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Harappa Strategy Guide

Discussion in 'Gameplay Guides' started by Mxzs, May 28, 2016.

  1. Mxzs

    Mxzs Chieftain

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    The Harappan civilization is a fun, challenging addition to the RFC/DoC line up. It's a nice alternative to Egypt and Babylon for those wanting to play a short, intense game that doesn't involve long load times; and as a long-term play -- a civilization to manage beyond its UHV conditions -- it's rewarding right up to the moment that the Mughal spawn rips its guts out with some devastating flips.

    But this post is about winning a Harappan UHV. The strategy outlined is for the Monarch level.

    [One caveat: I'm playing a slightly modified version of DoC, one where the Conqueror and Seljuk events have been disabled. But I don't think this makes a difference to the strategy, as the Harappan UHV game end even before Persia spawns.]

    Harappan UHV
    1. Establish trade connection with another civilization by 1600 BC (Turn 50).
    2. Build 3 Baths and 2 Walls by 1500 BC (Turn 54).
    3. Have a total population of 20 by 800 BC (Turn 87).

    The Arena
    The Indus, like the Nile and the Mesopotamian river systems, is a fertile area that can quickly grow and support large cities. But the Indus comes with a unique advantage and a unique disadvantage. The advantage is that it is a very placid region during the time that you're trying to achieve your UHV. Only the peaceful Indians will spawn nearby during your stay, and the barbarians in my experience keep to their side of the border. Fighting -- an inevitable challenge for Egypt and Babylon -- is not an issue unless the player makes it one.

    The disadvantage is that Hinduism appears and spreads early to your empire, long before you will be able to get Organized Religion or Priesthood, and this will cause serious stability issues. Internal disorder, not external invasion, is the existential challenge.

    Achieving the Victory Conditions
    Establishing a trade connection
    The first victory condition requires that you open a trade route with another civilization. To do this you need to explore the Indus valley to the coast and then westward to the mouth of the Euphrates/Tigris complex. Once Sailing is discovered, trade can move along this route to Babylon. You don't even need Writing for an open borders agreement -- the connection is enough for this condition.

    There are two challenges here. The first is that to trace this route you will have to move through Shushan. This involves declaring war on that Independent city AND maintaining (or reestablishing) contact with Babylon on Turn 50. The way to do this is to send your starting Warrior instantly westward, tracing the necessary route, and into Shushan territory by skirting the tiles south of the city to move into the northern part of the Arabian peninsula. By moving fast you can make the transit before Shushan can mount a counterattack, and once you're south of Babylon you will be safe from their reprisals. Then you can camp the unit on the Babylonian border until Sailing has been discovered.

    The second challenge is discovering Sailing within the deadline. But you also have a deadline on discovering Masonry. At higher levels of the game it becomes a tight challenge getting both these techs before time runs out.

    Because the second UHV requires both a tech discovery and some builds, it is best to beeline Masonry first, and Sailing second. With your Warrior in position, you only have to discover Sailing before Turn 50 in order to capture the first UHV. This can be done with proper city settlement and close management of the tax rate to keep the treasury at or near zero.

    Building 3 Baths and 2 Walls
    Masonry is needed to build Baths and Walls, and the discovery of that tech is the player's first priority, for with Masonry also comes the Slavery civic that will let you whip the buildings out within the deadline. It doesn't matter whether you use the Mysticism or Mining prerequisites to get there: they cost the same and, for reasons I'll explain below, neither tech will do you any good at the Monarch level.

    So immediately upon settling your first city, beeline Masonry, and instantly switch to the Slavery civic on getting it. Use it to whip Baths in your first 3 cities, and (if necessary) whip Walls in 2 of them. Again, proper city settlement will get you there in time to meet the deadline. If you do it right, you can even get the two Walls up in time without whipping them.

    Population of 20
    This is where the unhappiness that comes from religious disunity will be a problem. You have to grow city populations in an era when there are no happiness bonuses to counteract disunity and whipping. At higher game levels this means that cities will go into unhappiness with relatively small populations. This can lead to secession or even collapse before you can meet the third goal.

