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Help Me Do Well: Master Willem in Imperial Lands (yes, Emperor level!)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by The Oz-Man, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    Chapter 1
    The Blessed Chief

    As a boy, Willem was small, thin, and harried by dreams of slavering war-chiefs bent on conquest... as well as the larger, stronger children of his clan. His father, high chief of the Dutch clan, saw wisdom in his only son. When he died one summer--beset by the diseases of the nearby jungle--he clasped a hand on his son's shoulder.

    "You will make our people great," he said. "The Dutch will prosper. Settle near the blessed river Amstel, and seek your fortune."

    And so the new chief Willem van Oranje, cloaked in the Mantle of the Tiger, settled with his people along the rocky river. The ancient city of Amsterdam was founded, and to this day it stands as the heart of Dutch life.

    Spoiler :


    The founding of Amsterdam revealed a herd of Pigs near a nearby store of Marble. Willem planned to make use of these resources eventually--his dreams had gone beyond mere settlement of a city. He would have an empire if his people only had the wherewithal to help him create it.

    However, the permanent settlement of Amsterdam--which first began training a Worker to farm the nearby Corn--soon brought Willem into contact with other chiefs. The first was a stern-faced matriarch of the English, who had scouted the land to the south of Amsterdam. Her name was Elizabeth, and she greeted Willem with an air of caution.

    Spoiler :


    Willem knew ambition when he spotted it--growing up around bullies gives one a warranted sense of paranoia. He sought protection in the stones of the earth--first in terms of Mining, then in the use of metals.

    Spoiler :


    (I figured that with food secured, a straight BW beeline wouldn't be bad. We only had three very basic techs by round's end.)

    From the west came another chief, this one an opulent man of wealth and grace. The people of Babylon answered to him and his primitive code, in which the wise and just chief could administer the law as he saw fit. Chief Hammurabi was his name.

    Spoiler :


    (Okay, despite what cbucks said, my experience with Hammurabi is that he's probably the least dangerous Aggressive leader in the game. He tends to tech well, but I rarely see him as a military threat. Does that bear out in other people's experiences as well?)

    No sooner had Willem met the two chiefs, however, when a wave of religious fervor suddenly gripped the land.

    Spoiler :


    (...so we'll probably have to pick a side in this. Fantastic. It's worth noting that neither leader starts with Mysticism, so that likely means that a lot of the real religious spammers--Isabella, Justinian, Saladin, etc.--aren't around.)

    Finally, Willem finished his study into Bronze Working and revealed at last to his people that his rule as Eternal Chief of the Dutch People was blessed.

    Spoiler :


    (...well. Okay then! I'll take it. We haven't gone Slavery yet--nothing really to whip.)

    One final secret remained: a means of taming the Pigs of the east.

    Spoiler :


    And Willem's scouts returned with detailed maps of the southern and eastern lands, which revealed interesting developments.

    Spoiler :


    A new settling party was prepared to embark from Amsterdam in short order. The Dutch civilization was prepared to grow from clan to empire under the blessing of their chief. Willem was pleased, inviting his closest friends into his tent to discuss the state of the Dutch people.

    (Okay! A short round, but I don't want to rush my first time on Emperor. I don't think I did anything too stupid, and we're set to have our second city online right where I'd like. We've got two Workers, a smattering of Warriors, and a chop finished on the Settler in the queue. We've also got a tech choice.

    Spoiler :


    I think we want those Horses up quickly, so let's get The Wheel. I always seem to really want it, though, and I think I overprioritize it--I definitely did last game. The Copper doesn't need it, but the Horses will. Thoughts?

    Here's my first try at a dotmap:

    Spoiler :


    I love being Creative. Yay not having to wait for border pops!

    The Marble/Pig/Horse site seems like the best shot for a first city, and then I'd like to start the task of sealing off the south. The silk and sugar sites will both do that pretty effectively. On the other hand, I don't like the sugar site pre-Calendar and pre-IW especially--it can be cottaged up nicely and will be a pretty good city, but not for a while.

    So I'm thinking of punting it and founding the floodplain site first. That site will likely be cottaged over with an eye toward turning it into a commerce site.

    The banana site to the north has some hills under that jungle and can work the capital's food as needed. The nice thing about it (that you can't see in this map) is that it has a banana in that jungle, so it can survive on its own once the capital works all its food so as to work all of those hills. The jungle rice site is pure backfill, but it should be good once the jungle is cleared out.

