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How is Liberty Supposed to Work in BNW?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by isau, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. apotheoser

    apotheoser Chieftain

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    I have to agree with this. I got so tired of Standard Continents (or Continents+) maps and started playing some of the others, like Mediterranean. There is a lot of empty space on a map like that and Liberty is excellent.

    (I also like to turn on Raging Barbarians, although I've come to realize it actually helps me because the AI is so incompetent.)
     
  2. Santa Maria

    Santa Maria Chieftain

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    I would suggest to give the free settler policy back where it was. Than you can expand earlier and faster. For me that would solve the problem.
     
  3. Teagen

    Teagen Chieftain

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    This actually would help quite a bit
     
  4. Wodan

    Wodan Chieftain

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    If I'm understanding correctly, your argument boils down to "many cities growing at lower size is roughly equal to bonus from Aqueduct in 4 cities at larger size." That all makes sense, except for one thing. Expanding with Liberty still requires making Settlers, which is 45 :hammers: at normal game speed. That's a big opportunity cost from your capital. Meanwhile, free aqueducts are free.

    I guess I still don't buy that it's "overrated," either just by itself or in comparison with the full Liberty tree.
     
  5. Matthew.

    Matthew. Chieftain

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    We will just have to agree to disagree, then.

    Free aqueducts don't normally come until about turn 100, at which point your cities will already be close to 10 population, and you won't want to push them much further than that for a while if you plan on playing a wider game. Otherwise you are using additional happiness which basically means you are playing a tall game at that point.

    They are literally doing nothing if you are capped by happiness. Later, when happiness opens up, sure, pick them up in 2 turns to speed up the time it takes to get to 15+.

    I can't say I sweat the lack of growth for a few turns here and there in my capital. Liberty settlers only take a few turns. We are talking maybe the difference of a size 16 capital versus a size 17 capital. That 1 population means nothing compared to the additional 3 cities that are growing and contributing their own science and gold.
     
  6. Adjuvant

    Adjuvant Chieftain

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    I was always a big proponent for tradition in discussions like these, back when everyone was all about liberty and how much of a no-brainer it "was". I think this discussion is funny.

    Although in certain circumstance one might be preferable over another, neither is "better". You might think it's better because it's logical for you to assign every city's first 3 tiles as grassland farm or river-border farm. Maybe you think it's better because, from your experience, the math doesn't add for effective science accumulation without a national college in a capitol with 30+ population.

    It's just "different", not "better". The game is cool that way.

    If I can see, from preliminary scouting, my first 2 or 3 cities might be struggling a bit for food, I go tradition. Certain civs just gel better with tradition in general, too. I've never done "as well" with india, ethiopia or indonesia with liberty for example, as I have with tradition.

    What has changed to make this pendulum swing? The developers have done a decent job adding that slight bit of balance so smaller empires are just as viable for victory conditions... to the perspective of the average, layman, civ5 player.

    I guess play the game how you want. If it's easier to do the math with tradition all the time, be tradition all the time. If you're going to say it's just "empirically better" all the time, be ready for an argument.
     
  7. CraigMak

    CraigMak The Borg

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    The largest disadvantage for a tradition player in my eyes is the fact that a liberty player who is nearby can come in and take all his expansion spots before he's even working on that first settler. At this point, turn 40 or so the game is basically already over for the tradition player. He is boxed out and the liberty player has 3 - 4 cities in which to produce a war machine.

    Where the two policy trees are strongest is counter intuitive. Liberty is extremely strong when there is little land and you are in close quarters with some one. Liberty takes all the available expansions. Tradition I would say is actually better when there is no one near and thus you have open space to casually get those settlers placed.

    Liberty however can also be strong in the open space scenario by placing tons of cities. For this reason I think liberty is more diverse and stronger in more circumstances. It is only at a disadvantage when you are forced to be passive and everyone is building UP the whole game.
     
  8. Vidszhite

    Vidszhite Chieftain

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    How will you get the culture to manage that? You can't finish both trees before Rationalism opens up, and on Deity, you can't delay Rationalism. You pick one, then take one or two policies from a second before Rationalism. Furthermore, Liberty allows you to set up those first 3 expansions much faster, as you can hard-build a settler while waiting for the free one, then fast build another one, and spread like wildfire. Again, you'll need that just to get 4 cities on Deity. With Tradition or Honor, the AI will have ALL the good spots before you even get your third settler, since they start with a free one.

    On Deity, I've had equal success with both. You need to meet all the other AIs to start trading lux. Wide empires can't afford to be that picky, so you WANT, ideally, one unique lux per city, but if you can't get that, at least settle cities with copy luxes so you can sell them off for GPT/Happiness. On my last Liberty game with America, I had settled six cities and was first to Industrial. I've never been first to industrial with Tradition, but my key to success was that I used my abundant luxes to make GPT deals with the AI, then used a few of my caravans for growth of my smallest cities.

