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How to conquer a 19 cities empire

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Cyborg T, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. Cyborg T

    Cyborg T Chieftain

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    I am in the middle of one game (the leader is Hatty):

    I am not doing bad. I have just won Liberalism (took Nationalism) in ~800 ad. My research rate is >300 bpt. I have 8 cities, all decent ones. Capital is cottaged and two more cities also work some more cottages. I will soon start on OU in the capital. The rest of my land is mostly being irrigated right now. One of my cities is a good GPP farm with GL and NE. I am already building GT in another food heavy city (for later drafting). All in all, I am quite happy with the economical situation.

    The problem is hidden in my neighbours. They are Monty, Inca and Wang. Each of them has a different religion. I am at the same religion as Inca.

    Wang is on another continent (but reachable with sailing). He was at war with Monty for almost the whole game. He is also the worst enemy of both Monty and Inca.

    Monty is a little backwards. I blocked him by a hill city to only 6 cities. He started plotting (probably against me since I am his only neighbour) in ~1000 bc but then asked me for a resource of rice, I gave it to him and he attacked Wang instead of me. However, I had to build walls in the blocker city, 3 axes, 3 spears and 2 archers and this cost me a lot of time, hammers and upkeep. Now Monty is plotting again, probably against me once again (Wang is still his worst enemy but Monty was already plotting on the same turn their war ended). This is ok since I have some defensive forses in the hill city (with walls). So Monty would be an easy war target.

    The problem is that while I was preparing for the dow from Monty, Inca happily settled all the jungle and now he has 19 cities. He is technologicaly not very strong at this moment (lacks edu, lib and nat) but this is only a question of time (all his jungle is almost chopped down now).

    The question is what to do now. I am at the choice where to tech now (rifling/steel/mil. trad./astro). Tech trades are hard: Monty does not like me, Inca fears I am too advanced and Wang wants only paper which is too cheap for his techs). So I lack even compass or construction for now. I am aware that I need to prepare for a decisive war asap but this will still take some time. And I will be probably attacked by Monty. So what should I do in such situation?
     
  2. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Post a screenshot and/or a save.
     
  3. Seraiel

    Seraiel If you want anything from I please ask in German

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    Draft-Rifles beat anything when combined with Airships and Spies. Draft-Rifles alone are already tremendously good, but as long as your opponent doesn't have them too, he stands no chance.

    If it's easier to take the others out though, go for it and attack the weakest to leech you upwards and get in a better position.
     
  4. Cyborg T

    Cyborg T Chieftain

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    sampsa:
    Haha, posting the save or screenshots is something I did not for purpose since I did not want to hear that I am a total noob when I underestimated exploration :blush:
    I am aware that this was a major mistake (caused by my lasiness) but I have explore only my own land so far :blush:

    Seraiel: I am also tempted to research rifling for drafts. I will probably go for Monty first as you said. I have several questins:
    1. Do I insert astronomy?
    2. After rifling, is it better to go for steel (cannons) or for physics (airships)?
    3. It is hard to manage the happiness while drafting (I have low happy limits now). I will probably mostly draft only my GT city (I hope to do it almost every turn). At the time I will be ready for the attack, Inca may already have rifling as well. Is it better to attack him asap anyway or build an enormous army first?
     
  5. Seraiel

    Seraiel If you want anything from I please ask in German

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    1. I don't know the map, when the landmasses are so far apart that you need to cross Ocean tiles, you need Astronomy. I got that Monty is on your landmass, so for him, you won't need it. Attacking someone overseas is definitely a lot more complicated and requires a lot more units and tech, I'd avoide it for as long as possible.

    2. Cannons are more powerful but Airships make Conquest faster. If you got Cannons + Rifles, basically nothing can stop you.

    3. Drafting every city twice is usually no problem. Are your cities that big, or why can't you draft them? GT-city only is definitely not enough, you need to draft all cities, if they're size 5 or 6, they shouldn't have problems with +6 :mad: from 2 drafts.

    4. Going in with too little army is a usual beginners fault. You need at least as much army that you have a power-rating of 0.6, before that, it's suicide, 0.6 is already incredibly hard, then your opponent has almost twice your military.
    I don't know if this works, but what you could do to attack earlier could be conquering a hills-city with great value, and then turtle in it. With best defender mechanics, beating a lot of military is really doable. Then just make sure that you have enough siege-immune units, otherwise you'll get obliterated by the enemy siege. MGs are top, Drill IV units are also top, Cannons are top.
     
  6. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Preparing for a dow? Are you using whipping to build the army?? Without whipping and a decent HE city it will take forever to build an army. 8 cities by 800ad is not a disaster. More than enough to whip cuirs. Normally when an AI has 15-20 cities most are too small to be useful. Take a stack of 30 or so units and do the war in phases. The key thing is to strike and take the large cities quickly. Drafting rifles would make for a quick war.

    Make sure to scout out any Ai stack before you start the war. If they have a 20-30 strong stack you need to either take this out or make sure it is busy attacking another AI. Lots of options. No idea how to tackle Monty stack without save.

    Not sure what level you are playing at either. Assumed Immortal.
     
  7. Mizar

    Mizar IM

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    With your tech lead I would have gone straight for Cur/Cavs and drafted rifles.
    In case of tech parity I want cannons, shouldn't be too hard to take out 1 neighbour.

    Hard to post specific advise without a pic/save.
     
