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How to proceed without Iron?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Carnage04, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Carnage04

    Carnage04 Warlord

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    Prior to the changes to mounted units, it obviously was not critical to have iron early in the game. Now I find it quite difficult to take cities without Swords/Longswords/Catapault/Trebs and all too often find myself without a source of iron that is reasonable to reach. On lower levels I can make do but I've been trying to play Immortal lately and if I can't successfully wage an early war I end up waaaaay too far behind to catch up (Science, Cash, Soldier, basically everything).



    Even with a great start I find myself having to throw in the towel. Yeah, some people play until the bitter end but that is not me! How do others deal with having 0 iron around? It stings getting 60+ turns in the game only to find out you don't have a very crucial resource.
     
  2. Luderhow

    Luderhow Chieftain

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    Try to adapt. Change your victory strategy and go for a diplo victory if you think the area around you is good for gold. even if you want to still pursue a domination victory, try bunkering down and keep the peace until you quickly tech to gunpowder.
     
  3. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    If you built enough Scouts, you should have found city-states with Iron. Throw some gold at them while pushing Steel, then rush with upgraded Warriors if that was your plan.
     
  4. glaivemaster

    glaivemaster Prince

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    If there's no iron near you, build defensive units (if you are expecting a war), gain an economic advantage to bribe AIs into war with each other while you tech to rifling, then rush from there.

    Civ V may seem less in-depth than previous games, but it still follows the same advice: play the map
     
  5. Mr Jack

    Mr Jack Chieftain

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    You have three choices, as I see it:

    1. Ally with a City State that has Iron
    2. Buy Iron from a 3rd party Civ (most effective if you can acquire Iron with the first stages of your conquest)
    3. Put off the war until you get gunpowder units.
     
  6. Rittmeyer

    Rittmeyer Prince

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    Just a word of caution for everyone that is giving the OP the guarantee of getting Iron out of a CS or another AI: he could be playing small maps. and in this case, it's not that easy. you usually have few neighbours and CS's. The AI with Iron might be the one you want to crush.

    So, yes, there are cases in which you won't have acess to iron, and it does make things more complicated. Waiting for rifles should be the way to go.
     
  7. Civsassin

    Civsassin Immortal

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    You can also make a pretty good army with Pikeman, but not having siege units is problematic. However, you should be able to be successfull with enough archers and eventually crossbows. Bring a GG for the attack boost, and go musketman as soon as possible as a Longsword alternative.
     
  8. HumpbackJack

    HumpbackJack Chieftain

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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the strategic balance resource option. It guarantees 6 iron next to each capital. Although you wouldn't be able to use any other advanced resources setting if you use it.
     
  9. biohazard72

    biohazard72 Prince

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    Iron is easy enough to acquire from an AI. Try to get it from an off-continent AI if possible. If not possible, play diplomatically until you can acquire it.
     
  10. Carnage04

    Carnage04 Warlord

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    I typically do try to make deals with City-States for iron, but there have been quite a few cases recently where there were only 2 city states each with a single 2 iron tile. I think others may have had the iron just outside their borders. Paying around 750 gold upfront and 250 every 30 turns for 2 iron (I know there are other benefits) is rather steep. Especially if you are in a bidding war against another civ for one or both of them.

    I think I could have definitely bunkered down and waited for musketmen/riflemen but when I play Immortal it seems if I don't gut at least one Civ and maybe two before guns show up...I'm never getting ahead in tech. Of course, I only win maybe 20% of the time on Immortal anyway.

    If you are in a situation where you need to stay on the defense until guns come along, what is the best way to proceed? Try to get out a few more cities than you would have planned originally?
     
  11. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    You can defend yourself if attacked from the AI quite easily without Iron.

    Sufficient Crossbows alone can keep your cities from falling to the AI even if you don't have horses either.

    Iron is only needed in early to mid game in most cases to take out the cities; although there are some UUs that don't require Iron that will also work if your playing the right civ.

    And if you make the Musket tech a priority; those units are available to everybody and can take out enemy cities (after you've bombarded the target city with crossbows for a few turns), but it's probably both easier and faster to ally with a City State that has Iron (even a 2 source). Even 2 Longswords in front of 3 Crossbows will probably be a larger formation than the AI can handle if you defeat most of their forces in your own territory first.

     
  12. Raethwyn

    Raethwyn Warlord

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    Another idea would be to even the odds with an AI that has Iron. This isn't always possible and depends highly on where their Iron is, but 2 or 3 cheap scouts can usually get into enemy territory to pillage the enemy Iron. If you can pillage enough Iron to make their Iron based units gain the -50% penalty, then those units get brought down to manageable strength levels. If your scouts survive, try to find a spot outside of city bombard range where they can heal up and keep an eye on the pillaged mines. Steal any workers you can so they can't repair the mines while you press the attack with spears/pikes and ranged units. Even if you can't get all of their Iron, it will hopefully weaken their existing units until enough of them die to bring them back to full strength. At that point their numbers will be more manageable. You will need a larger force, which can get expensive, so pillaging enemy improvements may be necessary to help with unit maintenance. It's a gamble, but I think it is worth a shot if you don't like your other options.
     
