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How to Outresearch AI on Higher Levels (Monarch and Above)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by mutax2003, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Tennyson

    Tennyson Prince

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    What I do is only trade for techs with AIs that have a lower score than mine, starting at the lowest. It helps a little.
     
  2. anton_z1

    anton_z1 Warlord

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    Build Cities and Cottages especially if you play with Aggressive AI. On emperor they are just annoyed with you all the time, but pleased with each other. I have never managed to get one even pleased at me. (Maybe all because i am in war for 2000 years or because i am too big).
     
  3. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

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    Building a 'science city' is very effective - look for a location with some good food & luxury resources like gold or gems.

    Build a library early, and make a scientist to start generating great leader points. Use your first great scientist to build an academy in a city with high commerce (a couple of commerce resources - gems or gold is great). If possible, go for things like the great library, oxford university etc in the same city. Its a fine balance between having a production-rich city to actually generate the production to build these things, and having a food/commerce rich one to get the commerce / great people.

    Great people for researching technologies is good, too.
     
  4. parachute4u

    parachute4u Warlord

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    Wiping him out isn't that easy though...
    I just did that in my game. Archer vs. Skirmishers?? Took a couple of centuries... But I outresearched him (on iron working at least :D) and Timbuktu was the city that completed the most expensive parts of the ship lateron and had build most of my military during the game... So it may be Timbuktu, or maybe it's Mansa. Further testing required :D
     
  5. Mr. Blonde

    Mr. Blonde Dr. techn.

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    Warfare is not a must but makes things much easier.

    A pillaging campaign can give you plenty of money to sustain a deficit while running 100% tech. Pillaging a village down to zero (4 steps) gives you around 150 or so gold :eek: Cav + machinegunners are a good combo. Besides you cripple your opponent severely.
     
  6. kalder

    kalder Chieftain

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    That's true.

    However, the topic was about warfare as an indispensable way to outresearch the AI. Admitting that outresearching needs high population, Gufnork stated that the only way was war. Dissenting opinions followed...
    Anyway pillaging can be a great way to sustain your campaigns, but that's sure it'll dramatically slow down the evolution/integration of new conquests in your empire and therefore in your science research mechanism.
     
  7. Mr. Blonde

    Mr. Blonde Dr. techn.

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    Of course you won´t pillage area around a city you are going to take. But sometimes you just want to cripple an opponent ahead of you without having the means to go into conquest mode and thus spending more on military than neccessary.
    In my recent game (this was when cav came out) I pillaged the top-dog (stronger than me at that time) while overtaking him in research. I went only for 2 border cities which were easy to integrate and defend and pillaged around his core 4-5 cities. I didn´t have the resources to bring him down in this campaign. However, some time later just when he rebuilt what I pillaged I came a second time to bring down an opponent now behind in tech.
     
  8. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    Yeah I have to try that strat in my next space race game. I didn't realize that pillaging is a lot more worthwhile in civ4 than it was in civ3. Pillaging a town down to nothing means it will take them many turns to build that town again. You can cripple them for a long time. In civ3 they just rebuild the improvement and are back to normal 2 turns later.
     
  9. kalder

    kalder Chieftain

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    I agree about pillaging, but not for the same reasons. IMO in Civ4 rebuilding it's easier because of the 2 movements workers. The great advantage compared to Civ3 is a BIG money boost to support you economy.
     
  10. JohnnyRico

    JohnnyRico Chieftain

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    Are you, or am I missing someting here?
    I get the oracle too (huge priority in my game) but not to research alphabet! I get Theocracy!
    1. It's as valuable as trade comodity if not more than alphabet!
    2. You are first to get Christianity.
    3. Alphabet - you can research on your own (may take 15-20 turns at this point) but Theocracy is much more intensive (25-40 turns at that same time-point).
     
  11. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    It takes many turns to rebuild a town after it's pillaged. The worker can only rebuild a cottage, not a town. The city then needs to work that tile that's producing far less commerce than it used to for many turns to get it back to where it was. I mean if you pillaged enough towns down to nothing you could severely cripple their research rate for a long time. I don't see anything comparable in civ3. But I do agree that the extra money you get for pillaging is great also.
     
  12. Sevster

    Sevster Chieftain

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    You have to be really careful about getting too involved with warfare. I was playing Russians on Huge Map - level Immortal! - 18 civs, and managed to build 5 cities in decent spots. I got off to a very respectable start on this level, keeping score at 70% of the leading Japanese. To the North of me were the Spanish and to the South laid Arabs / Japanese / Greek / etc... Obviously, the geopolitics ruled that I invade North to expand my empire. I build tons of Axeman with city raider / strength upgrades - 2 armies of 10 each and invaded Spanish. This was a very successful blitz and in a few turns 4 of 5 their cities fell to me - and they had only heavily defended Madrid left surrounded by my axemen. I didn't pay attention to the top left corner (science rate / income) cause I was so involved crushing the Spanish. When I looked, with 9 cities and almost entire North continent occupied, my science rate was 0% and income -10/turn. I fell so far behind in tech that it wasn't possible to catch up, and my score became 40% of the leader, so I had to restart.

