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How-to DOM Victory?

DRBUGBOFFIN

Chieftain
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
25
Location
Illinois
I was a Civ3 fanatic, even did a couple of mods. Now trying Civ5. Somewhat disappointed that my way of playing (rapid expansion and Domination victories only) doesn't seem to be supported. Rapid expansion incurs so much unhappiness from # cities and population that seems impossible to raise an army, let alone seek Domination. Other oddities I've found are failing to see results of Research Agreements, and Banning a luxury only to have other civs immediately ask me to trade that luxury to them. Any tips and insights would be appreciated.
 
I was in the same situation 6 months ago, but coming in from civ 4.

In the end I chose to make the expansion into other civs, rather than founding new cities. Target cities with luxuries you dont have, raze all cities other than capitals. This strategy is fairly straightforward up to Immortal on standard size. I usually found 1 city and capture the rest. With Attila I sometimes capture my second city (and build none of my own). Build courthouses in captured cities you will keep.

Also worth noting that once the army is established then the unhappiness penalties can be dealt with, unlike previous versions of civ.

From what I just learned there are 3 basic ways to domination in civ 4.

1. science is the usual way to most victory conditions and this includes domination. Build cities but concentrate on tech (seems to be the general consensus is to make for plastics) and then build an army that can conquer the world.

I watched most of filthy robot's civ 5 guides which provide an excellent description of the general strategy.

In the standard game you have to be ahead of the AI in tech.

2. A specific domination strategy for all games, as described by @consentient in his excellent guide

Domination on Immortal/Deity - a noob's guide

[Please note this guide is still under construction, so while I value input, it might also be a good idea to wait and see if I add the thing that you think is missing ;) ] Disclaimers:- 1. I am not the best warmonger on these forums. But I am someone who made a switch from mostly peaceful...
forums.civfanatics.com

3. win before the AI gets too far ahead. Fast domination.
For example, the Huns as per @Cromagnus guide
https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/attila-deity-domination-guide.519905/

This last guide in excellent introduction to rapid domination victories. Slow game speeds make for easier domination victories as the army can move across the board and not be obsolete when it gets there.
 
My own 2c after having periodically returned to the game a few times since I wrote my guide. Somewhere along the line I think the game was patched so that unit spam on Deity is noticeably more obnoxious than it even was in my heyday. An early push to capture 1-3 capitals, followed by a big science push to Dynamite or Rocketry, is probably the optimal strategy now, IMO, unless you particularly enjoy bombers. Winning before the AI gets going is harder than ever. Even HA spam will have a hard time going up against Longswordsmen which now seem to be everywhere as early as T50-60 for many civs. Deity is not more difficult, it's just more spammy and cheaty.

For the best balance of challenge and enjoyment, try Immortal on Large or Huge maps, where the runaways can seriously snowball before you get to them.

OP > If you want, I can help you work out some better strategies for wide play. Wide, violent Culture Victories are something I've done more than anything else. Often I like to found 6-8 cities before T50 and then capture 2-4 more before T100. It's definitely doable. The single biggest tip I would give is that CS bribes and quests are easily the most powerful hidden mechanic. And avoid building anything you don't really need to maximise gold.
 
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@consentient

Somewhere along the line I think the game was patched so that unit spam on Deity is noticeably more obnoxious than it even was in my heyday.

You've articulated something that I've been vaguely aware of, but I was resisting the evidence of my experience. The whole dynamic of the game seems to have changed somewhere along the line, and I think the consequences of this are that a lot of the old guides are no longer really relevant, or are of reduced usefulness, and indeed some of the tier lists are no longer representative of the game as it now is.

An early push to capture 1-3 capitals, followed by a big science push to Dynamite or Rocketry, is probably the optimal strategy now, IMO, unless you particularly enjoy bombers. Winning before the AI gets going is harder than ever. Even HA spam will have a hard time going up against Longswordsmen which now seem to be everywhere as early as T50-60 for many civs. Deity is not more difficult, it's just more spammy and cheaty.

I think the implication of this is that our old favourite strategy of Honor-Commerce-Autocracy is now less viable, maybe not even worth attempting. You need Science perhaps even more than you did in the old days. I always play England and Longbows are now no longer dominant because you typically run into Minutemen, Janissaries, Mandu cavalry and so forth at about the same time as you get Longbows. And if Korea is on the map (as they have been in my most recent game) they can be twelve techs ahead by around T150 if you don't do something to slow them down. I get the impression that either Tradition or Liberty are now the only opening trees that will allow you to get very far in the game. And if it is true that a push to Dynamite or Rocketry is the best strategy, then this implies that England falls a long way down the tier list because neither of its Unique Units is much use any more. Frigates used to be good, but they now get pulverised by Bombers because the AIs get to Flight so fast. Civs with Science or Culture bonuses are more powerful than they used to be.

