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Is Pangaea harder than Continent?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by maltz, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. maltz

    maltz King

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    I once read that one should play the "standard" setting of Pangaea instead of Continent, since Continent makes things easier.
    An Earth/Terra map is somewhere in between.

    I wonder why? Considering the same map size and default settings:

    (1) Early expansion
    Continent encourages an early rush, since the player's warmongering will not be condemned by unmet Civs. Not much difference in small, defensive Empire (Cultural, OCC).

    Continent is easier. Encourages expansion (domination, science).

    (2) Number of neighbors/enemies
    Pangaea increases the chance of spawnning right in the middle (a lot of neighbors), but it is relatively rare. Players normally spawn near the sea on Pangaea. Normally, there will be 1-3 neighbors. On Continent, there are usually slightly less number of neighbors due to the narrowed landmass. Less neighbor = less enemy.

    Continent is easier. Encourages weak empire (cultural, OCC)

    So far it looks like Continent is indeed easier as it takes care of different play styles. However...

    (3) Income in early game
    Pangaea offers more early trade partners to sell resources.

    Pangaea is easier. Encourages Arabia and a peaceful game (cultural, OCC)

    (4) Diplomacy
    Diplomacy is all about making AIs fight each other so they use up their army, and do not sign as many RAs with each other. On Pangaea, as they have much more neighbors, it is much easier to make them fight each other. On Continent, since there are so many non-neighbors, they will sign a lot more RAs. Also, it is very easy for an AI to eliminate an opponent and own a Continent. But it is very hard for an AI to grow to the same size on Pangaea, since they will always have new enemies and neighbors. The players usually detect this and bribe others to war them.

    Pangaea is easier. Encourages very slow victory (Culture, or a rather... inexperienced player).

    So I don't think Pangaea is harder. The increased enemies could sound scary, but it is actually an ideal place for AIs to kill off their extra armies. War is easy. The real problem is how to block off a front runner when you are on another continent. I think continent is actually harder (or more unsafe in terms of losing to some other faster victory conditions) on very slow victory types.
     
  2. elthrasher

    elthrasher Revcaster

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    This is an okay analysis, but it leaves out one thing and that is the tendency for the AI to apparently not pursue any victory conditions at all (maybe time victory?). I have played continents maps where my rivals across the sea stayed friendly while I built the UN and bought up all the city-states. They were far ahead of me on score and easily could have been sending up spaceship parts, but I guess they were working on a time victory. Oh, so close! Just another 250 turns and they would have had me!
     
  3. maltz

    maltz King

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    I have never seen this. Does it only happen on Continent? (I have never played a Continent map)
     
  4. ChuckVader

    ChuckVader Chieftain

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    I think Pangaea is easier than Continents, as you are able to meet all the AI MPs sooner, which enables you to do more trading and more RAs. It's also much easier to take an MP down with your military that is becoming a threat.

    On Continents, the MPs on the other continent may be significantly ahead of you in tech and income by the time you make contact with them. You have to completely dominate your home continent just to catch up. It's also harder to take down an MP on the other continent due to the time it takes to send your units across the ocean - although you can mitigate this some by allying with militaristic CS on the other continent. If only there were still airports like in Civ IV...

    I suppose in theory you are more vulnerable on Pangaea if the AI MPs gang up on you, but so far I haven't found that to be a problem.
     
  5. Airey

    Airey Prince

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    Pangaea is widely considered easier even back from Civ IV.
    More conflicts among AI. Runaway AI are the only hard thing to deal with.
    Or multiple AIs over at the other continents being friendly with each other and RA, out teching player's continent.

    Same problem at Continents....reason of dog piling is not due to # of AIs. 9/10 is due to lack of military.

