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Help Me Not Suck: Professor Shaka's War Academy

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by The Oz-Man, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    TABLE OF CONTENTS:
    Chapter 1: The Seeds of Conquest (29 turns - 4000 BC to 2840 BC)
    Chapter 2: Into the Wastelands (32 turns - 2840 BC to 1560 BC)
    Chapter 3: The Dutchman Flies (30 turns - 1560 BC to 600 BC)
    Chapter 4: Taming the Savage Lands (36 turns - 600 BC to 300 AD)
    Chapter 5: Shaka Enlightened (33 turns - 300 AD to 1000 AD)
    Chapter 6: The Drums (35 turns - 1000 AD to 1350 AD)
    Chapter 7: The Call to Order (40 turns - 1350 AD to 1625 AD and Endgame)

    Hi-diddly-ho, Civ-a-rinos!

    Inspired by (emboldened by?) Rckbrahman's Zara game, I'm going to post a playthrough of my latest game. I'm a Noble player currently, but I'm looking to improve, win more consistently, and beat the unholy bajeezus out of people more thoroughly. Eventually, I want to not be a Noble player anymore.

    My goal is threefold:
    1. to improve my own game
    2. to help other players who are stuck at Noble and below
    3. to just have some fun with some creative writing intact and hopefully have a good time with you lot.

    We're running a Fractal map with huts and events turned off, since I'm led to believe that's a good way to learn how to improve. Fractal could give us a wild start, but I'm rather used to it.

    I let the vile Spirits of RNG choose our leader, and they've stuck us with...



    SHAAAAAKAAAAAAAAA ZUUUUUUUULUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    All right! So! Let's consider our humble leader. Shaka is Aggressive and Expansive, which means he's good at taking things and then making those things he takes better immediately via cheap workers and granaries. The UU, the Impi, is Spearman who allows for quick movement through terrain and--assuming we can find Copper--should be available quickly. The UB, the Ikhanda, is a barracks that will take a bite out of our maintenance costs.

    Everything about Shaka seems to call for early warfare, putting us on better footing to make up for his lack of a strong economic or cultural trait. Bronze Working is obviously a priority for Shaka, but our real early techs will be determined by our start...



    This is after an initial Scout move--he was west of the Settler and wouldn't reveal much of the BFC. Lotsa trees for choppin', two good food resources, and river-adjacent for additional health and an easy trade route. I'm thinking Agriculture -> Animal Husbandry -> Bronze Working for an initial tech path, and we'll see where we stand from there in turns of strategic resources. SIP seems like the best option given that the best spots will require two turns to reach.

    Save is attached. If you play along, keep map spoilers hidden. Thanks!
     
  2. coanda

    coanda Chieftain

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    Shaka is one of the best leaders in the game to rush with. AGG, EXP, and Ikhanda have great synergy for this purpose. Alternatively, EXP + Ikhanda + Impis give you a great shot at choking while REXing. And best of all, you absolutely know that the most dangerous AI leader is not in your game :lol:
     
  3. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Chieftain

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    Wow, with 4 grass hills, a plains hill and pig on a hill your definately not going to be lacking hammers! Dry rice is a bit of a letdown but you can't have everything.

    Your initial tech plans are fine, though you don't need to tech Agri and will need Mining due to start techs :p.
    In the (unlikely) event of a strong grain resource appearing in your BFC when you settle, you may want to delay AH in favour of BW while mining the pigs for the time being.
     
  4. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    ...I need to look at my own pictures. >_< For some reason I thought Shaka started with Mining.

    Okay! So Mining first probably so we can get right to BW. Worker first is now looking like the best way to go.

    Oh, forgot to mention all this: Standard size, Normal speed, yes barbs, no to people surviving.
     
  5. NoSuchName

    NoSuchName Chieftain

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    It looks like all BFC tiles in the fog are forested, so the only possible food resource there is, I think, deer. Looks like a capital that has great early production from chopping and mines, but can't really work all its tiles lategame without excessive farming. Use your early momentum to gain a better long-term capital site quickly (from an AI or peaceful REXing). Ignore commerce in it entirely, give that duty to a city by the floodplains to the west.

    With all these forests (should be more nearby as well), it looks wise to save a BFC-worth of them for a National Park city once Biology is in.
     
