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First post and Game Walkthrough!!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by intellectsucks, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. BlackArc

    BlackArc Chieftain

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    Holy crap mate you're playing too fast, you're giving people here very little time to check out your game and send you advice. You're breezing by the most important part of the game, the part that will shape your empire, which is also the part that newbies screw up the most. You can't rush past this stuff and expect us to be able to help you.

    It's nice that you have a strategy that allows you to win on noble, but if you want to go up the difficulties, you have to stop doing what you usually do and learn how to play in a different, more efficient way. At this point you're already at turn 86, even though the first 100 turns are the most crucial. Any info we could've given you to improve your game has gone right out the window for those first 86 turns.

    Look, you'll have to play this game MUCH slower, as in, go 10 turns, post save + info, and then WAIT. Wait for at least a couple people to give you specific advice, read the advice, soak it in, ask questions if you have to, and go another 10 turns. If that means you have to wait an hour or so between plays, then you wait.

    If that sounds boring to you, I would suggest you designate this particular play through, though honestly at this point you should start another so we can help you properly, as a "learning only" game. Don't think of this play-through as for fun. Instead, if you want, play a separate round of Civ IV however fast you want while you slowly go through your "learning only" game.

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  2. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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  3. barbertje

    barbertje Prince

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    I think sailing here is vital to get international trade going and also connect your own cities. It's much better than building a 20 tile road in the wilderness with which costs an enormous amount of worker turns and also upkeep for units outside your territory.
    Barbarians can also destroy the road.

    Your capital has two unhappy faces because there is no garrison. Scouts don't help here.

    With the amount of open space on this map, the best wonder, much better than every other wonder is the great wall.
     
  4. soundjata

    soundjata Be like water

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    Hard to not recognize such dedication :smoke:
     
  5. vandermerwe

    vandermerwe Butt of many jokes

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    Looked at the save - you're not bleeding cash (economy in balance at 60% research) so much as not generating very much; the empire is a good bit behind where it could/should be by now. A few thoughts about why...

    - It's 700BC and you've settled only 2 cities and captured a third. Some (many) of the hammers you put into buildings should have gone on settlers and workers. For instance the capital doesn't need a barracks (it's never going to be a great production city) and certainly doesn't need a monument. In fact nowhere needs monuments given that you have Stonehenge - although that in itself is probably not worth it.
    - As barbetje said, letting your capital become unhappy is a big mistake. Your scout should be, well, scouting; put a single warrior in the capital and the problem is solved for now. Unhappy cities should be avoided at pretty much all costs, most obviously at this stage of the game by using the whip (ie sacrificing population) to get rid of unhappy citizens and finish things sooner. And you want that library finished and a couple of scientist specialists as soon as possible.
    - Most would say that Archery and Iron Working are low priority technologies that are better traded for than researched. Here I can sort of see why you went for Iron Working given that it enables jaguars, you have no copper and the horses are hard to reach. But you certainly don't need to research both - that just delays Currency, which is the critical tech for boosting the early economy.
    - I would maybe not have kelp Cahokia. It's not a spectacular site, but it is a long way from your other cities, and that costs you. Now you've kept it you should be looking to settle the gap in between and consolidate your borders, not sending your settler east towards Alexander. The plains tile 1NE of where your roadbuilding worker is would be a good start: rice and gems in the inner ring. There's another rice-and-gems site a few tiles SW of that too,
    - You have a problem with barbarians. Not a serious one now you can build jaguars, but you can quite easily eliminate it altogether by posting units outside your borders - so-called 'spawn-busting'. Barbarians can't appear within 2 tiles of any unit, which means a handful of cheap units placed 5 tiles apart outside your borders can stop them appearing at all.
     
  6. intellectsucks

    intellectsucks Warlord

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    OK exciting stuff!!! Another city is built, the next is planned, about to kill some barbs and figure out my next target for eminent death. Oh and did some trading for techs too.
     

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  7. lymond

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

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    Not sure how much you are getting out of this at the pace you are playing. Just from the screens I see quite a few bad moves. For one your second city (gold) is badly placed. 3rd city (corn/iron) is settled nicely, but about 2000years too late.

    (Cahokia is actually not bad and you got very lucky taking it...very..assuming it was just one warrior you used. That city would kill you on maintenance on higher levels, but not so bad here. Nice production city or whatever. And really a good place to churn out more workers and settlers - so many forests)
     
  8. intellectsucks

    intellectsucks Warlord

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    Actually getting quite a lot. Once I get through this I'll probably start this map over again trying to take more of the advice (and do it a LOT slower).
     