  13. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    I'm not sure what level you're playing on, OP, but on Prince, setting up a remote colony for iron can pay off. In my last game, I found two sources of 6 iron each at least 30 tiles south my southern most-city, probably 50 from my capital. One was situated such that it would be in the second ring of a city on the coast.

    Because of my lack of local iron, I turtled, built lots of slingers, and played as a builder until the 12 iron were brought online. During my builder phase I forged a network of DoFs and finally when I had a few swords online and catapults in production, I bought tiles and settled a city on Askia's borders until he denounced me. I denounced him back and finally went to war a little while later, beginning the long process of achieving a domination victory. The Pangaea was *heavily* settled by this point, and Siam's capital was fully on the opposite side of the land mass from me. They were in the lead, so I worked my way over to them as quickly as possible.

    On anything higher than Prince, I'm not sure I could've pulled off the win. Siam as up by 1,000 points by the time I started capturing cities and pulling even with them, and I was about even with Askia, Harun, and Japan. At any higher of a level, I would've faced a very steep comeback against more than just one civ.

    Anyway, point being, it's *still* hard for me to overcome my cIV habit of settling near the capital to keep maintenance under control, but in ciV, it can be worthwhile to do so.
     
  14. Fizpez2

    Fizpez2 Chieftain

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    Option A for me would be a new victory condition goal.

    Option B (for me but not sure if it would work at immortal) but at Emporer I would usually head immediately for crossbows and upgrade a few archers asap. Find some defensible bit of land/border and "pull" the AI into burning off some units - you on a hill and the AI forced onto plains works very well. Works best if you can use your own territory/roads and a horse or two to clean up. While thats going on you get some pikes working. Even after the nerf crossbows do serious damage to 15 def cities and you can take cities with pikes easy enough...

    Again this might not work at Immortal because I'm guessing that their ability to crank out units might outstrip your ability to kill them.
     
  15. Rittmeyer

    Rittmeyer Prince

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    Not really. Immortal is impressively easy in Civ V once you know whay you are doing (and for the plan you described, you do know). Deity is another story. They could keep the pressure on you growing. It would be great to start another war agains the AI in a different front (bribing another AI). If this happens, even in Deity you can keep killing everything the AI sends at you and eventually snipe a few cities.
     
  16. Vicomt

    Vicomt Chieftain

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    You could also bribe another Civ into war with your intended target, then hang around on the edges of the fighting, cleaning up the enemy odd unit while your ally knocks the city walls down, then if you're lucky, you can grab the last hit and take the city.

    It'll only work for the early stages of the game though, once they get a high city defense value, it can become impossible to take a city with a pike, even if it's only got 1HP left.
     
  17. myb7721

    myb7721 Chieftain

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    Why not use knights or the equivalent unique units? Askia's knight unit is righteous at taking cities. Personally I do think the iron situation is a bit out of balance, but there are ways around it using good unique knight units or even the unique crossbow units coupled with pikemen. Chu-Ko-Nu and Longbowmen are both very strong medieval units.
     
  18. Knut_Are_M

    Knut_Are_M Prince

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    Step 1. pick germany, china,babylon or mongolia.

    china and mongolia can kill cs with a 4 warrior rush. china needs a Great General.
    fortify a warrior near a cs rough tile and declear war.
    babylon can simply reach gunpowder alot faster.
    germany can rush a GS/GL with meritocracy and spam pikes.

    china works very well with iron, and germany works well early on because you can swarm enemies.

    If china gets iron your still dead if you do not get iron!

    also babylon/india/china can use archers/elefant archers to take out cities.

    Ps if your playing a coastal map your pretty much need to worry about frigates.

    vs human players you cannot use knights without iron as they will use pikemen.
    and knights are not good for defending archers.
    and getting armory+barracks+heroic epic to take out pikemen simply takes to long most of the time.
    before you know it riflemen gets slingshottet and those fresh riflemen will have+100% vs mounted.
    (you can use any high strength unit to take cities if your production is much higher then his)

    a river start is about as important as getting iron, since without a river start you will have a much smaller army then the one that gets a river start.
    This patch have very unbalanced starts! ranging from river 4 cow/aztec lake starts to none river 3 lux grassland starts.
    this game has some strategy, some major civ unbalance, and a huge map luck.
     
  19. Pinstar

    Pinstar Ringtailed Regent

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    Arabia gets around this problem with their camel archers. In my most recent game, I found myself sorely lacking in iron. However, after getting 3 units of camel archers I found they were more than enough to wear down the defenses of a city to 0 after a few turns. I could then take a unit of spears/pikes (no iron needed) and march them into the city once it is down to 0 health.

    I butchered the Russians like this and got their sweet sweet iron deposits.
     
  20. Cobalt_Blue

    Cobalt_Blue Chieftain

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