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How to start the game in 2015...

Discussion in 'CivBE - Strategy & Tips' started by Ryika, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    /August-Edit: Turns out I over-estimated its potential a bit. It works and is a lot of fun, but I don't think it can keep up with a well-played artist-based strategy.

    Artists are 2014. And that free settler from Prosperity? You don't need it anymore.

    If your response to that is something like: "What the hell...?", then you probably haven't found the power of PIONEERS yet. Because Pioneers are what the cool Kids use these days.
    Don't even know what I'm talking about? They're a new Colonist-Type that has been introduced in 1.2 that gives +100% Production for Scouts + Settlers.
    You unlock them by doing ... eh ... <something> (how would I know?) in Starships (Or by editing your game files). AND JESUS CHRIST ARE THEY OVERPOWERED.

    I assume the new ideal setup is:
    Sponsor: African Union (Who would have thought?)
    Colonists: Pioneers
    Spacecraft: Tectonic Scanner
    Cargo: Machinery

    Why? Well, Pioneers allow you to get an INSANE amount of Scouts and Settlers out in no time. Scouts literally only need ~4 turns to be produced each. Settlers will be produced in ~4-5 turns with a strong trade route and if Titanium is available, so you can use them to blast out a ton of cities asap. So Tectonic Scanner and Machinery support their production.

    First Tech to research is Pioneering, followed by Chemistry (for the Recycler).
    With your worker you want to improve something that gives you production. Ideally Titanium. If you have Forests, chop them afterwards, if not, improve resources. food first. Then you need production. Ideally Titanium. Try to have 2 good production tiles ready once Pioneering has finished researching. Once your first outpost is settled you NEED(!) to send that worker to that outpost and once again improve something that gives you production - reasons why come later. After you've got that done, start improving all Titanium/Oil that you have. And because we skip the free settler the culture we give up by not picking artists doesn't really hurt at all. We still get all the "good" virtues in time.

    Build Order in your capital:
    (Micromanage your production so that you ideally reach a new pop shortly before you want to start producing settlers - if necessary use Agricultural Development for a few turns. If you just reached a new pop and there's not enough time left for a new Scout, use Social Development. Your goal should be to reach Pop 4 - or even better 5, but that's not possible with all starts.
    - Scouts until Pioneering is done
    Then rushbuy your first settler once you have the energy! If you don't have enough energy and don't manage to get it soon (will only happen if you're unlucky with resource pods), skip the depot and the Convoy and go straight to producing settlers - I think it's best NOT to spend Energy on more than 1 settler, you want the energy for Recyclers in your new cities. The one settler is primarily to get the first trade route running asap so all other settlers can be produced even faster.
    - Trade Depot
    - Trade Convoy
    - Settlers until there's no space left*
    - Next comes the depot and your first trade unit
    (- If your first outpost doesn't have too much production, if you fell like you won't manage to get enough military before you get attacked, OR if you got an affinity upgrade from ruins (nice in the long run, but your expansion won't manage to build enough these units), then this is the point to squeeze out some more units in your capital)
    - Then get all the Infrastructure. Start with the cheap buildings as your other cities will get +25% production towards them once your capital has finished them (from industry)

    *...or until you reach the desired amount of cities. I actually think that 10 cities (including the capital) are about the maximum that one can realistically handle without dropping too low in health, but that requires a lot of micro-management and doesn't allow for too many mistakes. I find that 7-8 cities are a good number for "easier" gameplay - and will still lead to good victory times.

    Scouting:
    Use your scouts to search for Resource Pods and ignore Artifacts at first - you can get them with the second or third Scout that you have produced, your main goal is to scout the area and get as many Pods as possible (for the Solar Collector and Free Culture). Don't move all your scouts away, you need some to escort your settlers so they don't get eaten by roaming aliens. Make sure to see as much as your surroundings as possible.

