In which I fail at Civ5

coanda

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May 12, 2009
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Well I put off getting Civ5 for a long time - initially because my friends gave negative reports, then just because I had other games I was playing. But the recent Steam sale reminded me that I never tried it, it was dirt cheap, and I had some spare time... so I figured I'd give it a shot. This is Gold Edition, so it's with G&K as well as (I think) most of the DLC.

I consider myself a competent Civ4 player and a decent strategy player overall, but I've never played Civ5 or even seen it played prior to this game. So the first thing I did was pull down the Civilopedia and spend half an hour reading about all the new game concepts... now to play a game.

I figure I'll get useful advice from helpful folks here, learn some, fail horribly, and a good time will be had by all laughing at my hubris. Because I've made just one minor change to the default game settings...

Spoiler :


So I drew Darius of Persia.
Spoiler :


According to the Civilopedia, that makes my Golden Ages give my units a movement and strength boost, gives me a slightly stronger spearman, and gives me a bank which gives a nice happiness boost. None of those sound like a big change from core game mechanics, so I don't see any reason for this to predispose me to any one game plan.

Starting location:


I moved my warrior 1E then 1SE and, not seeing anywhere better, settled in place. My offhand instincts about this start...
2 luxury resources, so I should have significant happiness early. The oasis and copper are my strong early tiles, so getting Mining will be a priority. I'm a touch short on food here; I'm hoping to offset that with a granary (I noticed that in Civ5 those apparently actually generate 2 food).

You couldn't go wrong with opening worker-first in Civ4 and I doubt that has changed, so I'm going with that again here. Each tech choice will take 9 turns, so Mining first is the obvious choice (that way my worker can mine the copper as soon as it pops).

I do a bit of exploring, and pop my first goody hut - which gives me a map.


I seem to be on the northwest coast, so my warrior will swing south a bit with his scouting then circle back to the two additional ruins that map spotted for me (as it turns out, I ended up getting +1 population from one of them, and Masonry from another).

When my city grows to size-2, I manually reorganize the tiles I'm working. Growing onto more 2-food tiles is pretty useless, so I need that worker out faster. Instead of working the plain grassland the governor wanted, I throw the citizen onto the copper tile for a bit of gold and a significant boost to production, shaving a few turns off that worker.
Spoiler :


Meanwhile, I proceed on towards Pottery after finishing Mining, so I can start on a Granary after I finish the worker.

Further warrior scouting reveals that I seem to be at the end of a fairly broad peninsula, with nobody north, south, or west of me. When I finish Pottery, I start on Archery - figuring I may need some barbarian defense stronger than warriors soon. On finishing the worker, I start in on my Granary as planned.


Further scouting reveals that Belgrade is northeast of me on the coast, Napoleon is straight east of me (at least 10 tiles away), and Rio de Janeiro is southeast of me on the coast. The two city states actually provide me with an opportunity for a fairly aggressive settling of two blocking cities to wall off a large fraction of this continent for myself if I can get them before Napoleon expands out my way... which I imagine would be useful for standing off the Deity AIs. I've run into my first barbarian encampment, and decided to let it stand and continue on my way (since it was far closer to the other two city states and Napoleon than to me, and since I couldn't kill it with 1 warrior anyways).

According to the Civilopedia, Belgrade is a militaristic city state which may give me units if I befriend it, and Rio is a Maritime city state which could give me food. I have no idea how much food, or how often I will get military units (and what units), so it's hard to judge whether these are worth pursuing.

Anyhow, at turn 20 I pause to reflect, having finished my early round of scouting and first couple builds. It's time to take stock of the map and come up with a plan.



