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Help With Noble difficulty

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by DAN0785, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. DAN0785

    DAN0785 Chieftain

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    Hi, I am fairly new to civilization. I played through the game several times at warlord level and got bored with it from winning by a large margin over and over. So finally I started to try my hand at Noble, but I find myself being very terrible at it.

    I do pretty much what I did at warlord, but I seem to fall behind a lot very quickly compared to my enemies. I expand pretty quickly, usually am able to have the science percentage at between 70-100% for the most part, am able to build several world wonders, yet by the year....1400 or so, other civilizations are a good 10 Scientific discoveries ahead of me. I mean, everything looks stable, I have a lot of cities, all with libraries early, and I even grab that world wonder early that give you a freebie. I even tried using all my Great people to rush my science output, yet I am way being on science discoveries. Also tried trading with the smaller civs to "catch up." It isn't like it is 2 or 3 that are that ahead of me. it is more like 5 or 6.... so I must be doing something wrong.

    A friend told me to attack them more early to stop them. I was quite proud to destroy two before AD, but found myself in last place in points by the time I reached medieval era. I automate a lot of things like my workers and probably some other things I don't even realize. Does anyone know what mistakes I am making? Also, in the other games, I would be like 3rd or 4th in points, but the even the lesser civs would be super ahead of me on their discoveries. Any help would be great.
     
  2. CivNoobie

    CivNoobie King

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    this is pretty much it.

    you are probably not building much cottages.

    :commerce: is what translate to :science:
     
  3. pandamancer

    pandamancer Prince

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    Don't automate your workers. At least in the early stages of the game, you need to be smart in utilizing worker movements and plan on which tiles to prioritize first.

    Secondly, are you over-expanding? If yes, this can also make your research go slow since you are draining your treasury.

    As CivNoobie mentioned build cottages. But before you build it be sure you have enough population to "work" on it. Generally you don't do cottages on food poor sites. Building cottages on river/flood plans tiles is also a good idea especially if you are a financial civ because it gives you 3 commerce instantly!

    What buildings are you doing? It does not make sense to build aqueducts if your health is still high which is a waste of hammers. Also are you building wonders that are marginally helpful to you? Like building Sistine Chapel when you are not going for cultural victory. The hammers saved can allow you to build an army earlier.

    If you are still having difficulty, try Financial or Creative civs.
     
  4. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    1) It's a strategy game - you need to have a plan.

    2) Keep an eye on the demographics screen, it will help you to understand when you are falling behind relative to the other civilizations

    3) Your most significant mistakes are happening in the first 100 turns.
     
  5. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    As mentioned, automating workers is a mistake, though it isn't going to be fatal by itself on noble.
    This sounds more worrying, if your not going below 70% research rate while your expanding then your not expanding enough, a rule of thumb is that on standard size, normal speed games 6 cities by 1AD is a bare minimum, at noble 8-10+ is easy to afford!
    That being said you are most likely not building enough workers to support your growth (its an almost universal mistake at this level), ideally you want enough to never have a city working an unimproved tile, which is difficut but if you can get close to this you will stomp this level. Automated workers waste so much time building roads that aren't needed that you will need significantly more to achieve this than if you learn to manage them manually.
    Building wonders isn't automatically a good thing, many are in the regions from worthless to not usually worth building range, even the strong ones are situational and/or strategy specific. Just building them willy-nilly actually hurts you as it takes hammers from more important builds. Only the Oracle bucks the trend by being the most reliably attainable and cost effective, though its far from a necessity.


    For specific advice you may want to attach an early save, 1000BC - 1AD preferable
     
  6. DAN0785

    DAN0785 Chieftain

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    thanks all, that helps a lot.

    I am trying different things from the beginning to see what is best, and am improving with the advice.

    For the world wonders, I usually try to get the Oracle because I like the +1 for technology, stone hedge, and I get the Great Wall. With stone hedge, I know each early city will be getting +1 culture to help it expand. If I don't get the great wall, it is annoying to have barbarians destroying tile improvements. Can't protect every tile. One question about the world wonders.... I am not always able to get it, but about half the time I get the Pyramids because it lets you change the government Civic.... is that pretty much a worthless chase to build that? I haven't built in the Noble level, but I used to do it on Warlord all the time, not sure if it hurt or helped.

    And another question, should I be setting up the specialists in the cities a certain way? I don't usually mess with them much, but I wasn't sure if that was also something I was doing wrong. I didn't realize how much I got away with on the warlord level.

    Thanks again for everyone's help

    Going to do this later when I play it up to there. That would help a lot.
     
