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[BTS] I want to improve my early game with your advices

I wouldn't worry about bribing anybody to war. They need ships to reach you (right?) so you should be pretty safe. You have an awful lot of land all to yourself, more than enough to win the game. I would get Currency and Monarchy, settle all that land and grow your cities. You're going for MC for Colossus which is also not a bad idea. If you go for Colossus, you'll benefit from coastal sites (like Commerce Town probably could've been 1 square north). I understand that with Colossus, coast is better to work than cottages, so don't even build them in coastal towns until all the coast is being worked.

You have two golds to settle which will pay for themselves. A city NW of the barbarian sheep might be good. Your prospective "P" site looks kind of sad to me with all those plains; I might rather put one city between the Stone and the Wheat and then another for the Deer and Sheep.. oh my gosh you also have lots of Silver and Fur... (maybe you need that Deer for the Silver, if there's no southern seafood). You may not even need Monarchy. With MC, Forges will give you +2 happiness. Settle your land and win the game. Build lots of Workers!!!
 
Yes, Monarchy is a very valid keyword, here.
Hum... I suppose that Code of Laws is another.
The thing is, it is surprising that an AI has Alphabet already, but you shouldn't count on trades much more. Monarchy is good for the happy surplus. CoL is good for the specialist bulbs options. Monarchy is probably the safest, more linear option. CoL needs a lot of food surplus, which you seem to lack.

Looking at your screenshots, my first thoughts were :
- Well, settle the islands. With the GLH already built, their net worth is very high.
Then, you also need to do some backfilling in your own land. And this is a little trickier. Your starting area has not gifted you with a great plot of land (which is to be expected under the settings you're playing, Tectonics & all - Tectonics is known to be a very poor template). Acquiring more commerce is actually quite difficult.
The Khmer cities are quite good. Your 2 original ones are pretty bad (Fish city can be devolved to specialists hiring). Backfill cities can work some food (sheep/deer) but will never contribute a ton of commerce.

If you want to go peaceful about this (you can), you need to ask how to raise the commerce output.
To me, offshore cities are the simplest answer. You probably need to do more than that (multitask, that's also the game), but that's one excellent opportunity.

NB : note that the trouble with Monarchy (or Hereditary Rule) is that you don't need the extra happiness if you lack the food surplus to take advantage of it.
I'm unsure whether you have the food surplus or not. The Khmer cities seem to have it. Your Malinese cities don't. The land is just too brown/hilly.
Edit : Am I contradicting myself ? Yes, both CoL and Monarchy need food surplus to yield great results.
 
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Round 104:

I managed to get a barbarian city at the coast. It wouldn't be my long-term best position, but it's okay. 3 resources in inner ring doesn't need fast expansion.

View attachment 612504

I keep it and build a worker. I am short in workers...

Ideally - and this is a long shot : all games have their particularities -, you would never build a worker in that city, you would start on a granary.
It is a common play to grow City 2 to size 2 and whip a worker. In this case, the city that has been built the most recently contributes the workforce.
But.
In this scenario, there are only 2 cities to play with. And City 1 is also probably contributing to expansion.

Let's look at a workboat and it will become clear.
Say you settle city 5 by a fish. Where should the workboat come from ?
It should be externalized . This is the clear answer. Another city, with the production, should build the workboat.

It is the same with the worker.
I'm not saying it's easy to achieve that. Sometimes it even is not possible. But it is the goal.
The cities with the greater production should take on, and anticipate, on the builds of those items (workers, workboats), so that the newer cities develop faster.

The earlier you are in the game, the more a city should take care of itself (producing workers and such). The more advanced you are in the game, the more you should be looking to jump-start that city (like chop a Granary at size 1).
I'm not sure where you produced it but, in your map, it's clear (to me) that the workboat for city 2 needs to be built in city 1. Because city 1 has that much more production.
You get what I'm saying. I'm not sure what you did exactly.
 
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I wouldn't worry about bribing anybody to war. They need ships to reach you (right?) so you should be pretty safe. You have an awful lot of land all to yourself, more than enough to win the game. I would get Currency and Monarchy, settle all that land and grow your cities. You're going for MC for Colossus which is also not a bad idea. If you go for Colossus, you'll benefit from coastal sites (like Commerce Town probably could've been 1 square north). I understand that with Colossus, coast is better to work than cottages, so don't even build them in coastal towns until all the coast is being worked.

