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[BTS] Help and advice with progress

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by guyyee, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. guyyee

    guyyee Warlord

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    @lymond, can you expound on this a little more? Don't quite follow.
     
  2. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

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    Yes. Every city has the same limit on which tiles it can work, no matter their location, population, who originally settled it, etc., so long as those tiles are within your culture. Hence why Boston needs to expand it's cultural borders before being able to work the Copper or the Deer - those tiles are within the city's BFC, but they're not within your culture.

    Note that it doesn't matter which city (or cities) puts a tile under your cultural control. So long as it's within your control and within a city's BFC that city can work the tile, although only one city can work a tile on any given turn.

    The research slider that goes from 100% to 90% when you settle your first city? Because of how the game handles fractions, as well as a few other reasons, it's actually better to run it at either 0% or 100% all the time.
     
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  3. guyyee

    guyyee Warlord

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    Hello, veteran players... Any input on my next moves?

    * I went back and re-read all the previous posts in this thread, alot of those things which didn't make sense a week ago started to become 'eureka moment' in the sense that I am gaining a better understanding of why we do certain things certain way. Hopefully this is a small headway to some improvement in my knowledge.

    Back to the game, I am going to try to improve the tiles surrounding my cities, especially Boston and New York.

    1. Where should I settle my 4th city?
    2. When negative gold/turn - I turn my beaker to 0% (or should you turn it down earlier?), at what point can you specifically point out to me that I should ramp it back up to 100%.
    3. I notice that the English has a surge in Power (I checked it on the F9 screen), how should I react?
    4. I notice that my workers chop and then prematurely stopping to ask for further instructions - I suspect this is from BUG mod? What's the rationale?
    5. At which juncture should I be worried about barbs sieging my cities? I am worried because of my lack of military units at this point.

    6. Why am I given gold with whipping? I saw this system message log, suggesting I could whip a Warrior with 4 Gold added to Treasury - I don't quite get the logic of this mechanic.
     

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  4. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

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    1. Can't check the save right now, but generally speaking the best place to settle is a good city spot (read: Food resource in first ring, some manner of good tiles/strategic value beyond that) close to your empire that an AI might settle (towards), than focus on "backfilling", settling good city spots that aren't under threat of being settled by the AIs any time soon because they're behind your culture. AIs will go around your culture to settle cities behind you and will even send a Gallery with a settler to settle straight through your culture eventually, but the former case is why you make sure to create a block of culture to block off AI settling attempts, and the latter gives you enough time to backfill in most cases.
    2. When you've got enough gold to finish the tech you've decided on, run 100% slider. It may be worth waiting a little longer when you're expecting beaker multipliers (Libraries, an Academy, or later buildings) to come in, just so you'll get a little more beakers out of your saved up gold, but beyond that you generally want to keep teching.
    3. A surge in power can mean one of two things - they've researched a new type of unit and are building/upgrading their army (every AI likes to have an up-to-date standing army, Gandhi just has a very different idea of what constitutes an "army" than, say, Genghis Khan), or they're preparing for war. The former is nothing to be afraid of, unless you're planning on attacking them. The latter could be a problem if they're plotting war on you. First, open up the trade screen with them (there's a shortcut to open it if you need to check it before you can access it through opening the diplomacy screen with them, as you normally would) and check the "declare war on" side of their screen. Just hover over the listed options and see whether they'd be willing to be bribed to declare war on another AI. If an AI is willing to be bribed, or refuses for reasons such as "We would have nothing to gain", "We couldn't betray our close friends" or "We're afraid of their military might" than they are not plotting war. If they say "We have enough on our hands right now" (if you ever see veteran playing talking about an AI going WHEOOHRN, that's where that comes from) than they are plotting war, and you need to assess whether you should prepare for the possibility that they are going to declare on you.

