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Greece!

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by crdvis16, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Next up is Greece! They seem pretty straight forward to me but maybe others have interesting ways to play them that I'm not seeing?

    Hellenic League
    City-State Influence degrades at half and recovers at twice the normal rate. Each City-State alliance boosts the Strength of owned and allied Units by +5% (up to a maximum 25% total Strength bonus). All City-State territory treats your units as friendly units, allowing them to gain the friendly territory healing bonus within the borders of any CS even if you are at war with the one in question.

    Hoplite, replaces Spearman.
    +3 Combat Strength. Starts with the Great Generals II and Discipline (+5% Combat Strength, and an additional +5% Combat Strength when adjacent to a friendly unit) Promotions.

    Acropolis, replaces Amphitheater.
    3 Culture, 3 Tourism, and +10 Defense to this City. +33% Great Writer spawn rate in the City, and all Writers' Guilds produce +1 Gold. Has 2 slots for Great Works of Writing. When any unit defeats another unit, gain +5 Border Growth Only Culture, scaling with era. If a unit created by this city defeats an enemy unit, also recieve 25 Culture, scaling with Era. Nearby Dye and Silk provide +1 Culture and +1 Gold, and all sources of Lapis Lazuli worked by this City provide +2 Culture. +2 Culture if Themed. Costs 1 Maintenance.

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    Policies and Overview

    First, Greece is very much pushed toward war. The UA converts your CS alliances into a sizable unit strength buff, the Hoplite is a dominant early game UU, and the Acropolis' bonuses trigger off of killing units. Fighting needs to be part of Greece's plan throughout the game. Greece is particularly incentivized to go Authority in my opinion- the UU is very early and very dominant and rushing to it can make for very easy barbarian hunting and tribute demands. I imagine one could make tradition/progress work as well if the situation called for it.

    The UA also pushes Greece toward CS alliances and diplomacy, or at least maintaining 5 CS alliances in order to maximize your unit strength buff. Even just 5 alliances is a decent amount of effort to maintain so my inclination is that Statecraft as your Renaissance tree is probably the best bet to both make it easier to maintain and derive more benefits from those alliances. There is an added synergy to statecraft in that you will likely be at war with neighbors so sending trade routes to friendly/allied CSs will be a good option anyway, so you may as well get influence/turn from those routes.

    Be default I will likely go for Imperialism as my Industrial age tree- more benefits toward war should be useful if I plan to milk the Acropolis for all it is worth.

    Given my choices up to this point, I think leveraging war/conquering into a diplomacy victory is right up Greece's alley. Autocracy can further enable that. Aside from the many direct buffs to warfare for Autocracy, there's also:

    Iron Fist (Vassals can no longer rebel or be liberated by other Civilizations. Yields from Vassals and City-States increased by 50%, and +50% Worker improvement rate)

    United Front (Unit gifts to City-States generate 40 Influence. While at war, Influence with allied City-States does not decay, and Militaristic City-State unit gift rates triple)

    Tyranny (Can bully friendly City-States. Doing so decreases the Influence of all other Civs with that City-State by 25%, and increases your Influence by 25%)

    Along with the Autocracy national wonder (extra votes in the WC for every capital you control) there should be plenty to make CS alliances easier/more beneficial in order to get more votes for the win.

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    Early/Mid Game

    Greece is a very good civ to do the "rush spearmen/SoZ and tribute" strategy via Authority, only in Greece's case you're rushing the superior Hoplite. You can beeline to Bronze Working (even better if your luxury is improved via mines) and still get a 2nd city out thanks to Authority's free settler policy. There should be time to make/buy a few warriors in between and with any barbarian camp luck, immediately upgrade them into hoplites when they are unlocked. 3-4 Hoplites should be enough for tribute that early in the game with the option to DoW a CS and kill a warrior or two to increase your chances. As you bounce around demanding tribute you also work on developing your cities and building up your army.

    Depending on neighboring civs you would then need to make a decision on how soon you want to try to conquer. Given nearby neighbors you might want to try to conquer ASAP while your Hoplites have the largest advantage. If this is the case then it might be worthwhile taking the Drill->City Assault promotion line for your Hoplites as they would be pulling double duty of unit killing and city sacking until you can get siege units out.

