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Getting Over The Hump

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by praetorben, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. praetorben

    praetorben Chieftain

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    Hello All,

    I've been playing Civ since Civ III and have not been totally obsessive about it. Ha! I have been playing Civ V since it came out and I have not really read any guides or strategies. I am, however, finding it difficult to win once I get to prince ( I know that is lower level to just about everyone so don't laugh). I think I may be stuck in some kind of Civ IV rut and was looking for some fresh pointers ( general) on how I can boost my science output and win via domination ( which is my favorite ) or space race. I consider myself a Civ veteran but am somewhat embarrassed that I am not already playing up on the higher levels. So, I have turned to you; members of Civfanatics! Can I hear some general brainstorming or be directed to a really comprehensive strategy guide? Civ V seems so different to me!

    Thanks All!
     
  2. wcbarney

    wcbarney Know-it-all

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    You are right to concentrate on science. Do it more! And remember that population correlates directly with :c5science: which is modified upwards by science buildings. Research writing as soon as you are able, try to build the Great Library, get libraries in all (i.e., at this point -- both) your cities. Make sure you research philosophy, and then as soon as all (both) your cities have libraries then build the National College. Meanwhile, research the path to Mathematics, and try to build the Hanging Gardens -- 10 :c5food: which provides for massive grown in that city for quite awile. Then sort of beeline towards Education which, when you get it, enables you to build the Porcelain Tower (sort of a "must have" in the science race). Save the Great Scientist you get with the Porcelain Tower to catapult you into the Renaissance era -- the Astronomy tech usually does it. Save one policy selection for when you get to the Renaissance era so that you can select Rationalism. Now, with the Rationalism policy tree open & the Porcelain Tower in one of your cities, you get 100% more :c5science: with your Research Agreements (RAs). So now is the time to start signing RAs with everyone you don't expect to declare war on you -- they call it "spamming RAs."
     
  3. praetorben

    praetorben Chieftain

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    Awesome pointer! I have no yet grasped the significance of the RA's. Also, it sounds like you are recommending I stay smaller if I am shooting for a science victory?
     
  4. wcbarney

    wcbarney Know-it-all

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    The conventional wisdom is that you should not expand beyond 2-3 cities until you have built the National College, which adds 50% more :c5science: to the building city (usually your capitol). Some folks recommend staying small beyond that, until you've built the Ironworks national wonder, which adds 10 :c5production:. After you do decide to expand beyond the initial 2-3 cities you have to balance the benefits of more potential population against the :c5unhappy: that you get with increased population & more cities. Plus, the policies that you need go way up in :c5culture: cost with each new city (the way around this particular problem, plus the way around :c5unhappy: from number of cities, is to conquer a few neighbor cities & make them puppets). Lots more you will have to learn, but this should get you started.:)
     
  5. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    wcbarney's advice is solid. RAs are indeed very powerful. Honestly though, for someone struggling to win on Price, that's not where I would start.

    At that level, you should be able to stay ahead of the AI in science without the use of RAs, just by focusing on growth. Focus on happiness and food, and you should be fine. Keep expanding your population, ALWAYS. If you have more than 10 happiness, build another city or sign some Maritime city states.

    Playing this way will teach you to be self reliant, which is a really good thing on the middle difficulty levels. Being self reliant means you can start a lot more wars, since you are not relying on trading partners staying friendly and signing RAs. This gives you flexibility.

    Once you get up to immortal/deity, it's much more important that you understand how RAs work.

    There is also another key component to science victories that hasn't been mentioned yet, and that is the usage of great scientists. Build universities in your high-growth cities (hopefully with enough food so that they can keep growing even with 2 specialists) and assign scientists right away. This will end up popping several scientists over the course of the game, depending on the number of these "scientist factories" you are able to set up.

    Do NOT use them to bulb techs right away, unless there is a HUGE benefit to doing so. You really want to save them for the end game, especially for a spaceship victory. If you have enough scientists saved up, along with oxford and the scientific revolution policy, it's possible to bulb all the way from the late industrial into the future age in one turn.
     
  6. wcbarney

    wcbarney Know-it-all

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    Y'know, I've always wanted to do this, but in every single game I have given into the temptation of bulbing the next sort-of expensive tech. I do follow my own advice and save one GS to bulb Astromomy, and I do hold off on the Scientific Revolution SP 'til there are two good expensive techs to choose; likewise for the Oxford Univ. I play almost exclusively at the immortal level, and spamming RAs is second nature -- til I get so far ahead on tech and :c5science: production that I just sneer at all those other civs who want me to sign an RA with them. "So, Cathy -- and just why should I want to help you out right now???"
     
  7. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    yeah, it's pretty tempting to just use them to get ahead. In most cases (read: below deity) you'll be fine playing that way. Mathematically though, it's best to save them for the end. Those last techs cost a TON of beakers, so it's by far the most efficient way to do it.
     
  8. Robrecht

    Robrecht Chieftain

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    Hello Praetorben,

    I'm a mediocre player myself, and that's why I might be able to help you out. I usually play on King difficulty, or multiplayer Prince.

