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Immortal level Shadow game - Shaka of Zululand

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Peacefanatic, May 19, 2019.

  1. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I have two recent games that you can look at if you like, it's fractal though, not pangea but I have tried to keep details high, so that it can be of use for others reading.
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/deity-fredrich.645258/
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/a-game-of-kublai.645867/
    In both games I seem to be at about 5 cities around 1000bc.
    1AD I'm at 12-13 cities.

    Regarding research, it depends on so many factors... But generally if you have access to many AIs (and you do on a Pangea) just researching aestethics usually give you plenty of tradebait. You do have to put some beakers into alfabet to get the trade through though.
    Something one has to learn is to accept that you can't have everything. Making hard decisions of what you _really_ need and what you can do without is rather crucial.

    Regarding the chops question I asked.
    In your current situation here in this game, I think that chops should land in the granary or the library. I would absolutely not whip any of them, whips I would concentrate on settlers and workers. Trying to get as close at 39/100 and 29/60 as possible, carefully not going over that.
    Having a settler built at 39/100 and doing a 3pop whip gives you 30+ hammers overflow, that and a few chops will finish your granary.

    The situation you are in, is that you have alot of food, and less production. The whip turns food (or rather population) into hammers.
    A chop is 20 raw hammers, and it would be a waste to drop those into a worker/settler in this situation (imho).
    If you are in a more low-food situation, the opposite would be true, there you would want to have all food go into population to get your pop up, so chops would land into workers/settlers to conserve as much food at possible... See https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/nobles-club-202-churchil-of-england.639632/ for such a situation.
     
  2. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Just catching few random questions:

    I think I don't chop enough early on. You chop all your trees in the begining?
    Yes, almost all trees are chopped very early on. Can't have all those hammers lying around doing nothing for the cause.

    If you are playing a Non-Philosophic leader do you keep producing GP all game long?

    I do periodically, the normal pattern is that I generate 2-3 GScientists quite early on assisted by just libraries. Later it's possibly a pair more of scientists to bulb along the education line, or to bulb astronomy. After that it's usually a race to get either GMerchants to run trademissions for deficit research or unit upgrades, or just to crank out different GPersons to run golden ages.
    Phi or non-Phi doesn't really change this pattern much, what phi usually does however is to open up strategies to get out GPersons earlier and do some early funky stuff like bulb math for early rushes.

    I always leave the research slider either on 0% or 100%. Is this the right way to do it?
    Basically yes, although sometimes it's somewhere inbetween for a stray turn.
    You do this to avoid losing a few beakers in rounding errors early on, later on it's because you don't want to start researching a tech that you won't be able to finish. It's pointless to have a tech half-researched. Waiting and saving up cash also provides you with alot of flexibility to choose later when you are ready.
     
  3. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Peacefanatic
    Oh, and just in case there was any doubt. I look up to both @Fippy and @lymond as I think their skill is higher than mine, so whenever we hold different opinions and you have a hard time to choose, it's usually safer to go with their advice. :)
     
  4. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    Krikav has already written great stuff, but here are my opinions too :)

     
  5. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    I think the core of the problem seems to be something like "not founding good cities as quickly and efficiently as possible". I think it is very typical for people who are learning, so no reason to worry! Also, I want to point out that most of us are playing mostly deity. On immortal (and below) expanding swiftly is even better, because it's cheaper and barbs are less of a threat!

    Good answers by krikav and Fippy already, so I'll only add some thoughts on whipping:
    I very rarely stress about overflow, and while I think it's a mechanic a smart player can benefit from, the reason why whipping is good is not the overflow mechanic. These overflow :hammers: are not won in any way, they have just been in the bank (with 0% interest rate). Whipping is good because whipping transforms :food: to :hammers: at an excellent rate with a granary.

    Settlers and workers are the best whips by a big margin, because slow-building them transforms :food:to:hammers: at a weak 1:1 rate. Especially settlers should nearly always be whipped once you have access to granaries, since they can be 3-pop whipped.