  8. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Kill Montezuma first. Now you have 14 cities. If you’re happy with the economy in your core, you can whip/draft Monty’s former cities into an army, and then go get the Inca. If the Inca lands are mostly Jungle or former Jungle, they won’t have a ton of production, I wouldn’t think.

    Don’t forget to thank Huayna for chopping all that Jungle for you.
     
  9. Kallikrates

    Kallikrates Prince

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    Conquest with cuirassiers is usually considerably faster (and earlier) but you need a tech lead. They do well against longbows, crossbows and o.k. against pikes and muskets but are useless against rifles.

    I have a related question: When conquering a rather powerful (in land, not necessarily army) foe should one use the earliest opportunity to accept his capitulation offer? Or rather weaken him further? Of course, one wants to get shrine cities and wonders but apart from the fact that the war is over earlier, could a comparably decent vassal be worth more than a crippled one with only 3 crappy cities left?

    In a current game I more or less blitzed Isabella who had 13 or so cities (I had 8-9) but for some reason a rather weak army. We share (her) faith so she was friendly before war (I do feel slightly mean because this was one of the few games I really got along with her). I took 6 of her cities, incl. capital with shrine and 2-3 minor wonders. Now she has 7 cities left, two of which are quite good but the land is stretched out and it would take a while. There is another shrine city (but that religion is not spread widely). She offers capitulation and I wonder if I should take it or get another two cities. Problem is that the next victims are across a narrow sea, so she will not be a big help in troops (vassals rarely are, it seems). But she will be able to do some research for me I think.
     
  10. Seraiel

    Seraiel If you want anything from I please ask in German

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    I believe the question Vassals or not is as old as BtS, and I also think, that there has never been a definite answer for it. Sometimes evaluating it on a single basis is possible, so in cases like yours: Taking Izzy as a vassal gives you research, conquering her cities completely gives you production and research power, if they're well developed even research, so question is, do you need a tech / tradepartner because your diplomacy is screwed, or do you need cities to build units in because your future targets will probably be more powerful?
     
  11. Kallikrates

    Kallikrates Prince

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    Thanks. Usually it was easier to decide because I was too slow at fighting wars so war weariness and other factors usually favored vassals. Similarly if the cities are really crappy. In fact there is only one powerful AI left: Stalin who vassaled Shaka. These two are on one continent very close (workboat contact) with Willem, Hammu and Qin. I think I will vassal Izzy and attack Qin (closest and weakest). He could then vassal to Stalin, though. But Stalin doesn't even have gunpowder I think and I will have rifling-> cavalry soon.

    I have the impression that there is hardly middle ground for AI shaka: Sometimes he becomes powerful quite early, conquering others or taking vassals. Or he is among the weakest, hopelessly behind in tech and consequently soon a vassal of another AI.
     
  12. Andera412

    Andera412 Chieftain

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    Turn your espionage to 100 procents, spread unhapinnes, poison water in his biggest cities. Spread your culture in nearest to you cities. Before war sabotage his strategic resourses, draft a lot of units. And in RevolutionDCM mod that empire will apart itself.
     
  13. Andera412

    Andera412 Chieftain

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    Steal his treasury. He will lose units because of revolts.
     
  14. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Would espionage really work here?? Against 19 cities?? You would need a huge amount of espionage for this. I am not sure his economy is churning this amount. Hard to draft units and build lots of spies. Be interested to hear if this has worked for anyone else? I have never known an Ai to lose units due to cash shortages. How many free units would they get anyway?
     
  15. Andera412

    Andera412 Chieftain

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    20 free units. AI playes on noble handicap.
     
  16. Andera412

    Andera412 Chieftain

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    You would need a lot of espionage only to see his cities, production and techs. Nod for stealing treasury, spreading culture.
     
  17. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Yes but spreading culture rises 5% in cost each time. Not sure how much of an impact this will have on just 1-2 cities. I still think you would need several thousand EP points. I would also guess you would be using the spies without waiting for 50% discount. So sooner or later you would lose/have spies caught. The AI is clever would also do a mission to make your spy costs double too. Of course pends how many points a turn at 100% you can get. 300? 500? 1000? There are no multipliers early on for espionage. Of course you could use 1-2 Gspies? hmmm.
     
  18. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    AI handicap varies with level. On deity the AI pays 60% unit cost and 50% unit supply cost compared to the human player.

    The steal treasury espionage mission allows you to steal only a fraction of the AI gold, equal to targetCityPop/targetTotalPop. If he has 19 cities, then maybe you could get 10% of his gold in the biggest city (which most likely isn't an ideal city in terms of espionage bonuses). The AI likes to collect huge amounts of gold, so even if you do 20 successful espionage missions, stealing 10% every time, he'll most likely have no problem paying for upkeep with the remaining 12% of his treasury. And the AI can adjust their slider as well if running low on cash.

    I've only seen AI disbanding units when they are reduced to one weak city and still have a large navy. (And in the last SGOTM Willem disbanded our gifted workers before we could take them back. :gripe:)
     
  19. Seraiel

    Seraiel If you want anything from I please ask in German

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    Scotland Yard is available early, but I think you figured that out yourself already.
     
  20. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    I was actually pretty lucky with things in the current g-major game. Via espionage I saw Mansa sat on 6500:gold:, but he wouldn't trade any of it. He only had four cities after I vassaled him. Because some of those were new-ish and small, I was able to steal something like 40% of his gold for each spy mission, and eventually stole at least 6000 of the original 6500 :gold: :D
     

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