I always screw it up at the mid game... (Monarch)

TaPele

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
18
I'm learning how to play the early game and I did it quite well in my current game (playing as Mao). I even managed to plan to assign scientists and bulbed philosophy (I felt I was Einstein for that move XD). Up to that point I was at the top of the chart, but for some reason I always tend to go to war... when maybe it's not the right time...
I guess I had expanded quite far and was losing a great amount of gold per turn at 100%, so that might have been something wrong I did. When is it the right time to expand. In regards to war, for instance, I saw that Englad (which had the juicy Holy City of buddhism, the official religion of all my continent) was pretty weak. So I decided to attack the English empire and succedded, took a few cities including London and vassaled Elizabeth. Though the buddist and confucionist Holy Cities came in handy, my treasure had been heavily hit and as turns went by, Babylon and Greece got over me in terms of techs. From that point onwards, I only focused on building as many military units I could and felt extremely hurried to attack other empires. I tried attacking SB but in the blink of an eye he got rilfes and I was beaten, signing peace through the AP.
Now I'm attacking The Netherlands and though it's going okay, Wilhem has airships and I'm not confident enough if I'm going to vassal him. Also Kublai Khan attacked me trough the southeast, but he's extremely weak (he had a Protection Agreement with Babylon)

The point is: how can I avoid wars? I tend too easiliy to think about attacking when maybe it's not necessary. When should I go to war? How do I know when (and how) to expand? If it's not through war, how do I get over other empires technologically?

I'm attaching my save if you want to take a look at it. Thanks!
 

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jnebbe

Warlord
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
285
Getting attacked can generally be avoided with good diplomacy. You want your own wars to be quick and effective. Having wars that drag on and on will drain your economy.

Military police isn't very good, Hereditary rule would be much better and would help your unhappiness situation.
Tech situation looks ok, losing 200gpt but gaining 400gpt at 0% is good. Looks like both kublai and wilhelm don't have rifling or steel so you should be able to run them over. Once you have 25 cities you can even fight against a tech disadvantage and just outproduce the ai.
Definitely trade some resources too, over 100gpt that could be traded for.
Lots of useless buildings, hammers probably better spent on units

All problems on lower difficulties stem from sub optimal early game so starting a shadow game and playing slowly so you can get advise early is recommended
 

georgjorge

Deity Wannabe
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
921
I second the opinion of jnebbe - at Monarch, you should be able to out-tech the AI even without war. So we'd need to take a look at how you can get better at those "Basics" (getting production and commerce up fast).

When you move up in difficulty, the AI gets better and better (ok, it cheats) in producing and researching. Wars are the one area where the human player is better, so wars become more and more required. At Deity, it's very difficult to win a single game without ever going to war.

As said before, you want to fight when you (not the AI) is ready, and you want it to be over as quickly as possible. There are some windows of opportunity for that with regard to technology, in chronological order:

Axe Rush, or Chariot rush - very early, effective if done with absolute focus
Horse Archer Rush - early, also needs strong early focus
Catapults with Axes or Elephants
Trebuchets with random Medieval units
Cuirassiers

...and so on.

It's important to decide early on when you want to attack, and then focus on it. That means settling cities accordingly, researching accordingly etc. in order to make sure of an early attack with those units. Don't get distracted by unnecessary buildings, wonders, or research targets along the way. Produce lots of them (Slavery is often your friend here), and overrun the AI. Do it again if the opportunity is still there.
 

Gumbolt

Phoenix Rising
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
23,732
Location
UK
From a quick look you have 4-6 defenders in many cities which is sub optimal. It's a shame you lack nationhood or you could draft rifles.

Just seems to little too late albeit you have the tech to turn this around.

Too many buildings. Most buildings are a waste apart from the basics like granary, library and maybe a few others like stables or barrakc sif you go war mode.

Your expansion at start looked okay date wise. Wasn't a great capital with just AH resources. Guessing you had a lot of forest.

