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For Science! - 5+ city Academy spam guide

Discussion in 'CivBE - Strategy & Tips' started by GAGA Extrem, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. gothicpl

    gothicpl Chieftain

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    First of all, thank you for the guide - it led me to my first ever Apollo win! Some notes:

    - free OER bonus is huge. My win was with Kozlov and Supremacy (the latter due to the free affinity point ruin), and building OER manually set things back 5-6 turns in every city.

    - having at least one city with Titanium access is key to wonder construction (including that last one). The only one in my vicinity was reachable by my fifth or sixth city (I did a 6 city variant of this strat because I had expansion room in one direction with no colonies competing for it), and lo and behold, around turn 170 my last city started outproducing my capital, in the end being up being by 20 hammers (90 to 70 or so).

    - not sure if others see the same, but capital terrain always seems to have at least 2 or 3 accessible tiles taken by canyon or mountain. Very often my second city ends up growing bigger than the capital due to that.

    - post-Cognition decision making is very exciting. One desperately needs biowells to avoid dipping below -20 health, research techs to work Firaxite/Floatstone/Geothermal/Xenomass resource tiles, work the sea tiles/build ships, get Gene Smelters to get to positive health, and start getting affinity points. So much to choose from! I ended up delaying Computing quite a bit due to health issues starting to affect my science/culture percentages.

    - the good news is that when using this strat somewhere between turns 120 and 150 your science output starts exceeding any other colony, and those missing techs start coming quickly!

    - unlike health, energy wasn't a huge issue for me due to 2 Solar Collector ruins and early Industry virtues

    - the endgame tech decision tree is pretty straightforward grab of cheapest affinity points and eventually Lasercom and the lvl 13 wonder tech.

    - my victory time (~260 turns) turned out taking way longer due to Polystralia and KP still being ahead of me in affinity points (13 to 8 or so) around turn 170-175, and KP having already built the Mind Flower before me even starting the Emancipation Gate. This is where the fun began:

    * I paid (resources/money) everyone and their mother to go to war with Hutama, who was ahead of KP at the moment. The outcome surpassed my wildest expectations, with Hutama dropping way down the victory list and even losing his capital.

    * next problem was KP. She was a close second to Hutama, and after grabbing a few extra cities she started running away with it and built Mind Flower around turn ~200. Well, instead of waiting for it to bloom and accepting the loss like a true gentleman I took a little tech detour and built a Phasal Transporter. The nice thing about it is that it can transport both land and naval units, so I picked some neutral land pretty close to the Mind Flower location (so glad it gets shown on the map!), paid Africa to join the war, and glorious Slav troops destroyed it in no time, capturing a couple of KP cities in the process (I razed one and kept the other as a base for my aircraft, quicker unit healing, and a decoy)

    * at this point, KP decided to counter attack and sent a bunch of ships/carriers/planes to my coast. She reduced my city defenses to zero in no time. The only problem was that she didn't bring any land units to actually cap my cities, so they just sat there with zero defense for like 10 turns while I was building up defense troops.
    Combat AI is very very poor in Beyond Earth, I feel like Civ5 was better.

    * eventually I caught up in affinity points with KP, built the Emancipation Gate, destroyed her second Mind Flower and won the game. She was on her third Mind Flower at that point. :)

    - one last note: Combat Rovers get insanely good once you reach the affinity that lets them float over the water and terrain. Frankly, I don't see the point of building much else at that point, as upgraded Rangers and Artillery don't do much in the endgame. And CNDR and Angels are only good at feeding the gate.
     
  2. Hot_spur

    Hot_spur Chieftain

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    I'm on turn 103 of a new game. I forgot to grab chemistry before I grabbed Ecology, and made my beeline to Cognition, so I missed building some of the production buildings early. I hope it won't affect my game too much, as I was busy mostly building settlers, trade depots, convoys, and workers anyway.

    I was able to build some health buildings, which I know does't really matter that much early on, but I knew I would ned them eventually.

    But on turn 103 I just turned +1 health, so now my science gets a boost.

    I'm on a continent close to ARC, so I suppose at some point she is going to get nasty. My strategy is usually to let my energy pile up, then if someone DOWs me, I just buy the troops I need. I have never lost a city in all of my games so far.
     
