First Emporer Game: Start


RPC Supergenius
Oct 6, 2006
New York City
OK, here is my first attempt at an emporer game. I posted the start position and attached the save. I decided to go with Darius II because he's financial so I do not fall too far behind in tech and organized so I can expand at a decent pace. The powerful UU is great, let's hope I can find some horse.

I used a huge Big/Little map, everything randon. Speed is marathon, and of course it is emporer.

I plan to start playing in a day or so when I finish my last Monarch game.

Any advice on where to start would be appreciated

settle in place, build a worker and get wheel + AH + bronze working. Chop out immortals and go kill your nearest neighbor. You can always peacefully out rex an emperor AI as well. If you're going to be peaceful, fishing first is probably better to speed up the worker.

Since your start is covered in forest, you'll probably have to grab horses with your second city. Good luck and have fun with emperor :)
Most important point if you are going to continue to play at the Emperor level:

It's spelled "Emperor".

...sorry. It's just a pet peeve for me.

That's a scary start. Lots of forests means that there probably aren't a lot of resources. It might even be worth moving inland to see if there is someplace better to settle and save this spot for a National Park site. Darius doesn't start with anything that makes me want to grab a tech before anyone else does, so there's no insurmountable problem with moving inland.

Since this is your first emperor game, you can even save now at 4000 BC and reload the 4000 BC save if you don't find anything worth settling on besides this.
i would suggest to settly top 1N like the comp advises.
u can see the trees 2S, and the chance of finding resources on them is low. there's no water tile resources u'll lose either, and u'll still be close to water so coastal buildings will still be available, however, only ur second city will be able to produce work boats for the capital. on the other hand, north and east of ur position, u can't see and there's a probability that there are good tiles there cause the comp suggested the spot to u.

u can also move ur warrior/scout to 1N of ur settler to see if some land fog unlocks (if i'm seeing correctly and it's forest plain, it's unlikely it will bust fog).

enjoy ;)
I expect another sea food otherwise it is a pretty poor start. Enough forests and hills but very little food. Move the warrior 1 SW to getter better picture. Too bad it is all mountains with forest around you otherwise you could use the settler to explore 1 turn. Now it is not possible. I wouldn't settle 1N because you will loose the clams. Sure they are in your BFC but you can't get a workboat to it unless 2N1E is a sea tile.
OK, some of my views on the start, if anyone disagrees let me know.

1) The lake offer fresh water so I plan to settle somewhere next to it. Unfortunately no rivers so cottages will not start with 3 commerce.

2) To leverage the financial trait in teh capital best I'll need to be working the seafood and lake tile. Means I also want sailing sooner than later to build a fast lighthouse and get 3 food/3 commerce from the lake.

3) Productions is not an issue. There are plenty of hills for mines and forrest to chop.

4) The Dye is an instant high commerce tile once I get calender, which should be sooner than later. Immediately I can build a farm to get at ;east 1 commerce (does dye start with 1 or 2 commerce?)

5) I appear to be on a isthmus, so I can explore north or south. The hill north of the dye seams oddly bare and could be a metal resource but I am uncertain. Dye seams to go with jungle so I am thinking there could be jungle to the north, thus I should explore south first.

6) This is my first emperer game (note correct spelling!) and I have no military related trait so I like the idea of settling on the hill to start. If I move i space north I believe I will lose access the the seafood.

So my plan is
A) Move scout south to explore.
B) Settle in place
C) Tech order: Fishing/Mining/BW/AH/wheel. If no horses or copper I had better get archery next.
D) Build order: Scout (to explore north)/worker/workboat/warrior/warrior/settler. I'll push up the workboat once I get fishing teched.
E) Long term tech order, prioritize sailing/mathematics/calender. COL if I can get teching early enough for teh cheap courthouses and perhap found confusciousism.
F) Wonders. Not sure with Darius' starting techs and need sof the map if I want to go for the oracle. I am thinking sailing early, fast lighthouse (organized) then try and chop out the great lighthouse. Look slike a water heavy board to start and that could be the way to go as far as wonders.

