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How is my start? (Noble)

Tecumseh1

Warlord
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Feb 8, 2024
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I have been working on expanding faster and also teching faster (but most importantly in the correct order). Can I get some feedback on this at 75 turns at Noble?

Tech order was Mining - BW - Pottery - AH - Hunting - Fishing - Writing - Archery. Survived a warrior in forest against barb spear in southern city which delayed settling southern city by 2 turns. Maybe I need to get Archery sooner? I was fog busting. I am deciding between settling city 5 by rice or start building HA right away. My plan is to kill Wang Kon as soon as possible. Then prob take Izzy's religion and build alliance with her and Zaroabi for now. Khmer is always dangerous but it seems farther away and I suspect he founded one of the 2 early religions (Izzy for sure did). Getting 3 libraries up shortly (going to wipe capital). Should I research farther and maybe go for catapults + HA? That's so far away though.



Note: 1000BC save uses BAT mod. Turn 0 attached too.
 

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You should mention that it's a BAT-save. I can't open it.
 
Ahh crap. I’d didnt save at turn 0. Next time do that and also remove bat mod.
 
If you haven't started a new game, the autosave from T0 is in the auto folder. People are able to save that as a worldbuilder save which means it is possible to play it without the mod.
 
Screenshot in spoiler for reference

Spoiler :

suleiT75.png



(Q.: Did the settler start where your capital currently is?)

Your first city was a bit late (T40), though you did catch up (T48, T59 for the next two). Expansion could have been a bit faster with an IMP leader. I would prioritize workers/settlers over buildings a bit more. Libraries are not a priority at this stage, and if you are doing an early rush (HAs or even construction) often you won't have them in most cities, maybe only 1 in capital (and unless you have really good food in capital it should be chopped, not whipped, since you want your capital to keep a good population to work those commerce tiles). Even granaries are less a priority than expanding/improving your core cities.

For the order and position of cities, one thing I noticed is that you have a large piece of river grasslands between Istanbul and Ankara that could have been chopped and cottaged, and is left undeveloped. I would have probably put my 2nd city around there (maybe 3N of capital to share the corn with capital and claim the cow... fish city would need to be 1 tile further north in that case), then settle the fish city and they are all connected with the river. The sheep city I would view as less a priority than those 2 sites. It's unfortunate you have to settle the tundra for horses, though it's ok for the last city before a HA rush. However, if I wasn't going for HAs I would put the city in a better spot (more forests, less tundra) and let the border growth get the horses later.

For the research, I would have researched Hunting earlier, so the worker can improve the ivory right after the farms: 1 food 3 production 2 commerce is really good especially with the IMP bonus for settler production. Hunting also gives a discount on Animal Husbandry. Also Fishing gives a discount for Pottery. However if you're researching Fishing and Hunting earlier, and still need Animal Husbandry, then either Bronze Working or Pottery should be postponed until all of that is done. On Noble maybe you can afford delaying Pottery and focusing on rapid expansion while your trade routes, and commerce tiles like ivory and fish help you get through. On higher difficulties, maintenance is worse and techs cost more, so you can delay Bronze Working. Besides, it's not a great map for whipping and you have good production tiles (ivory, plains cow) + IMP bonus, making it less urgent to chop.

That said, your current position should be fine for a HA rush on Noble. Forget the libraries, chop and whip those HAs. And yes, I would settle city 5 as long as it can claim more forests with it to chop into HAs. Catapults and HAs are not a good combo because the former can't move fast. You could have done Construction (elephant+catapult) rush instead here, but in that case the research path is usually Writing-Math-(Masonry)-Construction, then you can build catapults while researching horseback riding and build elephants after.
 
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Hi, can you post the initial 4000 BC starting save as well?
Added it to OP

Screenshot in spoiler for reference



(Q.: Did the settler start where your capital currently is?)

Your first city was a bit late (T40), though you did catch up (T48, T59 for the next two). Expansion could have been a bit faster with an IMP leader. I would prioritize workers/settlers over buildings a bit more. Libraries are not a priority at this stage, and if you are doing an early rush (HAs or even construction) often you won't have them in most cities, maybe only 1 in capital (and unless you have really good food in capital it should be chopped, not whipped, since you want your capital to keep a good population to work those commerce tiles). Even granaries are less a priority than expanding/improving your core cities.

