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Insight to Prebuilding (only for newbies)

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Drakan, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. Drakan

    Drakan Voluntas Omnia Vincit

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    We all love Wonders, either by building them or conquering the city which has them.

    I will explain the building path. Below Emperor level one can almost build any Wonders you like. The trouble arises when playing Emperor or above, due to the great leap between Monarch to Emperor (read Ision’s great article in the War Academy). One must learn to prioritise which wonders are more important to build in a game. The usual answer to this query in Civ is: it depends. Depending on whether you are a Builder or a Warmonger, depending on what type of victory condition is enabled (i.e. you need to build UNs for a diplomatic vic), what level are you playing at …

    I trust you already know what Wonders are key to the success in your current game; there are plenty of good articles and threads on the matter. Now the query is how can you beat the AI to build them ? This is when the concept of Prebuilding comes in. I won't mention SGL's in this article which obviously rush in one turn a great wonder in C3C.

    Imagine you are aiming for the Great Library. You start building your Forbidden Palace so as to save the shields generated per turn until you discover researching or trading Literature which will allow you to swap from your FP to the GL wonder. Following this strat you are able to outbuild a Wonder from the AI.

    (EDITED:28-06-05) At Emperor, normally, your first Wonder will be in the late Middle Ages, such as Adam Smith or Sistine Chappel. At Emperor I doubt you will be able to build many Ancient Age Wonders, besides, you shouldn't. A human can complete most medieval wonders and ALL Industrial and Modern Age wonders.

    You may use as a prebuild the FP, your own Palace or even some other Wonder (Great or Small), Armies being built in the Military Academy or even a city improvement, anything goes ! Just be sure that other civs do not beat you to it.

    You can hit the F7 key to know which AI civs are in the same wonder race as you. Look at what city it is being built on. Yeah, yeah good point but I still haven't learnt Espionage, what can I do ? Ok don't fret. Normally the best city (the one with the highest shield yield) of an AI is where it has its palace, the capital -just like yourself-. Just hit the F11 screen to see the size it has. It's mainly useful in the ancient Age when you haven't even learned Writing yet (so no embassies yet to establish) and the most important five cities (culturally speaking appear). So If you are lucky it will be one of them. Consider it a real-time espionage, you can judge by the size of the capitals if they are going to make it before you or not judging in comparison with yours. This trick is very neat because perhaps you haven't even met them yet and don't even know where they are located and despite of this you know their capital's size to make educated guesses.

    Once you learn Writing, you may then establish your Embassies in their capital albeit only once and use them to get an insight of those cities you're interested in. So make sure to establish it at the right time when you are really feeling pressed to know in just how many more turns they are going to complete a wonder or what's their shield output per turn.

    Once you learn Espionage in the Industrial Age you can use your spies to get an insight of those cities and check how many turns they have left to achieve there goal. You can even use the spy to sabotage that city and hinder their efforts, If say, you are running behind in time and it is predictable the AI will finish it off before you do.

    Timing is very important the higher the echelon of difficulty. Sometimes even your prebuilding is doing so well in fact at core cities that you are going to complete your Palace before even having discovered, for example, Integrated Defense. What you do in this case is go to the City Screen and turn productive tiles with plenty of shields into an artist (or even better, a taxman or scholar). In this way your shield output diminishes and you proceed to adjust it with the turn you are bound to discover ID so as to build the small wonder SDI.

    Beware; what may help you may also help the AI. If you have techs for building two wonders and the AI is already building one but does not have the tech to build a second GW, one must be careful when to trade this second tech. If you trade the second tech and complete the first wonder, the AI will use all the shields it spent in the first wonder and swap them over to produce the new wonder and beat you to it. This is most frustrating. It is known as Wonder Cascade and must be avoided at all costs. You may do so by delaying the trade of techs with the wonders associated to them so as to cut short the cascade. Or use your spies and sabotage their wonder production, though this is more risky if you're caught redhanded.

    Be sneaky and sell the tech only when you are darn sure you have the lead in shield output and it is most likely that you will beat the AI to it; even then, you might be subject to sabotage by a foreign spy and lose building it.

    One of the main reasons for selling a tech with a non-completed wonder associated to it is that AI civs pay very handsomely for it. You can, obviously, wait for just the turn before completing the wonder to sell off the tech to ALL civs (see articles on tech trading).

    Following these simple advises known to all veteran players you are now able to beat the AI wonder building even at Emperor or beyond.
     