My current hopeful plan is as follows:
1. Build warrior - settler. Settle the second city on the stone 4E, 2S of Persepolis, or possibly the cow 1E of that. The goal here is to link my borders up with those of Rio to hopefully block Napoleon off from that area himself (if AIs will settle through other players' cultural borders in Civ5, I hope someone will warn me about that in comments).
2. Hopefully beg, borrow, trade, or steal for enough gold to buy a second settler, who will settle 1NW of the upper east copper. Paired with the other city, Belgrade, and Rio, this locks in enough land for me to expand to my heart's content in my little peninsula.
3. After getting warrior-settler, build archer - immortal at the capital. These two can work together to go about stomping barbarian encampments. I'll probably make another archer-immortal pair at the capital as backup, and may spread them out through my little peninsula to fogbust and prevent barbarian encampments from spawning back there.

In terms of research, I really have no idea what are my priorities here. Bronze Working first, so I can get Immortals, but from there I can't see any immediate needs. Calendar for plantations?

As I stated at the start, I rather expect to lose this game - I'm more interested in seeing how far I can get and trying out the game than in being confident of actually winning. But that doesn't mean I'm going to be deliberately making stupid plays; any advice would be appreciated, considered, and maybe even followed! :lol:
 

coanda

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The area west of my capital was in the fog at game start (I checked east with the starting warrior). I didn't think this start was bad enough to warrant burning multiple turns scouting with no guarantee of finding a better spot, so I settled in place. If I'd had full map knowledge, I likely would have moved west. If this really is the sort of start that I should be looking to spend multiple turns poking around for a better spot (or if that is standard practice in Civ5), then my Civ4 instincts have led me astray and that's good to know.

And yes, it's a bad plan. It's a terribly bad plan. But it should also be a fun one.
 
Joined
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The area west of my capital was in the fog at game start (I checked east with the starting warrior). I didn't think this start was bad enough to warrant burning multiple turns scouting with no guarantee of finding a better spot, so I settled in place. If I'd had full map knowledge, I likely would have moved west. If this really is the sort of start that I should be looking to spend multiple turns poking around for a better spot (or if that is standard practice in Civ5), then my Civ4 instincts have led me astray and that's good to know.

And yes, it's a bad plan. It's a terribly bad plan. But it should also be a fun one.

When there are no rivers, you should considering spending more turns to move around.
 

Optional

Deity
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Just some basics:
Maritime CS: +2 food in the capital when at friendly status, allied status gives an extra food above that in all cities. Note that in no circumstance a city will grow when building a settler.
Military CS: open the CS screen and hover over the word 'military' to see which advanced unit this CS will give. If you haven't researched that tech yet it'll just give you some ordinary unit. The CS will put the unit next to your closest city. At allied status you'll units a bit more frequently than at friendly status.

On blocking: CS's can be feely moved through (although with an influence penalty if no positive diplomatic status), so your settler blocking plan might not work.

About the 2 luxes at your start: the map generator cooks the starts more than in previous civ games, and 2 luxes in the starting radius are a hard baked rule (there might be a third one if you're lucky).

Quite important at the start of the game is two things to decide; which social policy route will you take, and will you go for a religion or not (you would need to be quick on Deity to get one). This would affect your early builds greatly.
Social policies and religion I would study a bit more if you're new to the game.

In my opinion scouting is so important that I would nearly always build a scout first - meeting more CS's, civs, finding natural wonders etc.
 

regeneration64

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May 15, 2012
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I can't believe that you have started out on Deity. I am very intrigued how this game plays out!

I'll provide some general advice for research which applies to all games, civs, maps and difficulties above Prince...

* It is absolutely crucial to stay ahead in tech (or at least be competative) for any victory condition
* Check the Demographics screen every turn or so ("Literacy")
* Beeline for Pottery > Calander/Writing > Philosophy and build Libraries and National College before T100
* Get to Education and build and staff Universities ASAP

I've learnt the hard way and I don't play on Deity. Staying ahead in tech is so important and that summary of advice from across the Community should help keep you #1.
 

Johan^^

Warlord
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Jan 9, 2007
Messages
201
Capital at the riverside hill would have been great, 3 lux. The land around you seems fine and i would settle a city close to Ulrura asap to get religion. Get either faith based or happiness. Settle third city at the river to the south and the if napoleon havent settled towards you, place fourth city on the hill next to the mountain. This is nice spot for picking off his units in a war, which is only a matter of time....

