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How do you afford war?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by InFlux5, May 30, 2015.

  1. InFlux5

    InFlux5 King

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    I'm mostly a peaceful player, always have been. But it gets boring sometimes and I want to play as a warmonger. Problem is, in Civ 5 I can never seem to do it.

    The main problem I have is the economy. If I build enough units to take cities, my unit maintenance is so high that my research more or less stops. I have heard people suggest to make money by pillaging, but in my most recent attempt the Indonesians had settled a city right next to my empire, far from their capital, and there were no improvements to pillage. I managed to raze the city, but after it was all over my economy was in the toilet.

    It just never seems worth it, with unit maintenance being what it is. My understanding from these forums is that you should be able to found 2 cities and conquest from there. But this doesn't feel like enough to support an army.

    So what am I doing wrong? I know I'm not building too many units, because the taking of that one, weak city was barely possible with the army I had built (Archers, Spearman, Warriors).

    Edit: If anyone could point me to an example game involving early war that would be appreciated. I would like to see how somebody makes it work without their economy crashing.
     
  2. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    Finish Honor. You make money from war.
     
  3. InFlux5

    InFlux5 King

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    I am running into economic problems long before I could finish the tree.
     
  4. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    I suspect that OP is starting the offensive war too early.

    Basically, for most civs, the only way an ancient era war can be profitable is worker steal from City State and settler steal from an AI that was going to found a city right next to you.

    In addition, for cities located on hills / those the only way to attack is across the river, the classical era is still too early to be thinking of conquering. The midevil era is when units powerful enough to take cities start arriving.
     
  5. Manpanzee

    Manpanzee Prince

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    It's natural to run into negative gpt for a while when you're warmongering. Eventually you get Markets and Banks and city connections and it gets fixed, but there's a window around the ~t70 to t130 range where gold is extremely scarce. I often cut it close on running out of gold and losing science, but generally I'm able to squeeze by and avoid it. Some tips:

    --Pillaging tiles is indeed very important. Do it as much as possible.
    --Capturing cities gives gold. The faster and more effective your warmongering, the more easily you manage gold. Similarly, moving through conquest faster means that you reach new pillage-able tiles sooner.
    --You can sell buildings out of cities being razed. (One building a turn total across your empire.) It's a small amount, as are the things above, but it all adds up.
    --Save up. If you have a big enough gold stockpile in advance, you won't run out. As you gain experience, you'll know how to anticipate a gold crunch before it happens. You want to start saving BEFORE gold becomes a problem.
    --Be mindful of city contributions to gold. Working +gold tiles such as Plantations and Camps is very handy when warmongering. You tend to be happiness constrained during early conquest, so sacrificing food to work +gold tiles doesn't hurt too much. Build Markets and Mints, prioritize Banking, and get Machu Picchu if you can.
    --Pay attention to building maintenance. Building maintenance doesn't seem like much, but across a wide, conquest-based empire it adds up. Don't build Water Mills until you know you can afford them. Hold off on Temples if gold is an issue. (This, incidentally, is why the maintenance-free unique Temples are so good. 2gpt per city across an empire is huge when gold is scarce).
     
  6. InFlux5

    InFlux5 King

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    Thanks for the replies, and those tips in particular.

    I guess I am starting too early. I prefer the early war-mongering civs so I can play that way all game (Huns, Assyria, etc.) But I guess I should make sure my economy is in surplus before I start a conquest. In the above-mentioned case of Indonesia, they were so absurdly close to me/far from his capital that I couldn't resist taking it out. But in the end it wasn't worth it (even with the free tech for being Assyria) as my research slowed to a crawl.
     
  7. Manpanzee

    Manpanzee Prince

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    Also, I totally disagree with joncunn's post. In my opinion, warmongering gets exponentially easier the faster you do it. It takes practice, but the Classical era is actually the EASIEST time to start effective warmongering. Delaying war makes it harder.

    Think about it this way: Every single turn that passes is a turn in which the AI can found more cities. Every turn gives the AI time to build more units. Every turn gives the AI time to advance in tech and get stronger units and stronger city defense. The sooner you start war, the fewer cities and units you need to get through.

    Imagine that you delay war 10 turns, and in that time your nearest neighbor builds an extra city. You need to take time to conquer that city, so you've now added another let's say 5 turns before you get to their capital. Now you've given them 15 turns to add more units. Maybe this causes the capital siege to take a bit longer. This means that once you've finished and turned your attention to your next foe, you've given them maybe 20 extra turns to build units and cities. In fact, you've given 20 extra turns to every foe on the map. That means every single one of those foes will be harder to take, which means more and more time for all of them to develop. You're adding turns onto every single one of them, meaning those 10 turns of delay have expanded exponentially to 50 or 100 or more.

