Help with the learning process

Buttercup

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A story post. Please feel free to explain anything I bring up that you feel needs explaining. Plus a straight up question at the end.

In my first ever game I chose Elizabeth, Archipelago, High Sea Water, Warlord, Temperate, Ancient Start, Normal Game Speed and, as it was my first game, just go through the traditional civ motions and not care too much if I get squashed at some point.

The game went to 2050, no-one declared war on me once and I was leading in points for the period of about 1000BC to 1960AD. One of the civs must have settled a huge number of cities after discovering open sea travel and this must have gradually ebbed my lead away so that by 2050 I was about 1000 point behind, after being well over 1000 points in front most of the game. I tried for a diplomatic victory at the death, twice, but just failed by the tiniest of margins to get complete support. I got the 'puny' or whatever leader score at the end.

In my second game I tried exactly the same game (different map roll) but made more of an effort to secure extra territory in the ocean travelling stage. Once again no civs declared on me the entire game and I, once again lead in points from about 1000BC onwards. This time I won on points, having secured enough land to cope with the late-game points surge. I get the Ethelred the Unready leader score at the end.

In my third game I decide to try the Indians, Pangea, Temperate, Ancient Start, Warlord but this time go Marathon. Once again no-one declared war on me and I pretty much lead the game from the very early stages. This time I thought I'd have a crack at doing some wars and I conquered one civ per newly researched military tech era, leaving a gap between conquering to settle my finances, which seemed to get worse the more cities I conquered.

For some weird reason I was thinking that playing on Marathon disabled all the victory conditions, mainly because I couldn't find the 'current positions details screen' which I'm sure I remember from playing normal speed games. Anyway, I was taking it all quite leisurely as a result. No-one was declaring on me and I was basically walking over all the civs one-by-one. Suddenly, while just starting to munch into the 5th Civ with my new Tanks, the game blerts out that I've won a Domination Victory. I am awarded with the Caesar leader score.

I'm now thinking that maybe because Warlord is such a newb level that perhaps the AI is coded to simply not Declare on me no matter what.

So I decide to have a go at a peaceful victory and decide to experiment with how you get the three cities up to a whopping 50,000 Culture.

I load a new Pangea, again using India, same settings as before, but play on Normal Speed again, to keep the requirement at 50,000 Culture, still Warlord. I bee-line straight for all the Religions and have them all apart from Taoism and Islam before I realise I just have three Warriors as my entire Army and decide to do some catching up before grabbing the last two religions. The second I learn Horseback Riding an AI Declares on me. Hmmm, I think, so the AI can declare on me at Warlord level. Anyway, I couldn't be faffed with with all that from that position, so I reloaded, hoping to avoid the DoW somehow in the next try.

So I load up the same game, but go back to an Archipelago, High Sea Level. I repeat the Religion hog and then go back to fill in the Archers and Horse Archers etc. And the same turn I learn Horse Archers the neighbouring Island (who has the same religion and good relations) Declares war on me and a Galley appears from the mist. Clearly I am triggering something by Religion hogging and then going back for the military.

So I load up a new map, this time going back to Pangea (still with the Indians) and this time making sure I get the Horse Archers straight after securing the third Religion. This time no Declaration of War. But I do miss out on Taoism, but I did also get Confusions, Christianity and Islam. Missing out on Taoism by three turns did bug me though. Anyway, all seems good, I seem to be back in the routine of no-one declaring on me and the game trundles on.

I get to the point where I have three cities all pumping over 280 per turn and make a guess that I'll have victory somewhere in the next 100-150 turns or whatever and I'm just thinking, ah, yes, so this is how you do it... When all of a sudden, two turns before Riflemen, an AI declares on me. No probs, I defend easily and he's reduced to the occasional Knight incursion and Pillage. It's like gnat bites. Then, all of a sudden, another AI declares on me and I'm like... I'm trying to play peaceful culture and you all declare on me, I play normal or aggressive and no-one does a damn thing?

But anyway...