    AI war declarations are a massive part of the game, as is avoiding them, but for now you should confirm whether the AI is actually plotting and decide on a course of action from there. There's no reason to consider crossing bridges you haven't gotten to yet, after all. Incidentally, one of the features of BUG is that it will give you a warning when an AI starts plotting war when you are able to get that warning normally, through checking the diplomacy screen - if you see a red fist icon next to an AI on the scoreboard that means they're in WHEOOHRN mode, and are plotting war on someone. Just be careful that when an AI refuses to talk to you (they will have a ! in front of their name on the scoreboard, or next to them on the foreign adviser screens) you can't check the trade screen, and that when an AI doesn't have any valid war targets (other than you) you can't ask them about being bribed to go to war with someone. In either case you won't get a warning from BUG, so keep an eye on your borders.

    Incidentally, don't freak out if an AI is plotting war. That they are doesn't necessarily mean they're plotting on you, and even if they are plotting on you AI war declaration on Noble are...not as scary as they are on Deity, needless to say. You can defend yourself on Noble just fine, so long as you're not caught completely off-guard by a serious warmonger AI. And spoiler: None of the English leaders are on the level of Genghis Khan, in that respect.

    4. This is actually a BULL feature, and it's called pre-chopping. The rationale is that veteran players often want to prepare their forests to be chopped later, usually to quickly sink those chops into something they don't have access to yet when they first start chopping, and this feature helps with that since you don't have to manually cancel the order to chop forests every turn, the game automatically stops chopping when the forest is one turn from being chopped. I'm sure there's an option somewhere to turn the feature off, but I'd very much recommend keeping it. It's one of those features that'll end up being second nature once you start using it.
     
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  5. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    Good to see you're pleased with your progress - hope you're enjoying the game!

    1. I'm frequently corrected by much better players but I can't see any amazing city spots. That said there's plenty of room for some OK cities. Where would you like to put your next city and why? If you put in some screenshots with your reply it'll probably generate more responses.

    2. As per AcaMetis. So in the case of your current save, you're losing 3 gold per turn at 100% research and iron working is going to take 12 turns so you need 3x12=36 gold in the bank to research this if you plan to keep research at 100% as advised. This becomes more relevant when you start to trade for techs.

    3. I would ignore the F9 screen altogether - there are some really clever things you can work out from here but I don't use it much and haven't found that stops me doing well on immortal level. I would definitely not worry about comparing your power to the AI as you can generally win militarily even if their power score is much better than yours by better tactics and managing the diplomatic situation

    4. Chops are really important - they are really valuable boosts to building things in addition to AcaMetis' comment about saving them for later. You must be aware that the hammers from chopping are put into the city which owns that tile at the point the chop finishes, not necessarily the end of the turn - it can be a disaster when two cities overlap and you chop into the wrong one adding 20 hammers to a useless warrior when you meant to put it into the final chop of The Pyramids! It's worth getting into the habbit of being very sure you want to chop that forest into that city on that turn.

    5. Honest answer is I don't know on this difficulty - on deity I start to worry around mid-30s but think it will be significantly later on this difficulty. The thing is you're about to get copper online and a couple of axes will be more than adequate to repel barbs.

    6. I probably should try it but don't use BULL (which may be different) but this feature appears in BUG. In BUG it tells you about the gold but you don't actually get the gold - maybe a feature the developers were going to include and then decided against. The hammers are supposed to tell you how much overflow you will get from whipping but in this instance the value appears to be incorrect (I've tested this in your game.) The +1 unhappy face for 15 turns is because you get 10 turns of unhappiness for each time you whip and you last whipped 5 turns ago so if you do it now it will be 5+10 =15. This will actually be 2 unhappy for 5 turns, falling to 1 unhappy for the next 10 turns.


    A few comments on your game:

    - I would recommend not researching iron working as you will soon be able to trade techs and the AI always researches this and you have no pressing need for the ability to chop jungle or build swordsmen (axes are fine)

    - Washington is unhappy partly because you whipped something there and partly because it has reached size 4 without any military unit in there (N.B. non-capital cities will get this at size 3.) Try to anticipate this and get a warrior into your city before it reaches this point. Unhappy citizens cannot work tiles. I don't want to give you a wall of text so please let me know if this isn't a clear enough explanation.

    - settler as first build in Boston is really, really slow. Try and let cities grow a bit before building workers or settlers and use your established cities for this. If you look at the food bar you'll find cities cannot grow whilst building workers/settlers - growth is so important so try and avoid pausing growth unless you really have to. As with all advice there are exceptions but I think a reasonable rule of thumb when starting out is to build a warrior as first build in all your cities except the capital.