    Don't be picky about where to expand, but try to get as much Oil/Titanium as possible. Even some mostly-desert Cities are perfectly fine - they'll make for good Trade Route targets later (as they won't grow too much, small cities produce HUGE yields for big cities). Just make sure you take up space and forward-settle your neighbors with your first cities so you can secure as much space as possible. On turn 50 you should have around 7-8 outposts/cities/settlers + your capital... that seems to be a good time to stop expanding and start improving what you have. (Although you can certainly go even wider if you want to - your health will drop into TERRIBLY RED numbers, but these problems get fixed once the bottom virtue of industry is reached.

    Other Cities:
    Now, expanding like this will make your neighbors really angry - and that's fine. On Apollo, this WILL lead to a war, so you'll need military to defend yourself - that's what the first expansion will be doing; and that's why you absolutely needed to get your worker to build some production-improvements here asap. Withoug as much production as possible you won't be able to defend against a rush (at least not on Apollo). So rush-buy the Recycler as soon as that tech is done and start building soldiers. Total number probably depends on your experience in defending against the AI. ;) It can be tempting to rushbuy a few soldiers if you have the energy, but I strongly suggest not to do that as long as you don't feel like you absolutely have to. Your main goal should be to Rushbuy the Recycler in every city.

    All the other Cities should start building the Trade Depot first.

    It is important to push most of your city towards 6 population. It's counter-intuitive, but growing our cities early is what keeps our health somewhat stable - we get +1 health for every pop (because we can produce a total of 6 health from buildings+their quests per city). and only get -0.75 health. A city that has reached pop 6 should focus on production to get all the infrastructure that is available and help producing workers to get your road-network running and start building academies once you've researched them (or biowells if you prefer them).

    Virtues:
    As mentioned, we skip Prosperity completely now. The free settler is just not worth it anymore - 3 virtues when we can produce Settlers in 5 turns each? Nope. Instead, we go straight into Industry. Beeline for Interdependence Network and then go for Magnasanti. Without Artists we will not be able to get that many additional Virtues from that point on, so going deep into Knowledge like we did with Artists seems to be a waste. I suggest going for the 20% more Affinity from techs in the might tree instead. After that, the 15% production towards wonders and the free affinity level (once you reach high affinity levels) pretty much complete the set of virtues we really need. If for some reason you manage to get way more virtues than that, consider Knowledge instead.

    Trade Routes:
    We use mostly internal Trade Routes. A few Exceptions can be made: If a Science Station lands nearby. Or if you want to keep your neighbor from attacking you right away - trade routes can "befriend" them for quite some time. Either way, use one of your newer cities to send external trade routes even if it goes towards a station, as your big cities will have a lot of internal targets that produce good yields. If you use auto-renew, make sure to check the trade route screen every now and then, as the yields will change quite drastically while your cities grow.

    One word on selling Strategic Resources:
    The early Recycler is a HUGE boost for any city you build, it will kickstart your city development like almost nothing else can. That said, it is vital to get the Energy to rushbuy them in as many cities as you can. To do that, you should absolutely sell your early resources 1 by 1, for 2 energy per turn each. Yes, it's a bit of annoying micro-management, but it is worth it. If you really don't want to do that though at least make sure to sell all your resources as soon as you have them improved.

    ...and that's pretty much it for the start. The rest of the game doesn't play much different than before. Make sure to get all your trade routes up, spam a lot of academies as soon as they're available, get the techs/affinities needed for your victory, build the wonder, win.

    /edit:
    Actually, the game does play quite a bit different than before. You will be rather Culture-Starved, so finding a balance between culture and growth focus and when to ignore those in favor of science focus in cities that don't need to build anything else is very important. You will absolutely NEED the Might-Virtues before you start getting all the Affinity-Leaftechs for good victory times.

    And a random thing that I've learned: The best way to prevent the "AIs make a deal to declare war on you and will not accept peace throughout the game"-bug is actually to declare war on one of them before they declare war on you. 8) The second neighbor may still declare war later, but both of them will be willing to make peace after a while - and from that point on probably not be a problem anymore, since they'll be far behind in development after rushing out units so early and (hopefully ;)) not achieving anything with them.
     
