I don't get this game-I'm still losing...

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by joe6778, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. joe6778

    joe6778 Prince

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    I came back to this game after a hiatus of a couple of years to give it another try. I loved Civ II, but I never liked Civ III because I thought that the AI cheated and I got totally frustrated when my rival civs were so far advanced and I was always outnumbered.

    My latest tries at the game have reinforced that feeling.

    I am in my third game as the Americans at Warlord difficulty using almost all the default settings. I'm up to 1545AD against three rivals (Maya, Zulu, and unknown.)

    No one will trade or negotiate with me for anything even though I have given in to all their demands. I can't even trade maps. I don't understand why this is.

    In addition, I am in last place in all victory categories although I have been balancing my advances, buildings, and units in both culture and military (only because I am so far behind militarily.)

    I can support about 18 military units. I have about 70, but I'm still weak compared to Zulu and about equal to Maya! I can hardly ever build a wonder before someone else does. And all my rivals are more advanced than me.

    I have about a third of the number of cities as my rivals, even though I have sent out settlers as soon as I could.

    I am no stranger to strategy games and I have read the tips on this forum and elsewhere.

    Any ideas why this is happening? This is WARLORD setting, for Pete's sake!

    I'm about to give up on this game for good unless I figure out what's going on. :confused:
     
  2. CharcoalDioxide

    CharcoalDioxide Chieftain

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    Start at Chieftain.
     
  3. sirdanilot

    sirdanilot BBcode owns in sigs!

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    No. I suggest not to. This is because chieftain gives you bonuses which will allow you to always be ahead in tech and wonder building over the AI, which might make you lazy.

    What you should do is the following:
    1. Pick a win condition BEFORE YOU START. Best to start is something peaceful, like the Space Ship (culture requires a different strategy) or perhaps Diplomatic. Don't worry, you will have to war anyway to grab enough land for a peaceful victory.
    2. Only build units WHEN YOU NEED THEM. Only build buildings WHEN YOU NEED THEM. Many newbies try to build every building in the list; don't! It costs way too much time and upkeep.
    Want to go for cultural victory? Sure, then build temples everywhere. But otherwise temples aren't really needed; the luxury slider is more effective for the happiness. You might want culture to avoid flips in enemy territory (when invading the AI), but otherwise it isn't really that important.
    Units shouldn't just be stacked somewhere in your homeland. Build them only when you need to invade the AI. A couple of units to prevent sneak attacks (which won't happen much at warlord) will be fine.
    2. If you want to invade, BUILD ARTILLERY and use it offensively. It's very effective.
    3. build ROADS ROADS ROADS ROADS ROADS. These generate commerce so you can advance scientifically, support more units etc. But what do you need to build them? That's right: WORKERS WORKERS WORKERS WORKERS. You need LOTS of workers. Develop every single tile that is being worked on. Roads will also ease military movement, but the most important thing is that they generate commerce.
    When in early game, please note that you shouldn't irrigate a tile that already generates 2 food. This means: do not irrigate grassland, but mine it. This is because of the despotism penalty. Of course irrigating plains is fine.
    4. It is very important to expand QUICKLY in the initial phase of the game. Grab as much land as possible. This will reduce the need for an ancient age war early in the game, which might cripple you economically. Make sure to kick out the AI when they are trying to send a Settler'n'Spear through your landmass for that one unoccupied tile to plop their city on. Or better: make sure to get every good city spot first.

    These are just some general tips. Some players who are more experienced can perhaps provide some more details.
    Also, look in the various guides on this site. Search the forums for desperate threads made by other newbies: someone may have given some good tips.
     
