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Higher level = harder starting position?


Nov 29, 2003
This might be a silly question or one that has been obviously covered elsewhere...

When you start a game on a higher level like Emporer, Demi-god, etc., is the starting position "harder," i.e., more desert, mountain, jungle, and marsh?
Not in my experience. I've had good and bad starts at all difficulties.
A higher level only equals a slower tech pace for the player (you'd need 2-3 times more cities than the AI just to keep up in research), and increased bonuses for the AI.
I've often had the same feeling, but I think it's largely psychological as I just know I need that much a better start position due to the increase in difficulty. What I'd consider a decent start on Chietain I'd probably never accept for Deity.
Originally posted by JazzToucan
When you start a game on a higher level like Emporer, Demi-god, etc., is the starting position "harder," i.e., more desert, mountain, jungle, and marsh?

Since I have tried at least 3 dozens map on Sid, what I have seen so far is that when I'm starting in a tough position (lack of near by luxuries and resources), I would have more room to expand because most of the AIs are starting far away (near resources and grassland). When I start on a good location, usually the AIs are very near too.
JazzToucan, I have also considered this question. I have recently started to play on monarch level and trying to win with each civ. My first two victories were both by Diplomatic (a victory condition I had never won by on lower levels) due to the lack of resourses and luxuries at the required times. I am now on my 6th monarch game it it is the first time that I am able to use cavalry with a military advantage due to the required resourses being avaialable at the the right time. I have tried differnet tactics depending on the situations, (militaristic, rapid expansion, trading etc), but required resources "always" seem to be out of reach.

Maybe it is just because the AI has that little advantage at the beginning of the game that it needs that more effort to become dominant. This additional effort may give the impression that the higher the level the harder the starting conditions..........I am still not convinced either way.
Well, Theoretically, no, the starting positions are suppose to be random (unless you are seafaring, or have culturall linked starting location turned on). I have gotten lots of nice bonus grassland, etc. at the higher levels.
It's probably random. Of course, that doesn't stop me from restarting after taking a glance at the starting position. Playing at Demi-god now, I really didn't catch up to the leaders until the start of the Industrial Age in 1300 AD.

The biggest problem with starting near desert, jungle, or mountain is that you are unable to expand quickly and -- if you're like me and play with the full compliment of AI on a large map -- you can find yourself squashed before you can blink.
After moving up to Warlord (I'm pathetic. Silence.) I noticed that my starts were generally better. Still, that's just luck of the draw.
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