How Can One Man Suck This Bad At Civ IV?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by MotK, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. MotK

    MotK Chieftain

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    Okay, so I have been playing for a couple weeks now and can not seem to learn from my mistakes. I'm trying to beat the game on Noble mode before I dream of doing anything else (ie. play online).

    Here's the rub: I settle my first city on the spot I'm first placed at the beginning of the game. I like to play Catherine of Russia, so that way I get a Scout. I send him off while I build a warrior and then a worker (the warrior to protect and the worker to start this chop rushing I hear everyone talking about).

    Tech-wise, I always beeline to alphabet and the metal working techs, and animal husbandry only if I have animals nearby. I try not to always follow the computer's suggestions to expand and build buildings when they tell me to. I build whenever an option is available. I usually end up making twenty archers per city while waiting for techs to research. My points are always dead last in the scoreboard. I fend off barbarians and attack their city when I get the chance and usually raze it when I win. Alexander or Ghengis will usually declare war on me at this point, regardless of how nice I've been to them. I EVEN GIVE INTO DEMANDS JUST TO AVOID A WAR!!!

    This is what I usually do and it never seems to work. I don't know why what I'm doing is wrong or what I can do to improve. I can sometimes end up making it to the end of the game (2050) but I always come in dead last. I get squeezed into a corner and I can no longer expand. I'm always working on nukes when someone else wins a space race or diplomacy.

    Any suggestions or pointers? Anything glaring that I'm doing wrong?
     
  2. nbcman

    nbcman King

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  3. G Julius Caesar

    G Julius Caesar Warlord

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    Hello and Welcome!!

    I doubt you suck at the game. You're just not playing it correctly. Two different things but you're at the right place to learn how to play it right.

    First off, 20 Archers per city is a definite "no-no!!"

    Attack - dont be attacked. I play Noble most of the time, and I dont use archers most of the time. They are not really needed.

    To prevent barbarian attack, keep an axeman (1 per every 2 or 3 cities) handy early on (or a chariot if not playing vanilla as in Warlords chariots wipe out axemen (I think its the same in BTS but I dont play that). Keep them on hills near the border so you can "Fog bust" to disperse areas nearby that barbarians may materialise from.

    To fend off neighbours (and so you can expand when you are ready to) go on the offensive. Learn to fight and who to fight! Befriend other neighbours and tech trade with them.

    You should also have a plan before you start ie how do you want to win the game - which victory condition(s) are do-able, which are not. I dont have much experience of Catherine so cannot help you on that, but look at her leadership qualities and plan according to that and her special buildings.

    The guide nbcman quotes above is really useful - so are Susituil's other guides at the War Academy and his/her ALC games.

    Hope it goes well!
     
  4. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    Welcome, there are lot's of great threads here to help.

    Ghengis and Alexander will always declare war, just got to accept that.

    Get AH early to show horses, also to open up the tech tree. Doesn't have to be first or second but don't neglect it just because you have no cows or pigs.

    You need 1-2 archers per city, give them the city garrison promotion if you have a barracks built. After than build units that require metal or horse.

    This does not always hold true, but a general rule of thumb until you have the game understood is to build a settler once you have a profit at 60-70% science.

    Get worker techs and workers so you can build farms, mines, cottages. Improve ALL resources avaliable in your cultural borders, and connect them with roads.

    If playing Catherine, you are a cultural leader and thus do not need any religion, don't tech it. SOme you need to open other things but that may be one of the problems.

    I'll assume you are playing Vanilla, which means Catherine is financial and you should be building alot of riverside cottages and check the city view screen to make sure your citizans are woking them. If you ar eplaying Warlords or BTS then she is IMperialistic which means you get faster settler production (See above advice) and faster great general production, in which case build an army and go bash some heads.

    It would help all of us if you said what verison you have.
     
  5. Orion071

    Orion071 Home School Tutor

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    It sounds to me like you aren't focusing enough on research. If you have time to build 20 Archers/city because you don't have anything else to build, then you're definitely not researching fast enough. Not to mention that all of those units cost money. You need to focus more on commerce, and that usually means Cottages, Cottages and more Cottages. Take a look at my 2 Noble-level walkthoughs in my sig. The second one is still going on so you can see how I am constantly focused on my economy and research.

    Another helpful move would be for you to start a game, play it to around 1 AD, and then post the save so we can take a look at it and give you more personalized advice.
     
  6. MotK

    MotK Chieftain

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    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I'll implement them immediately. And yes, I will post a saved game for everyone to look at ASAP. Just out of curiosity, is there some sort of replay function that will allow me to view a person's game from beginning to end a la Starcraft?