    It depends. Mostly when I stack some whip anger before access to a lot of :), it's in my capital and happens very early. For example, having two strong food-tiles like you have now I just grow to 6, 3-pop settler, overflow to a settler, switch build to something else and repeat whip at size 6 without caring much of the :)-situation. As long as you have enough :) to work your high :food:-tiles, it's ok. A new city can take that :food:-resource if capital is not able to use it efficiently. Also, with new cities you can acquire more :)-resources...
     
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  6. ArchGhost

    ArchGhost Prince

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    Thanks for posting your thread, @Peacefanatic. I don't have as much time to play these days but the interactions people like yourself (and others like @OldDude) have with the helpful gurus on this site help me learn when I can stop in and read them.

    I play regularly on Immortal so I can give you a bit of a "feel" here, at least early on.
    Spoiler :

    If you are able to make the Alpha trade anywhere before T120 you're still able to recover enough to avoid being left behind (that is, you can get something to trade before everybody gets it themselves) if you immediately get Currency ASAP afterward. Reach Currency and there's a lot less pressure to keep up as you can support yourself a bit easier.

    My last game I was out to 6 cities around 1000BC (actually 950BC if I recall, a turn lost here or there picking out city sites), put on the brakes a little bit to get libraries up, and 11 at 25BC. I like to play expand heavy so disclaimer goes with it that it may not be the best idea to be so aggressive with claiming land when fewer cities will do! That was a CRE leader too. so got real aggressive with the grabs (because it's easier to build libraries when you need them and can be more reckless regarding city placement). Currency around T115 I think, late for my taste (I like T112 or earlier) but was fine in the tech race for the rest of the game.

    Typical AI alpha date is T85-95 on Immortal. They can be faster or slower, usually one of them is quite a bit earlier than the rest due to the way AIs tech (they know every player's tech progress and will try for monopolies). So if you can reach say Aesth by this time you can easily secure Alpha trade. AIs don't like to trade math early but prioritize it, so don't fret much if they have it. And if they go for wonder techs like Metal Casting earlier, it just means they'll eventually trade them earlier too.

    If you're having a bit of trouble doing that without early commerce focus, try settling 1-2 more spots that can support libraries (At least +4 food at size 3) and run a couple scientists to keep your tech moving forward. Also, if someone is close by, road into their trade network early. So that means Writing is important after you take care of all your worker tech stuff; I always tech Writing as the "out" of my opening as it's very important for trade routes, alpha, libraries, etc. but the timing can vary based on how much you have to do. Usually I like to have it not too far past T70, but I've gotten it quite earlier (T40s-50s) depending on the leader/start!

    That leads into what was said about realizing what you really need versus what you can stand to give up. Every non-essential tech you skip (or that can wait until you trade back for it) saves you time on getting through to Writing/eventually alpha. Ask yourself questions like "do I really need to tech AH? (based on Bronze/farmable AH resources/AGG warriors for barbs/etc)" "how bad will I hurt for commerce without Pottery? (gold/gem mine around/fishing start with coast to work)" "Do I really want the Mids or is it just a nice idea to think about? (remember you still have to HOOK UP the stone too)" "How squeezed will i be for land If delay whips?(how close are AIs)" etc etc. These questions shape the approach you'll take and help you understand what you are compensated with when trading off something else.
     
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  7. Peacefanatic

    Peacefanatic Chieftain

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    Thanks for your reply ArchGhost, I'm glad that you liked my post.
    I just didn't kept playing the game of this thread because it looked like the interest in it died.

    Some people in this forum are really helpful and have helped me a lot to improve my game.

    Thanks for your advice. I played a little bit this weekend with Kublai Khan and I was able to focus on food early on and leave cottages for later in the game and I really did fine. What you said about being able to catch up later on is really true. I'm surprised you can have 6 cities by 1000BC, as I usually have 4 around that time.
     
  8. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    I don't believe that to be the case at all. Keep in mind that you are the main driver behind these shadow games. We respond to you. No reason (edit) NOT to keep this one going.

