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How to win on Deity Builder-style, step-by-step.


Voluntas Omnia Vincit
Jun 15, 2004

This article is thought for C3C v 1.22

This article is devised to help deity Noobs or deity wannabes to win confidently on this level as builders. I take for granted you already know basic concepts such as settler-factories, REXing, Prebuilds, trading reputation, AI attitude, Golden Age etc … if you don’t, look them up in the strategy articles section or in the War Academy at CFC.

On Deity the AI has a series of “play balancing” bonuses from the start, such as:

- They start with an extra settler (their biggest advantage IMHO)
- with 8 defensive units
- with 4 offensive units
- two workers
- they have a discount of 40% building rate over the human player.
- two-turn anarchy
- additional free support per city
- AI-AI trade bonus of 170

Is it humanly possible to overcome these bonuses ? Sure it is. The AI remains as dum no matter the difficulty level.

Winning as a Warmonger on Deity is a more daunting task and requires a player to be very skilled and know all the nooks and crannies of the game inside-out. So we’ll leave that type of play style to them.

However, winning Deity focusing as a builder is very feasable and only a matter of practice. Anyone can attain it. I’ll explain you how:

I. Victory type sought: UNs vote or SS victory.

II. The World's Settings:

1. You’ll choose huge pangaea (not archipiélago) worlds with 60% water (the minimum). (The larger the world the more you'll profit from it being a builder player)
2. No barbarians/ no huts to pop. (benefits more the deity AI than you)
3. AI agressiveness to the maximum (profit becoming a war scavenger)
4. 15 randomly generated AI civs. (the more the merrier)
5. Accelerated production off.
6. Random seed preserved.
7. All victory conditions enabled (except the Wonder Victory)

III. Picking the right civ:

The civ must be chosen carefully.


I would advise for it to have the agricultural trait . This trait is the most powerful in C3C much as the industrious was back in PtW. Growth is –almost- everything, as highlighted in many articles.

As a second trait you will want it to be either: scientific, commercial or industrious.

You are not interested in playing an Expansionist civ because it’s a pangaea world, you’re bound to meet them anyway sending your warriors/king units as scouts. Plus there are no huts to pop which always seem to be more helpful for the AI. This trait is only useful during the REXing phase and you’re looking for a trait that’ll be useful through out the whole game.

You are not interested in a Seafaring civ because this is not an archipiélago map, it’s pangaea we are talking of. Forget the Lighthouse.

You are not interested in the Religious trait because you are only going to change governments once in the game: from despotism to republic. Plus you are not aiming for a culture victory with this strat. A cultural vic on deity is more difficult and isn't the point of this article.

This is a builder-style game, so obviously the Military trait won't be suitable. Perhaps back in PtW when GMLs could rush GWs I would've changed my mind. But in C3C only SGLs can rush GWs and it's the scientific trait that'll be useful.

You want to be Scientific: because you may build cheap libraries and above all you'll want your free tech when entering a new era so you can shop it around. You even have a 5% chance of spawning a SGL being the first to discover a tech. Useful trait all game round, probably the best second trait for this strat besides agri.

You want to be Commercial: because at Deity you’ll need all the gold you can to trade. It’s useful throughout all the game.

You may want to be Industrious: to build things at a faster rate. Again, a useful trait all game through.

Ideal civs for this builder strat:

Sumerians, Mayans, Iroquois, Netherlands, Greeks(*) and any other agri civ.

(*)= o.k. they are not agri but they are good to play with. They’ll prove an additional challenge.

B. For it’s UUs:

On Emperor or below you’re probably more interested in an offensive unit whereas in deity a defensive one is more suitable (from a builder standpoint). The very cheap and early enkidu warrior, the swiss-mercenary, the greek hoplite all suit their purpose, being the MW the exception as a fast offensive UU.

However, I must point out that the AI rates you military according to your offensive power. So the AI will rate more highly two warriors with a combined attack of 2 (one each) than a regular spearman with attack 1. So a builder player should really be building offensive units and not deffensive ones so as to keep the aggressive AI at bay. That’s why your military adviser says you are weak in comparison to other civs because it doesn’t count as much your huge defensive army, amongst other issues.