For the order and position of cities, one thing I noticed is that you have a large piece of river grasslands between Istanbul and Ankara that could have been chopped and cottaged, and is left undeveloped. I would have probably put my 2nd city around there (maybe 3N of capital to share the corn with capital and claim the cow... fish city would need to be 1 tile further north in that case), then settle the fish city and they are all connected with the river. The sheep city I would view as less a priority than those 2 sites. It's unfortunate you have to settle the tundra for horses, though it's ok for the last city before a HA rush. However, if I wasn't going for HAs I would put the city in a better spot (more forests, less tundra) and let the border growth get the horses later.

For the research, I would have researched Hunting earlier, so the worker can improve the ivory right after the farms: 1 food 3 production 2 commerce is really good especially with the IMP bonus for settler production. Hunting also gives a discount on Animal Husbandry. Also Fishing gives a discount for Pottery. However if you're researching Fishing and Hunting earlier, and still need Animal Husbandry, then either Bronze Working or Pottery should be postponed until all of that is done. On Noble maybe you can afford delaying Pottery and focusing on rapid expansion while your trade routes, and commerce tiles like ivory and fish help you get through. On higher difficulties, maintenance is worse and techs cost more, so you can delay Bronze Working. Besides, it's not a great map for whipping and you have good production tiles (ivory, plains cow) + IMP bonus, making it less urgent to chop.

That said, your current position should be fine for a HA rush on Noble. Forget the libraries, chop and whip those HAs. And yes, I would settle city 5 as long as it can claim more forests with it to chop into HAs. Catapults and HAs are not a good combo because the former can't move fast. You could have done Construction (elephant+catapult) rush instead here, but in that case the research path is usually Writing-Math-(Masonry)-Construction, then you can build catapults while researching horseback riding and build elephants after.

Correct, I settled capital in place. Awesome feedback! So definitely I can punt on the libraries for now which is good to know. I always feel granary needs to come sooner but it makes sense to delay a bit if I'm not whipping a lot. Actually I did start whipping a lot after HBR. About 4 turns into the war and hoping to take capital. Continue to build HAs in 4 of 5 cities until the war is over (not sure if he has 1 or 3 cities left).

I did definitely consider second city north/with cows. Cottages and tile sharing is good. Ankara seems like great place for 2 scientists+ Capital is pretty good for specialists too. That is my plan as I suck/don't pay enough attention on getting great people in my games.

Moving on. I declared on Wang Kon with 10 HAs around turn 100. Took first city easily and getting ready to take capital next turn. In the meantime I got some tech trades for sailing, religious techs. Took Izzy's religion and went into Hereditary rule and organized religion on same turn.

Here is the save from 400BC. I am a bit lost with war preparation. Could I have gotten army up any faster?
 

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Without seeing the saves, one thing comes to mind from your explanation: your empire should be doing one thing at a time. If you war, all your cities should optimally be contributing to it. If you think you've already won the war and therefore need no more units, all your cities should start to focus on :commerce:. That doesn't mean all cities need libraries though, perhaps the capital one is more urgent in general and others can wait or skip.
 
Here's the WB save attached for those who want to try without BAT.

Regarding your 400 BC save, it comes down to what @sampsa said, you are maybe not committing fully to unit production. Cities were not whipped that much from what I can tell, lots of forests still around, meanwhile some workers are building farms and cottages (as an aside, I wouldn't recommend building so many farms on river grass tiles that are prime cottage sites). Workers should prioritize chopping and roading for faster troop movement, and ideally start working on it (pre-chop some forests) before the unit production starts.

Also something you might already know, but it's better to always do 2-population whips, so in cities that are mostly whipping (high food, low production) you need to time your chops well, usually right after a whip, e.g. you whip when the horse archer is at 10/50, the whip cuts 2 population for 60 production, so with the overflow your next horse archer starts at 20/50, finishable with one chop (assuming math is researched).
 

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So Spanish or Koreans. Koreans likely have metal units. Spanish have a shrine. Do they have metal units? You can scout with open borders. 11HA is normally about right. Use one stack. 3-4 stacks makes easy counter attack for the AI.

Agree start expansion could of been quicker. I can't fault the city locations. At 1000bc i think the Spanish only had warrior defenders so chariot rush might of worked. Land to east lacks food.

Could you of used your traits better? Chopping into worker/settlers is good for bonuses.

Not sure stables here adds much. Sometimes speed is better and more units.
 
