1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

How'd this happen?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Xong, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Xong

    Xong Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    How did this happen? One minute i was the most advanced civ....
    Spoiler :


    The next, they overtaken me in research...
    Spoiler :

    is the AI cheating? do they trade too much? what did i do wrong?

    here's a save so some of you can see...
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Jawz II

    Jawz II Oh Dear

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Messages:
    6,671
    Location:
    Arizona Bay
    That happens man, the other civs trade amongst themselves and I think they sell each other techs cheaper than the prices they ask of you.
     
  3. Xong

    Xong Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    well, how do i get around this?:cry:
     
  4. Nergal

    Nergal Prince

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    390
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    They do trade at preferential rates its in the editor. The only ways round it are to meet more civs and trade, research monopoly techs and trade them, perhaps the Great Library.Also moving to early republic and ggettinh the bonus of extra commerce. Micro manage for commerce too.
     
  5. Bartleby

    Bartleby Remembers laughter

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,353
    Location:
    Englishman in Cork
    Well, there's 51 turns between your two screenshots.
    Oftentimes, if you have an opportunity to trade for techs you should take it; don't worry too much about giving stuff away to the AI because if you don't, someone else will and you'll end up out of the trade loop.
     
  6. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    7,540
    Location:
    Medford, MA
    france is a pretty techer, too - commercial and industrious are traits the AI uses pretty well
     
  7. Skullsplitter

    Skullsplitter Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Additionally, its pretty easy to be ahead in 1910 BC. That only takes a few lucky goody huts. Non-expansionists seem to leave the goodies pretty much alone, so if you are a little aggressive and not surrounded by expansionists, you can get a disproportionate share of techs.

    What I'm impressed about is that neither of you needs communications with anyone else. And that you have no one to your northeast. Pretty unusual start location, by my experiences.
     
  8. Skullsplitter

    Skullsplitter Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Oh, BTW, why are you researching HBR, then apparently doing nothing with it? If you aren't going to send your horsies out looting, you might as well produce chariots and upgrade them later, meanwhile chasing republic or monarchy. (I'm guessing monarchy is the reason for the polytheism, right?)

    Oh, and at this point in the game, its unlikely that the best thing for Tsingtao to produce is wealth, what with those three bonus food tiles...
     
  9. Skullsplitter

    Skullsplitter Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Zong,

    Disclaimer -- I'm no expert. I've never played at Diety, though I seldom lose Emperor. I only recently came back to Civ3 Vanilla, so take this for what its worth.

    First, is this a hyper-resource mod? Or a scenario? Or do you just have insane luck? You've got 6 different luxuries within 8 tiles of your start location! And not just you. The AI seems to have lux out the wazoo, too. Both bonus resources and strategic resources are well above norm, at least in my experience. Maybe its something to do with playing at Regent level, and though I've played a lot of games since playing at Regent, I think I'd recall something like this. I'm inclined to think that bonus resources this extensive will be to your disadvantage. The AI makes bad decisions on improvements, sure, but its hard to go wrong whatever you do with cows. (Keep it clean -- this is a family site.) Your big advantage is in wisely choosing improvements, and hyper-resources diminishes that advantage. Worse, it will teach you sloppy habits. You won't learn early game cold, and its going to make moving to higher difficulty much harder than it need be.

    Anyway, I'll comment assuming its just standard, vanilla C3. Looks to me as though probably the issue is a matter of a slow start because of a couple improper improvements early on.

    I see you mined the wheat N of Beijing. You have a plains/hills start location, which is about as weak a start as you can get by with. You WILL get the benefit of the irrigation of wheat under despotism, so you should do that.

    Wealth is almost never useful in the early game, or even in the later game. Tundra, or desert you cannot irrigate, that's about it. Very rarely as something to do while you wait for a town to grow or a tech to finish, though a prebuild is almost always a better choice. If you are ever tempted to set it on wealth, getting only 1 gold per 8 shields, ask yourself if there's really NOTHING better to do. Unless there was some vital strategic value in that location, you would have been better off putting that town elsewhere, or not producing the settler at all -- leaving him as 2 tax-men would have been more profitable, and would have freed up the 30 shields for something useful.

    You need lots more workers. Nine towns should have at least 13 workers, and I'd prefer closer to 20 because there's so much jungle to clear and mountains to develop. That said, I would not be clearing jungle or mining mountains just yet. Not until your useful towns are developed. You're not going to be able to build many workers without irrigation of your bonus food tiles and conscious development of a worker farm. At a guess, you probably don't need to switch to mountains/jungle until maybe 1000AD at the rate you are going, and in a town like Shanghai, not until after rails.

