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If monarch is too easy but emperor is too hard...

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by champ82, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. champ82

    champ82 Immortal Ruler

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    ...then let me recommend the settings to my current game.

    Monarch
    Random Personalities
    No space victory
    No culture victory
    Standard map size
    Normal game speed

    I suppose I should mention that I'm more of a builder than a warmonger. Which is not to say I don't invade, I usually do, but if I'm not provoked I might wait until rifling.

    Anyway, I have found that playing with random personalties can be very challenging. My neighbor is Wang Kong and he has been on my back since I just built long bowmen. Somehow he's been teching well too. I've never had a standard AI personality be such a constant pain in the ass. Every time I think I'm about to get a breakthrough tech, he gets something to counter it. Also, he played the diplomacy game very well, I've been the only one he's ever really messed with, so the others like him.

    Without the space and culture victories there has not been a lot of vassaling going on either. It's a tight race all around (6 civs left) and it's the 1940's. Everyone is running espionage super high. I haven't played a game this challenging in ages ince I cracked monarch about five months ago. Also it's challenging because I'm Spain and, well, especially on normal speed, they blow. Izzy's traits are OK, but what a short lived, non impressive UB. The UU isn't so hot either.

    I digress. The point is I tried Emperor probably 15 times and wasn't making much progress but going to space or winning culture on Monarch was too easy. With these game settings though, Civ has come back to life as a satisfyingly challenging game. I don't think I'll win it, but I might. It's good, close, hot civ action at it's best.

    I'll try to upload the save.
     

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  2. Tephros

    Tephros Caffeine Junkie

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    Well when I'm on the cusp I either do totally random games on the easier level to try to learn more by playing under circumstances I'm not used to, or look for ideal situations on the harder level. Since your quote says you don't reload, I guess you might want to try a few more random games on monarch and keep looking on here for tips. Not a big deal since you don't play marathon like me. :sad:

    No idea what the appeal of random personalities is. I like unrestricted leaders for keeping things interesting.
     
  3. schwanger

    schwanger Chieftain

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    It makes it more challenging because you don't know exactly how the AI's going to treat you. With normal personalities, as soon as you meet Montezuma, you know to prepare for the inevitable invasion. You don't have that luxury with random personalities.
     
  4. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

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    Wha...:crazyeye:

    The traits are nothing special, but the UB and UU rock. UB gives +5XP to siege which is ridiculous when with Trebuchets. Just delay Economics and research Steel so you can get CRIII Cannons out of the gate with a Barracks, Citadel, and Theocracy or Vassalage. UU is a Cuirassier that has a +50% bonus against melee (immune to Pikemen) and that receives defensive bonuses. You can take enemy cities out and hold them just with those things and a few spies to reduce defenses with no casualties whatsoever. CRIII siege is just extra. Beeline Military Tradition (need Nationalism which you can get as a free tech off of Liberalism and Music which you should self-research) and watch the Monarch AI fold in front of your eyes.

    Conquistador is top 5 UU or close to it in BTS and UB is one of the better ones. No doubt about it.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Indeed, with random personalities much of the high-end diplo manipulation is out the window. If anything, it makes the game more challenging. You can get a pretty good idea based on how the AI is acting but the ever-crucial "can this sucker dow at pleased" will be a huge mystery other than a select few personalities which make it obvious.

    Always interesting to have people who like US or emancipation turn into bloodthirsty warmongers.
     
  6. champ82

    champ82 Immortal Ruler

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    @ dankok8

    I never noticed that bit about conquistadors receiving defensive bonuses. That certainly makes them much more valuable.

    See, I do often play on Epic or Marathon, and for me, it seems Spain is much better on these speeds. But on this game I'm playing on normal. Spain just doesn't fit my style I suppose. I grudgingly build siege (I think about defense before offense), I love free market, and I also love the organized religion building bonus. I also make rifling a high priority, so...when I'm playing on normal speed both their unique building and unit are pretty short lived. I played a marathon game where Spain was my neighbor and I became more familiar with their strengths (and built Chithen Itza and made Engineering a priority because of it.)

    I also tend to build heroic epic in a city near the center of my empire and near my capital, generally on land that I can tell will be my 2nd or 3rd most productive city. I generally only build walls and castles on my border cities. So...I didn't have walls in this city. The time that it would have taken to build walls and a castle seemed like a waste in my main military city. Instead I build support staff for what I thought would be a mighty siege based army.

