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Gandhi to play and win...

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by krc, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. krc

    krc King

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    India often gets very little love as one of the civilizations you can play in Civ5. In the recent thread on "Worst civs", it was frequently mentioned. In one of the "elimination" threads that were rampant a few months ago, it was the first civilization to be voted off the island, and its UA (population growth) was the biggest loser. In the "UB elimination", the Mughal Fort was the second to go (with only the Russian Krepost getting less love).

    While I will admit that the Mughal Fort is far from perfect, I recently played a game as India that illustrates how much advantage you can get from "population growth" with the right start. (King, standard speed, standard size with 8 civs, continents).

    If you imagine what you can do with this start by getting desert folklore, Hanging Gardens, and Petra -- with the Population Growth UA -- then you can imagine what the end of the game looked like. (Or you can peek at the spoiler.)
    Spoiler :


    I think that India is under-appreciated in part as a consequence of the "Bollywood" achievement, which suggests that the only way to use it is to go tall and cultural. In fact, it is perfect for a tradition start followed by a mid-to-late game explosion (non-nuclear) in cities and land on the way to a solid science victory.

    I started with tradition and got three cities relatively quickly. Turtled through the early game while they grew large and strong. At that point, you have lots of gold coming from trade routes, lots of science coming from population, and plenty of excess happiness. So I started settling other cities at any desirable-looking open spaces, especially unsettled areas with an adjacent mountain so I could build observatories.
    Spoiler :

    I ended up settling a total of 9 cities. With lots of cash, you can rush-buy granaries everywhere and get the population of the new cities up quickly. I then conquered anyone who was remotely a threat to win, and never had to raze a single city to stay in positive (often very positive) happiness the entire game.

    So, my conclusion is that India is best played as an expansionist civ headed to a science victory. Since science directly results from population, this should be the natural way to exploit the UA. What do you think?

    Oh, and just in case anyone would like to try this lovely start, I have attached the initial save.
    View attachment AutoSave_Initial_0000 BC-4000.Civ5Save
     
  2. sufficiency

    sufficiency King

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    The thing is, I can easily and consistently win with any civs on King with any kind of victory condition.
     
  3. ixias

    ixias Warlord

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    Difficulty level aside, any civ can do this with proper planning. I do something similar with the Aztecs (grow tall, upgrade Jags, roll with longswords/muskets/rifles) and it works well. I agree that it's easily to absorb the larger AI cities because of the happiness, but with religion and some emphasis on certain wonders, happiness is a non-issue for any Civ. They just don't bring enough to the table to make them anything but bottom tier to me.

    Great start btw. Thanks to DF and Petra, desert starts have gone from being terrible to potentially the best starts.
     
  4. ahawk

    ahawk King

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    This.

    On King, you get more base happiness than on higher levels, and on the lowest levels, the happiness boost isn't even necessary. Thus, King is probably the optimal setting for Gandi's UA, since founding your second city isn't as likely to result in dipping into unhappiness as on Emperor and up, while the lower difficulty levels wouldn't even benefit so much from the Indian UA.

    I'd add, to the defense of the OP, that a standard sized map does make playing India tougher, because there's a good chance everyone else is going to out-expand you. Hence, the best place for India's UA is probably King/Duel games, where the difficulty level is just right and it's unlikely that you'd even have room for more than 4 or 5 cities before butting into CSs and the other, AI civ.
     
  5. buchengshi

    buchengshi Warlord

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    Happiness on King is the same as on Deity.
     
  6. Kwami

    Kwami Emperor

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    I'm sure that India has its uses, but I think that you'd have done just as well with nearly any civ. Petra is ridiculously overpowered. Also, you were able to get Hanging Gardens. On Immortal or Deity, you probably wouldn't have.
     
  7. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Higher difficulty levels (Immortal/Deity) are harder than King due to the AI starting with a worker (and free techs) in addition to normal starting units. (Emperor+ also gives AI a free scout)

    Happiness is actually as tough as it ever gets to the human on Prince. The AI though may get an even bigger happiness bonus at higher levels.
     
  8. Aaron90495

    Aaron90495 King

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    Pretty much agree with what everyone else is saying. You definitely had a great game, but 1) it was on King, and 2) you probably could've done even better with any other civ.

    Now, if you could do that on Immortal, THEN I'd be impressed. :)
     
  9. Wargizmo

    Wargizmo Warlord

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    The other thing about the Indian UA is that the Monarchy policy pretty much does the same thing for the cap anyway, and the Indian UA only reduces it by another 50% on top of that. So with a cap population of 12, you get 6 :c5unhappy: with monarchy, which is reduced to 3:c5unhappy: for being India. Then you get +6:c5unhappy: from cities if you're India, bringing it up to a total of 9:c5unhappy: (3 from pop, 6 from city), which is the same as what you'd get with any other Civ (6:c5unhappy: from pop, 3:c5unhappy: from city).