    The downside that I see right now is a lack of early happiness. The best we've got are Calendar resources. There may be Fur or Silver way down south, but we haven't gotten there yet, and those sites will be long-term at best. Of course, religion is another way to go, but I'm starting to suspect Hammy and Izzy are on the other side of all of that jungle, so it may take a while.

    My early idea for overcoming that, based on what's available to us right now, is using the Oracle to grab Monarchy. We'll need Wheel -> Masonry -> Mysticism -> [religious tech] -> Priesthood, and we may want to grab Writing and/or Pottery somewhere in that line as well. That's not my favorite tech to grab with the Oracle, but we're going to need to do something to get smileyfaces.

    Long-term, I'm not sure which victory condition to pursue yet. I'm inclined to maybe try culture this time with a possible incidental war to pacify one or both of our neighbors. With Marble and a strong production center right in the heart of the empire, we can probably grab shrines and the Sistine Chapel without too much hassle, and cottage-able land under Financial makes that option inviting as well. The downside is that we might not get to see the uniques in action, but we didn't really get to do that with Washington, either.

    Then again, we haven't had a lot of overseas invasion action yet. With East Indiamen and a good water-based UB, that could be fun in this game if we--as I suspect we might--need to leave our continent to raise some Cain.

    Save is attached. Thoughts? Questions? Implications that I've lost my marbles? Thanks!)
     
  2. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    I'm not too keen on marble/pig/horse. Those three tiles are nice, but the rest is garbage. Assuming you don't need the horses right away, how about NW of the marble, which pulls in the pigs and a decent chunk of that empty green river.

    You might also consider outsourcing the bananas to a western location when calendar is in.

    You really need to be thinking about how to use that ludicrous capital production....
     
  3. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    First off, I agree on the marble/pig site. With Copper, we don't really need the Chariots just yet--their primary advantage is their mobility. If we go with the new site, how should we tech? Wheel might be less of a priority, but I'd like to get that new city hooked onto the Copper grid before long. Of course, the tech I'd most likely replace it with--Pottery--is on the other side of Wheel. Maybe Writing to get some Libraries online, or just stay the course? Maybe speed the Priesthood beeline along if we go Oracle?

    All right, let's think about that then.

    As I see it--and I may be wrong--a production capital can be used in a few ways:

    1. Spam Workers/Settlers (obvious early-game use)
    2. Spam military
    3. Spam wonders

    #2 is going to be good for fogbusting, but I'm still not sure where Liz and Hammy are. I doubt either one is close enough for an axe rush unless Liz is sitting right on the other side of that jungle. So a war of conquest might come, but probably not for a little bit. Maybe with Horse Archers? If we go the Oracle route, are we punting that chance?

    #3 is why I'm inclined towards the Oracle. I have been trying to think about how to utilize that production, and using a strength to provide a counterweight for an early challenge is something I had in mind there (that is, use our strong production to compensate for our lack of :) ). The production strength combined with the Marble gives us options in that direction; we can almost certainly get several decent wonders if we tech in that direction.

    Did you have something else in mind? I feel like you're hinting that there's an obvious piece of the puzzle that I'm missing here, but with production and commerce potential and two easily secured strategic resources, our early problem right now seems to be happiness. Maybe a war with Hammy or Liz to secure happiness resources (if they have them)? I don't know--if you're hinting at something here, I must be missing it.
     
  4. cbucks

    cbucks Warlord

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    Horse city, and a city on the river south and a ha rush
     
  5. K.Murx

    K.Murx Warlord

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    There is great land, you can (thanks to that capital) create workers/settlers fast, and you have marble. The neigbours are (usually) decent folk and trading partners. And you do not know where they are yet. So I would not risk a rush - you can (almost) always get away with it on emperor, but on higher levels a rush is always a risk.
    Instead I would initially push out two settlers for pigs/marble and floodplain central, which will probably ensure that you get Silky Rice as well. Then I would go for the Oracle in the capital (prob. build workers in the other cities), followed by a settler for a city on the sugar NW of Amsterdam (can work two hills and cottages, claims land).

    Silky Rice, Banana Production and Rice Jungle (good Moai candidate) later. Then just cottage all that riverside Grassland and enjoy an awesome tech pace. Just have an eye on Elisabeth, she can sometimes tech too well.

