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Important Concepts?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by ElCommanchero, May 7, 2013.

  1. ElCommanchero

    ElCommanchero Chieftain

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    Hey guys. Finally moving to Civ4 after a while with Civ3 (I was a bad bad player though) and now I want to actually be good at the game. There are some things I don't understand though and I'd appreciate a hand.

    Wonders; As a bit of a tryhard, I get irritated whenever the AI beats me to a wonder and it often results in me trying to "overextend" with wonders instead of expanding or something. What wonders are actually worth taking?

    Military; I've gone through peaceful stages and warmongering on Civ3, but I can't tell the right way to be in Civ4. It seems awful hard to be a warmonger in Civ4 due to some great defensive units combined with negative diplo modifiers like being a warmongerous burden on society or whatever. Should I just try to culture flip people?

    Specialists; I hate using specialists. No real reason, just some prejudice that showed up. Are they actually that useful?

    Importance of Food vs Hammer Vs Commerce; What do I do? I gravitate toward floodplain/cow/pig land but often it leads to no hammer cities taking 2000 turns to actually build anything.

    Thank you for your time!
     
  2. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    Taking? Well, almost all of them are worth taking.... :hammer:

    Pyramids and the Oracle are very strong when they fit your strategy. Great Lighthouse when your map is giving you a lot of coastal city locations. The kinds of maps that make the lighthouse tempting often favor The Colossus as well.

    The national wonders (Oxford, Ironworks, National/Heroic Epic, etc) are a lot more important to understand.

    No. Learn how the siege units and the collateral damage mechanic work.

    Outside of some specialized circumstances, not really. But specialists produce great person points; enough of those accumulated in a single city produce a great person, and those guys are extremely useful.


    Food is hammers.

    Your instincts there are good. Much food + not enough hammers can still contribute in a lot of useful ways. Much hammers + not enough food is a drag on your game.
     
  3. lymond

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

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    Welcome to CFC! :)
    Generally, especially for newer players, I recommend focusing on expansion and economy as your first goal. (Just note that you can't expand nonsensically like you can in 3, as maintenance cost will kill you before you establish your economy)

    Some wonders that may be worth trying for in situations are Oracle, Pyramids or the Great Lighthouse. Great Lighthouse is great on more watery type maps or maps that will likely having you settle a lot of coast.

    Keep in mind though that on lower levels, which I'm assuming you are playing now, that once you learn some few basics you should be able to easily expand at the recommend pace and get most of the wonders you want. As you move up levels you have to get more selective about the wonders you build.

    Land is power though, so the most important thing is always securing a decent amount of land at certain benchmark dates - peacefully or agressively. Wonders can always be captured.

    Warmongering is not as hard as you think or necessarily as punishing dipo wise. It's all about making the right decision about who to attack and when. Civ 4 is often about finding allies and creating enemies. As you play more this will start to make more sense.

    Culture flipping can be unpredictable and take too much time so it's often not a viable alternative to war, especially early game. I would not focus too much on that approach at this time. There are alternate ways of playing the game, especially with espionage, that bring up interesting culture flip approaches, but that is too advanced for you right now. Focus on basics.

    Specialists and Great People are highly important in this game. Learn how to use them. Learn how to generate the Great People you need and use them in a strategy. Do not neglect this aspect of the game...do not!

    First and foremost you want a library up in your Cap asap to get scientists running for your first Great Scientist. Use it to create an Academy in your Cap. This will help out a lot in your game right now as lower levels. Later on as you get more advanced and move up levels you can try some bulbing strategies. After the first academy, great people are highly valuable for bulb strategies.

    This is a good question that hits on probably the most important concept of the game. Civ4 is first and foremost about FOOD. FOOD is king in this game. You don't realize it now, but food does generate hammers. For one, settlers and workers are also built with food. Secondly, the single most powerful civic in the game is Slavery, which allows you to turn food into hammers. Learn how to use this feature. We can go into this more later, but read some articles around here.

    So you do want try to settle cities with as much food as possible. Hammers and commerce are important too. If possible, you always want to get at least a couple of hills in your cities, or some production resource. Occasionally you will settle cities that are heavily food oriented and less so hammers, but these are still great cities with multiple uses.

    Keep reading up around here. Heck just glancing at other threads on this forum - there are always ones like this - you can glean a lot of info from the discussion.

    If you really want to learn fast though, post a learner/shadow game here. Post a start save and screenshot, with the settings. Get advice and then play very small turnsets, getting advice between each turnset. You will improve immensely in a very short time.
     