Step-by-step guide to win on Deity builder-style:

1. In the Ancient Age you’ll build two or three warriors as scouts to explore the map and meet other civs. You may want to build two canoes or galleys to go on exploring on opposite directions as well (less advisable). You want to have met as many civs as possible once you build the GL. With Mass Regicide enabled you may use your 7 king units to explore the map (they have 2 movement points) so there is no need for building warriors or scouts to explore. It is important to start off somewhere in the middle of the map and not in some lousy corner so you may come across asap with as many AI civs as you can. Ideally you should have met 11 civs or more out of 15 once the GL has been completed. You will set the science slider to zero from turn one and raise the luxury bar to 30-40% to make gold and allow fast growth, have no entertainers. You will barter your two initial starting techs with the other AI civs for gold and techs with your aims set on trading for Alphabet so as to beeline to Literature. Once you trade for Alphabet, you will raise the science slider to the minimum of 10-20% so as to discover Writing in 50 turns or less or else continue to have it in zero and trade for Writing aswell when available. No use raising the science slider above that. Once you discover Writing or trade for it, you will research for Literature at full throttle even reducing the luxury slider to zero or 10%, even researching at a loss of gpt. You will not trade Writing or Literature, If necessary you go to war so as not to give into the demands of other AIs who demand Literature, the reason being is that there is a wonder cascade going on and if you give the AI Literature chances are strong that someone will complete the GL before you and this whole Deity strategy will be negated. Try not to trigger your GA with your UU in an early war. You can only trigger your GA after the GL has expired for this strategy to work out properly.

2. Starting as an Agri civ you’ll start on a river and next to some food bonus (wheat, sugar, banana, cows). If you happen to start on a floodplain it may be not necessary to build a granary in that city. You’ll want two or three cities with granaries. You’ll build a granary in your capital. Your capital will act as a settler-factory churning out settlers every 4 turns, the second city will build only warriors and the third only workers. I call it the "Magic Triangle".

3. You must start to REX asap. You’ll build warriors (no spearmen), workers and settlers. You ought to have two workers for every city you have on average. You will not escort your settlers. It doesn’t matter If some cities are ungarrisoned. The AI is also busy expanding rapidly and covering all the land still available. Pump out those settlers !!

4. You can pull it off with only 7-8 cities. Capital in the middle surrounded by a ring of 6-7 cities. It’s ok if you can’t build the FP, no sweat. Even if you build it in the Industrial Age after some war you can still win. You can win this game with ten cities. Don't worry if your city tiles are overlapping with one another, it's only normal at this high level of gameplay. Forget the idea of having a 21 radii-tile-city perfectly worked and no overlapping tiles; that only spells for disaster at Deity. Get used to living in cramped quarters. Real estate is overpriced !

5. Being the AI at its most aggressive setting frequent wars will be unleashed. You just make sure to stay out of them and have settlers ready for when the time comes to fill in the gaps of razed cities. You are taking advantage of the AI's way of acting doing the opposite and cashing in on it whether it be wars, derided techs etc…

6. On your best/most productive city, normally the capital where the palace is, you’ll mine most tiles, if you have a cow or two that’d be great, mine them. Start roading the food bonus tile, then mine it, then move to the river tiles to get that extra gold bonus the sooner the better. Whip settlers if required.

7.You’ll trace a bee-line to Literature (discovering it around 1000 BC). Your wonder city should reach size 10 at least 8 turns before you discover Literature and size 12 when building it. You cannot do a prebuild in the capital city (masonry required) and it’s not required either, so don’t worry use as a prebuild a temple or whatever. Join workers to the wonder city if necessary to bring it to size 12 asap. It's an exciting race against time to complete this essential Great Wonder. You should be producing like 20-23 shields per turn. Micromanage.

8. Once you discover Literature put the science slider to zero and have it like that until you learn Education.

9.You will build the Great Library (around 600 BC). It takes some practice to do it, so be sure you build it. Don’t conquer it, this is a builder-style game. You’ll do the bashing later on in the game, believe me. This is the only Ancient Age wonder you’ll waste your precious time and resources in. It's well-worth it. If you miss it start a new game all over again until you build it. This strategy pivots on the GL.

10. You’ll trade your way through to Writing once the techs start pouring in. You’ll build embassies with ALL civs, with your immediate neighbours first. You’ll sign RoP with ALL of them. You give techs, gold, luxuries whatever is reasonably necessary in exchange. You do this to avoid unwanted wars. The AI will not attack you, normally, with RoP signed providing you keep up your good reputation and stay true to your deals. If you can trade workers from other civs, just do it, the earlier on you do it the more they’ll get slowed down in building infrastructure and it'll hurt them, specially if they have the Industrious trait.