  3. gothicpl

    gothicpl Chieftain

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    My problem with delaying troops until needed is that it increases the chance of DoW. DoW has other downside besides potentially losing a city (which I agree is easy to prevent):
    - blockading city tiles from being worked
    - delaying or pillaging worker improvements
    - destroying trade routes

    The only upside of DoW is when it's from someone I was going to go to war with anyway in the near future.
     
  4. Hot_spur

    Hot_spur Chieftain

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    Sure as can be, she DOWd me three turns later. I made the stupid mistake of leaving the tiles between my border and hers unexplored so I didn't see her coming. I won't let that happen again.
     
  5. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    Piling up energy is useless anyway, as you could also have used that energy to develop your empire. If you're near an opponent it's usually better just to build some units early enough.
     
  6. gothicpl

    gothicpl Chieftain

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    I can see why one would pile up 500-600 energy if a significant deficit is anticipated, just to avoid the science penalty, but not more than that. Having a few academies already built and ~10 active workers + some troops out there, I ended up having -30ish deficit after turn 150 or so. But trading non-essential resources to AI really helps get through this period, and one can switch a city or two to energy focus too. It'll pass once cities grow, and with some virtues and energy buildings. [And if you're at war, not forgetting to pillage trade routes and selling buildings when razing cities really helps too.]
     
  7. Xenotitan

    Xenotitan Chieftain

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    It isn't just the science penalty if you go to negative energy per turn with an empty treasury. The game starts disbanding your military to pay off your debt which can be a disaster. So yes, stockpiling enough energy to deal with negative energy per turn is important.
     
  8. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    If your strategy makes you go into negative EPT for a while and you know that ahead (Like being able to spam more academies than you can afford until you have solar satellites) , sure.

    I don't think there's any situation where you could "suddenly" drop into negative Energy (especially since external trade routes are pretty much dead) though, so just stockpiling for the "What if.."-situation is not really needed - it's a safety net that helps you not being punished too hard for misplanning, but on the other hand slows you down.
     
  9. gothicpl

    gothicpl Chieftain

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    Got my second Apollo win using this strategy, this time with the strongest bonuses (Africa + Artists) and Purity affinity. Earthlings all settled on turn 242.

    Some adjustments/observations:
    - When going Purity, Gene Gardens are so great that they make it possible to defer the relatively expensive Gene Smelter tech in favor of a cheap Purity affinity tech (unit upgrades to hold the defense) and getting Biowells sooner. May want to reflect that tweak in the original post.
    - Maintaining decent health with 5 cities was quite a bit easier than with six.
    - I got the worst possible neighbors. Kozlov with his capital only 9 tiles away from mine, and he built his second city right next to my capital. KP on the other side also looking to expand into my lands and Combat Rovers at the borders already. Going back to the energy stockpiling discussion vs building/buying units right away, building 3-4 Soldiers beforehand and rushing the affinity tech to upgrade them to Marines (I wasn't so lucky with affinity ruins this time) is pretty key when you have close neighbors to:
    a) control aliens
    b) delay the DoW until turn 100 at least (not sure if the game has a trigger after turn 100, but I see a lot of wars declared right after it)
    c) once at war, hold the defensive line next to my city while it bombards rangers/rovers into oblivion. The usual Civ 5 combat trick applies here too - wound the units first with Marines, and finish them off with the ranged attack. This way, your Marines won't stray too far from the city and get killed.

    - I ended up not having to research the tech for Rangers/Archers at all to win the game. Upgraded Rovers are all I needed to get to KP's first Mind Flower, and I won while she was building the second. While destroying the first Mind Flower, I noticed its turn counter at 21, and I was already settling first earthlings, meaning that I would've beaten KP by several turns even without DoW. But it's good to ensure victory by destroying the planetary wonder when you can.
     
  10. Patrick Pelikan

    Patrick Pelikan Chieftain

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    I'm currently trying this strategy, with rather mixed results. Being still quite the noob I dont't blame the strategy, I blame my lack of intelligence :p. For me its a great way to learn some details I never focused on (like locking tiles, never did that before). I managed to get some wins with it on Soyuz (I don't feel confortable enough for Apollo yet), but somehow still fall behind in turn time. I mostly win the game around turn 280-310. How do you guys get wins on turn 230 or so? I'm I missing something completly?