    I wasn't running vassalage or theocracy because the bureaucracy / organized religion combo is just too appealing to me (I guess you can tell, I am more of a builder than a war monger.) I also don't crunch the numbers enough with experience and how many promotions it actually gets you. Long story short I had like 7 trebs, some with city raider I and collateral damage, some with city raider II. Hardly seemed mighty to me. I guess I wasn't leveraging Spain properly. I'm not trying to dis a civ other people leverage right and I don't. If you know how to run Spain, more power to you.

    BUT the citadel is short lived, there's no getting around that. It automatically loses some points for that. In my book, the earlier you can build a UB, the longer it lasts, and the more universal it is (I.e. you probably want the stock building in every city or most cities anyways) the better it is. Examples – Inca, Mali, Zulu, Native American, Aztec, Sumeria, HRE. So in terms of your statement that Spain's UB is one of the best, I respectfully disagree.

    @ everybody

    My main point, I suppose, is that in this random personality game, I have a nasty neighbor who techs well. I think without random personalities, a third of the leaders are warmongers who's economies implode, a third of them are sissy techers or religion or wonder whores, and the remaining third can actually strike a good balance. In this particular game it seems like almost all of the AIs are like that. Plus when I meet a leader, I have no idea what I'm in for.
     
  7. JulesDogg

    JulesDogg Warlord

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    To the OP, any chance of uploading the 4000BC autosave. Might like to try it from the beginning.
     
  8. champ82

    champ82 Immortal Ruler

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    UPDATE -

    1.) I have uploaded the 4000BC save.

    I would be interested to know what anybody thinks about it. How they leverage Spain, deal with diplomacy, deal with Korea etc. (ah, but this isn't exactly the same challenge I had, because you all know that Korea, if left unchecked, will be super aggressive, and good with techs and diplomacy.)

    Any guesses or proof as to who's personality Wang Kong took over would be appreciated. I'm guessing Stalin, Alexander, Hannibal, Justinian or possibly Boudica.

    2.) OK I shouldn't have mentioned my take on the citadel or conquistador. I didn't leverage either very well. Anyways, I understand the UU and UB can be quite powerful in the hands of some. Some people are making very good arguments. They don't really fit my play style though, which is why, for me personally, this game is challenging, in addition to the random personalities setting.

    So I guess a good challenge for others might be to pick a civ that doesn't fit their normal play style, if they have one.
     

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  9. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Well one consequence of disabling space and culture victories is that very often you will get to engage in modern or future era wars. I usually play with both off because I just like blowing things up and nothing makes that pretty much the focus like having those off.
     
  10. Turquoiside

    Turquoiside Emperor

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    Conquistador is awful, and the same with the Citadel, Izzy's traits are her good points. Citadel and Conwuistador both expire to quickly, and Defensive Bonuses aren't enough to redeem its short time frame.
     
  11. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

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    If you beeline Mil. Trad., they don't expire quickly - Rifling is a looong way off. Even regular Cuirassiers are ridiculous... barely countered by Pikemen (even strength if equal promo). Conquistadors eat AI Pikemen for breakfast especially if promoted with CI/Shock and receive defensive bonuses (good luck taking out a CI/Shock Conquistador parked in a forest by your city). With spies, you can avoid using siege and just take out an enemy really quickly. I play normal speed and they are really strong - I would argue they are as strong as Cavalry before BTS because they have no counter (better against Pikes than Cavalry), are cheaper, and BTS brought 2 move spies for bringing down defenses. I actually like them more than Cataphracts as well even though both are great. Cataphracts require a weird tech path to get to (you sacrifice Liberalism) and are Cuirassiers that are not immune to first strikes so will lose some taking Longbowmen defended cities.

    The Citadel is obsoleted by Economics so don't research it. I think you need Economics for Assembly Line so delay it until then. CRIII Trebs and Cannons are amazing. With those and Conquistadors, you may not get to Assembly Line before the game is over. :D

    EDIT: War Elephants can fight Conquistadors evenly if they are on open ground and given that they are cheaper, they are a decent counter. However, Ivory is rare and AI never spams Elephants anyways.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Considering people rip civs to shreds with stock cuirassers.......................on immortal/deity..........you MIGHT just be able to find a window of opportunity on emperor.

    I've only posted like 5 games or so where I shredded an AI on emp+ with them. And I'm nowhere near the best at it.

    So tell me again how a UU based on them that defeats their only halfway viable counter pre-rifling is bad? It even defends, not that anything the AI has can actually attack regular cuirassers anyway.

