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Immortal - Space Race Victories?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Nick723, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. Nick723

    Nick723 Chieftain

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    Hi All,

    Thanks to the advice on these forums and watching a bit of YouTube, I can win pretty regularly on immortal by conquest / domination, in isolation, Pangea, continents, etc.

    However, I’ve been trying to branch out into some other victory conditions, and here’s where I’m struggling a little. I never had issues getting these on earlier difficulties, but on immortal I struggle. The point of these conditions for me is to try a different play style - so I don’t want to win space by getting just shy of the Domination limit and then turning to space, if that makes sense.

    For my peaceful immortal space games, I can normally get to 9-10 cities, and a comfortable tech lead in the renaissance era. My tech path is normally something like - usual early game techs -> civil service (bureau) -> education (Oxford) -> lib -> democracy (emancipation / US). Generally I try to cottage everything in sight and get to all towns ASAP. However I still struggle to keep up in the modern era, and also struggle to build parts.

    Questions / things I struggle with:
    - what should be normal tech path? (especially post lib - I feel I am directionless here)
    - how to use corporations, if at all? State property seems of limited value due to the relatively small number of cities, but I also struggle to get a meaningful number of resources for corps with my small empire
    - how to manage health / happy caps? With a small empire, I have relatively few resources. Should I build health / happy buildings? Should I just have more, smaller cities?
    - how to efficiently build parts? Should I workshop and if so when? I don’t like to replace a 2f1h8c town with a 2f4h workshop but is there another way?
    - how much to trade with AI? I’m never sure how much to balance my acceleration vs theirs. Generally I’ll trade away a tech if I can get at least 2x value for it, but I’m not sure if I should be more stingy.


    Help appreciated!
     
  2. lymond

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

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    If you win regular on Immortal, then you must be doing some things right, but I'm not familiar with your gameplay at all so no clue on what mistakes you can be making.

    With that said, more land is better for space. Space does not preclude war and actually getting close to domination is an optimal way of achieving fast space victories.

    Corps are actually better for larger empires simply to access to resources. Corps like Sushi and Mining , which are the usual go-to's when used, are not worth much if you don't have a good quantity of resources. State Property on the other hand is very powerful regardless of empire.

    Trading with AI and the nuances of that process is very important Building relationships via diplo so AIs will trade freely, but trading for good techs not small bad or worthless techs so you don't hit trade caps. This can save you a lot of beakers over the course of the game. Avoid techs that AIs prioritize like Feud and Machinery. If you are doing well tech wise you can boost AIs techs and kinda direct them toward techs you want later, but gifting or trading away techs for gold. You should always be looking at getting gold via trades.

    Acquiring vassals can be good too in this regard. Conquer and capitulate AIs and leave them reasonable land to be efficient. You can direct your vassals teching.

    Post Lib? Depends on what you Lib. In many cases I"m pulling a Military tech from Lib like MT for Curs and then go on a rampage to get more land and vassals. In your case, going peaceful I would try to get the best thing you can get while still ensuring you win the Lib race. Just really depends on how good your tech pace has been and the overall tech pace. Things like Communism or Bio would be really nice free techs on this level if not Military focused.

    Other than that, for Space I usually focus on things like Assembly Line for Factories and Superconductors for Labs. From there it would just be normal space requirements.

    Great people are very important and I"m not sure how you work with them. GSs early for fast Edu>Lib path and some other bulbs. GMs later for trade mission gold. Odd gps good for golden ages. An early Philo buib can let you run Pacifism very early for gp focus.

    Emancipation is something I avoid like the plague in most games. For Space you may have to adopt it at some point because the game runs later, but otherwise I want to run slavery or caste as much as possible. (If you have eliminated AIs or vassaled some you can often ignore Emancipation entirely) Anyway, the cottages you do need should already have developed long before Emanc. Workshops gain value later especially with SP.

    I will certainly bulldoze cottages late game during Parts building when teching is pretty much done. Note that you can prebuild improvements earlier and then switch over when production is the priority.

    Health/Happiness is relative. Trade for what you can of course. You may have to build a couple of building late game to improve the situation but your production should be very high at that point. Otherwise just manage city growth accordingly and run specs.

    If you have stone early, then Mids is always a good place for early Representation. Take advantage of that any chance you get.

    Anyway, I'd have to see a game to really know the details. Or you might post a shadow game here for learning.
     
  3. Nick723

    Nick723 Chieftain

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    Thanks for the quick response and helpful pointers. Indeed, I’m not the best player by any means, but keen to try some different ways to win.

    I came across this thread just now which explains better what I’m trying to do:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...-you-need-to-keep-up-in-the-late-game.651899/

    I realise this is not ‘optimal’ play, but I’m looking for different ways to win the game beyond warmongering (as its nice to have some variety). There’s some helpful tips there (in addition to yours) which I’ll try to incorporate into a game to post as an example.
     
  4. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    I've been thinking of writing a space victory imm/deity guide for a while but due to personal reasons my involvement here has been not as high of late.

    The gist of it is tech normally, breakout with a key military tech (MT/steel are the main ones), keep conquering until you have around 60% land area. Then, get communism->factories->labs, spam workshops, build research/wealth, and watch your bpt go above the 3000-4000 range (about that much without a golden age should be your endgame standard on most maps). Don't bother with corps; getting the right GP for them is a huge gamble, spreading takes too much time, and the costs are crippling on non-marathon speeds. Space win is basically ALMOST domination win except you stop a bit short and then simcity for the rest of the game.
     