  2. Volum

    Volum The Zapper

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    DOnt be to sure about that, in C3C the AI dosent set Literature high and you can easily beat the AI to that tech by several turns. If u have a decent city with a good prebuild going u could easily get it.
     
  3. Drakan

    Drakan Voluntas Omnia Vincit

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    The only way I can see building the GL at Emperor playing C3C is by being the first to discover Filosophy. You then get a free tech and you choose Literature. This way you will get an overhead, otherwise I, at least, am far too busy pumping out settlers and expanding all I can all over the place to waste precious time and shields building this Wonder.
    The AI are going to lead the tech race at Emperor until the begining of the Middle Ages at least. Even if you managed to complete the GL, at the sacrifice of using your capital for that , you would prevent yourself from expanding which is just paramount at higher levels; the AI would gang on you because you have made it. Why bother building at Emp the GL unless you are out for a culture victory or the likes?

    Anyways, they start warring each other because they are given more units than you from the start (it's one of their many bonuses at Emp),and you can easily follow the Ailing Civilization Strategy (see one of my posts on it) to obtain many techs very cheaply and in no time.

    (EDIT;AMENDMENT: no need to to be the first to Philosophy to build GL. You can build it at Deity even without a prebuild given the right conditions. Research Literature even at a loss to be the first one).
     
  4. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    Don't be so sure about Emporer wonders. I have gotten the Great Library, the Oracle, the Colossus and the Hanging Gardens on Emporer before, and led the tech race after Education. (OCC)
     
  5. dmanakho

    dmanakho Chieftain

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    For me there is a big difference between Emperor and Monarch.
    When i play monarch game always without single exception goes according to my plan.
    At Monarch level I don't bother to build any of AA wonders they slow down progress a lot, instead I try to expand my nation and usually i have a nice tech lead at early medieval ages and usually i have almost all the wonders of MA and all wonders past that.

    with emperor every game is different, sometimes you are lucky and sometimes you are not...
    I found that the only way to thrive on Emperor level early and be tech advanced if you can build GL and then only one way to build GL if you play either expansionist civilization and get some technologies from goody huts or if you one of the civilizations that have Alphabet at the beginning then you can rush and bit AI in getting Phylisophy-Literature first... Plus, it helps if you have GL prebuilt... After that i usually turn off science completely and start pumping military units to clean up my continent from all the opponents.
    Other that that situation i never ever tried to build any GW at emperor level.

    But that's in the best case scenario, many times when you get lousy starting position or when all your neighbours agricultural and expansionist it's very hard to beat them and you end up with few lousy cities and struggle to survive.

    When i play monarch game i enjoy it, but emperor is so frustrating...
     
  6. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    :hmm: GB = GL? :confused:
     
  7. dmanakho

    dmanakho Chieftain

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    Thanks, I did mean GL, I fixed my post
     
  8. Minstrel

    Minstrel Music is the Key

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    I've built the Great Library many times on Deity, and gone on to win the game. I've also managed to build it on Sid. Granted when I built it on Sid, it was on a large archipelago map with 80% water and I picked civs that were not commercial.
     
  9. Drakan

    Drakan Voluntas Omnia Vincit

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    I'm amazed Minstrel. I have also built the GL on Emperor many times but I just didn't expect you could build it at Deity or above, congrat to all those who can. I'll have a go at it. xnks
    (EDIT: I hadn't bothered really building the GL not thinking it was feasible at Deity. Reading the GL elevator strat at Sid of master players I had to give it a shot. I build it the other day at Deity without much of a hassle)
     
  10. baboon

    baboon Chieftain

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    I usually get the GL except when there are Arabs in the game. They finish it before I have researched Literature..
     
  11. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Chieftain

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    The AI rarely goes for GL during Emperor (as I've noticed throughout my many emperor games). Many turns will go by without any of the other races picking it up. I don't bother with the GL though. If you need to rely on the GL in emperor to keep up with tech, then you need to re-work your strategy. That's just my opinion though :)
     
  12. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

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    Is everyone refering to the civ version that has the difficulties Demigod and Sid? I mean, I play on Monarch in Vanilla and I can't build wonders without thinking a lot before. In Vanilla Monarch is 4/6 difficulty, while, in that version (I'm not sure of the name) it is 4/8. Is this why it's so hard to me?
     
  13. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    Yes they are refering to Conquest (C3C) and it has the two new levels. Monarch is the same esentially for all versions. If you find you have a good start location and still are not able to make most any wonder you want, then you need to improve your empire management a bit.