    The solution is to spread your population out among several cities, so that each can be kept small while still reaching the total imperial population this UHV demands. An empire with 2 cities needs an average size of 10 to meet the goal; but an empire with 5 cities needs an average size of only 4. With Harappa, you can build the latter within Core, Historical, or Contested boundaries while still getting the population of each up to 4. This is a third place where proper city placement is vital.

    Placement of Cities
    I do not say that the solution I give here is the only solution; I only say that it works.

    The first three cities -- the ones that will whip out Baths and Walls -- I put on the Sheep Hill in the very north; at the starting location; and on the tile 2 south of the Marble. These are full of resources that can help cities to build both population and infrastructure quickly. Then, after these cities have finished the builds for the 2nd UHV condition, I put two more cities in the south, the first on the tile 1 west of the Marble, and the second on the tile 1 east of the cotton. You will have to carefully arrange the work plots of the four cities clustered near and south of the Marble so that they grow and can maintain a population of at least four.

    At higher levels, it may make a difference what order you build your first three cities in. At the Monarch level, I moved my Settler up to build my capital on the Sheep, even though this wasted a couple of turns. But that area -- though technically a Contested area -- is so rich that I quickly made up for the delay. The second city I built south of the Marble, and only built on my starting location when I built the third city.

    One reason it is possible to get so much done in so little time is that Harappan cities start with a population of 2, and their City Builders (replaces Settlers) are dirt cheap. To get cities up and running ASAP, I chose 2 City Builders as my first two builds in the capital, and only then switched to other items. The absence of barbarians or competitors early in the game means that the cities do not need garrisons except to forestall unhappiness at the lack of protection, and you can safely postpone building Warriors to garrison them until after you have built the Baths and Walls.

    City Management and Stability Management
    Finally, you absolutely must monitor your cities so that Overcrowding does not tip the cities over into unhappiness. There will be no luxuries or Happiness buildings this early in the game to calm the population; you will not have time to research techs to change civics or to build temples. Religious disunity and unhappiness after the spread of Hinduism will quickly turn your empire Unstable, and after that you will be courting secession, which will kill your chance of meeting the population goal. Turn off growth in cities once Happiness and Unhappiness are in perfect balance. You can let the cities grow again ONLY if adopting Hinduism as State Religion (or its subsequent spread to a city) raises the Happiness number again.

    At higher game levels I managed stability by turning off research altogether after I got Sailing. The treasure I accumulated did nothing for me, but the techs would have done nothing either except force stability checks that would have killed my empire. This means that you will quickly run out of things to build in your cities, and will probably wind up with a bunch of Warriors.

    Workers
    You will notice that I haven't mentioned Workers. That's because you don't need them until after you've hit your Golden Age. Given the small population sizes you need for your cities, and the fertility of the Indus flood plains, you don't need to improve the landscape until late in the game. Even the Marble and Wheat can go unimproved, since the latter will only raise your population past what you want, and whipping -- not production -- will give you the only useful buildings in your cities. This, by the way, is why it doesn't matter whether you research Mysticism or Mining as the prerequisite for Masonry. Mining production isn't needed, and pagan temples are useless without Pantheon, which you can't research without endangering imperial stability.

    Late in the game, though, after the cities have reached their critical size, you should build a couple of workers to improve a few key tiles. The city west of the Marble will probably need the Marble turned into a farm (yes! irrigate the Marble, don't quarry it) in order to grow and support itself, and the two cities near the cotton may also need some irrigation since they will be crowded into sharing only a few spaces. Building Workers will also turn off city growth, so this is another way to keep cities happy without spawning more Warriors.

    Summary for Winning a Harappan UHV
    Tech path: Mining/or/Mysticism -> Masonry; then Fishing -> Sailing. After that, raise taxes to 100% to kill research.

    Exploration path: Immediately send Warrior south along river, then west along coast; war against Shushan by quickly transiting its southern tiles, coming out in northern Arabia where you will not be chased by the Independents. Fortify there until after Sailing has been discovered; then disband unit at your discretion.

    City founding: Capital [Rehman Dhen] on Sheep/Hill in the north; Chanhu-Daro 2 tiles south of Marble; Harappa on Starting Location; Quetta 1 tile west of Marble; Lothal** 1 tile east of Cotton.