  6. Archredbeard

    Archredbeard Chieftain

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    Just my 2 cents on this.
    I would definately think of using this cap for a HE city, lots of early/late prod.
    I would as already suggested, MAYBE think of moving the cap to a commerce place, if the map generated a place like that.
    Techpath would be BW first, get the settler out quick, also make a worker at size 3, before the settler, and get the wheel as 3rd tech, then AH, writing and start to look for a victim ;)
    One thing i have learned from watching AZs videos, is the importance of the wheel, always make the roading to your cities a príority. When moving up in levels, a habbit of (never) settling without roads, makes the start a lot easier.
    The reason for the (), is there is times, where you wanna settle really fast, but, thats a minority of starts, imo
    GL and HF
     
  7. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    I dunno - pigs and rice + 1 farm to irrigage the rice, and this has plenty of food.

    I think it's a production cap, too, not a commerce one.
     
  8. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    Chapter 1
    The Seeds of Conquest

    The immortal war-chief Shaka surveyed the lands that his ancestors had bequeathed him and found them to be good. The Zulu tribe had long subsided on gathering the rice of the untamed fields and hunting the mountain hogs. No more. Shaka dreamed of settling down here, of putting the Zulu warrior spirit toward conquering the land beyond the forests and hills in which he had grown up. And so, along the banks of the great river Bloodkilldeath, Ulundi was founded:



    (Lots of hills and lots of sexy green land! We're going to have some incredible early production capacity and the food to work those hills. If we make it to SP, we might be able to watermill those rivers and turn this into a late-game powerhouse as well. We went Worker first in the capital--with Agriculture in hand and AH not far off, he'll have plenty to keep him busy.)

    As the warrior-Scouts of Ulundi created crude maps of the countryside surrounding Ulundi, the warrior-scholars of the city set their wooden clubs to the task of, ahem, hammering out early methods of stoneworking. The Scout soon found that the Bloodkilldeath expanded out from a great river into a vast sea, where Fish breached peacefully in the summer sun.

    In his war-hut, surrounded by his warrior-concubines, the mighty Shaka sensed that the will of the Spirits had given rise to codified faith elsewhere in the world...



    (Buddhism and Hinduism went way early, so we're likely going to be dealing with some zealots here. Isabella? Saladin? Are you out there?)

    With stoneworking mastered, the warrior-scholars turned their attention to the mountain pigs. If the stones of the earth and the grains of the field could be mastered, could not the beasts of the field? Shaka envisioned his warriors mounted atop the largest of the boars, riding them into battle to conquer any tribes who would oppose him.

    While the Boar Riders of Zululand were likely impractical, the scholars were quick to suggest an alternate beast of burden that dwelt in the eastern country...



    (Score! Horses--and very, very nearby. Having Chariots backing up our Impis means we're going to have a very mobile army indeed!)

    The beasts were mastered. The grains were mastered. The stones were mastered. What of the trees? The scholars set to work finding a stone hard enough to rend the trees from the earth.

    In the west, beyond the mountains and farther from the Zulu hill country than anyone had ever traveled, the warrior-Scouts of the Zulu fended off wild beasts. Beyond the mountains, they came upon a new tribe, one whom no Zulu had ever seen. Pale-skinned despite occupying a desert village, they paid fealty to a leader who was both vain and opulent. Shaka himself arranged to meet this strange fellow at a campsite halfway between their two villages:



    His name was Willem, and though the war-chief put on an air of civility at their meeting, Shaka seethed. This man commanded fine lands, but he was no warrior. He would be put to the club!

    (Creative! D'oh! We're going to want Willem out of the way quickly, and as you'll see, he's not too far off, and we have an easy way to cut him off from our territory. As you'll see, he's got a pretty nice commerce capital for us from what little we know of it.)

    With the recruitment of an honor-guard for Ulundi, Shaka sought to expand his empire. The people were well-fed, and it was time for Zululand to grow.



    (Notice that the city's grown to size 3 right as the Settler started being built. Worked out very nicely!)

    The work with metal was going better than expected. But how could it be put to use? A millennium passed, and generation after generation fell to disease or hardship. But immortal Shaka lived to see his studies play out. As the clock turned over yet again, the work with Bronze was at last complete, and Shaka saw his people's future laid bare in the grasslands of Ulundi:



    The war-chief let out a low, bellowing laugh. He knew just what he would do to take on the arrogant Willem!