  4. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    This game is all about putting pieces together ;)

    Easy: Take a city with much food. Switch into Slavery. At size 4, notice you can whip a granary with no hammers at all (after 1 turn). Watch your city grow back (and beyond) quick now. At size 6, notice you can whip a library with no hammers.
    Means: 1 population whipped = 30 hammers, and for each population you want to whip away you need 2 city size points (why you need 6 for 90h library).

    Run 2 scientists, and later explore what you can do with the result great person.
    For example let's say you have a city with 2 gold mines, run him over there and build an academy. Watch how much faster you can research now.

    These test chains are what helps improving most quickly in new games, the key here is..ignore everything else, when done with your test take another aspect, and test that thru.
    Finishing and actually playing full games is never helpful at start, it's just fun for seeing everything ;)

    It's worth noticing that wonders are the last step you should take, as they are special in improving plans you already understand and learned. They will boost certain tactics, but you need to understand those first.
     
  5. ElCommanchero

    ElCommanchero Chieftain

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    I sort of understand the value of whipping. But on that note, are Granaries actually good? I try to avoid building maintenance and I never needed them in the other game. They are more useful here? It's cool that you can whip a Granary straight up though. What about the unhappiness penalty for repetitive whips?

    I will post a runthrough of me playing soon hopefully.
     
  6. lymond

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

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    No building maintenance in Civ 4. Their are certainly other types of maintenance costs though, but none with buildings.

    Granaries are unarguably the most important building in the game. Not building them is an invitation to a suck party.

    Managing whip unhappiness is a matter of practice and situational. There's no easy answer to give here other than once you learn more about the game you will learn how to deal and manage it. it's a balancing act.

    And I doubt as a new 4 player that you even begun to realize the value of whipping.

    Great stuff, Fippy..as usual ;)
     
  7. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    There's no building maintenance in Civ4. Whip misery wears off after ten turns. You'll probably come across references to double-whipping: losing 2 population and gaining 60 hammers. One benefit is that it takes a bit longer to regrow the city, if it takes 10 turns to regain the 2 pop you lost that coincides with losing whip misery after 10 turns leaving you free to whip again.
     
  8. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    If you ask that, no you do not understand whipping ;)
    Seems your first step should actually be forgetting about most of your civ habits.

    Everything besides wonders can be easily whipped in this game, all you need is population..so of course granaries are "good", they make your cities grow much faster.

    Biggest problem i see..these advisors and hints give out so many newbie tips, like "avoid unhappy citizens at all cost". Just an example, but probably the worst..population is good, happy or unhappy, if you are in slavery they are like banked hammers.
    These horrible tips result in newbies taking off food tiles, avoiding growth..only once you manage forgetting this crappy stuff, you will really understand this game.
     
  9. ElCommanchero

    ElCommanchero Chieftain

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    Oh what, there's no maintenance? My whole existence has been a lie...
     
  10. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    There's city maintenance based on the number of cities and distance from capital (which can get pretty expensive and certainly prevents ICS) and unit maintenance but no buildings maintenance.
     
  11. Quibblesome

    Quibblesome Warlord

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    The decision to whip is based on a number of things:

    * Do I need this now?

    Settlers at the start, a war timing.

    * Will this building help future whips?

    Like a granary or a happy building (as it will offset the negative whip effect or help refill the population more quickly)

    * Can I whip in this city?

    Does the city have good food? If there is no good food then a whip will probably hurt you more than you need the hammers. If you're working a lot of cottages in a city and need the income (e.g. you're fast teching) then whipping might not be a good idea.

    While whipping is a really important concept to master with whipping you need to remember that while its usually a good choice it isn't always the best choice and it depends on the tiles being worked.

    Other pointers are:

    * Whipping at 0 production confers a penalty. You usually want to wait a turn of production before whipping a fresh building/unit
    * Usually you want to whip as much population as possible. A 2 pop whip is better than a 1 pop whip (same -happiness but more hammers)
    * If you run the BUFFY mod then you get reminders about when whipping becomes possible.
     
  12. Handel

    Handel Prince

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    Using the slavery to "whip" buildings is actually a way to transform the food into hammers. Besides in the early games you don't need all the available buildings in all the cities. Often granary, library and courtyard are enough for a very long time and they are easy to whip or chop (plus a barrack for unit-production cities - but you should be having a lot of hammers in the unit production cities anyway). Sometimes you need fine tuning - quite often the unit production cities don't generate enough commerce to make the library useful etc.
     

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