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Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Lengo, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Lengo

    Lengo Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    20
    I just can't get the hang of this game. I've read the manual twice. I've tried this and that. I've played numerous times only to be trashed -- 8 to 12 hours -- only to get pathetic scores for the top scores list. Ack! What am I suppose to do?

    I've tried ignoring requests to ally to go to war. That seems stoopid, because I was pretty certain I was being used. Then I tried accepting these alliances, and sure enough, the instigator sits on his hands and does nothing!

    I try to avoid war. I do everything I can to develop my economy first, science second, and culture third. I enter into trade agreements freely as possible and most often don't accept trades that aren't equitable. I even give assistance to pathetic countries, and then get attacked by those I help when they have no freaking chance of wining, and go to war with me only to waste my time and resources. I don't know how to make them happy.

    WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO?

    Is there any articles or anything about strategy, with tips and illustrated circumstances? Please! And please don't send me to articles with spreadsheet data for analyisis. I don't wanna be an accountant! Enough with the bean counting! Just give me a general plan and tips on who and what to avoid.

    thanks.

    :cry:
     
  2. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

    Joined:
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    4,560
    Location:
    The Dreaming Spires
    It sounds like you're on the right lines. A few minor points on diplomacy though:

    Don't try and stay friendly with everyone, at best you'll get mediocre relations across the board. Pick an enemy or two and you can get some nice strong allies with buig bonuses to relations because you have a common enemy. Don't bother helping weak countries unless it somehow benefits you , (or you could try to be nice, but its more beneficial to you to prey on the weak :evil: )

    The strategy articles forum contains many articles on just about any area of the game, and not all of them go into deep mathematical analysis. The most effective way to get advice though is to post a save game from the middle of one of your games, so people can have a look at what you're doing and suggest better approaches and point out where you're going wrong.
     
  3. Crighton

    Crighton Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
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    1,136
    change your outlook slightly.

    Look at the AI civ's as your prey, and above all do not trust them. Any friendly relations you have are merely marriages of convenience, admitedly some relationships can be built on mutual trust and similar religions/civics, but in the end you need to be out for yourself.

    And even if your not fond of doing the warmongering thing, remeber to have a sizable military, even if you have no intention of using it. If the AI smells weakness someone will come knocking on your door.
     
  4. bob rulz

    bob rulz Prince

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    Feb 15, 2004
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    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I could hardly call myself an expert on this game yet, but it just seems like economy first, science second, and culture third wouldn't be a very good strategy to follow.

    An almost certain way to make sure that you don't get picked on by other civilizations would be to keep a large army for defense. They won't usually pick on you if you're more powerful than them. Also, avoiding war isn't necessarily a good thing. It's better to be on the offensive in war than it is on the defensive, as well. So if you want to avoid war as much as possible the best thing to do might actually be to instigate wars against weak civs early on so that you can wipe them out before they become a threat, leaving you not only more room to expand (which isn't always a good thing, but on easier difficulty levels an economy is easier to sustain), but also leaves you a larger army to begin with (although that will mean nothing if you don't sustain an economy and build up your empire as well). All I can say is keep working at it, read the many strategy articles on here, and post a save game so that people can comment to see what you're doing wrong.

    Again, I'm not an expert on this game, but I hope these tips help anyway.
     
  5. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

    Joined:
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    The flip side of MrCynical's advice of choosing two enemies is to employ "triangle diplomacy", where you choose two friends.

    Ideally, one would be a fairly peaceful civ (Egypt, Persia, Mali are all good choices in my experience) with whom you can trade resources and technology, but whom, with a little finesse on your part, are unlikely to outpace you (Mansa is tricky to keep up with, that guy just LOVES research, but it can be done). This civ can be one of your neighbours, but doesn't have to be. (BTW, I've never been able to successfully use India in this regard; of all the civs, they have the most annoying tendency to land-grab all over the place, including my back yard, necessitating an early war. Ghandi is textbook passive-aggressive, IMHO.)

    The other partner-civ should be a "pet dog", a more aggressive civ you can sic on others to distract and weaken. Fortunately, entering a war with another civ automatically improves your relations with them. Having the same religion also helps TREMENDOUSLY. But as with any attack dog, watch them carefully and never trust them completely. You will likely have to give in to their every request/demand to keep them on your side, though sometimes you can negotiate; at the very least, give them a slight edge on tech and resource trades. Since they focus on military, they'll likely be behind you in tech and economy, so you should be able to afford it. Speaking of which, this is yet another reason to keep your military up to snuff--these guys respect strength. Ideally, this civ should NOT be a neighbour. I've used Catherine, Peter, Qin, Caesar, and Montezuma (yes, psycho-boy Monty!) in this regard. Not Alex or Isabella though, I find he's too mercurial, and she's impossible to get along with unless you convert to whatever religion she founded and adopted before you.