11.You will trade techs for lump sum or gpt If you can. Don’t forget to haggle always.Gpt is your aim so as to make them broke and slow their fast-paced research rate. The more gold they trade you, the less they'll have for research. It will be YOU who will be doing all the research from the late Middle Ages onwards and cashing in on it.

12.You will acquire all the luxuries you can. Being pangaea you don’t have to wait until Navigation to get all of them, from the early Middle Ages you ought to have access to all of them. Your luxury slider should be at zero typically all along the game, except in the initial REXing phase to avoid entertainers and in the odd war or so. Build granaries, libraries, marketplaces ...

13.You must change governments to Republic as soon as it is available and stick to it untill you win the game.

14.You shouldn’t start any wars untill you have Military Tradition. You will give into all AI demands, be it gold, maps or techs. Yeah, yeah it’s crap but learn how to kneel first.

15. In the Middle Ages trade your free tech around if you're Scientific (it will normally be Feudalism; gift in, if neccessary, other scientific AIs into the new era so as to trade for their free techs). It's difficult to stop the wonder cascade in the Middle Ages, forget it. Once you learn Education, the GL becomes obsolete (around 270 AD), you will trigger your Golden Age with your UU on the following turns because late Middle Ages you'll be running behind in the tech tree. The exact moment to trigger your GA changes from one game to another. I suggest you trigger it once you have Banking so as to build banks swiftly. It is paramount not to leave many turns go by (20-40 approx) between the obsolescence of the GL and triggering your GA, so plan ahead for this moment. A war is neccessary to trigger your Golden Age with your UU. I always choose some close or not far away feable neighbour. I send a galley with two UUs, perch them atop a mountain (for defensive bonus) and force them to declare war on me. You will have amassed by now at least twenty horses which you’ll upgrade to cavalry. This is a defensive war, don’t play offensive and try to sue for peace asap. You’ll make that other civ declare war on you making them mad and asking them to withdraw their troops from your land. Be sure your RoP agreement has finished with that target civ beforehand, don’t renew it planning for your GA-war. You will sign a military alliance (MA) with all civs against your targeted foe. You cannot risk a war with more than one civ. Be sure to spawn some GML so as to start the Military Academy. You may use later the Armies as prebuilds or as a deterrent to other aggressive civs. Don’t sign peace until twenty turns have gone by so as not to get a reputation hit with the other civs you've signed the MA. Remember you are aiming for a diplo win or SS, your reputation should remain flawless until the UNs vote if you choose this victory type.

16. Use your GA to build banks (universities should be rushed if you are scientific), factories etc… don’t waste your time building military units, you’ll have plenty of time for that later on. Using your GA and combining it with all the gold you will have saved up with your zero research due to the GL will enable you to research at a maximum rate now of 90-100%. I advise reading DaveMcW's article on AI's Favorite Techs to learn what monopoly techs you should be researching and trading for in your game.

17. You ought to have saved a fair amount of gold already. Start researching at the max possible (90-100%) techs that the AI will disregard first in the Middle Ages such as in the top end of the tech-tree: Printing Press, Banking, Economy then swap over to the lower end of the tech tree: Chemistry, Metallurgy, Military Tradition and trade for them. You may even start a prebuild on Adam Smith’s. I normally build Adam Smiths and Newton's University (Copernicus Obervatory is another option of course). Trade these Monopoly Techs to all and be sure you get gpt. You want to make them broke. With all the gold you’ve saved up during the effects of the GL and with the added boost of your GA you ought to be racing ahead technologically. Make sure they learn Banking asap (even gifting it to ALL AIs) so they build banks asap and have all their gold funneled to you through smart trading of techs. By the end of the Middle Ages you ought to have 10.000 gold. Until the end of the Middle ages you've been playing catch up from behind building up your infrastructure (mines, roads, libraries, universities, banks, harbors ...).

