I'm trying to improve in Civ IV, but I can't get how to focus and get the most out of the LT+UU+UB combo. In Civ V and Civ VI these combos were huge advantages and clearly pointed towards a certain kind of victory. But in Civ IV bonuses aren't that overpowered, I mean, build twice as fast a few buildings isn't that thing, but having +3 combat strength in your cavalry units (as Genghis Khan has in Civ VI) does make a huge difference.
My question is: how do you play to effectively use this combo and turn the odds in your favour?
Hope you get my point.
Right. I forgot to include that!. Hence, also, how to play taking advantage of LT+UU+UB+Starting tehcs (though the latter kinda speaks for itself how they have to be used)
As I only sorta know a bit about Civ6 other than Civ4 and CivRev....
yeah Civ6 pushes you much, MUCH harder into thematic choices on victory types, buildings/districts, and even tile improvements based on your leader. And there are much more way in the way of trade-offs due to district locations and buildings having maintenance. No such thing exists for like 95% of Civ4 and you don't ever need to lean into what a leader does best in Civ4 as long as you cover the fundamental bases. If you WANT to pull off a thematic strategy like this, there are options available like Egypt's war chariots, the Incan Quechua nonsense, Viking Berserker raiding etc. with varying levels of impact and success...but you are never pigeonholed into such things.
In fact as you move up the difficulties in Civ4, there's less "messing around" that you do in regards to development, tech choices, diplomacy etc. and more normalization as the AI will bury you, if you don't what you are doing, with their handicaps. The chief reason I don't like playing on Deity is it is so seemingly rigid in this way if you want to win, and I don't have nearly the grasp of this game to force a little alternative spice into it like I can just one difficulty lower.
Land is power, food is king, and armies win games in Civ4. About as basic as it gets. But as drewisfat gave some examples of, this doesn't mean you can't play into certain focuses of a leader or civ to make those fundamentals happen. It just won't be your primary focus like a super-fast science win with Korea or Russia in Civ6, it will just be a stone stepped on to the rest your goals throughout the game.
Starting techs are easy. Food is most important, then production, then anything else. Accordingly Agriculture and Mining are the best techs, and the best way to utilize your starting techs in any start location is improve your food, get producing on settlers, and tech what you need along the way. There is a very cut and dry hierarchy on the usefulness of starting techs that is dictated by where you start. Example: Fishing is better on Archipelago than normal, but may be entirely useless on a Pangaea in an extreme case. etc. etc.
If you want a run-down on how to best use traits, just search up any of the "best/worst trait" or "trait tier/ranking" threads on here for plenty of discussion of the traits' strengths and weaknesses.
Uniques are very hit and miss, and I'd only really consider a few of them so impactful that you could be crutching on them...mostly the Quechua, War Chariot and to a lesser extent the Fast Worker or Praetorian which even has a reputation for it. As for buildings only really the Terrace, I guess, fundamentally changes things in an impactful way in the early game, but HC already starts with Monument access so it wouldn't be a huge issue anyway. Weaker examples would be the Ikhanda (it's not THAT good) or the various courthouse UBs like Sacrificial Altar, Rathaus, and Ziggurat.
As for specific complaints (observations?) about certain discounts and UUs/UBs lacking impact...well it heavily depends on exactly WHAT the example is and how important it is, especially at the stage of the game it's being evaluated.
Cheap Temples from SPI or Cheap Universities from PHI? Yeah, not so great as temples are already cheap and you can win the game before universities would even be relevant.
Cheap Granaries from EXP? Quite a bit better, as you will be putting a Granary in every city and they are one of the earliest buildings.
Cheap IND Forges when you are still REXing? Maybe not so great
Cheap IND Forges when you are in full whipping unit production/war mode? Amazing.
A Unique Marine unit? So late in the game, it's pretty pathetic.
A Unique Worker or Warrior unit? Especially that can upset the balance of the normal unit? Game breaking.
A trickier one: A Unique Cuirassier? kinda late right? How good can that be? Well with a counter-melee inherent ability and the ability to gain defensive boni...it TRUCKS everything in the era it is used in until Rifling rears its head.