    Every other civ but these two you choose can go to H-E-double hockey sticks.

    Try to ensure that your two pals do not share borders, so one doesn't awkwardly insist you stop trading with or even declare war on the other. And no, you probably won't know until mid-game who your two partners should be. But once chosen, stick with them unless you have a REALLY good reason to switch.
     
  6. Yzen Danek

    Yzen Danek Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Messages:
    182
    Just to clarify this point: avoiding war is not a winning Civ strategy.

    As well it shouldn't be. Most of the greatest leaders in history who built great empires united diverse peoples under a single banner by the use of force. The best way to avoid attack by your neighbors is to govern them.

    I think this incarnation of Civ outdoes all previous incarnations in properly simulating this fact.

    I critique a lot of games for friends who want to better their Civ play, and the first questions I always ask are along the lines of... "why didn't you take this city when the opportunity presented itself?" And they say something like "because I wasn't at war with that leader."

    You don't play winning Civ by waiting for a tense situation to boil over or by trying to relieve the tension by diplomacy or concession. You play winning Civ by forseeing tensions and relieving them directly, by force, at the moment that is least costly to you.
     
  7. Lengo

    Lengo Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    20
    Well, I'm on my way to my first victory. I have the highest score of anyone on the map. There are 84 turns left. I have 3 turns left to complete the Apollo Program. I have enough cities to build all of the SS items. The one that will take the longest to build is 25 turns. I have three of the Top Five cities. I saved the game here.

    I've tried one line so far. I've gone after the next highest scoreing nation's Top 5 Cities. I didn't win it. After pummeling this city to near death, a compettor took the city with one attack. This was Russai. She is the most powerful nation. I took the city, and then destroyed it. Big mistake! She subsequently attacked me, and pillaged my cities.

    I'm going back to the most obvious line. I'm gonna build the space ship and fly outta here. This *should* win the game, but I don't know if you have to have turns to get to Alpha Centauri. After tlaunch though, I'll go after the foreign Top cities after I launch the ship.

    This is the first win I'll get. I followed the recommended build strategy each time I completed a project in a city.

    I cannot agree that war is a good thing. Time spent training troops = time lost for development. You can't build military units and universities in one city at the same time. Niether can you build cultural buildings and a tank at the same time (see Iraq and the condition of PBS). With 6 nations to destroy, it would be difficult to conquer them all if they had just 6 cities each. They have about 12 each. War weariness friom fighintg all of them would surely lose the game. Weariness + loss of productoin from just fighting 2 would set me back and make it impossible to complete the the space ship. Annihilation is not good. I'd probably lose all elections at the UN, if it was built and elections were held.

    And sure enough, I had to go to war. I did not go on the agressive though. I simply defended. The two lowest ranking countries attacked me. It was quite easy to defeat them. They had mixed units from the Classical, Medieval, and Renaisance eras. I had modern unitis. Have you ever seen a battleship take out a Caravel? Stoopid. Stupid is as stupid does.

    I gotta admit it's not very fun to follow the recommended lines of construction. Then again, I appreciate the built-in help. BUt I could often detour off the line, especially when I had income of 118 gold and it recommended economic buildings. But, then again I don't feel that I won the game. I feel like the game told me what to do most of the time.

    I did avoid all "lets get the war started" requests and "stop trading with my enemy" demands. They walk away threatening retribution, but seldom if ever make their threats good.

    I played on Warlord level. I chose continents, low sea level, and played as Arabia. My religion is None -- I have four religions in my country.

    I will finally win. How good my score will rank (pathetic, good, great, etc), I still have to find out. It's taken eight hours. I estimate that it will take nine to finish it. I haven't won anlything. I lost 8 hours of my time.

    -----
    In response to "The best way to avoid attack by your neighbors is to govern them."

    No. The best way to avoid attack is to make freinds with them, and become interdependent with them. Governing your enemies is old school -- ancient in fact -- and not always fruitious. Rome took it in the shots big time. So did Babylon. So will the US if it doesn't grow a brain.
     
  8. bob rulz

    bob rulz Prince

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    I can certainly see that you're a pacifist (in the game and IRL), but you don't have to be. The best strategy is to take out your enemies early, not when you're already into the Industrial and Modern Ages. Preferrably Renaissance or earlier is the best time to wage war.
     