You have two golds to settle which will pay for themselves. A city NW of the barbarian sheep might be good. Your prospective "P" site looks kind of sad to me with all those plains; I might rather put one city between the Stone and the Wheat and then another for the Deer and Sheep.. oh my gosh you also have lots of Silver and Fur... (maybe you need that Deer for the Silver, if there's no southern seafood). You may not even need Monarchy. With MC, Forges will give you +2 happiness. Settle your land and win the game. Build lots of Workers!!!

OK, that's a good idea: Not building that many huts, but working sea tiles instead and settling on new islands. I played a bit further until currency. Some cities have instantly 15 commerce after founding.

Yea, the fur. But it is somewhere, where I cannot build a city, which has more than 1 food tile. I don't know... when would you found it? I delayed it, because it's effects are just getting +1 happiness and fogbust the south (the barbs are really annoying there!), some extra resources, but it will develop slow and costs more than I get.

Yea, the P side is not strong, it delays on outer-ring resources to do something which is good and it's only use will be fogbust and producing units. So it's sad. The complete inland is sad... I planned the palace city south from barb sheep, but this needs many troops to get rid of it an thenafter a long period of time until it can start to be useful. Settling the inland is a pain... settling the coast is far better.

And no, there's no seafood in the south. Just a cold ice-desert...
 
Here is the situation in round 180:

I got currency, monarchy, colossus, CoL (founded confuzionism without converting). There are 9 possible city sites:

upload_2021-10-25_12-55-55.png


1) has wheat, sheep, stone, but only plains
2) has corn, shares horse with the city east, some grassland and some sea tiles. Relatively dense to actual palace
3) has fish and some hills, makes it a solid production site with a good lump of commerce
4) is the position south the barb sheep, which I planned as central palace location. It can get 2 spices (one on plains, one on grassland), a little pond and one gold. After 3rd ring it could connect the second gold (which isn't that great, cause the other civs have gold too). To settle here I need to kill the barb city,
5) is the northest part of the starting continent, having wheat, clam and plenty of sea tiles
6) connects iron and has plenty of sea. It seems, there is Pericles around in this area, which is not contactable from the others
7) is a site on the most northeast island. It has 2 clam and iron.
8) most south. It has one deer, one silver and one fur. Third ring will give another fur and another silver. But it has not even a grassland tile...
9) is the most east area, giving silk, iron and fish. Solid commerce area and important to block Ragnar, who want to expand here

Where would you settle first?
And how would you manage to build buildings?
Where would you set up Moai?

Learning: When I just have 1 food tile and no production tile, son't start with library. That's a pain.

I think about settling at 7 at first. Here's a big picture:

upload_2021-10-25_13-8-20.png
 
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CoL needs a lot of food surplus, which you seem to lack.

Why? I don't unterstand...
I don't run caste, I want to get the courthouses. In some cities I have -8:gold: upkeep cost.

Looking at your screenshots, my first thoughts were :
- Well, settle the islands. With the GLH already built, their net worth is very high.

That's an argument for building the planned island cities at first.

Then, you also need to do some backfilling in your own land. And this is a little trickier. Your starting area has not gifted you with a great plot of land (which is to be expected under the settings you're playing, Tectonics & all - Tectonics is known to be a very poor template). Acquiring more commerce is actually quite difficult.
The Khmer cities are quite good. Your 2 original ones are pretty bad (Fish city can be devolved to specialists hiring). Backfill cities can work some food (sheep/deer) but will never contribute a ton of commerce.

The problem is: It won't just not contribute, it will cost and have probably a negative net worth. Now what to do now? Accept this for the additional resources, fogbusting and a production site - or postpone that further?

NB : note that the trouble with Monarchy (or Hereditary Rule) is that you don't need the extra happiness if you lack the food surplus to take advantage of it.
I'm unsure whether you have the food surplus or not. The Khmer cities seem to have it. Your Malinese cities don't. The land is just too brown/hilly.
Edit : Am I contradicting myself ? Yes, both CoL and Monarchy need food surplus to yield great results.

This problem exists only for the first, maybe the second city in the west. The other cities, especially the coastal sites have enough food surplus to keep even an 12 people strong city growing. Here's a problem to decide, whether to whip, to use commerce tiles or to break growth for running specialists...
 
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Question on diplomacy

The diplomatical situation is quite comfortable here: We have 3 religion-founders, plotting each other. Ragnar came to Brennus. I have founded Confuzionism.
How would you act diplomatically here?

