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Expansive abuse: Oracle Code of Laws fast GM

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by vicawoo, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    So a few months ago, I posted about a strategy for expansive civilizations which emphasized population, specialists, and minimal infrastructure. I've been meaning to post some sample games, but I haven't gotten around to it.

    Spoiler The Idea :
    The basic principle is that from around civil service to the renaissance, specialists are better than just about any other option.
    The challenge is you have to build up your cities to the point where they can run specialists as fast as possible.
    Usually you'll need a granary, a library, and caste system, possibly lighthouses, which can add up to 150 hammers. On top of that, you need to grow to size 6 to 10, which is difficult when you're whipping. Due to that, a lot of people don't bother settling up cities which can't contribute in time.

    You can bypass most of these costs, however, by using caste system (skipping libraries) and expansive (half cost granaries). Now every city with one forest and food is fast growing, low investment great person farm.

    Caste system requires code of laws, which is cheaper to get through oracle. This does unlock some pretty interesting possibilities.


    Spoiler The evolution :
    Oracling code of laws certainly isn't a new idea, but it does branch out into some less common strategies
    -Culture conquest of barbarian cities
    -Quick music bulb
    -Fast great merchant

    The first two choices have very good synergies. Using a fast granary->caste system to run great artist to culturally conquer barbarian cities is a cheap way to conquer those entrenched barb archers. You "waste" time getting a great artist - but a great artist can bulb music if you have literature and drama. Which gives you another great artist, which you can golden age, so it's like getting a tech for free.

    The third is useful for teching aesthetics/literature/drama or mathematics/civil service. Great merchants are probably the most powerful early great person. A trade mission will generate 900 gold normal speed to a civilization on your continent. Mathematics/alphabet are only worth about 400-450 beakers, and you don't receive multipliers. So before you can tech philosophy, great merchants will give you the most teching power. Unfortunately the only way you can get great merchants is through temple of artemis, great lighthouse, or running merchants. This is where using oracle on caste system shines.

    Once you've blocked off enough land, get a great merchant and set your tech rate to 100% while continuing breakneck expansion.


    Spoiler The drawbacks :

    150 hammers for a 450 beaker tech is good, but after your second city your expansion will be severely behind. So if the AI can claim most of the nearby land while you're building the Oracle, it's a terrible idea. Common sense.

    That's why it's important to get a good blockoff and have a high food second city.


    Sample game-the music path

    The start


    Basic Oracling Code of Laws stuff: you need either AH or pottery for writing. Here since we are going animal husbandry, we skip the wheel/pottery and go straight for priesthood. Fast mysticism is good for stonehenge failure gold, since we have no other ways to boost our research


    A relatively high production city which blocks off the rest of the land for us. Note we don't have to build a monument, since founding code of laws makes our second city a holy city.


    And stage 1 is complete: we've taken code of laws. Stonehenge gold gives us a nice boost, too.



    The alternative path is the wheel-pottery, which works better when you're forced to go bronze working. BW costs extra beakers, so you need to make it back somehow, and those cottages help.
    If you go AH and skip BW, you won't be able to chop, so you have to rely on your mines and starting oracle faster.
    Marble is surprisingly unhelpful, since you end up having to tech masonry, which ironically can cause you to miss getting Oracle and writing in time. But the hammers you save ends up being an extra settler.

    Very basic phase 1. Stay tuned for phase 2: expansion, great merchant, culture conquests, and bulbing music.
     
  2. Lalabunny

    Lalabunny Warlord

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    Very interesting! Looking forward to update! Btw, is this on Diety level?


    A question though. Isn't high food/specialist city somewhat contradict with GM's trade mission gold. Since you mentioned about have not having to build libraries. Buera Capital is the only city that would benefit from it.

    I can see the synergy with Drama/culture slider for happiness with Specialist. But a GM for 100% science Slider? Am I missing something?
     
  3. Amao

    Amao King

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    it's immortal. i think GM is pretty powerful when tech trade is not available in early/mid stages. however, if AIs are likely to trade, use GS to bulb through the traditional lib tech line and to trade around for other techs takes over. anyway, i've been playing Emperor and lower levels only, where tech trading is minimal if not non-existent. so I use GM strategy heavily.
     
  4. AbsoluteZero

    AbsoluteZero Deity

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    Typically my first GP is a scientist for an academy. Once you get to currency you can usually hoc minor techs for enough gold to run at 100% for a while. After that a GM might be in order, but usually I find myself going for another GS for an edu bulb.

    Usually my main reason for going for GM is for upgrading, not setting my slider at 100%.
     
  5. Don Promillo

    Don Promillo Chieftain

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    although being a noble player and rex-fan, this sounds interesting.

    Waiting for phase 2 where you hopefully will show us how you will expand your empire. It sounds a bit risky because you either have to produce military units en masse in your 2nd city or new settlers to claim some useful = resource-ful land.

    What leaders would you suggest for this strategy? IND (for wonders) and phil (for GP)? Or rather something like agg or fin mixed in as "support traits"?

    This NC game could be a good tryout ...
    NC Lizzy
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=379042

    (two chokepoints, production-heavy, but on the downside: monty right next at your door) --> your thoughts on that?
     