  9. intellectsucks

    intellectsucks Warlord

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    More barb killing and I'm pretty committed to going after mansa musa, just need to start popping some spears. Thinking of putting a city somewhere near the horses where the barb city is.
     

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  10. BlackArc

    BlackArc Chieftain

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    OK, looking over your most recent saves I noticed that you're spreading your cities far too wide apart. Your cities do not need to be spread so far apart as to avoid tile overlap of BFCs, it's actually counterproductive to do so. Spreading your cities so far apart increases maintenance costs significantly. You may not feel the costs now, but on higher difficulty levels the economic burden will become crippling if not handled well. Settling your cities closer together also allows you to work your best tiles quicker and switch which city works which food sources depending on what you need a city to do.

    Another issue with spreading your cities too far apart involves development of your bureaucracy capital. You have a decent enough capital for running Bureaucracy once you get to Civil Service, the idea being that you build a crap load of cottages in your capital's BFC and then work them early on so that once you get to Civil Service and switch to Bureaucracy your capital will be producing a huge portion of your empire's research capacity. Problem is you've spread your cities so that none of your cities overlap tiles with your capital.

    For instance, For Teotihuacan, I would have settled it 4E of your capital, this would've allowed that city to work 3 of your capital's tiles, which I would've cottaged. In addition it's simply better placement for Teotihuacan, since it's a little closer to the capital, saving on maintenance costs, and you would still have instant access to the gold while also being able to work the corn immediately, AND once its borders popped you would've had the option of working the stone. As it is your capital is burdened with working and developing all those tiles on its own, which isn't as efficient as having other cities working them instead.

    And while Texcoco is not in a bad place really, I would have settled it right between the spice and rice, which would've allowed you to settle a city on the nearby iron. That iron city would've eventually had access to the bananas, the spice, and the cows nearby, making it a pretty good city.

    Now, I know you want to take Mansa Musa out, and on Noble that would be a perfectly valid tactic, but the problem is, that kinda thing won't work as well on higher difficulties, especially due to faster AI teching and the crippling cost of city maintenance, so I feel you would be better off focusing on infrastructure development, settling cities, getting more workers out(you will need a LOT of them), and diplomacy/trade. You need to bridge the gap from Cahokia to the rest of your empire, that would be a priority for me, along with getting Calender, and seeing if you can't chop yourself out some wonders(MoM, The Great Library, The Parthenon).

    Incidentally I did play your 725 BC save and won the game, if you want I can post the saves so you can take a look at what I did once you're finished with this game. Just letting you know, I play Emperor at the moment but I haven't moved up to Immortal, so don't expect my gameplay to be super efficient, but it might help you look at an alternate version of your game.

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  11. vandermerwe

    vandermerwe Butt of many jokes

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    I agree with BlackArc that attacking Mansa now maybe isn't the most obvious priority. Sure, he's relatively weak but you don't need the land; you do need to sort out your core empire. Capturing his 2 cities would be a further drain on what's still a pretty fragile economy. That said, Alexander is plotting war*, and it's very probably on Mansa (his worst enemy), Being next door to a notorious warmonger like Alex is an uncomfortable place to be, even more so if he starts boxing you in by taking Mansa's land. So there's an argument for pre-empting that and declaring yourself. But if so, spears are not what you want. Mansa doesn't seem to have metal but will have skirmishers, which can make a mess of most early units when defending cities. What you want are jaguars with the Cover promotion (+25% against archery units).

    Other thoughts...

    - Texcoco should perhaps be 1 tile east of where you have it. That would bag the gems immediately; it would also mean settling on a riverside plains tile rather than riverside grassland. If you can, it's often a good idea to settle cities on low-value tiles as even desert or tundra city sites give you 2 food, 1 hammer and 1 commerce. Riverside grassland is a strong tile if you put a cottage on it; riverside plains much less so, at least not until you can build workshops and run the Caste System and State Property civics.
    - Your capital is working unimproved tiles and not growing as a result. Really no point in that at all; you should be working the corn and cows, and running a couple of scientists.
    - You have a worker building a road seemingly towards the barb city. If you capture that city or settle there, you'll need that road in due course, but there are much more important things for your workers to be doing now - like improving tiles around your cities, or chopping down forests.

    *PS you can tell at a glance that Alex is plotting war if you have the BUG mod installed. Most players would say it's indispensable: it presents loads of useful info without having to page through the city and diplomacy screens every turn. Highly recommended - you can get it here.
     
