How to be a tech whore without trading in MP

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Malarkey, Mar 24, 2006.

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  1. Malarkey

    Malarkey Chieftain

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    Note: This article is geared towards competative multiplayer gaming. I've made a few corrections here to reflect that.

    The following article will describe my strategy to out-teching the human player on Emperor difficulty. Why emperor you may ask? All difficulties from emperor and above, only give a +1 bonus to health, making it much harder for your cities to grow.

    This guide is especially important in MP games where tech trading is turned off. Let me also stress that being a philosophical leader will give you a big edge over other leaders, and I'll give a full explaination as to why. I've developed this strategy while playing with friends who are very competitive players.

    We'll begin, as always, with your first city. Your capital is your most important city in the game. This cannot be stressed enough, since your capital will be out-teching all of your other cities combined. The best placement for your capital is always on an area that has multiple floodplanes. This can make or break you later on. If the initial spot isn't in the greatest position, it will have to do. So settle in the first spot that the computer puts you in, unless you can find a much better spot within 1 turn of your settler. Just remember, if your capital's initial placement isn't very desirable, you can always move it later once you've settled 3 other cities.

    Ok, so now your capital is settled, and hopefully in a spot which will give it a lot of growth. The next step is to build a warrior. You heard that right, no tree chopping here. Now we have to choose our first tech. Regardless of your leader's starting techs, you want to go for the religious techs first to get as many early religions as possible. You'll want to shoot for polytheism first, and then for monotheism. The benefits are twofold, as will be discussed later on.

    Once the warrior has been completed, send him out in the opposite direction of your first warrior. You want to cover as much ground as possible. This will allow you to both gather as many huts as possible, and also give you a good idea of where to settle your second city which is vitally important. The next thing you'll want to build is a settler. You'll want one of your warriors to be near the area where you plan to settle your second city. This way, when your settler is completed, you can send him off right away with the fog of war cleared by your warrior, and he can settle as soon as he gets there with your second warrior defending him.

    By the time you've popped out a warrior and a settler, you should be able to start working on wonders right away. I'd recommend building one more warrior in your capital before you do this though. Now remember I said to shoot for monotheism? One of the prerequisite techs to monotheism is masonry which will allow you to build the pyramids. So once you've built your second warrior to defend the capital, start building those pyramids ASAP! From this point on, you should never stunt your capitals growth by building workers/settlers unless you reach a happiness limit, and have no wonders to build. When you get the monotheism tech, switch to Organized Religion right away. This is assuming that you managed to get a religion in the first place. Organized religion will speed up the build process of the pyramids by 25%. While you're building the pyramids, maximize your capital for growth until you reach your happiness limit, then switch to production. At first it'll say something like 300 turns to complete the pyramids, but that number will come down quickly once your capital is at it's max happiness rate.

    Now some more details about the second city, which is just as important as your capital. You'll more than likely want to turn your second city into a GP (Great Person) farm. So while you were scouting out the terrain for your second city's placement, you'd want to find a spot that has at least two food resources, a floodplain or two, and a few 2F fresh water tiles for farming. You won't build any cottages in your GP farm. Once you've found such an ideal spot, which is often difficult, you'll want to build your first worker here, then send him back to your capital to start cottage spamming, and building mines. Only improve the tiles that you plan to work though, since for now, we only have a single worker. You may even want to build a farm or two just to get your capital to grow as quickly as possible. Once the happyness limit is reached, convert your farms to cottages. This is all very subjective to the terrain that you have, and if you have a lot of floodplains, it's pretty much useless to build farms at all.

    Note: please see maltz post here for more info on advantages/disadvantages of having the parthenon.

    Now, provided that you were the first person to build the pyramids, good for you. :goodjob: Start working on the parthenon in your capital next. A 50% boost to your already existing 100% philisophical trait is really nice. Since your capital should have reached its happyness limit by this time, you'll want to switch up to representation for the extra +3 :). Then grow your capital to the maximum limit again by moving all of your workable tiles to food tiles, then back to production tiles once you reach your limit.