    - for the same reason as the settler advice, I would whip the warrior in New York as it now has a granary and will regrow fast - have a really good look at the food bar, the production bar, and the happy/unhappy faces before and the turn after whipping

    - have a look and see if you can see a better tile Boston could work that is currently wasted?

    - now that you have writing, if you click on an AI you can offer a trade proposal to 'open borders' - I would do this for every AI. This enables trade routes with them eventually and starts to build positive diplomatic relations. Furthermore, your units will then be able to enter their land.

    - Boston was founded several turns ago but still doesn't have an improved tile. I would have tried to get a worker to improve the cows on the same turn it was founded - excluding your capital, new cities are fairly unproductive if not working an improved tile

    - other people might suggest otherwise but based on my understanding that this is one of your first games of Civ let alone Civ 4, I would be tempted to start the fun soon by planning for war. To this effect, I would aim to get the construction technology ASAP. In the meantime I would build axemen in all your cities. Once you have construction and ~10 axes and catapults I would move them to the Spanish borders and declare war (DOW) Isabella.


    Please do ask if any of this is unclear or if this is too simple - you seem to be progressing fast but this game can be very daunting at the outset. Apologies if any of my advice is contradicted by superior players especially @lymond who although he has never directly advised me is a source of inspiration for my own progress in this game
     
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  6. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Unhappies can also be dealt with by simply queuing a new worker or settler in the meantime. But do be cognizant of the unhappy and be aware of when you might grow into it. It's fine to grow into unhappy if you plan to then immediately whip (an unhappy guy is worth the same hammers whipped as a happy guy). But don't just let cities sit around with unhappy citizens.

    I would avoid whipping warriors.

    Your start area is a bit lacking in terms of decent settling spots, namely food. At 2 or 3 cities spots with Izzy so close, I'd probably just plan to take her out with axes before thinking of a new settler. Think of the axes as getting you a new city or two. (I generally don't want newer players focused on early warfare, but in this case it is warranted and the early rush is a strategy that sometimes is necessary).

    Once Madrid is down, as spot between Wash and Madrid would decent. No food specials but plenty of flood plains.

    Yeah, in general one would not tech IW themselves. On this level, I'd go Alpha rather than do that, but I might go Maths first here.
     
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  7. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

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    To clarify on 6, it's a mechanic that BUG adds because there's a limit to how much production overflow something can generate based on (practically) how much it costs to produce, and any excess in the vanilla game is wasted. Basically, a warrior costs 15:hammers: to produce, and therefore can only generate a maximum of...I think 30:hammers: overflow? There's some kind of limit, at any rate, and by 1-pop whipping a warrior you can exceed that limit. Normally this excess would than be wasted, but BUG changes it so that this excess is instead turned into gold.

    Truthfully it's not a mechanic you should ever notice exists, barring early reminders that you could (but, as lymond said, generally shouldn't) whip a warrior and generate gold from excess overflow. Unless you're preparing for war or there's a barbarian at your doorstep and you need to get a unit out right now try to avoid whipping units, especially 1-pop whipping them. It's inefficient, as a 1-pop whip generates as much unhappiness as a 2 or 3 or 5-pop whip, and it's generally useless to grow into unhappiness.
     
  8. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    @AcaMetis
    Are you certain BUG does add gold overflow? I think it tells you it will but doesn't actually do so? Have never used BULL or Buffy; unsure on BULL but think Buffy does add gold. I'm completely prepared to be wrong!
     
  9. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

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    Can't confirm that it's a (functional) BUG feature, but it should be a BULL feature, yes. And BUFFY, of course.
     
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  10. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    In distant hindsight I think this is why I did get BUG but didn't get BULL as I didn't want mods that provided more than aesthetic features
     
  11. guyyee

    guyyee Warlord

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    What's the rationale for this?

    Why?

    One more question: No one has suggested working the coast tile (eg: 1NW of New York). Since this city is not so great on food tiles, is the coast tile a viable option to exploit using workboat?

