can still be obtained depending on how many hammers you have.
    - Collossus is definitely worth it but you must find a way to boost early science/reserach. It might not work unless you get 1 or 2 pop ruins or a pop ruin + a technology like Mining. Or of course, you can chop trees.
    - Not counting on Raging Barbs (it's not a setting everyone is willing to get) I would go like this:

    Scout > Monument > Scout > Shrine > Granary

    Going Liberty means you need the monument anyway. It might even be more beneficial (if terrain permits efficient scouting with your first warrior) to go for monument first. I go for a shrine because I always want to have a shot at religion. I realize it's not always optimal to go for religion, but I want it anyawy.

    A better play might be to ignore the shrine and go straight for Granary.

    Regarding war, will ballistae outperform comp. bowmen vs. cities? I figure that Legions can build "war roads" to allow comp. bowmen to go in, shoot and go out, thus crippling cities easily early on.

    Restarting without Iron is a pain in the butt, but I get it. An alternative solution is comp. bowman rushing a city which has a deposit. Trade is not a bad way to get early iron too, if you can cover the amount later from an internal source.
     
  10. JonnasN

    JonnasN Warlord

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    Rome was one of the Civs I liked using the most, so it's nice to see that it can feasibly work in higher difficulties. I should try it, at one point.

    Can Composite Bowmen move after attacking? Or are you implying something else entirely?

    Also, roads tend to benefit siege weapons more than foot units, from personal experience.
     
  11. Myth and Legend

    Myth and Legend Prince

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    Doesn't the ballista need a turn to set up before firing?
     
  12. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Yes, it does. Even if the ballista is on a road, it still uses a movement point when moving in enemy territory, so a ballista on a road in enemy territory uses one movement point to move into position and another to set up to fire.
     
  13. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

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    Ballistas backed up with a few composites and legionaries can make a good army in most days.. with honor you could kill off barbarians and get that extra culture. Building a few cities 1or 2 you can easily setup for a Ballista composites archer legion rush...
     
  14. Myth and Legend

    Myth and Legend Prince

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    The culture yuield from Honor is negligible, but I suppose the GG/XP policies make sense for an early warmoner. I still thunk pure Liberty would be better.
     
  15. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

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    Liberty could be more fun. . Right...
     
  16. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    Hence why I recommend the Raging Barbs option although I guess that isn't everyones preference.

    I don't find the culture yield to be that bad, if you leave some areas of the map under fog of war and farm the barbs as they appear you can make a bit of culture.
     
  17. qemist

    qemist Prince

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    That always struck me as stupid. Territorial boundaries are lines drawn on maps by lawyers. During a war they are meaningless. Armies don't suddenly march at half speed when they cross a border because they are now on bitumen that is "owned" by someone else.
     
  18. Resipsa

    Resipsa King

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    Theoretically you might move faster if your countrymen were willing giving you aid and comfort, as opposed to say not giving the enemy aid and comfort to being an outright insurgency that they'd have to deal with
     
  19. fallout3dc

    fallout3dc Warlord

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    "2) Start area must have at least 6 iron (it's worth restarting if this is not the case - this strategy requires early Iron)"

    I honestly don't like strategies that require restarts at all. I don't like as well that this uses warriors as the main force to capture cities and it is not Zulu. What is the point of needing to use Rome and start over if you don't have iron? Why not just get composite bowmen? The Legion is strong, and nice but gets outdated very quickly on higher levels. I personally would even if you want to play as Rome, recommend you use CB over Legion. The legion lose their power during the upgrade whereas ranged units are good throughout.

    I personally would just attack the first civ I see, before I even see their lands, beeline to Construction and then upgrade 4 archers to CB and then attack the enemies capital and then send in the first warrior and take the city with him. Then I would beeline to Machinery and upgrade to crossbowmen and do the same. In fact, Babylon would be great with this. Get writing first and then plop the GS down. Now you can get to those techs even earlier without neglecting beakers later.
     
  20. Walter E Kurtz

    Walter E Kurtz Warlord

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    Rome is an interesting civ for domination, I hope it comes up in a Deity challenge.
     

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