    On another note: I had now several games using this strategy where I setteld 2 citys (+capital ofc) in what I considered free land and then, because of staggerd starts, the AI lands like 5 tiles away from one of these cities (once ARC landed next to the first, Kozlov next to the second). Of course they are not happy you are so close and usually it ends in a DOW or even coop DOW (which sucks because of the no peace bug:mad:). Did something like that ever happened to some of you?

    I also had a game, where I had a continet to myself while all the AI were in permanent war over lands on the other two continents. That game was of course quite easy...
     
  11. tedeviatings

    tedeviatings Chieftain

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    Some points you can probably still improve to help your victory times:

    (1) Tech detours - A lot of stuff that's useful still isn't worth a tech detour.
    (2) Science - Some people stated their (average?) win is t205 to 215 with affinity 13 around t180 and 500 science. So there's a goal for both of us.

    As for (2) I'm not so sure on how to reach that myself. It's probably a snowball effect in that the earlier you have high science the earlier you get more science the earlier you get even more science and so on.
    I don't even always get to 500 when in positive health on 7ish cities with academies all spammed and and every single one worked - so I guess you really need enough land to place them and grow your cities big enough (or place enough cities) to work all of the tiles.
    That's probably the most interesting problem to me still, how do you expand ideally so you can reach such numbers without getting crushed in the process. Well, it's actually sufficient if the AI makes you waste enough hammers on military in what should be your prime expansion phase to not reach those numbers. But you do need some space to place the academies, so I'd say the key to getting there is being really good at managing your expansion phase. Or maybe not playing the obvious bad starts?

    As for the AI dropping down right on top of me - hasn't happened before since I land them turn 1. What I had happen was that 2 Apollo AIs (which start with 1 city 1 outpost or 1 city 1 colonist, not sure) land rather far away, then forward settle me both and leave me with 3 to 4 city worth of space because of terrain. So good ^^''
     
  12. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    Not sure if turn 205 victories are really a realistic goal for this strategy, as it cuts many of the important aspects of what makes these victories possible and instead tries to make stuff as easy as possible. I think if you manage to constantly win < turn 230 victories with 5 cities just by following the ideas in this guide, then you're already doing a good job on that.
     
  13. tedeviatings

    tedeviatings Chieftain

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    Agreed, following this exact strategy might (and probably is) not be the way to fasted win times. After all guides can only give you a rough idea of how one way to victory might look like - at least in a game this complex.
     
  14. jdbwillia

    jdbwillia Chieftain

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    Cary, NC
    Good guide. I did this last night and finished on turn 186, cranking out 300+ science. I had two wars as you predicted because of the rapid expansion, but I was easily able to defend because I was so ahead in tech and affinity - Elodie even gave me a city to make peace with her, which bumped me up to 6 cities.

    Thanks!
     
  15. Victus75

    Victus75 Chieftain

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    I must say I've been trying this on Apollo difficulty with (ahem) some difficulty. Right now I feel I am in a game where I am in a position to win, finally. First, and this is somewhat beyond my control, but this game finally I had next to zero aliens to deal with in my colonization area. No nests nearby, and no wandering aliens except for a couple of siege worms outside on my borders. It allowed me to expand within my territory stress free.

    The other two mistakes I was making was 1. not expanding early/quickly enough. There is a point in the guide that says he was alternating trade convoys and colonists, and I was just sort of building what I wanted and not pumping out colonists quickly early on. This set me back pretty bad it seems. I also had a decent map where I could do so and not feel I needed to keep up with military right away to protect either the colonists or my new cities. Once set up and trade routes going, I was able to slowly amass my military (which was good as now I am fighting a two-front war with my closest neighbors, Polystralia and Franco-Iberia.

    2. I wasn't placing my cities particularly close together. I feel I still didn't do this on my current game, whereas before I would try for optimal placement (6 hexes between cities) and now realize that all the tiles won't be worked anyway unless I had crazy populations. I'll have to keep that in mind in future games.

