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First shot at deity - advice welcome

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by michmbk, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    Since there are a few people posting deity games, and since I'm starting to have pretty good success at immortal, I thought I'd give it a shot at deity as well to see if I can start competing at that level. The leader I chose for this game was one I haven't played in awhile, but one that I really like, and that's Pericles.

    Settings are deity normal - fractal map, standard size

    Here's the starting position and the save.



    Obviously the gems are nice. I settled in place after moving the scout on the gems, which revealed corn 2S of the settler. Initial tech path thoughts are AG/Mining/BW.

    I'm going to go ahead and start playing 100 or so turns, but will likely replay to try to practice some strategies. The one thing I've taken to heart from reading other posts about this level is the barb problems, so I figure I'll be teching archery probably after BW if I don't have copper nearby.

    Comments/thoughts on how to start and what to look forward to would be welcome.
     

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  2. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    About 75 turns so far – report below. The great thing about Pericles is fast great people – I just got my first scientist. Details in spoiler – feedback welcome on what to improve, and next steps.

    Spoiler :


    As I said, I settled in place. Tech went AG/Mining/BW to get the corn and gems up and running. My scout was reasonably successful, about 75 gold and mysticism from huts, although mysticism isn’t that exciting with Pericles.
    Met this guy:



    Problem – he techs well enough on lower levels, so he’ll be insane on this level. Thankfully he neglects military a bit. Lost my scout after about 15 turns, and lost a warrior to a barb archer 15 turns later. Uh, barbs were insane – I had no copper and teched archery after BW. Glad I did, because archers were just enough to save my first two cities.

    I was able to scout that I’m on a peninsula with a blocking opportunity, so I took it – chopped a settler at size 3, whipped an archer to accompany him, then a library, and another chopped settler to quickly try to claim the land. It worked, I guess, and here’s where I’m at after about 75 turns:







    I have just my starting worker, so need to get some to clear land, but this site:



    Is going to get loaded with cottages. Figure the capital is my GP farm, and I have a chance now to settle more land. I haven’t met anyone else, so we may be isolated and we’re both hindu, which means I can neglect military for awhile, but also means he's going to tech without anything to stop him.

    I feel like I can get 9 cities relatively comfortably on my landmass, and am going to try to get at least three more settled quickly. Tech is here:



    I obviously have nothing to compare to on this level, but it’s Mansa, it’s deity, so I expect tech to be bad for a long, long time. Next steps? My thought is academy and workers and settlers to fill out/improve the island. Almost done with IW and not sure what to tech next. I need to tech something Mansa doesn’t have – thinking maybe math or HBR.

    I have horses, but is an HA attack on deity even viable? Seems like a peaceful approach makes sense. I also need to start scouting his land actively to see just how much he has.
     
  3. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    I wouldn't do a horse archer rush, mainly because Mansa's Unique Unit is the skirmisher, which is a lot stronger than the regular archer.

    Anyway, you're doing fine. Just expand into that peninsula, and build a workboat to explore the coast and see if there are other leaders.
     
  4. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I jumped into this one too. This one is annoying because of mansa. In my run he went religion CRAZY, so there's culture flung everywhere. I tried to culture flip a barb city and almost had it (80% my culture) when mansa took it. OF COURSE he's in caste, so artists it for a border pop and blocks the flip. Then he uses that magic deity culture to slowly push ME back :mad:.

    We each got to 10 cities, but his tech rate is insane. Still, with 10 cities I have the foundation of a :backstab:. A super religion trade whore is not frequently well liked, and I *might* be able to hit cavalry before he hits infantry. If I do I can probably beat him, but will it be enough to let me compete with the remaining guys?

    I agree on no HA rush vs skirmishers (they beat HAs hammer for hammer, and mansa will obviously sit them where they get obnoxious bonuses).

    Test runs on immortal have shown me that HA+spy can wreck peaceful AIs even if they have maces, pikes, etc (basically everything but the pikes feel very ordinary against massed withdraw HAs with combat guys following). I fought pacal for example with such a force and just about obliterated him (took 8 of 9 cities, 9th was on another continent) in 17 turns...not a very long time. K/D was shockingly in my favor (though only barely), which isn't bad since some of those units are actually more expensive than HAs/keshiks.

    I think that would be workable on deity if you could set it up in time. But not against mansa with skirms early on :sad:. With the defensive bonuses still there it will hurt a lot.
     
  5. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    Um, yikes - the next turnset was an eye opener.

    I think I got off to a good start in those first 75-80 turns, but the next set of turns didn't go nearly as well. I need to replay this one to try to better practice how to deal with Mansa. Deity is insanely hard, especially with me and techwhore being isolated.

