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Help deciding settling order (cities 2-6)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Tyrael, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Tyrael

    Tyrael ALC Lurker

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    I have 4 city sites that I would happily settle second in any other game, but in this game they're all urgent. I think I have several viable choices, all of which become less viable every turn. This should be an interesting problem to dissect. What would you do here, and more importantly, why?

    Leader: Survayaman (Expansive, Creative)
    Difficulty: Prince (so first to Alphabet is possible)
    Current techs: Hunting, Mining, Bronze Working, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry
    Tech path: Wheel, Pottery, Writing, ???
    Speed: Epic

    I have my potential city sites labeled with signs, in no particular order.
    Screenshots in spoilers:
    Spoiler :



    In the cap my tentative plan is to chop that Settler (11 turns build time) with my 2 workers, build a warrior while prechopping, switch builds to settler to get the chops, finish the warrior, another warrior if needed, settler, worker x2. I plan to build a warrior or two in my second city for garrison / fogbusting so my cap can keep cranking workers/settlers with all of its food. My goal here is to REX extremely quickly to claim the limited land and block off as many AIs as possible. I have 210-ish gold from huts, so I have some financial padding to survive early on before cottages get online and tiles get improved. Long-term this might be my best GP farm, so if I want to use Beauracracy I'd have to move the cap to C1, which I'd rather not do. I'll have to decide soon, before I start improving the riverside grassland (farms or cottages?).

    C1 will get immediate copper + food on a plains hill with good surrounding tiles. This will stop Zara from getting copper, as far as I know. However it doesn't have the benefit of totally boxing him in, which is a huge plus of two of the other cities. I don't need this copper too badly either, since I have another source to my north that's fairly secure. Short-term I like it's production potential to contribute to an axe rush. Long-term, this might make a good Beauracracy capital location with a palace, or simply a hybrid city.

    I met Isabella's scout coming in from the east just north of Zara's territory, so I'm guessing she's Northeast of him somewhere in the darkness.
    -----

    Spoiler :


    Up north is Elizabeth, and I wouldn't be surprised if she has no land north of her cap, so settling C2 will keep her down to 2 cities total. If I settle C2 first, the plan is obviously to land-grab and axerush her right afterwards, while she's backwards and, well, has only 2 cities to my 4-5. This city also gets me copper after a border pop, which is fine since I don't need it ASAP, I'll expand before warring and barbs shouldn't get too advanced on this crowded map. The stone I don't really care about, since I'm going to be REXing --> axe rush, so wonders will just be a distraction. C2 also secures the only known source of elephants for my UU, and Elizabeth is likely to settle near here if I don't block her with my 2nd settler. If I miss the blocking opportunity here I can settle the spot marked "later" to access copper. Short-term this city has nice production for an axe rush, and good production long-term as well.

    The horses/dye area to the right is low priority, and I figure creative Zara will make settling there difficult, so I'm ignoring it for now.
    -----

    Spoiler :


    Joao is to the south, and it doesn't look like he'll have more than 3 cities if I settle C3 and let him have the stone. C3 will completely block him off after a border pop along with the mountains. (There's a peak in the fog, marked with a sign.) It would make a great commerce city since it claims all 9 floodplains. Expansive will offset the health penalty. I figure I have a little bit more leeway in how quick I settle this city, since Joao might settle the stone somewhere that leaves me room to settle C3 as my third city. Then again he could settle within 2 tiles of C3 and stop me from blocking him while taking some of the floodplains. Again, the strategy here is keep Joao tiny, then axe rush his pathetic tiny empire. Hopefully he'll build wonders with the stone for me.

    I could also settle 2W of C3, and add another city 1E of C3 later. This wouldn't block Joao completely though, so I'd have to rush yet another settler down there to claim the good land before he does. This does let me split the 9 floodplains between two cities however, which is nice, and it also claims the stone early on. I'd rather let Joao go about building wonders with it for me though.

    C4 gets me immediate access to a gold mine, with a second gold mine after a border pop and corn to feed them. This city would help pay for the quick expansion and keep Zara from getting a two-gold city and teching ahead of me while I beat up Elizabeth/Joao. Settling this city second might prevent me from blocking either of them in the first place though, which I think is a higher priority.