  9. Dizzy75

    Dizzy75 Warlord

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
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    245
    Well I'm still mucking around on Noble (want to get consistently easy wins before moving to Prince), but I think this:

    "Time spent training troops = time lost for development."

    Is the wrong way to think. You build units even if you don't plan to go to war, and think of it as a resource investment. You could have every key improvement in every city, but if you've got pathetic units defending it, you're basically providing resources for the AI. Troops are insurance and protection, not an unnecessary sidetrack.

    Also at higher levels, you HAVE to build lots of troops early, or barbs will wipe your cities.

    There's nothing wrong with not wanting to be a warmonger, but that doesn't mean you can forgo military units - even if you're going for a straight cultural win, you need a heap of strong units to deter/protect from AI attacks. I just think of them as additional "buildings," that are mobile and add to defense.
     
  10. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    Sounds like you may have a little bit of "Builder Addiction"--wanting to build a library, university, bank, market, etc. in EVERY city, not to mention wonders to boot. Most non-war-mongers seem to be builders, which makes sense.

    I recommend that you try city specialization. Devote one hammer-rich city (lots of hills, forests, some grassland for food) to nothing but military production. It spews out units to fortify the other cities. Alternate building units with building military (barracks, drydock), production (forge, factory) and population growth (granary, lighthouse) improvements there, but NOTHING non-military (no bank, market, grocer, library, university) Don't build temples, a theatre, or a colosseum there unless they're absolutely necessary to pacify the population. No, this city doesn't have to be coastal, but that helps for building a navy too. Ideally, you want to locate this city on a coastal tile that has land tiles jutting out around that beachead.

    This should free up your other cities to build non-military improvements. Later on, as your empire grows, you may want to add a second military city, or even a third if it's really large and you're facing aggressive opponents.

    You should also start taking the game advisor's recommendations with a very big grain of salt. The advisor does not understand city specialization, and keeps telling me to build universities and the like in my production cities. :rolleyes: It also tells me to build settlers even when I'm hemmed in and have no place to found a city that isn't well within my existing ones' fat crosses. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: I'm very close to turning that feature off.
     
  11. bob rulz

    bob rulz Prince

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    Yes, it always tells me to build settlers when there's no more room to expand. It's quite annoying, really.
     
  12. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Obviously you need to create some room. :ninja:
     
  13. Crighton

    Crighton Emperor

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    As if there was another option :)

    Very true, though in my empire that's newspeak for: "Time to go war again sire, we need breeding room."

    :D
     
  14. Lengo

    Lengo Chieftain

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    "Yes, it always tells me to build settlers when there's no more room to expand. It's quite annoying, really."

    I thought so too, until I did it. I found out that there are pockets within your covered territory that are recommended places. Think of the city as a training ground or barracks. It's just another exit point for troops, or another science center. There is overlapment of the countryside resources, but those are already developed, so your new city is off to a good start. I didn't accept the recommendation all the time, though. Just a few. It worked out pretty decently.

    And yeah, I am a builder. It seems to me that to be great, you should achieve something. To me, a small civ with lots of everything is better than a large civ with next to nothing in it. Building wonders and having a robust ecomony with lots of culture sounds better to me than owning a lot of land. Besides, theres plenty of games where doing battle is all there is to it. I'm tired of those. Civ 4 allows you to build something, so I'm taking advantage of it.

    Yes, you need some military for protection. I had 5-6 units in each city, then about a dozen scattered about here and there to pick fights with would-be pillagers. That dozen turned out to be too many when it finally came to war. By then, I had railroads, so getting to the pillagers was easy and quick. And since I was far more developed, it was easy to take out the enemies with my much more powerful troops. Troops are easily upgraded. BUild 'em early, then upgrade them when needed.

    Bigger is not better. Better is better. If you're struggling making war, try being a peace-nik. It works pretty good. I may not get the best score, but I did win this way, and it's the first time I did. It works for me! It can work for you.

    p.s. War is unhealthy for babies and other living things.
     
  15. ArmoredCavalry

    ArmoredCavalry Warlord

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    Time spent training troops = time lost for development."

    Ahh, the old logic. I know this all too well. this however is only true if you do not USE those troops. because in fact

    Time spent training troops = conquered land = more reasearch = faster teching = more time to build stuff.

    seriously, if I had nothing better to do then sit around and build IBCMs for 150 years with EVERY improvement in ALL of my cities, this clearly shows the benifits of pre-industrial war.
     
  16. Dizzy75

    Dizzy75 Warlord

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    Or as Sun Tzu says:

    "The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable."

    Why do I get the impression the designers read up on this guy?
     

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