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Is it ever advisable to build many cities and run Liberty now in BNW?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Horizons, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    It's pretty easy to beeline archeology without Oxford if you want it to be your entry into industrial, which is in the neighborhood turn 200, and if I'm playing wide I might still be lacking opera houses in most of my cities. So here I am with first dibs on all these sites but have to choose between building opera houses and museums, or archeologists, never mind other vital buildings. I might as well tech for radio (with Oxford bulb) because early access to tier-3 Freedom or Order will give me more culture and tourism than artifacts.

    In fact this was one of the main problems with my fourth-most recent wide attempt, I was first into archeology but landmarks and artifacts just don't really do much without the 50%-ish boosts from Freedom I was at 18 turns between policies because I didn't have Hermitage yet. Meanwhile the AI civ that opened Order before me had no problem winning World Fair, meaning their culture bar instantly went into can't-be-influenced length.
     
  2. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    Having wrapped up my most recent wide / Immortal game with a turn 303 win, I'll share some things which seemed to make it more successful than my other recent attempts:

    1 Settle in batches. I settled 6 cities. Cities 2 and 3 were settled between turn 45 and 55. Cities 4-6 were settled between turn 100 and 115. This batching is crucial for national wonder timing, namely National College and Hermitage. On all my other recent attempts I expanded gradually, and was always out of sync with all my buildings, with no way to fix without inopportune rush-buying or devoting internal TRs which should be going to the capital instead.

    1.5 Second-batch settlers should not be built in the capital, unless it is overwhelmingly optimal to do so. Your capital can't afford any more growth and production drain after the first batch, otherwise it will never be in a position to acquire any good mid-game culture wonders. Finish National College and then grow and build your capital without any interruption.

    2 Hermitage. Or World's Fair. I know some people play without getting Hermitage, but how else are you going to get three Tier-1, two Tier-2 and 1 Tier-3 Order policies before turn 230. Winning World's Fair this early implies founding or being a proposer on World Congress, so do what it takes to get that.

    The reason this matters for wide vs tall is that a tall civ leading in science and culture can get three Tier-1, two Tier-2 and 1 Tier-3 Order policies before turn 230 really easily. Once that tall civ has all those Order production and happiness bonuses as well as Iron Curtain it can conquer half the map, and balloon to 20 cities while a wide empire is still struggling to enter Industrial. For going wide to be better than going tall, you need to be able to get Tier 3 Order just as fast. A wide civ getting Tier 3 order on turn 280 just looks like an idiot.

    3 Hermitage again. For Hermitage to clinch tier 3 Order you need a strong culture capital. You need lots of wonders and high pop for guilds. You essentially need to look like a tall capital. Again this is the only way you can sweep up Order policies reasonably fast.

    4 Luck. This all worked in my game because 1) I rolled Inca 2) I somehow managed to found religion first and get Pagodas 3) my capital was in a high-food, high-production area - three mining-tech luxes 4) I was alone on my continent, so I didn't lose spots for cities 4-6 by waiting until turn 115. The common element in my recent failed wide games were mediocre / flat capitals with stupid plantation-tech luxes. I had Pagodas in those games too but no wonders.
     
  3. Thunda

    Thunda Chieftain

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    Isn't there a risk reward trade off with wide versus tall. In the few diety games I've played on standard pangea maps, ive gone tall (could only plop 3 cities, 4 if lucky before AI takes all the space) and went for a SV. If I was able to keep the AI's fighting each other and a neighbor a friend who didn't backstab me I could shoot off the spaceship early around turn 280.
    But usually my army is dangerously thin through large parts of the game. If the AI was any decent at war they should be able to crush me. Or multiple dows im done. So going tall the way ive done it can reward with a quick science win but leaves you vulneralbe to domination.
    However, I imagine that if you can go wide, you might be slower taking off, but the gold production and tourism mid to late game makes you mush less at risk of defeat.

    Is wide a safer strategy?
     
  4. Denkt

    Denkt Left permamently

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    Yes you got it right.

    Wide will also outproduce tall empire later on in science to, however tall can maybe get science victories faster.
    You need to focus alot on happines Buildings if your going wide which slows you down.

    Gold is not a problem for wide because you get so many Resources for trades.

    The things is however to expand outwards to inwards and build something of an army and wait with infrastructure. get happines Buildings first then others like Liberies and monuments.
     
