How is my start? (Noble)

I appreciate the feedback and learning much! @sampsa I won't be offended when my play is called out as terrible :)

In the last Peter game I managed to get a culture victory but it took until 1800AD. Mostly clicking next turn for 100 turns and won't do culture for a while.

Here is my newest game. I took the jump to Immortal. Random leader and climate, and pangea map. I draw Sitting Bull, not my favorite leader yikes. At least dog soldier will make barb defense easier.

Start:
Land looks good but seems like bad spot to SIP. My plan was move warrior 1E and settler 1SE onto grassland hill. If it looks good I would settle on the hill, otherwise move 1E of hill (which also looks like a floodplain though). After moving on hill I didn't settle there because my capital would have poor production except forests (no hills/elephants/cow etc). So I settled 1SW of corn on a flood plain.Capital has lots of forests, 3 floodplains, 2 hills, and nice green tiles. Very interested in how others approach this start.

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3000BC:
Thought I would stop and post at my next significant decision. I scouted clockwise around capital and already met everyone! Charlemagne is very close. Mostly peaceful leaders except Shaka but he is a bit far away. I can't see anyone else's border except Charlemagne. so hopefully I have some time to expand. Started Mining-BW. Used worker to farm corn, 1 turn farm floodplain (nothing else to do that turn), and start mining plains hill. Is it better to farm 1 floodplain and get ready to chop instead of building a mine? My next decision is whether to go AH or to pottery first? Plains cow spot I marked seems nice. There is also a plains cow (can't see in pic) south of gold but there is jungle there so I have to settle that latter I guess? How many cities are you looking to expand early? If I have horses do I try to attack Charlemagne asap? Or tech to pottery/writing?


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Just a quick observation:

Don't be afraid to SIP. I am not sure about others, but for me personally, I would not move to settle in a different tile unless my initial warrior or scout reveals something that is definitely worth the move. Almost all the time, that involves moving into a tile that gives you extra hammer or in very rare cases, even extra food on the city tile itself.

Fortunately for you, if you can take advantage of it, your capital's BFC contains 7 cottageable (not counting plains river for now) tiles. Depending on how you place your next few cities, you can potentially share these tiles to make sure that they are growing consistently. Still, I would not have spent 2 turns to settle where you did, largely because it still feels like a move with blind faith.

Looking at the screen shot, there is an ample opportunity for barbarians to spawn. I am not sure how comfortable you are at dealing with them, but you should be prepared nonetheless. You cannot possibly fogbust all that vast open space around you, but you should get more comfortable with it rather than not. Fortunately, the UU is resourceless. ^_^

Be mindful that Charlie will expand like a beast if he is not contained. Since you made a jump from Monarch to Immortal, you will see a big difference in how fast they will expand, as well as their tech rate. I would prefer settling towards him and try to block him off.

My suggestion to you is to play out the game the way you usually approach the games and see the difference in difficulty yourself. Most likely you will run into a situation where you have realized that something may have gone wrong. I am sure you do this already, but be sure to save periodically so that you can always go back to prior saves and re-attempt should things go wrong. Making mistakes is the fastest way to learn and advance, after all. ^_^
 
For me, moving on T0 is forced - wet corn way too good to pass up. Either blindly 1E (to keep the sheep and to be able to settle on T0) or probably even better to move on the hill like you did.

I would nearly always rather farm a floodplain than build a plains mine. The reason is mostly because that mine becomes not very good the moment you have a granary and means to improve :)-cap. Farmed fp will become excellent at that point. However, you don't have any natural :hammers: here so one mine seems ok. I'd rather have the grass one though, but not a huge deal.

No great 2nd city spot in sight, but I think the grass cow is clearly best. Often you should expand to 3 cities quickly, from then on it depends on grand strategy. HAing Charlemagne wouldn't be the first thing I try when moving up. Guy is a massive pain especially to HAs, because of his high promoted archers which he likes to build many of. Pottery is a very important tech for your land.
 
