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Help a warmonger understand the mess that is called Tall tradition.

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by SuperNoobCamper, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper King

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    So, I'm still trying to get a grasp on how this tradition thing works but i just cannot figure it out.
    First of all, The satellites are unbelievably slow when it comes to building stuff; I get it, you trade off expansions productivity for an amazing capital but the capital no matter how glorious it is, I cannot make it compensate for the lack of meaningful satellites especially for building troops which brings me to the second question.
    Supply .... how am i supposed to defend myself with this low numer of units? I keep getting into a loop of hitting the max supply cap (around 12 in early classical), but it's too low compared to neighbors so no matter how friendly they are or how many trade routes/trade deals we have they just turn hostile, pillage my stuff because i can not take the fight outside my land due to the same issue of low supply and low overall number of troops.
    Gold ...... am i supposed to be gold starved as well even with Petra, Spirit of the desert and an army not big enough to take one city?
    I'm clearly really bad at playing tall so if i might ask what am i doing wrong or is there actually a point in playing like this? i feel like i'm intentionally shooting myself in the leg.:crazyeye::crazyeye:
     
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  2. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    So let’s start with a few things:

    1) Tall is generally 5-6 cities on a standard map. Less than 5 and you will really struggle with production.

    2) early on use your TRs to funnel food into the capital. Don’t bother with the satellites. Further, focus your gold on unit buying (in the capital) or infrastructure (in the capital).

    3) rotate your specialists in the capital. Focus on one GP then switch to get the next easiest and so on. Once your pop is up there start focusing on two GP, until late game your working pretty much every specialist.

    4) Militarily, Tradition is the art of total defense. When you consider your satellites, defensive position is your number one priority, no exception. A good tradition player will have borders protected by citadels, forts, and natural terrain to be absolutely impenetrable. Generally tradition does not settle on the water except for maybe one city as your
    Port.

    Early on if the AI settle cities in ways that violate your defense they must be eliminated, so put the war hat back on and puppet those cities until your borders are defensive perfection.

    once you get good at this you will find 15 supply can hold off 60.

    5) be aggressive at WLTKD for your capital, be willing to buy expensive luxs to keep that growth a humming.

    6) CS wise, focus your early GP advantage to get great diplomats, and quests for cs acquisition, don’t spend a lot of hammers on diplo units.

    You will have an advantage in early votes due to your embassies, and I try to use that secure spheres. That will keep you vote competive. Later on, try to keep friends with cs but only rely on spheres for allies, you cannot get into hammer wars with bigger civs.
     
  3. DeAnno

    DeAnno Prince

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    One thing about playing tall is you really need to emphasize production early to avoid falling perpetually behind your tech in production (at least not more than you will be anyway.) Iron working for Forges is a key tech to make your satellites vaguely reasonable, and if one is really having trouble at the start you can send a hammer trade route to it to prop it up too. Even something as simple as going Well or Waterwheel as early as possible has a large effect.

    Dilligence was a big pick for me in religion before but lately I've liked the efficiency of Asceticism, because that lets you redirect sources of food to be sources of hammers and you end up with more total stuff. Sure eventually the food will be worthless but that won't be for many hundreds of turns, Tall Tradition likes to grow very big and tall even in its satellites, it doesn't have to think about stopping or slowing growth like wider strats.

    Basically from playing wide you might think of a time when you run out of important things to do with production and you start spamming half-worthless junk just to have something to do. That time doesn't ever really come when you play tall, or comes much later, but on the other hand the time when you're unable to push happiness to grow further doesn't really ever come either. So efficient sources of food are much more important because food usually trades off with hammers and you need both.

    At higher difficulties, particularly if you play above your weight class, you can make a lot lot lot of gold selling your strategics in singles, even though you don't have many you don't want many for a while either in a lot of cases. Getting 12 gpt per single resource isn't that unusual even in Medieval, though it is highly exploitable. But with all that extra gold half the issues of a small economy melt away.

    A good civ to take to play Tall Tradition and ease some of its pains without feeling busted is Inca. You have excellent defense with mountain travel (and cities!) and a good ranged UU, you have Terrace farms for that efficient early oomph of food and hammers where you need it. It doesn't give you anything too great but you'll find that what it does give you are things you often appreciate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
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  4. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Sell every single strategic resource immediately. There's just no reason to use horses for defensive play: spears are cheaper to build, cheaper to upgrade, and effectively earn 4-12:c5gold: in the opportunity cost of giving someone else the horse. Even two warriors compares favorably to a horseman. All you really need melee for is fortifying in a tile while ranged units shoot. For iron I sometimes keep 1-2 for swords, especially if I'll be dealing with units like Legions.

    You also can get CS quests to connect horses which are easy to complete, but only if you have no horses currently. (side note, I've never gotten a quest to connect iron). Early on bully city-states. Usually I'll bully them all once, then a second round on a few of them if they give me a quest I won't complete. You can get more than 20 gold from the friendly ones with just a warrior and a pathfinder. It's stupid but it's part of the game.