    6 cities by 1000BC should be a minimum in most cases.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  9. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    6 citiies by 1000bc? Seems unlikely on every game. An HA rush may not be done by that date. Each game is different. Pends how hard you rex or how quickly you take down a neighbour. I agree getting up 6-7+ cities is important if you want to be winning a game. You don't win games with only 4-5 cities.

    I think this game has got somewhat bogged down with discussion.

    Don't let us play the game for you. Take on advice but also think on your feet. Small mistakes won't lose you a game on immortal. Albeit early turns define your game. You have good land where your old capital is. Also Indians as a possible early target.
     
  10. Peacefanatic

    Peacefanatic Chieftain

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    lymond you are definetely the person that helped me the most in these forums, I'm sorry if you felt offended by my quote, it was not my intention.
    I posted twice some movements that I did and asked how many turns I should play before posting here and nobody answered. I did not want to do like I did in another post and played like until 1000BC just to find out that's not how shadow games are played. But that's totally my fault, I should have learned better how those games are played before trying one.

    You are talking about standard size maps? If that's the case then I underexpand everygame.

    I have definetely learned good advices here and I apreciate that
     
  11. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Oh..ha..I'm not offended at all. (by the way I meant "no reason NOT to keep this one going) At a quick glance, it seems we may have missed some of your questions, and I'd yet to respond to them myself since your last post since basically I thought they were answered with all the follow-up response. My, Krikav and Sampsa all wrote a bunch of good nuggets for you. I'll try to be more attentive if you continue this one.

    As Gumbo mentioned, there are exceptions, but the idea is that you continue expanding to good land one way or another. You might stop early at 3 or 4 cities in order to rush a neighbor, if that opportunity presents itself, but you are still gaining more land and cities that way.

    But keep at it, it takes some patience - with yourself and with use - but you will get there.

    I'd give some advice on your last save now, but I actually have to run out for a while.

    on another note, please read the spoiler at the bottom of my post linked below :), that I just posted for another guy trying to learn here:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/immortal-game-need-advices.646190/#post-15459009
     
  12. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Peacefanatic There are SO many different angles to pick up and to cast light upon, questions on your part clearly asked and alot of things to second hand guess from the situation.
    Also, exacly how to proceed with a shadow game or this thread isn't really any of our calls to make. It's your thread and you should do what you are comfortable with.
    I think that you are clearly doing something right since there is so much activity going on in your thread.

    @lymond I'm truly blessed to not be a native english speaker, I seldom spot the errors other make (probably because I make them myself all the time).
     
  13. Peacefanatic

    Peacefanatic Chieftain

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    I thought you felt offended because you said "There is NO reason to keep this one going" :lol::lol::lol:

    You guys are very attentive and you certainly wrote some great advice for me. To be honest I just felt confused on how exactly to proceed with the shadow game.

    I'm reading it right now.

    Thanks for your answer. I thought there was a "right" way to play a shadow game. I'll play a few more turns then and post the updates here. I'm really glad I'm getting feedback from the game, I'll try my best to keep this going now.
    Also I went through your Kublai Khan game, that's why I played him this weekend. Definetely a great leader.
     
  14. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    There is alot of way to play a shadowgame right or wrong I guess.
    For me if there is too long turnsets I feel like I lose the ability to give constructive feedback. Events/huts are other things that put me off.
    But others might be more tolerant, so how right/wrong it is depends entierly on how useful it feels and how much activity we get.

    Nice to hear that you liked my thread, I put the extra effort into writing them partly to help others.
     
  15. Peacefanatic

    Peacefanatic Chieftain

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    I played a few more turns and I would apreciate some advice on how to proceed now.

    Now we have discovered mining and we are 9 turns away of researching BW. I was in doubt if BW or TW was the right tech to go first. TW is needed to connect cities and BW is essential to barb defense and finding cooper. Since we will have gold soon I decided to go for BW first and better plan our cities.

    Population has just growed to 3 and in 2 turns we will have improved both the pig and the corn. Our scout is fog busting the pig to the East and I'm thinking about sending the warrior to fog bust the fish and stone to the south.