    Oh, and please scout the NW. Your scout should have turned NW when you hit that lake next to Mount Hog - that's already too far away for early settling.

    Btw, I would argue for 1N of the marble - better early production, Sugar city can work the riverside you lose, the marble city can grow one cottage for capital, and can probably borrow some hills from the capital for production as well to compensate for the one PH you lose. Only drawback I can see is that it will take two more worker turns to connect to the trade network - but the early hammers from the PH are easily worth that.
     
  6. MrKlew

    MrKlew Warlord

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    I'm definitely a beginner, so feel free to disregard anything I write. But what about settling on the marble? It hooks it up immediately and gives you access to the incense, which doesn't look like it has the food to support otherwise. It also gives you those two grass sites by the river. So you could use the pigs to run the incense and 1 hill which gives good early commerce and decent production. Then you can either cottage the grass for an awesome early commerce city or farm it and run another hill for some nice production?
     
  7. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    Chapter 2
    Secrets of the Heavens

    Willem saw wisdom in his advisers' words. The horses of the East would be a valuable asset, but they were not needed yet. Elizabeth and Hammurabi were distant threats, and Amsterdam's Copper stores could be used to equip Axemen to protect the Dutch people. Better land still needed to be settled, and Willem could not allow the English or the Babylonians to beat him to these sites. The settling party from Amsterdam planned to head south instead, beyond the rich hills of the Netherlands and into new territory.

    The Axemen's service would be needed sooner rather than later, of course, for Elizabeth and Hammurabi were not the only threats to Dutch solidarity.

    Spoiler :


    Barbaric archers, knowing neither lord nor clan, set themselves upon Willem's explorers, cutting them down to a man. It was not until years later--when Dutch Axemen began to roam the land--that Willem felt his people were secure.

    (Barbs weren't really much trouble--Axemen wreck anything before the barbs get axes of their own.)

    Finally, in 2400 BC, the Netherlands grew from remarkable city-state to burgeoning empire, as a hearty band of warriors founded Utrecht in the southern mountains.

    Spoiler :


    The store of Marble at the site was the real prize, and upon learning the secrets of The Wheel and Pottery, Willem sought a means to use it. The Marble could be used for great feats of architecture--including a temple from which the secrets of the heavens themselves could be granted to mortal men.

    (I went with VoU's site just because I like how much green land it grabs. The other sites were okay, but this city can be a secondary production powerhouse if we want it to.)

    Dutch explorers soon found the fabled lands of Babylon and England. Both were close at hand.

    Spoiler :


    (I get the impression that, by round's end, both Hammy and Liz are starting to feel the pinch. They're both expanding my way--Hammy even has a jungle city up by the end of the round--suggesting that they're both somewhat hemmed in.)

    Another settling party from Amsterdam laid down roots in the Southwest, founding The Hague.

    Spoiler :


    The lush, green land in the valley surrounding The Hague promised to house independent Dutch villages in short order, bringing valuable taxes into Willem's coffers.

    With the secret of Masonry discovered, Willem had finally begun to feel the sting of his cities' growth. The people were overcrowded and yearned for luxuries, and regrettable acts of slavery--recently instituted as a measure of crowd control--made Willem shake his head in indignation. He would need to mollify the people. Perhaps wisdom from on high could be used to make such a move.

    Seeing that land to the northwest of Amsterdam was in jeopardy, Willem sought his own piece with the founding of the border town of Rotterdam.

    Spoiler :


    Despite the encroaching jungles, the city held great long-term potential in terms of both production and commerce. And with its near location--along the shore of the great river--it was not too burdensome a financial investment.

    At last, after completing research into the Polytheistic faith of the Babylonians (with an eye towards a possible Great Library run later on), Willem completed his research goal, sanctifying the wise men of Amsterdam to unlock the secrets of the heavens.

    Spoiler :


    Construction of their temple began almost immediately.

    Spoiler :


    (Just giving you an idea of how ridiculous Amsterdam's production power is. If we want it, we can have the Temple of Artemis in 9 turns, too. :p )

    The sudden rise of Dutch spirituality intrigued the English chief, and she and Willem struck a deal.

    Spoiler :


    (I haven't gotten around to exploring Liz's lands yet, but I figure this is a good way to possibly get Buddhism.)

    Finally, the Dutch gathered at a ceremony in Amsterdam celebrating three millennia since the founding of the sacred city. The merciful Willem invited commoners from across the land for the revelry, but he himself was not present.