    Its counter-intuitive, I know, but granaries are almost always a waste. For those 60 shields you spent at Shanghai, you could buy 3 chariots/spearmen/catapults/archers, 2 horsies/settlers, or 6 warriors/workers. China could build a barracks AND two veteran warriors. In a town like Shanghai, even after you get out of Despotism, you will rarely produce workers, and will probably never turn out a settler. There's just not enough food, at least until you get rails. You would benefit from having a granary in Shanghai maybe 20 times the whole game, if that, and its going to cost you 1 GPT for the rest of the game. That's not a very good return on investment. (Totally corrupt outlying towns will produce a worker every 10 turns, so it would be silly to make a worker out of a citizen who WAS producing shields when you could make a worker out of a citizen who was not.) Further, 10 food is kind of awkward for all except a 1, 2 or 5 excess food town. A good-looking despotism town might accumulate food at 3/turn or 4/turn, neither of which are probably good candidates for a granary. The 4/turn means 3 turns for pop growth with the granary, 5 without. Even excluding the maintenance costs, the opportunity cost of shields makes it a losing proposition -- you could have founded two new towns for the same expense and come out well ahead. Alternatively, you could have alternated military and worker, which would be far better unless you have a really good reason for needing the workers in a hurry. (I'm convinced that at Emperor, such a situation, needing workers NOW, at the tail end of the Ancient Age, is usually a pretty good sign that I screwed up earlier.) A 5 excess food town gains no benefit at less than 4 shields -- it would take 4 turns to get enough shields to get a worker anyway, and it will only speed up worker production by one turn at 4 shields. Settlers are even worse. Bottom line -- go ahead and build a granary if the town produces 5 excess food AND 5 shields AND you are planning to produce at least 14 workers or 7 settlers from that town before you let it grow to be a production center. That's about break even; not necessary, but not a bad idea right out of the box. The rest all have to be thought through on cost-benefit. Depending on the map, you may find yourself in a situation where you win the game having built only two or three granaries.

    Kind of a small thing, but you have GOT to get that Elite spearman out of Nanking. Fortified in all that jungle is just asking to have him killed by disease. Send in a regular spearman to take his place. Better yet, you could simply fortify him on the hill SW of Nanking on the incense. Jungle will prevent anyone from attacking you by surprise, so you can always move back to town if someone moves towards Nanking. Maybe disease isn't as bad at lower difficulty. I don't recall. But needlessly risking an elite seems suboptimal.

    I see you founded Xinjian on gems. Costs you a few GPT, but what the heck. However, if you are not concerned about building on gems, you should have built on the gems next to it. Then the borders would have merged with those of Shanghai, and you wouldn't have had to build culture and wait for it to expand to claim all that space. That's important. You need to close off all the open land as early as you can to keep settler/spearman combos from walking through and settling "your" lands.

    Speaking of Shanghai, there's no point in it being where it is. One tile SW, on the hills, would have been better since you would have immediately claimed the spice. Alternatively, had you placed Shanghai right on top of the spices, not only would you have had the deer immediately, Gandhi wouldn't have put Bangalore where he did. Maybe he would have encroached on Persia, or headed south or something. I don't know. But he would not place a town where he had 8 tiles under Chinese cultural influence if there were any other place to build, particularly not with Beijing so close. (I should qualify that with I don't know where Delhi is. It might be that size 7+ city SW of Karachi, but even so, I'm not sure I've seen AI purposely try to pull a culture flip. And a flip is easy enough to prevent with a few MPs.)

    Generally, once you find grassland, I think its best to explore and settle it until it runs out. Grassland is just too good to leave idle. There's grass east of Beijing. That's your prime expansion.
     
  10. Xong

    Xong Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    I actually traded with most civs in the early game and got a lot of goody huts which gave me the advantage in screenshot#1. I dont know how i got kicked off in the 'trade loop' but later on, it seems no one is willing to trade with me and more so, it seemed they do research faster than my civ and trade only amongst themselves. One time i find myself several techs ahead, the next they've already reached the MA and started to build the sistine chapel, sun tzu's etc. which made me realize how hopeless it was (i was still in currency, when i continued playing this game!) its really frustrating and im losing a bit of interest since none of my tactics work. i know there's a lot of cases when this happens, but only because they made contact with other civs later in the game, but for me, i practically met them early on but eventually fell behind!

    im more interested in how a civ can catch up when they are lagging several techs behind.