    Production queues
    Capital: City Builder, City Builder, Bath [whip], Walls [whip if necessary], 5 Warriors (to garrison the five cities).
    2nd City: Bath [whip], City Builder, City Builder.
    3rd City: Bath [whip], Walls [whip in necessary].

    After completing these queues, build combination of Workers, Warriors, and any completely useless buildings that would decorate your cities until achieving the UHV.

    ** If you build Lothal before the India spawn it will try to flip to the new civilization. You can either delay building the city until it's safe to do so, or deny the flip. I believe there is little danger from denying the flip, for the Indians are not really in a position to hurt you.
     
  2. fdrpi

    fdrpi Chieftain

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    How can you form a trade route without open borders? I didn't know the game could do that.
     
  3. The Green One

    The Green One Chieftain

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    Basically you need to have sailing and keep the Babylonians in sight. That is enough of a route. It doesn't mean you have to be trading with them.
     
  4. harunaksu

    harunaksu Chieftain

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    Hey guys,

    The trick to generate a trade route is to build your coastal city on a river mouth.

    Peace.
     
  5. ezzlar

    ezzlar Chieftain

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    It is a trade connection, not a trade route.
     
  6. alexey795

    alexey795 Chieftain

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    I did not have one day to get the last 30th resident. Had to capture a neutral city. It's a great luck that riots started there. I protected Harappan residents living there.
     

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  7. Autumn Leaf

    Autumn Leaf Since 1992

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    Harappa UHV in DoC 1.15 is little changed from the above. The example this is based on is Regent/Normal. Achieved UHV in 970 BC with Augustus Caesar ranking (Score 149, Normalised 29,576). See bottom for notes from a replay at Paragon level.
    • Immediately send your Militia SW to the coast then W along the coast to contact Babylon. Get past Shush before it builds a 2nd Archer.
    • Found Harappa on the spot. Build two City Builders, Militia, Reservoir, Granary or Smokehouse, then spam City Builders.
    • Research Masonry, Pastoralism, Sailing, Tanning, Seafaring, then turn Research to 0% to avoid stability checks.
    • First City Builder goes 2S, 1SW and founds Chanhu-Daro in your core. Build Militia, Reservoir, Granary or Smokehouse, then spam City Builders.
    • Second City Builder goes 2N, 1NE and founds Rehman Dheri on Sheep. Build Militia, Reservoir, Granary or Smokehouse, then spam City Builders.
    • You need three Reservoirs but only two Granaries & Smokehouses, so optionally two cities can skip a building each.
    • Micro-manage as required to ensure each city completes its builds in minimum time and doesn't grow unhappy. Stagnate growth at happiness limit.
    • Move each additional City Builder two squares from any city and found a new city.
    • Nine extra cities should be enough as each starts with two population. If some cities grow you might only need seven or eight extra cities.
    • Don't found cities outside India due to lurking Barbarians. Found all extra cities except Quetta going E or SE from your three main cities.
    • Hinduism will spread to your cities after India spawns. Adopt it as your state religion - it increases each city's happiness limit by one.
    • There is no need to adopt Slavery or build Workers. All goals can be achieved by growing to the happiness limit then working hammer tiles.
    If you follow this guide you will almost certainly get the UHV but there's not much point playing on after the UHV as you've got negative income, no useful technology, and if you turn Research back on all those cities in foreign territory will destroy your stability at the first check.

    In my game India razed Indraprastha on capture/flip. I later founded Rakhigahri on the site. Made no net difference as Pataliputra's Culture already covered all the good tiles.

    This strategy won't work on Paragon/Normal. There isn't time to research the needed techs. If you follow the tech order above you will fail UHV1 as you won't get Seafaring by Turn 50. If you research Masonry, Sailing, Tanning, Seafaring, then Pastoralism you can get Seafaring for UHV1 by Turn 50 but then you can't get Pastoralism for UHV2, let alone build the Smokehouses, by Turn 54.
     
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  8. HighFunctioningAlcoholic

    HighFunctioningAlcoholic Chieftain

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    One more thing to note is that you have to expose the coast all the way to Babylon, either by entering the area to the south of Shushan or sending a ship.