18. In the Industrial Age your free tech will normally be Nationalism or Medicine. Gift in, if neccessary, other scientific AIs into the new era so as to trade for their free techs. Entering the Industial Age is the key moment in this strategy because you will leach economically on the other leading AI civs for your free tech for as much as 330 gpt and you must set the science slider to 100% even If at a loss of gpt (which I doubt If you've heeded my instructions properly). It should be you brokering techs to the top and most advanced AI civs making at least 1000 gpt even at 100% research rate. Go for Steam Power, Industrialisation, Medicine, Sanitation (build or rush hospitals in every city, you have the Agricultural trait, don’t neglect it), Electricity, Scientific Method. If you have the Scientific trait you might pop a SGL (5% chance) when discovering Scientific Method. You’ll have a prebuild on ToE. Obviously while the ToE is finsihed being built you will set your science slider to zero. Once built you readjust your science slider and choose as your two free techs Atomic Theory and Electronics. You’ll also have a prebuild for Hoovers Dam. You may not have realised it yet, but the game is pretty much over now at this stage once you build this Great Wonder at around 1250 AD. Make sure they learn Corporation asap (even gifting it to all AIs) so they can all build Stock Exchanges asap and have all their gold funneled to you through smart trading of techs. You’ll start a well-timed prebuild aiming for the United Nations. Trade all these techs around assuring you will complete the great wonders. You might be tempted to steal techs once you trade for Espionage, but If you are using this builder-strategy properly there's just no need to resort to stealing techs, at least if at all, until the Modern Age; besides, it will be you whose the most technologically advanced civ in the game so there'll be hardly any techs at all to steal anyways ! You ought to have now at least 20.000 gold at the end of the Industrial Age (I've reached well over 100 k by this stage). It’s fairly normal to strike deals for up to as much as 575 gpt. I've had the Persians paying me, in two different tech gpt deals, as much as 1.000 gpt. Be careful, the AI might go broke (specially if it’s a Warmonger civ such as the Zulus or Aztecs) and declare you war to stop paying all together. You ought to be raking in approx 2.000 gpt from your cities and anywhere between 1.000 and 2.000 gpt from the AI civs in your game. Your science rate will be at 90-100% and your luxury slider at zero (if you have 8 luxs) or 10%. Even having the science slider at 100% you ought to be raking in approx 1.400 gpt from other civs, truly impressive. You can easily change your game from Builder to Warmonger at this stage with Motorized Transportation (tanks) If you wish albeit you'll risk losing the UNs vote. You ought to build all Industrial Great Wonders prebuilding with your palace.

19. You enter the Modern Age at around 1350-1400 AD. Very rarely do they give you Computers as your free tech being scientific. It will normally be either Ecology, Fission or Rocketry. Gift a scientific civ into the Modern Age if neccesary so as to trade their free tech. Shop it around with all the others. You must build the UNs. Research the lower end of the tech tree: Computers (have a prebuild for SETI), Miniaturisation (prebuild for Internet), then go for whatever suits you. If you already own Newton's University try to build SETI in that same city. Steal techs safely for 5.500 gold. The AIs will pay dearly in such a huge map for a Modern Age tech. I’ve been paid as much as 47.500 gold for Computers lump sum (it has a wonder associated to it). Be sure you haven’t finished the wonder when you shop it around because that’ll diminish its face value. Avoid at all costs the Wonder Cascade of Manhattan Proyect, SETI, UN, Internet. Delay if neccesary by one turn the trade so as to be sure they don’t build the wonder before you. A human player should have no trouble building two or three late Middle Ages wonders, all Industrial and all Modern Age wonders with the help of well-timed prebuilds at Deity.

20. Choose between an SS or Diplomatic victory. Typically, you ought to finish the game around the XIV-XV centuries for a diplo win and XVI or later for a SS victory in a huge pangaea deity map. You should end up with, at least, 40.000 gold stashed in your bank account (even If you've been cash-rushing units and improvements). It's not surprising to reach well over 100k in the Modern Era. It's Builder Power :p !

Takes you around 15-30 hours to complete.

Main point is that you do tech-surf all the time and then cash in on it.

It's a sort of broker strategy (War Academy) coupled in with triggering you GA at the right time.


Sample DEITY and SID games employing this Builder Strategy with American saves. C3C v.1.22:
Finally we can stop those claiming that builders only come to Monarch. :D Great article!