    What should we produce now? Another Warrior? A worker? A settler? I'm inclined to produce another warrior while growing to population 4 and then start producing settlers. But I have found out in this thread that I build fewer cities and I'm really bad at claiming land, so I'm in doubt if I should start producing a settler right away.

    There is only 1 ai that we have not met yet and I'm pretty sure is Montezuma and I think he is right next to our East.

    Some screenshots below:

    Possibly Montezuma to our East:
    Spoiler :
    upload_2019-5-27_18-46-9.png


    Our scout to the west:
    Spoiler :
    upload_2019-5-27_18-47-10.png


    Land to the south:
    Spoiler :
    upload_2019-5-27_18-56-21.png


    So what do you people think should be our next moves and where should we place our next cities? Its 2840BC now
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  16. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Late here, can't comment too much.

    Next city I would place 1E of western pigs. A 6food tile with river, coastal access, forests and mines. This site has everything!
    But copper might have a big say too.

    BW before TW because of gold is good thinking, but there is things to say about that too.
    We are exp, so getting toward pottery is of great importance.
    1 piece of road won't speed up pig-city by a turn, that would require 3 roads and desert/hills/forests ones to boot, but if this wasn't the case TW first would probably have been better, it would also enable you to road the gold when you where there. Now you have to go there again.

    That does look like Montys color.

    Nothing nice to the east it seems.
    A southern city should be powered from settling at a position that reaches the pig.
    Southern shore needs to be explored in time to make calls for where to place city 4 (or possibly even 3).

    If nothing good is in the east, and Qin squeezes you from the west, you might have to split up that southern food wisely to make room for more cities.
     
  17. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Sometimes I forget you are not a native speaker, as your English is perfect as far as I've seen. Seems lots of Skandis speak English quite well. Finns too.

    I thought that was Zara over there.

    PF - Posting saves is really helpful as well..and resource bubbles.

    Probably doubtful those horse can be nabbed, although you could settle 1S of them and share corn. AIs tend to emphasize settling those resources, so I doubt it will be available. Krikav's pig suggestion is good. For one, it will lock down that area, but otherwise has a lot going for it. Copper reveal may change things.

    That ivory is just sitting there all lonesome surrounded by desert..i'd probably send the scout over there a bit to see if anything special is in the fog to warrant a city. Zara is a threat to settle the vicinity.

    Otherwise I do like a city 1SW of the Ulundi pigs, as it can share the pigs in lieu of thinking about fishing. Stone can be locked down later and use the sheep.

    oh..wait..your scout is spawnbusting right where it should. You can send the first warrior SE.

    i think i would start the first settler now. Basically slow build, but maybe after gold there is time to chop into it. Gold is certainly not in a convenient position.

    Try to max out food when you are growing.
     
  18. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Don't mean to de-rail, but got curious about this and investigated my spared autosaves folder. All games are deity/fractal under a no-reload policy.

    4 games until 1000BC

    Spoiler :

    Suleiman, 4 cities, apparently semi-isolated with Zara, :science:-heavy opening with an academy.
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0083.JPG


    Wang, 3 cities, just started HA-rush on Sury.
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0084.JPG


    Willem, 4 cities, planning elepult.
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0085.JPG


    Sury, 5 cities, going for marble stuff and probably cuir breakout.
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0086.JPG


    So for me, 4 cities seems to be the average by 1000BC. Admittedly you are able to expand more on immortal and lower so maybe 4-5 would be typical for me. Anyway, I'd say 6 cities by T75 is quite a lot, and you certainly don't need to aim for that in every game. :)


    More important than the amount of cities on turn N is how to take the game from there.

    1AD

    Spoiler :

    Suleiman, 7 cities, going for astro bulbs.
    Spoiler :

    Civ4ScreenShot0093.JPG


    Wang, 12 cities, aiming for cuirassiers.
    Spoiler :

    Civ4ScreenShot0089.JPG


    Willem, 7 cities, war is on hold but surely will wipe out Qin.
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0091.JPG


    Sury, 6 cities, going for cuirassiers.