Not sure stables here adds much. Sometimes speed is better and more units.
Stables are nearly always a mistake for HA-rushes. That extra 2xp adds very little and loses 1.2 HAs. If you are certainly facing spears, you can make a case for building a stable in one city.
 
Okay, here is my T51. I'm sure it can be improved, but it's decent.
Spoiler :
hunt-min-BW-AH-pot-arch-(HBR). Writing doesn't do anything for this strategy. You have a river with green tiles, so cottages do. Cities founded T38 and T49, arguably extremely late for an IMP leader. However, southern city gains the plains cow only T51 with the capital border pop (gains trade routes too), so no real reason to get it earlier. I think for a HBR-strategy, there is no point in getting the fish. Need the tech, need to put :hammers: into a boat, need to road and so on. Closer is better.

As you can see, :commerce: is excellent and I can start working on HAs already T61. Zero stables for sure, 1 barracks I think. Attack earlier and everything will be easier. Probably need to whip a 3rd worker immediately in capital. No reason to found cities anymore, now just grab cities by force and take it from there. Note the correct amount of roads and mines. Zero.

Civ4ScreenShot0030.JPG

 

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So Spanish or Koreans. Koreans likely have metal units. Spanish have a shrine. Do they have metal units? You can scout with open borders. 11HA is normally about right. Use one stack. 3-4 stacks makes easy counter attack for the AI.

Agree start expansion could of been quicker. I can't fault the city locations. At 1000bc i think the Spanish only had warrior defenders so chariot rush might of worked. Land to east lacks food.

Could you of used your traits better? Chopping into worker/settlers is good for bonuses.

Not sure stables here adds much. Sometimes speed is better and more units.

My thinking is that Korea is a stronger opponent so I wanted to take him out first. Spain can get annoying if I don't follow her religion but otherwise not hard to take out later in the game. I did consciously chopped and put larger overflows into settlers. But I'm still expanding too slow as the tips in this thread show.
 
Okay, here is my T51. I'm sure it can be improved, but it's decent.
Spoiler :
hunt-min-BW-AH-pot-arch-(HBR). Writing doesn't do anything for this strategy. You have a river with green tiles, so cottages do. Cities founded T38 and T49, arguably extremely late for an IMP leader. However, southern city gains the plains cow only T51 with the capital border pop (gains trade routes too), so no real reason to get it earlier. I think for a HBR-strategy, there is no point in getting the fish. Need the tech, need to put :hammers: into a boat, need to road and so on. Closer is better.

As you can see, :commerce: is excellent and I can start working on HAs already T61. Zero stables for sure, 1 barracks I think. Attack earlier and everything will be easier. Probably need to whip a 3rd worker immediately in capital. No reason to found cities anymore, now just grab cities by force and take it from there. Note the correct amount of roads and mines. Zero.

View attachment 687159

Excellent! General theme is that my expansion is too slow. Biggest reasons I see is 1) chose fish city and first fish city is slow to setup yuck workboat 2) I settled sheep city which is not necessary for early rush. It doesn't provide much production and it's farther distance for troops to travel. I settled the horses as 4th city since HBR was still a ways away for me. But that could be corrected by skipping writing and still have useful city start to product units sooner. 3) stables (and even barracks) can be skipped for early rushes. An extra soldier is more valuable than a few XPs especially in early wars with small armies.
 
Yes. In general, "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” i.e. you should try to reach your strategic goal with the minimum amount of techs (like here: skip fishing, myst, writing) and minimum amount of :hammers: diverted to unnecessary things (barracks, stables, 4th city) in the fastest possible fashion. It's not easy, on the contrary it's very complicated. Take one step at a time improving your game.
 
My recent starts seem to be getting better. I tried a Monarch game to test myself more and run into this brutal start. I moved around a few turns to find food before settling.

I've played this to 2040BC and it feels like a big struggle for me. Also attached WB file if anyone wants to try it and comment :)
 

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Isn't having at least one :food: resource in your capital's BFC guaranteed, assuming you SiP? To be fair, it could be one Plains Cow, which would certainly be rough.

Judging from your picture only, it seems there might be Food 1N2W and/or 2S1E from your settler's location.

Edit: 2W might also have something.
 
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Yes, if you don't see food after moving the scout and warrior it's often better to SIP. So for example in this case I wouldn't risk moving 1E to the plains hill and losing the only food, or moving north (which is towards the tundra anyway).

