I always go bankrupt when I start early wars

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by home_office, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. home_office

    home_office Chieftain

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    Help! How do I keep from going bankrupt when I start early wars? I understand cottage spamming (I think). I set each city to emphasize Commerce from founding/capture. When I don't keep all captured cities I end up expanding slower than the AIs that I am not at war with. Not to mention that I fall behind in techs because I can't afford to buy them as quickly as AIs. So in the extreme at some point I'm bringing Swordsmen to fight Riflemen defending...so with standard number of civs (Noble) I can wipe out 2 or maybe more other civs but then I start to have problems. I have played Augustus and beelined to Iron Working for Praetorians...great for a while. But the same problems eventually. What am I doing wrong?
     
  2. home_office

    home_office Chieftain

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    btw is there a way to automate cottage spamming?
     
  3. johnny_rico

    johnny_rico one more turn addict

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    I usually obtain income to fund my war by sacking cities. After that, you can try cottaging heavily in your capital and researching the civil service technology and then switching to the bureaucracy civic. The +50% commerce goes a long way.

    You can also try using scientist specialists via farming excessing food and building libraries or using the caste system civic, focusing your science/gold slider more towards gold.

    A third option would be instead of trading technologies for backwards techs, try trading them for gold.

    I wouldn't automate my workers, so I don't know if you can get them to build all cottages. Odds are, their placement will be brainless, fitting no?
     
  4. CivMonger

    CivMonger Ruler of Insignificants

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    I run into the same problem, so I just try to conquer slower. As for automating cottage spamming, I don't think so. You can automate workers, but they will decide on farms, cottages, etc, not just placing cottages.
     
  5. Stolen Rutters

    Stolen Rutters Deity

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Not seeing the specifics I can only be general. Check out the War academy and the other resources on this forum.

    Potential problem:
    #1. You are expanding too fast. Prioritize Alphabet and Currency and you don't need as many cities to keep up.

    #2. You are building too many units and keeping them outside of your cultural borders (where they are more expensive to maintain).

    #3. You are not specializing your cities. Jack-of-all-trade cities are highly inefficient.
    a. Early in the game, you only need one super science city in an optimal site to do all of your research and keep up. (Food + Library + academy + scientist specialists) Scientific progress is by beaker count, not by that percentage number. What is better? 100% of 10 raw beakers or 50% of 30 raw beakers?
    b. Set up one or two high production cities (food + forge + hills + forests) to provide your unit needs, and the rest can be money (food + market + merchants) or science sites. Large numbers of mediocre cities will kill your science rate. Build only units in high production cities, science in your science cities, and money in your money cities... Units can move. Building a unit where you are getting massive science multipliers is a waste of resources.

    That's all I got.
     
  6. warezfan

    warezfan Chieftain

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    Don't start early wars!

    You can't rely on ancient units on beating modern units, unless you only have one or two civs left so it's fast to finish off. Otherwise there are no solutions, because unit support cost will be too much.

    Because if you don't capture cities your unit support cost will remain super high, but if you capture cities your city maintenance cost will be super high. However, most of the time, both of the cost are sky high.

    You just got to ask yourself, can you finish off all the enemies fast enough before all your units go on strike and other civs get too ahead in tech? If you can't then... Try to get ahead in tech instead then fight the war with rifleman vs axeman. :lol:
     
  7. home_office

    home_office Chieftain

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    Would I be better off if I played epic instead of normal? When I delay starting wars I seem to run out of time. Maybe I need tips on conquering a civ in fewer turns? Thanks for all the responses so far...they should help.
     
  8. carl corey

    carl corey Deity

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    Epic and Marathon are more for Warmongers, while you need to keep your economy floating. The slower speed means a slower research pace, meaning you get later to Currency/Code of Laws (for Courthouses). Leave it at Normal for now.

    And I suggest you don't automate wokers and cities. Try to think what to build and what tile to improve on your own. For example, if you don't have enough food then building a couple of mines won't help, as you won't be able to work them. Another example would be a city full of flood plains. Automated workers would probably farm it, but you already have enough surpluss food, so you're better of cottaging them.
     