  4. Turner

    Turner Deity Retired Moderator

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    Giving into their demands and trading are two different things. When the AI demands something, it means you have what they want. Be it a tech, map, whatever. You don't have to give into their demands. Now, if they perceive that they're stronger than you, this could lead to a declaration of war. So you need to decide when that demand screen pops up if a war is an okay thing for you now. When you're wanting to trade with the AI, then you have go give them something worthwhile for the trade. Usually this is gold. If you have enough, they'll trade with you. The AI has a value for everything, and trade is a possibility. (There are somethings that you simply can't trade, like cities, unless it's a very specific time.) So if you're wanting to trade with the AI, then you need to make sure that your economy is set up to do so. Get out of Despotism as soon as you can. Monarchy or Republic is your best bet. Monarchy if you war a lot, and Republic if you're more at peace. Republic, when you get good enough, can be devastating in war. The AI generally changes government in war. Now always, but a lot of times they do. If you are on par with the AI, and go to war with them, and they get out of Republic and you don't, then economically (assuming you survive/win the war) you can pull ahead of them. Democracy during war time can also be done, although this is much harder and war weariness kicks in sooner with it. Anyways, get into monarchy or republic. Road every tile your citizens in the city view are working. This will increase your commerce, and it adds up. Trade every tech you can to every AI you can. This may seem counter intuitive, but you need more than a tech to produce a military unit. You need cash, and resources. If the AI has no access to horses (rare, but it could happen), then trading them Military Tradition means that even though they bought the tech from you, it's useless to them because they can't build the unit. And now, not only can they not build the unit, but you have their gold too.
    In this case, I would focus on one thing and go with that. Either build up your economy and buy techs from the AI, or build up your military and take them. Going the balanced route when you're that far behind can only put you further behind. You're going to have to trade with them somehow. Do whatever you can to get those techs. Techs get cheaper when more civs know them, so just because you can't buy them when only one AI knows them doesn't mean that you can't buy them after the rest of them do.
    Don't build wonders, take them. Sure, you don't get the culture from it, but you do get the rest of the bonus'. While the AI is spending all those resources to build the wonder, you could be building up the military to take it. Wonder addiction is a hard thing to break.
    Read Bamspeedy's Babylon Deity Settler factory. While it was done on Deity, the concepts apply to all levels.
    This is good. But ask when you don't get something. After all, that's what we're here for.
    Yeah, and it gets worse. ;) But learning the game on Warlord is good, and can give you good habits for higher levels. You're got some decent bonus' on Warlord, and can build cheaper than the AI can. Well, actually, your cost is always the same, the AI's is higher in Warlord. When you get to Regent, it's an even game.
    There is a learning curve that is steeper than other games. But I've been playing this game for over eight years, and it's one of the two I keep coming back to.
    Chieftain would be easier, but it also can give bad habits. There is no penalty for deficit spending like the rest of the levels, and Chieftain is known to give a lot of bad habits.
     
  5. Mursi lives

    Mursi lives Warlord

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    It is difficult to give specific advice without a save. All I can say is that with only 18 support either you got very few cities or they are not growing. Did you start in an island with no fresh water? Also having a still unknown rival in 1545 AD is a huge mistake: not only you cant trade with him but the number of beakers required for a tech decreases with the number of known rivals already having it.
     
  6. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    "joe6778"
    "I came back to this game after a hiatus of a couple of years to give it another try. I loved Civ II, but I never liked Civ III because I thought that the AI cheated and I got totally frustrated when my rival civs were so far advanced and I was always outnumbered."

    The game is actually cheating in your favor at Warlord. It imposes a handicap on the AI below Regent. There is a cheat at all levels and that is that they know the disposition of all tiles at all times.

    This was not done to make them stronger, rather it was done to make the programming easier.

    If you have a good start location and are behind in tech, you have not managed well enough.

    "No one will trade or negotiate with me for anything even though I have given in to all their demands. I can't even trade maps. I don't understand why this is."

    Are you including gpt in those trades? If you are, try making an offer without gpt. You may have broken your reputation. In that case, no gpt deals can be done.

    On simple test is to offer a loan deal. Ask for 10 gold and offer 2gpt. Nothing else in the trade. If they refuse that you have a rep problem.

    Your map deal is of no interest, IF the already know the map. I would have to see the deals to know, if they are a fair offer from the AI perspective.

    "I can support about 18 military units. I have about 70, but I'm still weak compared to Zulu and about equal to Maya! I can hardly ever build a wonder before someone else does. And all my rivals are more advanced than me."

    First ignore talk of playing at Chief, that is of no value. Ignore talk about no wonders. You should be able to build as many wonders as you wish at this level, given a good start and proper play. I do not even agree you need a victory condition in mind.

    In fact you should be able to do anything you please. They really have no chance. How many units you can support is a function of many things. Mainly the government you are in and how many towns you have.

    Different governments offer different levels of free units and support per town/city. Being weak is a rough comparison of offensive units. If you are making mostly spears, you will look weaker than if you have warriors or archers.

    Being less advanced is ok in the early game, especially versus expansion civs. They will pop huts and not get barbs. If you are still behind as you near the end of the AA and certainly in the next age, you can be sure you have not managed things optimally.

    They are paying more for things than you are, so you should do better than they.

    "I have about a third of the number of cities as my rivals, even though I have sent out settlers as soon as I could."

    If this mean you have 8 towns and each of them have 24 towns, you have not expanded well at all. This is likely a function of not focusing on expansion.

    If you are interested in improving, I will post a road map of Warlord. I put one together awhile ago, but did not post it as the players had stop coming around by the time I finished it.