    @AcaMetis @5tephen The game is intriguing enough that I come back to it everyday. It draws you back somehow even though it's highly intimidating in its complexity. Thank you for the input, helpful as always. They will give me enough material to work on. I'll report back soon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  12. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

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    Normally an unhappy citizen will refuse to do any work, but still consume 2:food: per turn. When building a Worker or Settler, however, unhappy citizens don't consume that food, they instead put it towards production. And a city that's unhappy can't do much if any meaningful growing anyway, so building a worker/settler stalling out growth doesn't matter.

    When you whip something a city will gain +1:mad: for an amount of turns dependant on game speed. On normal speed this is 10 turns. This is true whether you 1-pop whip a Warrior or you 6-pop whip something, but in the former case your city will have no time to cool off that unhappiness before growing again, and growing into unhappiness is next to useless. In the latter case, or more realistically a case where you 2-pop whip a Worker or maybe 3-pop whip a Settler, your city will have to spend longer regrowing back to it's original size. These are turns that the city will be ticking the unhappiness timer, but not suffering from unhappiness because a 2-pop whip reduces :mad: by 2 (two less citizens thinking the city is too crowded), and increases :mad: by 1 (10 turns of whip anger), for a net -1 :mad:. Say you 2-pop whip a size 4 city, the city goes down to size 2 and gets +1:mad: for 10 turns. The city grows to size 3 in 4 turns, no problems because the +1:mad: from whipping is countered by the -1:mad: from the reduced population. The city grows to size 4 another 4 turns later and will be unhappy, but at that point there's only 2 turns left on the whip timer, so it's not that big a deal.

    Coast tiles, especially when you're not FIN (Financial, +1:commerce: on all tiles that have 2 or more :commerce: on it normally), aren't great tiles to work. Workboats also cannot improve base coast tiles, they can only improve water-based resource tiles like Fish. You can build a Lighthouse to gain +1:food: on water tiles, which turns coast into 2:food:2:commerce: tiles, but that's still not a great tile. It is definitely a tile you can work, there's worse tiles you can choose to work early on than a 1:food:2:commerce: tile, the problem is just that you ideally should be working better tiles.
     
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  13. FlyinJohnnyL

    FlyinJohnnyL You need more workers....

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    Are you sure about that? I think your citizens, happy or not, are fed their 2 squares, and THEN food is turned into hammers for a worker or settler. You're just better off building a worker or settler because you won't grow into more unhappiness.
     
  14. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

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    I'm sure about that, yes. Or at least I remember it working, last I checked.
     
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  15. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Can also confirm it works like that.
     
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  16. FlyinJohnnyL

    FlyinJohnnyL You need more workers....

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    Damn, I need to pay better attention! Thanks for the info.
     
  17. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Cause the city growth stagnates when building workers and settlers. You can prevent the unhappiness as a result. Get item to whip point > grow> then whip.

    For a couple of reason. First of all, warriors simply are not optimal whips. You are 1popping 30H worth of a citizen for a 15H item..you lose hammers. Second, it is better to 2 or 3 pop whip things such as workers or settlers, as you whip more pop against the 1:mad: you get from any whip.

    I'd only whip a warrior in an extreme emergency.


    Sometimes working some coast early, even 1F2C is not a bad idea if a bit commerce poor. But not at the expense of better tiles. NY certainly has better stuff to work right now.

    Based on last save:

    1) Boston should be working that improved cottaged FP. Make sure you manage your cities
    2) Boston should not have built a settler...please do not build workers and settlers at size 1...at least if there is not a strong improved specail.
    3) Why is the worker on that hill next to Wash
    4) Since Wash is unhappy...have it take the wheat for a couple of turns - warrior in 2t then. NY can take the copper which will be improved next turn.
    5) Iron Working bad
    6) Open borders with Vicky and GK (No WE)

    Lastly, note a little trick with worker management. For example, worker next to Boston has plans to improve that cow (which it already should have). The cow is 2 tiles away and the area is flat/unforested between the worker and the cow. A green river tile between worker and the cow. Instead of moving worker 2 tiles now, move it 1 tile, put a 1 turn into a cottage, cancel worker, then start cow the following turn. Great way to get the most out of your workers. This can be done for any type of improvement including part roads.
     