    Seriously, this unit is a powerful, fast attacker until the AI gets RIFLING. There's no other military tech prior to rifling that unlocks a true counter to them. The exact same limitation is true of...well...both grenadiers and rifles. In other words, cuirassers are almost as good at attacking medieval junk as rifles (always over 50% odds of survival if you promote correctly, very frequently 75%+ odds to win outright), and both come earlier on the tech tree and MOVE FASTER. The 14 vs 12 str is a consideration, but don't forget that cuirassers have inherent immunity to first strikes...

    How is this a small window? I don't understand. I use them offensively more frequently than any other unit in the renaissance, unless I have to invade overseas. Pikes and counterattacks struggle even MORE against the UU.

    I even used them to win 2 wars in G major 40, which is a large/epic immortal game, and like I said...I'm just a copycat with these. Players who know what they're doing use them even better!
     
  13. CoZe

    CoZe Warlord

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    mounted units don't get defensive terrain bonuses.
     
  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    This UU does.
     
  15. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    My only major issue with Izzy is that you are forced into a specific tech line which makes you somewhat inflexible and some bad luck can hurt you. That said most of the time it doesn't matter because her benefits are pretty crazy. Basically because of the CRIII cannons and the Conqs you get one HUGE window of dominant warfare in the middle of the game ... from Conqs until you have to tech Assembly line (vis Corporation) you have full military advantage ... this is a pretty large window and should be enough to win almost any game. Spiritual really helps here as you can afford to switch into and out of the military civics when you are building up your army of super units (and really thats what CRIII trebs/cannons and Conqs are).

    I've found myself either successfully going with an early Great Lighthouse economy (Holding off economics is really one step shy of holding off on Corp and while not ideal the GL can float your economy without Economics well enough) or with an SE (SE benefits from Mercantilism which is IZZY's only real option). With Izzy you can afford a single early war (or even general peaceful Rexxing if you get the opportunity) followed by relative peace/prosperity until you get those conqs and level the world. They are definitely one of the best UU's around and since most people already base their offensive strats around the base unit its not hard to adapt to an even better version of it.
     
  16. Tephros

    Tephros Caffeine Junkie

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    LOL Conquistators are the only UU I've played with where it doesn't always make sense to upgrade them! :crazyeye: Conquistadors are definitely a top-tier UU.

    The UB is mediocre because Castles are mediocre. If I don't have stone I usually don't even build castles, unless I have the best defense quest. +5xp is substantial, but you have to go out of your way not to obsolete them before they become useful. I like to get to economics relatively quick, especially if there is a risk the AI will do it first. That free merchant is great for a golden age.
     
  17. Peachrocks

    Peachrocks Too Fast For Blazing

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    I'd like to know which personality Wang Kon actually is. I know there's a way but how can you tell who is who (aside from guessing with favourite civics), I don't want to know before the end of the game but I like to see how close my guesses were.
     
  18. mechaerik

    mechaerik Tuturuu!

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    Well, Clearly this has become a discussion over Izzy and Spain. Let me throw in my 2c.

    The Citadel is a good UB, but unfortunately it does obsolete. But i build walls in every city, to prevent attacks from my enemies and the barbs:mad:. The extra trade route is good, as is the Espio bonus. However, siege weapons are essential for a military campaign, and thats where this UB shines.

    The Conquistador was excellent back when it replaced the knight, but it is still decent now. Rush Conquistidors for maximum shock effect, and you might do some damage before melee units go out. The Recieves defensive bonuses is just icing on the cake.

    hahahahaha- Nice save name.

    Either way, good luck on that Korean trouble. And if that fails, mod in a new difficulty:lol::lol::lol:.
     
  19. nanomage

    nanomage Longbowman

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    But let me bump up with the same problem as the creator of the thread :lol:
    Is there any guide or walkthriugh or set of tips anywhere to improve gameplay enough to win emperor? I have tried it about 15 times (Yes! magical number) so far and even when my poor people don't get wiped by barbs or some bloody ShakaZuma, i feel unable to win. The last game i play I had both jumbos and gold near capitol but I'm last at score by 500AD with my only friend J.Ceasar at the second last place. I managed to build a sizeable army, but those AI's are attacking like mad and all this army does is running here and there to mince a next AI's stack. It fights all right, but i can't even conquer a single city and feel I'm falling back in tech. My poor Roosevelt will hardly stand a test of time :(
    I must have been doing something awfully wrong :confused:

    Can someone guide me to any kind of walkthrough or set of tips anywhere to improve gameplay enough to win emperor? Or maybe someone will help with a bit af advice? I'm blaying bts, huge map, tectonics, marathon (edited to add that) everything else random.
     
  20. Skallagrimson

    Skallagrimson Deity

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    I usually start a new level on pangea/epic/standard, and finish it on continents/normal/huge.
     

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