  2. tedeviatings

    tedeviatings Warlord

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    So essential it's overpowered colonist type into mass expand and cheap scouts? Sounds good to me - I love mass expanding and scouts, definitely going to try it.

    What sounds REALLY bad to me on the other hand is that they're (probably) supposed to be are unlocked via playing startships, a game I have 0 interest in. Seriously, <snip> that. I'm 100% alright with unlocking cool cosmetics and whatnot via starships. But is it really their intention to make me play a game I don't want to play (starships) so I can have all the content for the game I want to play (Civ BE)? I really hope it's not cause should that be the trends that's a dealbreaker. [/rant].

    I suppose this also would be a good time to thank you for providing instructions to unlock it w/o getting "the other game" involved. Thanks :)

    Moderator Action: Please do not bypass the auto censor.
    Swear word removed.

    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  3. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Yes, I agree that. As I said in another thread, I'm completely okay with cosmetic stuff like alternative skins or even additional maps and stuff like that (all under the premise that these things have been created for cross-promotion and not withhold from us to be added as promotion), but strategic choices, that's problematic.

    And yes, the Opening can basically be summarized as "How to use the new tools to mass-expand!" :mischief: Which is awesome imho, but it feels VERY broken compared to other strategies in 1.2. It outshines the old Artists-Setup in this new environment and that is already SO much better than any other setup, so the gap between those is even bigger now. It's also a lot harder to transition into the mid-/lategame - which is good, as winning fast seems to have a higher skillcap now... but at the same time that also means that it will probably be even stronger once all the little details have been figured out.
     
  4. Victus75

    Victus75 Chieftain

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    I'm wondering how ridiculous this could be on an Extra Large map. You could get a lot of cities going and with the extra room, potentially avoid wars with your neighbors (assuming they don't start right next to you).
     
  5. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Updated the guide a bit:
    - Changed the early build order to include the depot (and rushbuy the first settler) -> That seems to work a lot better as it allows your capital a bit more time to grow before you start pushing out settlers and the additional hammers from that trade route really help getting out these settlers even faster, which leads to better overall development. (And to give credit: It was actually LORD ORION who mentioned that idea in another thread, I completely overlooked the fact that settlers do of course also only cost half the energy...)
    - Also added a small paragraph on how many cities you should aim for.
     
  6. APCY

    APCY Chieftain

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    Its legal to change files like that? Do anyone doing this?
     
  7. Tripas

    Tripas Chieftain

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    Well, it's YOUR game, you're not taking money from anyone or ruining the enjoyment for anyone else, so yeah, it's perfectly "legal". It's like editing your files for anything else that only affects you.
     
  8. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    If you put files on my computer I won't really feel bad for editing them for my personal use.
     
  9. legalizefreedom

    legalizefreedom Inefficiency Expert

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    It's not really YOUR game... hasn't been since about 2000 when they started with the whole license to play the game crap.
     
  10. Tripas

    Tripas Chieftain

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    Yeah... but then again, if they're granting you their "benevolent permission" to mod the game, I'm guessing they're already "allowing" you to edit the files.

    Until they feel like they don't want to anymore.

    Seriously, this licensing system sucks. :mad:
     
  11. legalizefreedom

    legalizefreedom Inefficiency Expert

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    Right. To answer the "is it legal?" question. There is your answer.

    They support and encourage modding, so it's a pretty safe bet you're perfectly legal editing the files if you want to. Just don't try to sue them when their files overwrite yours on the next update.
     
  12. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Allowing to mod the game isn't the same thing as allowing to edit game files though. Normal modding leaves the game files intact and just adds additional files. That's especially true for online games - World of Warcraft for example allowed you to open the games archives, but you were not allowed to edit them and instead were advised to stick with what the mod-system allows - for the simple reason that model edits etc. could give you unfair advantages (by for example making all players a bright and easy-to-see pink).

    Still, editing game files for personal use has been around forever in Firaxis games and I've not once seen them saying anything against that, so I'm pretty certain they're okay with it in general - now, unlocking content that should not be available for you is of course a bit different - but as someone said in another thread: If they really didn't want players to do that, then they'd probably not have made it that easy. And I highly doubt it's in their interest to ban people for something like this anyway.

