Iron now THE key resource? Rome and Russia new top civs?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by EasyGoin, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. EasyGoin

    EasyGoin Chieftain

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    I was looking through the patch notes, mainly the absolute brutal horseman overnerf, and arrived at the conclusion that Iron is now the determining factor on whether you win or lose the game. It seems apparent that you now need a mixed army of melee, seige, and (maybe, depending on how much their strength is nerfed) mounted units to successfully attack your neighbor. My logic is thus.

    - The goal in the patch is larger cities, but now supporting cities cannot contribute to the growth of larger cities via happiness (happiness contribution constrained by pop). Now each city you settle is -2 happiness and that city will never ever be happiness neutral (with the FP and meritocracy nerfs). This tells me that you have to settle cities by new luxury resources or you're losing happiness; you are constrained by the luxuries on the map. If you get a map with redundant local resources and little variety, you must now devote your production to wonders and social policies to happiness policies.

    -If you don't have access to resources or someone else has more, you lose unless you take the resources from them. This is much harder now. Horsemen get 50% nerf v cities (really? 50%? that is unreal). Archers have reduced effect against cities. Cities heal faster. Cities have higher combat strength.

    -What does this boil down to? well you need siege engines and melee. Siege engines require Iron. Melee require Iron (well not spearmen or pikemen, but I think we can all agree they are useless, especially now that horsemen are useless). If you have no iron, you cannot build melee or siege. If you cannot acquire more luxury resources from someone who has more, and thus grow larger, you lose the game (expecially since the AI is supposedly more agressive). Someone with more resources will be able to grow faster and larger than you because luxury resources are now the determining factor on empire size.

    Does this make Catherine (double strategic resources) and Ceaser (better siege and melee) the best civs?

    Are we bound to wallow in our starting area until the invention of dynamite if we have no iron?
     
  2. Misanthrop

    Misanthrop Chieftain

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    I think that sums it up pretty well and i also think this is gonna be a problem since Iron has been much rarer and harder to acquire than horses (at least in the games i played so far)...
     
  3. i_imperator

    i_imperator Imperator

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    Well its good in a way that horses are getting nerfed. They were really overpowered. But hopefully some new tatics will come out of this patch and add some variety to gameplay.
    Seige will be weaker Vs units and stronger against cities, so there's another trade off.
     
  4. Antarion

    Antarion Prince

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    i never really relied on horsemen only except maybe as mongolia and i play most often duel multiplayer NvsS at the moment. let me tell you iron is beatable with just some archers and spearmen which dont need any resources. if you grab even oligarchy you can squish them out until you got iron or horse units (one of both should always be possible in my experience) and then start the offense.

    greeks are pain vs romans without iron, so you if you wanna survive a real iron rush you need oligarchy and same amount of units the enemy has but you dont need strategic resources to defend your own borders. iron also comes much to late to survive until then, you need units pretty fast. also good counters are egypts, india or babylon with their totally overpowered ancient range units.
     
  5. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    The changes should in many ways lead to a result similar to the leading community mods. Depending on how much cities get buffed, it may be possible to hold off large opposing armies with Walls and a couple of comparatively backward units. That enables some builder strategies.

    India will be very strong because the luxuries go further (more Science) and because their UU is both cheap and very potent on defense. Playing Catherine will enable you to play your way out of situations where you have only 2 Iron, but I'm not sure that's worth the trade-off. Rome's Legions still obsolete very rapidly, and that's going to be an even larger problem than it is now on the higher difficulties post-patch. The computer will have very large cities and low research costs, and the player will not be able to keep up by running specialists and using Great Scientists.

    Babylon's ability to burn a GS on early Steel is going to make them the best warmonger by a wide margin. Picking up Steel 15-20 turns early will be even more crucial than it is now.

    If you lack Iron, you will have to buy it from a city-state. That may be much more challenging. We'll have to see the new AI to know.
     