  5. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    No, just make it either a lot less powerful - as in, sufficiently weak that the boost from science it gives a tall empire is offset by the quicker population growth of a large one - and/or remove the library requirement (Guilds are National Wonders without a "building in every city" requirement after all). The way National Wonders are implemented is a large part of the issue.

    It's a problem with the others as well - Hermitage as you note, although playing wide this probably isn't as useful as it is otherwise anyway. But with religion valuable for a wide empire, the Grand Temple should lose the "all temples" requirement. Certainly you'll want temples everywhere eventually, but you want the faith and pressure from the GT sooner rather than later.

    Not true at all because the AI also likes to go wide, and so also gets lots of different resources - it can be a struggle at later game stages to shift any resources at all, because the other civs already have copies. Early in the game you need the happiness for yourself unless you have duplicates, and may not have trading partners. Relying on resource trade to sustain a strategy is very risky, particularly since the number of overall resources is limited and the max 7 gpt you can get from any given resource doesn't look like a lot in the later game when many buildings cost 4 gpt plus in maintenance.
     
  6. Denkt

    Denkt Left permamently

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    National Colleage is fine in my opinion rigth now.

    Its powerful but not to powerful and it cost like a WW early on, needs a libery in all cities.

    Its bad if you want to expand fast so and make tall empire keeping up in science a bit longer then without it.
     
  7. Loucypher

    Loucypher King

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    National College is completely broken in half. It favors a big few focussed cities so much, it's silly. There's a reason people like to beeline for it.
     
  8. GoStu

    GoStu King

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    If I'm going Wide I've had some pretty good successes with combining Tradition and Liberty to get optimal results. I usually start with Tradition opener, and grab Legalism to keep cities expanding. Landed Elite I'll grab as soon as possible so the growth bonus lasts as long as possible. Once I get to about three cities I'll go for the Liberty opener, and take my free & faster workers.

    I take Monarchy whenever I'm starting to feel cash or Happiness strapped. Aristocracy I only really take after I've gotten most of what I want in Liberty including another settler. I tend to finish Liberty off when I feel I need a Great Person.

    I find it works pretty well as Tradition is a great tree to get you going, while Liberty has good bonuses for being a wide empire. It takes a while for the city connections to be optimal, and the -5% unhappiness to mean much, but once it does its potentially more happiness total than Tradition. It just takes quite a while.

    The only thing I don't like about doing this is that it requires you to commit to two social policy trees, albeit not bad ones.
     
  9. njmfff

    njmfff Prince

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    I got to agree with this one. I've tried few Tall vs Wide games, and in the end Wide will mostly win.

    Tall will have advantage at first, but Wide will dominate in the long run: more land, more luxuries, more strategics, stronger religion, and probably stronger culture, since with 3-4 Tall cities you won't have many slots for GWA. (and if you know what you're doing, you don't even need every single cultural world wonder)

    I would easily sacrifice up to 20-25% of extra tech cost, since you can eventually catch up. It's how titles and city pop are built now in BWN. Even wide empires will eventually grow up to 10-15 pop cities, and will produce descent amount of science (especially if some of them have observatory)

    alto, I found it useful to at least open Tradition at first, and if game goes well, even finish it anyway (even if you're going wide).
     
  10. Denkt

    Denkt Left permamently

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    I have looked at many videos which show players early game strategy is to get NC fast like maybe turn 60-70 maybe 3 cities and tradition and thats basicly it even if they could have had like 8 good cities if they Went Liberty no fast NC, (you can get it later you know).

    Screenshot from my Wasington LP game turn 101
    As you can se Im positive in gold and can sell more Resources if needed.
    I got only Little over 30 science but why would I want more right now, it will explode later on then pop starts to grow, it is actually at 27 right now which isn't that bad.
    I also got second largest army.
     

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  11. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    You can still build a ton of units when you're tall. It just slows your victory down 50-80 turns. I usually do this when I'm playing an Immortal/ Honor opener and doing some Medieval era conquest - I'm tall and broke but I can still build an army.

    More to the point you can build an army of artillery around turn 200 when you're tall. And then not worry about optimal science gain anymore because you can conquer the map.

    Again and again this is the problem with claiming that blindly settling cities is good because all wide empires pay off eventually. If it's after turn 250 that blind settling pays off, a tall empire (or successfully played wide one) could have conquered a whole continent and hit tier 3 ideology already.