Fog busting: My plan is focus on 2 spots south with cow and gold, and maybe tundra near sheep. But the other civs are doing a nice job fog busting for me and I met the others pretty quickly.

Charlie: I did notice he already had 3 archers in capital by turn 10. Definitely not like on Monarch. Noted challenge of HA rush here. Also it seems I have some time to expand and enough land where early rush isn't mandatory.

So settling south grass cow and then maybe southeast for gold and another cow? Or try block him off on northeast instead? Need to explore that area still.
 
I think your next best spot is the sheep in the north. Can take a fp from the capital too. Other locations are far or have no food.

On monarch you've gotten used to not needing barb defence really. On immortal you can expect them to make a run at your cities pre-T50. You can't fog bust everything, but you can control the direction they come at you. One or two dogs and some warrios should be enough. Use them wisely.
 
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Stepping back and looking at Sitting Bull's advantages:

- Dog soldier: As you pointed out, they are amazing for defensive purposes, make you fairly safe from barbs as soon as you reach Bronze Working, vs. having to connect a copper as well. The existence of this UU kind of devalues his PRO trait and Totem Pole though as he wants Archery in even less cases than the average Civ.

- Starting techs: Agri is almost always good. Fishing is maybe something a PHI leader would rather *not* have on this map, since not researching fishing opens up the opportunity for a great scientist to bulb Engineering. At least, Fishing saves you something like 20 beakers when you get to research Pottery.

- PHI: More great people means you can rush one of the later units (such as Cuirassiers) faster with a comparatively smaller empire. Having an abundance of great scientists encourages you to get an academy in your capital (especially one like this) where other leaders have to save it for bulbs. Taking advantage of this trait requires mostly food and happiness.

So PHI is better for the long game, which doesn't mean you'd never attack early, but here I would also consider that you have a rather friendly bunch of opponents, with the notable exception of Shaka of course. None of the others can start plotting against you when pleased (https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/civ-illustrated-1-know-your-enemy.478563/), and you can get them to pleased by giving them techs (or trading at a large advantage in their favor).

The other thing that synergizes very well with PHI here is Pyramids. Probably needs to be built before T80 on immortal and you have potentially strong competition for it (Ramesses).

Now, I'm not sure that's a good plan, but let's say you settle between gold and stone (forever size 1 working gold), then city 3 on the jungle W of cow. Cow city gets a potential 7 hammers per turn (plains hill mine + cow + city center) at size 2 and 8 forests (saving 2 from the capital). Then it can build pyramids in about 13 turns with 2 full-time workers. If you successfully get the pyramids the culture grabs the corn and bananas. The tech path in this scenario is probably something like Wheel - AH - Pottery - Masonry.

EDIT: Now I think it's a bad plan, because the eastern stone is on desert. It would take 8 worker turns for a quarry then 3 for a road. You could still put the 2nd city on jungle near gold like @Fippy suggested, 3rd city on jungle W of cow and use a library to expand borders to corn and bananas, and 4th on coast SW of sheep. Settling gold city first in addition to the advantages pointed out by @Fippy, gives you more time to research AH, possibly fitting in the Wheel before it, which really helps commerce.
 
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Sounds like a plan. I will focus on grabbing gold asap, then cow and sheep cities. And strategically prepare for any barbs. I'll play ahead a bit as I'll soon have questions on next tech path after writing. Being industrious would great library be a good play on this map? I have a good capital to build that and the extra scientists will be nice in that city in addition to the cottages.

Fishing is maybe something a PHI leader would rather *not* have on this map, since not researching fishing opens up the opportunity for a great scientist to bulb Engineering.
Oh wow I did not know this! I didn't even think math could be bulbed by great scientist.
 
Being industrious would great library be a good play on this map?
You are not IND, but I suppose you mean PHI. Without marble I would close to never go for GLib (I've noticed many other players value it a lot higher than I do though). It's easy to get the needed GS for education/liberalism bulbs in a golden age anyway and after liberalism the value for 2*sci is not that high.
 