    If you have a less than optimal start, then things could be more troublesome. The last time I play monarch on vanilla I literally build every wonder in the game. It is easier on C3 (vanilla) and PTW (IMO) for two reason. One you have fewer AA wonders to deal with. Two you can rush wonders with a leader. In C3C, you can only rush with a Science Leader and you may never get one.

    One way to get early wonders is to get a worker pump going and add some into the wonder city. By having extra workers to mine and road the worked tiles and then joining the city, you will be so far ahead of the production of the AI, it has no chance.
     
  14. Skanderbeg

    Skanderbeg Chieftain

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    Stupid newbie question?

    Prebuilding wonders IS NOT CHEATING????:eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  15. Drakan

    Drakan Voluntas Omnia Vincit

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    Mua ha ha ! No, it ain´t. :lol:

    Welcome to CFC Skanderbeg ! :dance:

    Prebuilding is a long-time strategy which civ players have been using since Civ I, back in 1991, to offset the huge production bonuses the AI is given in the higher-levels for "game-balancing" (=means that the AI is not as smart as you and the programmers give them production bonuses to cheat so they can handle the human player and make it challenging for you on the higher levels of difficulty).
     
  16. eldar

    eldar ChiefTank

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    Pre-building will go away in Civ4 :(

    Note that you can always investigate any AI city, as long as you have an embassy - you don't need Espionage.
     
  17. Drakan

    Drakan Voluntas Omnia Vincit

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    Woops, I stand corrected. :blush: ;)
     
  18. Skanderbeg

    Skanderbeg Chieftain

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    Drakkan, thanks for Your statement that prebuilding is not cheating.;)

    I came to CIV III from CIV II and SMAC/SMAX and for my knowledge from other forums, especially Apolyton, Prebuilding/Overbuilding of wonders is at least considered dubious on CIV II and defintetivly considered as cheating in SMAC/SMAX, because it gives the human player an overadvantage against the AI.

    I have the experience that CIV III is a lot more difficult than CIV II and SMAC,
    but nethertheless, for my very personal opinion, Prebuilding has a foul smelling and is a Do Not for me.:rolleyes:
    Please note that this statement should not be an accusation against anyone, of course everyone has the right to play the game the way he likes.:goodjob:

    But I would like to learn from the CIVIII-Experts what is considered as "ungood behaviour" playing CIVIII, because there are some other strategies discussed here on CivFanatics that seem to be dubious to me, eg.
    palace jumps, using game settings which are optimal to the civ of the human player or setting barbarian activity to zero.:wavey:
     
  19. MarcoPolo

    MarcoPolo Chieftain

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    Good info. The biggest problems I have with Wonders is when the AI beats me too it by only a few turns and I have nothing else good to switch too. By Pre-building and optimizing your city for production you stand a better chance of beating the AI to get Wonders but it's still a bit of a gamble.
     
  20. Drakan

    Drakan Voluntas Omnia Vincit

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    Well let's see If I can explain myself.

    You resurrected this thread probably clicking the link in my Deity Builder strategy. Normally Great wonder building is disregarded by skilled players, they'd rather capture the GWs than build them themselves because it represents an Opportunity Cost. What If I had used them shields to build swordsmen instead or settlers ...

    There's a great article written by Ision on Wonder fixation by newbies: The 4 rules of Wonder addiction:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=71238

    Now If you play at deity or sid as either a builder or warmonger you'll most likely have to prebuild. I can build the GL at Deity or Sid without any kind of prebuild but it does take a whole lot of practice and fine tuning. You have to know when to change gears.

    Cheats IMHO are reloading, are teleporting units when gifting cities, using abusively settlers to construct a path of cities in enemy territory etc...there are tons of cheats really. A player chooses how he/she wants to play.

    Take SirPleb, a very good player, he thinks using Communism in Sid feels like cheating because it's overpowered or unbalanced in C3C. Well I don't. But then he came up with a very cool strategy -the Great Library Elevator- which many consider as a cheat because the AI would never use it and he uses it freely. Is he wrong ? Is he right ? It's a matter of general consensus.

    There's a consensus that reloading is cheating, other than that opinions vary widely from player to player.

    This is a link to the HOF (Hall of Fame where some of the best players post their games) in which they disallow certain cheats.

    http://hof.civfanatics.net/rules.php?show=disallowed

    You'll find other different threads with disallowed strats etc...
     

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