    So what other techs should you shoot for after monotheism? If buddhism hasn't be founded yet, shoot for that. I wouldn't recommend shooting for many other religion techs after that, as you may find yourself falling behind in tech. By the time that you've built the pyramids, you should have pottery researched for cottage spamming. Pottery should probably be researched after monotheism/buddhism, but again this is subjective to the terrain that you start with. By the time that the parthenon is finnished though, you should only be a few turns away from literature.

    After you've built the parthenon, you'll want to build a library in your capital so that you can build the great library when literature comes around. Now I had to think about this for a bit, on whether it's more beneficial to build the great library in your GP farm, or the capital, since it can be bennificial in either. I've come to the conclusion that it's better to be built in the capital, since this is also where you make all of your money from cottages, not to mention that you'll have other buildings that will multiply its effects, such as Oxford. This also helps to balance out the great people points that you get between your capital and your GP farm, so that both are good producers of great people.

    If you were successful in building the pyramids, you'll have spawned a great engineer before the parthenon is completed. Don't use him on the parthenon though! Save your GE for the Great Library, as it can be more beneficial in the early game.

    Other important techs that you'll want to shoot for after literature are Code of Laws, Civil Service, Philosophy, and Drama. Code of Laws will give you the Caste System civic. Chances are, you won't be able to use this civic in your gp farm yet, as your GP farm will likely not be large enough to use more than a couple of science specialists. Philosophy will give you Pacifism, which adds an additional +100% GP birth rate to all cities with state religion. When you get Civil Service, this is where your tech rate is really going to start to increase with the Bureaucracy civic.

    Finally, drama is extremely important for your capital. Make sure that you have 5 other cities down when you get drama, because you're going to want to build the Globe Theatre in your capital. The Globe Theatre eliminates all unhappiness, which means that your capital's size is only dependant on the amount of health that you have. So once you have the Globe Theatre down, maximize it for growth, until it can't grow anymore! By doing so, you allow all of your cottages to be worked, and this will maximize your commerce. This will also protect your capital from another civ switching to the emancipation civic which gives an instant -5 unhappyness, and can shrink your capital in no time. I know this trick all too well.

    And if you remember, earlier I said no tree chopping! This is vitally important to the size that you can grow your capital. For every 2 forests in a workable tile, you get +1 health. So only chop forests if you have an odd number of forests in workable tiles, or if they're outside of your capital's workable tiles. Sometimes you just have too many forests, and you'll have to chop some of them down for cottages. In this case, only chop down forrests that give 2F and 1P. This way, when you put a cottage down, it will still allow the city to grow at a normal +2 food rate when working that cottage. When replaceable parts comes along later in the tech tree, you can build lumbermills on all of your forests in your capital for the added production. A +1 health can make the difference between a size 19 city working most of the tiles, and a size 20 city working all of the tiles.

    Alright, I won't make this much longer, but I think I've covered most of it. The reason why you want to shoot for the early religions is so you can build a monestary for each religion in your capital. Don't bother building monestaries anywhere else. Having 3 religions will give you a 30% science boost in your capital. Also, in the early game you'll want to build a temple for each religion in your capital as well, since happyness will be a major factor before you can get the globe theatre. You'll want to build all financial buildings in your capital, such as banks, markets, etc, since your capital will be supporting the rest of your empire. The exception to this is wallstreet, since we'll be building a different national wonder in the capital that I will go into in the next paragraph.

    Universities, oh how I love you. Where would we be without them? Once you've shot for the other techs that I've mentioned, your next priority should be Education. I've lost many games just because I didn't get my universities down in time to build Oxford in my capital, while my friend enjoys out-teching me to those nasty destroyers. This has taught me to play with Philisophical leaders only, since they get the double production speed of universities. I can't begin to explain how important it is to have Oxford as soon as possible. So make sure you get the prerequisite universities down ASAP, or you'll be hurting in the long run!