    What this means: The easiest way for war to be worth it is to start war early. The sooner you start, the sooner you finish. And, related to the points about gold, the sooner you start, the sooner you get all that juicy pillage/city-capture gold that you need to keep your economy running.

    My suggestion for a good way to practice is a Continents Composite Bowmen rush. Build Archers before Libraries, upgrade to CompBows before National College, and try to quickly clear your continent while simultaneously building infrastructure. (Playing on Continents is important to give you a requirement to build infrastructure -- pure Domination on Pangaea is a totally different animal, where you can totally tank your economy and not even care). Pick a difficulty level a bit lower than you're used to. It's good to make things easy on yourself while you figure out how to do it. Better to find success and figure out the model than struggle with something you may not be able to do yet. Once you figure out how to do it, you can ratchet up the difficulty and see if it's still possible.

    As it turns out, it's possible even on Deity -- in my most recent game, I cleared my continent around t120 without ever getting anything more advanced than Composite Bowmen. Most people would say that this is crazy late to still be using CompBows. But in this case, they were good enough. And the reason for that is that I started war early, pillaged lands, destroyed cities, and harassed the AI enough that they never built anything that Composite Bowmen couldn't beat.
     
  8. Olodune

    Olodune Emperor GOTM Staff

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    I agree with Manpanzee's list, but will add three things I find useful:

    1) For very early wars figure out where your target is sending their caravans or cargos. Capturing those can really help. The first step of any naval war should be a cargo ship pirating run.

    2) If you are playing on anything besides Diety keep checking for tributes from city states. Chaining these together can add up to more than 1k gold quickly. Immortal is iffy on whether this will work.

    3) Sell excess horses & iron as soon as possible. Try to get full value trades with the AIs that dislike warmongers before you build up too much hate.
     
  9. CraigMak

    CraigMak The Borg

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    Your gold comes from pillaging tiles and sacking cities. You can run negative gold as long as you are pillaging and sacking. You get a ton of gold from that. Once you're done killing an AI it will likely offer you all the money it has to make peace. Also, if you have a good sized army you should be able to get a bunch of money from tributes.
     
  10. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    I suspect the OP is building too many buildings, which will mess up his economy. Please feel free to check out my Domination for Noobs thread. There is some information there about earlygame economy and trying to resist the urge to build buildings.
     
  11. phillipwyllie

    phillipwyllie Wannabe Deity

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    Demand tribute form CS, then demand "tribute" from your next target. Ally a few neighboring Cs so you can send trade routes to them. When you research Currency build markets. Make trading posts in all your puppet cities, unless you plan to annex.
     
  12. cazaderonus

    cazaderonus Actual Dad.

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    Unless you're playing a full domination victory where you go for capitals one after another without rather "long" peace periods between them, i dont see any way to end up with negative GPT unless extraordinary conditions.

    I mean. Taking one capital doesnt require that many units if you use them well. Things go south when you do something like Acken in the china DCL. He runs into money\happiness issues obviously but even then it happens rather late.

    But many good advices in this thread. Especially the one on having too many unnecessary buildings. I know i have been screwing myself for a long time doing this, especially on CIV 4.
     
  13. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    I am struggling learning warmonger myself, and I also find early gold to be a problem.

    Maybe we are saying the same thing, but my understanding is the ideal number is cap plus two expos for three self-founded cities. So far, I am doing better with Tradition and Liberty than Honor.

    How many units did you use? I also struggle with the constant-in-the-red economy with warmonger, but I don’t quite follow how that happened with the situation you described.

    You should not have needed more than three archers and two melee units, so even with only two cities that should not have been bankrupting you. How far where you from unlocking those sweet Siege Towers?

    Double tap CBs w/ range are awesome. I have two problems with early war. The first being able to afford to upgrade archers to CBs, so I am trying to figure the ideal number of units. I want enough to make quick work, but not so many that I can’t afford the upgrade, and the xp is not spread too thin. I think 3-4 archers then hard build that many more once Construction is unlocked and I have barracks. What do you like?

    My second problem is getting promotions fast enough if I don't open Honor. But when I do open Honor, my money problems are worse -- so has been a bit of a Catch-22 so far.

    How does that work?
     
  14. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    Because you're building buildings you don't need ;)
     
  15. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    A few obvious things that weren't mentioned. Make sure you have one or two secure trade routes yourself and get a market going in the cap. Use Monarchy, dont keep useless cities. Destroy roads that you dont need.
     
  16. Manpanzee

    Manpanzee Prince

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    Ideally, you'd like to have 6-8 Archers ready to upgrade at Construction. Not always possible, but that's the target. In order to get the gold for this, there are a couple things you can do. The first is plundering trade routes, as Olodune mentioned above. I always keep an eye out for trade routes while scouting, and if I can find any I'll generally try to get my Scout in position to safely DOW, plunder, then flee. If it's someone I'm planning to attack soon, I'll really do whatever I can to find and destroy their trade routes. The AI WILL build trade routes, and if you can get units encircling their territory then you're going to find these trade routes, wherever they are.