    Also, I am playing straight Civ4, no warlords, no BTS....yet.
     
  7. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I do not think so.

    Also if you are a stright Civ$ player (called Vanilla on these forums) you should at least get the updated patches. Some of the rules change (example you need to tech animal husbandry bofre you can see horses) but the game plays better. You can do it from the start screen of the game somewhere.

    Warlords and BTS (I think you can buy BTS to get both) make the game much better, I recommend them.
     
  8. MotK

    MotK Chieftain

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    So here is a saved game I just played. It stops at 100AD. Any pointers on what in the world I am doing wrong at this point would be greatly appreciated. I suppose what I am looking for is some basic general all-purpose strategy that will help me under exactly how to manage my cities better since I believe that is where I'm faltering.
     

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  9. bardolph

    bardolph King

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    Try choosing a Financial Civ, and Cottage, Cottage, Cottage! This is a good "get to know Civ IV" strategy that will help get you off the ground.
     
  10. mice

    mice Moose

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    Definitely check out this thread;

    Orion's Home School: Winning at Noble

    and then this one ;

    Orion's Home School 2: Nobles in Space


    Orion didnt menton them but they are targeted exactly at a player in yuor position.

    They are in BTS but you can learn from the basic principle going on in them. You will jump a full level if you follow the games closely

    Also if it were me I'd get my head around Vanilla before goin to BTS. Patch it up though.
     
  11. JavalTigar

    JavalTigar Overlord of the West

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    this article from the war academy should really guide your initial builds

    good read

    after I read it I have used it in every game and it has done wonders.

    Read the sullla walkthru as well. I learned a lot from him.

    Welcome and keep playing. Rome wasn't built in a day.
     
  12. tycoonist

    tycoonist Deity

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    if it helps, i spent a year without beating noble before i found civ fanatics... it turned my game around. reading the war academy articles is a good start. look through sistuli's games, they may be a higher level but many of his decisions are useful to learn from. and, most importantly, keep playing and you will get better!
     
  13. johncross21

    johncross21 Warlord

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    looked at the post

    take the citizen off. grow the city quickly

    you have a flood plain which will produce food if farmed

    more workers - you need two or three at this stage

    roads to your resources to get the heath benefits of cows and the production benefits of stone

    more settlers - found at least two more cities

    big axe army (needed to happen long before AD 100) - destroy napoleon. he's trouble and hes on your relatively small island

    then beeline astronomy and find the other civilisations - make friends, swaps techs, share resources and then if you feel so inclined invade them
     
  14. divergence

    divergence Chieftain

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    MotK, I'm looking at your saved game...and I think you might be fundamentally misunderstanding something about how the game works. It's 100 AD, and not only is Moscow still your only city...but it's still size 1.

    Checking the city screen, it turns out that Moscow's only inhabitant isn't working any of the land squares; he's acting as a citizen specialist instead. So although you have improved quite a few of the squares around Moscow, none of them are actually being worked, and the city will never grow.

    Do you understand how to work tiles (which is done from the city screen, not using workers), and how to build settlers to found new cities? If not, I can try to explain it or find a link to a tutorial...the game might make a lot more sense (and be a lot more fun for you) after that.
     
  15. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    To me it sounds as you're not building enough settlers or workers...
     
  16. MotK

    MotK Chieftain

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    No, I guess I don't understand how to work tiles. And how do you know that the city is size 1?
     
  17. JujuLautre

    JujuLautre Deity

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    Just by looking at it and seeing the number "1".

    I suggest you play the tutorial and read the manual. We are really talking about the foundations of the game here, not strategy anymore.
     
  18. Stolen Rutters

    Stolen Rutters Deity

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    The tutorial will give you the absolute basics, like what the number near the city name is. It's worth it if you have never played any version of Civilization before. (Actually, it was even worth it for me, to show me where options and buttons were moved to between Civ games.) And unlike some games, the manual tells you stuff that you might find useful to help you play the game.
     
  19. MotK

    MotK Chieftain

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    duh, i knew that lol. i have read the manual but i dont know how to make sure my citizens are working.
     
  20. johncross21

    johncross21 Warlord

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    click on the city screen

    the white guy with a turban is a citizen - he's eating all the food and stopping the city growing

    unselect him by clicking the minus on his left

    or

    select anywhere in the city screen that produces food

    or

    click on the governor in the bottom left box (turn on citizen automation)

    good luck
     

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