As pointers, you should have 3-4 cities + National college by turn 70. Build up archers and tech towards composite bows after National college. Have atleast 6 archer to upgrade asap to composite. Use the army to take down Nappy.

By turn 100 you should have roughly 100 beakers per turn or very close to.

Cash sould be spend on settlers early, Lib in new cites to allow fast NC, upgrade of archers and then save money to rush buy universities, which you should tech towards as soon as you have composite bows.

Wish you luck, your going to need it.

btw an extremely early wars against Nappy is your best bet to slow him down. Steal 1 or more workers and get a few archers. He will come back with peace. Otherwise you need to steal workers from the city states...
 

Petiscator

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Just for future information, you forgot to mention other parts of the Persian civ:

- Their unique ability not only gives all your units +1 movement and +10% strenght on golden ages but makes it last 50% longer. Building (or conquering a city with, most probably) Chichen Itza can enhance that with 50% and the freedom finisher by 50%. Consider triggering unnatural golden ages for your warry times (taking Representation from Liberty for an Immortal rush, one of the Piety's policy - forgot the name - , building Taj Mahal, increasing your happiness, getting great artists, the Louvre, Leaning Tower).

- Their unique unit is not only slightly more powerful than the Spearman (11 strenght to 12 strenght) but can also heal at double speed. This does NOT stack with the Fountain of Youth bonus, but makes your army quite tough to kill, if you fortify them around an enemy city.

- The Satrap's Court not only gives you +2 happiness over the regular bank, but also +2 gold. People seem to forget about it quite often, but it is quite good to have a market+satrap giving 4 gold + 50% = 6 gold instead of market+bank, which gives 2 gold +50% = 3 (when appliying their % modifiers on their flat gold bonuses only).

Golden Ages are great, Persia is a top tier civ, IMO. If you adopt whole Freedom and get chichen itza, a natural golden age would last 25 turns for you (10 +150%). If you get a great artist, it means 20 turns (8 +150%). Make those turns count for your wars. You'll see that during the game you'll be spending most time on those great golden ages, thus giving yuo +20% production and culture in all cities, and +1 gold on every tile generating at least 1 gold. Quite good.
 

tommynt

Emperor
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Sep 28, 2008
Messages
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On deity u ll just loose if u dont play good, and I dont see some1 playing just like that good.

And if u want tips and advice - there are like 20 good threads in this forum allready - not needed to make new threadss with same information all over again
 

alpha00alpha

Chieftain
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
Messages
34
Simply:

A) don't start out on deity, what I did was work my way up from Chief by completing every victory possible (except for diplomatic, that one is literally just bribing city states and getting good science), and then I move up one. So basically, chief, 1 science, 1 domination, 1 culture. Then I go for Warlord: 1 science, 1 domination and 1 culture. That way allows you to build up your confidence in higher difficulties and it gives you a chance to experience how easy they are to perform and under what circumstances.

B) Choose your civilization, I know you may want the element of surprise or something, but knowing exactly what you're going to do will aid your decisions. There is no reason to suddenly expand to 10 cities with a cultural specialised civ.
 

ense7en

n7
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
995
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Wow, starting out on Deity? You're going to get annihilated.

Being good at Civ4 means nothing in Civ5...they are very different games.

I'd suggest starting on Prince...that'll be hard enough.

Good luck though!
 

coanda

Emperor
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May 12, 2009
Messages
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@Optional: Thanks for the info about city-states. I'm gambling that the AI won't settle through neutral/enemy/city-state hexes, even when they can move through them. That's how it worked in Civ3, that's how it worked in Civ4. If those two spots were terrible sites than I wouldn't cripple myself trying to block like that, but they actually look like decent cities to me.

@regeneration: I can see why with one unit per tile, tech would be more significant than before. I did decide to go for National College after I got Bronze Working. No idea what turn number I'll be getting it on.