    Obviously, at some point we will want to detour away from the bottom half of the tech tree in order to grab Acropolis in all cities ASAP. Ideally this would take place after an initial round of conquering when you need to play some catchup on infrastructure and consolidate your gains. Once Acropolis are up throughout your empire, though, it will be important to step back on the war pedal to get that culture flowing.

    At some point, gaining CS alliances will become easy and lucrative enough that it will overshadow tribute demands at which point it will make sense to go for alliances instead. Luckily, your UA should mean that CSs quickly recover to neutral after you've been demanding their tribute so pivoting to alliances should be made less painful.

    I've left religion out of the discussion thus far as I typically plan to conquer a religion when warmongering. If I am able to conquer a religion before it reforms or enhances then I might try to go for some of the reformation beliefs that help with vote counts in the WC and possibly a religious building like Orders to help with warmongering. I imagine I won't be able to be very choosy in this regard and might have to just settle for whatever I can get.

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    End Game

    Pretty simple- don't stop conquering to keep the culture coming. Aim for wonders that will aid in warfare (Bradenburg, etc) or the world congress (Westminster).
     
  2. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    But you could have a pantheon choice...
     
  3. doublex55

    doublex55 Chieftain

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    Probably god of all creation to get capital a head start on building up an early army. Maybe goddes of Protection for faster healing. Obviously pick a local pantheon if it is op with your start.
     
  4. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

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    Yeah, my default is usually all creation in games where I don't expect to found a religion myself.
     
  5. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

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    Quick update:

    Hoplites are indeed excellent for demanding tribute but their window of dominance in warfare is pretty short. Enemy spearman can somewhat hold their own against Hoplites in equal numbers and the swordsmen line matches them just fine. The real benefit to Hoplites in my game was actually their great general promotion. I was able to forward settle the Zulu and then take advantage of the multiple great generals I received by using citadels somewhat offensively to grind my way to his cities.

    Also, going Drill in order to get to city attack promotions on your Hoplites is probably not needed. If a city lacks walls then your Hoplites will likely knock it down fairly easily regardless, and if the city does have walls then a catapult is probably needed anyway. I'd probably recommend some Hoplites go for drill and city attacking but for others to pursue different promotion paths.

    Last- beelining for SoZ does not guarantee you'll get it, at least on Deity. I missed it by a handful of turns. I've still been able to knock the Zulu off my continent and will be going after Spain next. She has Conquistadors but hopefully my Hoplites turned Pikemen will counter them.
     
  6. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Considering that hoplites get both +3 CS and at least 10% CS (if they have just one unit next to them, which they always should)...you basically have an army of cheap swordsman at your command. With Drill, they can even take on early walled cities.
     
  7. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

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    The problem I had in my game during my invasion of the Zulu is that I never felt safe attacking his walled cities with my Hoplites even though they went Drill as the AI is just so much better at reprisals and sniping units that overextend or get low on HP. The last few patches have really improved the AI's tactics such that you don't only have to worry about the units you can see but also mounted/ranged units coming from out of sight to finish you off when you thought you were safe.

    If you attack very early on when its your Hoplites against his archers/spearmen then I think you can get away with Drilled Hoplites hitting walled cities and probably surviving. But once your enemy has horsemen, skirmishers, or swordsmen it felt too risky hitting cities with Hoplties. I started losing units and had to be much more conservative and methodical in my invasion. At that point, Drill felt like a somewhat wasted promotion which is why I think early Drill is good but later Hoplites might be better off going shock or Cover.

    Also, I'm seeing something in my current war against Spain that I've seen before and think is really interesting. I've been in a war with her for a LONG time, basically all of the Medieval era and into the Renaissance and was not able to really make headway toward taking a city (really tough terrain to fight in, she has her conquistadors, and the AI is much improved). That's fine though- I'm Greece so every unit I kill gives me culture so I'm not really in a rush to make peace.
    I start feeling the war weariness and have extra unhappiness in every city and even start getting close to 60% when the penalties will start to kick in. She's managed to kill quite a few of my units but I'm probably killing 3 of hers for every one of mine she takes. She offers peace repeatedly but I keep declining- I am able to build some happiness buildings, trade for luxes, etc to keep my happiness above water. At some point I notice that she just isn't able to replace her army anymore. Previously, I would kill a bunch of units and attempt to move in toward a city only for a fresh wave of units to push me back. However, now there just isn't a fresh wave. I move in toward her city and get in view of the cities behind and see only a few units around which are fairly easily killed off as they try to defend the city under siege. I've just toppled that city and will be moving on to the next set which look to be fairly undefended.