    If you want to go for any victory, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind:

    1) Keep an eye on your Happiness: If you have more then 0, you have too much. How can you keep it low? If you have some room for new cities: build settlers, if you have weak neighbours nearby: conquer a city of theirs, if you have none of the above: make your cities grow! (improve tiles with farms, make the right buildings, ally maritime city states)
    2) Max out your happiness: make sure you have as much happiness as possible, while keeping the Net happiness count as close to 0 as possible. You can do this by building coliseums and stuff like that. Very important: choose your policies well. If you go for Piety, build monuments and temples everywhere. If you go for Honor, build walls and castles in every city.
    3) Make a lot of workers and improve every tile. This might sound obvious, but I know a lot of mediocre players who don't make a priority of this. Working an unimproved tile with your city is a waste of production, food, or money!

    If you stick to these 3 rules, you will soon have a large, ever-expanding empire with lots of money, science, production and culture as you like. You can pursue any kind of victory from here on, even a cultural one. (if you go for Piety fast) You wont have a super-focused build that will give you one specific type of victory as soon as possible (like superfast science) but you will have a sprawling empire that will keep your score ahead of your rivals and gives you opportunity and flexibility.

    Hope this helps you out?
     
  9. Resonance

    Resonance Chieftain

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    It is true that 'scientist factories' are very important, even more on lower difficulties where the AI is broke.
    To get beyond your intuition telling you to bulb right away, think of it this way:
    open your tech tree. Scroll right, click on Nanotechnology. All the initial parts of the tech tree and parts of the later eras will now have some number on them. The number on Nanotech is the one that tells you how many techs you still need to complete before you can win by science.
    If you set your cities up the right way, you will produce roughly 6 great scientists from specialists. You can also build Oxford University and save the Scientific Revolution Policy. These are, essentially, nine free techs. Now look into the tech tree. Count backwards nine times. This is the last tech you will need to research before you can start building your spaceship. Notice how you do not need any future era techs, and barely dip into modern?
     
  10. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I think the most important thing that's different about Civ V is happiness. It's empire-wide now, so unhappiness can have crippling effects on your development.

    Never let happiness drop below -10 (if this happens I will usually raze/sell cities if there are no other options). If it's between 0 and -10 first priority should be getting it into the positive range.

    I find that if you keep your empire happy everything else will sort of fall into place.
     
  11. praetorben

    praetorben Chieftain

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    OK. This is all great information. I'm gathering that, if your Capitol is producing tons of food; settling the scientists in food tiles is not a good idea? Population of my Capitol is 17 and I have 5 great scientists settled around that sucker. I have two saved-up for some bulbing. I am playing with Nebacannezer II so Im getting a science boost. I have built the great library I build gardens for more great scientists. I also built the national college right away. I have four cities at this point and it is the renaissance era and Im researching scientific theory. I am spamming GS's at a pretty alarming rate. I still am not leading the tech race! I'm two behind. Maybe it's be size I reach out for the next science boosting tech as I can? I have been able to defend myself but really could not launch a major offensive at this time. What am I doing wrong?
     
  12. Resonance

    Resonance Chieftain

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    Settling any great scientist beyond the one Babylon gets with writing is wrong.
     
  13. jsktrogdor

    jsktrogdor Chieftain

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    I get the impression this is a good idea, maybe someone could weigh in on it.

    I've found that if your signing research agreements, especially alot of them at once, be sure to clean out any available weaker techs on your own before the RA comes to fruition. Especially in the early game, as you transition through the classical era to the late classical & medieval era. There ends up being alot of scrub techs that even on marathon only require a dozen or so turns to knock out.

    Same thing for a GS, if your going to use him it may be smarter to research a tech that takes an long amount of time if its going to unlock another tech that takes longer. Especially as you break into new eras, those first tier techs can be double the techs behind them.
     
  14. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Are the civilizations ahead in tech also runaway? Do they have conspicuously more land, gold, and/or population than you?

    Also, yeah, though I'm guilty of excessive GS settling as Babylon, it's generally advisable not to settle that many of them.
     
  15. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

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    praetorben, Prince is the level where you and the AI are even as far as built-in advantages. It is a big step. Don't knock yourself for having trouble with it. I've been playing Civ for twenty years now and no matter which version, the step from the lower levels to the one where the player and the AI are more or less even is always a difficult one.
    As you progress, should you choose to, the paths to victory become far more narrow. King is a bit more of a challenge than Prince but still doable without too much micro, tech tree/RA management etc. The game can be beaten at any level, it just depends on earning and applying the minutia of it. There is a ton of good advice on these forums. I particularly recommend the Let's Play videos. Although they're usually about high level play you can pick up a lot of good tips from them no matter what level you're currently playing at.
    Happy civving! Find the level where you enjoy playing the game and play on.
     
  16. Cheeseisgood

    Cheeseisgood Warlord

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    Just requesting some clarification here -

    When you say you have "Settled" the scientists, do you mean you've used them to create academies? That's the general meaning of "settling" a great person, using them to create their tile improvement which, with scientists is pretty much a waste of them. If you just mean that you have them hanging around your city, waiting for the modern era, that's great! It's not a bad thing to settle your scientists, but you won't get as much use out of them as if you'd used them to instantly research (bulb) a technology in the late game - you will never get as many :c5science: from the Academies as you would have from just clearing a late game tech completely.

    You don't really have to worry about being number one on the technology race if you have a load of scientists waiting to be used, but bear in mind that if you're following a very specific path on the tech tree to try and beeline certain techs, you may find you leave some stuff behind which brings your average on the tech tree down and means you have less techs complete than other AI. This isn't a problem, but you should go back every now and then and clear out the stuff you didn't really need. I find in a lot of my peaceful games, I don't end up getting Iron Working until I'm midgame, so I have 4-5 techs to clear out which only take between 1 and 3 turns each down there.
     

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