    He lay prostrate at the foot of the great temple, pleading with the spirits to show him their secrets.

    Spoiler :


    (And that's the round! The save picks up with the Oracle one turn from completion. Right now, here's what we can have for our prize:

    Spoiler :


    As I mentioned earlier, I like Monarchy here. Our pre-Calendar smilyface options are sorely lacking--literally, there's some Fur down in the south and that appears to be it. Of course, our build time was so quick that we can put it off a few turns if we want, too. Finishing Writing will put CoL, Aesthetics, Maths, and Alpha on the table and won't take too long. We will--I'm 99% sure--be the first to CoL if we go this route.

    Personally, if we wait for Writing, I'd be inclined to go either Aesthetics or CoL. Monarchy is nice, but we can likely trade for it as well, using whatever religion we get and temples to handle happiness in the meantime. What do you think?

    Here's maps with a few adjustments.

    Spoiler :



    The previous sugar site has been moved a bit inland to nab moocows and establish a western border--I want that site up and running soon to seal off the south. Notice that Mount Hog has been moved southwest to a site that grabs three food sources as a possible GP farm. Rotterdam can probably do that as well, but I hate wasting a nice river site like that when we're Financial.

    Oh, and Hague is unhappy because its city garrison had to be pulled off for incidental barb-busting. :p

    Since we've seen Amsterdam's wacky micro, let's take a look at the other sites as well, some of which are suffering from whip angst.

    Spoiler :




    Yeah, I don't like that Barracks build in hindsight. Utrecht will be a military pump, but it doesn't need that yet.

    Demographics:

    Spoiler :


    This was a REX-heavy round, and we've just had some thorough whoopin' all across the empire, so GNP will recover. In that respect, charts reveal we're lower than Liz but higher than Hammy.

    Assets:

    Spoiler :


    Four cities... seven Workers? It's like your advice is starting to sink in! :p

    I think it's time to think about victory conditions. With a likely lead in good arable land--at least on our continent--we have a lot of options here. Subjugating the neighbors and riding our ridiculous aquatic uniques to victory is definitely a viable path, especially if we set Amsterdam to the task of spamming Horse Archers until the end of time. Shoot, with our production capacity, we may want to do that anyway.

    On the other hand, culture is an inviting option as well--and it's one we haven't seen in one of these games yet. The Aesthetics path post-Writing would be straightforward, and Amsterdam can easily nab us the Sistine Chapel to support it. If we go that route, then Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and either The Hague or Silky Rice will probably be our three culture sites. Then we beef up the border garrisons in case Emperor Monty is out there waiting to smack us around.

    We may still subjugate the continent if we go that route, though, in which case maybe we'll use an enemy capital as a third culture site. We'll have to see.

    Save is attached. Eager as always to hear your thoughts. Thanks, guys!)
     
  8. WelshGandalf

    WelshGandalf King

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    Financial & Cultural are two good traits if you want to go for a cultural win. The marble & mad production are good, as are the peacful-ish neighbours. It depends on what your priority is. Learning how to handle an Emperor game, or trying out different victory conditions, both would seem to be aims for this series.

    Regarding Oracle - I agree with you that Monarchy would be good. (Feels too much like cheating for you to replay from before you finished the Oracle imo, but hey it's a game, do what you like :p) You have quite a few improved tiles at the moment but no citizens to use them because of the happy cap. Maybe 7 workers was too many consider your low happy cap? :p I tend to have less workers in this situation & then build more when the situation improves.

    I know it's too late now, I still like the original horse/marble/pig site. It has more than just those 3 tiles as an earlier poster said. It also had 2 green riverside squares and a financial-powered inland lake so would've had enough tasty tiles to keep you going well into the AD's. Then you could just run a couple of scientists from it so it would continue to be useful if not great during the rest of the game. It's OK to look at short-term rather than long-term potential for your 2nd & 3rd cities.
     
  9. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    I'm not too keen on that play, myself -- my choice would have been to settle Banana Production first, then drop a city on the sugar. The concern being that once Amsterdam starts on the Oracle, the dry corn dies. Your play does guarantee both locations, but I think BananaProd is likely to get you both locations sooner.
     