    (So with BW out of the way, I revolted straight into Slavery; with no danger of slave revolts and a food-heavy capital, I figured the whip would see plenty of use. Decided to wrap things up here with enough information to generate some more discussion about our current path.)

    The war-chief showed his warrior-advisers the maps of Zululand and her surrounding lands...



    ...and the lands of the fool Willem.



    (A few things stick out in all this:

    1. The mountains between the two cities provides a great place for us to cut Willem off from our territory. Founding a city on the northernmost Silks will rope in the Pigs and the Gold will put a buffer zone in place and give us some nice river land to work with--this could be a nice commerce city.
    2. Yes, I know, I need to explore south some more. As you can see, the mountains have made thorough exploration a challenge. I'll put a Scout in the queue after the Settler, then get an Ikhanda online and start pumping out Impis and Axes.
    3. Obviously, we're going to want to get those horses. 1NE of the horses grabs all of the floodplains and the cows; it misses the green hill, but it can probably do some decent commerce stuff.
    4. What's our tech path? I've set things to The Wheel next for Chariots and roads--a little bit of a delay, but we're now able to work with every tile in the capital thanks to what's come before, and as you can see, we're getting lucky with resources so far. Then I'm thinking of heading to Pottery and Writing, with a hop over to Mysticism at some point for border pops. I might be under-prioritizing Mysticism, though, especially with a Creative monster like Willem nearby.

    Save is attached! Tell me how badly I'm doing!)
     
  9. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Chieftain

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    Just in case you hadn't noticed, that city doesn't fully block by itself.
     
  10. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    Ah! That's true.

    What about on the plains hill between the gold and the deer then? Not the greatest town on Earth, but it does rope in the marble as well. I feel like there's a good city site there, but it's sort of tricky to put together, and it's going to be full of peaks no matter where we go. Right on top of the deer isn't bad (gets both the marble and the grassland cows), it does the job of cutting off the valley, and it'll make a great forward base for a future attack, but it wastes the deer, Willem may well beat us to it, and there are better sites out there for sure.
     
  11. ecuwins

    ecuwins Chieftain

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    Two problems with that. 1. You aren't creative, food needs to be in the first ring. 2. Tundra deer is not good enough to sufficiently feed a plains hill gold site. Maybe if there was some freshwater grass around there, but there isn't.

    Edit: If you must block, 1N of the Marble looks best, dead tiles be damned.
     
  12. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    I'm starting to think about not blocking at all. Blocking seems like a weenie tactic. We're Shaka! Let him build in those mountains! We'll take what he builds there!

    Pig/Gold/Silk city still seems like a pretty good second site--it'll need a border pop, but when it gets one, it should be very nice. Or should I go straight for the horses and start pumping out death? We may still have an opportunity to catch Willy with his pants down here.
     
  13. K.Murx

    K.Murx Chieftain

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    There is no such thing as excessive farming (as a non-FIN civ). Just farm everything and build mines and run specialists.
    Don't do that. Those hammers have better uses in the early game.

    [edit] Missed your update.
    Well, as you already have copper, there is no need for horses. Just build a city 1W of the pigs (as you have already built the settler), get another Worker and then an Ikhanda in Ulundi and the new city, chop, chop, chop, work some mines, whip, etc. until you have 7-10 axemen, conquer willem. Try to time it to hit before the third border pop (not sure when that is with creative, look it up).

    You can always pick up the gold with a city 5W of Ulundi later.
     
  14. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    I would say no to axe rush!! Main reason is distance. 15 tiles!! That is too far.

    Get the pig fish city settled up north. The cow/horse city too.

    Edit - Just noticed it is noble not immortal level.

    Grab the horse and tech to HBR and take out Willem. 3 cities should be ample before you start whipping/chopping HA.
     
  15. ecuwins

    ecuwins Chieftain

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    :goodjob:

    Make a few tight cities, share food and cottages, don't be afraid of overlap. Overlap is your friend.
     