    Try to sell luxuries too. Don't buy luxuries until you really need it or it activates a WLTKD. I find :c5food: overall unimportant outside the capital just because the consequences of falling into :c5unhappy: really hurt. Often you want to build military outside the capital and the :c5production: penalties for :c5unhappy: are brutal.

    In the mid-game, Arena everywhere + Circus Maximus is a good source of gold. If using foreign trade routes they should probably be from your capital, and the caravansary becomes a pretty good building too.

    In the early game I will usually take a :c5production: route over a :c5food: route if it is available.
     
  5. Legen

    Legen King

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    Tradition is all about the Capital, the satellite cities do relatively little by comparison. Compared to Progress and Authority, you need a mentality shift regarding satellite cities; instead of needing their production to win in the long run, Tradition rely on satellite cities mostly to have enough room for defense, monopolies and guilds. The Capital handles the part of actually winning.

    Tradition gets free policy buildings in the Capital as you advance through the tree, each of them being worth about 1.5 Ancient Era buildings in passive yields (not counting the specialist slot and other benefits) at no maintenance cost. They make up for the lack of production in the satellite cities.

    The main thing about Tradition is :c5citizen: citizen usage. Tradition citizens are generally more productive than those from Progress and Authority, making food and growth in the :c5capital: Capital particularly valuable for this tree. This comes from the following reasons:
    • Specialist slots giving access to rare yields (early culture and science) and :c5greatperson: GPP.
    • Focus on Great People resulting in more GPTI (and +1 :c5food: Food to those) for more powerful tiles than usual.
    • Finisher giving a +10% yield modifier in the :c5capital: Capital.
    • Focus on Golden Ages, both in frequency and duration.
    Citizens also tend to generate more yields than buildings, assuming you have workers improving your resource tiles, and doubly so with a pantheon that aligns with the said resources. Having a fast growing Capital can make up for the missing buildings in the satellite cities this way, and the + 2 :c5citizen: pop from the opener helps with that.

    For military, you really have to focus on defensive positions for your satellite cities. Tradition's :c5capital: Capital can handle most of the economic side by itself, freeing the satellite cities to focus on being the empire's fortifications when it comes to securing tiles. Tradition even grants a +25% :c5rangedstrength: ranged CS to garrisoned cities to help with that, as well as faster border growth to secure more tiles away from your neighbors.

    About gold, Tradition can delay roads for much longer than Progress and Authority. Tradition rarely struggles with unhappiness: less cities means lower Empire Needs, the satellite cities don't grow nearly as much until Medieval, and Tradition's population is heavily concentrated in the :c5capital: Capital, where unhappiness from Needs is easily covered. As such, you have spare happiness to handle isolation and can afford to delay roads for when the :c5trade: city connection's gold makes them convenient. This alone should save you plenty of gold, and it frees many early turns from your workers towards improvements instead.

    Also, on higher difficulties, you're likely better selling luxuries and strategics aggressively, especially when playing with civs whose UU doesn't require a strategic (e.g. Babylon, Celts). Having gold to buy two extra units is generally better than having one stronger unit during Ancient and Classical Era, doubly so if those extra bought units are UUs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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  6. Grassland Farm

    Grassland Farm Warlord

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    Very good advice in the thread. I think Tradition also puts an emphasis on "build order" execution: You want to have 4 citizens in the capital when unlocking Tradition, you must consider working the Artist slot unlocked on the first policy (loss of food, but not doing so will put you behind on policies - the AI cheats so hard with culture...), you usually require more wonders, and thus gotta plan your tech accordingly.
     
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  7. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper King

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    Thanks every for your responses, a couple more questions.
    1. What are the Tradition milestones and at what time frames are they supposed to be achieved?
    2. About the expansions, the consensus seems to be about 5 cities being the optimal number, are you supposed to be expanding in phases? in my book even while playing authority with meaningful cities that actually produce stuff i do not hit the 6 cities until late classical or sometimes i just do not hit it at all and rely on conquests.
    3. Is it feasible or a common occurrence to acquire vassals through conquest?
    4. Ughhhh, about navy ..... with the low supply am i just supposed to completely ignore it?
     
  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Absolutely. Tradition gets a bad rap as a "weak military path", its not...its just a "weak later game military path". Early on you have a strong capital that can field a perfectly good military capable of taking on and conquering other cities. I have definitely taken medieval vassals as Tradition.

    However, past that is when things get dicey. Armories and then especially military academies, enemy supplies start to outmatch yours, as does enemy production. That is when its best to hole up and ride out the storm.

    As for navy, yeah I just abandon navy as tall tradition, even with the recent supply bonuses to lighthouse and harbor it just takes too much effort to build a navy worth a darn. A small navy is pointless, and a large navy will take more than half your supply, which is not viable for tradition. So I just say goodbye to it and move on to other things.
     