    Some of the causal relationship are incorrect at deriving to these conclusions:
    Not really, any map encourages early rush if the player can do it. See GOTM7 and GOTM6.
    GOTM6, DaveMcW's early domination on Archipelago.
    GOTM7
    , all the fastest win dates so far are predominately Domination wins on Oval (similar effects as Pangaea).
    The winning dates of these 2 maps are very comparable.

    this is true, but how did you get from here to
    ? why neighbours must be enemy. At least the early RA people will use them for RA partners. Continents doesn't encourage weak empire. Weak is a really vague adj, I assume you meant not founding many cities. Eitherway, the correlation is incorrect.
    1 city can do well on Continents and Pangaea, even without puppets.

    uh? money can be used to rush buy military units and upgrades. Peaceful game?
    More money != peaceful game. It can be played peacefully to help putting up infrastructure earlier.
    But that's more to do with playstyle and strategy, not map type.
    Cities and money you get from peace treaty will make early OB money/lux sells look like nothing.

    valid, imo

    again, how does the above encourage slow victory?
    Pangaea is the easiest map type to get early Domination.
    and if you are implying culture wins are done by inexperienced player, check out GOTM 5.
     
  6. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    It happens when the AI wants to do Domination but then totally forgets that people exist on some other continent.

    They still don't understand the concept of launching invasions across the ocean most times. (I've seen it tried but they forgot naval units)
     
  7. elthrasher

    elthrasher Revcaster

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    I have had the same experience on Pangaea, but it's a lot more rare. Had a game where Caesar was miles ahead, got nukes, could have had a spaceship, but didn't. Didn't try buying city-states. He obviously wasn't doing culture because he had a ton of cities. He might have been going for dominion as he did attack me, but his attack was very late - I probably still would have won even if his attack hadn't been easily repelled. But moreover I can't see how dominion was his goal because he had one close neighbor that he never went to war with at all. I think his only war was with me towards the end of the game.

    Conclusion: he was going for a time victory. But somebody please correct me if there's another logical conclusion there.

    I haven't played a continent map in a while, but I found this kind of stupid behavior a lot more common. In fact, it's worse as one time Darius was in future tech and just watched me assemble spaceship parts. Stayed friendly the whole time. At least Caesar in the game above launched a couple of warheads.
     
  8. Civsassin

    Civsassin Immortal

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    Continent maps can be very challenging, especially, if you work toward a domination victory. If forces you to plan an execute at least one invasion across the ocean, which means you have to consider a Navy to protect your forces. The 1UPT makes it particularly interesting and difficult. I play continents maps for this purpose sometimes.

    To another post though, the AI remains fairly inept. I've never seen it attack across a body of water. You are reasonably safe from civs on other land masses if you play continents or archipelago. This needs to be fixed. I miss the days when Ragnar would show up at your doorstep with Berserkers, which excel at attacking from sea.

    I really hope they work on the AI in the next patch. I love the game, but the AI needs work. If they fixed the AI, It would improve every difficulty level.
     
  9. Bobafett0610

    Bobafett0610 Warlord

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    Hmmm. I seem to have a different experience. Anytime I play continents it's a cakewalk for me. When I play pangea I'm fighting tooth and nail and it's a crapshoot on if I survive the first 100 turns or not. Then again I always play huge pangea/diety/22 civs/28 citystates/ domination only victory/random civ...
     
  10. Airey

    Airey Prince

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    Certain strategies will be more adaptable to certain map types.
    But it's not IFF (if only if) statements...the reverse is not always true.
     
  11. GCavalry

    GCavalry Chieftain

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    Regardless of human player, pangaea help AI because:
    1. The madness Research Agreement with all of the AI. Especially if you play higher difficult so AIs get more money.
    2. Easier for AI to move troops and settle all the land.

    Don't forget the difficult is different with what civs in the map and what position you are on the map. It is harder if you at the center of a pangae and the AI civs is Siam, Darius,...

    If you want some more difficult with continents then you may just need to add 2-3 more civ to the map.
     
  12. basta

    basta Prince

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    The near-inevitable early dogpile in pangea play goes a long way to make it challenging but I prefer to play std continents because otherwise you are leaving out a significant portion of the game--naval and seafaring techs and units. That gives you a huge tech boost playing pangea.