    If you are in fact playing from poor start, then you have a different issue. If your start includes a river and some green in the capitol, then you have a decent start or better.
     
  7. joe6778

    joe6778 Prince

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    Thanks for all the replies. I have already followed a lot of these suggestions in the past.

    The problem I have is that the AI is more advanced in everything regardless of what strategy I use to play the game or which victory condition I'm pursuing.

    I'm preparing to win by any option available; I want to be ready for war, and I want my culture, tech levels, etc., high so then I can exploit a weakness in a rival. But that's the problem: I'm always behind all my rivals! How can they all be ahead of me if I've used sound (at least in other games) strategy?

    That's what I don't like about Civ III: the AI, even at Warlord difficulty, gets all the advantages.

    For instance, let's say I'm behind on certain culture or wonders. Then it would stand to reason that I would at least have an advantage in military units so I could get aggressive and TAKE what I need. Surely the AI can't build and support all that tech AND their military AND build and manage so many cities AND build all those wonders. But it does; I'm behind in everything!

    I have four settlers with no place to settle. I have 70 military units, but it's still inferior in number and technology. My buildings aren't boosting my civilization enough, or keeping my populations happy, because they're always on the verge of revolt. So I'm forced to devote money to luxuries instead of science, slowing my tech advances. And to top it all off, I can't get help from any rival for anything!

    I have played and won many Civ II games on higher difficulty levels, but I've never been able to beat Civ III on anything above Chieftain. Very frustrating.
     
  8. Hellfiredoom

    Hellfiredoom Warlord

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    If you're in 1545AD and can support only 18 military units that tells me your not using workers effectively. Build a great trade network, hook up some luxuries, and build the size of your cities.

    Also, instead of America (Industrial/Expansionist) try a Commercial and/or Agricultural tribe. Better yet, try Iriqious which is both.

    I was in the same boat last Fall before finding this website. I played Chieftan usually, Warlord when I wanted "a challenge". After finding this site and reading as much as I could in the strategy section, I quickly moved to Monarch where I win 100% of my games, and play Emporer when I want a challenge.

    Post a save so the experts here can give you detailed advice, and read some of the strat articles... it's worth your time.
     
  9. joe6778

    joe6778 Prince

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    This is my saved game.
     

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  10. darski

    darski Regent in Training

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    if you are playing as Abe, build 2 more scouts as your first builds and send them out to open huts... that gets you a lot of techs right off the bat.

    I would also suggest that you read some of the Best games from the Stories and Tales index. I learned more by reading these than any other way. There is also a list of Training Day games - that helps too.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=106017

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=123736

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=344235

    I am still playing at Warlord since buying C3C. I just love the game so I don't worry about playing higher.

    Oh... here is a strategy that you might find useful. This is my default game if I can't decide on another Civ to try

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=300696
     
  11. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    "joe6778"

    "The problem I have is that the AI is more advanced in everything regardless of what strategy I use to play the game or which victory condition I'm pursuing."

    Then as I said, you need a new strategy. In my warlord roadmap I think I conquested them by right around 1400AD. I did not even have a war, until the end of the middle ages.

    "I'm preparing to win by any option available; I want to be ready for war, and I want my culture, tech levels, etc., high so then I can exploit a weakness in a rival. But that's the problem: I'm always behind all my rivals! How can they all be ahead of me if I've used sound (at least in other games) strategy?"

    Either the start you had is poor or the strategy is poor or the implementation of the strategy.

    "That's what I don't like about Civ III: the AI, even at Warlord difficulty, gets all the advantages."

    I already told you they are given you the advantages. They pay more then the std amount. The std is 10, they pay 12 at Warlord and 20 at Chief. This means a 10 shield unit cost you 10 and cost them 12.

    A 200 shield wonder cost them 240. In vanilla I once played a warlord game and did build evey wonder in the game. I am not sure if that can be done in C3C, but you can come close. The AA has more wonders in C3C, that is what can get you and you need Ivory for SoZ.

    "I have played and won many Civ II games on higher difficulty levels, but I've never been able to beat Civ III on anything above Chieftain. Very frustrating."

    Civ2 was a very very easy game to beat, even at deity. Civ3 is not hard, but you need more than a couple of exploits to beat the higher levels. Everything you learn in Civ2, just forget in III or IV.

    In the first few years I would run into a lot of II players struggling in III. They keep trying to play civ2 and it does not fit.
     