However, I disagree on 2 points:
10. The GL: It's not as good as you think. It prevents you from getting SGL's, selling techs to AI and slowing them down. You have to build both Markets/Banks and Libs/Unis. Also, that 400 shields slow down your expansion and your infrastructure. I'd advise to build it if you have a unique chance (huge spt city, SGL).
18. ToE: I like to get SciM asap, otherwise the AI might beat you. And you can't be always ahead of them, with ToE you can overtake them. So I bee-line to SciM.

It's mostly a matter of style, but still. 25-40 hours? I do it in one day :D
Deity Builder Strategy Conclusions

a. Build GL: research to zero and stash gold for future research at a loss if necessary (you will have saved up money for this moment).
b. GL expired. Triger your GA straight away that same turn in Republic so as to continue with you competitive advantage granted by the GL. Build banks, universities and Adam Smith. Put research slab at a maximum , even at loss, you´ll have money saved up for this.
c. Tech bartering all the time with the other civs . Very few wars and only for luxuries, strategical resources and to trigger your GA. Researched techs derided by othr AI's civs. Raking in massive amounts of gold from AI civs. Waited 20 turns until cashflow was liberated to strike a new deal for another tech. Didn't trade If they had no gpt to offer or luxuries.
d. Fueled wars between AI civs by signing a military alliance against my foe/s. Build Hoover Dam.
e. End up with 40-80 cities. Flawless reputation and polite attitude by almost everyone except those AIs you fought, of course.

The point was to always surge ahead techwise and sell them the monopoly techs I discovered hampering their own research by means of signing huge gpt deals. The GL gives you a competitive advantage over the AI for a while. When the GL expires you trigger your GA asap so as to capitalise on that gap or turn-advantage granted by the GL, thus gripping on to it and even boosting your competitive edge over the AI thouroughout the rest of the game. It's like two successive launch pads or rocket boosts, GL first and then GA, you're using, one right after the other.

The GL acts as a "sort of" Golden Age really when you put the science slider to zero. You get all the cash plus all the techs (no double shield output however). So the bottomline is that it's as If you were using two Golden Ages one right after the other, first the GL and when it becomes obsolete with Education you trigger your GA that same turn with your UU. So you are actually playing as If you had two consecutive Golden Ages, like having two rocket boosts, you burn the first one and only then use the second one, GL first and then your GA, so as to overcome Deity's dire AIs bonuses.


@Pentium: :lol: yes, I was thinking of that post which claimed that us builders were lousy Monarch players when I wrote this article. :goodjob:

Hmm, problem is that this strat relies heavily on the GL. If you don't get to build it, you cannot follow it. It's devised for deity newbies really or people who've never won on this level.

More experienced players would rather build 13 swordsmen (400/30) for those 400 shields or settlers. However with 15 random civs, you won't have much time to settle all the land. That's why I think on pangea 10-12 cities is fairly normal at this level (with GL built).

I sometimes bee-line to SciMeth as well. But If I'm playing with an agricultural civ I think building hospitals is a huge advantage in gold and research and is almost a must be for a deity builder. Laying railways with an agricultural civilization coupled with a hospital is a huge boost to your growth/income/research potential worth pursuing which more tahn makes up for the risk of the AI ploughing ahead to SciMeth. You'll catch up with your huge growth potential. Growth is power in C3C !

I played as the Sumerians over the weekend with the settings described in the post and did just this and with a well-timed prebuild they (=the Greeks and Iroquois) didn't beat me to ToE.
Very nice article, and very well written. I was surprised you didnt include seafaring as a middle of the road trait to have; it is decidedly better than rel and exp, though not as strong as the other traits you advised on. Even on a pang map, the 3 move scouts and city square benefits are nice to have. I would certainly vote this article as the best of the newly updated war academy.

I think builders get unfairly criticized as players because often people are building simply unneeded improvements (factories in size 1 corrupt cities, courthouses in the capital) on lower levels and having difficulty, and therefore seek out advice; the higher level builders get lumped into the same category by association when they arent achieving a 250 BC domination on a given map.

The bottom line is building is quite enjoyable and fun. Tomoyo's 5CC game is a good example.
Own said:
I probably know the concept of REXing whatever it is, but what does it stand for?
Rapid Early eXpansion.