My question is: When Theocracy states "No Spread of Non-State Religion" does it mean that no external Religions will come into my lands? Or that none of my Religions will spread to other lands? Or that only my State Religion will spread to other lands? Or that all my Religions will spread to other lands, it's just that none will spread into me?

My amusing observation is: If I have two religions, one state and one just First Discovered but not state, and I build Temples and Monasteries of the State one first, why does my neighboring civ always seem to get the secondary Religion first. Just to be annoying? Or is there some known matrix. Also the Cathedral states "Spreads Religion" but I've rarely noticed it having any effect whatsoever - or is this all to do with this Theocracy thing? (but it can't be entirely, I was trading Theocracy well after I'd built all this crap with a lot of the civs).
 

Buttercup

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Version: Civilisation IV Complete, regular game, not an expansion or anything, but I have no idea if the expansions, by being on the disc somewhere effect the game, if you know what I mean.
 

s.bernbaum

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When Theocracy states "No Spread of Non-State Religion", that means no religion can spread to your cities from another empire, neither directly to a city with no religion nor by the actions of a foreign missionary. You, however, can spread any religion that already exists in your empire to any of your cities that don't already have it. Any religion of yours can still spread to any other empire, as long as they aren't also in Theocracy.

By "Cathedrals", I asume that you meant the building that can be built by a Great Priest. It increases the odds of your religion spontaneously spreading to any city, whether your own or foreign, that does not already have a religion. No religion can spontaneously spread to a city that already has a religion, that requires sending a missionary.

The expansions do not affect the play of the base game, unless you are playing the expansion.

On Warlord level the AIs are not very aggressive. However, if your army is so puny that you look like a push over they will attack you. Also some are more aggressive than others. Montezuma, for example will almost always attack at some point, even if it is suicidal to do so. Ghandi, OTOH, rarely attacks anyone.
 

Buttercup

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Thank-you very much for your reply.

I was hoping Theocracy would halt the spread of my Non-State Religions, as this might be a good tool to insure only my State Religion spreads to other civs (thereby helping Diplomacy for a later try at a Diplomatic Victory). As of yet I haven't used Theocracy other than during my war game to take advantage of the +2 Experience. Under what circumstances is Non-Spread useful? As far as I can tell, there's no downside to foreign Religions coming to your cities (it means you can build more Temples, Monasteries, Cathedrals!). Is the Non-Spread supposed to be the downside to +2 Experience?

By using the term 'Cathedrals' what else could I be talking about? When you discover Music it says "Enables Cathedrals" (but this in a non-link info) at which point you can build those things the Great Profits build. So is this not the 'correct' term for them?

I didn't know a Religion couldn't spontaneously spawn in a city that already had at least one Religion, thanks for that very useful information!

I understand the puny army thing, but it's not the complete answer, because I had a stronger army in the last game than in my first two games which went to 2050. In my games which went to 2050 I had significantly worse defenders (both in numbers and quality) than I have in my last game. So it could be the civ-specific thing. In the Archipelago, it was the Greeks (Alexander) who declared. In the last game it was Peter of Russia who declared, closely followed by (Atilla of the? I don't remember it being Atilla) Mongolians. I can't remember who declared the first time I was declared on. Neither Russia nor Greece have struck me as over-aggressive civs in earlier games.
 

Ghpstage

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By using the term 'Cathedrals' what else could I be talking about? When you discover Music it says "Enables Cathedrals" (but this in a non-link info) at which point you can build those things the Great Profits build. So is this not the 'correct' term for them?
The buildings (wonders) that Prophets are called shrines and have no tech prerequisites.
Cathedrals type buildings (Synagogues, Pagodas etc depending on religion) do require Music but are a totally different building that doesn't need a Prophet to build. To build one you must first build a certain number of temples of that religion (3 on a standard sized map). Cathedrals give some happiness and a powerful +50% boost to culture.
You can hypothetically have a cathedral of every religion in a single city for +350% culture, they are extremely useful for culture victories.
I understand the puny army thing, but it's not the complete answer, because I had a stronger army in the last game than in my first two games which went to 2050. In my games which went to 2050 I had significantly worse defenders (both in numbers and quality) than I have in my last game. So it could be the civ-specific thing. In the Archipelago, it was the Greeks (Alexander) who declared. In the last game it was Peter of Russia who declared, closely followed by (Atilla of the? I don't remember it being Atilla) Mongolians. I can't remember who declared the first time I was declared on. Neither Russia nor Greece have struck me as over-aggressive civs in earlier games.
Army size isn't as relevant as many think it is, there isn't a sliding scale of aggression depending on your weakness. All that exists is an on/off switch for an AI making warplans against a target with a power ratio beyond a certain level, for Monty this is a whopping 195%!