One thing I see, the map does not look very friendly as far as getting horse early.
I expect another sea food otherwise it is a pretty poor start. Enough forests and hills but very little food. Move the warrior 1 SW to getter better picture. Too bad it is all mountains with forest around you otherwise you could use the settler to explore 1 turn. Now it is not possible. I wouldn't settle 1N because you will loose the clams. Sure they are in your BFC but you can't get a workboat to it unless 2N1E is a sea tile.

I agree that this is a tough start for a 1st emperor game, but there surely must be 1, or probably 2 more seafood resources to the east. In my experiences playing Big&Small maps, there has always been an abundance of seafood around the place, and capitals have usually been loaded. So, if it were me, I'd settle in place banking on scoring some more food off to the east, while settling on the hill gives a nice +1 hammer bonus.
I would settle in place. Plains Hill = +1 hammer for your capitol, and you have fresh water and coastal access.

Fishing is a cheap tech and you should get it first. Food powers your early game as much as wood chopping.
I disagree with you guys when you say it's a poor start. Here are the reasons why I think it's ok :
- Production is key in the beginning. You can chop the forests and mine the numerous hills
- Clam is not as good as fish, but is very strong. When I have seafood, I almost always start with fishing and a workboat... Here, it may be your only source of food, so it probably is a good move to work it (remember : good food => fast production of workers & settlers, and possible whipping). The 3 added :commerce: with the financial trait will give a nice boost to your economy
- having a lake in your fat cross when coastal is very nice. With a lighthouse built, the lakes will yield 3:food: and 3:commerce:

Priorities :
- getting fishing to work this clam
- getting bronze working for too many reasons (find bronze, chop trees, mine hills, and slavery bonuses)
- research sailing (with the organized trait, the lighthouse will be built very fast).

Production :
- I don't remember if Darius has fishing. If he doesn't, start worker or scout, but the worker may not have anything to do. I don't know Darius' starting techs, so you should base your decision on this.

When this will be done, we'll have to find ways to increase happiness, because our capital would benefit a lot from it, and choose how to use our production (basically choose between wonder spamming, 2 or 3 settlers, or rush an ennemy if there is a good opportunity).
u'll still be close to water so coastal buildings will still be available
enjoy ;)
I'm pretty sure you can't build a lighthouse in a city that isn't coastal. Delaying the work boat until you have another city is also very bad.

Settling 1N, even with the 1:hammers: boost from the plain hill (which is huge, I agree) would certainly be wrong.
I think the reason the blue circle is there is because your scout is the active unit and there's a hut there. so no real reason to move before settling. With this many trees I think BW is definitely a priority and I also prefer my capitals to be high food/production. I would bet there is another seafood or two hidden in the fog so you should be fine settling in place. Build the seafood, mine the hills cottage the grasslands and this should be a very nice capital come CS.
Notsure about the hut in the blue circle but I will check it out.

Darius start with hunting and agriculture. I need to tech fishing but on the good side I can tech archery real fast if I need defense early. Also once I tech fishing I think pottery is real fast to tech as I have the prerequisites and the optional techs in teh tree.

A lighthouse can only be built on a coastal city, so if I move north I lose that ability. At a minimum I think I need to settle bordering the coast, and most likely in place.

To be honest I thought it was a fairly decent start, lot's of production with decent food. I think I just need to farm a bit early on rather than cottage.
Well like I said I would put money on there being another seafood in that BFC, if not then yes you will definitely need to do some farming. I typically play on Emperor myself with about a 25% win ratio (but monarch is just too easy) and I've never seen a coastal start without at least two food resources. with all those trees and the only 2 resources showing are clams and dye I expect there is another clam 2E of settler, possibly fish, but clams tend to "pair up".
I moved the Scout and found something else interesting. I'm thinking to settle I square south now.
Ya, Pigs are better than the fresh water bonus and you're not shooting for a religion, so move one square south and then settle.
I'd consider settling 1E, otherwise you never work the fish. Another city can go where the scout is to pick up fish/pig/dye.
Well I played the game until 2750 and here are some screeshots, any advice is greatly appreciated.

