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Going tall: The best way to start

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Mike III, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Mike III

    Mike III King Mike III

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    Going tall is THE BEST way to start in the ancient era. doing this yields you unmatched benefits that you would never find anywhere else. Popping it grants you free aqueducts. one other branch gets you free monuments. The free buildings go in your first 4 cities. These free buildings collectively save you at least 20 gold per turn, a vital advantage on emperor and above. More money in your profits equals more cash for building a large army to take over your neighbor early. Also, happiness and money is made for population in your capital. More money made and more happiness is all the better. Then comes wonders. We need stonehenge to get a pantheon and a religion for tithe or church property. Maybe the great library. Or the oracle. What ever wonder you need, tradition is good for beelining a wonder when you need it fast. These wonders do you magic, just like RG3 and andrew luck do magic for their teams in unlikely circumstances. Popping tradition is good for building up early to become strong and build your economy. Popping honor is not worth it at first because unless you are a first are first kill person, you wont make much money off of killing troops. Tall is the way to go. Hope it helps.:king:
     
  2. ahawk

    ahawk King

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    I'd agree that Tradition, since G&K, is an even better way to go than ever many times. But, it may be a little hyperbolic to suggest that Tradition is hands-down the best way to go in the ancient era regardless of civ and difficulty level. Difficulty level alone vastly changes the game: on Emperor and up, it's probably best to go tall a huge percentage of the time. However, King and on down it varies, since the AI is less likely to attack in large numbers early on and you'll often have a bigger window to expand and take up land.

    Beyond that, some civs have every reason to be played wide, if viable. The Maya, for one, have a UB that gives extra raw faith and raw science combined, at a very early time in the game, which gives every incentive to build lots of cities. Likewise, China's UB provides science and raw gold early on, as well.

    And other civs have good reason to go with Honor. The Aztecs can stack their UA with Honor and earn a lot of culture off farming lowly barbs.

    I'd say that on Emperor and up, Tradition is what I start with 75% of the time, Liberty 15%, and Honor 10%. On King on down, I'd say Tradition is what I start with 60% of the time, Liberty 25%, and Honor 15%. After G&K, Tradition is better than ever, yes, but it's still not necessarily the best option in every imaginable individual case of civ, difficulty, and starting area.
     
  3. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    I won an emperor cultural victory with Monty going tall with just three cities. I had 2 40s and a 20. I was able to stack almost every growth multiplier in my cities. I later added a fourth city. I didnt need the piety tree or rationalism to fill 5 trees. Yes, it was a late victory, but still the point is get 2 size 40 cities like that and you can do anything.
     
  4. Mike III

    Mike III King Mike III

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    yeah, youre right. its good on emperor and up.
     
  5. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

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    I'd agree that Tradition is the easiest and most forgiving start, but I don't find it any better or worse than Liberty in many cases.

    Spoiler :
    Turn 70 6th city up.
    View attachment 338076

    Turn 115 (1AD) Population begins to boom.
    View attachment 338075

    I was all set to sit back and cruise towards science victory, but Bismark threatens to take the whole eastern half of continent and runaway. I reply by picking up Japan and begin to burn Bismark's empire (the gap lower left of center had a few of Germany's expansions)

    Turn 271 science victory, delayed by a handful of turns trying to take Mecca. If I had been able to drop it, I was going to delay game, burn the 7k+ gold, and take out Berlin before winning. But, Bismark was being difficult so he gets to live... for now.

    View attachment 338074
     
  6. ense7en

    ense7en n7

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    Wow that's some rather nice happiness considering how many cities early on.

    A lot of unique luxs i assume?

    I like being able to settle a lot of cities if there is space, but i find it's really tough to maintain happiness which stifles growth, which makes Liberty much harder to get a solid start than Tradition (for me).
     
  7. iconocast

    iconocast Prince

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    they are both great starting strategies. the difference comes in how they fare after ancient era
     
  8. Aldhissla

    Aldhissla Chieftain

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    To me Liberty doesn't seem viable because I rarely find enough lux resources to warrant settling more than 4 or at most 5 cities anyway. Once I'm able to get happiness somewhere else I'm going to be in a better position to expand.
     
  9. The Pilgrim

    The Pilgrim Deity

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    Mercantile ally. :) They've got nerfed a little, but not enough to make them negligible.
     