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  9. DeAnno

    DeAnno Prince

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    I run a full navy and half-army with Tradition if I'm on a peninsula with at most one real land border. Once you have at least two border regions on the land you pretty much change to no navy full army. It's notable that the former is a lot more advantageous, since you can actually power project, so that's a strong incentive not to "emerge" from a peninsula feature in your first wave of settling if you can avoid it.
     
  10. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Here are some rough milestones I use on Deity:
    • Policy #1 turn 25
    • Policy #2 turn 40
    • Policy #3 turn 60
    • Policy #4 turn 80 (also classical era, often through Mathematics)
    • Policy #5 turn 100
    • Policy #6 turn 120 (probably medieval era, often through Education)
    Try to time your expansions so that the settler is placed immediately after you claim a social policy. If you drop the settler before Policy #3, you increase the price by 10:c5culture:. But if you drop him after, you'll already have policy #3 and the extra :c5production: in every city.
     
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  11. Melchizedek

    Melchizedek Warlord

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    Some good advice here, but at least playing on Emperor I don't fully agree with the notion here that satellite cities aren't productive in Tradition. They generate yields, and can even build wonders, but they are always subsidiary. They build things to spare capital production a lot, such as military units, trade units, one or two of your fourish settlers. I always try to get the settlers out fast with Tradition precisely so those cities can eventually become productive. Pyramids are a great boost if feasible. Otherwise it is about balancing capital citizens, new cities, and getting a second city up to 4 citizens so it can build a settler. Pantheons make a tremendous difference in how fast you want to expand and what gets built early in satellites.

    Another thing that isn't always recommended but has worked okay for me is to run lots of specialists in the capital. Sure, you can focus one GP at a time, but it's even better to get them all, and with ITR, WLTKD, and Hanging Gardens, you can still grow.

    Militarily, I find it possible to maintain peace with neighbors for the first part of the game if I don't settle near them and build enough units to reach the cap. Building barracks and walls are priorities in all cities because they offer both happiness and supply. One thing to help with maintaining peace is to build your satellite cities in locations that will block neighbors from forward settling you, but without forward settling them. About 6 tiles from their city is often a good idea. Sometimes you have to just let the AI have some resources or a NW if it happens to be closer to them than you, and just give them most anything they ask for in diplomacy. If my friendly neighbor asks me to declare war on someone half way around the world, I'm going to declare war to preserve the peace. I haven't won a tradition game yet where I didn't have significant periods of peace with at least some neighbors. I don't think Tradition can bear constant hostility on all sides.
     
  12. Thibix Magnus

    Thibix Magnus Warlord

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    it's a very obvious civ thing to say but I'd add that deciding to go tradition is quite map dependent (maybe more so tan authority), you want great land for your capital and natural defenses around (or a loyal, easy-to-ally, religion-sharing player...). A crapy start and/or wide open terrain between you and a very close warmonger... might require authority even for the most trad civs. I also agree some starts make naval trad viable, and staying at 3 cities might sometimes be worth it to get both defensive positions and a long term ally endeared by your lack of territorial ambitions (full supply asap though).

    About late-game supply issues: brandebourg is maybe the single most important wonder for tall play as it can double your supply cap, but is on a very unfortunate tech for artistry-tall CV.

    However, late-game supply issues for Tradition are more an issue about "staying Tall" than about Tradition itself. For strong and late UUs, switching to domination mid-late game can be quite viable for some civs, typically England (at least on Immortal, dunno on deity. Have yet to try the super-late game switch with bismark). Tradition/suitable 2nd tree is then seen as a fast track to renaissance and imperialism/ideology. Conquests then bring the supply.

    On a side note, I really don't see the point with supply cap limiting armies so much if you stay Tall late game. You already have gold as a limiting factor, and if you don't abuse AI deals, your gold as Tall is mostly ETR, which you lose easily. I see supply cap as a tool to control conquest through war weariness but it also feels like a deliberate limit on Tall play. Maybe before the buff to wide (reducing empire size scaler on culture/science), tall civs ran away on science/culture, so leaving them outnumbered was a fix, but now I'm not sure.

    Finally, an important part of tall play for me is controlling my world wonder apetite to avoid getting DoWed by the entire world (unless you are Ramses who's more into that).
     
  13. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I was curious as you go to mathematics a good bit after I do, so what do you generally do with your early techs? I know it varies depending on wonders but just some defaults, are you beeling for something north or south, getting techs on both sides?
     
  14. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Those milestones are meant to be somewhat late. As in if you don't have 4 policies by turn 80 you should reconsider your build order or pantheon choice. I often get mathematics as early as 60.

    Usually I only research pottery + requirements for mathematics, sometimes trade and sometimes mining too.
     
  15. Grassland Farm

    Grassland Farm Warlord

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    Is there really a point getting Maths so early if you don't have the policies required to build the wonder, though?
     
  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Cbows are a very important military unit, depending on your position, they could even be essential for survival. Roman forum is also an excellent wonder (I think people underrate it), requires less policies than HG, and the AI doesn't snipe it often.
     
  17. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    The composite bow is an important unit.

    I also get writing or masonry sometimes if I really want a scrivener's office or watermill.
     

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