1) Would you take the religion bonus (e.g. building bonus 25% for running organized religion) and sacrifizing the neutrality?
2) Would you stop trading with one of them when asked from another? Or would you go to war?
3) Would you actively bribe for starting wars?

Staying completely neutral and gathering economic advantages seem a good solution for a while, but I don't build up a friend. But do I need that? In aspects of research I have run 'em out.
 
You should really post saves. 7 cities by 100ad seems low given all the land.

Adopting religion can annoy ai.i generally let them spread to me. Have a plan if you do intend to adopt your own as Ragnar is a war monger.
 
Here are some saves. They tell the story of the last some turns. If you have an hint, if there's a more effective gameplay, I would appreciate that. Thanks :)
 

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I'll give you some advice in this thread, but I'm only an Immortal player, so please do take the Deity players' advice more seriously than mine.

Why? I don't unterstand...
I don't run caste, I want to get the courthouses. In some cities I have -8:gold: upkeep cost.

Caste likes food surplus so you can run lots of specialists (each of which eats two food). Without the Pyramids (for Rep) and Philosophical (for GPP) though, specialists are not all that attractive, especially compared to working Financial Colossus coast tiles. I think those tiles are almost certainly better for you than specialists.

That maintenance sounds super duper high for Prince. I guess those are your island cities? Even at those costs though, I think courthouses are probably not the best use of your hammers. You'll be spending 120 hammers to save 4 gold per turn. Worth it? Maybe... If you turned those hammers directly into Wealth, it would take 30 turns for the courthouses to beat them in value. But Wealth is a bit more versatile and you don't have to wait for it to finish to get the benefit. I dunno. You can maybe make some immediate cash though by selling resources for gold per turn. If you can get 4, you basically got a free courthouse.

I didn't realize earlier that you had both GLH and the Colossus. You definitely want as many coastal sites as you can get then. Settle as many cities along your coastline as you can fit; they will all make you $$$ and can immediately start working good unimproved coast tiles.

I didn't realize also that you are on the same landmass as everyone else. You probably should've prioritized those eastern sites (to block land) before settling those islands. Definitely head that way now. I'd be thinking about 1N of the eastern sheep for Fish, Iron and Whale. Settling all along the coast should pay for your expansion -- those cities should be a net gain.

The interior of your area is not that good, but it still has lots of resources to work and is worth settling too. It looks like you can easily get to like 15 cities even if you don't settle on the islands anymore.
 
Start with your capital. Size 5 by 100ad is not good. Great you built Collosus and Great light house. You have 2f 4C sea tiles and you are not even using then. These easily out rank 1f3h tiles. This city should of been growing on the 2 food tiles.

Djeanne is much better. Size 9 and you are using the cost tiles. Great.

I would of been whipping settlers at size 6 in your cities. There are 3-4 coastal sitess not yet settled. Plus a barb or 2 that need capturing.

Buildings. You have spammed court houses and religious buildings. I rarely ever build walls. All not needed. Maintenance wise the cost needs to be 8-12 before it is really worth the 120H investment. Even then some will tell you it's a waste. You would of been better off building settlers.

4 trade routes alone is worth 8-10 commerce a turn. Keep spamming the cities. On Immortal the Ai could have 8-10 cities by now. Prince AI expansion is slow.

So settle cities 2/3/5/7 (7 Next to the 2xclam so move 1E. Always try to settle with food in inner ring. I would of done that for fish/horse site.

I would whip 3 of your largest cities for 3 pop for a settler. Need 10 hammers before whipping plus size 6.

You probably wanted more workers. So much forest left on this map. Chop chop!!

Overall expand more. Stop building buildings for the sake of it. Get a few axes or skirmishers out and capture the barb cities. Only key buildings here are granary, librbay and light houses for the financial bonus. 2F4C is a great tile.

Lean to run science at 100% tax/science. Never at 60%. As you lose commerce when rounded up and down by game.

Target espionage against a certain AI.

If you really wanted to you could spam horse archers and take down 1-2 AI here.
 
1.6. City expanding and winning the races

Round 218 - 670 AD

I decided to push the settling inland. My 2 space were not the original ones, but good compromises. Soon I get stone, which can be useful for Sangkor and Spiral, which I like building at Prince.

upload_2021-10-25_17-27-48.png


upload_2021-10-25_17-30-3.png


Now it's 11 citys altogether, I have 6 more good city sites left.

