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GOTM 04 - Pre-Game Discussion

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Game of the Month' started by ainwood, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Ribannah

    Ribannah Fighter Druid

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    You don't have to research Masonry to see stone and marble, I think.
     
  2. DonaldKipper

    DonaldKipper Chieftain

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    Correct.

    You can see 2 squares across water, which is why the warrior will be able to see that extra land tile
     
  3. Thrallia

    Thrallia Prodigal Staffer GOTM Staff

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    no, but you do have to research it to be able to use them.

    I'm definitely going fishing first, and will gamble for hinduism...if I lose out on it, I will still be 2 steps closer to Judaism than most AI are, hopefully...will only need masonry and monotheism
     
  4. CaptainEO

    CaptainEO Chieftain

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    I just finished playing a couple of test games with the GOTM4 settings (though not the exact starting conditions). I took two of them up to 1AD. In both cases I was surviving pretty well, not too far behind in tech, but last or second-to-last in score - definitely not in a position to win, except perhaps diplomatic or cultural (keep in mind I've never won a game higher than Prince level :)). Here's what I learned:

    - In most of my starts, I was on a very large continent with 3 or 4 other civs. The land area "feels" big compared to other Standard maps I've played.

    - The map tends to be relatively resource-poor. Military resources (copper, iron, and horses) are few and far between. Health/food resources and luxuries are somewhat more common.

    - The interior of the continent is pretty barren - mostly plains, hills, and mountains, not many rivers or much grassland. Few attractive city sites. Most of the good cities were on the coast.

    - The AIs expand to fill the continent very quickly. Getting hemmed in is a big danger. Even when I wasn't totally hemmed in, I was usually surrounded by 2 AIs who had many more cities and much more territory, leading to a substantial military/tech advantage. It seems like moderately fast expansion is critical, especially with regards to the scarce military resources.

    - Founding Hinduism is very likely if (and only if) you make it your first tech.

    - Barbarians were never much of a problem. A couple of scouts/warriors heading inland, combined with AI expansion, really limits barb spawning. In all my games I think I only saw one barb city. The only time I felt in serious danger was when barb axemen started appearing when I didn't have access to copper, iron, or horses.

    - AIs build Oracle around 1200BC. I tried the Civil Service slingshot a couple times just for fun - I got it on two out of four attempts, but only by neglecting far too much development in other areas. Not a practical technique at this difficulty level, though it's fun to advance two eras in one turn :).

    - It doesn't seem like expanding overseas is a good option. If you reach the other big continent, usually it's already dominated by one or two AIs. Although on some maps I've seen one or two small islands with good resources, which the AI tends to ignore. Nonetheless I can't see how you could reach Astronomy reasonably early without delaying other, more important research, or getting it from a friendly AI.
     
  5. CaptainEO

    CaptainEO Chieftain

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    (double post, sorry)
     
  6. Big Pig

    Big Pig bringing home the bacon

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    I have played 10 or so test starts so far using WB to recreate the starting position and have the following observations:

    1. Moving the warrior W reveals the following tiles to the west:
    - the coastal grassland tile W SW of the warrior's new position
    - the sea tile SW SW of the warrior's new position
    - the grassland hill tile W NW of the warrior's new position

    Similarly, moving the warrior NW reveals:
    - the grassland hill tile W W of the warrior's new position
    - the forrested plains hill tile NW NW of the warrior's new position

    This is not obvious using Ronald's save as an extra column of tile to the west are visible in this save compared to the GOTM start save.

    Although neither moves are likely to change the decision of most people to settle in spot, moving W has the potential to reveal the most extra resources. I suppose if resourses are present on either (or both!!) of the grassland tiles revealed, it may make an argument for settling S SW, which keeps all the original resourses and gains these new ones - but loses 2 forests and the benefits of settling on a plains hill

    2. In all of my starts (unlike most other people's experience) Hinduism was researched first by the AI (before I could discover it going polytheism first) and Buddhism later (researching meditation first I could beat the AI to it - fishing then meditation made it neck and neck).