    Also if you want to break the 3rd UHV (and the spirit of the game), you can just settle 10+ cities on the last turn.
     
  9. Enyavar

    Enyavar Chieftain

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    My first try was to contact china instead (workers building roads), but that wasn't the way.

    So, Autumn Leaf's guide is confirmed: Augustus Caesar rank in turn 83. (160 points, normalized 37216. Edit: Normal gamespeed on Monarch)
    00-HarappanStupidVictory.JPG
    My first DoC game, btw, after only playing RfC and other mods.

    I think that the Harappan Civ should be changed in their UHV. The first two goals are no problem to achieve with really careful planning, but the third one forces Harappa to do a very stupid move. A move that instantly wipes out the civ a few rounds after winning: Settling every place from Kabul to Madurai so to have many tiny cities with a total of 30 inhabitants - that's not a winning move, it's a very desperate one.

    However, tasking the player to eventually reach 50 inhabitants without any time limit - that would necessitate a long-run survival! There isn't room for 20 tiny cities in India, and even if there were, the barbarians and indians would start an anti-Harappa protest movement.
    02-Harappa850AD.jpg
    The second screenshot shows a peaceful Harappa that stupidly confronts the persians way too late in the game. I should have targetted the Maharajates instead, and much earlier, in order to gain their iron. And I should have settled Sotka Koh at the coast a lot earlier, too. I was waaaay too worried about my extension stability. But with all my beginner errors, I can still boast a population of 47 in the year 850AD (turn 206), and a stability of +14.
    Also, the name never changed!
    I would have really appreciated a "Kingdom of Industan" or "Harappan Empire" or something.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  10. Autumn Leaf

    Autumn Leaf Since 1992

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    To be fair, survival beyond the UHV is not a consideration within the Rhye's and Fall paradigm; but the Harappan population requirement seems unnecessarily cruel, so kudos to you for seeking a way out of the trap!

    Generally for any civ, two of the UHV conditions should be based on things the real civ achieved. The third should be a stretch condition based on something it attempted but failed. In the case of the Indus Valley Civilisation I like your idea of 50 pop without a deadline since it can't be achieved by cheese alone (although I can just see somone stockpiling 20+ City Builders and going out in an orgy of city-founding) but this UHV's real problem is in the other two conditions. Hence my note about winning at Paragon level. I tried quite a number of things including sending Warriors out on suicide missions to camp beside tribal villages, trying each village with a S/L until they got gold from it. That allowed me to keep my research cranked high for a long time. I came very close to the Paragon level UHV that way but I never quite cracked the Turn 50/54 limits. I could get either one, but not both. I won at every level below Paragon, but such victories are meaningless due to the amount of cheese applied.

    I have been impressed by the ingenuity of players (notably Youtien's gold hill strategy for the Chinese and his trade-away-two-cities strategy for Russia) but ultimately if achieving a particular civ's UHV at high difficulty requires cheese, the UHV itself is the real failure.
     
  11. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    I disagree. There shouldn't necessarily be a 2-1 split. There shouldn't be a forced stretched condition UHV, just to follow the vanilla RFC paradigm.

    Only if there is no (fun, challenging) 3rd UHV, we can fall back on the stretched condition UHV.
     
  12. Autumn Leaf

    Autumn Leaf Since 1992

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    Ah, so your suggestion for a fun, challenging 3rd condition for Harappa is ...?

    Harappa is a fun little puzzle to solve and you're not stuck pressing "Enter" till some pre-defined date (hello, Indonesia), but any UHV should be at least tenuously related to the historical civ.
     
  13. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    My it is a misinterpretation on my end. But what you said is that by rule every civ should have 1 UHV that has stretched conditions. I disagree that that should be a rule.
     
  14. TsarAndreas

    TsarAndreas Chieftain

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    Thank you Mxzs for this guide - it worked perfectly on my first attempt (v1.14). My first actual play through with the Harappa ended in abject failure.

    I haven't played many times with the Harappa, but it does feel like there's nowhere to go after a while. After completing the UHV, i started researching again and collapsed promptly after discovering Mathematics, on route to Calendar.

    I'm not sure how one can progress further without developing the resources around, but in seeking the knowledge you need it seems you bring about your own end.