@Johan: Aiming for 3 cities to keep Napoleon at bay, then straight to national college, then get a city around Uluru. By turn 20, it was already too late for a rush against Nappy - my scouting warrior wandered by his lands around turn 25, and saw that he had (at least) 4 military units already, to my one warrior. Ah well, opportunity missed. Not sure if it was a feature of difficulty (and worker-stealing wars just don't work on this difficulty) or that I didn't commit to it early enough.

@Petiscator: I totally forgot about the +50% golden age length... and never even noticed the +2 gold from the satrap's court. Good to hear I drew a good civilization for my first game. Too bad Banking seems so far off in the future to me right now.

@tommynt: I certainly recognize that there are good advice threads on this forum. I have browsed a couple of them. I don't think that's a reason to not create a thread looking for advice specific to this specific start though; that was the standard advice I always gave anyone looking to learn Civ4, and I can't see why it wouldn't apply here as well. General rules are hard to learn; specific examples are easy to internalize.

@Everyone worried about difficulty: I only get to start Civ5 once. So I'm starting on Deity. Yes, I will lose (if I don't, I will be absolutely shocked). It may be a horribly fast and painful death; it may be a slow death by a thousand cuts; it may just be me sitting on the sidelines watching the AIs run off to a victory in 1800. But whatever happens, it will be fun to play. After this game, I can settle back and decide what difficulty I actually want to play at when I'm trying to win at least some of the time. Some day, my skill may hopefully reach the point where I truly am a Deity player, and I'll be able to look back on this first game with fond nostalgia.

@Everyone: Thank you very much for the feedback, it is appreciated.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With that out of the way... I played some more turns.
The first thing I did was take a look over the feedback and adjust my game plan going forward.
Religion I discarded - I'm a novice playing way above my head, so I cannot afford to commit to expensive, shiny stuff that I may get locked out of. So I'll just adopt someone else's religion, and save my faith for buying stuff.
Regarding social policies... since I haven't met anyone other than Napoleon, I'm thinking it's just him and me on this continent. So the natural game plan to my mind would be:
1. Choke Napoleon into a small amount of land, expand decently myself. Possibly a small-scale early war to pull his fangs if that seems mandated.
2. A mid-game military push which kills Napoleon to unite my continent.
3. Late-game pursuit of a victory condition. Domination seems simplest - I know exactly what I need to do for it. I have no idea (for example) how much culture I'd need to generate for a Cultural victory, and I doubt I can keep up with AIs heading to SS victory without being willing and able to conquer more than my fair share of land.
So the goal is an early-game expansion to fill most of my continent, a mid-game push against Napoleon, and a late-game war against the world. (And the odds of making it that far are somewhere between laughably slim and none, so I obviously need to be ready to improvise on the fly).
So the Liberty Social Policy tree seems like a natural first priority. Eventually, a little bit of the Honor tree before (as the game has developed) going for either Order or Autocracy.

The immediate priorities are Bronze Working (for Immortals) -> Writing (libraries) -> Calendar (unlock Philosophy) -> Philosophy (NC); build archer - immortal - library in capital, while buying a pair of settlers hopefully. Then spend gold to buy a library in the third city, while second has hopefully built one on it's own, and start on NC in capital.

My warrior picked up some friendly relations with Rio from killing a warrior nearby. However, I didn't want to risk a war with Napoleon over potentially, eventually, getting 2 food in the capital, so I did not pledge to protect them and just let the +12 relations decay away.
Spoiler :

Granary finished, and I started on an archer as planned.

Got my first social policy, and unlocked Liberty as planned.
Spoiler :


My warrior continued scouting, and I discovered that it looks like I'm on a modestly sized continent with just me and Nappy (as I was suspecting from lack of contact with other AIs).

Since the two city-states are significantly towards his half of the continent (unless there's a big bulge of land up to the northeast), it looks like if I can establish that as our border and avoid getting killed by him for a while, I should be able to pull ahead in tech.

I trade my copper to Napoleon for 240 gold. I don't need the happiness, I do need a settler, and wouldn't mind starting to build up trading relations with him.