    It seems as though war weariness simply crippled her ability to defend herself. I have my own war weariness and reduced unit cap such that my army is much smaller than it could otherwise be but as a human I'm better at concentrating my forces. I wonder if she is also worse at handling happiness such that her cities have drastically reduced ability to produce units due to the unhappiness penalty. I can't see her happiness levels unfortunately (would have to wait for ideologies for that I suppose) though I do have a spy in her capital so perhaps I will check it to see how bad it is.

    I guess my point here is that wars of attrition can very much work against the AI if you have the patience for it. The AI typically starts out with a much larger army that it replaces rapidly as you kill it but given enough time war weariness and unhappiness will cripple their unit count and their ability to produce units. Of course, the caveat here is that you have to be able to sustain that long war as well. You need to minimize losses, handle the unhappiness, and make sure you don't have to sue for peace for other reasons (like another AI DoWing you, for instance). This seems to be how my wars go now- either I eventually cripple them through attrition and then rapidly take their cities like dominoes or I am unable to sustain the war for various reasons and have to accept peace at some point.
     
  8. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Chieftain

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    Agreed. I've seen the same on Immortal: grind, grind, grind, then they collapse.

    And the early grinds are painful because the AI units have 3 promotions out of the gate while your experienced ones are reaching 2 or 3 the hard way.
    I've had to revise which situations are safe vs Emperor and vs earlier AI versions - and I still make mistakes. But if I'm too careful, I don't make progress either and the AI manages to slip a wonder here and there, or out-tech me.
     
  9. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

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    Another update:

    My previous game with the Zulu, Spain, Rome, and Morocco on my continent felt like kind of a lost cause. Although I took the Zulu and Spanish capital they for some reason wouldn't capitulate and even later DoW'd me along with my strong neighbor Rome. Also, on the other continent there were some AIs that seemed like they were starting to run away. Along with a few mistakes I made in the early game from not being as familiar with Greece I decided I wanted to start a new game and retry.

    So far this game is going much better. My continent is myself, Sweden, Japan, and Morocco. Other continent is Indonesia, Shoshone, India, and Inca. I started in the far south with Sweden NW, Japan NE, and Morocco to the far north. I was able to get statue of Zeus this game (in the previous game I mistakenly thought animal husbandry was a pre-req for Bronze Working when in fact you only need Mining...). I did the usual Hoplite rush and was able to tribute a number of CSs before transitioning to offensive warfare against my closest neighbor Sweden. I was able to conquer and force him to capitulate, greatly aided by the fact that his UU doesn't come until later. His great general spawns giving full health to his army did hurt me a few times, though. Also, immediately after getting Hoplites I went for my Acropolis to make sure I would start getting culture from kills as soon as possible. I think Hoplites allow Greece to not be forced to reach for further military techs for a while as they are strong enough to hold their own while you get to other things.

    After the conquest of Sweden I set about allying the 5 or 6 CSs in my immediate area as I filled out the statecraft tree. 3 of those CSs were in prime positions along Japan's border to help me in my next invasion along with Sweden's vassalized cities also sharing a border with Japan. The first war with Japan went well in terms of getting culture from killing his units but I was not very likely to take his cities and eventually accepted peace with some good rewards. The second war soon thereafter went much better with railguns instead of cannons and I rather quickly took a city + his capital and forced capitulation (also now obtaining his religion). The bonus unit strength from allied CSs and the effect of having lots of great generals isn't obvious when playing as Greece but it surely helps overall and is probably why my wars are going fairly well.

    I'm now in the Industrial age, filling out Imperialism, and planning my invasion of Morocco. Japan and Sweden both share borders with him so my vassals will be able to draw some of his attention. I expect to be able to conquer him and then likely pivot towards more focus on CS alliances while building a navy with which to threaten the other continent if need be.

    I feel more fortunate this game that my biggest competitors happen to be on my own continent. Japan was the cultural runaway before I vassalized him and Morocco is my biggest CS/diplo rival. Them being within easy reach of my armies is much easier than if they were on another continent. If I am able to vassalize Morocco without much issue then I think this game should be a win as the 4 civs on the other continent do not seem to be running away. My biggest issue will be securing votes in the WC/UN and I think Autocracy should allow me to do that just fine with the backup of conquering more if necessary. At the very least I will probably pick fights with someone just to be able to kill more units for culture.
     