    -----

    So, which city should I settle first? I'm leaning towards C2 near Elizabeth in the north since that gives me copper and elephants while denying them to her and blocking her completely. The third city will be C3 if it's still available to block Joao as well, leaving me two easy war targets. Hopefully Joao will have settled the stone somewhere unobtrusive, keeping him busy building wonders for me instead of units. You can't quite tell from the screenshots but it looks like Joao is more likely to have land to his south than it is for Elizabeth to have land to her north, so this maximizes my chances of blocking both of them. I'll settle C4 if Zara hasn't settled there yet, or C1 if he has. Or should I just take C1 as a good production city and start cranking axes even if C4 is available?

    Is my tech path good? I want wheel to get roads for trade routes and to get to pottery for cottages, since my expansion will hurt badly without them. The land screams cottages to me, which I greatly prefer over specialists. Writing next for OB with Zara/Izzy to build relations and for a library somewhere to start working towards a great scientist. I figure I can delay military techs until after these three since axes should be enough to take out whoever I block off. Should I prioritize Iron Working or Horseback Riding instead? Something else entirely?

    Edit- save attached.
     
  2. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    Build Chariots, acquire extra capitals. The land is poor generally with not that much food to be had.
     
  3. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Two goals for your second city:

    - Grab a strategic resource
    - High production to support your expansion

    c1 is obviously the best.
     
  4. Torgny

    Torgny Warlord

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    Agree with Dave, c1. You will get copper, and it can also breed settlers and workers due to the resourses.
     
  5. z0wb13

    z0wb13 undead

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    ^ agree
     
  6. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    C1. I would not settle C4.

    I would also settle C1 1N of where you have it, on the river. You are creative, so you'll get the corn and copper soon - on the river is good, more forests is good, another hill is good.
     
  7. z0wb13

    z0wb13 undead

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    ^ agree
     
  8. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    I would shift c2 over 1E. An important city for your UU.
    This would gain it fresh-water access (+2 health) and the Silk for extra Happiness.

    Also, I would add another city later, at location 4E 1N of your capitol, to grab the banana and the middle grassland area. It will grow faster after IW.
     
  9. KaytieKat

    KaytieKat King

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    Hi

    I'm not sure what the date is on your map but the earlier you start the better chance it has of working. But on a map like this I would do the following:

    A: while that settler is being built tech out masonry and pre chop some forests starting with those plains hills. As soon as settler is done and masonry teched chop GW while working on wheel if you dont already have it, if you do then work on pottery. Settle city1 1 north of your location like AutoTeller suggested. While waiting for that city to border pop chop/whip barracks and and a goodly stack of chariots. Think overkill like 10-12 at least. Send em to go kill Lizzy. She shouldnt have more than two cities three at most and even then the thrid city shouldnt even border pop by time you get there if you move fast enuff. Raze EVERYTHING except her capitol.

    While chariots killing off lizzy make some more if needed but like I said if you hurry you shouldnt need to so you have time to road to second city while making another settler. After Lizzy dead and surviving chariots come home Copper should be hooked up and 3rd city made (I would make thrid city down at c3 location since it seems to have best food potential until you get iron working.) with 3 cities chop/whip them to the BONE to make axes (and maybe a spear or two just in case they run into some chariots--so maybe after pottery then hunting-writing should be next techs) Once you get an oversize stack of axes (think 10-15 or so) go kill off Jao. I would kill off Jao next cuz a) he a bigger jerk compared to Zara and B) in my experience Zara goes in one of two modes he either rexes like crazy OR he just turtels up after 1 or 2 cities and wonderwhores. while Jao ALWAYS rexes like crazy so killing him next is priority.