    One of Liberty's BIGGEST strengths, by far, is worker speed, especially with the Pyramids, which is an easy wonder even on Deity. With Tradition, I'll often still be improving tiles well into Industrial, but with Liberty, you actually run out of tiles to improve and can start disbanding workers. To even hope to match that speed, Tradition will have to spend the GPT it saves on building maintenance to field 50% more workers, which is time wasted not building something else.

    Liberty's other big strength is momentum. Tradition often has to stop what it's doing to expand or improve, but Liberty doesn't care. You can be building a wonder in your capital and still get a free worker. 1 hammer per city sounds like nothing, but then you realize that just doubled your starting hammers, so you can settle high-food locations and not be worried about low production.

    Tradition only really buffs the capital, and while it is a good buff, you don't need a huge capital with Liberty. A single Maritime ally provides more food than Tradition does, and if you get Temple of Artemis (hard but not impossible), you're effectively just as good as Tradition.

    Liberty is easily on par with Tradition for best starting tree in the game. The finisher is extremely versatile and can be used however your strategy needs. You can use a GS to get faster tech than Tradition, who won't be getting any GS for probably another two eras. You can rush midgame wonders that Tradition DREAMS of but could never hope to get on Deity, you can found a religion without needing a faith-generating pantheon, you can grab an easy CS ally that will be yours just about the entire rest of the game, you can grab an early Great General without needing Honor, you can pop an Artist and delay your artist guild a whole era, and if you find a use for any of the others, they're there too.

    Honor is not bad for starting if you want to warmonger early, and if you split between the two, you'll get the best benefits of neither. You need 3 policies in Liberty to get the faster Settlers, and at that point, you're better off finishing Liberty than getting into Honor, because what the hell good is Honor if you're not getting faster barracks, cheap upgrades, and faster exp? You won't get those before it's time to get Rationalism, and if you'd just stuck with one tree, you'd have the policies to dabble in Aesthetics, Patronage, Commerce, or Exploration.

    Honor just plays a completely different game than the other trees, you're not going to settle that many of your own cities, maybe 3 tops, and you'll be relying more on your trade routes for science, but that's okay, because you're going to conquer capitals with juicy, juicy wonders. Your culture is better than the others if you go down the right side first, and on Deity, Honor is the only bonus against barbs you'll ever get. Honor is not a common start, but it's certainly viable with an all-in strategy.

    Liberty is actually better at setting up shop quickly, much better than Tradition unless you get obscenely lucky, and because of this, you get a large early game boom, followed by a short lull (which is needed to build up necessary infrastructure), then a second big boom as you expand your empire, and if you're Liberty, you'll want to go to war eventually.

    Liberty can be seen as the warmonger tree for civs with mid-game UUs. You CAN go peaceful, but you'll likely have to go warmonger eventually. Honor is for people who want to go to conquer others right away and focus on the warmonger half of the tech tree. With Honor, I've conquered capitals with no losses, so handily, on turn 90, that the AIs sue for peace and give me all their cities.

    So, why is Tradition so popular? Because it's so easy. Tradition is pretty much autopilot for people with bad habits and rigid routines, fittingly enough. Tradition is all about build order optimization and beelining to peaceful victories, and people love that because it's much easier than thinking and working, and if you get stuck going anything but Freedom, your empire suffers. Wide empires can work with Freedom. Order is much less effective with Tall empires. It's also less effective if you're willing to do the work to make your empire great. On high difficulty, Liberty is the only way to get more than 3 cities in all the best spots. Tradition has to deal with sloppy seconds, and rarely gets a good spot for its 3rd. Liberty often gets prime real estate in all 4 of its first cities, is much faster at improving those first cities, and you occasionally find a vast expanse that's good for 6 or 7 cities.

    Liberty is nowhere near underpowered. It takes more work, but it's even better than Tradition once you get it going.
     
  9. Vidszhite

    Vidszhite Chieftain

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    Great analysis. This is how I've found it as well.
     
  10. Vidszhite

    Vidszhite Chieftain

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    The only thing this would do is make the fast settlers policy accessible to Tradition, Honor, and Piety; it wouldn't actually make Liberty any better.
     
  11. Matthew.

    Matthew. Chieftain

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    Yes, the recent Germany game I played, I just cruised through Renaissance and I even picked up extra techs, like muskets and cannon. The point I want to stress here is a lot of people look at NC finish times or size of capital in the early game without realizing that wider play can and does swing back around come about turn 200. I think my NC in that game was like turn 95? Something that would be considered way too late for the average meta-game, yet I got to industrial far quicker than I normally do.