Just finished off an immortal game on a huge map here. By 1660ad I had 60+ cities with 6-7 vassals. 1-2 AI dead. Was mostly using cavalry to finish this off. Here you have a good UU that can chew through most AI. Add in catapults/trebs and even with castles the AI cities will fall. That or go HA/Phants early on and add in cuirs. Not checked for Ivory, Early warfare on Civ 4 really pays off if you can take down an AI.
 

TaPele

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
18
Too many buildings. Most buildings are a waste
This is interesting. Do you mean I should only build the most important buildings? Do you also mean that, for instance, a high-commerce city should have a market and a university, though those buildings in a low-commerce city would be wasted hammers? Is it useful to have cities that only produce wealth, science or culture forever?
 

sylvanllewelyn

Perma-newb
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
1,578
Do you have the starting save? Either the worldbuilder save, or one with no mods, or the latest BUFFY one.
 

soundjata

Be like water
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,038
This is interesting. Do you mean I should only build the most important buildings? Do you also mean that, for instance, a high-commerce city should have a market and a university, though those buildings in a low-commerce city would be wasted hammers? Is it useful to have cities that only produce wealth, science or culture forever?
Yes indeed.

A city goal is to produce hammers :hammers: and commerce :commerce:
You should almost never build a Market in a city because the investment is too high compared to the return you get.
Only exception would be a ultra commerce capitol or other very specific situations. (Rushbuy economy...)

A city should always build a granary because it helps with growth, and growth means more :hammers: and :commerce:
Other buildings are situational, notably :
A library in capitol and possibly a few other high commerce towns.
Barracks in cities that want to produce several units soon.

That is it for early game (up to ~1AD).
No other building is required in most cities most of the time.

Later in the game, large cities will require production enhancers (forge, factory, ...)
No other building is required most of the times :)
 

Gumbolt

Phoenix Rising
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
23,732
Location
UK
As per Soundjata. Of course if you capture cities AI build all this stuff for you.

If your traits permits and you get double production then sometimes forges and court houses are more interesting. Generally a city needs at least -9 to -10 costs a turn to make a court house worth it. Once key buildings are done often wealth is best build. That or military to beat down AI. Mix of welath and bulbing soon increases your economy. That and a strong bureau capital on the right map.

Your playing monarch so AI will be slower to expand and much slower in tech. 1760AD is late for rifles. Which suggest issues with early game as techs are cheaper on monarch for the human player compared to immortal or deity. Also means a CKN attack should of been easier here come 1ad. AI second city normally does not arrive to 2200bc or so. The danger is sitting back and just letting them expand as eventaully the AI expands and learns how to tech.
 

TaPele

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
18
You should almost never build a Market in a city because the investment is too high compared to the return you get.
Oh, really? Isn't that +25%:gold: useful? What about grocers? What about the happines and health bonuses of these two buildings? Thanks for your answers!
 

AcaMetis

Emperor
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
1,552
You mainly benefit from +:gold:% bonuses if you're not running your slider at 100%, and you want to do that as often as possible. Sell techs/resources, build wealth, failbuild wonders, etc. to keep your slider high. The added health and happy is usually not worth it. Maybe in a very large bureau capitol, but even than you're likely better off building wealth instead.

Another possible situation where you'd build the money buildings is when you capture a hefty shrine from an AI, or when you're using corporations in your corporate headquarter(s) city, since the gold they generate does go through gold multipliers. Although again this isn't necessarily worth it in all cases - if you're close to winning the game whipping out an extra unit or two will be more worthwhile than a market that never gets a chance to pay off.
 

soundjata

Be like water
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,038
Oh, really? Isn't that +25%:gold: useful? What about grocers? What about the happines and health bonuses of these two buildings? Thanks for your answers!
+25% can (almost) never be justified against the cost in hammers (150).
The market multiplies the gold income of a city after the slider is applied
Under normal circumstances, we try to keep the slider high on science (and low on commerce), that is why +25% is a rather unimportant.

Building a grocer for the happy bonus or a market for the health bonus is debatable in most cases and only applies in late game scenarios (before building factories for example)
You can win 99% of games without :p
 

Gumbolt

Phoenix Rising
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
23,732
Location
UK
Overall markets/grocers will not win you games. Better to take military tech advantages asap and rush a nearby AI.
 
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