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give me 5 squares between cities and i'll give you a cultural war.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by IronBrigade, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. IronBrigade

    IronBrigade Chieftain

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    i usually play monarch level occassionally upping to noble when i want more intensity. i often use a cultural strategy, especially when space race and diplomacy are disabled. sometimes even when cultural victory is disabled. i love culture. i'm good at that angle. i've won resounding cultural victories on both monarch and noble. i'm still too green to tackle anything higher.

    my early plan is to appease everyone who approaches me until i stabilize. i go full charge on technology and science early building any wonder that is science, cultural, or engineer related. i don't really stablilize until i have tanks rolling off the assembly lines. then, i will fear no enemy. oh, bombers too to lower city unit piles to feebleness. i do explore other units-navy to protect my shores and perhaps launch a harrassing invasion from the sea while my main forces are bludgeoning on the other side of their civ, choppers for pillaging, mech inf for defending the cities i capture and quieting rebellions. but armor can give one quite an edge.

    anyway, once tech is on a roll, i go for engineers and artist GPs. the engineers get used up on the big projects like 3 gorges, pentagon, and any wonder that has a potential to generate great artists. i usually end up with a crop of 4-6 great artists. by this point, i'm also expanded to the max as are most other civs (i usually play reg-large pangea with 4-6 civs). it is then that i start looking for spots two squares from any city that is on the border of another civ. i start converting to farms in my border areas at this time because i end up with lots of close cities and they all need feed. i creep forward with carefully planted cities focusing all of my cultural advantages (synagogues, cathedrals, etc) in these new cities. if things are tight and close, i'll send elvis in to stage a concert. even without elvis, i have had major expansions doing this while my culture wraps around enemy cities, beckoning their downfall to a flip.

    this scheme works best with only conquest/domination enabled. otherwise, i just win a cultural victory before any fireworks start. i will sometimes play on after a cultural victory if it looks interesting enough. anyway, my culture creep goes on for years as my colors slowly eke into neighboring civs. meanwhile, i'm only generating cash and military with my fully grown cities. the military keeps the other civs off my back and the cash pays for the cultural buildings (suffrage rocks at this stage). then, every 25 years or so i go 100% culture with all cities producing culture. i'm not sure what this does, game wise, but i like to think it helps my cultural borders penetrate enemy territory.

    eventually, i get bored and start hassling the civ that gave me the most grief in my early game buildup. spies descend. wires are cut. 'pleased' beelines to 'annoyed'. if they do not declare war, i have another angle. hopefully, one of the civs was so pleased with me that a defensive pact can be invoked. no matter what, at some point, civs get too crowded and someone declares war on someone. usually, it's not me. my military is very strong by this time. since most civs are pleased with me because i placated them during my growth, they will often ask me to join in. this, i will do on one condition-will it expand my empire?

    one particular game, victoria, who had hassled me up to the modern age with demands of radical social change and technology, was attacked by lovely catherine, with whom i had a defensive pact. her idea. well, the pact was cancelled but she invited me in anyway after a few turns. i didn't even hesitate. i only took 3 border cities but i laid to waste vickies stacks with endless stealth bomber runs as russian armor rolled in. i don't know what was up catherine's butt but she wiped out every city. razed them all. halfway through this, i approached vickie and offered peace. she accepted. but i knew she was finished as mao had also entered the fray from the other side of the continent. i went back to suffrage and wealth production except for a few cities. those cities i set to produce settlers. i followed the russian and chinese forces across england, planting settlers in key locations in their wake. by the time they eliminated vickie, my civ had doubled in size.

    it was loads of fun expanding so rapidly so late in the game. it was like early game with no worries. no wonders to build. no tree chopping. no track laying. just plant, defend, and start rushing (with suffrage) first cultural then economic buildings in the new cities. i only used one artist. it was to quiet a major victorian city i had captured that was enwrapped in british culture prior to elvis' concert. i also had a couple dozen workers on automatic trade route building and they were like a swarm of ants once hostilities ceased.

    so here i sit with 4 artists left, all is quiet, and two cities (ghengis' and mao's) just flipped my way. i see a spot that is exactly 2 squares from any other city and right on the chinese cultural border. mao is pleased with me. catherine's looking like the hair-flipping charmer she prevails to be. onward i plunge.
     
  2. Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet Chieftain

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    Sep 15, 2005
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    That's awesome. I like hearing game stories like that.

    So giving into all demands from your neighbors will put you in good relations later on in the game? I figured some empires would be hostile no matter the appeasement. Strategy makes sense though. Wars early on can cripple a nation just as it is reaching a point where it needs to grow. By avoiding such conflicts it puts you in a dominating position by the end game....bet Victoria never saw that coming.
     