  9. NKVD

    NKVD Cossack

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    well mostly dont capture cities burn them, thats hard to do though.
     
  10. warezfan

    warezfan Chieftain

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    What do you mean by run out of time? Do you mean you can't conquer all the civs when the game ends by 2050?

    Really depends on your strategy, because if you tech correctly and use your scientists and wonders properly, you should be able to get ahead in terms of military technology and beat your opponents really fast. It only takes 50 turns or so to finish off all opponents on a standard map, so you don't really need to start early wars at all on most difficulties. It shouldn't be too hard to finish a game by 1800s even with a quick Noble game on a normal map.
     
  11. The Lardossen

    The Lardossen Warlord

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    This keeps me from going broke:

    - Get slavery ASAP
    - Keep on attacking your neighbours to fill your coffers with gold to keep on researching
    - Research worker techs, then Iron (for the rush), then currency, then CoL
    - Don't start building marketplaces right away! Keep on attacking enemy cities until CoL research is funded
    - As soon as finishing CoL try to work to peace, and whip up courthouses everywhere, and also marketplaces in a few strategic cities
    - Research construction if you are not sure you're big enough yet to get to those longbowmenned cities.


    The key is: CoL!
     
  12. The Lardossen

    The Lardossen Warlord

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    If you are a civ like Rome (good warlike civ), you need to conquer more, if you're financial, build more cottages instead.
     
  13. home_office

    home_office Chieftain

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    Tell me more about teching correctly and using scientists and wonders. Are you saying if you get ahead in military techs by 1700 you can declare wars on all other civs and wipe them out by 1800? No wars before then? This would be an opposite strategy from what I'm trying and if feasible sounds good.
     
  14. warezfan

    warezfan Chieftain

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    I'll just give you a general idea.

    You need to get a few wonders. The most important one being pyramid. It enables you to get all the government civics. Representation being the best one to use early on since it provides you with happiness bonus to your largest 5 cities (you won't have more than 5 cities at the start of the game), and also most importantly +3 science per any specialist. So a scientist normally has +3 science would have +6 science. Your goal is to run as many scientist as possible using the caste system or if you don't have it, using the library. If you never did this before you will be surprised at how fast you can research, in most cases you speed up your early research by 25-75%.

    But not only will you have the benefit of faster research speed, you are more likely to generate a great scientist (GS) by doing this. GS can be used to build an academy which add 50% research or it can be added to a city for +9 science under the representation civic. Furthermore you could use it to discover technology instantly. GS has the benefit of being able to discover quality technologies since most of the useful techs in the game are of science related. In early games, one GS can instantly discover important techs such as philosophy. While in mid to late games, it can help discover around half or more for most technologies such as chemistry. And finally in an average game if you run pacifism for religion civic and also build the great library and national epic at your most scientist concentrated city (usually your capital), you will get around 5-10 GS per game. If you use it all for discovery techs, it would account for 25% of your entire games research if not more.

    Another important wonder is the oracle. It's the early wonder that gives you a free technology. The key is to build it as late as possible, but early enough so that no one else builds it. You want to get the useful techs such as civil service or machinery, but if thats too hard then at least try to get code of law or metal casting with it. Civil service is perhaps the most important, so your goal would be try to research its prerequisites as soon as possible, taking the shortest line as possible. So while you are researching code of law you are also building the oracle, and once code of law finishes, oracle should be finished too, you must time it right. You can adjust the speed of science and also the speed of production of oracle. However you can't always get this, but you just got to try your best to get it since it's really useful. If you can't then just use the oracle to try to get something else.

    The reason civil service is so important because it gives you the ability to run bureaucracy for legal civic and when combined with the machinery tech and copper/iron, you can build macemen! When you get macemen using this way, you will be way ahead of your opponents. Most of them only have archers and axemen at this stage, which should be easy picking for macemen. In my last game, my kill-to-lost ratio was well over 10-1. Every of my fights was around 80-90% win range simply because I was killing archers with macemen. Your problem was because you simply had too many units to support, with this strategy though, you can even run pacifism (which cost 1 gold extra per unit), and still have lots of gold since you only need a few macemen to wipe a civ out.