  16. mtr12

    mtr12 Chieftain

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    Uh, that doesn't really work. Even if you're playing an "SE", you need earlygame gold from somewhere, be it Seafood, Gold/Silver/Gems, or a Cottaged future Bureau capital. If you just spam farms you'll run into Strike. I've experienced it many times.


    Anyways, Shaka is the best warmonger lategame since Ikhandas are a beast UB. If you can get a lot of land, you can exploit discounted Corporations (you pay 60% what other people pay) for an easy Space win. Actually, I would probably get a lot of land and Cottage-spam what you can for a stronger lategame.

    Settle the Gold, you need to work high value tiles early in the game, and Gold is as good as it gets.
     
  17. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Chieftain

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    If you can sneak Fishing into your early plans, there's a nice two step available; drop a city at fish + pigs, and use the pigs to get a workboat out. Then drop your Gold Silk Pigs city into place, and put the pigs back where they belong. There are enough interesting tiles in the first ring of Fish/Pigs to put it to immediate use.

    10/10 on narrative.

    You're planning looks a little bit weak - the moves you're considering aren't bad, but you haven't yet identified a theme to pull everything together.

    My suggestion would be to concentrate on the idea of "four strong core cities", and use that to guide your decision making while you wait on more map information to the south.
     
  18. CreeDakota

    CreeDakota Chieftain

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    Oz you a asking the right questions and considering the right things. I am very confident you can win at noble based only on your first posts.

    I would not focus on blocking wilhelm right now. Consider that for city number 3 and 4.

    For city number two I am usually locking for something that can get setup and be productive FAST. For that reason I usuall want inner ring resources and hopefully 2 really nice tiles that I allready have the techs for. Forget how awesome the city might be at 1500 AD. Those concerns are for later cities you found. I also want a city that is pretty easy to road to or on a river for fast trade routes.

    The first city that I consider for number two in Fish/Pigs just to the north. It is close, has great food and can share improved tiles with the capital. That city would be an excellent settler pump so the capital can concentrate on other things.

    The gold is a very attrative early tile but there is no food by it. For city 4-5 I would consider to settle on the grassland forest 1SE (maybe on the river 1S2E too) of the gold and it will become a moderate early to midgame commerce city. It will grow very slow and wont be able to use the whip for infastructure. A worthwhile but second rate city.

    EDIT: VOUnreason beat me to it!
     
  19. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Chieftain

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    Just to emphasize an important point that was left implicit here: this plan gets the pigs in your border immediately! The gold/pigs city won't have to rush a monument, wait 10 painful turns for a border pop and another 3 for the pigs to get improved.
     
  20. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    I got that; might be helpful to other newbietypes, though. :)

    I'm loving that strategy to get the pig/gold city started, and it lets us put off Mysticism for a little bit to nab Fishing. That won't be a really great long-term site, but it'll be a fine second unit pump for now. Pretty obvious second city.

    Third city, I'm thinking, grabs the horses, and I'd like not to wait too long for it. 1NW will grab the horses and get enough food in the first ring to get it viable; I'm thinking that's our first real commerce city.

    I think my first real plan is to squash Willem and settle the land between the two cities. Horse city will pay our way there with cottages while we use Fishtown and Ulundi to pump units, and I'll build Silktown at my leisure once I can afford it. Willem's capital looks like a pretty good Bureaucracy capital at a glance, but it's pretty distant.

    The main reason I haven't committed to much long-term beyond that is because I still need to scout the south. I'm thinking of putting off the Scout in the capital and instead building a scouting Impi once the Copper goes live. If there's a more viable target to the south, we'll head that way, but I have a feeling we may see jungle before we see another player.

    Going to try to put a round together that follows this general path. Next round will be about building up the military, getting those first couple of cities up. Tech path is going to be Wheel -> Fishing -> Pottery -> probably Writing.

    Thanks, guys!

    EDIT: Next round is played. This is going to be interesting, and you'll see why. Here are some spoilers:

    Spoiler :
    The land to the south goes on for a long, long, long while... and then it stops, and there was nobody there except a Barb Warrior that killed our Scout. If we take out Willem, we might end up being isolated! This could be a very interesting game. I've almost got a force of Impis that can choke Willem out, and a Settler's in the works to get city #3 going. If there are any neighbors on the other side of this land mass, then they're on the other side of Willem... which speaks to moving him out of the way as soon as possible.
     

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