    The 2 AIs starting with mysticism in my game were Saladin and HC. Do different AIs value polytheism more as a starting tech and others meditation more? If so by finding the AIs we are up against (using the Top 5 cities screen) could help our decision as to which (if any) religious tech to go for first

    3. As has previously been mentioned, founding and converting to an early religion increases the max city size in the early game from 4 to 5. The capital will grow quickly especially with a couple of fishing boats on the clams aand allowing an extra population may make a big difference, allowing an early extra specialist for example for an early GP.

    4. The oracle is relatively easy to get if following a religious tech start to writing and can be used to get CoL (and another religion) if timed to complete after writing. If research of masonry is avoided (ie assuming there is no stone/marble nearby), the GProphet from the oracle (+any prophet specialists) can be used to research towards a very early Civil Service. (If masonry is researched first, then GProphets will research monotheism and then theology instead)

    5. I have generally left it quite late to build workers as workboats are probably more useful initially - but I have yet to try the BW first start

    Should be an interesting GOTM. Yet to win an emperor game (or a cultural victory) and will probably get the award for the lowest scoring conquest victory in GOTM 3(!) - so very interested to see what the Adventurer class bonus will be. Good luck to all
     
  7. akots

    akots Poet

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    Actually, Emperor is a fair level. It seems that going to bronze working first is the safest way to survival. Other safe way is hunting and archery. All other beginning research paths are very risky in general. Since we start with mining, the most logical path would be bronze working first.
     
  8. karmina

    karmina Warlord

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    My top priorities will be Hinduism and Stonehenge, to get an early Prophet as soon as possible. When playing Ronalds savegame, the religion spread was incredible after I completed the Hindu special wonder - a couple of turns afterwards I was already getting 6 gpt, enabling 100% research for quite a long time...imo this strategy is even better on emperor than on lower levels, because both upkeep costs and number of early AI cities are much higher.

    Of course, this comes to a price: When I quit my testgame, I had no other cities, every AI had 6-7, I had lost my second city rather immediately to a barb archer, and when I tried to capture an Egypt city with 5 axemen, I lost 2 immediately and the other 3 on the next turn when Hatsheps struck back :lol:

    I don't see the need to go for pottery early, since at least 5 tiles will be much better for a long time. I'm also wondering if a worker first will be really the best option - there's only one mine to build for quite some time if you go for stonehenge, polytheism and fishing first.
     
  9. ducker

    ducker Chieftain

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    it DOES look as if there's a ocean boarder (perhaps river??) on the north side...
     
  10. culdeus

    culdeus Emperor

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    I regenerated 20 maps. I found the following:

    40% of the time everyone is on the same single island. This suprised me a great deal.

    15% of the time you are alone on an island

    10% of the time you start with one and only one AI on your island

    25% of the time you split the AI up about 50/50 between two reasonable size islands.

    The resources tend to be "game" heavy and mineral heavy. The "calendar" resources are the most rare IMO.
     
  11. culdeus

    culdeus Emperor

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    Looks like ocean to me.
     
  12. Tech Step

    Tech Step Warlord

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    @Ducker


    just thought that I would point out that I mentioned this a few posts ago ;)
     
  13. culdeus

    culdeus Emperor

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    Ugh, now into doing practice games and a few things suck. Alot.

    1. Tech has to dip to 80% before even the second city is founded unless you pop a gold hut. Sigh.
    2. AI starts with a worker and thus gets a huge jump on it's cities.
    3. Alphabet isn't as powerful (or is it) because probably it's the only thing you can trade away that the AI doesn't have yet. So instead in Prince trading away Writing for all the worker techs you have to trade away alphabet. Not always a good choice.
    4. Getting stonehenge is pretty easy with industrious leader.
    5. Fast workers rock because they can really lay down road fast when there isn't much to do and you can leave them unprotected because they can move away quickly.
    6. The AI expands ludicriously fast and sealing off borders is more important it seems than good city placement (to a point).
    7. Barbs are not a big deal. Use fog busters and they are no problem.
    8. The happy limit is a major problem in the capital. You almost don't want the food tiles as using them isn't an option. I bet most people aren't working the clams by 1000BC. Whipping is very dangerous.
     
  14. Big Pig

    Big Pig bringing home the bacon

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    In fact I found Tech drops to 80% by turn 2. By the time of the 2nd city it is often 60 or 70% (depending on how far it is from the capital and how much clam commerce is coming in)

    I agree. The AI seems to gobble up the techs very fast. Building the Oracle for CoL gives another tech the AI is often keen to trade for.