    Just get your axes done FAST. Dont even worry bout barracks in you two other cities dont even wast time on grainaries (although you might want to try for one in your cap after settler for c3 is done) when Im in a hurry I do something like this make sure I have some prechopped forrests around, then start an axe--put some hammers into for about a turn then whip--use overflow to get another axe out then start another axe put some hammers into it then chop it and use overflow for next one and repeat. And again chop/whip to the bone if ya have to--the faster you get stack going the better. Then go kill off Jao and Raze EVERYTHING except his capitol only exception is maybe if one of his cities is a holy city then keep it too. Use your non barracks axes like suicde cats and let em soften up defenders then CR axes mop up.

    Once jao is dead Zara SHOULD still be easy pickings--your cities should have recovered enough to whip/chop more axes to replenish stack PLUS you should have a few CR2 and maybe even a GG spawned to help ur cap produce more of em. AGain WHIP chop to the bone. Then go say hi to zara and like before RAZE everything except his capitol unless it a holy city or maybe has a wonder you really want.

    If it all works right good news is you have 4 capitol cities and have LOTS of land maybe even your entire landmass under your control that you can settle at leisure. BAD news is your cores cities gonna be VERY unhappy and your economy gonna be pretty sucky for awhile.

    BUT if it works out by time jao dead you SHOULD have writing all done so you can build libraries in your cities and run scientists, have LOTS of cleared land round your capitol to cottage plus the floodplains at c3 location. If you clear out the landmass you wont need a big standing army (thats why getting GW done is kinda crucial cuz NOWAY you will be able to fog/spawn bust enough to keep barbies from being a MAJOR pain with all that empty space--even if you did make enuff units to bust all that space --that many xtra units wont help your economy recover ESPECIALLY if theyre all outside your borders on spawnbusting duty)

    Your newly captued capitols wont be much use until they get connected and one thing I like to do if I get a xtra capitol early and it has lots of forests is just go for a wonder like mids. If you get it yay running rep can really help jumpstart your empire back on track and if ya miss out--free gold will help too. Just work scientists from libraries (being creative and getting cheap lib's very handy now) and cottages while teching alphabet and then you can build reasearch until currency or go for sailing next which would help you get you far flung cities hooked up quicker (plus give you a shot to have one of thos caps maybe go for glh in they on coast and again--if you get it yay it will help and if not free gold :) ) And then settle out your land as your economy recovers

    Now this is JUST what I would do and I am by NOOO means a great player. I'm solid on noble and can win more than my share on pricne and even have won a cpl of monarch games (though addmitted those games I won were monarch school games that all the elite players universally agreed were exceptionally easy maps) and thats bout it. And while if you start early enoug on noble it almost sure to work--I would feel good about my chances of getting it done on prince too. The big diff tho is I pretty much play on marathon which gives you bigger window to rush but epic should be enough to if you move fast and should at LEAST be enuff to take out lizzy and Jao. And I am not really much of a war type player. I prefer peaceful diplo type games--I just believe that a nice peace loving diplomacy game thats more suited to my nature is MUCH easier if everybody else on my landmass is dead b4 IW hehe :)

    Kaytie
     
  10. Tyrael

    Tyrael ALC Lurker

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    Thanks for all the replies. I guess I'm overvaluing blocking off the AIs here? C1 doesn't seem like it'll be settled by Zara soon, since he'll be too busy settling the gold or building marble wonders.

    So, after founding C1, then what? 2 city chariot/axe rush? Settle a third city first? Use it to crank workers/settlers?
     
  11. Inso

    Inso Warlord

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    c1 -> chariot rush montezuma would be my plan
     
  12. goodolarchie

    goodolarchie Warlord

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    Agree, Monty is the sort you want to deal with sooner than later. Even if you just take Tenochtitlan (sp?) it will stymie any chance he has of taking you out early. He's also one of the potentials to pick up Hindu/Buddhism, so rushing him often rewards a holy city and potentially religious control over your continent. Hard to tell from the fog, it might be on a hill (archers gain 75% :strength:).
    On prince you should be fine since they don't stack many defenders. 6-8 chariots could wipe out a small continent on this difficulty/speed. So have a little fun and snatch up your opponents land :]
     
  13. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    1N of C1. You're creative. Levee = win.
    C3 should be 1N or 2N. You can then squeeze in another city down there if you really want.
    C4 is almost useless. Maybe east of those gold hills the grass is greener.
     

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