  12. thbrown81

    thbrown81 Warlord

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    Location:
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    A few thoughts based on your original save:

    1) As was mentioned earlier, this game isn't an ideal test for developing strategies for higher levels. You won't be able to warrior rush opponents like you did against SB. Also, you have a TON of land, which means you can prioritize your own expansion over attacking other AI. However, this is an abnormal start, and more often than not, you will find yourself hemmed in by rapidly expanding opponents. Alexander might be more of a threat, but that desert puts a lot of space between you, so it is unlikely that he will expand in to contested territory. That makes KK your only real competitor for land.

    2) With that said, beelining COL is your first priority. You want to get courthouses to lower maintenance, and it unlocks your UU, which is very powerful. At this level there is no need to tech archery. You already have Jags, so barbs aren't a threat to you. You can always pick it up from an AI later. Otherwise, tech was good, beelining IW is a good play here because you have a lot of jungle, and it gets you a resourceless UU.

    3) More on REXing. You could take out KK early if you wanted to. However, with all the room you have, let him spend the hammers and worker turns developing the land, then just take it from him. You have so much space that you can get to cuirassiers and cannons and run the map that way.

    I'm posting your save with potential city sites marked. I'm not really sure which sites to go for first. I would start moving from Cahokia and Tenochtitlan and fill towards each other. But, noticed how the sites are clustered closer together. This way you can fit in more cities. Where you are currently is fairly food poor, but as you move south there is more available so you can set your cities closer together. I'll play for a bit and post a save again later.

    **Oops- never mind. That is Mansa Musa to the south, and KK is east of him. Still, tons of room to expand peacefully.**
     

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  13. thbrown81

    thbrown81 Warlord

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    OK, here are three saves that map out my progress.

    As you can see, I settled Tlateloco and then Texcoco as quickly as I could. Next, I was able to take two barb cities which were basically in spots that I wanted to settle anyway. From that point I concentrated on developing the tiles in the cities that I had founded. I teched to COL in order to get Altars going, and then went for Currency. At 1 AD, Currency has opened up new trade routes in each city. Combined with Altars, I have balanced my budget sufficiently to begin a second round of expansion. I will plan to settle four more cities, and then prepare to wipe out my continent.

    A few other things to note.

    1) Use binary research. This means that you alternate your research slider between 0% and 100%. This is very easy to do with the BUG mod, which others have recommended. Essentially, you stockpile cash until you can research the tech you want at 100%. This allows you to research more efficiently.

    2) Spawn-busting- Barbs cannot spawn within a BFC or a culture tile. Notice that I have placed some units in open space to prevent barbs from spawning. Mine are not optimally placed, but they are at least helping to lower interference from barbs. You had a few warriors sitting in cities that you could have used for this earlier. Without Monarchy there is no benefit to keeping an extra unit in a city on this level.

    3) I screwed up the CS slingshot here, but it is useful trick to know. Basically, you try to time completing the prereqs (generally Math and COL) right before you finish the Oracle. I forgot that I hadn't teched Math, so I whipped the Oracle right after completing COL. However, I just grabbed Phil, which saves me 1K in beakers and founds another religion, which helps with happiness. This is a useful strategy with the Aztecs, as you can build cheap temples and can switch between religions w/o anarchy.

    4) I have been a little sloppy with my worker management, and have not built enough. I'm still working a number of unimproved tiles, which you need to avoid at all costs at higher levels. General rule, which I'm sure you've read, is 1.5 workers per city. I've postponed them a little to build altars first, so that I have lower unhappiness when I whip them out.

    5) Notice that I am not using cottages in Tenochtitlan and Teotihuacan, but I am in the middle cities. The first two cities are food poor, and with a slavery oriented UB it is better to farm the green tiles and make them production cities with workshops and wheels later on. The other cities have more food, thus cottages can grow without stunting growth.

    Anyway, hopefully these saves give you some comparisons to work with. Good luck, feel free to follow up with other questions.
     

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  14. Amao

    Amao King

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    Used the first save and played to 1250 AD, non-eventful.

    Note:

    1) pop-rushing+chopping Settlers and Workers
    2) fog busting at early stage is very important
    3) settling the gold/gem cites first
    4) research sailing rather than connecting every city with road
    5) went for Calendar before CoL
    6) well, it's monty. CoL is really powerful with UU. stayed in the slavery until around 150 turns.
    7) got 8 cities by 1 AD and settled more cities before Cat/Mace/Treb rushed the 3 city MM
    8) finished off Alex instead of Kublai because Khan had offshore cities and he was pleased with me and we shared religion, well Alex might be bought into war. Used Knights/Treb/...
    9) now just ready to attack Peter with Communism researched, switched to SP and not fine tuning the cities yet.

    The only concern is that HRE built AP. I had to pick a good timing start the war.
     

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