  3. xonixs

    xonixs Warlord

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    Great stuff... :D
     
  4. IronBrigade

    IronBrigade Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
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    i don't give in to all demands. if someone wants my only marble for some stupid silk, or, perhaps, nothing, i clear the tables and give them music as a gift or maybe ask what they want for some other resource that isn't strategic and, of which, i have more than one. no matter what they offer, i give it. i'll give bananas for a world map. i'm not losing bananas or money some other civ could give me. i'm gaining time. one can always regain lost territory. never, lost time.

    someday i'll get bored of this and dive into ancient warfare. but for now, it's tracks and hardened steel.
     
  5. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    an Aussie in Boston
    Hmmn - sounds like a plan for my next game. I wonder what happens if you disable all victory conditions?
     
  6. LFaWolf

    LFaWolf Chieftain

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    Location:
    Sacramento, CA USA
    Hey care to share some pointers on cultural victory? I just won my first cultural victory at noble level but find it is harder than Civ3 to win a cultural victory, or maybe it is I am new.

    Also I never trade stone or marble for anything. They are too valuable IMO.
     
  7. The Condor

    The Condor On an excellent adventure

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    @ruff If you eliminate all the victory conditions you can't win;). Even if you take over the world you still play on. It is kinda like a real world version of the game: No one can win but everyone can lose;).
     
  8. Pentium

    Pentium Digital Matter

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    You win or lose when time runs out ...
     
  9. anomalek

    anomalek Chieftain

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    If you disable all victory conditions, you can still win with a "time victory" if you have not been annihilated by 2050.

    IronBrigade's gaming strategy resembles my own. I make a point early on of founding every religion, and of building as many wonders as possible as early as possible. I don't even build military units until barbarians start appearing. Also, as soon as you can start using the culture slider, pump it up by at least 10%. I practice appeasement early on. I try to build a very extensive road network and in particular to build roads around the entire pereimeter of my territory so that when I am ready for combat I can get in quickly. I fairly strictly avoid any military entanglement until I can build TANKS, at which point I am usually relatively well-to-do economically and technogologically miles ahead of my opponents.

    At that point - usually late 1800s - I completely shift gears. I switch the culture slider to 100%, and I set every single city to building tanks. Loads of them. In a few turns my neighbors borders will start edging back. I fill the new spaces with roads. Eventually I will pile up stacks of tanks as close as possible to the neighboring cities. When I feel ready I will start launching all-out invasions, one country at a time. With tank fleets I can suually eliminate a player within a few turns. Take another 3-5 turns to rest up and relocate troops, and then start on the next one. Best to plot out a schedule of countries to eliminate in advance. Two things to keep in mind - you want to consolidate territory so you dont have random potential enemies on all sides. I always play pangaia, so I try to dominate an edge of the continent and then push everything back. The other thing is that even though it is tempting to elilminate your most loathed opponents first, it is much easier and time-effective to go in geographic order. you don't want to waste time moving all your troops back and forth across the continent.

    I should add, of course, that these stragies only work on those rare occasions when the game itself is actually playable and doesn't have your compter sputtering and smoking from various programming defects.
     
  10. IronBrigade

    IronBrigade Chieftain

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    LFAwolf
    first, i get the levels mixed up. my setup defaults to noble. there's one level under that. monarch maybe? anyway, this has worked on both of those levels. actually, goober that i am, when setting up a custom game, i often forget to slink below noble and end up playing noble thinking i'm on monarch. it makes for an interesting game until i realize what i've done. lately, i've chosen napoleon for the military boost and the wonder boost. keeping a minimum military can be tricky but i've rarely been attacked prior to the modern age. lately, i play on the fast speed as i'm impatient.

    i wrote a long, involved description on how i stumbled on and can't seem to avoid achieving a cultural victory regularly. that turned out to be very confusing. so i'll condense it to some points. i'm not a micromanager, which is probably why i don't delve above noble.

    1. build any wonder you can any way you can, focusing on cultural (ga generating) wonders like parthenon and sistine chapel early, entertainment wonders later. i always chop build the pyramids. i'm not sure this is a valid tactic but it allows suffrage when i finally get some cash flow going and, of course, representation early for tech. cash helps rush wonders that are nearing their end of construction. in the last game, early on, i had 3 wonders going at once. this with only maybe 7 cities total. i also had to sharpen a lot of axes. any engineer is held to rush the important wonders. before they were done, oracle came around and i went for that too. i didn't get it but i tried.

    i've never build religious wonders or merchant wonders unless i'm doing particularly well and have nothing better to attempt. i do go for production wonders like the 3 gorges dam.

    2. wonders are built in mostly 2 cities with remnants in a third. these cities invariably become my legendary potentials.

    3. appease any civ who isn't pleased with you any way you can.

    4. trickle military units out early for no other reason than to look like you can defend yourself. focus these units in border cities.

    5. use great artists to boost culture in your three cultural cities. join early and create art later.

    6. i'm not sure of the specifics or value of this but i also focus on culture in my non-legendary cities too with religion mostly but i'll build anything that gives a cultural boost over, say, a factory. i'm tuned in to those purple note icons.