  18. guyyee

    guyyee Warlord

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    Ok, I held off building anymore cities beyond the 3 I already have and concentrated growing and improving the surrounding tiles while preparing to go to war with Spain.

    At this point, I have defeated and captured both Madrid and Barcelona. To be honest, I was shaking with excitement. There was a great feeling of triumph there.

    Strangely, I did it with only Axemen and no catapults. I couldn't wait for Construction to be completed (it was too long!). Obviously I won but was this a foolhardy (reckless) move? Was I just lucky?

    Important question now is: how do I manage those captured cities? What are the important priorities and principles? I am building new workers in those captured new cities - wrong move?

    Also, a Barb city was spawned east of Boston! how did that happen? anyway, since I was flushed with Axemen, I sent two units there and managed to capture that Barb city. Wrong move? Should I have left it alone? Now what do I do with this Barb outpost?

    I will admit, this has been loads of fun! Gimme more!

    But first, critique and comments on my play so far would be greatly appreciated... I really look forward to improving!

    As to how I manage unhappiness, I tried to build workers if possible, if not I will whip out the axemen, in some cases I let it run unhappy for a few turns to wait it out. I didn't know what else to do.
     

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  19. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    @guyyee

    It's great to hear how much you enjoyed capturing Madrid and Barcelona!

    Axes is fine, just that with catapults too, you could probably have just kept building units and taken out the entire map. Probably could have done that anyway with just axes but might need a bit more experience to do that.

    One thing you could do differently is to make cottages on those floodplains - a farm or two to grow your cities on a floodplain is fine but you've got more food than you really need there and later on you'd be starved for commerce on harder difficulties. Cottages start off pretty poor and get good from being worked so these are better if built early and used. It's better to build them on grassland or floodplains by a river if possible as the river already gives +1 commerce and these tiles are food neutral/positive.

    As mentioned earlier, I would generally advise against building workers in size 1 cities (except for your very first city) as this means the city cannot grow and is not very useful for a long, long time. For a rule of thumb, a warrior is a good bet for first build as it is cheap and provides happiness. You'll notice that Madrid is unhappy because of no military presence amongst other things.

    Not leaving any military in Madrid is high risk. If you look to the East, there's more Spanish border meaning a city over there - a 2 move unit such as a chariot could take it back from you if you were unlucky.

    I don't think you need more workers - even so, you might as well steal Isabella's from South-East of Barcelona. Your existing cities have more improved tiles than they can work so you could move these to your new cities.

    Isabella is most likely defeated at this point and I would take her last city to end the war.

    Taking the barb city was fine - just be careful that if you are at war that you can spare the units elsewhere - coming with too few units leads to drawn out wars which become expensive - unhappiness accumulates the longer wars go on and your cities become unproductive, your tech pace slows and you become vulnerable to other opponents so winning wars ASAP is good.

    The worker building a farm SE of Boston could instead road that tile and the one SE of that to connect your Spanish cities - at the moment they are not connected to the rest of your empire hence why you cannot build axemen in those cities (require copper.)

    Note that Barcelona and your barbarian city are still in 'revolt' and cannot build anything for a couple more turns.

    I would finish Isabella, build a couple of spearmen in case someone else has chariots or horse archers to harm your axemen and build 5-10 catapults - get your axes, spears and catapults all in one group and move the battle onto your next opponent. Catapults can 'bombard' city defences for a turn and they are a good unit to attack first as they damage lots of units at a time reducing your combat odds for your other units. Plan to keep building one or two axemen for military police in your newly captured cities and ongoing catapults anticipating high losses of these. Don't forget you can 2 pop whip catapults to get them out quickly. If you want, I think you should be able to take the whole map with these before the AI gets the techs to compete.

    Regarding happiness. There are gold and gems not too far away that you could build cities near or better yet capture a city that will have them... You could tech mysticism, meditation, priesthood and either trade maths for it or tech monarchy at which point you can change to 'hereditary rule' in the F3 screen - for +1 happiness per military unit stationed in a city (AKA military police.)

    Keep us updated - hope to see a victory screenshot soon!
     
  20. guyyee

    guyyee Warlord

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    How do you do that?
     

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