    If the map is pretty small and your opponents not that strong, then yeah, you can even win with just macemen. And you will win fast, most likely before 1000AD. But if you don't want to over extend yourself and play a safer game, then continue to put research as your main priority. Try to research the next military super weapon. If you don't wipe your opponents out fast enough, they will upgrade to longbowmen, which is a lot tougher for macemen to kill without lots of siege weapons help. In my experience when longbowmen comes out, the win ratio drops to around 40% when trying to attack their cities guarded by longbowmen, which is not good for the poor macemen.

    So what's the next big military weapon? Well depends on the civ you are using, some may have a good unique unit. For example if you are using Romans you probably wouldn't even use macemen since you got praetorians which are equal to a macemen and faster to research. But this strategy shouldn't have to rely on unique units. You can win with any civ. The next big military leap you will have should be calvary. This thing doesn't come too late, it needs horses obviously, but also military tradition and gunpowder. Your goal is to utilize your GS and discover all the prerequisites to those techs as fast as possible. In some cases I've been able to get cavalry out before the computer got longbowmen, so I'm fighting cavalry vs archer, which is usually 95-99% win. But assuming now they all got longbowmen, your win ratio should be around 70-80%, and since cavalries are fast movers, it doesn't matter if a few dies since reinforcements come fast. Usually 2 cavalries can take a city.

    By doing this, you don't need a huge army, but you have an advanced army which fights 10-1. If before you need 100 units, now you probably only need 10 units to do the same job. And can you still win early? Yes, yes you can, maybe not before 0AD, but definitely fast enough before the game ends. But usually it's around 1000-1500AD if you don't try to maximize score by population boosting at the end and delaying victory.

    Oh and another thing, you need to raze the cities when you conquer them, because city distance to capital maintenance is a killer. Or if you want to capture them, at least have state property running (the communism economic civic) or forbidden place and versailles well positioned.

    Oh oh, another thing, don't upgrade or promote your units too soon. The reason is because when you upgrade you actually heal half of your damaged health. For example assuming you didn't upgrade when you made the units, and when you see a fight that is 96% win, then just fight it without upgrade. You know you are going to win most likely when it's >95%, it's not a big risk to take. When at the next turn, you probably lost half of your health during the fight, when you upgrade now you can recover 25% health back since half of half is 25%. This is a fast way to heal so you can finish off 2 archers if you just got 1 macemen for example in consecutive turns without waiting. Another advantage to this is that you don't know what's going to be a useful upgrade, because sometimes you get to a city and it's full of archers, then upgrading for 25% vs archers would be wise, but what if it's full of axemen, then 25% vs melee would be a good choice, and if they are mixed then 20% city attack. While 20% city attack is the safest option most of the time it may not always be a smart choice. 20% and 25% would be a big difference in the 70-80% fights, because 25% may mean you survive while 20% may mean you die.

    Oh one final thing, most of the percentages there are based on cities with none to moderate city defense bonus, they are not based on cities with 100%+ city defense bonus and situated on a hill top. Even if you have a calvary vs archer with those conditions you are not guaranteed 60% win. I usually have a few siege weapons for bombarding to reduce city defense bonus in big cities and capitals, I never use them for suicide. Usually any city with 3 or less units guarding and 40% or less city defense bonus don't need bombarding.
     
  15. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    Read Snaaty's thread, it's very solid.

    If you do go for early war try this:

    1) Limit your army to about 6-8 axes. Take two cities and raze 1-2 cities (avoid the capital). This will give you a lot of money from spoils of war. Don't forget to build reinforcements!

    2) Get cottages down in your cities to help your finances. Especially your capital. Have 2 cities running cottages for each city running production/military.

    3) Prioritize code of laws once you have your tech priorities cleared away. It will allow you to build courthouses in your cities minimizing maintenance costs. Then prioritize currency for 1 extra trade route/city which will also help your finances. With currency you can also sell tech for cash for more money.
     
  16. home_office

    home_office Chieftain

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    This may be a stupid question for someone who's been playing Civ as long as I have, but does it ever make sense to automate anything? i.e., promotions, workers, city management... I'm hearing that it doesn't. At least not if you want to get beyond very easy levels. So you have to love micromanagement? BTW thanks for all the great ideas so far...keep 'em comin'. It seems others have run into the same economic problems that I have.
     