    7. i pay close attention to the culture/science sliders juggling them with cash flow equivalent to rush a wonder toward the end of its build. to do this, i keep science as high as possible early, even running in the red for turn after turn, to get those techs i need to develop culture. music is always a goal.

    8. don't ignore military buildup. just keep it at a minumum to let aggressive civs know you're still on the ball, until things are rolling culturally. then the armor starts rolling out of the factories.

    what i end up with is a cultural civ, not a couple cultural cities trying to achieve cultural legend while the rest are doing something else. i don't know if this helps. i've never seen anything that indicates it does. but i do it anyway.

    i'm sure a micro-manager could wean this down to more specific actions. it's just not my style. have faith. things seem very tense for a long time as you balance between military strength/appeasement and cash/science/culture. cities seem tied up in endless wonder building and your military seems minimal at best. i seem to reach a point where it looks hopeless. i have three cities fairly depleted building wonders and little else. the peripheral cities are newer and barely able to crank out enough buildings let alone a reasonable military. unhappiness abounds. sometimes i will build a wonder in a non-legendary city simply out or necessity. this could mean that almost half my cities are tied up in wonder building while ghengis khan is giving me dirty looks every 3 turns. give him something. anything. often, if necessary. you will get it back in your revenge either before or after you've won a cultural victory. and, at some point, things stabilize and you can back-build those structures that were not so essential earlier.

    i ignore happiness to the point of smoke. when i see smoke, i worry. but i often slog on, at least until the wonder is completed in that pit of despair. they'll be happy later. i need intense concentration early on and check everything every turn. the last thing i want is to have 4 wonders under construction with only 10 or so cities, max, and have someone declare war on me. i also tend not to approach other civs too much. i wait for them to approach me. by mid-game, i venture into my own form of diplomacy. i never trade a strategic resource or currently important tech. if asked in a threatening manner, i simply give bananas or rice or hit movies as a gift. i also give away scouts once their use has expired as well as remnant warriors and spearmen to particularly threatening civs. this seems to appease them somewhat. in many games i've had 5 civs pleased with me by the time the armor rolls. i am not so pleased anymore.

    that was the short version. turned out a little longer than i expected. i'm not precisely sure what i'm doing right and apologize for that. i fly by the seat of my pants. but like i said, my first monarch game ended up, surprisingly, in a cultural victory. it just matches my play style. even when i turn off cultural victory, i still go for culture. it's such a bonus when you want to expand after all the land is taken.

    before posting this, i read anomalek's post above this. we are very similar except i'll play with a cultural war a lot more. i find massive military undertakings to be painstakingly tedious. i've attacked other civs with over 100 modern tanks, close to a hundred mech inf, and around 200 bombers. i pummel them into submission. the only thing slowing me down is the two square move of the tanks in enemy territory. i always keep a reserve of mostly tanks with a few bombers to reduce piles for the inevitable sea invasion or approach through another civ.the ai seems to favor.

    mostly, my warfare is more limited. i want territory. all of it. however i can get it. if some other civ wants to war with someone, i'll take the spoils if they raze cities. i'll even give them some cash to help. but not oil or aluminum. i'd rather stealth bomb when prop fighters are about rather than jet planes. it's almost unfair.
     
  11. Requies

    Requies Prince

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    Do you mean one level EASIER? or HARDER?

    one level EASIER is warlord. One level HARDER is Prince. Monarch is one level harder than prince.

    Req
     
  12. IronBrigade

    IronBrigade Chieftain

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    req

    one level easier. i want to play warlord but often end up playing noble because i forget to change it. the difference is i can get more wonders in warlord. i'm finally becoming bored with that level. in noble, i have to focus only on the specific cultural wonders once i realize i'm in the more difficult mode. i played monarch once and it was very hard work to maintain my play style. i only managed a slight tech edge in the techs i wanted. a lot were left behind and either recovered in trades or when they were cheap, turnwise. it's a lot more work than i look for.
     
  13. NinjaGnat

    NinjaGnat Chieftain

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    Yea, if you are massing tanks and your computer foes don't have at least infantry to counter them you should probably try moving up a level. As your stratagy involves large wonder construction, this may have a large impact on it. You'll fall to equal or behind in the tech race, giving you less time to build wonders, you will need to build more military to combat more aggressive AI. However, I find it more fun to actually pick the wonders I need and fight to get them, rather than snagging them all without a challenge.
     
  14. IronBrigade

    IronBrigade Chieftain

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    i totally agree except i'm sending tanks against tanks, mech inf, sam, artillery, choppers and what-not. i wouldn't bother a civ that was behind me. more likely, i'll help them. my learning curve is very gradual and, as you can probably see, i'm stuck in a cultural rut. but it leaves a ton of options for me to explore as time goes on. it's part of what shines in this game. i'm too old for a regular, constant, several-day struggle with some ai. every once in a while i'll take it on. but basically, i'm still learning.
     

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