Even beyond that value they can still declare if they were already plotting, or will still plot if your already at war with someone. As a result peace through power isn't a great route to take.
Diplomacy has a much, much larger effect, no AI will plan to attack at friendly, and half won't at pleased. The most common cause of new players being swamped in wars is adopting a different religion to their neighbours.

However at low levels, peace through power can be attainable, even by accident at times on Warlord difficulty!

As you correctly suggested some AIs, such as Genghis Khan, Monty and Napoleon are much more aggressive than others, with considerably higher odds of attacking others, these AIs also typically build far more units and have higher power ratio requirements to prevent them planning a war.
 

Amao

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@Buttercup, you need to realize that the game title Civilized whatever is a lie. This game, and the whole game series, are Barbarism from the root. :)

However, a peaceful guy does be able to enjoy this game, to some extent. This is why after 10 years, there are still people actively playing Civ 4.

But to your problems: the AI does plot war against you. it just calculates your strength against their strength with a formula. And every leader has their own threshold (together with this strength ratio, attitude with you, and some other details thingy) as when they'd start a war plan against you and when to declare on you. On, easier levels, it's simply the fact that AI has a handicap which makes them hard to get over the threshold. And on your case, since you are so peaceful that you are simply w/o armies, AI eventually built up enough strength and thought they could beat you. And once somebody is at war with you, it's somehow much easier for another AI to declare on you. (I forgot the exact rules.) Hence the normal chain reaction dow events we normally see. Also, when AI/Player is closing in on some certain victory type, some other trigger might enable other AI to declare on much lower threshold or something. I guess that was what happened to you.
 

Buttercup

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Ah yes indeed, the difference between a Shrine and a Cathedral has indeed completely confused a newb such as myself.

It is indeed the Shrines which claim 'Spreads Religion', not the Cathedrals. So it would indeed be the Shrines which I am finding ineffective for their stated input of 'Spreads Religion'.

I have found the Cathedrals to be somewhat useless (at easy Warlord level) beyond Culture Vulturing as, by the time Music is attained I don't seem to be having any Happiness issues, or, if I do, such things as Marketplaces seem to offer more bang for the buck. But for the Culture Victory, I'd say they were the linchpin of the Religion-hogging method, as you say, just to compound all the 50%s.

So I'm guessing the 'Spreads Religion' is just a small percentage increase on an already low percentage chance of some city somewhere converting?

Thanks for the Declaring info, I guess that's something that would just have to become vaguely instinctive over many playthroughs as I doubt the actual figures are in the game/website anywhere?
 

Ghpstage

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You'd be surprised what we do have numbers for around here :lol:
There's numbers and calculations and rules for most of the games mechanics here, ranging from the experience gained from units fighting, to how to figure out how much gold an AI has using Beyond the Swords espionage mechanics and the laws of barbarian spawning and movement.
The challenge is to actually the stuff that's both relevant and accurate!
Ah yes indeed, the difference between a Shrine and a Cathedral has indeed completely confused a newb such as myself.

It is indeed the Shrines which claim 'Spreads Religion', not the Cathedrals. So it would indeed be the Shrines which I am finding ineffective for their stated input of 'Spreads Religion'.
.....
So I'm guessing the 'Spreads Religion' is just a small percentage increase on an already low percentage chance of some city somewhere converting?
It doubles what is a fairly low spread rate. The spread rate decreases with distance and as already been mentioned the random natural spread to cities with a religion isn't possible.

