How can I make King level enjoyable?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by rwmjlally, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. rwmjlally

    rwmjlally Chieftain

    Nov 15, 2005
    I have given up on Prince level because the end game is so easy its boring.
    But I am finding King level so hard it is not really enjoyable.
    My first problem with king level is I have to play aggressively. At prince level I won most games without starting any wars and in some cases without fighting any wars at all. I have tried playing king level this way and it is hopeless; i, 2 or 3 of the AI civs get massively ahead in every respect and there is no way I can win.
    But if I play aggressively I find that I just end up razing almost all the cities I conquer because there is no way (even with a governor and a garrison) of holding onto them. I hate razing cities - it is not the way I want to play this game!!!
    I desperately need someone to explain how to play aggressively and actually keep hold of the cities I conquer.
    As it stands:
    playing passively is hopeless
    playing aggressively is pointless
    Vincent Vrijbalk likes this.
  2. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

    Sep 6, 2012
    I had the same issue with King and Emperor, one too easy the other impossible.

    Two things I found helped:-

    • The "More Loyal Cities Mod", it tones down loyalty issues in newly captured cities and makes it feasible to keep cities.

    • Playing on a smaller map, I'm starting to win more often on Emperor having stepped down to Tiny, once I'm confident I'll move back up to Small.
  3. Casualty of war

    Casualty of war Prince

    Feb 20, 2018
    In most circumstances you want to attack downhill, towards AI who are in a lower Loyalty-pressure Age than you. Conquer the high population targets first or as early as possible. You can also send a Settler along with your army, to make sure your conquests have a pacifying neighbor. You can also wait to chop/build your Diplomatic Center until you can in a conquered city; the Loyalty bonus is enough to handle almost any pressure.
  4. IsabelBraganca

    IsabelBraganca Warlord

    Dec 31, 2014
    I seldom have problem with loyalty.
    • I try to take bigger cities first.
    • I try to take cities fast.
    • I avoid starting war during a Dark Age. In my current game, I have successfully conquered cities during my dark age for the first time. My military was good and I had 2-3 artillery armies ready before I started attacking. When I took a city, it would have negative loyalty even with governor and all cards. The next city would fall maybe 6-7 turns later and the loyalty of the first would improve but the loyalty of the city I have just taken would be worrisome. But a new city would fall in a few turns... I have used near all governors, even got Moksha, but I've lost no cities due loyalty.
    • I may put Victor in a nearby city. That way the first city I take, will have 12 loyalty per turn from governors.
    • The loyalty hit is greater if you have lots of grievances against the civ, up to -10.
    • I avoid declaring multiple wars against the same civ.

    You can keep up with AI on King level even playing peacefully, but King level is less forgiving. My move from Prince to King was the hardest. I've needed about 4 starts before I could get the grip of it. If I don't want war, I have to grab land. That means I settle in a way to block the AI and reserve some land for me. This may cause an early war. I try to put a blocking city in an easy to defend spot. I try to get as many inspirations and eurekas as possible. There is no problem in being a few techs behind or even being the last one on the list. You have to waste less time building what you don't need.
  5. rwmjlally

    rwmjlally Chieftain

    Nov 15, 2005
    Thank you for the interesting ideas. Once more unto the breach...
  6. intellectsucks

    intellectsucks Warlord

    Jul 18, 2014
    Some things I learned that helped immensely when I moved up to emperor difficulty:

    1. It's very important to scout and settle land that blocks the advancement of your neighbors. Sometimes this means settling an inferior city before a better city that is closer. The AI starts progressively farther ahead on higher difficulties, making early aggression less feasible or impossible. To compensate you need to cut off their ability to expand while preserving choice territory for yourself as much as possible.
    2. Be really diligent about your diplomacy and trading. Make sure that you send delegations on the first turn you meet a civ. As soon as you have open borders available, offer them to every AI in exchange for open borders with them and gold per turn and one time gold. You might get 1-2 GPT per AI, which doesn't sound like a lot, but 7-10 GPT is a HUGE boost in the early game. You can do this every 30 turns as the open borders agreement expires. Send trade routes to the civ you want to be friendliest with, for additional gold and relations boost. Declare friendships ASAP (unless you plan on going to war with them) and be diligent about renewing them. A declared friend can't declare war on you.
    3. Don't stress if the AI has an early lead. If you've done the previous two things well, then you'll start running away with the game very quickly.
    4. This is probably the most important thing: play to the strengths of your civ and your map. If you're playing as Saladin, then you want to go for Madrassas early, Frederick Barbossa then Hansas. Is there an awesome Natural Wonder nearby? Prioritize settling it before the AI

    The YouTuber PotatoMcWhiskey has a bunch of very helpful videos that helped improve my game.
  7. The Civs 6

    The Civs 6 King

    May 27, 2020
    In King+ you kind of have to play the game wants you to play, rather than the way you want to play, in the early game at least. still, you can play the way you want to play. if you invest even a medium amount in defensive military capabilities, you are going to beat back pretty much any AI attack on your territory.
    8housesofelixir likes this.
  8. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

    Apr 3, 2005
    The most important things are to get a solid amount of defensive units to defend against barbs, and also to keep expansion constant in the early and mid ganme. You want to make sure you're always using the relevant cards, so if you want to build military, you use the cards that apply to it, and use the settler card when making settler cards. Also you want to keep an active eye on finishing eurekas and inspirations.