    @skull, thanks for the advice!

    The map Kal-els earth map and the resources are already placed there and civs are placed in their historically accurate start locations.

    The reason I didnt expand eastward YET is because i didnt want India choking my territory SW of my capital. i wanted ample space for my civ and especially the lots of food resources there, with that done, expanding eastward should be easy.(at least i think it will be). i was basically trying to limit india's expansion.

    anyway, i built granaries in two of my earliest cities to found 'settler factories'. as ive learned, the rule of thumb is expand, expand, expand! same for workers, i just dont know how to spot them. but granaries for me hasten pop size thus more settlers.

    Im not a warmonger per se and i usually build my armies in the middle ages where my economy stables and i have enough marketplaces and gold to support a vast force, and mainly, this is not a strike force, its just an army to deter any conflicts.

    so, bottom-line, build workers, city placement makes no sense, and basically bad planning for my part.
     
  11. Skullsplitter

    Skullsplitter Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Ah, a custom map. That makes sense. It also makes much of what I said flat-out wrong. There's no point in exploring if you already know where everything is. There's little no point in expanding east since Japan won't be pressing into you until he gets enough galleys. I WOULD still settle the delta. (Is that the Yalu? My geography in that region of the globe stinks.) Anyway, if I were going to play this map, I'd probably crack it open in the editor and see where everything is and plan out exactly where everything goes, which territory to take w/cultural expansion, which with towns. But I lack the patience to do that. Its not the kind of game I enjoy. That said, there are some people here who can probably plot out each units' moves until into the industrial age. Additionally, I have no idea what else has been tweaked. I have no idea if the techs have been repriced, or if the AI responds properly if they have. I did see the "Settle" tech show up (improperly, I'd add) when I was doing a turn-by-turn analysis of the game, so I knew this wasn't exactly vanilla.

    Re: granaries. I can speak only of random maps, not customs. With a custom map, you can plan around things like corruption and perfectly optimize your production. It may well be that a granary is indicated or counter-indicated by how the rest of the game will play out, not on what you know at this point.

    It's a little more involved than I made it out to be. It's really a question of balancing shields and food. If you can develop to get 5/5 (F/S), a granary turns that into a two-turn worker-pump. If you don't already have one, that's worth considering. Not game-deciding, but worth considering. Several things factor into that decision.

    First, developing those tiles takes time -- a 2 cow-on-grass worker-pump is a minimum of 2 irrigates, 8 worker-turns, plus at least 2 worker-turns moving onto those tiles. (A pair of cows-on-grass with a forest-kicker is the most common that meets this criteria. A more unusual would be the cow-on-bonus-grass cow-on-grass with a bonus-grass-kicker, or the rarely seen pair of cow-on-bonus-grass.) Until this is done, you won't benefit from the granary anyway. Granted, this may be taking place while you are producing the granary, but maybe not if the workers are still busy developing other cities. Which they will be if you've spent shields building settlers rather than granaries. If I don't have another 5/5 spot already scouted out, yes, I'll queue up a granary, but as I approach 30 shields, I'll review matters. If I've found another good spot by then I'll switch to settler without a second thought. Maybe even if I haven't found one, if only for territory denial. More on that later.

    Second, the settler is usually the better choice because he will bring new top-shelf tiles into production, plus you get the 2/1 from the new town. By the time I run out of prime settlement spots and strategic necessity settlement spots, my potential worker-pump is usually experiencing one point of waste, and the 60 shields I would have blown on the granary would have been a total loss (more precisely a 60-point sunk cost -- the 1 gpt maintenance is an additional deadweight loss) UNLESS I have another bonus grassland/mined grassland in the fat X which for some reason I'm not using or until I've changed out of despotism.

    Third, once that settler founds a town, you get 4 more unit support. (OK, 3 MORE. Four support minus one for the settler.) If you haven't been neglecting your military, you will gain at least a couple gpt.

    Fourth, a worker pump produces workers in the same place every time -- where you've already developed the land as much as it deserves for now. Your worker is going to spend several turns moving to where he's needed, during which time his unit cost is deadweight loss. You are better off popping him a couple turns later but right where he's needed.

    Fifth, the new town is that much less territory for the AI to covet. Territory denial at this stage can make a huge difference in the later game. Ideally you want the AI settling away from you, not towards you.