The real reason to build shrines is for the +1 :gold: per city with the religion, for which both your cities and other civs cities count.

Theres a good guide to how religion stuff works here
I have found the Cathedrals to be somewhat useless (at easy Warlord level) beyond Culture Vulturing as, by the time Music is attained I don't seem to be having any Happiness issues, or, if I do, such things as Marketplaces seem to offer more bang for the buck. But for the Culture Victory, I'd say they were the linchpin of the Religion-hogging method, as you say, just to compound all the 50%s.
Your right, they don't tend to be built very often for non culture purposes. On occasion they can be useful in very large cities for the extra :) and the 2 priest slots it gives
(though few people use priest specialists in any significant numbers), but it is a rarity.
Thanks for the Declaring info, I guess that's something that would just have to become vaguely instinctive over many playthroughs as I doubt the actual figures are in the game/website anywhere?
Numbers for the power ratio required to prevent them planning a war?
Unfortunately I don't think there is any quick reference available for the former, but the numbers required to calculate it are somewhere on this website. Hopefully someone can find them in a reasonably easy to read format as I can't right now.

Again, they will still declare if the plan started before your power reached the blocking threshold, and its much more cost effective and generally useful to use diplomacy to prevent wars. Using power to prevent wars so becomes very impractical at Monarch difficulty and virtually impossible beyond that so its also a bad habit to get in to.
 
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The primary mistake you are making is trying not only to found a religion first, but found all the religions. When I was a noob player, I attempted to found as many religions as possible to gain gold increases but building holy shrines. Most players will agree that religion founding is suboptimal. Having a different religion from another civ is one of the biggest reasons for AI' Dow against you. Focus you tech research elsewhere, let another civ found a religion pass it to you then choose which civ and their religion will prove most useful to maintain a stable game without greatly unpredictable wars. As for other civs Dow war on you keep an eye on the info screen F9. Click the power tab to determine the overall power rating of all civs you have contacted. If you see another civ with a higher power graph, be concerned that they may see you as weak. Finally I have for you a war game exercise. Move down one difficulty level to chieftain, create a custom game. Set the game to aggressive AI, then select your enemies. Choose 2-3 or more of the aggressive civ leaders. Try playing against Shaka, Monty, Alex, Boudica, Genghis, Hammurabi, Kublai khan, Ragnar, Stalin. Putting Napoleon, or either Roman leader would be good too. Playing a game with aggressive leaders that are even more aggressive will help train you in defending, and playing the diplo aspects to avoiding wars. View your next few games not as having fun, but a traing exercise. Such experience will greatly increase the fun factor in this complex game.
 

AdamCrock

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Whether AI is declaring war or not is also dependant on his/her personality. The most (in)famous leaders to declare wars (even at good relations) are :

Catherine of Russia (she is insane most of the time and will attack You even on 'friendly' relations)
Montezuma (nickname "Monty" :D )
Shaka Zulu

but also...

Alexander
Bismarck
Genghis Khan

and more ...

Look up at this guide by Kaitzilla :
http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=478563
it is a really great point of reference to "Know thy enemy" ;)

If You're trying to win culture it is indeed a good way to start a few religions (but trying to get all is rather counterproductive imo) because cathedrals (not Great Prophet shrines xD) boost Your city culture output by 50%. You will need 12 cities for this to build 3 cathedrals (1 requires 4 temples so 3x4=12) but do not expand beyond that point because if You do You will need more of Your commerce diverted into gold (to pay maintenance) instead of culture ;) You'll need as much commerce poured into culture as possible, even neglecting research sometimes so 12 cities are just okay :) The other tip I can give You is to bend Your 3 culture cities on creating Artist Great Person - so settle them near rivers where You'll have a lot of commerce and a lot food which is crucial to establish so called artists GP farm :D - just put as many specialist into artists as You can and make Great Artists created this way do the "culture bomb" (Create Great Work - instant +4000 culture) and bomb bomb bomb away .... :D
 

Buttercup

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Thanks ghpstage!

