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Help me become emperor

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by h0ncho, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. h0ncho

    h0ncho Chieftain

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    Hi there!

    I just started my first emperor game, and would greatly appreciate help, comments and tips in the process. I will post my progress in this thread and some info on the reasoning behind my moves. Here's my first 91 turns, here is how I did it:

    I started as Catherine as the Russians, mostly because I haven't tried neither the Russians nor Catherine before, and I think creative is a mighty fine trait to have. And since imperialistic and creative are both strongest early on I hope there's some synergy advantage here. Map is fractal, medium, no huts, unrestricted leaders (although I didn't end up actually taking advantage of that particular setting...)


    Anyways. The start is very good; only food bonus is sheep, but there's plenty of floodplains and forests, too:



    I start off by building a worker, and researching agriculture, wheel, fishing and then pottery. This was the first strategic choice that I was uncertain about; should I have prioritized bronze working for the slavery/whipping?

    Anyways, to the immediate north of Moscow there's another sweet, sweet city spot:


    Not only was it flood plains + corn, but it had river connection with Moscow as well, removing the necessity for roads! I considered putting the city one more tile to the east, but decided against it.

    Upon researching bronze working and not finding any copper, I continued by researching iron working and found some next to my capital. I skipped all the religious techs and skipped directly to writing, then mathematics. Comments on this tech path?

    Anyways, I later founded Novgorod in this spot:



    For the next city, I had a couple of alternatives but only one good one; my southwest was incredibly mediocre, whereas my north was lush and fertile; the only problem was city upkeep which was starting to hurt by now.

    My southwest:



    I am incredibly tempted by that stone - I f**king love stone! But I just can see no way to get it, since the spot is almost bereft of food sources. One alternative would be to found a city on the spot east of the horses, which would allow me to take the flood plains from Novgorod - but Novgorod, having so many plains and desert tiles, will need them alone. Another way would be to let the stone city leech of Moscows sheep. Would this be smart? I am often irrational when it comes to letting other cities steal tiles from my capital, am I letting this cloud my judgement here?

    Anyways, I decide to push into the fertile north. Sadly my screenshots are a bit disorganized right now, but here is a very far zoomed out view of the city of Rostov:



    Some flood plains, horses, much grassland, some hills... I like that spot. Although the real treat is one city spot to the north of it:



    At this time city upkeep costs are becoming critical, but I hope to pay it off quickly with the extra :commerce: from these sweet, sweet diamonds powered by that rice.

    Here's the diplomatic situations btw; I have Suleiman of the Ethiopians to the northwest, and Cyrus of the Incas to the northeast



    Here's the full map, with the diamond city spot very close to being colonized:





    What do I do next? I can built the hanging gardens, and I am researching the Alphabet right now. I can also research masonry quickly obviously... And that stone is tempting me to try the pyramids. What do you think about that? With all these floodplains, should I try early representation and then load up with science specialists? This has some synergy with my creative trait obv. I have lots of workers and lots of forests, and if I get that stone each forest will add another 60 hammers. I could also get the hanging Gardens, although most of my cities are at their happiness limit so I don't know if they will help all that much. And of course, this will require me to found a city near that stone...

    So I have three choices: A) Continue expanding at full speed, powered by cottages B) stop expansion for a while to get Pyramids or C) Build the hanging gardens.

    Comments? I would appreciate comments on my choice of improvements as well.
    Initial save and last save is attached.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

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    Take a closer look at St. Petersburg, and ask yourself why didn't i place it 1S?
    Because it would cross borders with Moscow? :)
    Didn't look at other things, but this is def. a habbit you want to get rid off when moving up in difficulty.
     
  3. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    Also, it is ok to place cities on the coast.
    You can't build harbors for extra health and Trade gold without it, and it guarantees you won't build the Great Lighthouse, one the best wonders in the game.

    That City to the SW should be on that plains hill for the extra production, the sheep, silver, fresh water, and coast.

    That City above Rostov would go well 1W of that pond. There it can gain the 3 hills above it for production, rice, and plenty of river tiles below. It also has the nice position of blocking the Incas from trying to squeeze a small city between you and them.
     
  4. Kreda

    Kreda Chieftain

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    What if you placed your diamond/rice city 2S? You'd get riverside for levees, and you could share cottages between 2 cities to grow them faster, if you're going for cottages ofc. Check for seafood near the stone, too.
     
  5. h0ncho

    h0ncho Chieftain

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    I... Didn't even consider it to be honest. Although when you put it like that, it was pretty obviously the best option.

    But wouldn't I miss out on the gems then? I really need them for the income boost.

    That is definitely an option to consider.


    What do people think about Pyramids/stone strats btw?
     
  6. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    I would have probably gone 1E or 1SE with that first city. coastal for one reason and the sheep - that's a solid food tile that it appears will go unused by a city.

    Overlap is not a bad thing - it only means your cities might grow to size 16-17 instead of size 21 in the late game, but you'll have won because you have more of those strong 16-17 size cities.

    Another city 2W1N of St. Pete would then have claimed the horse & silk, and plenty more flood plains. That would have been two strong cottage cities with those placements.