  5. lymond

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

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    While I whole-heartedly agree with you, OP appears to be looking for a way to win space more peacefully with a smaller empire. I still think he should try to understand how to do it aggressively with a lot of land, but he needs a formula for small.

    Ofc, he can always try OCC space.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  6. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Oh, I may have misunderstood. I thought OP was looking for the fastest way to space win but was simply unaware of (or did not think of) that a larger empire would lead to faster times, especially since conquering takes a massive toll in the economy in the short term (though it is well worth it in the end), and without communism/workshops, just cottages/sushi take unacceptably long to pay off.
     
  7. Nick723

    Nick723 Chieftain

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    Thanks - indeed Lymond was right. Not that I wouldn’t be interested in such a guide to ‘optimal’ space victory, but what I’m really looking for is to try different play styles. A game where you essentially go within touching distance of domination and then hit the brakes, still requires you to play very similar to as you would for a domination victory, unless I’m missing something.

    There are some games where I just don’t fancy conquering the world - when it seems a bit of a slog. At the moment I’m not good enough to win space yet with just my ‘starting’ land. I’ll continue to try, but also if the answer is ‘you need to take out at least one AI’ to get up to 15-16 cities, then that’s fine. It’s still a very different game to the usual ones. I accept that this will mean a later victory date, less control, and is not ‘optimal’ play, but it makes a change once in a while from the relentless conquest!
     
  8. lymond

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

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    Yes and no, but the key difference here is that Space requires a tremendous amount of "balance". A pure Dom game you are basically shutting off certain aspects of the game by a certain point...like research.
     
  9. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    If you're talking immortal it should be doable most but not all of the time. The key aim here would be getting enough of a lead early on so that once the per-era bonuses start kicking in, the AI doesn't have enough time to catch up. Ideally, civil service by, say, 1000-500BC as all the other AI are messing around in the classical era, combined with a strong buro cap, should do it. On higher difficulties, on top of starting bonuses, the AI gets an extra x% bonus per era advanced. For deity, that means almost ALL costs for ALL AI (production, research, food) decrease by an additional 5% every era. No wonder that an AI with just 8 cities can 3-turn modern era techs by the time the lategame rolls around!

    On immortal it's not as bad but...you still shouldn't underestimate especially strong techers like Willem or Zara as the Apollo Programs start finishing.
     
  10. crullerdonut

    crullerdonut Chieftain

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    One small thing of note is that you should just ignore the Space Elevator wonder. You'd think that it'd be the fastest to beeline Robotics and then build everything with that bonus, similar to how it's often advantageous to drop your Research slider after you research Writing but before building a Library. However, it just doesn't work out in BtS. Unfortunately, in BtS, the Space Elevator requires Robotics, which is a totally unnecessary tech for building the Space Ship. So, you're stuck waiting ~15 turns just to research Robotics and build the Space Elevator, before you can take advantage of the 50% build bonus. It's better to just start building the Space Ship parts immediately.

    From what I remember, the consensus is that the only time the Space Elevator is ever worth it, is if you 1. have a Great Engineer that you've been saving, so you can rush-build the Space Elevator, and 2. you can somehow trade for Robotics from the AI for cheap. Even in this best-case scenario, you'll only ever save about 2-3 turns, vs. just building the parts immediately. Or, perhaps, you weren't thinking of going for Space Race and were going for a very late-game war, but then realized that you can't win, so you just shift your focus to the spaceship. I don't know if anyone has crunched the numbers for when someone is actively sabotaging your parts, but maybe the Elevator would be good then.

    In general, though, just try to imagine that the Space Elevator doesn't exist. It's a bit sad, really, though some mods have given it buffs so it's not so much of a trap.
     
  11. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Basically what I found was that it depends more on slowing down the AIs than on speeding up your own research. If you stop with a limited number of cities, you won't have enough research power to just blast past the AIs with their late game research boosts. Corps help a bit, but you probably won't have enough resources to really make them great. It might feel like you're up a lot in the mid game when you have a lead of 10+ techs, but they can still catch up. Those renaissance techs aren't worth much compared to the modern and future era techs you need to win a space victory.

    You have to use diplomacy to make them hate each other. Ideally the two best AIs will go to war with each other. If not, at least stop them from trading with each other. It's probably worth bribing them with technology to make them go to war. Also, defend against espionage so they can't steal your techs or sabotage your spaceship parts (put a spy and, if possible, a defense bureau in every city).

    It's definitely not an optimal way to play the game but I still think it's fun. It made me appreciate the late game stuff they added for Beyond the Sword.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
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  12. jmas

    jmas I Can Has Imperium?

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    Defending against espionage is good advice I think. However, it is my understanding that the defenses do not stack from having both a spy and a security bureau. So you can choose to have security bureaus in some cities and spies in others, no need for both.
     
  13. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

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    Yea on Immortal I find scenarios where going to Space is optimal very rarely. AI gets large bonuses in later eras where they can stay competitive with you even with an empire half the size. It's much less risky to simply invade them because with a bigger empire, you have a big production edge with whipping/drafting. If you have a 7-8 city empire, winning Space on Immortal is hard but in some games it's manageable if lots of backward AI's and lots of wars while you stay out of them.
     
  14. Snowbird

    Snowbird Warlord

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    In my experience, post renaissance immortal AI can't really keep up. That is assuming player's land is not half tundra or some AI trade festival (typically with Mali) isn't going on.

    If any complainers cared to show save maybe something worth discussing could be said.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  15. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    I should have said or. Yeah they don't stack for purposes of catching spies. But the security bureau is better since it also gives you espionage points and increases the cost to run missions against you.
     
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