Some excellent info there civfanchambers, but amongst it all you seem to have misread some tidbits. I only Religion munched when I was going for the Cultural Victory, and I don't think there's a massive mistake there, and when I was playing both the normal and aggressive style I haven't mentioned that I Religion munched. I don't see how you can max a Cultural Win without a lot of Religion founding (as the next guy to post states also). But, by doing so, you've probably answered why no-one declared on me in my previous three games (pre-Culture vulturing), because I didn't give too much of a hang about Religion. I've always noticed a general global calming after I convert to Free Speech, for example.

Thanks AdamCrock, I'm only on a Standard Map (forgot to mention that specific) so it's only 3 Temples per Cathedral, and I'm doing pretty good with just 6 cities, as I say, got 3 cities already pumping 280+. And I haven't even used my Culture Slider yet... And, yes, I'm prioritising Artists in all my cities (though, of course, it still gives me Profits quite regularly because of all my Wonders and the smaller cities of pure Artists therefore never quite manage to hit the ever increasing points required - at least not in huge numbers)

In terms of taking the 4,000, that's something I have been debating with myself as Settling the Artist currently gives me 12 Culture Per Turn, which, when applying the % increase bonuses, can actually produce more then 4000 Culture over the course of 150 turns. So I'm sometimes going for the 4,000 (just to get the weaker one to catch-up quickly) and sometimes going for the settle (to get the Per Turn symmetrical between the three cities). There's no point having one city on 50,000 while the last one is straggling on 35,000 because you're planned for Artists failed to arrive because RNG trolled you.

Yes, i got lucky with my start and I'm in the middle of two rivers, have access to Marble (but not Stone :( ). I was going to experiment with the Culture slider next time I logged on to the game as I have just hit the point where I have +50 Gold Per Turn with Science at 100%. I had no idea if this would actually boost individual city culture output, but I'm guessing from your post that it does :) so thanks for that and thanks also for all the other great tidbits from your post :)
 

lymond

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Basically once you hit Liberalism, you switch to Free Speech and put Culture slider to 100%. In ideal cases you have at least 2 heavily cottaged L cities or 3. Although often the 3rd city might be a GP farm running artists. You really don't need any other techs. The only one of value is Printing Press or possibly Biology if you go that late. You Lib Nationalism.

Generate as many Great Artists as possible. You can even starve your helper cities to get them. You should be running Caste and Pacifism (run a religion). Use any odd Great People to run Golden Ages after you are at 100% culture - huge boost to commerce and culture and Great People Production.

Hold onto your Great Artists until the right time as you cities near L, then do the math and bomb the appropriate cities. In many cases, it is one city that receives most of the bombs while maybe another city get a couple to make up the difference. Your main cottage city - the one with Hermitage - should basically be the "driver" of when you will finish, gaining L pretty much all by itself. The other two should hit L almost at the same time by virtue of the bombs.

Ofc, some maps are not as conducive to cottaging, so you go more strictly with a FOOD--->Sistine---->Great Artist approach.

Jesusin has a really good article on Culture victories in the War Academy - he's the master of Culture.

Anyway, you are probably very new to the game. You should spend more time over in the Strategy & Tips forum where this thread should actually be placed. You probably need to improve in the basic areas of the game. Warlord level is not the best indicator of how the AI really acts as below Normal, the Human gets the advantages. I can assure you the AI gets more aggressive as you move up. I recommend playing at least Noble for now. There's really no reason not too.

As for religion, at these levels you can probably found one early religion like Judaism and you should have no problem founding all the later religion one way or another, but you don't need to found all the early religions. Let the AI mess with that and then go capture their cities easily or just hook up trade routes asap and let a religion spread to you.