  10. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

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    I finally finished my game last night (warmonger games can be a real grind...) so here are my final thoughts on Greece and/or Autocratic Diplomacy games:

    I was able to conquer Morocco over the course of two wars. Happiness seems to do a good job at slowing warmongers down- either the puppets you take slow you down with their resistance unhappiness or war weariness starts hurting you and you sometimes need to sue for peace even if the war is going well because unhappiness is becoming a problem.

    One thing to note is that the culture from unit kills doesn't scale great into the late game. There were times in the mid game where unit kills were probably 50% of my culture gain while I was in the war whereas that fraction seems to go down significantly in the late game even when late game wars usually result in far more unit kills per turn. Your culture/turn just gets so large that the 150 culture or so per kill can't keep pace. My point here is that while I think you absolutely should be warring throughout the mid game as Greece you don't really miss out on as much if you don't continue to war in the late game.

    With Morocco vassalized I then controlled an entire continent as the master of Sweden/Japan/Morocco with Inca/India/Shoshone/Indonesia on the other continent near parity with each other. At this point I was near the top in techs and allied to around half of the 14 or so CSs left in the game as well as being competitive in policy count. In other words, this game should really be a win.

    I've also unlocked Autocracy around this time (which flips my vassals to Autocracy as well) and I eventually start using the diplomatic combo of "Total War" (50% easier to bully CSs) and "Tyranny" (can bully friendly CSs, raises your influence by 25% and lowers all others by 25%). This is a really strong combo- late game your influence level can often be in the ~2,000 range (and so is your competitor's influence) so demanding tribute can be a 1,000 influence point swing (+500 for you, -500 for everyone else). On average you can run your army around to different CSs and get a great diplomat's worth of influence swing out of it (along with the bonuses of the tribute, of course). This can be somewhat tedious to do but I was lucky enough with CS placement that I could park 4 different armies near CS clusters and demand tribute with 10 of the CS without much moving. I then got sphere of influence passed on the CSs that were out of the way and with that I was pretty much non-stop allied with just an occasional diplomat built to top some of them off.

    I should have this game in the bag, right? Well, long story short- I lost to an Incan science victory at around turn 435 or so with just 2 turns to a world leader vote that I had far above the required votes to win. The reasons for my loss are roughly the following:

    1) I'm lazy in the late game. After vassalizing Morocco I could have continued my rampage on the other continent but I was sort of burnt out and the idea of undertaking that invasion wasn't very appealing. I couldn't even bring myself to bother with loading up missile cruisers with nukes. I decided to just try to coast to a diplo win without leveraging my military and even then didn't do a great job at pushing my diplo victory by targeting specific techs like atomic theory, telecommunications, or globalization.

    2) Passing United Nations is hard and took like 3 attempts. Since you can't propose United Nations immediately after it fails (have to wait until the following session) this means I was delayed by a good 40 turns or so from moving the diplomatic victory along. I was surprised at how much the AI dislikes United Nations- they would often use their votes to shut it down even when other very controversial proposals were up for vote (sanctions, world religion, etc). I actually had to use almost all of my votes to get it passed on the third attempt and allow myself to get decolonized in the process. World Ideology was very easy to pass, on the other hand, because by the time it was available Autocracy was being followed by 6 of the 8 civs in the game (me, my 3 vassals, Inca who adopted it themselves and Shoshone who was forced to switch via pressure).

    3) I did a poor job of maximizing my vote count. While I did a good job of maintaining CS alliances and creating embassies I failed to get Palace of Westminster. I also didn't bother to use my religion to get more votes until after I had failed to pass United Nations twice and realized I needed every vote I could get. I had stolen Japan's religion and made sure my cities were all converted to Shinto but I didn't bother pushing my religion onto Sweden and Morocco and at some point Morocco even pushed Islam onto Japan. Once I realized what I was missing out on I quickly converted Sweden, Japan, and Morocco to Shinto and got world religion passed to put me over the edge for United Nations votes. Had I simply done that a little earlier in the game it would have been an easy win.

    Overall, Greece is a pretty fun civ to play. There aren't many civs that are encouraged to both warmonger and play the diplo game (I don't think I've ever bothered with the Autocracy diplo tenets in the past) so it was a nice change of pace for me.
     

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