    Fast workers can be sent out of cultural boundaries to chop or build roads unescorted as they can move into and out of forest in 1 turn to avoid nearby predators/barbs. Someone made the interesting suggestion of using idle workers as scouts by virtue of their high movt and ability to move out of trouble

    Also, I think I read in a forum that barbs tend to go after the points leaders preferentially - usually this will be the AI in the early game on emperor:)

    Why? Surely it can help keep excessive growth in check? (Although of course too much whipping combined with rapid regrowth will lead to unhappiness
     
  15. Thrallia

    Thrallia Prodigal Staffer GOTM Staff

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    I played about 10 practice openings.

    In 9 cases, Buddhism was founded before Hinduism
    In 6 cases, I was able to research fishing before hinduism and still found hinduism
    In 2 cases, I was alone on the island
    In 1 case, Everyone was on one island
    In 4 cases, Everyone was split between two islands
    In 3 cases, There were civs on 3-4 different islands

    In every case: Upkeep starts out at 2gpt, thus making research slide down to 80% on your second turn. Only gold huts can allow you to keep it at 100% from the start

    In most cases, by 3000BC the AI has 2-5 archers, 2 cities, and at least one worker

    Also discovered: happiness limit of 4 in capital, 3 in non-capital really sucks. Religion is almost a must-have so you can get an extra 1 in each city. Plus the gold from the religious building will allow your research to be higher for just about as long as you'll need to get villages/towns(as long as it spreads)
     
  16. mike p

    mike p King

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    The happiness limit does suck, but I played a trial game last night on Immortal. Started next to Alex and Monty, so it wasn't a particularly long game...but it did give me a better idea of what to expect for resources on this type of map.

    Anyway, since we are aparently on the south side of the map, I'd wager there's probably silver and fur to the south and/or west as well as more deer, since they seem to occur mostly in the polar regions. The plus side of the generally crappy terrain in the extreme latitudes is that the happiness resources generally only require mining and hunting, as opposed to calendar or iron working (jungle/gems). So depending on the terrain to the west, an early religion might not be necessary to raise the happiness limit some. But this makes me think I want to go hunting and archery rather than agriculture and animal husbandry after fishing.

    Stonehenge is a cheap way to get the GP points accumulating so I'll probably prioritize that as well. Need to think about the Great Lighthouse too, it looks like most of our initial cities could be placed along the coast.
     
  17. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

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    Easiest way - and normally works for me - is to have your warriors camped out easing FOW and making it less likely that barbs appear. But when the barbs do appear, if the odds aren't good (usually = if your warriors aren't on forested hill), have them run away. Retreat back to the cities where the cultural bonus will normally ensure the barbs die.


    If you take care to link up happiness resources quickly, the happiness limit quickly goes up. This is also one area where it may really make the pyramids worth going for (representation and hereditary rule will both give you extra happiness, and if you do get beaten building them, you'll have a lot of extra gold to up your research with).
     
  18. culdeus

    culdeus Emperor

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    Hi, the AI STARTS with 2 archers, 2 scouts, 1 worker, 1 settler for 6 total units.
     
  19. culdeus

    culdeus Emperor

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    I said that whipping was dangerous

    I see lots of happiness problems. I like whipping when I know I have a bit of a ceiling over my head to not bump into angry worker issues. This is tough with this start and might require cottaging a few plains early just to keep growth down if whipping is desired. Of course if there are some extra happy units like fur/silver/gold nearby this isn't that much of a problem.

    Suggestions for playing levels

    Easiest - Start with what the AI has + The Wheel + Fishing

    Easy - Start with what the AI has

    Neutral - Start as is
     
  20. KingdomBrunel

    KingdomBrunel Warlord

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    I suspect you're right. Any chance of those playing Adventurer playing the same map at Monarch level this month? I'd certainly have a better chance of getting to the end (although anyone looking at my GOTM3 performance may still disagree). All adventurers would obviously have to be excluded from winning overall, but I don't imagine anyone playing at that level would have a problem with that.

    Just my twopenneth...
     

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