  17. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    Automating risks the computer doing stupid things for you. Playing on the higher levels, you can't take that risk. Better to do everything yourself.
     
  18. warezfan

    warezfan Chieftain

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    Yeah don't automate too much, especially at the start, I mean if you do automate at the start of the game it feels like you have nothing to do. Automating at the end is something I do often, sometimes I even delete workers and units just cause its a hassle to manage them...

    Anyways, to me there are really two ways to counter the maintenance problem. Out teching others and run communism at the end when you capture. Or going for the standard courthouse, forbidden palace and versailles method... I don't very much like the second method, I have tried it before, still go bankrupt pretty fast cause I got plenty of crap units. Because of the crap units I got, I need to attack with huge numbers and capture fast, but if I do that, like you said I will go bankrupt and all my units go on strike. But if I do it slowly then I'm behind in tech and will never catch up, and instead of you using calvary, your enemies will be using it against you.

    If you don't know this, you can actually win a game without having more than 1 city at your control. And that one city needn't be a production powerhouse, it's all about producing high quality units. In most of my games, I only have 2 or 3 cities until the very end when I start to capture after communism... and by the game ends I have 50+ cities. The only reason I even capture them at the end was because I get a nice high score! :lol:

    I'm intrigued when in WOTM04 that one player only produced units from capital, and she captured many cities since her final score was so high. She said the other cities she captured helped her science... I'm yet to find out how and if that is really possible, maybe there is a trick to it, I'm waiting to see her replay file of her timings.
     
  19. Blues

    Blues Chieftain

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    I only automate at the point of the game where I feel that I'm running out of stuff for my workers to do. I also turn on the "Automated leave forests" and "Automated Workers leave behind Old Improvements" options. That way at least nothing I've done gets destroyed.

    It's really funny cause at one point even after I set to automate they just went to sleep. When I researched replaceable parts, I went back to set them to build a whole lot of lumbermills. Only to find that they were working on them. Automated workers aren't THAT bad, just make sure you time it so ALL your important cottage, mine and farm work is done first, then you make them leave behind improvements and forests, and you're usually good to go. I also find they hook up resources that appear from new techs automatically, so less work for me.

    And the tips for early wars, yeah, thanks, they helped me a lot too, I think I'll restart my game just to fit in that new concept =). But I have an issue still. Let's say you want to go for a domination victory. Does that mean that you leave your territory expansion for 75% of the world til the end, where maintenance costs will (hopefully) be less of a problem? That really seems to be what's being implied here.

    You say, you expand too early with capturing cities, your maintenance cost owns you. True. So you raze the cities. But lo and behold, someone else brings in another settler to replace the spot. So much for getting 75% of the world... =S. It's therefore better to either just go for another victory condition, as domination is too costly.... or you leave domination until the end so maintenance doesn't kill you? Is this the way to go for occupying the world for domination victory?
     
  20. warezfan

    warezfan Chieftain

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    Yes. Communism is the key here, once you get it then go all out for capturing and building new cities in empty land.

    This strategy I learned from one player named Hendrikzoon, I read his post after his GOTM and realized what he was doing. This strategy will almost always guarantee the highest score in a game. You will either win at the end by domination or conquest. It is possible to follow this strategy at the beginning and then go for an early conquest victory which won't have maximum score. The reason for going domination is not because it's easier, but rather more points! Since final score is largely determined by population and time.

    In fact, what I normally do now is build as many settlers as possible to fill in the empty space after I obtain communism (around 1000AD). In my last game I had about 35 settlers build versus about 50 military units in total. All of the settlers came after or about to get communism.

    So this is what I think, you can just use the basics of this method to win by domination or conquest, which ever one you feel like, or even space and diplomatic, its all do able depending on what you do at the very end of the game.

    My advice is, start a Noble game, try this method out, you will find it should work pretty damn well at the start providing you don't miss the key wonders or make major mistake regarding civics. Once you get the hang of the playing style, you can play even up to emperor difficulty I reckon.
     

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