1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

[BTS] How to compete with the AI's absolutely enormous armies?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by GenericName1998, Aug 31, 2020.

  1. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    22,560
    I honestly find that baffling, as tech trading adds an additional layer of strategy to the game..really multiple layers. Don't pigeonhole yourself into a fixed line of thinking about this game.

    Anyway, an academy in a good Bureau cap can be valuable long term, but it really depends on what you are trying to do...like go Space. However, GS bulbing strategies are one of THE most powerful things in the game, especially on highest levels. There's not even a debate on that fact. You are missing a huge aspect of the game but not learning how to bulb and create great people...like with early Pacifism ..ha

    And an academy can be compensated tremendously by acquiring a bunch of and sooner because you bulbed/libbed your way to Curs circa 500AD or so.

    Keep in mind that many folks here play to optimize the game, and have done some for many many years. We play to win the best way possible and get better. Sounds like you maybe role-play a lot - like with no tech trading maybe to make units last longer, which is perfectly fine, mind you, but the advice we give you is to make you "better" and faster...and kill high difficulty AIs.

    barbs are just something you have to learn to deal with and there are ways to deal with them. plus side, is they can slow ais some early and give units XP. yeah, they can potentially ruin a game, but it is the way the game was intended to be played - like with tech grading - so I'd just say gg.
     
  2. scheines

    scheines Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2020
    Messages:
    129
    Gender:
    Male
    Off topic, but are commerce / production multipliers all additive? If so, an academy with bureau is of no higher value than normal, right?

    And yeesh, 500 AD MT? I have some things to work on :crazyeye:


    Anyways, agreed on the tech trading. To be honest I’d love to see someone record a win on deity with tech trades disabled. The AIs just have such an advantage that you really need to use bulbs to play catch up
     
  3. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,055
    Location:
    Finland
    Multipliers in general are additive. However, bureaucracy boosts :commerce: while an academy gives a :science: bonus, so for example 40:commerce: with bureau @100% :science:-slider is 40*1,5=60:science:, but once you add an academy it's 40*1,5*1,5=90:science:. Thus academy+bureau make a good team.
     
    lymond likes this.
  4. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    22,560
    ^^^what he said
     
  5. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,386
    Location:
    Norway
    GS Bulbs are powerful, but a GM Trade Mission is going to catch up to a bulb fairly quickly. My recommendation would be that for the most part getting an Academy in the capital and then mainly focusing on GMs is the better option.
     
  6. GenericName1998

    GenericName1998 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2020
    Messages:
    17
    Gender:
    Male
    The reason I opted out of tech trading/brokering mechanic is because of three reasons:

    - It's very exploitable for the human player, by researching techs that the AI often ignores.
    - It makes every civ follow a similair research "route", because everyone constantly ends up with the same techs, taking away from a civs "personality" imo.
    - It's very boring. If want to take full advantage of it (as I used to lol), you have to try to get the optimum amount of gold out each deal and keep track of what everyone is researhing etc..

    And besides, disabling tech trading doesn't take away from the challenge at all. Everyone has a harder time getting to techs, so it should even out somewhat.
     
  7. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2018
    Messages:
    886
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Berlin, GE
    Don't know if someone mentionned it already. When you check "Aggressive AI", you have to be ready for even bigger armies. In combination with "No barbs", you give the AI all the keys to expand and train units without limitation. Because the barbs also work against AI.
     
  8. GenericName1998

    GenericName1998 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2020
    Messages:
    17
    Gender:
    Male
    Yeah, I should have taken the aggressive AI into account. I read on this forum that a developer of this game(?) pointed out that aggressive AI ought to be the default and that without the aggressive AI, the computer becomes too soft. I also feel like the AI should push it's advantages more, instead of just hoarding it's armies in cities.

    You think barbs give the AI an advantage (greater than me)?? That's a surprise. The AI starts with a bunch of archers, so I imaged that barbarians heavily favour the AI on higher difficulties.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
  9. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,370
    More on academy vs bulb...on a standard cuirs game you'll probably get 3 great scientists before lib without being PHI. Two should bulb part of edu and lib itself, but the third (or rather your first) could either build an academy or bulb philo. Since philo is 1300 beakers on deity, then the central questions are

    1. Which one gets you to MT + gunpowder (+HBR but that's kinda small fry at this point) faster, and

    2. Which one gives a total greater beaker yield by the end of the game.

    If you have a stronger bureau cap, it's almost certainly better to build an academy. I would say if you have 50 commerce/turn or more in your capital, that means an academy will generate an extra 40 beakers/turn, every turn you have research set to 100%. To bypass bulbing, you have to run about 35 turns of research, even less if your base commerce is higher...so the question is, after you get your first great scientist, will there be about 35 more turns of teching before MT? I find honestly that it evens out pretty well - there's at least about 30-40 turns of research left after your first GS, before you get all cuir techs.

    By the end of the game, on the other hand, is no contest. Academy begins to far outpace philo bulb once the game starts dragging on into rifling and the industrial era, even if the cap is meh, especially if it's good. If it's a map where you have to slog through to steel, assembly line, eventually industrialism, then you'd get thousands more beakers from an academy in a good buro cap than a bulb.