  7. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    Stonehenge is particularly popular with newer players for exactly that reason, but once thought through fuly it doesn't look great unless your using an extremely specific strategy, it just slows your initial expansion too much to justify in most cases and really doesn't give all that much back in culture as most cities shouldn't be in a rush to get a border pop anyway, and if your using a leader with the Creative trait it does abolutely nothing!

    Great Wall is one that has uses, but is highly situational. The GSpy points it gives can be very powerful on high difficulties where its worth stealing techs from AIs, but not noble, barb defense is useful on settings which heavily favour barbs (huge/marathon) and unusually empty maps which are very rare if you play standard/normal.
    The main knock against GWall as barb control is how potent warriors actually are, barbs cannot spawn within 2 tiles of any unit meaning a warrior has a 25 tile area around it where no barb can appear! This also works to prevent barb Galleys spawning, and GWall doesn't protect against them.

    The Pyramids are actually one of the stronger wonders in absolute terms when used in the right conditions and way, but at the same time its easily the biggest newbie trap in the game.
    Part of the problem is its cost, 500:hammers: is immense, your not really going to be able to justify the cost if you build it without one of stone or IND. The second problem is what it gets used for, Representation is the main use for this wonder and newer players rarely use specialists effectively.
    They are really, really useful in that they are a guaranteed, easily controllable and powerful source of great people points, and great people live up to their name.
    Their actual :science:/:gold: etc outputs aren't all that impressive unless your running Representation so their use revolves around getting great people. Typically the first use of specialists will be in a city with a Library at around 1000BC, running 2 scientists will get you your first GScientist in 17 turns (assuming no earlier wonders), which is usually used for an Academy.
    After the first few (1-3) great people are born its common to swap GPP production to a main GP farm, a city set up with several strong food resources intended for running a lot of specialists and housing the National Epic.
     
  8. DAN0785

    DAN0785 Chieftain

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    That is really helpful about the world wonders. I am going to be logging some games in without using them to take a closer look at some results. The pyramid one seemed like a luxury that wasnt needed just because of the cost. In warlord, I would build it just for the hell of it. But this next step requires a lot more planning. I usually try to go for the space victory and go for a more peaceful civilization. I only really attack if it is really early and I see an opportunity, there is a resource I really need, or if someone keeps attacking me continuously. Are there any world wonders that would help early on or is it something that is better to wait later for?

    I just attached a game as well. I made several mistakes I can tell. I think it is at about 300 ad. I took off a civilization early, but gold isn't coming in pretty quickly. I did build stonehedge and the Great wall. I also built the Great Lighthouse hoping more gold would come in, but it didn't do that much from the results. Not exactly sure how competitive I am with the other civs at this point, but I should be doing better than I am.

    Also, I usually do the biggest world. Not sure my reasoning for it, but I probably should be taking on smaller worlds for the learning process.

    Thanks again for everything
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Amao

    Amao King

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    @DAN0785 It seems you are playing Warlord instead of BTS. Most people here are playing BTS now. So, if possible, get it up and use BTS.
     
  10. crazyotto65

    crazyotto65 Chieftain

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    The key to mastering Noble level is learning to effectively WHIP and CHOP.
     
  11. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    Huge post incoming!
    Well on these settings the GWall is pretty much always going to be the right choice, the Orace and GLibrary are usually good bets on value too.
    I would usually suggest however looking to play a couple of games without building any wonders at all, then you can see what else you could invest the hammers in and would be more free to learn the game (particuarly Great Person Point management) without the crutches of wonders. If you do try this then you could always keep the GWall as a crutch to lessen the impact as it is a no brainer wonder on these settings.
    A lot of people play those kinds of settings, particulary when they are new/inexperienced, I know I did as I was looking for an 'epic' feeing game of civ.
    There are a few issues with learning while playing it, marathon does skew the game heavily toward warfare and makes everything run much, much faster so bear that in mind.
    Well you are miles behind in production, food and population but hopefully you can remedy that now by expanding, your GNP is not great, but its doing better than the others and will hopefully pick up quite quickly.
    An important mechanic to recognise is that the commerce:)commerce:) you get from cottages and other tiles, and from the trade routes from GLighthouse, is not the same things as gold:)gold:), and that excess gold really isn't that useful!
    Commerce is split up by the slider into :science:, :culture: and :gold depending on % its set at, as the only real purpose of gold is to fund maintenance at this point you want to be running the :science: slider as high as possible, even if it means running a defecit as getting lots of gold in the bank has no real value unless you intend on rushbuying.
    The GLighthouse itself really isn't doing much for you, its function being to increase trade routes in coastal cities is only partly working in 2 cities as Seoul isn't connected to anything and theres only 2 potential routes for New York and Washington, and those routes are only worth 1:commerce: each as they are domestic for a paltry total of 2:commerce:.
    The funny thing about this is that the GH is in fact one of the games strongest wonders, capable of winning games almost entirely by itself on the right map, but it relies on lots of coastline, and preferably other local empires to trade with, it wasn't really worth buiding in this case.
    Though it can still be made use of, you do have a fewworth while city sites near the capital that are coastal, the unworkable grassland cottage west of the capital to grab the fish, the forested plainshill for crab further west and cams to north in particular.