    Spoiler :

    Civ4ScreenShot0087.JPG


    So in these, the average city count 1AD is 8 cities. The Wang game is in an insanely strong position but all seem totally winnable.

    Sidenote: one big mistake I see a lot is not growing your capital. When you have access to a lot of :) via resource trades or HR, just grow and work cottages. In these games, capital sizes are 10, 14, 10, 9. Happiness is a bit easier to get on deity (AI gets calendar so much earlier), but still.


    1000AD / end
    Spoiler :

    Suleiman, 9 cities, going cannon+janissary on my buddy Zara.
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0094.JPG
    Capped Zara and conquered the other continent 1735AD with the help of nukes.


    Wang, 23 cities, 3 vassals, final push towards conquest has begun.
    Spoiler :

    Civ4ScreenShot0090.JPG

    Won 11T later, so 1110AD conquest :king:, and this was the game with fewest cities 1000BC. Of course, as Gumbolt already pointed out, HA-strategy is not about expanding to many cities pre-1000BC.


    Willem, played only up to 860AD. Killed off Qin, at 12 cities now and can probably get two more quickly from Rams. Damn, can't attach more screenshots...

    Sury, 12 cities 1000AD, 5-city Willem as a vassal. Have played onto 1250AD and have 3 vassals now. Final war is beginning and it won't be a real challenge.

    All in all, 9 cities can be easily enough 1000AD if you are able to produce enough units to capture more cities. Then there are other victory conditions of course, I know I'm a very war oriented player...


    That got a bit out of hand, but I hope someone enjoyed these mini-reports. :lol:
     
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  19. Peacefanatic

    Peacefanatic Chieftain

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    That's exactly where I was thinking. That would be your first city?

    If there is cooper near we should focus on it for our first city?

    I have heard some people before saying that you should leave roading for last, but I usually think just like you. If I don't road now I'll have to walk everything again, and in this case is especially true since this gold in so far away. The other day I watched a game of a deity player called Lain (that's the name if I'm not mistaken) and he would settle a few cities without even connecting them, I don't know if I am wrong but I almost never settle a city without connecting it to other cities first.

    It could be him but in my games he usually has a darker kind of green

    If you find copper in a bad spot early on do you settle it as your first city?

    What do you think of 1E of that spot? It looks like a good place to me, the downside that I see is that we won't be able to share the sheep with a city to secure the stone

    I really liked it to see how you settle your cities, but it looks to me that you settle them so far away from each other, I tend to settle them as near as possible. I think I don't know how to choose good spots to settle.


    I attached the game as lymond suggested for anyone interested.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Good analysis, sampsa...nothing derails when it teaches. Yeah, 6 cities was probably overstating it a bit. And, well, Deity you certainly have to be more conservative generally with early expansion, or in some cases take what you can get. On IMM, it is not without reason to attain 6 cities reasonably, but the thing to take from this at least is to at least be in the process or thinking of further expansion around this point - conquest or not. Of course, sometimes the map can dictate things as well. In part though, while certainly overstated, I wanted to give a little perspective on 4 cities circa BS vs. 4 cities at like 1000AD :lol:

    1E of 1SW of Ulundi pigs? Not sure I see any benefit of that unless you explain it. 2S of pigs maybe. Little more scouting needed down there but warrior should take care of that.

    Copper in a bad spot? Depends on a bit on how much you need it early and how pressing it is to secure it...and maybe how far away it is.

    sampsa looks like he settles fairly compactly to me. most of his early cities look about 3 tiles apart...and some of the later pics show cities that were captured. Sometimes though you are simply settling best location based on the resources like food, or if you want horse online asap or something. And in the case of that Otto game, the odd land pretty much dictated his settling pattern.

    Settling compactly and overlapping to tile share is always good, but settling good cities is good too.

    yeah, I think that is Monty..oh fun

    BW is the right call here, and roading that Gold just takes way to long here to be concerned about it early. workers have more important stuff to do this early.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019

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