    I don't want to turn the thread into sides or give impressions that "better players" use one or the other, but in general I can agree that Tradition is essentially auto-pilot, and that is something that has appeal. Manage to get 4 cities up and the game will do the rest for you. Wider Liberty games do take quite a bit more management to work effectively.

    It is a very flexible tree though and I agree that it is easier to start with Liberty and go tall than it is for Tradition to decide to go wide. Throw on a single food route to the capital, take the few turns to build the aqueduct, and your Liberty opener will play just like Tradition. It takes some mucking around to deal with the lack of happiness from Monarchy, but a single Mercantile CS will be enough for the entire game.
     
  12. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Chieftain

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    Liberty doesn't get you a free settler on turn 40. Especially if you built a scout first - and how did you find a spot to settle if you didn't build a scout first? In the first 60 turns tradition capital can knock out settlers just as fast if it gets a worker for mines as a liberty capital can. Liberty deliberately does not help true early expansion - that's why the settler policy is bumped down. By the time liberty makes a difference in settler output your neighbors are homing in on Civil Service. I like liberty but it's not an effective city-snag-tool.
     
  13. Vidszhite

    Vidszhite Chieftain

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    In my experience, the free settler does almost always comes out at turn 40. Culture ruins are quite common.
     
  14. FilthyRobot

    FilthyRobot Chieftain

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    I've said this to you before: Liberty does not have a significant early advantage to generating settlers. The settler bonus doesn't kick in until after collective rule and +1h doesn't make or break a game. I almost always hard build settlers at pop 3, ages before I'd hit collective rule.

    Which is what, duel sized pangea? Even playing on "tiny skirmish" in a 1 on 1, there is tons of room to expand. When I FFA, then there's often a land issue, and then it's worse to go liberty, since as you're warring your neighbor with +10h, there's some jackass (I'm looking at you, Schumi), who's min-maxing their science output with tradition, food caravans and an optimized tech/policy path.
     
  15. TLHeart

    TLHeart Chieftain

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    I have to laugh at how people think their style of play is the only way to play.

    People who have optimized their play to tradition will never see how to optimize liberty to grow wide and dominate the world via any victory they choose, instead of rote tradition response to win a science victory by turn 240
     
  16. FilthyRobot

    FilthyRobot Chieftain

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    I'm so tired of responses like this. They contribute absolutely nothing to the thread or the OP's [and my] question.

    It's possible to interpret your response in two ways: 1) You don't know what you're talking about--either you're bad at the game, ignorant, or trolling OR 2) You actually do know how to play Liberty in a manner that's as good a Tradition, but you're too much of an ass to bother to explain it

    Either way, you don't help at all. If you want to contribute, do so, spell out what, exactly, you do that makes Liberty shine. Better yet, record a "let's play", commentate a game, point out how Liberty helped more than Trad would have.

    When I do these things, when I actually experiment and try Liberty, I always find it worse than Trad. I don't want that, it isn't fun to be forced into Trad every game, but I haven't found Liberty do be nearly as strong. I WANT to have the option to open a different policy tree, to try something else and have it still be competitive, if you think you know how, show us how.
     
  17. TLHeart

    TLHeart Chieftain

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    This whole thread has told you how, but you dismiss how. No it will not play the same as boring tradition for a 240 turn science victory. Liberty is not a rote do this, do that, build these things it this order, then bulb GS to win. It will take skill, proactive friendships, wars, trading, using the starting location to its max ability, understanding the benefits of the tree, like city connections. 4 workers can improve an entire 8 city liberty game and stay ahead of the growing population. That is if you use the pyramids. My capital will be a couple less in population than a traditional start, but my empior population will be larger than a traditional start. And I will have 4 cities, with four workers, libraries, an national college, by turn 100, with pyramids and oracle.

    Go and try it with an open mind, and think. It is not a rote do the same thing every time start like tradition is.
     
  18. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Moderator Action: Let's tone things down a bit, please. If you have a problem with someone's post, please report it and let the moderators address it. Do not respond to each other in this manner.
     
  19. kaspergm

    kaspergm Warlord

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    I don't play deity ...
     
  20. FilthyRobot

    FilthyRobot Chieftain

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    Look at the ego in your post. You're essentially suggesting that "good players do fine with Liberty", and since we're arguing that Liberty isn't fine, we must be bad players.

    There's a big hole in your logic too--what happens when a good player "takes skill, proactive friendships, wars, trading, and using the starting location to its max ability" as Tradition? Every time I actually do this comparison Tradition massively out-performs Liberty in the same game conditions.

    I'm not here white-knighting Tradition, I'm here because I want competitive options that involve other social policy trees and I'm still not reading convincing arguments for this.
     

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