  12. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    Joe, I looked at just the town planting times. It is a sure way to get into trouble.
    T0 DC
    T35 NY
    T74 Boston
    T106 Philly
    T129 Atlanta

    129 turns and you have 5 towns and they are not well placed and are very far apart. 15 towns by 1310AD. Many have towns from other nation inbetween them.

    I had 10 by 510BC in the Warlord game. By 1310AD I looked at a pix and it looked like 50 or 60 towns.

    It is a good idea to have continuity in your empire. No spaces or small ones, except at the far reaches.

    The little I noticed was that towns had cath/col, that should not be need at warlord. I do not even use them at Sid in most cases.

    These are not bad structures, but building them kept you from making settlers and probably workers when they were critical. Later they kept you from get the troops you needed to be strong.

    The lack of solid expansion meant that you did not learn techs at the pace you should have and missed out on any trade opportunities. Every thing that was not done optimally or even reasonably early magnified as you go along.
     
  13. joe6778

    joe6778 Prince

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    I couldn't really build a lot of towns right off because building settlers took too long and my rivals were building too close to me. That's another thing I dislike about
    Civ III; I'm playing against only three rivals on a normal sized map, but my rivals are already right on top of me and encroaching on my land.

    Is the key to this game just building as many towns as possible as close as possible and forget about the military and improvements/techs? I don't see how I can have productive cities if I'm building so many so quickly.

    I have a pretty fair amount of workers and improvements going though, don't you think? BTW- what is meant by trading gold for "gdp"? Also, why aren't any rivals trading with me?

    Is this game salvageable or should I start a new one?
     
  14. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    I would start a new game, play the first twenty to thirty turns, and then post that save here. You might want to include a brief description of what you do each turn and why. With only a few units that won't take very long.

    When you post the save, be sure to include things like map size, land type (pangea, continents or archipeligo), difficulty, allowed/not allowed victory conditions, barb settings and number of AIs. These can be determined from the game, but it makes it easier if you provide them.
     
  15. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    A std map has 5000 tiles and 8 nations. If you have 4 total nation on 5000 tiles, I would expect you to have 15 or more tiles to the next one. You could end up with a poor distribution, but even so that is not an issue.

    Expanding is the most important thing. That must be tempered with military in some situations. That should not apply at Warlord. Building them "as close as possible" is not required. I prefer CxxC, must many tout wider spacing.

    I would not advise going beyond CxxxC. I would say 13 workers is no where near enough. That is less than 1 per town. You have a lot of forest and many swamps. So much could be done.

    "gdp" is a mistype, it should be gpt. That is gold per turn.
     
  16. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    I just checked and you have a busted rep, so no gpt deals. Why did you not try the test I gave you? They will trade you for a lux, but they have little to offer other than techs. I just dialed up Shaka and ask for 5 gold and offered 1gpt and the advisor said that would be an insult.

    Given that is 20 for 5, if must be insluted as he knows you have broke your deals.

    Do not worry about being productive at the start of the game, worry about getting land. Then worry about improving it and then worry about keeping it. Then worry about taking theirs.

    I would imagine you can always win while still in the middle ages at warlord. I would say it would teach you less than try a new game and incorporate some of the things mentioned.
     
  17. joe6778

    joe6778 Prince

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    I don't know why I would have a busted rep, although some of my units have wandered into their territory, which is everywhere, but I quickly moved them off. Would that do it? Why do they have rights of passage and I don't?

    What is CxxC spacing? A city, two spaces, and another city, or a city, two city-sized spaces, and another city? If it's the second, my rivals will be building cities between mine before I can continue the development.

    Civ II and similar games stress building up existing cities. Civ III stresses getting as many cities started as possible. It becomes a race for land, even on the larger maps.
     
  18. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    CxxC is City space space City. This does a few things it lets you defend with any units, if you have a road. It also give you enough tiles for a city.

    They do not have an RoP, perse, they just ignore you, unless you are strong vs them.

    You can break a rep by having a deal per turn and then not delivering. Say you give a resource or a lux. At some point the tile is cut or is now in anothers border. You broke the deal. If it gets to them over a route that is cut off, say a barb galley on a coastal tile, etc.
     
  19. SKS

    SKS Chieftain

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    Hm.

    So breaking a deal gets you bad rep? One of my strategies was to trade an obsolete resource for a tech, then pillage it so I would deny them the benefit. Then again, I was riding high in military at the time, and everyone was already ultra-pissed at me for various invasions.
     
  20. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    Yes, breaking deals gets you a bad rep. It's not even necessary that *you* break the deal. If a barb pillages a road, or parks a galley on the trade route, your rep can be busted. War declarations among other civs, or against you, can also break trade routes.
     

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