  10. Donaskme

    Donaskme Warlord

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    Had the Netherlands last night with Amsterdam in a huge open high-food area bounded on the West by a mountain range, and a wide empty desert four tiles to the East. Had an oasis and three salts, but not much else. No place for a second city except the desert, and certainly nowhere for a third or fourth city anywhere close.

    So I took a gamble, popped my second city on the single hill in the middle of the desert, and beelined Petra. Got lucky and Petrafied my desert, but wasn't able to get the desert belief for my pantheon unfortunately.

    Long story short, 302 CV (my best ever) going fatboy, double love-handles with a triple chin-roll obese. Both cities over 40 in size. Only attacked once by Oda, who dribbled in a slow stream of insta-dead losers for a couple hundred years, then pled for peace. Happiness was through the roof, cash was rolling in, never had an issue.

    Had Bismark to my North going ICS with a bajillion cities four tiles apart in a perfect grid built out of the remains of Babylon and Carthage ... and no religion whatsoever. Needless to say, two of my Great Prophets wandering his lands, and my religion rapidly took over the world, accelerating my victory through Germanic piety multiplication.
     
  11. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    Yup, I'm telling you. There is some dynamic to this size 40 thing. You should really try and get a super city going every time. The issue is where and how? Because it might not always be possible to grow your cap that big.
     
  12. Aldhissla

    Aldhissla Chieftain

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    I think that would only be worthwhile if you get freedom. Unless you have a whole array of specialists + bonuses I'm pretty sure you can come up with better ways to spend your happiness and time.
     
  13. Biologist

    Biologist Researcher

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    Tradition may nearly always have a bigger payoff in the short term, but you have to think about what's best for you empire and intended victory type going forward. Let's say you're trying to win a Science Victory (in my opinion, one of the most versatile victory types). Generally, it's hard to produce a competative number of beakers throughout the game when you have few cities.

    This gives you three options:
    1) You can start tall (building National College quickly) and go out and conquer a ton of puppets, using them to provide the necessary BPT and annexing as necessary.

    2) You can REX early and go wide, settling, say, 6-10 cities peacefully.

    3) You can try a combination of the above, with an initial tall stage followed by rapid expansion midgame through settling or conquest. I just played a game as the Spanish in which I stayed at 2 cities until I was able to expand to the New World (Terra map).

    All of these approaches can be equally valid, but I would argue that all of them benefit more from opening Liberty rather than Tradition. You get a Worker and Settler for free, saving valuable hammers and gold for producing things like military units and Libraries. The bonus to building production helps you get those valuable research buildings up and running more quickly. The happiness provided by Meritocracy outstrips that provided by Monarchy when you have 20+ cities in your empire (as often happens to me when I play for a Science victory).

    I'm not saying that going wide and picking Liberty is always better than tradition, and I've used Tradition starts in many games (including some Science starts, especially as Siam to get free Wats). Tradition is clearly better for culture games, and has other uses as well. I'm just saying that I'm not convinced that Tradition is always the best start in every case, over the long term.
     
  14. loki75

    loki75 Chieftain

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    In my science games, I always go tradition. My goal is to have, by turn ~100, 4 cities, National College, 4 archers, and reached education and construction.
    Depending on the map, this will results in slight unhappiness, cash shortage or dead by turn 60. If I get through, I win <t240.
    If I play the Incas, I usually try to get 1 or 2 more cities up deep in the mountains. Terrace farms can get this kind of city to size 20+ :)
     
  15. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

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    One of the perks behind Liberty is quick map control. True, it doesn't work on all maps, but when the opportunity is there it works great.

    Just because Tradition is known for four cities and Liberty for going wide doesn't mean you can't stay small as Liberty. There are other sources of growth percentage and needing to build aqueducts isn't the end of the world. The +2 food and growth bonus in the capital isn't even that big of a deal once you consider all the extra sources, and capital potential is more limited by tiles available than a single policy.

    IMO there are only two main differences between the two trees. 15% wonder bonus vs. a single free GP and massive happiness boost early vs. massive happiness boost later (if expanding/puppeting). The rest is more or less equal. If happiness allows (like the above game I posted), that difference can be ignored. If you aren't after a specific wonder/strategy, that one can be ignored as well.
     
  16. The Pilgrim

    The Pilgrim Deity

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    I agree that Liberty is still very good. The nerf was not that big and we all used to worship it for almost two years. :) However, Tradition has been buffed so much, it's hard to skip it now. But no, it's not a cookie cutter. Sometimes it's best to go tall and sometimes wide. Just sayin'...
     

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