    So I guess the bottom line is, bulb philo if your capital is pretty trash OR you intend to generate quad GS before MT; otherwise, stick to academy, especially during games that you think will drag out.
     
    sampsa likes this.
  10. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,850
    Gender:
    Female
    Agree here, but there's one problem too: without tech trading military advantages last forever.
    And economy traits become even stronger, in multiplayer i can frequently see how everybody wants FIN.

    Unfortunately there's no good solution for those problems, but i find myself turning off tech trading too now in private games..mainly cos buildings like banks actually become worthwhile if i cannot sell techs left and right.
     
  11. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2018
    Messages:
    1,216
    Gender:
    Male
    Barbarians are much less of a problem for AIs than the human player at any difficulty above Settler (AIs always get the Settler bonus against Barbarians, in addition to free Archery at Monarchy etc.), but the problem is that the AI doesn't know that fact and exploit it for all it's worth, nor do they understand the mechanic of spawnbusting to keep their lands clear. So they actually get into a lot more trouble with barbarians than a human player with those AI bonuses would, to the point where I'd say barbarians are at least as much as a disadvantage to you as they are to the AIs. Though of course the shape of the map, your neighbours, who builds Great Wall, etc. all influences whether that'll actually end up being the case on any given map.
     
  12. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2018
    Messages:
    886
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Berlin, GE
    I don't think that the AI is favored by barbs. If you watch them closely, you see that they always retreat even if a simple barb warrior comes close, which means they are interrupted from improving tiles, settling new cities, etc... Of course, they will kill those units but first they retreat their civilian unit. Some promotions on their archers won't help them if you throw a real attack on them. Make sure to give barbs archery (if you play scenarios, WB saves...) otherwise the AI will conquer cities too fast.

    For my liking, the AI builds enough units, I don't really need "aggressive". Can be fun though. I once played Bismarck, build almost every wonder in the game while several AIs fought with each other. So it has impact on wonder building too. Mids went around 300 AD on Immortal....
     
  13. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2018
    Messages:
    886
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Berlin, GE
    I used to play a lot of Always War, and this is one of the rare scenarios where Bulbing (especially Philosophy) does not pay back too much, so that Academies or even settling Great Persons can be more rewarding (because you cannot trade around your new tech, and you won't run Pacifism for long time). In a "normal" game, even without trading, you should not ignore the power of bulbing. 1600 beakers for Education for exemple is a huge discount, your academy needs ages to catch up with that, not to mention that you get the tech couple of turns earlier
     
  14. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,055
    Location:
    Finland
    I don't really disagree with any of this.

    I guess the last sentence nails it. Often cuirs are such an "auto-win"-button that it doesn't matter which route you pick. However, if you are unsure of how/when you will actually win the game, it's safer to stick to an academy.
     
    Fish Man likes this.
  15. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    2,333
    Location:
    in a Gadda Da Vida
    I think I build an Academy in my capital with my first Great Scientist, more than 90% of the time.

    That said - if you don't have a great capital (or another spot generating a ton of :science: :hammers: ), or if you are playing with a lot of neighbours who tech well, or you get that initial GS later, it can make sense to bulb and trade the tech you get around.

    My game settings are such that the Academy is usually a better bet. Hard to meet trading partners early on enormous maps, and I often crash my economy to the point that I need the Academy to boost my 2 hired Scientists from 7.5 :science: to 10.5 :lol:
     
  16. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Messages:
    6,016
    I like academies too, but mostly in long games such as space games. If you conquer a lot, chances are the economy is totally broken, so you need the slider off for large swathes of the game, meaning the academy does next to nothing. Don't often bulb Philo any more, but like to put a GS into Education and maybe PPress or Chemistry, on the way to cannons or rifles. Which, incidentally, is a good way to counter large AI armies. Go on the offensive, crack open skulls, and they won't know what hit them :devil:
     
  17. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,263
    Location:
    Canada
    The way i see it, the Bulb vs. Academy swings depending on how long the game will last. If you're playing Pangaea and planning to run over the whole world by turn 220 or something then the Academy won't pay off and the immediate benefit of bulbing is great. On the other hand, if you're going for Space then a better payoff longer term may come from the Academy. Generally though, whenever unsure, I got for the immediate benefit because getting ahead earlier can often put you in a far better position later than you would have been otherwise. It's kind of a tough comparison actually. I mostly bulb since moving up to Immortal permanently.
     
    Fish Man and sampsa like this.
  18. FlyinJohnnyL

    FlyinJohnnyL You need more workers....

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    783
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Maptype makes a difference too. If you're on a pangea, it's hard to match the bulbs, even in a longer game since you theoretically have many trading partners. But if you're isolated, the Academy becomes a lot more attractive since you're stuck self-teching much of the early tree.

    One thing I do agree with as a hard-and-fast rule, though, is that until you are very comfortable with bulbing strategies and diplomacy, you can't go wrong with an Academy in the capital.
     
    lymond and sampsa like this.
  19. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Messages:
    6,016
    Very much agree. +50% :science: in your strongest city if you have, let's say 6 cities, will have a major impact on the game. Also, with a small empire, you're running the slider at 100% most of the time, so the Academy gets a lot of mileage. Will get you faster to a breakout tech like, *gasp*, Military Tradition.
     
  20. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    22,560
    On the contrary, Optics>Astro are important bulb strategies in iso
     

Share This Page