On turn 30, someone finishes the Great Library. That answers my internal debate over whether it might be worth giving a stab at that myself, since I don't even have Writing yet. Looks like I won't be going for wonders this game.

This guy is my best friend ever:


He drops by my capital, pillages my copper (canceling my trade with Napoleon), then obligingly dies. Two turns later I've repaired the copper, and trade it to Napoleon again for another 100 gold plus some gold per turn (he didn't have that much on hand).
Spoiler :


My archer, warrior, and new immortal head on south to deal with a barbarian encampment that popped up, and will apparently get me a relations boost with Rio. My settler sits down on top of the stone to found my second city; one more and I hope I'll be able to relax knowing Napoleon isn't going to gobble up all the land on the continent while I go for NC. Napoleon warned me not to settle close to him after I put that city down, so the next one will be a little further away I think. Napoleon has chariots, warriors, scouts, and all sorts of units wandering around my half of the continent now. I unlocked another social policy, and took the free worker out of it. 70 free hammers is nothing to laugh at.


I glance at the demographics screen, and it's every bit as depressing as I'd feared.


Thoughts moving forward: Stick to the plan. Third city blocks, libraries, NC. Look at the game after NC finishes - do I think I have a hope of beating Napoleon in a stand-up fight? If so, go for it. If not, play the diplomatic game while I expand peacefully.

Questions for helpful others:
How would I go about getting better relations with Napoleon? A DoW from him could be devastating if I'm in the middle of trying to get NC. Do I want to abandon plans to settle the third city to block Nappy, put it 1 NW of Uluru, and try to found a religion and hope he shares it instead? That risks him expanding into "my" half of the continent, but I presume a shared religion would make relations much easier.

Is guaranteeing protection of Rio or Belgrade worth considering here? I could certainly use their bonuses, but I really don't want to get dragged into a costly war over 2 food per turn.

Any other advice? Glaring mistakes? Not-so-glaring mistakes?
 
Joined
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You didn't need to disregard religion at all. All that is needed for you was to settle near Uluru, and you would have a VERY good chance of founding a religion. Since Uluru also provides 2 food, you won't be having a limbo 1 pop city that does nothing except generating faith for you.
 

MerkQT

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 6, 2013
Messages
5
Building so close to Nap will cause an aggressive divide that he will attempt to fix by force. Don't be surprised if he declares war on you soon with your economic strain by having 3 cities so fast coupled with your almost non-existent military presence.

He may not succeed in capturing your cities but it is going to put an extreme stress on your research and production.
 

Aaron90495

King
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May 17, 2012
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As Sufficiency noted, settling near Uluru would get you a rather easy religion. Other general thoughts:

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS settle on hills unless incredibly inconvenient. They provide an extra hammer (which shaves 5 or more turns off the city's first build) and an extra 5 defense, crucial to holding off early Deity AI rushes.

If it gets you into the friend-zone (ha), pledge to protect those CSs. If Napoleon or someone else bullies you, just say "you'll pay for this" and you'll keep your influence. The diplo hit for saying they'll pay is the smallest diplo modifier in the game, and an extra 2 food (which can effectively be 2 hammers, 2 gold, etc.) is well worth it.

With regards to your proposed pre-T25 rush that fell through, that would've been a very bad idea. You can't pull off a successful rush of a Deity AI without Composite Bowmen, and even then it can be very difficult in many scenarios.

And on that point, ranged units are king, for both offense and defense. Unless you have a great Unique Unit (which you do, in this game), your defense should be almost entirely ranged units. For offense, you want a few melee units to use as meatshields, mostly ranged units, and possibly a few siege, depending on the situation. Siege units are pretty fragile and aren't always able to take more than a shot or two. However, Artillery is incredibly powerful, as it (with a range of 3) can stay outside the range of enemy cities (which have a range of 2) and do massive damage. If you're going on the offensive, make getting to Dynamite (which unlocks Artillery) a top priority.