    And that's about as far down the tech tree that I'll get into. Astronomy will be important for the extra 25% science, and printing press for the +2 gold per town. Beyond that though, it'll be smooth sailing if you can pull it all off quickly enough. Oh, and don't forget liberalism, but I try not to shoot for it, unless I have the prerequisite techs for economics, so that I can get economics as my free tech, and get a great merchant out of the deal.

    Now, back to the GP farm in our second city. The only specialists that you should be adding to your GP farm are scientists. Also, you should build your National Epic (+100% GP birth rate) in the GP farm. After that, build every building that gives a research bonus in this city as well. Hopefully, every GP that you pop will be a great scientist. Use your first scientist to build an academy in your capital for the extra +50% research bonus. Every consecutive scientist after this should be added as a super specialist to your capital. Once in a while, you might pop a great artist since the national epic gives GPP for that type of GP. You can use them for a golden age, or add them as a super specialist to your capital as well. It's all a matter of how your game plays out.

    The last thing that I'm going to go into are civics. You'll want to be running under Representation all of the time. Not running under representation will kill your science rate in your capital. Secondly, it can be a toss up on whether to run under Free Speech or Bureaucracy. Whether or not the +2 gold per town outweighs the 50% bonus you get in your capital is something I'd have to do the math on. Though, since your capital will be out-teching the rest of your cities combined, it may indeed be better to run under Bureaucracy.

    Now whether to run under the Caste System, or Emancipation can be another tough decision to make. You're again, weighing the difference on whether adding more super specialists to your capital will be more beneficial, than 100% town growth rate. Since your capital should also be your largest city, this also means that it's towns should be the most developed, so is the trade off worth it? In other words, more specialists or faster town growth. Again, someone would probably have to do the math here. The unhappyness that Emancipation provides alone might be enough of a reason for someone to switch to that civic, but that's totally your decision. As for Economy civics, I think that state property is pretty much a no brainer once you're able to get it.

    Finally the religion civics. As I said from the beginning, you'll want to switch to Organized Religion ASAP for getting those wonders out as soon as you can. Once I'm able to get Pacifism, I usually switch to it after I have Civil Service, so that I can also switch to Bureaucracy at the same time without going into anarchy twice (since I don't normally play with a spiritual leader). As for switching over to Free Religion, I find it's usually best after it takes more than 2000GPP to pop a great person. When you do finally switch over to Free religion, make sure that you've spread all of your non-state religions to all of your cities for the bonus happyness.

    Well, I think that's it. I hope I didn't bore anyone to death reading this, and I hope that someone else gets some use out of this strategy, and maybe learns a thing or two. I tried to keep this as simple as possible, and a lot of what I talk about here is very basic to many people who have played for a while. At the same time, I wanted to keep this article to a level where people who are just beginning to play will get a better understanding.

    Enjoy! :king:
     
  2. Zombie69

    Zombie69 Emperor

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    This will work in multiplayer because your opponents don't get bonuses and because cottages are less of an option (because of pillaging). However in single player at high levels, cottaging is more efficient than specialists.

    Besides, you're advocating making a GPF and adding scientists to the capital. How novel. This hasn't, after all, been said 2,000 times already.

    What you're missing however is the fact that in many cases, adding another academy is more efficient than adding another science superspecialist to the capital.
     
  3. maltz

    maltz King

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    Just something to add about GP points and the Phil trait:

    Last time I did a calculation of the number of Great People generated by a Philosophical leader and a non-Phil leader. At any given GP poinrts (double that for a Phil leader), the Phil leader has roughly 40% more than a non-Phil leader. For example, when a non-Phil leader has 5 GPs, a Phil leader would have 7.

    The Parthenon does not add 50% on top of the 100% bonus, instead it adds parallel to the 100% bonus. Therefore, a 100% bonus is now a 150% bonus. Convert that to real calculations, the 40% more GP now converts to... 50-60% of more GP. When a non-Phil leader has 10 GPs in total, a Phil leader without Parthenon has 14, and a Phil leader with the Parthenon has 15-16.