2nd city definitely the one suggested by @Fippy for sure. Definitely the most desirable of any site candidates.

The stone... I actually like the other stone to the west better. I may even consider just settling on top of it. Good for maybe a 5th city site or so. Definitely too late to be utilized for the Pyramids, but good to have for later as a PHI leader, which will make building Oxford a piece of cake in later game, considering PHI gives bonus to building universities already. ^_^

Burger King aka Charlie is mostly peaceful, but he does expand aggressively. Thankfully, the land towards him doesn't look all that impressive, so there is no pressure in trying to grab contested land in my view. Though I am curious as to what is out there to the northeast of the corn and north of silk. If that area isn't all that special, I like 1SW of sheep as the 3rd city site as well.
 
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2nd city definitely the one suggested by @Fippy for sure. Definitely the most desirable of any site candidates.
Might be, but it's not because it's a great spot, but because none of the alternatives are. In general, settle the strongest sites first, which means that cities which have trouble growing tend to be secondary. There are merits as pointed out already, though, I'm just less enthusiastic about it. Obviously the same on GLib. ;) I'll scorn Oxford later...
 
Might be, but it's not because it's a great spot, but because none of the alternatives are. In general, settle the strongest sites first, which means that cities which have trouble growing tend to be secondary. There are merits as pointed out already, though, I'm just less enthusiastic about it. Obviously the same on GLib. ;) I'll scorn Oxford later...

Agreed that it is not a "great" spot, but out of all the candidates, it should give the most immediately impactful benefits. Early gold mine with all that commerce... benefits should be reaped as early as possible in my view. I don't like the lack of food either, however.

I love the Great Library myself, but not to the degree to suggest building it without either being IND or having marble. Same for the Parthenon. Oxford, I only mention it since Sitting Bull is PHI, and having stone will give building bonus so it should be well worth it if capital is nicely set up with big commerce output.
 
The key advantage of 1SW of sheep for me instead of elsewhere in that area is instant coast trade connection, saving worker turns.

Main thing is until you have the 3 or 4 cities up, capital focus needs to be settlers and workers, supporting with chops and whips. Granary can wait, though you can start producing it when growing after a whip, if you don't need more warriors. Putting a few hammers into a dog soldier in each city is useful in case of emergency.

Workers need to be available to improve gold/cow/sheep in new cities, and only after focus on capital cottages.

On immortal Pangaea, alphabet is usually a good choice after writing unless you're planning a construction attack (in which case it's math). I would recommend evaluating the situation at T60 or whenever you get writing or 4th city (if earlier) before making that call.
 
Got a chance to play again. Trying to absorb the knowledge and apply it. I started AH after BW and settled cow city second. My thinking was that it's better to get up a productive city that blocks off more land for 2 good cities with food. I'm thinking gold should be third city because my worker is closer to it and worker won't have much to do after cow (except maybe chop a settler and worker for corn?). Also planning to send first dog soldier NW to sheep to deal with tundra barb archers which are coming soon. So third city gold, fourth one sheep or corn? Also marked where Suleiman is so blocking him off and getting the horse seems good (I learned where horse was after settling Poverty Point). In these early game situations I'm not quite sure when to start my next settler vs letting the city grow back (whipped the settler btw).

T36

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Not a huge fan of your 2nd city, but it's not horrible. I just think it's a weaker version of the sheep city because that one is instantly connected. +2:commerce: at this stage of the game is a lot! However, the gold spot was probably best. I don't value 0:food:-tiles very high, but they are clearly at their best in the early game when cities don't have granaries and the :)-cap is very low so the price of stagnating a city is not that high and getting the early techs faster is good for your empire development.

You have whipped the capital I guess, because the mine is not worked. I'm not saying that it was a bad choice, but if you intended to whip my general advice would be not to build mines, but farm more floodplains.
 
You have 3 improved tiles in capital, so from the current point I would probably grow back to size 3, then start settler and speed it up by chopping those two forests south of capital once you're done with pasture. That settler should definitely go for gold, you want the happiness and boost your research towards writing. Next build in capital should probably be a worker, you can whip it at size 4. Hopefully sheep city can wait until you have a granary in your capital, for more efficient whipping and regrowing.