I have my doubts you'll be able to hold off Napoleon's settling - he's one of the best and most expansive AI's, so attempting to cut him off is both incredibly risky and very unlikely to work. I wish you luck, though! :)
 

Unresolved

King
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Dec 22, 2012
Messages
956
I'm no military expert, but if you wanted to aggressively settle, I would've put a city on the hill forest next the mountain. Then another city in-between that and your capital. A city on that hill would probably be a lot easier to defend than where you are now.
 

The Pilgrim

Deity
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Jan 26, 2009
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Couple of thoughts:
  • As mentioned, city locations are far from being perfect. You should've moved the warrior on copper. Found nothing useful - settle on top of it. In you case that would have revealed the salt and the river and allowed to settle on riverside hill with 3 unique luxes in Persepolis radius.
  • Tradition is the natural tree here, because number of decent city spots is limited.
  • Scout-monument is the start you can't get wrong with in Civ5. Monument-scout-scout if you want to get creative is also viable, although double scout isn't justified on small map continent.
  • Forget about getting GL on deity. Period.
  • Prepare for war with France. There is no way to avoid it. Are you alone on your continent?
  • I'd ally Singapore asap. When Napoleon attacks, they'll be able to distract him (to the extent, this early they don't have a real army).
  • You did absolutely right by opening the thread. If you're seeking advice, you should ask for it. That's the purpose of this forum. :)
 

coanda

Emperor
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May 12, 2009
Messages
1,833
So the #1 bit of advice I'm getting from comments I think could roughly be summarized as "OMG WTF your cities are not in the right spots." This is good to know, because I wasn't realizing I was making big mistakes there before reading the comments. Since I seem to be misplacing my cities rather significantly, it seems like a good time to stop and ask... what, exactly, makes a good spot for an early city?

Would anyone mind picking out what they consider the top 4 or 5 city spots on this start, and giving me a blow-by-blow explanation of why exactly they are good? It's becoming increasingly clear to me that what constitutes "good city placement" is not at all what I was thinking about before.

Are resource tiles still the dominant factor, with grassland the only other really important feature? How important is river, hills, forests? Is it still standard to clear-cut forests and jungles when you have the worker turns to do it? How much do you give up by settling on top of a resource instead of improving it - or should settling on top of a resource be the default move? Am I thinking mostly about the inner ring when picking a location, or should I also be worrying about the second ring? What about the third ring?

How would you balance all those factors (and any others I'm not even aware of yet) for this particular start?

Oh - @The Pilgrim. Did you mean "ally Belgrade" when you said "ally Singapore"? Because I don't think I've met Singapore.
 
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Unlike Civ4, it's actually a good move to build a scout and a monument very early. So much so that most people tend to have scout -> monument, or something similar as their first two builds. It allows you to get more free gold from meeting CS's, trade with more AIs to relieve them of their gold, and pop more ruins (which are way better than civ4's goody huts).

From the start location, it would've been a better idea to move your warrior to investigate the floodplain tile, so you could have a better idea about the river.

I would've settled Pasagarde 1W of the mountain (2E of where you put it). He's going to be pissed off with it either way, so better to have it on the hill, and use the river to give your archers more chances to pick off his units. Speaking of which, you probably need more Archers. Napoleon will come after you, it's not a matter of if, but when. Ranged units are the key to war in this game.
 

BBMorti

Warlord
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
143
The diety AI's in Civ5 is about 10 times as aggressive as the ones in Civ4, so when you plan to plant two cities right next to their borders you are asking for war. This should be in your thoughts. Napoleon in Civ5 is an extremely aggressive city spammer on top of diety behavior.

The reason hills are almost a must when you play diety in civ5 is the aggression of the AI's.. it gives the city a defense boost that, most of the time, means the difference between if you can hold the city from their DOW's, and they will happen.
The other factor is that cities always produce 2 food, so settling on a green flat tile over other types of tiles wont make a difference, but their default is 1 hammer, if you settle a hill that is increased to 2 hammers (Since if the tile default is higher than the city default, it scales up).
 
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