    I don't think it is realistic to see so many GPs in one game, though. Most of my games finished when I only had about 6-7 GPs in total when I am a Phil leader. Therefore, I personally find Parthenon not worthwhile to build.

    Also, to have Pyramid or not is largely dependent on luck - whether one has stone nearby or not. With stone, 6 forests would do (in Epic and Marathon, dunno about others). Without stone the requirement doubles. If one builds a Pyramid slowly, somebody for sure is going to chop it out before you... :)
     
  4. pholkhero

    pholkhero Deviant Mind

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    wow...you really are a trolling dick.
     
  5. Malarkey

    Malarkey Chieftain

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    I agree, many parts of my strategy have been done to death on these forums. Heck, I've learned a great deal of what I know from these forums, but some of what I talk about in this article is a bit of a tweak on what I've learned from here. For one thing, I used to be a tree chopper, constantly going for bronzeworking first, but always ended up being out-teched, and this article explains why tree chopping isn't always the best idea.

    I do agree with you though, that going the multiple academy/cottage can work quite effectively as well. This of course also means that to get the most out of it, you'll have to build multiple monestaries/observatories/etc in every city with those academies, when they could be better used for production of your military. I won't say that my strategy is the best, but as I already mentioned, it works really well in multiplayer, and that's what it's geared towards.

    Thank you for the feedback though.

    And anyone else, feel free to add your input! :king:
     
  6. luckynick

    luckynick Chieftain

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    strat fully pointless in single player sorry to say that but :

    1 - in emperor against AI getting an early religion is extremely difficult, you will need a very specific starting location (muchas gold/food)

    2 - have you ever heard about the barb super axeman ? no ? it's funny believe me, especialy when he pick your cap the tunr after you finish the pyramid

    3 - by the time you arrive at monohteism, boudhism is already founded for many turns :rolleyes: so i guess you have few experience in single emperor on regular settings.

    About multi i don't know but i fear that if you get spotted by a warmad opponent you can say goodbye to your juicy pyramid.
     
  7. Malarkey

    Malarkey Chieftain

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    Thank you for your comments maltz. I should have been a little more clear on the chopping. I will chop rush wonders, but I try to keep the chopping outside of my workable tiles, unless there's an excess of trees. Your capital's borders usually expand outside of the workable tiles well before completing the pyramids, so it's usually quite safe to send a worker out to make a few chops and speed it up.

    What I don't recommend is the race for bronze working, then chop worker, and settler strategy. It may cost only 3 trees, but if you only have 4 trees on workable tiles, and are surrounded by floodplains, it can severly hamper later growth. Secondly, going for BW first means that you miss out on key religions, which can boost your science rate in the early game. The warrior/settler strategy saves trees, and can still be done in under 40 turns. At the same time, you'll be able to explore twice as much of the map, which I believe is much more important for settling your second city. :king:
     
  8. atreas

    atreas King

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    I agree with luckynick: just to add that even if you escape the barb axeman you will not escape Monty/Alex/Napoleon/Genghis/Ceasar - whoever is closer to you will take an easy kill. Unless, of course, you are completely isolated from the rest of the world.
     
  9. Malarkey

    Malarkey Chieftain

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    Hi luckynick. I agree with you. In single player against multiple civs, it's quite difficult to get any religion from the start. I'll edit the original post to reflect MP only, since that's what I'm really gearing it towards. About warmad opponents, it's not much of an issue, since after you settle your second city, you can start popping out military units from there. And any opponents in MP should be more worried about barbs invading their own land from the start.

    You may have noticed that I didn't mention anything about the military techs, and they are important, but they're also outside the scope of this article. I'm only mentioning the key techs for out-teching your opponent, and how to go about doing it. Thank you for your comments though! :king:
     
  10. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Well one advantage is the specialization of cities, this could probably be an excellent later warmonger strategy, with all non-capital/GP factory cities working as military production centers
     
  11. maltz

    maltz King

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    Actually forest chopping only affects health in a minor way (at least in my games). It will take some time till the population grow to the unhealthy limit.