BTW Drakan, Great article! :goodjob:

I'm a builder myself and I like SS victories. I also like making up my own victory conditions such as "commercial victory" - e.g. have at least 30000 gold and at least twice as much as any other civ.
I thought this was an excellent article and decided to use it as a guide to my first proper attempt at Deity level. I think I managed pretty well, up to a certain point. Somehow I feel I ran out of steam in the early IA. Researching electricity is taking me 20+ turns and I'm falling behind in tech. So I'm interested in some advice to this Deity newbie.

Since this is a builder game, I tried to stick to it. This means so far in the whole game I've hardly seen battle. I killed a greek archer to trigger my GA and I killed two Egyptian units, losing one unit myself. Getting other civs involved in that war took care of the Egyptians and they are no longer. This instigated a kind of world-war where I was the only one not at war as soon as the Egyptians got defeated.

My empire core is pretty strong, and although small in area I have the largest population. My army is weak compared to the big players, but I think I would be able to hold them off if they would attack me, as long as it's just one at the time. I feel if I can get Nationalism and go in mobilization mode I can probably wreak some considerable havoc with my neighbours. This has been tempting for a while now, but so far I've resisted the temptation by telling myself this is a builders game.

The problem is economy. Research at this stage is too slow and army support costs me 234 gpt. So I'm wondering what should be my plan:

- Continue peaceful existence and aiming for the UN.
- Mop up the Iroguois, my ROP with them expires in a few turns. Actually, I'm already late for this as the Greeks are busy with this. The greeks would be next, I think I can take them. The added land may alleviate my economy.
- Wait for Rubber and see what to do based on that. At the current research rate, Rubber is a while away though.

(I wanted to add a SAV file, but it's too big :mad: )
I'd say army support is much too high. You usually need a garrison in every city in case you signed a ROP and a number of artillery and offense units.

I for myself completely stopped building religious buildings and try to get happiness via luxies and markets. Thus I'm usually able to build those cash and science buildings early.

The wonders I'm interested in are TGL, Smith's and nearly everything thereafter. Others are completely optional, though the Pyramids, the unit producing wonders, the science doubling wonders, Sun Tzu and Leonardo's are quite tempting.
Lullaby said:
I'd say army support is much too high. You usually need a garrison in every city in case you signed a ROP and a number of artillery and offense units.
I keep a unit in every city when I sign ROPs, but I never have a problem with my unit support. Sure, it's expensive. But if you have proper infrastructure and good deals you should be gushing cash anyway.

Lullaby said:
The wonders I'm interested in are TGL, Smith's and nearly everything thereafter. Others are completely optional, though the Pyramids, the unit producing wonders, the science doubling wonders, Sun Tzu and Leonardo's are quite tempting.
You seem to have a bad case of wonder addiction. That's not good. At deity you shouldn't be building that many wonders. Ancient age: GL only. Middle-Ages: just get them by force. Industrial: ToE and Hoover. Modern: by that time you should be able to afford any wonder, but you should also be able to win without them.
Brain said:
I keep a unit in every city when I sign ROPs, but I never have a problem with my unit support.

I was referring to the post I answered. I should have quoted it. Sorry.

Brain said:
You seem to have a bad case of wonder addiction.

I certainly do not. The optional wonders I usually only build if I have a high shield city with nothing else to build or if I get an SGL. On higher levels TGL is tremendously powerful and every wonder that lowers upkeep costs is quite nice, especially Smith's.

But you are right when you say one doesn't need Suffrage. ToE as a jump towards Hoover is far more important.
I'm awfully sorry for not replying sooner Tesuji, I was away on holiday. Thanks for your kind comments.

It's hard to say without a sav file. In any case you ought to trade heavily the techs around. You must check every twenty turns once the deal has expired and their cashflow is once again free to strike a new deal. Their's no point in selling them three techs within twenty turns If they cannot pay you dearly.

The point of this strategy is becoming an economical leech that sucks all the AI cashflow and funnels it into your own coffers. You ought to be very affluent in the IA (circa 20.000 gold or more even If you've been cash-rushing units and improvements all the time).

You can easily turn the game into warmonger mode once you have a nice core of 9-12 cities up and running If you wish or else continue being a builder.

Your trading skills are paramount in becoming affluent and winning.

I will refer to Monsingers HOF Sid game. If you check her sav files you'll see she didn't build the GL nor capture it albeit notwithstanding she managed to be on par technologically with the AIs, it's very impressive. I played that same game using her 4000 B.C. save many times over and found it exceedinlgy hard to keep up tech pace with the 8 Sid AIs. That justs shows you how good some players are at trading Tesuji.

