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[BTS] Experienced players that find emperor level easy

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Oaq, Sep 6, 2020.

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  1. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Looking at the screenshot, you haven't settled food and haven't chopped at all. It's not lost, but I'd advice to start the same map again to see the difference.
     
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  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Prince

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    As far as I see exceptions are:
    -blocking city (if it allows settle lot of good land at your own tempo, still would need to have something - gold/horse/etc)
    -gift city - more tundra/ice/desert the better
    -dire need of resources - not the thirst three cities and either bring a lot (like 3 happies, tundra marble+ice iron) or be central to the immediate plans (like bulb maths and go go jumbos).

    I don't think any of these apply to the cities you settled. If you wanted military resource, bulb math with philo GS and settle that cute 2xoasis+cow+jumbo spot. Two oasis and plain cow are still not ideal, but workable food surplus.
     
  3. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Also let me show you something, cease fire and 3t later or so
    Spoiler :

    But yep this shouldn't be your focus.
    Don't be too disheartened, but as others wrote you should almost learn this game new :)
    Lymond alone would be happy to guide you thru a shadow game ;)
     

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  4. Oaq

    Oaq Chieftain

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    For information, if it matters, four tiles were chopped if I recall. I had indeed been trying to follow your earlier advice! The area was thickly wooded to start.

    Otherwise, advice received.
     
  5. Oaq

    Oaq Chieftain

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    That's funny. I had never thought of such a manipulation. 'Tis a bit cheesy, but clever. I might try it.
     
  6. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    For me, lots of wood means lots of chopping. Why chop four if you can chop fifteen? You'll expand faster, have more workers and these lead to a big empire, faster. Only spare the forest if you have a specific idea in mind (like chopping them all to catapults/HAs).
     
  7. lymond

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

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    @Oaq Appears that you do not use the BUG/BULL mod. Highly recommend that you install it. Installing BUG/BULL with the SP Custom Assets option in great for forum games as well. Mod is not loaded and will work for you current game as well. You can BUG/BULL here, as well as Blue Marble too:

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

    FYI - BUG/BULL great enhances the user interface and information without changing the game, as well as some other nice little features to improve the experience.

    I don't really consider city gifts cheesy, except maybe in the context of AP victories, which in themselves are cheesy. Otherwise, building settlers for a city gift is quite an investment for this strategy. Can be good for diplo reasons on high levels. Right now, this strat is not something I think worthy of consideration for you at this stage.
     
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  8. lymond

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

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    Yep, Sulie Oracled Feud. That is unfortunate but happens sometimes on Emperor. Still, that is quite a late date to be rushing with axes. You could have done so much earlier, though I'm not sure that is necessary here.

    I might play this a bit, but will note the following observations in your current game:

    1) 3 cites by 2100 is not terrible. I think your first city date could have been improved either by chopping or whipping...not sure on timing of this yet.

    2) But 3 cities at 675AD is most definitely bad. Generally, consider 3 to 4 cities timed with Writing, and then 6 cities at least soon after ....conquering may apply in situations.

    3) AH was probably ok here, but BW after Agri may have been a good call as well with the plethora of chopping fuel.

    4) As folks mentioned, chop chop chop. Can also be timed well with whipping overflow. (BULL adds a nice feature as well where workers prechop forests...stopping on the last turn)

    5) I actually find this next concept common among less experienced players and that is the being adverse to city overlap. There's a few reasons why city overlap is actually a good thing, but first and foremost it allows tile sharing. One benefit of tile sharing is obviously sharing food resources - adjusting cities as needed. Or even things like commerce resources like Gold if applicable. Also, in the case of the cap or cottage type cities, it allows sharing of cottages to keep them growing. Another factor that is important is distance to cap maintenance costs. The more compact the empire in relation to the cap the lower this maintenance cost. Especially beneficial on higher difficulties as this cost increases signficantly.

    6) The axe rush has been mentioned, but I'd state again that the efficacy of an early melee or chariot rush decreases a lot based on difficulty and timing - without siege. 675AD is very late here. You might grab a city, but its a lot of investment at this stage for dubious results. And in this case you found yourself hitting a brick wall with LBs. You could find that to be the case with archers as well or if the enemy had metals themselves.