    But still, if you want the official opinion on that, then contacting the support would probably be the way to go.
     
  13. gothicpl

    gothicpl Chieftain

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    Thanks for the guide!
    I got a slightly slower finish time compared to the old Academy Spam + Prosperity to Settler strategy.
    However, this strategy is less dependent on favorable start locations, as you get stronger military to deal with early AI aggression. Also, it feels more like Civ V in terms of getting actual early exploration instead of turtling around the four-five cities and not getting to really see artifacts from the far away greener pastures.

    I actually kind of like unlocking Starships stuff from playing BE and vice versa, encourages switching between games when I get bored with one of them.
     
  14. nimling

    nimling Prince

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    Rushing for the Prosperity settler is uncreative, not always the best option. Why burn 2-3 virtues on the free settler, depending on long-term goals?
     
  15. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Yeah, it definitely forces (but rather 'allows', to be more positive. :D) you to be active on the map and to claim territory a lot more aggressively.

    That may be true for Multiplayer (or maybe not, I don't know.) but in Singleplayer it's definitely either Rush Settler from Prosperity or use Pioneers. Everything else is a lot slower, not only because the first city comes much later, but also because the delayed city means a delayed trade route for the capital.
     
  16. nimling

    nimling Prince

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    Moving down the left side of Prosperity is pretty good for a delayed REX. +1 prod for every basic resource with 5 virtues, access to +7 health and +1 health per basic resource each available right after. Really depends on how many basic resources are available (and this prod applies to new cities too). Going for the settler first means losing that +1 prod.

    The other benefits of that route are a free worker (and thus not having to pick Machinery as your cargo), +3 expeditions per explorer (pretty good for minimizing the number of explorers needed to clean out satellites and the like, thus saving prod and maintenance costs and being able to pop more pods), and +3 energy per foreign trade route (meh, but energy from foreign trade has its uses). The extra production from that path is pretty close to a trade route to the capital at the early game, though it can mean less food.
    Doing it that way transitions to other virtue trees nicely - continue prosperity to full REX if the terrain is favorable, open industry to get energy from all those basic resources (2 policies, and 2 good moneymaker policies after that) and buy your REX colonists, go down Might and spam units while beelining for affinity techs, while having access to health virtues to handle expansion, or open knowledge and go down that path.

    It does imply having good basic resources in the capital though, and if you rolled a bad start and didn't pick Machinery you'd be behind. Then it would have to fall back to whatever your starting cargo is. (My pick in SP has been Hydroponics, any head-start to a pop 10 capital is that much closer to feeding a second trade route, and it's also added production/energy if i roll good starting terrain.)

    It's not the only strategy, but it's a decent "wide" strategy that did just as well as the standard settler first for end science on multiple games. I find it's also important for those wide cities to hit pop 10 and contribute solid production, and this strategy means that new cities will set up their infrastructure sooner if they have basic resources.

    Have time to kill so will see my benchmarks on Gemini/Quick/Small map, AU using this strategy and re-rolling for a usable start.
     
  17. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    If you want to REX, then going for Pioneers is better than using Artists, and in that case you would not take that free settler anyway. And really not pick anything in Prosperity, as that tree is just weaker (= slower) than going for Industry from the very beginning.
     
  18. Stylesrj

    Stylesrj Tabitha SEAL

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    Any love for the Electromagnetic Scanner? You know, instead of a Tectonic Scanner, Thrusters or the whatnot, you can see every Progenitor Ruin on the map (and alien bones, satellites and settlements but it's the ruins you want) and possibly get free Affinity upgrades if you rush your Pioneer-enhanced explorers over there?
     
  19. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Yes, some people seem to like that and I've heard people saying it's about equally strong on average. I personally don't like it, because of the randomness (You may just see all the good ruins next to where the AIs land), but if you can live with that (or are just willing to restart a few times), then that's certainly an alternative.
     
  20. Zenstrive

    Zenstrive Ocean King

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    I still can't play Starship. It's graphic is broken on my laptop.
     

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