The starting lands looks pretty good, but I have quite a few thugs arround that does not give me a comfy feeling. Yara, Kublai, Sitting Bull, Monty, Pacal. Pacal founded Hinduism, someone else founded Buddhism.

I popped 1 scout, all the gold, and archery from huts. I have lost both scouts at this point.

Build order was Warrior/Partial Warrior/Workboat/Workboat/Archer/Worker.
Settler is next in the build Quie, where does he go?? I have two possibilities if I can get there in time, the costal that I get a trade route with by teching sailing, or on the lake so I can get the two jumbos but I need to build a road.

Tech order was Fishing/Mining/BW. I have AH to go next, suggestions here.

I have NOT switched to slavery yet.

I was going to try for an early wonder, and still might consider the great lighthouse (there is good production in the capital, and forrests to chop).

Another possibility is to get a wide perimeter of cities, then fill in.

Another is to get the copper, hope for horse and build an army and rush Yara. I don't really thing I want that creative AI up on my northern border.

I won't tackle this game again until tomorrow.
This is a tough starting position for your first emperor game.
The AI could box you in quickly and all the good stuff (copper, gems, phants) is either way north or in the huge jungle.
Also, there are zero rivers nearby, a mojor disadvantage for a financial civ.
I notice the AI has copper nearby so a rush will be difficult (the BTS AI loves to build a mixture of archers/axes/spears for early city defense).
Zara Yaqob is a pain in the behind as a neightbor with creative and organized he's an agressive RExxer and he has no qualms about using his culture to HURT you. He is also a good tekker on par with Mansa, Ghandi and HC, and he is sort of a mix between Issy and Cathy personality-wise. all in all he is one of my most hated AI from BTS if not the game. I would be building axes and remove him from the game or at least cripple him.
I am at a standstill as to what to do with this game.

1) AS mentioned it is difficult to play, I have played a bit more (sorry no screenshots). Zara is pressing me from the north with culture, real estate in drying up. I have three cities, copper, no horses, and little to leverage the financial trait with except ocean/lake tiles. The one redeeming thing is I built the great lighthouse, and have all costal cities so far. I managed to raze a barbarian city (was not worth keeping) so I have some experienced, CR II axes. However, Zara has a fairly strong army already.

My head tells me to chalk this up to experience and try a new game with Darius, hopefully get a little more friendly financial start so I can get off to a better start. Don't get me wrong I am not trying to use financial as a crutch, but I want to get into an emperor game without really smacking my head against the wall.

2) On the other hand, this is the CIVfanatics forum and I am certainly a fanatic, if not as good as the top players. My belief is use what I have and try to work it out (unless it's an obvious losing game or totally boring).

So my heart tells me to keep at it. There are quite a few islands to my south, some with horses (but not next door). Remember, this is a huge map. I am financial and while cottaging is slow and not as strong as a rivered empire, I can maximize commerce from the sea. Being the only organized leader so far, I can expand quite a bit via the sea without getting hurt too much with maintenance costs (lower civic upkeep and fast courthouses). I have the great lighthouse (some will tell me that's one reason I expanded slower, and you are right but I have it nevertheless, no regrets), so all costal cities can be extremely financially powerful.

My plan if I proceed, is to
A) Use the seas!! Build the strongest Navy which I think also adds to the power graph numbers.
B) Box off my Penninsula with another city and fortify the copper city (I do have Sitting Bull right next to it). Forget any elephants, I just cannot compete with Zara right now.
C) Keep all happy with Diplomacy for the moment. Hopefully I can get Kahn to go after Zara and tehn I have a chance of backstabbing the Ethiopian.
D) Island settle like crazy once I get COL. I am not sure I need to wait until currency since I have the GL.

So any advice?? Do I tank the game and try again or do I have a reasonable chance of salvaging it.
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