  10. cseanny

    cseanny Emperor

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    Since you've got some time already invested here I shadowed your game over a week ago...wish I had some screenies/save left. Anyways, I settled my 2nd city on the Sugar/nana/rice by Capital, 3rd city inbetween Pigs/Horse to East, and my 4th city was a blocking city on sugar/cows further to the west and took Feudalism as my Oracle free tech. This allowed for very early CS and a Bureau Capital bringing in over 100 bpt before 1AD.

    But nicely played so far. If I were you I'd block off the land to the west then just focus on growth/research for a while and backfill the rest of the land a bit later. If memory serves me correctly I only have 4 cities around 400BC but once my Bureau Capital kicked in I was spamming settlers in 3 turns to quickly fill all available land.

    And I vote NO to cultural victory. Imo that just breeds weak play. I'm biased though. I hate that VC and consider a tactic for weak players who have the worst score yet somehow win. Don't do it!! ;)
     
  11. cbucks

    cbucks Warlord

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    Metal casting. Should have finished writing first, but oh well
     
  12. gspchamp999

    gspchamp999 Warlord

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    I agree here. That corn needed to be shared ASAP. That jungle city is not even needed considering all the land to the south and other cities would provide much more instant benefit to the empire.
     
  13. Giant Wolfman

    Giant Wolfman Warlord

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    I agree with the general sentiment that Banana Prod might've been a better city to settle first than Rotterdam. That being said, Rotterdam being settled does have a (potential?) advantage: you can cottage the riverside and develop them for Amsterdam while you are happy cap limited. Once your happy cap goes up, start switching the more mature cottages over to Amsterdam.

    Regardless, I feel like you have enough land, and enough good land, that a culture victory is kind of blah. Echoing cseanny, I feel like culture is a way to win when you are relatively weak and that you can leverage this land to do better than that.
     
  14. K.Murx

    K.Murx Warlord

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    Well, sometimes the RNG hands you... well, not as good land as we have seen in this series. Knowing the "weak" victory conditions then becomes suddenly very important - and it sometimes takes quite a good player to actually reach that victory. Regardless of score ;)
     
  15. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    I'm not hearing a lot of support for culture. All right, let's plan to go military then. How should we pull this off? Tech towards HAs and go to town? Is it too late for that? Should we wait for siege and maybe shoot for wreaking havoc with maces and catapults/trebs?

    I have an eye for getting Astronomy from Liberalism if we go that route. We could also avoid Meditation and CS for a little while and try to bulb Astro with a scientist or two, but avoiding CS with a capital like this seems like a mistake. And in any case, I don't think we'll want to trek overseas until this continent is under our control anyway.

    I'm leaning towards at least one more round of peaceful settlement before we start thinking about unleashing the reaping, settling at least BanProd, the sugars site, and Silky Rice just to seal the land up. Tech path will likely be towards HBR and Archery for an early war with an eye towards putting a dent in our opponents. Should I aim for Alpha to extort tech as well?

    Thanks for your help, guys--really appreciate it.
     
  16. cseanny

    cseanny Emperor

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    You've got Marble and horsies so going up Literature for TGL and then heading over to Cuirs seems like a plan to me? No hurry for war imo. I'd say settle the rest of your land and launch a 1050-1100 Cuir war and pretty much instantly take over the rest of your continent then. You should decide if you wanna dominate the entire world or take your continent and launch a space ship.
     
  17. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    Four possible Oracle options IMHO are :
    Monarchy - Happy faces all over your empire!
    HBR - In case you want to rush Lizzie/Hammie, but you don't really need a rush.
    Metal Casting : Solid tradebait, the Colossus might be worth going for too, but there is not that terribly much water around. OTOH, Coastal sites are better than usual with the Dutch UB.
    Hunting: To get the Fur hooked up.
     
  18. Teoes

    Teoes Chieftain

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    Oracle Hunting? Shurely Shome Mishtake.

    I'd be very tempted by Monarchy for the happies. But that's me; I know nothing.
     
  19. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    I'm going to Oracle Writing. :p

    I think Monarchy is probably a lock, to be honest. Happiness is just awful with this start, so we'll need to do something before we can religion it up and build temples everywhere. On the other hand, delaying for a few turns to see if we can get CoL isn't too bad, either.

    I like the idea of delaying war until Cuirs, but what do we do if we don't have Iron? Maybe an early war to secure it? With Copper and Horses this close at hand I'd be amazed if we had all three resources within shouting distance--we did with Shaka, but that was Noble level.
     
  20. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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