    I still felt like I didn't have enough workers to immediately start spamming acadamies when I researched the tech, as I still had just a handful trying to improve the basic resources I did have.

    Thankfully I am further along in Affinity with Polystralia (and have taken one city from them) and so seem to be moving forward on that front, whereas I am about the same (if a little behind) Elodie and F-I, but due to the horrible AI combat was able to fend her off. Considering foraying into her territory to see if I can capture a city. She is currently in 1st place points-wise. Hutama is stubborn and refuses a peace treaty, so I will continue to deal with him. He was near the top of the leaderboards before he picked a fight with me.
     
  16. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Just did a Soyuz game without this strategy and managed to win. However this was a head-to-head and we only started a few hexes (well, ten or so) apart.

    This is a better strategy on the larger maps and game modes. Not saying it doesn't work in Duel games, but I was forced to go for necessary Might Virtues cutting out the early Industry (and Prosperity) perks barring the free Workers which I count as basically mandatory. I also forced the upper hand by jumping on his (Hutama's) first Outpost, destroying it, and camping his border for pretty much the rest of the game as I built on a two-City lead. That said, Apollo is yet to come.
     
  17. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    That's actually an interesting point that I thought about a while ago, when I was trying to figure out how to deal best with a close neighbor early on (in general, not nessesary reduced to this strategy).

    After some testing I found that it's really easy to calm down and often times even befriend an early neighbor by just sending a caravan to their city - in this strategy it works really good if you use the first one that your second city gets, because that city is small and their capital will already have grown quite a bit -> you get good yields out of that trade route and a diplo modifier for them (and the Caravan doesn't really have a good internal target anyway, as your second and third city will be too similar to really produce great yields). That is more often than not enough to bribe them into war with another neighbor (which will cost quite a lot, but it's affordable and that deal ends before academy-spam begins) - and once you've done that, the Ai is likely to even request a DoF. Accept that and you'll have enough room to get the academy spam started before you have to worry about your military.

    In other cases the AI will ask for a mutual declaration of war to another of their neighbors after you send that trade route - accepting that deal will pretty much have the same effect as bribing them into war. But it's for free (well, at the cost of being at war with someone else - which isn't a problem if you don't share border, as a single DoW doesn't really have to much negative influence).

    And if they ever ask for Resources and give you a favor in return then that's an awesome opportunity to exchange 3 gpt for the opportunity to hopefully force them into another war with another faction as soon as they made peace with their first neighbor.
     
  18. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Chieftain

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    A little update regarding the last patch:

    The strategy is pretty much the same, only thing that changes is that you will have a slower start due to the reduced number of TR and you want to hit pop 10 in your cities asap to get the second one back. After that it is "business as usual".

    @Ryika: If you have some time to spare I'd be interested how the balance of beelining Bioewells vs. Academies was influenced by the TR change. How close are we to Biowells being a better choise than Academies.
     
  19. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    Not sure about that, haven't really played a serious game yet. But after I had refined the way I play the Academy version I didn't manage to make Biowells work as good anymore anyway. So I assume as they don't really become available before your main cities hit pop 10 anyway and as the victory doesn't seem to be delayed by too much, they're still weaker.

    I think IF they work at all then probably in a strategy that focuses on building biowells in ~3 trade route fueled cities or so to push them above 22 for the additional trade route (while building academies in the smaller cities for scientific advance and maximum trade route food yield in the capital) and then replace a whole lot of these biowells with academies to push towards victory. I assume that's still too slow though.

    But again, pure theory. ^^
     
  20. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    It's so annoying when you try to test stuff and every third game or so something like this happens:



    Why game, why?! It's even a huge Protean map with low water level.

    Anyway. Did some testing with Biowells now and I think they are still weaker than Academies. Reaching 22 pop in a time that the additional trade routes have time to do something useful doesn't seem to work at all. And as the victory hasn't really been delayed by too much, I think Biowells are still not an option.

    However, as I stated in that other strategy thread, I think Pioneers are super-strong in general, even if you're not trying to expand all over the place. Being able to skip the Settler in Prosperity pretty much negates the usefulness of Artists for most of the game, while at the same time speeding up your expansion phase (and thus the overall development of your cities) quite drastically. If you haven't tested them yet I strongly suggest you do.
     

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