    A complete military victory can be a defeat in disguise on higher levels.
     
  13. Mythrl

    Mythrl Chieftain

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    You can't trade tech without alphabet though unless I remember things incorrectly.

    He wasn't getting alphabet for the trade value of the tech but just for the ability to be able to trade tech before anyone else.
     
  14. Gufnork

    Gufnork Prince

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    I have yet to see anyone beat Immortal/Diety peacefully. Besides, I said that I've found that early warfare to be a must. A better builder might do it peacefully, but without a really good start I doubt it. I am trying to go an early peace strategy and see how it works out, but my last try I started on an island and when I went to war I decided to try Cossacks out and found out they blow. Can't see what use Cavalry is.

    Sevster: Might be the huge map. But I usually also go into the reds at 0% tech at one point before I stop warring and while it takes a while to catch up, as long as I managed to get the largest empire I will do it. One game I didn't catch up until the modern age, but I did. And if it looks like you're not going to make it, then you need another war. You have superior production capacity.
     
  15. blueinf

    blueinf Chieftain

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    Usually I think your chances to win a game in any level beside monarch is very dependant of your starting position. Ideally you would have 1 or 2 borders with AI opponents.

    you should cripple them as early as you can, if any of your foreign neighbour is weak or already in war with someone, declare war and using some strong defensive units (use axe+spear on the same tile as they won't have any catapult yet), to take out what he s gonna send at you (AI will throw all his spare units at once when starting the war).

    Then if you can take out one city with swordsmen or anything go for it. If you cannot pillage the hell out of him. The key is to be fast and ask for a cease fire once you have crippled him enough.

    On monarch you will often win if you time right you attacks. In harder difficulties it may be more of less a matter of chance.

    You should always leave some defenders at your borders with other civs as they may attack you if they can take one city of yours quickly, and of course only develop techs that will allow you to use the resources you have mapped. Ivory can be great if you can rush to construction for elephants, and swordsmen are ok.
     
  16. kalder

    kalder Chieftain

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    - It will take many turns for you to pillagin too...You'll do it if you can't conquer his civ...but then why did you go to war? Why spend time and resources to prepare warfaring? The only reason for using such a tactic should be a sort of guerrilla/reprisal against a civ that declared war first

    - You're assuming that you're attacking an enemy who:
    1- rely significantly on cottage improvements (it's not always true)
    2- has plenty of towns to pillage (quite hard in early/mid games). If you pillage a cottage/hamlet the damage to his economy is far less decisive

    In conclusion I think pillaging may be good to damage the economy of certains low-medium-sized civs or to stall a war you can't win (not enough military to take his cities) until peace treaty negotiations are opened. However, it doesn't seem to be the most effective tactic if you plan a military strategy...
     
  17. parachute4u

    parachute4u Warlord

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    I disagree. Pillaging is extremely effective.

    The "mother of all pillaging" :lol: is putting an archer on your opponents first source of bronze. This is extremely effective. Because all your opponent can build is archers or horses, if he is lucky.

    If your stack of pikes and horses marches around the enemy cities, pillaging the towns and farms, it's actually quite the same, just later in the game. "Opponent has no money for research" = "opponent builds low-tech troops". Your stack of pikes and horses returns home and gets upgraded. But your enemy does not have the tech and does not have the money to upgrade his troops. -> You take the city. The war is won.

    About outresearching... It is possible, I was outresearching my opponents late game on monarch level. In the middle ages it often looks like being outresearched. But with free religion, representation, maybe mercantilism and a decent population it is possible to keep up.
     
  18. Batvanio

    Batvanio Chieftain

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    absolutely - there should be balance.
    when I said war is a must for outresearching the AI I didnt said that you should win conquest or domination, or even take his cities. You can as well go razing.
    Just you need to harass the big ones, pillaging or fortifying proper units on proper spots etc., keeping the AI busy, especially the big empires AI. With small and easy ones it is good that you stay friends.

    But if you dont declare you will not be able to outreseach the AI, at least I was no able to do it on emperor/immortal. On monacrh I manage to do it.
     
  19. walkerjks

    walkerjks Prince

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    An even bigger variable is how quickly the AI researchs. All of my cultural wins come within basically a 30 turn window. The window for when the AI is able to win the space race actually seems wider than this on Emperor. I suppose a lot of this has to do with how much warfare is going on to slow tech advancement/trading.

    It's an interesting challenge, that I am willing to take on now that I have my 3rd Emperor-level cultural victory under my belt.
     
  20. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    I have a completely peaceful emperor space race game queued up to play when I get some free time (probably over the weekend). I'm hopefully going to prove that you can do it without war. I imagine I'll need a great starting position, though. I might even make it so I get my own island because I find that allows you maximum expansion and a bunch of coastal cities for extra commerce via trade routes.
     

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