The single biggest tip I would give is that CS bribes and quests are easily the most powerful hidden mechanic.

Absolutely agree. It has got to the point that I hate to play a game with Greece, Austria or Venice on the map because they eat up the City States, and you can't liberate them later, as you can with those that are captured by the Mongols, for example.

I hope you pop up more than every couple of years, as your thoughts are always valuable!
 
Hey dude

H-C-A is still viable, but is for sure inferior to Liberty.

I would personally rate Liberty as 1st, Honor as 2nd, and Tradition as 3rd for any Pre-Modern warfare, provided that the civ used is one that can take advantage of SOME of Honor's perks. England can do this but you might have to use the old Pedroelm strat of delaying Construction while gaining XP, which is dependent on having a training victim that is compliant. These still exist. Assyria and Huns are quite content to throw units at you that can't do any damage to you, and some civs when they go Piety will just spam Warriors that you can farm. Science is still important, but not to the degree that it is dependent on cultural trees. If you get NC before T90 and buy or build unis by T110, and have CS giving culture and food, you can still comfortably leapfrog the AI into Industrial with Honor or Liberty, and all the other things you want to do during this period are done much better using those trees. The improvement rate for workers in Tradition is a not obvious massive nerf. The only really useful bits of the Tradition tree for Domination is the food. Oligarchy, the one that speeds up wonders, and the aqueducts are all inferior to what you get from Hon and Lib.

Another thing that frustrates me is how random the AI is. Sometimes they will spam units, build 20 cities and be an absolute nightmare, having gone Lib. Other times they'll go full Piety and be sickeningly easy to steamroll. Same with diplomatic bribes. Sometimes they will ask for a pittance to DoW everyone so you can denounce and dogpile them. Other times, they simply won't DoW anyone and you'll end up with everyone hating you.

I do really enjoy the movement and positioning of units during battle, but almost everything else about this game frustrates me these days. It is basically impossible to spread and keep a religion through your own empire and the ones of the non-founders and the CS. I've tested this with absolutely ideal conditions and Trollface and Boudicca and co will still just produce an infinite amount of missionaries.

Anyway I digress...

To return to England, I would generally do a 2 city NC Honor Archer rush if possible, or a 4 city Lib if there is no rushable victim, beelining Machinery and only going to Education after. Honor Longbows are absolutely beastly if you go Left side first so by the time you upgrade they already have Logistics.

Then again, terrain can be an issue...

The game is definitely harder these days. But Firaxis aren't going to do any updates so no sense in moaning I suppose (besides venting to each other!) :D

Oh, and I absolutely LOVE playing with Alex cuz I have long ago mastered the art of manipulating him. And I NEVER play with Austria or Venice. Those civs are just brokenly annoying when the AI plays them, and absolute wank when the player controls them. I usually handpick my opponents.

Generallly I choose: Washington, Napoleon, Shaka, Ashurbanipal, Bismarck, Alex and 1 random other that I have missed playing against.
 
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CONSENTIENT, I was just re-reading your domination guide. I always go back to it after I take breaks from the game, just to remind myself that there are other ppl that appreciate Liberty and Honor.
 
@consentient Interesting thoughts, as ever. Thank you!

I think I mainly play this game for moving and shooting things, but I'm not very good at it. Though it has to be said that enemy unit spam is just ridiculous these days. I'll have a go at adapting peddroelm's H-C-A and see how I get on. When I could get it to work a few years ago it was immensely satisfying. Having Tanks flooding the map was quite something! These days getting Crossbows to logistics really early makes a big difference and I've rarely been able to do that recently.

I've also dabbled with handpicking opponents. I've mostly tried Byzantium, Morocco, the Netherlands, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Arabia, the Mongols, and a few others. The Mongols are useful for annoying other people and you get diplo points for liberating the City States they have previously captured.

I haven't tried a 2 city NC for a loooong time. I'll give it a go. I always worry about the unit cap. I can never capture enemy cities quickly enough. In general I seem to be too slow at everything, and I've never been able to improve that.

Cheers!
 
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