What happened additionally?

- Won the music race
- Built Great Library and Zeus
- Now going for optics to win the ship race, finding new civs and spread confuzionism
- Converted to judaism. This way Ragnar likes me

(Additional I built masses of troops because of the barbs, means they won't attack)

I think, it's time to prepare the win. I assume, there are 2-5 civs elsewhere. I know, someone got Theology, but Philosophy and Divine Right wasn't researched yet. And I know, the remaining civs don't build wonders in big numbers. There's just Stonehenge elsewhere.

Question 1:
I have a Great Artist (didn't use him) and get a Great Merchant soon. I will get Great Scientists soon too. What would you do with them?

Question 2:
How do you realize a tech advantage into a fast win, especially what would you do in this situation?
My only way so far was spamming wonders and winning in the end. But there must be other options...
 
Caste likes food surplus so you can run lots of specialists (each of which eats two food). Without the Pyramids (for Rep) and Philosophical (for GPP) though, specialists are not all that attractive, especially compared to working Financial Colossus coast tiles. I think those tiles are almost certainly better for you than specialists.

Until astronomy, so far. Yes. I will research astronomy relatively late, wouldn't you?

That maintenance sounds super duper high for Prince. I guess those are your island cities? Even at those costs though, I think courthouses are probably not the best use of your hammers. You'll be spending 120 hammers to save 4 gold per turn. Worth it? Maybe... If you turned those hammers directly into Wealth, it would take 30 turns for the courthouses to beat them in value. But Wealth is a bit more versatile and you don't have to wait for it to finish to get the benefit. I dunno. You can maybe make some immediate cash though by selling resources for gold per turn. If you can get 4, you basically got a free courthouse.

Well, that are the eastern cities from Suri. I think about the calculation. What do ou think about these 2 spy points? Are they negligible? So 2 courthouses double my spy points, though... setting my slider from 0 to 10% it drives 'em from 10 to 35...

I didn't realize earlier that you had both GLH and the Colossus. You definitely want as many coastal sites as you can get then. Settle as many cities along your coastline as you can fit; they will all make you $$$ and can immediately start working good unimproved coast tiles.
I didn't realize also that you are on the same landmass as everyone else. You probably should've prioritized those eastern sites (to block land) before settling those islands. Definitely head that way now. I'd be thinking about 1N of the eastern sheep for Fish, Iron and Whale. Settling all along the coast should pay for your expansion -- those cities should be a net gain.

Yeah, I thought about it. Now Ragnar has taken a barb city there which means, I get the sheep only when I take up a border conflict with Ragnar. Would he declare war on me then, even when he is Pleased now? I think about taking 9 and 10A soon. Or would you take 10B? It's nearer to the fur, this way I don't need to settle a city in the nearly useless inner land more east.

upload_2021-10-25_17-55-20.png



The interior of your area is not that good, but it still has lots of resources to work and is worth settling too. It looks like you can easily get to like 15 cities even if you don't settle on the islands anymore.

Mhh... from the last picture with numbers 1-9 : Would you settle that one spot, which has only deer, silver and fur? It seems a bit too expensive...
 
You do realise inland cities don't get the GLH bonus? Awdaghost is horrible. No 2f tile in entire inner ring. Wonder spamming is also poor play. Play with a strategy to win the game. You razed the barb city? Why?

Overall civ 4 is converting land into power. The more land you have the more science/hammers you have long term. Your best tiles now are food resources and perhaps strong commerce tiles. Not sure what you are trying to prove here.

Guessing you played on before reading my previous post. You ignored my double clam advice to settle closer to the iron. I guess with music you can run culture? You should do that in your gold and 2xclams city.

What is your plan to win here?
 
Start with your capital. Size 5 by 100ad is not good. Great you built Collosus and Great light house. You have 2f 4C sea tiles and you are not even using then. These easily out rank 1f3h tiles. This city should of been growing on the 2 food tiles.
Djeanne is much better. Size 9 and you are using the cost tiles. Great.

OK, thanks! I changed it in my whole empire now and it was effectively in bulbs.

I would of been whipping settlers at size 6 in your cities. There are 3-4 coastal sitess not yet settled. Plus a barb or 2 that need capturing.
Ahh... question back: Assuming, the barb cities are not in optimal spot, just suboptimal. Would you conquer or raze at this point of game?