    When really, blindly settling should pay off for the human player if you can manage the huge happiness and diplo (conflict over borders) headaches. There's so much pointing and clicking involved in playing wide, yet all it gets you is: oh, or you could have just played tall and conquered later.
     
  12. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    This is the key. Settling wide is good, no one particularly disputes (at least on this thread), but it is never as good. You can't really say that tall is easier but wide is ultimately better if tall gets you wins more easily, faster, and more reliably - with those three considerations in tall's favour, what definition of "better" is left?

    I read a post about a "Nationhood strategy" in Civ IV, using one of that game's weaker civics. The post itself acknowledged that the strategy was not optimal, but pointed out that it was viable and playable for variety and fun.

    It's the same playing wide in Civ V - it's good enough to win, even at the highest difficulties, which makes it worth exploring as a strategy if you enjoy that kind of playstyle, but it is never as good as playing tall from the point of view of winning the game.
     
  13. Denkt

    Denkt Left permamently

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    Tall maybe win faster but reliability wide do better in my opinion, remeber not only do you have more cities you make the ai's have less of them and in my opinion the scarry ai's are the big ones with alot of cities and by taking alot of land you hurt alot of the ai players badly.

    Settling blindly or ICS should be punished, settling alot of good cities isn't punished.

    What civ 5 should probably be remebered for its advancement in making small empires stay competive alot longer then earlier versions but in the end good managed wide win over good managed tall.

    And if you go on a conquest Spree are you really playing tall anymore?

    All things points towards we want many cities, the question is then.
     
  14. KmDubya

    KmDubya King

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    Lately I've been playing standard speed standard map size. With those settings tradition is very strong as you won't be expanding beyond 4 or so cities early anyway. Liberty's faster settler build is not that noticeable when tradition can build in ten turns or less.

    Would Liberty be more appealing on large maps at epic speed? The per city malus is reduced and you would want many more cities than 4. Also the increased build rate would be more noticeable with the increased cost.

    Just a thought here that maybe we are all playing on maps that are too small and too fast for liberty to have a comparative advantage versus tradition?
     
  15. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Yes, weakening AIs can be one side benefit, but you're never going to be placing cities to constrain every AI - mostly AI placement is constrained by other AIs, so unless your immediate neighbours are a threat this doesn't much matter.

    Wide is definitely less reliable in my experience - quite apart from anything else, it can be quite map-dependent; you always have space for a few good cities, often enough for 6-8, but much more rarely enough for the 10-12+ which are optimal for wide play.

    That's what it should be remembered for, because it's what it ultimately achieved in G&K. It's what it won't be remembered for because BNW pushed the game too far in favour of tall. There was a Tradition/Liberty imbalance in Tradition's favour before BNW. BNW's response? Give Liberty Pyramids, a Wonder of somewhat marginal utility, give Tradition Hanging Gardens, the best Wonder in the game. Better balance would have been to give Tradition Artemis and let anyone take HoA - still very desirable, but not quite as ridiculous in a tall empire. Then force the player to need the whole Tradition tree to get the Great Engineer, but giving nothing equally valuable as a Liberty finisher that would prompt anyone to go down that route.

    Trying another wide game now, having got a great desert map as Morocco (who have fewer economic settlement problems). I've been into red happiness a couple of times, but only briefly, and at turn 115 or so I've just settled city no. 8, and am in the black both for gold and happiness (founding a religion with Ceremonial Burial, Asceticism and Pagodas does that).
     
  16. GoStu

    GoStu King

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    I tend to play on Large or Huge maps with 10-12 players; Liberty does do better there. There's simply more room that you want/need to settle, and the per-city penalty is a lot more reasonable.
     
  17. Loucypher

    Loucypher King

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    Hell, on Huge Scrambled Earth with 22 players, I almost always find room for 6-9 cities up until the Rennaisance. Liberty works really well there.
     
  18. Abraxis

    Abraxis Emperor

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    Maybe it doesn't count as I'm playing as carthage, and using honor, but currently I'm running 9 cities, with a +81gpt and +24 happiness, Just hit medieval era, Epic/Immortal/Huge/22civ/18CS.

    I'm behind in tech, but that's a given, otherwise I'm untouchable and may have already won. I havn't even gone to war with anyone.
     
  19. direblade99

    direblade99 Warlord

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    What's the turncount and science output?
     
  20. Abraxis

    Abraxis Emperor

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    It was about turn 200, science, not sure, +50-ish probably.
     

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