    Short story is I didn't expand fast enough this second time, didn't get alphabet early enough to build research, and didn't get my GP farm maximized as well as I should have. Like TMIT, I tried a culture flip of a barb city with this placement:



    but had to race to take it by force later on when I saw Mansa sending a couple knights toward it. Note I was researching construction because Mansa didn't have it - but by the time I got it, so did he. His tech rate was absolutely out of this world. I went for compass to try to trade with him:



    but still couldn't get that much for it. Monarchy was a mistake too, as I wasn't desperate for :) - I should have taken alphabet to build research. And of course, this is never good:



    When the AI looks down on you enough to gift a tech, that's never a good thing. Does anyone ever reject those offers? Oh, and I forgot to turn off random events :mad::mad::mad:



    I didn't screen print the "buildings have been destroyed" event or the "slave revolt" event that happened before that, but three of them in the span of about 35 turns were painful. Sure glad I got the +1 diplo random event with Mansa while he was friendly - boy was that ever helpful... Note to self: Turn off random events in all deity attempts. This is when it started to get laughable:



    860 AD on normal seemed pretty early, especially since Mansa was isolated with backwards me, but even more laughable was that in 1050 AD, the Kremlin was built. At that point, I gave up, as I still didn't have a meaningful tech rate. I was researching divine right as I know it typically trades well and Mansa didn't have it, but he still didn't want to give me a lot for it. I met Augustus and Stalin, and was actually relatively on par with them in tech, but neither of them liked me enough to trade anything. I could have tried to take them out and claim their land, but figured while I was doing that, Mansa would finish off a culture win.

    I really got so focused on trying to get techs for trade bait with Mansa that I didn't focus enough on getting the rest of my cities laid down. Next thing I knew, it was 800 AD and I still only had 6 cities. So the first try at this was a failure. I'm going to replay that second turnset tonight - the only way to get better is to keep failing.

    Good to see we have a lot of deity games posted right now - I might try to shadow some of them as well. One big question I have is that the AI seems really stingy with tech trading on deity - is that typical of what others see. I wasn't able to get as much beaker value as I normally feel like I do on lower levels. Is there something in the code that makes the AI tougher to trade techs with on deity?
     
  6. Silu

    Silu Deity

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    860 AD on deity isn't that early. Actually to my experience it's rather slow ;)

    You can't expect to flip a barb city if you have to pop borders 3 times to reach it. That's quite a stretch; even at 2 border pops I usually come to regret trying to flip barbs, even on immortal.

    AFAIK the trade AI mechanics are the same, though I think there's a hidden negative diplo "bonus" on deity that might affect things (though only through messing with the attitudes).
     
  7. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    I'm no Deity player by far, but the techs are way cheaper for the Deity AIs. I once started a game on that level and at some point opened the WB and gave myself tons of GSpies to see how their cities were. I don't remember the exact values right now, but Gilgamesh was building the HE and it was something like half the cost it would be for me. I guess the same goes for the techs so the code is the same, just the beaker value is different.

    (Still, that wouldn't be really meaningful since the techs they're trading with you have the same discounts, right?)
     
  8. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    Silu - thanks. I had actually planned to settle another city on the other side of that barb city, but lost sight of that plan, so you're right, thinking the flip would be easy was a mistake. Probably better to build a cat and 3-4 phalanxes. That would have been enough to easily take it.

    In looking at the immortal/deity level differences, it seems like the major differences come for the AI, not as much for the human player, so I'm thinking that with the land blocked, settling the island as fast as possible won't cripple the economy. I was worried a bit about that the first time through, but looking at the level differences, it doesn't seem like a fast rex on immortal is much different from a fast rex on deity in terms of the impact on the economy.

    I'm going to replay this one from the block point a few times to try to test that out, but would be interested in what others think about the economy differences between immortal and deity as well.
     
  9. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    If you think Mansa's tech speed is fast, try checking out my ultra ultra ultra ultra deity challenge. ;)
     
  10. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    I do want to shadow that from a humor perspective - I did get a laugh out of what I saw in spoiler. Fast early/midgame tech has always been my weakest link, and it really shows at the highest level. I'm usually strong at amassing an army quickly to hit the window of attack, but that window gets smaller and smaller and I fear, it'll be about the size of a peephole on deity.
     
  11. shyuhe

    shyuhe Deity

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    860 AD isn't particularly fast for Mansa on deity. Looking at the liberalism screenshot, it looks like your cities are kinda small and underdeveloped. It looks like all the early jungle chopping slowed you down quite a bit.

    Also, although deity maintenance isn't significantly higher than immortal, it's easier to cripple your economy. The deities just keep on teching so you don't want to overexpand to the point that you kill your tech rate, unless you have enough of a production base that it doesn't matter.

    With only 5 cities, I'm surprised you had to build a market. Also, did you only have 1 worker at 850 BC?
     
  12. Dirk1302

    Dirk1302 Deity

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    Lib 860 AD is more or less normal on deity. Sometimes an Ai has it 300 AD, sometimes it falls around 1000-1050AD.Kremlin 1050AD is a bit early but possible if communism was beelined after lib. It's not uncommon to see some ais with Steampower, SM, Steel, Demo etc iq the techs that come after chem,constitution etc... around 1050 AD.
     