    I would quickly try to get the gem/rice site from here, and then another city that claims the iron and ideally blocks your land, so you can then freely settle the rest of the south at your leisure. In my opinion, blocking land is a key strategy at higher levels - when you have an opportunity to do it, it can make a world of difference allowing you to wait to settle some sites until you've gotten key economic techs like alpha, currency, COL, and sometimes monarchy.

    Also, remember with CRE you can settle aggressively toward your neighbors. Even though mehmed builds a lot of units, he's relatively easy to get to pleased and doesn't declare at pleased. You can settle close to his borders and watch your culture beat him down.

    Ask yourself if you need pyramids? Are you planning to farm the flood plains and run specialists? If so, then mids is probably fine. If you're planning to cottage them (usually my approach as it requires less micro), then you probably want monarchy rather than mids - HR is going to be key for happy faces.

    I loved hanging gardens on lower levels - get 5-6 cities and then build it, but on higher levels, I rarely bother with it as it's harder to get with enough cities to be worthwhile (although the health bonus is nice). I guess if you've researched math and have hooked up the stone, it's an ok option.
     
  7. h0ncho

    h0ncho Chieftain

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    Thank you for the advice.
    How many usable tiles do you think a city should have for itself for it to be worthwhile to settle it?

    As for research paths, I am thinking about two strategies:

    A) to put the slider at 0%, then use the GS thats coming out of st petersburg in some turns to bulb alphabet, then try to get currency as fast as possible
    B) still bulbing alphabet, but going towards drama and trying to get shakespeares theater in the capital as quickly as possible, then civil service for a monster capital. I haven't tried this strategy before, nor heard many other people using it all that much about it to be honest... Is this worth trying?
     
  8. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    I missed those. I looked at the map below it.
    Based on the spacing, I would want to get the gems too, but, in another city.
     
  9. h0ncho

    h0ncho Chieftain

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    Here's our tech tree btw:



    We got mathematics in addition, and that's pretty much it. We also have a GS coming in in 14 more turns.
     
  10. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    On tiles, I don't have a set idea - I base it on feel. Sometimes a city with a strategic resource and nothing else is worth it. Other times a city with junk, 1 food and 1 happy resource is worth it, because it increases the happy cap throughout your empire. But generally, I'd guess if I have a city that can make use of at least 6-7 good tiles, I'll probably settle it, figuring it will pay for itself soon enough.

    On your thoughts on tech, I wouldn't bother bulbing alphabet - much better to use that scientist for an academy in the capital. You'll generally want to think of your first bulb as being philosophy (alphabet doesn't return enough beakers to be worth it 99% of the time). On emperor, you can self-tech alphabet still as the AI is a bit slow, although I often will still go up the aesthetics line, tech alpha a few turns, then trade aesthetics for it. Sometimes I'll go aesthetics/lit and then heading up to music, for two reasons.

    1) Building sistine on higher levels helps make an AI culture victory far less likely - it'll take them a lot more turns to pull it off.

    2) I like that great artist to antagonize my neighbors with culture - I love watching my culture absorb nice tiles from the neighbors.

    Other times I'll just go aesthetics/lit then currency/COL and if I need it, monarchy. Lit obviously gives you an upper hand on GL, which is a nice tech boost.

    I kind of keep an eye on whether anyone else is going up the aesthetics line and base my teching of music on that. Music isn't a necessity by any stretch, but I tend to find if I can get to it first, it does make my emperor/immortal games easier so I'm not dealing with someone like Ram or Louis trying to win culture before I can get a W.

    It looks like you have an ok bureau capital, but it's not one I would rush at all costs to get to CS - I also don't see a lot of need for chain farming, so while CS is an extremely useful tech, I wouldn't necessarily need to fly to it in this game.
     
  11. huerfanista

    huerfanista Emperor

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    Others have made these points as well:

    1. St Pete is terrible - 1S would not have wasted the sheep and a floodplain.

    2. Novgorod should have grabbed the rice/gems, 2S of where you have marked.

    3. Settle another city SW of the rice/gems spot and you'll have a huge amount of good land blocked off.

    4. Forget the mids. You want monarchy for HR and wine. Grow your cities as big as you can.

    5. Your scouting is terrible. In 6 turns your warrior could explore all of the coast S of the stone. There could very well be seafood there. You also need to explore SW of the gems for a possible blocking city.

    6. Why bother with IW? There's no jungle, and it's easily traded for. Alpha or aesth would have been a much better choice.

    7. Your economy is hardly tanking with break-even at 50%. :lol: Crash that sucker, then recover. If you can block off all of that land, you'll have the game in the bag.
     
  12. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    1st expansion should be sheep/corn. Flood plains only are too food/hammer poor, and you have flood plains at the other cities anyway.
     
  13. lymond

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

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    Honcho - Without reading through everything, but seeing several mistakes that you made here, my advice is to get advice before playing your turnsets - if you really want to improve your game.
     
  14. h0ncho

    h0ncho Chieftain

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    Well... Then it wouldn't be me playing them, would it? I think it is better to make a mistake and then understanding it, rather than just executing other people's orders.

    Because there's no copper on this side of the Incas + it is a necessity for gems.
     

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