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First Autocracy Culture Win (Immortal)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Vidszhite, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Vidszhite

    Vidszhite Prince

    Joined:
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    Make that actually my first culture win on Immortal, period, haha. Ethiopia, Continents, all other settings Standard. Full Liberty into bits of Tradition, Full Aesthetics and Rationalism. Starting Tenets were Futurism and Industrial Espionage, because I got an ideology before anyone's tourism was even above 14, so Futurism was actually good at that point. I actually lost this game the first time through because I had no friendships, and the only joint wars were other AIs against me, but once Denmark's spaceship took off without me, I thought long and hard about why I lost, and reloaded in the Medieval era to correct my mistakes. I figured out what I did wrong, and turned the game around. This was probably the most memorable game I've ever played. There was war almost immediately, with my first declaration being on Turn 19 to steal France's starting worker, which eventually led to me stealing his Hanging Gardens capital.

    I've always had considerable trouble actually winning a culture victory on Immortal, no matter what ideology, because it's so heavily dependent on getting wonders. In this game, I was able to get both Globe Theater AND Tower of Pisa, stole Hanging Gardens and Pyramids from nearby France, and then conquered nearby Brazil, who had Uffizi and Sistine Chapel. I was making use of Cult of Personality almost the entire time I had it, as there were wars breaking out all over the world, with multiple players, and at one point, I had a double bonus directed at Korea for being at war with two of their enemies. He had second highest culture, and I had him influential before the Modern era. This ended up being a key play, as he was a good friend of mine throughout the game, giving me research agreements and buying my luxuries happily into the Information Era.

    I found that when you play a cultural Autocrat, you want to make friends with everyone that ISN'T going for Culture victory ASAP, because you're going to get your edge in Tourism through conquering the capitals of anyone that IS going for culture victory, and being on good terms with the other AIs will not only significantly blunt their warmonger hate, it will also give you chances for joint wars, which removes their warmonger hate. You won't be friends just by doing nothing, you have to give them deals and make yourself useful.

    Nobody else was an Autocrat in this game, but I was okay with this. If that happens, you just have to be much more careful to not anger the other civs. Just be an all-around nice guy. If you did enough to become good friends before ideologies, it won't matter what you pick, but if you were merely neutral with any of them, differing ideology will make them hate you. However, what you DON'T want is for all the others to pick the SAME ideology. If everyone goes the same ideology, there won't be as many wars to profit off of, and if you're the odd man out, the only wars that will be happening will be with you, and you are vulnerable to World Ideology votes. For this reason, kill or weaken your top culture rivals ASAP, preferably before he picks an ideology, so that the others all go their own way, rather than all his way. Even if you know you can't kill him without X technology, get a joint declaration on him anyway and whittle him down while continuing to research that tech.

    Warmonger hate isn't even your biggest challenge, though -- the world congress is where you will make and break most of your friendships. DO propose things that the strongest players like, because you want to be friends with anyone strong enough to declare war on a potential rival. NEVER propose something that will make your friends angry, and NEVER vote against someone's proposal if you want it to fail, merely abstain if you don't like it. If you HAVE to get it to fail because everyone else loves it, trade votes to get other civs to vote it down for you. If you vote against someone's proposal and it fails, they will probably denounce you next turn, but if you vote FOR someone's proposal and it passes, they will like you all the more. A neat side effect of this behind-the-scenes manipulation is that you will cause the other civs to declare wars on each other over failed WC proposals, which you can then jump in on for a nice CoP boost, and if one of your rivals is a target, now's your chance to take him out. In this way, you can sow tensions without ever making yourself a target.

    If your rival's culture is just too strong by the time you get an army capable of conquering their wonders, yes, you will need to make a COMPLETE kill, because you'll lose the game trying to influence them. They will never open their borders for your Musicians ever again, and they will sit there denouncing you the rest of the game, making everyone else mad enough to stop giving you open borders, so letting them live won't even help diplomatically. You'll need to declare war again just to put musicians in his borders, which just isn't worth it if you've got others who need influencing. If you need a complete kill, try to blunt the Diplo hit by gathering friends to declare joint wars. This doubles as Cult of Personality fodder.

    DO NOT SPY ON YOUR FRIENDS, EVEN IF THEY ARE THE TECH LEADER. SPY ON YOUR RIVALS ONLY. If your rivals are all tech-******** cave-people, it may be tempting to spy on your friend, Korea, but if and when he finds you taking his technologies, he will not be your friend for much longer. Same goes for taking his CS allies. Combine this with all the warmongering you'll be doing, and he'll probably close his borders late game, if not declare a war of his own on you. Generally, just don't be a jerk to anyone that isn't already being a jerk to you. The more goodwill you build up, the more wars you can safely get away with.

    Speaking of wars, if at ANY point you can liberate a city for a friend, or a City-State, do so. It erases one city's worth of warmongering from your total, and it's worth much more if you liberate a city-state, as it erases a whole Annihilation penalty. I actually went the whole game without ever seeing a Warmonger tick from anyone until I had completely wiped out Brazil, all because I liberated a city-state during that war and never started a war that wasn't already in progress.

    Never declare a war by yourself. You're going for Culture, so you need the other AIs to like you enough to give you open borders, not just for the increased influence, but so you can send late game Musicians on tour (without a war), which get EXTREMELY powerful once you get Internet. You can rocket from Familiar to Influential with just two endgame musicians as long as you have at least 800 tourism per turn, which you can get even if the World Games Win has expired if you played your cards right. It helps to have a lot of Faith saved up to buy Musicians, since you should definitely have full Aesthetics. I ended up with over 8000 faith saved up, so I bought 4 of them once my National Visitor Center finished. Ended up only needing 2, but it pays to be prepared. If you can't open borders, you need to declare war to get your musicians in, and that means a full military escort for each of them. Irritating if they're on the other side of the world, and potentially perilous if he has a huge navy.

    Cult of Personality is VERY juicy. It gets panned a whole lot around here for being so difficult to use, but CoP is very effective if you know how to build friendships and monger wars without making enemies, because it really only works if other people like you. If all you did was HULK SMASH without making friends, of course you're going to lose. You're playing Culture, not Domination, so when the World Congress gets founded, you need to be the charming guy handing out all the free alcohol. Start making trade deals, sell luxuries, open your borders, don't be a jerk, and soon you'll have declarations of friendship coming in. Factions will form, and you need to be in one. You'll soon get offers for joint wars. In this game, anyone that wasn't charmed by my silver tongue for helping them fight off an enemy fell head over heels for my musicians at the end. It was a convincing win, and the most fun I've had to date.

    If anyone is still on the fence about giving Autocracy Culture Victory a try, let me assure you, it's a blast.
     
  2. Scott Jegg

    Scott Jegg Warlord

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    Jun 28, 2013
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    What kind of size are you keeing your cities at when you go liberty? I'm never really sure how to play with liberty at all.
     
  3. Vidszhite

    Vidszhite Prince

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    If you mean how many citizens, however many my current happiness can support. It goes up with CS allies and trades. Never a set number.

    How many cities depends on how much good land there is and how many luxuries there are. Liberty opener is all about getting good land before the AI does. In my case, I went 3 cities, annexed Paris as my 4th, and picked scientist for my free great person. I still ended up getting half of tradition afterward, because 4 cities ain't a wide empire. I BECAME wide through warmongering. I wanted more cities at the outset, I usually want 4 before warmongering, but all the other land was crap, deserts on one end and Ice on the other. Still, staying small helped me warmonger as Ethiopia, so it paid off big time.
     

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