Ultimately, and this applies especially to higher levels where the AI techs better, you want to be more selective with your teching. Worker techs first. Rember FOOD is king in this game. Then a strat tech for protection. Writing and then focus on your game plan. Get the tech you need to win for your victory and trade for the rest. (although tech trading below Noble level is not something to rely on, but you can ignore irrelevant techs for a long time and trade for them late if you really need them, but gold in trade is even more important)

Try to to waste beakers and stupid techs like Archery or Iron Working unless you really need them which you should never need on Warlord level. IW can always be traded for later unless you need it early if you have too much jungle to improve or you are playing Romans. Start to learn about AI priority techs. There are certain techs that AIs always prioritize. Once you learn that you can work around this in your tech path and then know what you can trade for later.
 

Buttercup

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I think we've had a cross-post lymond, but thank-you for the even more fully max'ed details that would likely suit a harder level.

The thread isn't one about strategy and blah de blah, it's really one about specific questions combined with a lot of back story to assist in the reasoning for the question/s posed.

I'm delighted there are strategies that work, I've no doubt I will find them useful at some point :) But, as I have said, I'm pretty much set for victory anyway with 'general max'ing' on Warlord and we were just talking about some general questions.

If you think I want schooling on how to beat the game on XYZ level, then you've misunderstood the post. Please don't take this badly, you've supplied some great info and thanks for that:)

Edit: If you want a mod to take any action, I suggest you ask them to put spoiler tags around your post ;)
 

lymond

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No x-post. I was addressing everything directly. Regardless of your intent, I was providing some advice toward the Culture victory which you can take or leave. My assumption is most new players want to improve with the game, but that is not always the case.

If you are new, I'd actually focus less on victory conditions at this point and more on just learning the basics of the game - getting out to a good start and practicing good empire management.
 

Buttercup

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So anyway... same again.

When I got back to the Cultural game I found my three cities were all producing 400+ not 280+ and I then added the 50% from the cultural slider. I also found Egypt suddenly willing to go to war and they joined me against Russia. Then Mao also declared on me and then I got Persia to attack both the Mongols and China. So it was a full-on world war towards the end there, just Capac (Mayan?) playing Switzerland. By the time I got the victory the cities were producing 550-640 Culture and the game ended in more like 40 turns than 150. I was awarded with the Henry the Eighth victory score.

Next game I went back to Elizabeth to try for a Space Race. Back on Archipelago. I basically had a one-city (with decent production) game and essentially raced to the last few techs just in time to enable my city to pump out (200 hammers per turn) all the parts and, before I was ready for it (I could have sworn it said I needed to build Manhattan for one part, which I never did) it said I had won a Space Race Victory. This was about 2010. I was awarded with the puny Dan Quail victory score. Harumph, so that was supposedly no better than coming second at a 2050 finish, what a rip :( lol :D

Staying with the Archipelago (because I'm a nutter), but changing to Victoria, I then had a go at a conquest. I'm pumping Modern Armour and taking cities quite quickly and easily but I think I've left it too late, there's only about 80 turns to go and there's still loads of island hopping to do. Might have to go back to Pangea and just play a Domination-but-stop to try and get this VC in a more comfortable (for me) way. I dunno, I might just get'em'all this game, who knows.

So my question is:

In the last game (Conquest) I took a city instead of razing it (brain fart) but then couldn't find a way to raze the city once I had taken it. How do you remove a city once you own it?
 

Lexicus

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Buttercup said:
In the last game (Conquest) I took a city instead of razing it (brain fart) but then couldn't find a way to raze the city once I had taken it. How do you remove a city once you own it?

Unfortunately, you can't. I think it may have to do with the fact that cities, rather than buildings, cost money. The ability to abandon cities at will may have unbalanced the game somewhat. You could do it in Civ III.

Don't trust anyone who says that a certain course of action is always good play. Good play is largely dependent on the circumstances you're faced with which is why the Civ series is so good (and why people like me are still playing Civ IV even though it came out almost a decade ago :crazyeye:)
 

Buttercup

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That's somewhat annoying. Yes, in Civ III you had to reduce the population to 1 and then make either a Settler or a Worker and, because they require population to produce, it would ask you if you wanted to disband the city in order to finish production.

Yes, it's amazing how time flies!
 
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