    So until your cap grows to more than 12 (and your other cities to more than 6) you're getting 0 benefit from the Indian UA. This typically doesn't happen until turn 100+ so essentially if you go tradition, then for the first 100 turns of the game you're getting either penalised or getting negligible benefits from being India.

    The late game benefits can be good if you have BIG cities but by then the game is often already won, and getting extra happiness is often just a matter of buying up a city state or a luxury. In the most important part of the game, India almost always loses out.
     
  10. sufficiency

    sufficiency King

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    I've been trying (and failing). It's really hard to win on Immortal with domination victory as India.
     
  11. Aaron90495

    Aaron90495 King

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    But that's the point. How good is a civ when it's near-impossible to win a specific victory condition on upper levels with it? What I'm getting at is India shouldn't be in the 2nd tier on your list :D.

    However, I'd love to see if someone can pull off a Domination win with India on Deity. I'm not good enough to do it, but does anyone wanna try?
     
  12. Dogmouth

    Dogmouth King

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    This is a great start. Most players here could crush that game with any other civ. Maybe -- just maybe -- India is boosting your happiness by a few points if all of your cities and puppets are really large. More likely, you're getting almost nothing from the UA with your sprawling setup. Even if you're getting 5-10 happiness, who cares at this point? You have 33 happiness, and the game is over. The early game is where you get nailed with India. You can't afford to delay early expansion in 90% of high level games unless you have no neighbors. This means 4-6 (depending on social policies) relatively early cities that start small. The Indian UA punches you in the face when you attempt such an early expansion.
     
  13. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    I'm going to try a game as India and replace my archers with elephants. It should be fun times.
     
  14. sufficiency

    sufficiency King

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    I just played a game which I attempted at domination victory with India again, but I stopped after killing just one player (Attila) because my happiness was simply unmanageable. It's just wayyyyyy too hard. Only if India had early faith generation...
     
  15. n00bxqb

    n00bxqb Warlord

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    I love playing as India personally.
     
  16. sufficiency

    sufficiency King

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    But it's pretty obvious that India is not suitable for domination victory to begin with - sure you can win with cultural as the Huns, but it's not the ideal way to play that civ either. India does fine growing tall and go for cultural or diplomatic victory.

    I think domination victory with India is possible. At the end of the day, a 6-pop India city breaks even with a 6-pop city of any other civs in happiness cost, and the maximum difference is -2 happiness (1 pop city, which you can often raze). So if I can grow to a reasonable size with reasonable tech (say by turn 150~200), I should be able to just sweep up the AIs and all the cities I get will be at least around 6 pops. With Police State from Autocracy, some religion, and maybe the happiness bonuses from Liberty/Rationalism, happiness should not be a major problem.

    The issue I see is that killing a runaway AI as India will be very difficult, because the said AI would have a LOT of cities (many of which very small due to a previous wave of pop loss the last time it swapped owner). Also it's very difficult to get a religion going as India since India does not have intrinsic methods of faith generation. Lastly, while Liberty is great for domination victory, opening Liberty with India is just asking for trouble.
     
  17. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

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    Raze more cities. Honor would be better than liberty, imo. More raw happiness per city, and nice synergy with mughal forts.
     
  18. ense7en

    ense7en n7

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    They have a bad UA. The tiny bit of extra happiness comes with an unhappiness penalty until your cities are tall.

    UB is not great.

    UA is good.

    Overall, bad civ. This doesn't mean you cannot win with them; they can be used successfully on Immortal+ just fine...but they are still pretty much the worst civ out there.

    King = any civ can do extremely well and get all the wonders you want with super tall capitals...
     
  19. akashsara

    akashsara Warlord

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    UA is bad and UA is good? I think you mean UU is good and UA is bad.
     
  20. Biologist

    Biologist Researcher

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    It's not that India can't do well on a given map, it's just that I don't see why I would be attracted to play as them instead of another civ that would actually give me a better advantage. Even if I wanted to build extremely tall or try a OCC, there are other civs, such as Egypt or Ethiopia, that seem to offer better advantages.

    Probably, but India seems to be a civ of contradictions. They have a military UU that comes early in the game and a defensive building UB, while supposedly designed for peaceful cultural games. Their UA seems best used for conquering the large cities of other civs. Apparently, Civ V Gandhi believes that war is peace. That's why he shows his dedication to world peace by launching nukes everywhere.
     

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