  6. glaivemaster

    glaivemaster Prince

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    Of course, it may be possible to trade with the AI if they have spare iron (I'm not sure how often this is the case early game, but it might happen), use this iron to war on another civ for their iron, and then let the agreement end naturally (unless you still want more iron for more units), and now you have your own iron.

    Similarly, if you don't have enough of a variety of luxuries trading the spare will now be so much more important. Although I have seen sparse starts in which there are not enough luxuries *or* iron nearby, which will be difficult games certainly.

    And of course, with no iron, it's not necessarily a bad plan to at least beeline gunpowder/chemistry if not rifling/dynamite, just to have a workable military, and play defensively with horses/pikes until such a time as you can get the industrial resourceless units. With better upwards growth (even with less science early on) a small early empire that explodes outwards in the early industrial era might not be unworkable - it's my current strategy with the Ottomans anyway, and it seems to work on Emperor
     
  7. Poomermon

    Poomermon Warlord

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    I'm not sure if horses are completely useless. Sure they can't take cities any more which is a huge nerf but horsemen may still have their uses like killing enemy units before you reach the city. I don't know how much their strength got lowered but even at 10 strength I would probably still use them. Hopefully we will see something like a combined arms strategy as a viable choice.

    I'm a bit concerned about importance of iron though. If siege units become necessary to take enemy cities without huge casualties you can get pretty heavily screwed if you don't have access to iron early on.

    As for the best leader it's hard to say who will be the top dog. Hardly anyone gets better with the patch but a lot of the top civs will get nerfed heavily. I'd say India or Persia are good contenders for top tier.
     
  8. kamex

    kamex Emperor

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    Hm. Am I right in thinking that with less combat strength, and 50% less attack vs cities, will horsemen do less damage attacking a city than even spearmen?

    Perhaps this will result in Germany becoming more useful. If you can GL Civil Service, their pikes are great for rushing, simply from their numbers.
     
  9. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    I also see Siam rising in favour as they gain a number of very significant advantages in this patch: Firstly, they are the only faction who will get 2 food per city out of their maritime allies if rounding works as it did before; secondly, their unique unit dominates the field, and will probably still be strong enough to take cities even at a -50% penalty if promoted one or two levels; thirdly, the Wat with its two scientist slots and 3 extra culture can be built without having a library, if they didn't change that in the patch. All of this together will make them one of the strongest civs in my opinion, especially if the AI is going to bribe away some of your Maritime CS.
     
  10. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Iron was never rare in Civ5. Rather, it's our perception of "good starting position" is what's making us see more horses than iron. Deserts, tundra and dry areas are the primary source of iron, areas that civ players traditionally avoid. That's also the reason why we supposedly get so much iron from city-states - they are often in all-tundra or part-desert areas.

    You described my general strategy from day one, since I never really relied on horses. Its not unusual for me to start out with 2 iron. If that's the case I simply build a few more archers. Iron goes into Catapults, while spearmen become the frontliners. Enemy cities with iron should be the first target, obviously.

    Nothing really changes. Iron can come from several sources, most obvious getting the tech and cities grabbing them up early, but also from city states and trades. Strategic resources are relatively cheap in trades, and trading will become easier with diplomatic modifiers now being visible.

    Also, with the unit changes, Archers and Crossbows are going to be an important part of the army, along with horsemen. Siege units and a few iron melee units will take care of city captures, while cavalry and archers will break units.
     
  11. Sneaks

    Sneaks Brooklyn Bum

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    If Askia's ponies retain their bonuses, I would wager he makes a marked jump in the ranks. The free culture building will actually be pretty great considering the new pick em as you get em SP approach. Puppets spamming the building won't hurt the economy nearly as bad.

    I really don't know about Cathy. The UA is strong, but I am not sure it is strong enough to make for a nerfed UU and UB I won't use.
     
  12. Varanid

    Varanid Warlord

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    I'd say I run no more than 50/50 on getting iron in or near my first 3-4 cities. Part of that is that (without mods) you just can't see where it is for a long while. But even after I've gotten big--and I do settle in deserts and the like some--iron's usually in short enough supply that I wind up pushing for either civil service or gunpowder just to get some decent units.
     