    When you're getting used to the game, you should ignore things like religion and prioritize expansion/military. Most of your districts should be the one most relevant to your victory, and a trade district. Auxiliary districts like Industrial Zones, Encampments, or Entertainment complexes should be only slotted in when there's extra room.

    Also put your cities close together so that they can share tiles for growth and so you can fit more cities.
  9. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

    Apr 11, 2011
    The key to passive play(which you can do even on deity) is

    1. Send an envoy as soon as you meet people.
    2. Trade everything you can get early to get as much gold as possible and spend it, do not hog it, granaries, monuments and tiles are good early options. Especially tiles that help city growth or increase early production.
    3. Go toward early empire to get more cities as soon as possible (building districts early is a fail, it is more cities you need, if not through conquest, through settlement) This is the most important rule by far. Once you get 4-8 cities down the game becomes more enjoyable. Go for the Early Empire civic early for the 50% settler card and also consider using the magnus provision promotion.
    4. Do not send you warrior far, use them as a defence. The agoge civic card gives 50% off building military units, a good time to build them, much more efficient.
    5. One of the key mechanics to the game being easier is understanding chopping and district costs. You do not have to use these things but understanding them helps a lot. below is a link to a chopping example which most new starters find helpful. It is a bit out of date but still relevant.

    Exapand fast, use civic cards well and understand the district placements, their adjacencies and double adjacency cards.

    I quite often play peaceful, deity is quite hard but emperor is very enjoyable and easy once you know the tricks of the game, even if you do not use all the tricks.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
  10. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Emperor

    Dec 24, 2008
    I am a bit late here, but this sounds mostly like your starting strategy might need some adjustment. I am by no means a good player, but I can almost guaranteed win on King with 4-5 cities and no warfare waged whatsoever (to be fair, it has gotten easier with the addition of the Maya, since they are an exceptionally good at tall turtling & mid game pop explosion). It's by no means a competetive victory time, but as long as I can have fun I don't care.

    It's hard to make shots in the dark what your problem might be, but I have seen some repeated mistakes from friends & colleagues that play CIV6, maybe something applies to you as well:
    (1) Settling too late: The earlier you get out more cities, the better. My usual Maya build order these days is Builder -> Settler -> Settler -> Settler, with the new cities going Archer -> Monument -> Observatory. Only if the barbs are getting really annoying will I squeeze in an early Archer in the capital queue.
    (2) Leaving land undeveloped: This is something even more important with the Maya, but regardless who you play you want to hook up your luxuries & strategic resources and improve powerful tiles. Make sure to properly use chopping to accelerate critical construction projects.
    (3) Not beelining for key techs: This one obviously depends on your CIV and win condition. When I play Maya I'll beeline for Archery (anti-barb & defence), then Irrigation (plantation resources for Observatory), then Engineering (Aqueducts to fix lack of fresh water) and Apprenticeship (Industrial districts next to Aqueducts and Dams to boost production).
    (4) Not using resources: Don't sit on gold in the early game. Use it. Buy builders, settlers, tiles. Don't stockpile faith, use it to buy buildings, missionaries, etc. Try to sell excess luxuries, strategic resources and diplo favor.
    (5) Lack of district placement planning: You really want to get to that +3 adjacency for your main districts to slot the booster cards later down the line, so planning is vital. Diamond shaped Industry+Aqueduct/Dam districts are great for production, for culture you can go Theatre District + Entertainment District. Science is a bit harder to pull off, but remember that regular districts (and city centers) also provide +0.5 adjacency, and you can use the Government District as a +1 wildcard.
    (6) Immediately using envoys: You don't have to place new envoys right away. You can simply open the tab and then close it via the [X] button to stockpile them for later use. For example, if you don't have Universities there is little use to placing 3 envoys in a science city state, better wait to either focus on a key CS with a good suzerain power OR go for a late game boom via Containment to take over EVERYTHING and slot the related +5% science/culture per CS cards.
    (7) Going ham on early wonders: Most wonders are very much mediocre and/or optional. They do look fancy, so it's easy to get sucked into a haze where you start building wonders everywhere - and then end up with too few and/or underdeveloped cities because the opportunity cost for those projects was too big.

    I hope that helps!
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
    Just another Jaguara and Vargas1 like this.

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