  6. Lalabunny

    Lalabunny Warlord

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    I noticed you got The Oracle at 1600BC. I shadow this start, going for the same strategy. But I kept losing The Oracle to AI at 1800BC :mad: . I was 2 turn short. Reloaded a few times to micro those river wine tiles to speed up research.

    Spoiler :
    Managed to get 5 cities. Seems like a good position for Cultural, with that Marble
     
  7. Keilah

    Keilah King

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    So I guess this is the hybrid economy? Using specialists for gold and commerce for beakers? Clever idea getting there on the cheap via expansive and the Oracle.
     
  8. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    This is inherently a gambit strategy. Anything but a straight 100% beeline toward oracle (no 2nd city, no delay to get writing, etc) risks it. On immortal it can go pre 2k BC easily (most extreme I ever saw was like 2500 BC but 2k to 1800 bc isn't super rare).

    You can of course do that but then the expansive benefit suffers as it will be hard to put up the city count.
     
  9. hr_oskar

    hr_oskar Deity

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    I wouldn't really call it a "gambit" because to me that seems to imply that the odds are 50-50 at best. I've played tons of immortal games where I go for the Oracle and only rarely fail to get it. My typical build date is something like Vicawoo's, about 1600 BC. For every 2500 BC Oracle (which I've never witnessed, personally), there's a 500 BC Oracle (which I built in one game, noticing around 700 BC that the AI hadn't built it yet - I oracled Civil Service!).
     
  10. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    My point is that you're pursuing something that if it doesn't pay off, you're fairly in the hole as you've somewhat crippled early expo and only have a small sum of gold to show.
     
  11. Lalabunny

    Lalabunny Warlord

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    The gambit here is not whether or not you can get the Oracle. Given proper terrain/starting tech and your leader traits (indus), you will successfully get the Oracle if you go all-out, even on Immortal.

    The gambit is you are giving up expansion, which is why blocking the AI is essential as stated by OP. Are you able to leverage the early COL (earlier GS/GM + a trade bait), to gain back the tempo lost?

    Given from first post, OP is able to set up a 2nd city as a blockade. Now we'll see if the early GM, Library-less Scientist is able to offset the under-developement of terrains/cities.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    You are giving up expansion for a (probable) chance at oracle. Maybe with IND or commerce you can almost guarantee it. Almost. However, any guaranteed oracle push will cut expansion and possibly even tile improvements. Are you willing to do that? If not, there's no reality behind "you will successfully get it". All out has its own opp costs and they aren't nothing.
     
  13. Dirk1302

    Dirk1302 Deity

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    I agree with you 100%. On deity 1600 BC will often not be good enough and it isn't that convincing on immortal either. I think you need an early commerce resource to execute this sort of strategy.
     
  14. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    Does all that really come from a couple of cheap granaries?!

    Wonders, fast GP, sounds more like an industrious or philosophical strategy than expansive :)

    Or charismatic - happy cap's usually a limiting factor in this phase of the game.
     
  15. Loz

    Loz Chieftain

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    To be safe I find you need to get the Oracle around 1800 BC. Anything after that starts getting risky. Yes it will sometimes go at like 2500 BC but that is extremely rare.
     
  16. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

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    I thought the same ;)
     
  17. Lalabunny

    Lalabunny Warlord

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    The point of cheap Granaries is to synergise with the early Caste System

    When running Caste, you will not be able to whipped out your monuments/granaries/Library as you cannot run Slavery. This could be easily remedied with a spiritual trait, but sadly our leader here is not.

    However with Caste, you are able to border pop/run scientist without building monuments/libraries, thus leaving Granary the only essential building that need to be built. This is where Expansive traits comes in, cheap granary can be built easily with a forest/hill tiles without the need to whipped.

    Happiness can be over come easily here as the OP plan is to go Drama/Music. With a heavy specialist economy, you can raise the culture slider without losing much research.


    I replayed the beginning a few times. Each time The Oracle went off at 1800BC sometimes earlier. I need to use careful manipulation of the wine tiles for the extra commerce. No one seems to finish Stonehendge, for the fail gold. Bleh... Maybe Hunya Cupac could probably pull this off easier with Fin (3 Commerce Oasis!) and Industrial trait. Not to mention he starts with Mysticsm..
     
  18. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    to me it seems like viable alternative in non-bureau capital starts (and I see fair share of them... actually I would bet that out of 10 starting positions I would describe only 3-4 as bureau cap starts)

    I kind of don't see the hate on Oracle, since it's the most used wonder in early game (besides Pyramids, but everyone knows the trick here -> stone or don't bother), especially because it is built usually without marble even if you have access to it.

    Just look at SGOTM games. Oracle always plays big role in any succesful planning of every team.
    Granted, games there are run on Emperor, but still.

    To me it seems that people don't like the idea of GM first and the Oracle is cheap target for that hate.
    Oracle is pretty big point in early game as evidenced by any thread where was discussed and the usual techs it's good to get from it.
     
  19. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    An idea for Huge maps. Giving up the initial expansion isn't that big of a deal.

    Worried about barbs though. If there's no horses after AH, you're in a little bit of trouble.
     
  20. Amao

    Amao King

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    i see 2 types of players here.

    1. the gotm players, who wants to win the game with minimal risk. they dislike risks.
    2. the hof players, who wants to max out the benefits who can afford some risks.
     

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