You just need more practice. If you've selected the max number of opponents for a huge pangaea map (15) you'll only have 9-14 cities at the most. But a deity game using this strategy is perfectly winnable with so few cities, some people out there even win one city challenges at Deity, not sure about Sid though, I read that one guy did it (Mountain Sage) but he deck stacked the maps heavily with the editor and that's rather tainted for my liking. Just practice some more with this strategy and you'll win Deity level for the first time.
There seems to be some slight confusion between reputation and attitude. I'll expand on this:

Trading Reputation is what enables the gpt trade with the AI

AI Attitude is what normally holds them off from attacking you.

In the first paragraph of my article How to win Deity Builder-style, step-by-step I warn people to find out what each stands for in C3C before reading any further.

When I posted my strategy the whole point of having a spotless reputation is so you can trade techs with the AI for gpt and cash in on it. They will not allow gpt deals with a flawed reputation and hence the strategy wouldn't work out.

This doesn't mean they can't attack you. Because attitude is a whole different matter.

You may have a spotless reputation and still be attacked with a ROP rape even If they are "polite".

You have to take preemptive measures to avoid being attacked by improving their attitude towards you. To achieve this goal you must:

- avoid razing many AI cities/starving AI citizens
- establish embassies
- establish ROP asap (specially this one)
- gift 100 gold (not more) every ten turns to those AIs which may pose more of a threat (i.e. are nearby)
- gift luxuries if needed
- trade alot

As for the gifting 100 gold every ten turns, it was in fact revealed by Bamspeedys AI attitude article. In which he goes to explain that a 100 gold is the max you should gift and that sort of grants you 100 points in attitude. Every turn that goes by you lose 10 points. So at the end of ten turns you've lost the 100 points. So you have to restart the cycle by gifting them another 100 gold after those ten turns have gone by. Rinse and repeat.

Gifting a luxury also gives 100 points, but at the end of ten turns those 100 points dissappear. So gifting money is actually better, because when you gift a luxury the deal takes twenty turns, but the AI will only appreciate the gift the first ten turns (the 100 points which are gone after ten turns). The remainning ten turns of the twenty turn deal will be wasted completely because it doesn't affect them at all. No point in gifting them more than one luxury.

Not sure though If gifting a luxury and 100 gold are cumulative though.

Money is more exact and to the point, you optimize it this way while gifting a luxury is a waste of ten turns out of the 20 turn deal really.

Before posting the article I had won more than ten Deity games using it and never got attacked by the AI (ROP rape) at the most AI aggressive setting unless I specifically wanted it to attack me, to trigger my Golden Age for example. Although in a Sid game I did get attacked using it.

You have to handle both your trading reputation (enables the gpt deals) and the AIs attitude (stops them from attacking you) to succeed with this builder strat.

Once you get the hang of it, it actually becomes far too overpowering.
Does the same strategy basically work on standard size maps? Or large maps? What about on demi-god or emperor level? I'd like some advice here, since I've just really started playing emperor, and I have an older computer, so my computer crawls during a huge-map game.
Great article! One question though - how do you avoid the GA that completing the GL results in for Sumeria and Greece, the scientific civs you recommend?
I've more-or-less done this strategy with a monarch and an emperor *standard* size pangea map. I say more-or-less since I really haven't done much gold giving. I also haven't followed the golden age advice, since the monarch game with the Carthiginians (where I added raging barbarians), England attacked me very early one and died trying to attack my Numidian Mercenary. With the emperor game, I decided to play the Maya. Looking through the civilopedia I figured the Hoover Dam would surely trigger my GA (as with the Byzantines the Mausoleum of Mausellos ALWAYS has triggered a GA for Theodora). Sure enough it did. I ended up getting a SGL, and rushed the UN while still in my GA (no uranium in my homelands... I didn't want to fight for it). I gifted everyone 200 gold (I had over 10,000 by this point), and won a diplomatic victory in 1305, with a Firaxis score of 6218. Looking back, the wait for the GA until the Hoover Dam might come as risky on higher levels, I don't know. One possible game variant with this strategy in mind which I'd call "the builder's war": no wars allowed until the modern era starts... for any reason (even if you have NO resources). Anyone know if anyone has done this before?
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