    7) Once you get that nice fast Creative library in your cap you should be running two scientists asap. With a Philo leader getting this going asap I will often just bulb Maths. The next one will come not that long after and can be used for an academy in the cap or a Philosophy bulb. Regarless, the scientists are naturally going to boost your research rate and any other good food cities you may have should be running them as well as soon as they can ( you really don't have that here though)

    Note on city placement:

    I like Sparta either on the silks to share cows or even closer like on that hill between rice and cows. Horse grabbed by a city later. On the hill 3W of Athens does open a better spot for wheat city later 2N of cows.

    No food resource to pair with copper and stone but you do want those resources. Corinth here though is not a good settle. We can resigned ourselves to Corinth being what I call a "resource city" meaning the primary purpose is grabbing essential resources. In this case, I would probably settle right on the stone - good for a Mids play as well. If an early Phalanx rush was my strat here, I might even just settle directly on the copper. Not super spot for a city but brings copper online immediate for producing axes, and well desert copper is a rather bad tile. (If some seafood there it would be a no-brainer)
    (horse/furs later would be essentially a "resource" city as well)

    Depending on Sally's timing of that city SW of your current Corinth, I likely would make a play for the rice/ivory. Eliepults always a nice option for some BC warfare. Maths bulb plays well into that strategy.

    Clearly some iron 1S of your Phalanx stack there but may or may not know that yet to determine settling around there anytime soon. But I clearly see at least 6 reasonable cities that could be settled here with some being quite productive while others in the short term bringing valuable resources.

    On Emperor, I'm inclined to tech Alpha myself as AIs can often be too slow to do it themselves, as is the case here. Opens IW trade and other possibilities. Or I might go for some better military techs like getting HAs online or Eliepults (which would be effective against longbows and dominant otherwise) and let someone else eventually tech alpha.

    :lol: quite the Hindu lovefest going on here...that can be a good thing but also annoying.

    Oh..and avoid growing into unhappiness unless you plan to whip it away. You could easily put one turn into a settler and 3pop whip it next turn to eliminate that issue, then grow into scientists.

    With Phalanxes online early you could consider doing some early harassment of Sulie at the least. He does tend to be a fast expander which is annoying so you could steal workers, kill settler escorts and overall nerf him.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
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  9. Wrathful

    Wrathful Warlord

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    I played this map from T0 up to your stopping point of T88. I did have map knowledge from looking at your screenshot, but I don't think it changed my approach that much.

    Spoiler :

    This is the starting position. I think it's always a good idea to post the starting screen to get advice on the opening. Note that huts are enabled; if you really want to improve your gameplay I would turn them off. Same thing with events.
    Start.png

    If you look closely in the fog, you can see that there is a plains hill 2 west of the settler. I considered settling there, but it would not really speed up the start all that much. While the worker would be finished three turns faster, it takes two turns to move there and the worker would need an extra turn to reach the corn. So I settled in place. The scout moved 1 north and then grabbed the hut (I got a bit of gold).

    Research set to Agriculture, production set to worker. I moved my scout counterclockwise to find early city spots. Met Suleiman and Saladin. Starting from T5, I moved my scout 1 tile at a time to avoid running into a bear or barb warrior and dying. I did break this rule one time to steal a hut from Suleiman (got 44 gold or so).

    After finishing Agriculture I went for AH. Normally this is a tech you would consider skipping as it's quite expensive. But here we have both Hunting and Agriculture researched so AH is 40% cheaper. And yes, I do know about the horses, but even if there weren't any I still think AH is a reasonable option.

    My worker farmed the corn, then improved the cow, then built a mine. I built one warrior after finishing the worker then started on a settler at size 3.

    From there I went Mining > BW. Good food and plenty of forests definitely makes BW a priority. You could argue that it's even more important than AH here.
    Second City.png

    My second city went on the silk tile in the west. The conventional spot would be 1 west of the wheat, but here being CRE opens up more options for city placement. The city will borrow the cow for now and will later gain two strong tiles - rice and horse. These aren't the best tiles in the game, but they're still pretty good. It also has a two-commerce city center and blocks a lot of land in the west.