  13. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I actually bothered to count all the iron and horses on a continents map.

    Our continent, 4 civs:
    36 iron, 18 horses

    Other continent, 4 civs:
    26 iron, 44 horses

    Islands in between:
    6 iron, 6 horses

    For a total of 68 iron and 68 horses.

    Largest concentration of iron (14 in close proximity) was in one of the deserts on our continent.

    Of all 8 civs, only Bismarck on the other continent had zero iron, and he was the first to go. But it took two AI's and 250 or so turns to finally kill him off.
     
  14. Soronery

    Soronery Prince

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    Old horses:
    12 combat strength
    -30% on enemy from open terrain

    New horses:
    11 combat strength (Guess)
    -10% on enemy from open terrain

    So horse vs longswordsmen on open terrain:
    Horse:12
    Longswordsman:18*.70=12.6

    Now:
    Horse: 11 (guess)
    Longswordsman:18*.90=16.2

    Horse vs swordsman
    Old
    Horse:12
    Swordsman:11*.70=7.7

    Now:
    Horse:11
    Swordsman:9.9

    Vs Cities horses have -50%.
    Or 5.5 combat strength. Basically the same amount as a warrior.
     
  15. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Can't follow you. Why compare Horsemen with Longswordsmen? Also, the horseman ability removes all bonuses or penalties for terrain, including the open terrain penalty.

    New swordsman 11:c5strength:, 10% penalty on open terrain (defense-only)
    New horseman 11:c5strength:, 50% penalty for attacking cities (offense-only)

    Horsemen can also snipe swordsmen, archers and catapults.
     
  16. Razzlesnaff

    Razzlesnaff Warlord

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    Horseman need a nerf, and other units needed a buff. This is happening in the next patch. Each unit feels more specialized. I feel like I'm going to want a more balanced military as opposed to as many Horseman as I can build. Get a nice mix. Siege, Archers, Melee, Horses.

    And Horsemen still have a use. Attack and then retreat, leaving other units with the opportunity to deal the finishing blow. Horseman are now Ancient Era Tanks. Tanks also have the 50% when attacking cities. What do you do with Tanks? Specifically go out of your way to kill units to weaken the AIs army. I imagine that at the very least, I will use Horsemen in this fashion.
     
  17. silent93

    silent93 Chieftain

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    Regarding the changes and the iron situation, I think Babylon actually has an edge here.

    Walls of Babylon, being more effective walls that also boost city attack? That's gonna make capturing a Babylonian city much, much harder with the changes to city hp, healing rate, and defensive buildings. Add in their tech advantage, and they may be one of the few civs that can viably recover from/ignore a lack of precious iron.
     
  18. kamex

    kamex Emperor

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    Yes, I've thought this patch will give Babylon a buff. remember the walls now have no maintenance too.

    I've also thought the new tradition branch would help babylon a lot in a OCC style game. No specialists from the library would hurt a lot though (but maybe increase the value of the free GS)
     
  19. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Not true, they don't receive bonuses but they receive penalties.

    The problem with scarcity of iron is that it's mostly concentrated in amounts of 6 in a desert or tundra somewhere. Whyever they chose to do this is beyond my comprehension because neither the amount nor the location make any sense.
     
  20. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I stand corrected.

    Actually that's not entirely true. If you look at any map with uranium revealed, you'll see that the strategic resources are evenly distributed, usually with a 2, minumum 1 distance (excluding those of same type) between them. Unlike horses (plains, grasslands), oil (marsh, tundra, sea, desert) etc. iron has no specific attributes attached to its spawn, so it gets thrown around a lot. Iron is probably the last strategic resource to get seeded onto a newly generated map, so it gets all the "not already taken" spots.

    If you restart as Rome fifty times, you'll notice you're very likely to spawn near either gold (dry area = very likely to get iron) or silver (less but still likely to get iron).
     

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