    There are also some common knowledge health bonus:
    Fresh water = 2 health.
    Grainary = 1 health for each of rice, corn, wheat.
    Harbor = 1 health for each of fish, clam and crab.
    And later on Grocer and Supermarket.

    Only in extreme cases (very little health resource) I would find forests vital, otherwise it will prbably restrict my growth by 1-2 population by the time the population goes to 18+. At that time I can replace a mine with windmill, a farm or watermill a 1/1 plain to give more food. So forest is not really a big deal. I would love to trade 1.5 population 300 turns later, with a lovely library 8 turns later (chop a forest takes 8 turns in my Marathon games).
     
  12. DementedAvenger

    DementedAvenger Prince

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    Don't you run into problems getting attacked building the pyramids so early? And wouldn't it be more efficient to build a worker before the pyramids (and before the settler, too, in most cases)?
     
  13. pixiejmcc

    pixiejmcc Prince

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    i dunno but imho, it isnt quite as simple as making one strategy and always following it. sometimes this strat will work, sometimes it won't. may be i am getting disilliusioned and wondering if, at the end of the day, it all comes down to luck...hm :)
     
  14. pixiejmcc

    pixiejmcc Prince

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    i agree with demented avenger's comment. for every strat there is a good counter argument. but what i don't understand, especially in MP (which is all i play tbh) is what makes those few ppl really stand out as great players
     
  15. fed1943

    fed1943 Emperor

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    The point I didn't get is the role of 2nd city:GPP farm and military city?How?What kind of terrain in the radius?What is worked and what tiles are left alone by the specialists?
    Best regards,
     
  16. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    The OP was quite ellusive on what he obviously considers as normal game playing.
    He never said to stay at 2 cities!
    He said the second city was going to be a GP farm in the long run, but you obviously make workers/settlers there, using the full benefit of the massive food you have.
    And you build units in your 3rd, 4th,... cities.
    At least, that's what i understood:scan:
     
  17. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    One thing I just can't understand is when you finally go for bronze working?
     
  18. jonta

    jonta Chieftain

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    1/ As far as i know, you only get hammers from chopping workable tiles
    am i wrong there ?

    2/ Seems to me that keeping the trees is only a must, as long as yo'w got
    2-3+ tiles of floodplain
     
  19. Malarkey

    Malarkey Chieftain

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    Thank you for pointing out the other bonuses. I will make a more detailed revision of this article, and make sure to include some of your points. I feel that I may have been a little too strict on the forrest chopping in my original post here.

    In all honesty, no. By the time you have your second city settled, you can start building up your military there, while working on the wonders in your capital. You can also start building your workers/settlers in your second city.

    Sorry about that. I tried keeping this article as short as possible, but I probably should have been more detailed on the overall expansion strategy.

    This can be very subjective to the terrain that you have. Normally I will shoot for BW after getting pottery.

    1. You receive hammers for chopping all forrests, including those outside workable tiles. If they're outside of your cultural borders, you'll get less hammers for them. I'm not sure exactly how that works, since it's not often that I'll risk having a worker outside my borders.

    2. You're correct to some extent here. It's only really useful to chop down forrests that initially provide 2F1P, since they're perfect for building cottages on, and allow you to maintain growth at a normal rate when working those tiles. Forrests that provide 1F2P are better used as production tiles. Once you have replaceable parts, you can build lumbermills on them for the added production, and maintain the health bonuses.

    To sum things up, I really rushed this article, and didn't put a lot of thought into it. I plan to rewrite this into a more streamlined, easier to understand article that will address the questions here, while adding a few more tweaks that boost your tech rate early in the game. I thank you all for your comments, and criticisms. :king:
     
  20. jonta

    jonta Chieftain

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    1/ Some people state this wont work in single player, WTF its a multiplayer
    strat (said that line 1)

    2/ On what kind off multiplayer map would you survive building a
    wonder this early, by the time you get monetarism ill be spapping out
    carriots or axe, your warrior will be worth ****

    This might be possible on an island map, otherwise no
     
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