    Another other thing you can do is trade resources for lump sum gold in peace deals. If you're DOWing a lot as described above, you're going to get a lot of peace deals. Sometimes the AI will give you stuff, but even in a white peace situation you can attach a lux-for-gold rider to the deal.

    Yet another way to get gold is to not-spend gold. If planning an early rush, my city planting choices are going to be determined almost entirely by what's in the first ring, so I don't have to buy tiles. One Horses + one Cattle + one Mine is enough for a good 3-pop hammer city, getting those units out in time without needing to spend gold supporting the city. Every tile you can skip buying is ~one extra CompBow upgrade.

    Finally, I usually ignore Barracks and use my promotions on insta-heals. As I described earlier in the thread, I think that sweep rate is extremely important for ease of victory. I'd rather insta-heal and keep the war machine rolling than slow down in the hopes of getting power promotions 50 turns down the line. But it depends on what you're trying to do. Promotions are fine for certain game types, it's just good to understand what you're options are.
     
  17. phillipwyllie

    phillipwyllie Wannabe Deity

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    Kill all their units, take their capital, pillage everything and sue for peace. When they are willing to offer multiple cities then you know you can take all their gold. Make sure you leave them with enough cities as there seems to to a cut-off point where the AI will only accept equal peace.
     
  18. black8

    black8 Chieftain

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    You can earn gold by multiplying caravans.
    More trade routes early to all city states that you find.
    and build market,caravansary and bank as soon as they are available to your civilization.
    or find gold resource on your map and build mine there .
     
  19. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    That is taking tribute from your last target, not your next.
     
  20. Salvatierra

    Salvatierra Chieftain

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    I had your problem sometime ago, I liked to play peacefully but it get's boring over the time, and as well I had some economic issues in my first domination games, I can give you a few tips based on my personal experience.

    For your first game I recommend you try easy starts, more later you can do some try-harding but I think this way, will give you the opportunity to learn more, set the map with abundant resources an low water level, this will give you more playability

    Try to build your civ around luxury resources that gave you lots of money, Gold and Silver Are the best because even when they give you lots of coins just from the start later you can upgrade them by building a mint + there is a good pantheon than you can make with them.

    Other great luxuries for money are Wine and incense specially if you can make a religion from them, to squeeze the max tile yields that you can get from them.

    The other great luxury for warmongers are gems, they have the highest unimproved gold output of all the luxuries in the game, and they have a great pantheon.

    I recommend you for your first domination games that you have starting positions with some of these luxuries.

    For boosting income what I like to do is going hard on trying to get a good religion religion based out of a pantheon of any of these luxuries and as soon as I finish tradition or honor, build temples on all the cities, and getting the first three policies on Devotion that gave me 25% of gold output from temples, this will gave you an excellent early gold income, because thanks to the Devotion policy opener you get to build temples 50% faster, then you can boost even more that base building marketplaces , this is +50% income for all your cities that you can access from the medieval age, plus if you can include to your religion, Tithe, and some religion buildings you can forget about culture for the rest of the game and have some extra tools to manage the happiness issues that you will have as a warmongering civ.

    Then you can go into the commerce tree, Commerce is not a very good policy tree to develop halfway as Devotion, all the very game-breaking bonuses of the commerce tree come when you finish it, you receive + 2 happiness for ever luxury you own and +1 gold on every trade post, as a warmongering civ, you will have to build lots of trade-post, because the unit maintenance goes op every certain number of turns.

    I think the civ that can take more advantage from the commerce tree is England, because they have 2 great excellent unique units, an overpowered naval unit, and a game breaking range unit, the only thing you need to control both land and sea is a very fine land unit that can cut the enemies from getting close to your archers, and guess what... you can have it, just for 240 bucks...

    The almighty Landsnechts...

    Spoiler :



    so Germans... And they man-high swords, and Englishmen and they man-high bows...:D


    So basically you have a civ with 3 unique units , all from the same era that, all work great together, say no more, world domination will be just as easy as piece a cake ;).

    For ideology most times you will go for Autocracy, only sometimes is better to pick Order, mainly because the Kremlin gave you 50% discount of production when building tanks and building a tank in every city every four o three turns will make you hail the USSR, talk Russian and even write Cyrillic...:lol:

    And always try to have lower unhappiness because your gold income literally evaporates when you get deep into the sad faces, so don't keep the useless cities of your enemies, just the capitals and maybe some other good secondary cities, raze the others or sell them if you have the chance...

    Also, sometimes you can get a very profitable peace deal with a civ, in Emperor and beyond they tend to have great income.

    So civs that I recommend for first try on domination games are Assyria, England, Arabia, Zulu and maybe Ottomans? I'm not putting all my cards on the last one, they seem not very used by the pro players here...
     

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