    Sixth, and the main reason that granaries are seldom worthwhile is that you need military as well as workers. By changing your build at a potential 2-turn worker pump from worker-worker to warrior-worker, there is no benefit to a granary, just maintenance costs. And the case for the granary only gets worse as the urgency for workers wanes or you get more expensive military. Rather than a granary, I find its almost always better to let such a site grow to the max allowable by MPs, lux and what you are willing to spend on entertainment, then use it to produce soldiers, timing a worker to drop the pop when its going to exceed that point.

    Again, this all depends -- I'm assuming, for instance, no imminent wars, the military advisor is not warning of a barbarian buildup, or that you already have enough military in the right places to cover it, including the new town and any workers with their butts out in the breeze. Which, if you've foregone the granary, you probably do.

    I suppose if I were shooting for a diplo win, that would make granaries more useful because alternating worker-soldier soon makes your military unit costs prohibitive. Using this method, unless you go to war on a regular basis, even the military advisor will say you have a strong army relative to EVERYONE else. (And he's so stupid. What kind of a military advisor would think an elite horseman the equal of a conscript warrior?)
     
  12. Skullsplitter

    Skullsplitter Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Its a gamble you can probably get away with at Regent. But one problem you might be experiencing with the AI is that they respect power. If you are militarily weak, their attitude tends to be negative. That might be why you are having troubles trading with them. I don't know. But I do know that going into those negotiations from a position of strength means the AI does bargain with me.

    Probably, possibly and sounds like it, respectively. You need some more or at least different development in the towns you have, and you have some workers off mining hills and chopping jungle rather than roading and irrigating the plains. The city placement might make sense if later strategic resources appear around those towns. I can't speak to that. IRL, China is big on coal. Are you settled on where the coal will appear? And if you chose those city locations without knowing where future strategics would appear when you have access to that information, then, yes, sounds like bad planning.
     
  13. Skullsplitter

    Skullsplitter Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    I wouldn't call this a loss. Not at Regent, and if they are only up to Sistine. I didn't notice Sun Tzu. Is that going up on your continent?

    Since you have communications with everyone, and they have the techs you want, it shouldn't take more than a half-dozen turns to research any of them. Check periodically to see what they will sell it for, since they factor in how much you have researched. I'd guess the techs won't be worth buying anyway, but its worth checking. Make sure every tile you work is roaded. I think you can still catch them without going to war, but from where I'm sitting, it looks like pointy-stick research is going to be a whole lot more effective. Gonna be tougher, your horsies against their pikemen, but still doable, though its going to be at least 30 turns before you have enough horses to pull it off. Take a few of his cities and sue for peace under the terms you give him back his cities and he gives you all his techs.

    Its going to be a lot harder to pull off a victory from here without it...
     
  14. darski

    darski Regent in Training

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,075
    Location:
    Ontario, Can.
    If there is a city there then the spear will not die of the nearby jungle. it is only if he is fortified in the jungle. Units can stand in jungle and they don't die if not fortified. I have units standing over workers in jungles all the time for safety's sake
     
  15. Skullsplitter

    Skullsplitter Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Oh, thanks, darski. So what does die in a town? Just the citizens?
     
  16. darski

    darski Regent in Training

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,075
    Location:
    Ontario, Can.
    yes the citizens can die if they work the jungle tiles. When that happens you will lose two in a row unless you only have one or two pop points.
     
  17. Skullsplitter

    Skullsplitter Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    I take it that's what happens on floodplains, too? No one would die of disease unless I worked the floodplains?
     
  18. Bartleby

    Bartleby Remembers laughter

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,353
    Location:
    Englishman in Cork
    Yeah. Also, after Sanitation you never get disease from floodplains. I seem to remember that you can still get disease from jungle, if you haven't gotten around to clearing it by then.
     
  19. shl7070

    shl7070 Warlord

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    There are three ways of catching up in this situation:
    1) Suspend research and transfer tax to the treasury, then buy those techs from the AI, it can be done quickly enough with the current rate of earnings. Start research once in medieval.
    2) If you aren't warmonger then time could be used better going Republic, unfortunately polytheism is almost researched now but still Republic+Literacy means research and fast.
    3) Miltary solution: Swords (+cats?) and west we go.
    Beijing is 12 and there is a lot of territory to the north-east. It means the expansion is too slow but still can be done without wars then setting up proper infrastructure and getting normal government
     
  20. ChaosArbiter

    ChaosArbiter King

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    903
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    There's a fourth way: Time Travel. Three months ought to be perfect. Not that you're reading this anyway.
     

Share This Page