    Even if the AI is miserable in handling navies, it's still important in continents not to neglect naval techs too much to get that caravel out there to find the CSs on the other continent, and late game you'll usually face a dominant civ on the other continent.
     
  13. Civsassin

    Civsassin Immortal

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    I agree with you. If you're playing at the highest level that you can - i.e. the AI is giving you a run for your money in tech - It is even more challenging. You can't simply steam roll the civ if it is on another continent. You have to plan a strategy that includes either overseas invasion or one that at least reflects the fact that you cannot get to them as easily as you can on a Pangea map.

    I do notice that the AI - while not prone to attack across an an ocean and inept if doing so - will build a substantial Navy. You must take their Navy into consideration if you decide to attack, or it will decimate your attacking force.
     
  14. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    On any standard map, I'll add 3-4 extra civs. I did the same thing in Civ4. A more crowded map makes it a little more challenging, esp. Continents where the default tends to be more spread out.
     
  15. Airey

    Airey Prince

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    +1

    More Civ => less room for an AI civ to expand => less production power
    For AIs, ICSing is far better than RAs....crowded map only means AI reach their ceiling faster....thus easier...not to mention more possibility of AI conflicts

    In extreme case, play 1 vs 1 AI...it's almost impossible to out-expand AI. Only way is to use military.
     
  16. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    I would also turn that around and say that you have more room to expand and less conflicts that you could get into.
     
  17. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    I'd generally agree with this, but if you can work out dropping settlers in key spots to block them from coming through with settlers (and no open borders), then you can fill in the space before they get there sometimes. (Or they'll declare war just to spam settlers through your territory)
     
  18. maltz

    maltz King

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    Thanks for all the responses.

    Now I recall that in my earlier games where I do early rush, the game always finished very early and easily no matter on what map type. Pangaea actually makes it a lot faster since I don't have to build a navy. So early rush is still the way to go for Domination, Dipolomacy, and Technology victories. If the neighbor happens to complete the Stonehenge, then early rush is a viable option for a Culture game, too.

    I still think Continent makes a military-weak empire more survivable (and therefore can focus on infrastructure) - there is in average one less neighbor to worry about on Continent than on Pangaea. Some aggressive Civs declare war to neighbor no matter what, so reducing 1 neighbor reduce the chance. The player can always get the army ready when the invasion starts. But removing that chance (as shown in recent peaceful OCC Cultural strategies) is a nice thing.

    One should try to play a no-army OCC in the middle of a Pangaea or a large continent and see how far the human player can divert wars away. That should make things very interesting.

    What I meant in (3) is that trading money is very significant in a peaceful game. War makes lots of profit, so trading does not matter that much. I think everyone agrees on this.

    Cultural wins are the hardest I think, since the infrastructure focus is completely the opposite of what to do to make an empire powerful. What I meant by slow "or" inexperienced player is that new players, due to their lack of game knowledge, usually miss chances to optimize strategies and therefore drag the game long. That's quite equivalent of playing a Culture game. The longer the player needs to win, the more chances the AI gets to win.

    After reading all responses I more more convinced that Pangaea is indeed easier (as I thought). I now prefer to call it "safer". The difficulty is about the same. But people rarely lose on Pangaea due to a run-away AI.
     
  19. mekane

    mekane Chieftain

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    Seems like Pangea is easier for Domination victory. I have had the runaway AI problem before with continents, and it was too hard to attack them over the ocean. I had a late game attack, and they just bombed the heck out of me with like 10 bombers and multiple nukes since all my units were so concentrated when I landed for my beach assault.
     
  20. maltz

    maltz King

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    I tried this strategy before, but the AIs always circle to the back from sea. They are very persistent.

    Another alternative is play the game normally and know where they want to settle, then move your unit to the exact spot first. The AI will patiently wait there for many turns, not willing to settle just one tile aside.

    In the meantime, the player can purchase some tile nearby. It seems that the AI never settles beside an existing player's border (so their city will be right next to an enemy's border).
     

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