    I would at least liked to have survived long enough to be invaded by either the Persians or the Indians.
     
  15. Enyavar

    Enyavar Chieftain

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    If you want to survive, stop after reaching the first two UHVs, and develop your existing cities instead of founding five new ones.

    (Um, actually, I followed AutumnLeafs Guide for 1.15; Mxzs guide was for an older version, I can't tell how differently that one played)
     
  16. Enyavar

    Enyavar Chieftain

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    Just tried this again (Monarch, Normal speed, DoC v1.15), and I did better than survive. Plan is to use the setup for a Mughal switch, but I already think it will be way too overpowered.
    First founded Mergarh, then Kot Diji and Rehman Dheri, to fulfill the first 2 UHVs. The usual stuff until turn 54.

    Then, I expanded southwards, and snatched Nagpur (important! This blocks India's passage to the south, Tamil's passage to the north, and it has the all-important iron spot), and Mohenje-Daro (important: core city for stability). Also, I settled Mumbai (awesome spot for later) and Ayad. India and Tamils are still arch-enemies, but because of me in between, there have been no devastating wars between them.

    So, far, I'm doing fine with (mostly) defending against barbarians. The horsemen/horsearcher hordes are annoying, but the Persians and later the Independents and now the Arabs take most of the damage. In the southwest, Hindu barbarians spawn regularly (archers, axemen, elephants, swordmen), but again, my open borders and reconnoitering Tamils/Indians take care of most of that.

    My biggest military coup was razing the 13-pop Indraprasthra/Dilli in 500 AD (turn 173), in a short war against the Indians when they had a weak garrison for a moment. Razing that town earned me a temporary -36 stability, but all that remained for longer was the -10 for razing a large city, and I waited it out. Me and India reconciled soon after, but India was weakened severely by that blow. They founded Kolhapur instead, but that town flipped to the spawning Tibetans. I razed it too, much later, and founded the final Mughal core city there.
    Research was really lagging behind all other civilizations in the vicinity (Indians and Tamils are still one column in front; and Arabia is so far away it hurts), but I had had some sweet tech deals with the Indians and the Persians before. Even China was paying really good for my Medicine, though only gold.
    On wonders: I was the first guy to build a Hindu temple (in Nagpur), so I was lucky to found Buddhism (in Rehman Dheri). I prio'd a Prophet, and got a stable gold source! In Mergarh, I built the Shwedagon Paya in turn 195 (India was really late to start, but would have finished 8 turns later). I was also taking shots at the tomb of Maussolos (had to reload and rush it, because Islam was spreading just before it could finish) and Borobudur - mostly because I can. The Wat Preah and the Khajuraho are going to be next, but I doubt I can finish them too. After all, there are three other Hindu civilizations who have more advanced tech, I only have stone via the fragile Arabs, and the Mughal spawn is coming closer.

    But this shows that the Harappans can really hold their own long past the best-before date.

    Spoiler 2 Screens from the current game :
    Civ4ScreenShot0090.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0091.JPG


    Edit: Just accepted the Tibetan surrender.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
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  17. Rodnok

    Rodnok Chieftain

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    Nice! Don't you lose some core cities when someone else spawns? Persia or India? I assume Mughals probably would claim that area but they come much later.
    I'd like to take some ancient civ to renaissance at least and Harappans position is pretty interesting and challenging otherwise.
     
  18. Enyavar

    Enyavar Chieftain

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    Nope, only Mughals claim Harappan core cities, but nearly all of them. India, Persia, Tamils, Tibetans and Arabs are just neighbors (unless you dare to found cities in their spawn areas). Contact is possible with some more civs.

    I haven't played past the current achievements (master of Tibet) and am worried about Mongols (I'm toast if they have a Harappan conqueror event). I'm confident that the Seljuks don't spread past persia to their east, but again, there is toast to have if I'm wrong, unless I heavily invest in crossbows and lancers.

    Though I will be surprised if I get many renaissance techs before the Mughals spawn in 1220. I'm in the machinery column in 900.

    Edit: with my city configuration, the Seljuks spawn one stack near mohenje-daro. The other 4 stacks I see in 1050 are also uncomfortably close, but now I know and can prepare.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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