Buildings. You have spammed court houses and religious buildings. I rarely ever build walls. All not needed. Maintenance wise the cost needs to be 8-12 before it is really worth the 120H investment. Even then some will tell you it's a waste. You would of been better off building settlers.

OK, I really should think about it. In former games I built courthouses everywhere. Now I am doing this only when maintenance is high. But what is high? Here we see one city now: Would you build now or still doing others? Maybe you can give me feedback on the city :)

upload_2021-10-25_18-0-41.png


4 trade routes alone is worth 8-10 commerce a turn. Keep spamming the cities. On Immortal the Ai could have 8-10 cities by now. Prince AI expansion is slow.
So settle cities 2/3/5/7 (7 Next to the 2xclam so move 1E. Always try to settle with food in inner ring. I would of done that for fish/horse site.

Mhh... that would solve the problem for first needing monument or library before using the best spots. Building that was a pain at the central spot.

I would whip 3 of your largest cities for 3 pop for a settler. Need 10 hammers before whipping plus size 6.
You probably wanted more workers. So much forest left on this map. Chop chop!!
Overall expand more. Stop building buildings for the sake of it. Get a few axes or skirmishers out and capture the barb cities. Only key buildings here are granary, librbay and light houses for the financial bonus. 2F4C is a great tile.

OK, I will use this in my actual game, settling 3,5,9 next, and thenafter again for 3 more cities. The empire can finance it for now, and it seems I am still research leader, when I am running at 40%.

It seems, that this will be a topic still for the next games :)

What do you think about harbors?

Lean to run science at 100% tax/science. Never at 60%. As you lose commerce when rounded up and down by game.
Target espionage against a certain AI.
If you really wanted to you could spam horse archers and take down 1-2 AI here.

Mhhh.... something we could try. I need Construction for that, which can be a good goal after optics. What would you do? Vassal them, razing them or conquering em? When I conquer and vassal I have the problem with the culture.

I need some more input about espionage and this rounding problem. I read about it, but didn't understood enough. Do you know articles?

Bis thanks!
 
Well. Now round 227, after the hint with the settlers we have 3 additional cities on the planned spots.

These are the remaining city spots: (A,B,C)

upload_2021-10-25_18-53-16.png


I adopted the way to build culture (forgot about this, but now I know). Now stone is available. Two cities have stales and are spamming horse archers now.
 
You do realise inland cities don't get the GLH bonus? Awdaghost is horrible. No 2f tile in entire inner ring. Wonder spamming is also poor play. Play with a strategy to win the game. You razed the barb city? Why?

Overall civ 4 is converting land into power. The more land you have the more science/hammers you have long term. Your best tiles now are food resources and perhaps strong commerce tiles. Not sure what you are trying to prove here.

Guessing you played on before reading my previous post. You ignored my double clam advice to settle closer to the iron. I guess with music you can run culture? You should do that in your gold and 2xclams city.

What is your plan to win here?

I razed, because this barb city wasn't optimally positioned. I like to had it one south to get gold in outer ring. Now I have sheep, iron and 2 spices there, gold is coming soon. Awdaghest is a weak spot, yes. Longterm it is medium, but it's a god way to get a second gold and stone. I plan to use it as production city.

Here they are:

upload_2021-10-25_18-56-7.png


Mh... I want to train quicker wins now. In other games I would win after gunpowder. Here I could wander through Brennus land, vassaling the Inca, thenafter going into persia with pikes and razing/conquering them. After that the other civs around the world and at last Ragnar and Brennus.

I don't know enough about diplomacy or culture victories. What would you do?
 
Now that Awdaghost has the 2nd ring, it should be working that Wheat. It's still working the 1F1H tile when it has much better available.

Try to be careful about what tiles your cities are working.
 
I would of captured the barb cites. Remember for each zero food tile you run a city it is slowing down growth. Gold tiles are nice but they need decent food resources or you end up with a size 1-2 city. Why waste units t capture a city to just raze it then spend 150 hammers on a settler?

-6.65 maintenance is not high enough for a courthouse.

I can't remember last habour I built. Useful for Vikings?

I would of rushed map with HA. Purely because Ai are so slow to get going. Cuirs are the go to unit. Gunpower/military tradition and HBR required. 12 str unit that when whipped in numbers can walk over a map.

Just run 100% science when you can afford it and 0% when you can't. Reading articles now will just confuse.

You can also run wealth and science which is often better than building buildings for the sake of it. Helps push science and allows you to run 100% science more often.
 
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