  13. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    This is definitely going to be a humbling attempt to move up. Decided to go home and lunch and do a quick replay of the second 100 turns.

    First, in response to Shyuhe - the market was a mistake. It was my commerce city, and I figured I'd go ahead and get it built for later when it'd really add up, but would only add about 3-4 gold per turn, so you're right, that wasn't smart yet. That's a great point for me though of stuff you can get away with on lower levels but won't cut it here.

    And I did only have the 1 worker at 850 BC, because I wanted to get those two cities out to block the land - I had planned for that and was going to get workers going right after that.

    My second time through this was more typical of what I might do on lower levels - mass workers and settlers to fill out my land quickly. It went better, as I had 9 cities when I cut off in about 1100 AD, but still really struggling to get my tech rate higher. Clearly mid-game teching is an area I need to improve.

    I took the barb city more quickly:



    Still was getting help from my BFF Mansa:



    And got to here:



    The two big problems this time around were again, tech pace, although it was better., and being unable to bulb any trade bait with my scientists. What do you do with them if you can't bulb trade bait - seems like they should be settled in that case, right?

    What went better was that I was only 4-5 techs behind Toku and Augustus. Was a bit more behind Mansa and Willem. I again teched Divine Right and got 3 techs plus gold for it, so it seemed like a smart move. The main difference in the games was I quickly chopped out workers and settlers to fill out the land and I headed straight to alphabet to build research, so my land was more improved and filled out than the first time.

    Another problem was culture - Mansa is blowing me away with culture pressure (it looks like he may have founded FIVE religions), and I don't have any answer for that.

    I'm going to at least keep playing the second try out to see what happens - maybe try to head toward cavalry as fast as possible as Mansa needs to be reigned in somehow. Clearly I need to figure out how to improve my tech rate in the midgame to have any hope of competing at this level.
     
  14. shyuhe

    shyuhe Deity

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    Unless your slider is at 100% or you're racing to finish liberalism, it's generally better to build wealth rather than research because of the multipliers. I would also build more farms so that you can whip libraries and universities into place.
     
  15. Dirk1302

    Dirk1302 Deity

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    ^Indeed, the difference is significant. I remember an empire where science was 100 bpt with all cities set to research, 120 bpt with wealth.
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I ran into a lot of similar problems. When I invade Mansa he'll probably be ~ 10 techs ahead if not more. The others turned up so I've managed to trade a bit (actually, I met augustus early ADs because my culture saw his culture over the ocean, but I've met others now too that HATE mansa).

    In my game mansa is just as fast, but one of the other AIs declared on him right before I stopped. I'm not far from cuirassers (banking gold until oxford completes in the pathetic 1400's), but mansa can get rifles any moment. He's not nearly so close to AL, which is what's tempting me to go cav+spy (I have been focusing EP on him even after meeting the others).

    Both my and his empire are largely cottages. I'm not sure it'd be enough to win space though given how far back I am, but killing the tech leader would be a step in the right direction. Wheezing to astro would help a lot then too.

    It still annoys me that he got my barb city, but I want to cut into his other cities first since they have more production. Deity :hammers: are just stupid so any city that can be taken quickly is one less he can use to instamake units :(.
     
  17. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    Oh my god, let me bang my head against the wall - I've been thinking about that incorrectly for the 2 years I've been playing this game. I've always thought it was the other way around. Never seemed to matter much until I hit this ridiculous level.

    I just read the S&T article describing that conversion, and if I understood it right, the simple way of thinking about is if you have libraries/monasteries/universities and no markets/grocers, building wealth is better because raising the commerce slider allows commerce to run through the beaker multipliers.

    I was building a lot of research the second time through - I can't believe I've had that wrong all this time - I can see how that can make a meaningful difference in the mid-game. Time for me to test that one in detail and replay that segment tonight.

    What a head-smacking moment - I can't believe I've missed the boat on that all this time. Well, that'll be step 1 towards improving mid-game tech rate on this level.
     
  18. Dirk1302

    Dirk1302 Deity

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    Especially the academy in capital profits from wealth vs research.
     
  19. shyuhe

    shyuhe Deity

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    The wealth/research thing is a little counter-intuitive. Building forges can help too, although your green land looks pretty flat.

    As for Mansa's culture, welcome to the wonderful world of deity culture whores. There isn't much you can do about it other than capturing his cities, or building cultural wonders in the BC years (for the doubling effect). It's also why some of the lesser aesthetics wonders like Shwedagon and SoZ become more useful on deity - if nothing other than to maintain your border. The doubled culture effect can make a big difference - so early monasteries and temples are more useful than you think.

    I also wouldn't bother building the Moai given the current land you have. No stone makes it an expensive wonder for a pretty crappy effect, and you have more pressing builds.
     
  20. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Rule number 1.

    If at first you dont succeed make sure no one notices!!

    If you do succeed try not to act suprised. ;)

    Not really gonna help with this game but mansa and forest were never gonna be easy.

    I always thought players beelined aesthetics/philosophy towards liberalism. The AI always seem to tech the same way.
     

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