    My worker didn't have anything to do so he farmed the wheat for later. Capital is working a coast tile to speed up BW. I plan to whip a settler there shortly.

    Haven't seen a single barbarian. (Later on I did see an archer, but I have tons of warriors at this point.)

    One chop into the settler; next turn I can whip with good overflow into a worker I think. Teching wheel > Masonry with plans to invest these forests into the Pyramids. My worker will head west now to improve the rice and then the horse.
    Settler Production.png

    Situation at T45: The wheat city has been settled and will start on a work boat to scout the island. Sparta will 1-pop whip a worker; I don't see much point in growing there when there aren't any good tiles to work. Athens is finishing up a worker.
    T45.png

    After thinking it over I might tech Pottery before Masonry; it will take some time to get the stone hooked up and granaries would be very good.

    T60 situation. Granaries are coming along; my capital already has one. I am improving the stone now. Thebes can work the stone tile; it isn't bad. And I would rather get my stone hooked up and start working on failgold + mids then farm rice for +1 food.
    T60.png

    Saladin already has Alphabet thanks to the gems in his capital. I made a little trade.
    Mysticism Trade.png

    He starts plotting next turn. That is surprisingly early for an Emperor AI. I would guess that Suleiman is the target because they share borders. But it could absolutely be me, so I need to watch out.

    Update at T73. I settled Argos to claim the oases and the cow. Saladin stupidly placed his city with the cow in the second ring. I have been monitoring his border cities and don't see any army yet. I am teching Sailing to settle the island; there are some good spots there.
    T73.png

    Most cities have granaries by now and libraries are coming along nicely. About halfway done with the Pyramids.

    I finished the Pyramids on T80. This is not a good date. On higher levels I would have had to focus more heavily on getting them done.

    I self-teched Alphabet, traded for Iron Working, and am own my way to Currency, Code of Laws, and Civil Service. I got a great Scientist recently. I might build an Academy with him, not sure yet. Bulbing Philosophy is usually a very strong play as well. Saladin will hopefully give me a religion. Athens is building a scout for the hut on the island. Maybe the hut will give me Construction or something.
    T88.png

    I think it's a pretty straightforward game from here. Settle the island, run cottages and Rep specialists, tech to cuirs, and kill everyone.
     

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  10. Oaq

    Oaq Chieftain

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    Your comments are clear, informative, thoughtful, pertinent and thorough. They are appreciated and have been carefully read, with interest.
     
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  11. floydmcw

    floydmcw Warlord

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    Did anyone try the Mao game that Oaq posted? Was curious what the better players would make of it.

    I win 90-95% of my games on Emperor. This is a tough map because:

    Spoiler :

    - Jungle to the north
    - Good land to the east, but hard to get to because of mountains
    - No early happiness resources
    - A small thing, but it's annoying when you're EXP and can't build a worker in 12 turns because there's no PHF (plains hill forest).


    On the other hand
    Spoiler :

    Your neighbors are reasonable folks and you have iron and you have one of the best, and IMO the most fun, UUs in the game.


    Here is what I did:
    Spoiler :

    Tech path: AH -> BW -> fishing -> sailing (to transport to the eastern area) -> TW -> IW (on T67) -> pottery
    Cities:
    Shanghai (T39) to the north to share seafood / gems when IW done
    Guangzhou (T62, had barb issues and had to wait for galley) for fish and pigs
    Nanjing (T83) for pigs and the iron 3E of Beijing
    Xian (T93) for dyes, farming river dyes is actually ok, it's like having a bunch of oases

    Got machinery on T122. On T133 I declared on the Incas. Huyna had built a bunch of wonders and founded religions, so he didn't really have an answer to 12 CKNs.



    Now on T155 I have 13 cities and shouldn't have any trouble winning. My MM (micromanagement) wasn't so good and I had dumb luck with huts and events. Also I did some things that wouldn't work on higher levels like going for AH first.

    I may replay with a better tech path and better MM to see if I can shave some turns off my Mach date.
     

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