Played to T55 while settling in place.

Spoiler :

Tech path: Agriculture-Animal Husbandry-Bronze Writing-Wheel-Pottery-Writing. I have 3 cities, 4 workers and 4 warriors.

After worker, grew to size 3 and produced 3 warriors in the meantime, then a 2nd worker. By the time my worker was done with rice, cow and gold, and the 2nd worker was almost out, bronze working was done, so I could use both workers to chop forests for the settler. Still a late 2nd city, but gold starts generally need more workers and chops to get started. (Growth is slower and you can't really whip, and indeed while I did the usual switch to slavery as my settler was on its way, I haven't made use of it yet.)

2nd city to grab rice and 2nd gold, 3rd city east for grass cow and taking gold from capital to the latter can grow some cottages. I think fish/clam next, since I'm prioritizing riverlands as FIN and area around wheat isn't great. I'm not sure going straight for Alphabet is right here, that assumes Joao will have useful techs to trade like Sailing, which I'll need for city 4. Arguably we could tech it ourselves on Monarch. It looks like we may be semi-isolated with Joao, in that case he's a fairly peaceful AI so it should be fine to trade techs with him while maximizing our economic output towards Astro for example. Also, while all my cities need to grow their borders eventually, monuments didn't seem worth it right now even as CHA, so I'm waiting for libraries (which I want anyway in those cities given their cottaging potential).

Maybe another issue is I've done a very greedy economic opening and since I haven't fully fogbusted the tundra up north, might get some barb archers and spearmen later on. I think given the production in my capital and amount of workers and forests, it shouldn't be a problem to repel them with warriors. On higher difficulties I would have probably prioritized the copper, though it's awkward to place a good city next to it. If it were not for the gold tiles, I would have also prioritized having at least one trade route earlier.

hanniT55.png

 
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Ahh I did not know about the BFC/food guarantee! I ended up settling on the plains hill
Spoiler T50 :

My choice for Utica was because it was auto connected. Settled 3rd city where marked near silk. Then put 4th city 3W1N on coast. City 5 I settled 1S of horse. Now at ~95 I'm thinking it's too late to horse rush Joao.
20240404144158_1.jpg

 
Yes, if you don't see food after moving the scout and warrior it's often better to SIP. So for example in this case I wouldn't risk moving 1E to the plains hill and losing the only food, or moving north (which is towards the tundra anyway).

Played to T55 while settling in place.

Spoiler :

Tech path: Agriculture-Animal Husbandry-Bronze Writing-Wheel-Pottery-Writing. I have 3 cities, 4 workers and 4 warriors.

After worker, grew to size 3 and produced 3 warriors in the meantime, then a 2nd worker. By the time my worker was done with rice, cow and gold, and the 2nd worker was almost out, bronze working was done, so I could use both workers to chop forests for the settler. Still a late 2nd city, but gold starts generally need more workers and chops to get started. (Growth is slower and you can't really whip, and indeed while I did the usual switch to slavery as my settler was on its way, I haven't made use of it yet.)

2nd city to grab rice and 2nd gold, 3rd city east for grass cow and taking gold from capital to the latter can grow some cottages. I think fish/clam next, since I'm prioritizing riverlands as FIN and area around wheat isn't great. I'm not sure going straight for Alphabet is right here, that assumes Joao will have useful techs to trade like Sailing, which I'll need for city 4. Arguably we could tech it ourselves on Monarch. It looks like we may be semi-isolated with Joao, in that case he's a fairly peaceful AI so it should be fine to trade techs with him while maximizing our economic output towards Astro for example. Also, while all my cities need to grow their borders eventually, monuments didn't seem worth it right now even as CHA, so I'm waiting for libraries (which I want anyway in those cities given their cottaging potential).

Maybe another issue is I've done a very greedy economic opening and since I haven't fully fogbusted the tundra up north, might get some barb archers and spearmen later on. I think given the production in my capital and amount of workers and forests, it shouldn't be a problem to repel them with warriors. On higher difficulties I would have probably prioritized the copper, though it's awkward to place a good city next to it. If it were not for the gold tiles, I would have also prioritized having at least one trade route earlier.

View attachment 688103

Thanks for sharing! I would not have thought of making so many workers. Is it because gold start has less food/smaller cities and need extra chops/production?
 
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