That said, generally I would do it the other way around, chop the first settler and whip the second one. In addition to saving regrowing time, another reason is that after first settler your worker usually needs to move with the settler to city 2, so less time to chop.

Btw if you had a good amount of overflow from whipping that first settler, make sure you put that overflow into a settler or worker in the early game. It's worth stagnating the turn after whip for that purpose.
 
Back to my favorite thread as I continue to get my butt whipped at Immortal. This is more of a mid game breakout strategy question but open to feedback about the start too. This is a Pangaea map with ~800 land tiles. I am Suleiman (Phil/Imp).

The start (1040 BC)
- I just got Writing.
- I settled 1N of starting settler position
- It seemed like a good situation to try the legendary stone settle + pyramids gambit. Got 1280 BC pyramids date.
- I knew going for gold city was a risk and it slowed me down for sure. At least I managed to block off land from Hammurabi.
- The barb city to the north is nice and I plan to get it if I can get some troops in time. There is also horse north of that city which I could secure for cuirs rush.

Shaka is south of me and expanding fast and into my territory. Hammurabi could be pacified by adopting Judaism maybe? But I feel one or both of these two idiots will attack me at the most inconvenient time. I have some overflow hammers put into a settler and thinking of gifting city to Shaka. Praying I have iron.

Some options I'm considering:
- Construction rush Shaka with elephants/catapult. With limited land and no other military unit it seems okay?
- Use GE from capital and golden age or bulb to get engineering. Attack Shaka with trebs/cats. With trebs it seems strong enough to take out 2-3 guys. Probably try finish the game with cannons after this.
- Peaceful to lib and cuirs rush. I don't know if peace can be maintained that long though. And no guarantee I secure horses. Build walls/archers and hope I don't get picked on.
 

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My thoughts:
- Capital location is good, unfortunately I think 2nd city on gold is a clear mistake (maintenance, amount of worker turns spent, gold is 2 tiles away so had to grow borders? and no food). Cities 3 and 4 are good, maybe there was a way to fit another city in, but you can Construction rush with 3 cities on immortal, especially given enough forests. To give you an idea, on deity I find that 4 cities, Writing by T60 and Construction by T80 gives good results.
- Depends what the situation was like when you committed to Pyramids, but with few good city sites, ivory, and AIs very close, I would probably have gone for Construction, in which case Pyramids is not advised (too slow to pay off before you attack). 1280 BC pyramids is a good date but 1040 BC writing is late. With a GE the Engineering plan looks good (gives you time to build up your cottages, and with Pyramids -> Police State Trebs only cost 2 pop to whip). That is if your survive, as you say. If Shaka is plotting against you maybe you have time to gift a city and then beg him for a cheap tech at pleased, but it does look precarious. You can also try gifting him writing for relations.
 
Okay, a bit unlucky to lose the grass cow to a holy city, but yep that 2nd city spot is not great. You have strong close spots (even the oasis/fp on ph) and with ivory there is no reason to try to block aggressively. Since it's clear already on T0 that you will get the Mids if you try, the value of the gold-resource is very close to zero. +1 :) is not necessary with ivory+rep and PHI rep specialist >> gold tile. I would've just settled 4-5 strong close cities asap (IMP ftw) and it would be possible to go for construction war even after diverting 250:hammers: into Mids. As it is, you are not in place to do that imo. Everything you've done so far points towards peaceful play. Your strategy can't be just all over the place, you can't start a bunch of libraries now and dream about a construction attack, no no no. You've already made choices.

I would definitely gift city to Shaka (IMP ftw). Take religion and Hammu is fine. You have fishing so you cannot bulb engineering (with a GS). You can bulb engi with a GE, which might be a decent way to play. If you can take one guy out the game is in the bag. Or just go towards lib... Maybe you can trade for horse or just get steel for cannons.
 
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