    The biggest issues in that save, and by a large margin are your lack of expansion and tiny cities, these are the root causes of your pitiful :science: and production capacities.
    A major mistake that has inflamed this is using the 'avoid growth' automation button in all your cities, some of which still have :) to spare. Even growing into unhappiness can be beneficial as you can whip unhappy population allowing you to turn excess food into production, avoid growth swaps to weak tiles and throws away any excess food.... its also easy to forget about, it will cause nothing but harm to your empire!

    Workers are doing things badly, the automation is in fact made considerably worse by having avoid growth in cities as they are cottaging plains (weak tiles) before improving sheep (quite strong and even dry corn (very strong) along with their usual nonsense.
    A quick rule of thumb for order of tile strength when using workers manually is;
    Food resources->Other resources->Floodplains->Grassland->Plains,
    all while favouring riverside if two of the same type for the extra commerce, and especially for grains as riverside/lakeside means an extra food.
    Roads are something to be kept to a minimum, build them to connect cities, strategic resources you don't yet have connected, and happy resources you don't have but be particuarly careful about wasting worker turns roading to health resources as cities tend not to need any till later than they need other things done due to innate health, rivers, forests and seafoods connecting to coastal cities without needing a road.
    If you don't already do it turn tile yields on by pressing cntrl+y to see what a tile does for you in its current state.
    Boston really needs a bit of worker attention on its foods, and stop that worker from building the worthless road on that plains/hill/mine tile.

    Cities can only work tiles in an area known as the Big Fat Cross (BFC), this makes a 5*5 tile area around the city with the corners cut out for a total of 21 tiles, theres no benefit to the city in building improvements outside of this area.This area can easily be seen ingame by the way by entering the city screen, the city can only work the tiles with :food:, :hammers: and/or :commerce: yields
    So the cottage 1South, 3West of Washington, the one your building 3East and the two cottages 3South are completely useless :p

    For now you've managed to hit a :science: bottleneck due to being so small and reaching fairly expensive techs, this has to be remedied ASAP. Research Monarchy to allow your cities to grow under the Hereditary Rule civic, if you don't alrady know it causes military units (not scouts) in cities to give +1:), the warriors you can still build are extremely useful for this due to their cost.
    To get there I would suggest turning avoid growth off everywhere, allowing the capital and Boston to grow to work more tiles, New York can swap off food to cottages temporarily and Seoul can run 2 scientists instead of working the plains forest and cottage.
    The scientists will not only help toward :science:, but also speed your next great person (probably a prophet) from 18 turns to 5. Seoul has monstrous amounts of food and will make a good GP farm for the rest of the game infact!

    With that sorted simply grow and expand like mad, you have tons of room here with no obvious competition for it, should be easy from there just make sure to keep up enough workers to improve new cities in a timely manner and get Currency.
    First two cities I would build from there would be 1SE of the sheep NE of the capital, then on the aformentioned unworkable cottage W of the capital. In the long run you want to have at least one food for every city, and at least one city for every food.
     
  12. Olson

    Olson Warlord

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    I went from Warlord to Noble a couple months ago and found it to be an efficiency adjustment (just like going from Noble to Prince). I'm a builder/Wonder addict at heart but found it's not the thing to do instead of more important things.

    You got great advice in this thread but, I know, putting it altogether can take practice. One thing that helped me most is read War Academy articles about winning on the higher levels. I don't play that way but it gives a good feel for game pace. I'd also recommend watching Sullla's YouTube channel (yes, I think it's 3-'L's). I haven't seen any explanations about teching efficiently (except for the binary...always 100% or 0%) but I've learned not to tech a tech unless someone else has tech'd it first...'say 3x fast'...unless I'm beelining at 100% + Great People bulbing.
     
  13. kevtrev

    kevtrev Chieftain

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    Everything you need to beat the game on Deity can be found on these forums and in the youtube playthroughs. However, there's a lot to learn and it can seem overwhelming in the beginning.
    How do you learn best? My preference is for lurking here; only after two years of devouring the forum do I feel qualified to give advice. Others prefer to watch videos, participate in Noble's Club or post a game for guidance, comment and criticism. The good news is that this place is very supportive (even if at times the advice you'll receive will be contradictory). Why not post a game with "normal" settings (standard everything, pangaea, no huts or events) and allow the forum to guide you to a domination/conquest victory? It's a good way to start...
     

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