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Isolated Island Start

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by jeejeep, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. jeejeep

    jeejeep qwertyuiop

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    I got this huge island all to myself on Monarch. Didn't know what to do with it so I thought I'd come here for help. I am Kublai Khan on a standard size map. My second city is already up. I would be happy if anyone could look at the save and give some suggestions.

    View attachment 121184
     
  2. aes0p r0ck

    aes0p r0ck Chieftain

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    I recommend you do your best to get caravels sooner than you normally would. You're gonna be at a substantial tech disadvantage due to the lack of trades until that point. At least, this is my experience.

    Being such a warlike civ with no victims early on will make it interesting. Good luck!
     
  3. DarkFyre99

    DarkFyre99 Prince

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    your situation is nearly identical to my current game: Kublai Khan on my own continent. Being isolated is going to retard your research rate and the size of your empire (those foreign trade routs are valuable), so you'd better fix that as soon as possible. :(

    It drove me nuts hearing about all the wonders being built, and religions being founded (though I managed to snag Taoism, and Islam later in the game) and knowing that I was a primitive backwater. Especially since I lacked access to a wide variety of health and happiness resources, which also stunted my growth. :mad:

    I researched Optics as soon as I got the basic techs to get my Caravels (a lot more than normal, about eight) out and about, and then traded my advanced techs to fill in the gaps of my own research. I went from dead last to the middle of the pack to the leader pretty quickly through careful trading of techs... especially since I waited until I had contacted all of the other Civs before I started trading. :goodjob:

    Even better, the world turned out to have one mega continent with four civs, and three minor continents with one civ each. And Mansa Musa was on one of the minor continents, and had founded the three early religions plus Confucionism. Which meant that the main continent was religiounless, just waiting to be converted to Taoism. Except Tokugawa... he wouldn't open his borders. :lol:
     
  4. ArmoredCavalry

    ArmoredCavalry Warlord

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    My advice, get a religion. I played an island one where I had no religion whatsoever until the 1500s or somthing. Kept getting profits too.
     
  5. voek

    voek Prince

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    go culture Vic
     
  6. BubbaYeti

    BubbaYeti Warlord

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    You can easily fall way behind on tech if you are isolated but the other civs arent, because they will be trading techs. I would focus on getting libraries early, assign some science specialists. Build the oracle if you can and take metal casting as a free tech, that will help you on your way to caravels. Dont bother building a large military, just enough to "fog-bust" so that barbs arent a problem. You are in no danger from the ai until astronomy and galleons come along. Once you get the caravels and meet other civs trade techs to catch up.
     
  7. rddc05

    rddc05 Warlord

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    Agree with all the posters who advise beeline to Optics for caravels (need Worker Techs and probably CoL; Alphabet->Lit. after Optics). If you wait until 1000 AD to contact other civs you will not catch up on Monarch. Getting the trade routes going with Astronomy is not as important as trading techs. You can usually build Colossus on this tech path, which will help out a lot. You might also consider trying for Oracle->Metal Casting slingshot since you can take your time expanding. Getting hinduism/buddhism is helpful too.
     
  8. Cam_H

    Cam_H Deity

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    Apologies jeejeep, but I'm unable to look at your game as I'm some 300kms from my Civ4 CD, however I'm really pleased that this topic has been raised, as I've been playing quite a few Monarch continents games lately, and I'd guess close to one-third of them have been ocean-bound isolationist starts.

    I tend to go along with what others are indicating, in that Cultural victory seems most likely in these instances, although I've got Space victories too.

    Generally my approach has been a combination of city specialisation including a super-science capital and very measured sprawl.

    The super science city is typically my capital. Because its maintenance is zero until you start building a few cities, I allow it to grow to maximum happiness (typically size 6 on Monarch with a city garrison) without incurring a financial penalty and therefore keeping 100% science. I'll start with a Warrior (I tend not to play Civs that happen to start with Hunting), and go for Mysticism > Polytheism, where there's often a good chance for Hinduism. I'll place a citizen on a commerce-heavy square to improve my chances of picking up the religion. Work can start on another Warrior or two and then Stonehenge (or Barracks if aggressive), and once the population gets up to a decent level (I tend to wait to 4) you can look at shifting over to a Worker for terrain improvements and chops before heading back to city growth. If your capital borders an ocean, consideration could be given to an early exploratory Work Boat. I have found that Archers are adequate for fog-busting, so Hunting > Archery is a diversionary technological pursuit, to otherwise chasing; Bronze Working, the Stonehenge > Code of Laws > Civil Service slingshots, and The Great Library.

    City sprawl can get underway after Stonehenge and a few Archers have been built, and after a new city is founded I tend to go with immediately building a Worker to later chop a Courthouse (or at least build mines) while simultaneously keeping the population down and thereby minimising maintenance.

    Despite the best efforts of the Archers' fog busting, it is not uncommon to stumble across a barbarian city on larger islands, which can be a good avenue to getting a unit to a 'Heroic Epic' level (fortified Archers on a defence-bonus adjacent tile) while also having a 'city in waiting'.

    With at least half a dozen cities (I usually aim for nine cities - situation-dependant) all that have built Courthouses, a super-science city, a Heroic Epic city, and probably Hinduism and Confucianism, the empire can gradually start to develop with confidence and still maintain a 70%+ science rate. It is important however I would suggest to have two or three cities with Barracks just pumping out units as quickly as practicable - a weak Civilization can expect to be attacked by around 1300AD if it has spent all of its time on constructing buildings and other non-military activity. Once The Great Library is up and Civil Service secured, technology paths from there can go in all kinds of directions – I tend to pursue Liberalism, Education, Printing Press and so forth, but the argument for more expansive (Optics, etc.) and military technologies is valid.

    In the Space victory games, I ended up doing a bee-line to Fibre Optics and got The Internet, immediately picking up about eight technologies as a result, with a few to come afterwards. My problem is that I am by nature a fairly passive player, and have usually by-passed off-shore wars for self-preservation, but I can imagine that many players would have a lot of success by engineering invasions - particularly of someone like the abovementioned Mansa Musa.

    As noted at the outset, I’m currently a Monarch-level player, so I’m more than happy to get constructive input from others who are having success at the higher levels with these isolated starts.
     
  9. opensilo

    opensilo Warlord

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    These are just my thoughts, all intended to help...

    First, some comments about your start:

    1) I think you've started a little slowly. It's already 1520BC and you only have two cities. You should have at least three cities by this point and at least as many workers improving them. (Note: Unless you built some wonders...I didn't check for that.)
    2) There are a *lot* of trees that you could have used to chop out settlers and workers
    3) You have no cottages yet! Before farms on anything but food resources, I would have put cottages on your river grasslands.
    4) As soon as you realized, or strongly suspected, that you were isolated, I would have set up a city (probably the second city) east or southeast of the stone. Then, chop the Pyramids in your capital.
    5) There is a lot of fog of war left unseen. When allowing your capital to grow, you could have been pumping out warriors and fortifying them on the forested hills to expose the lands and keep barbs from spawning. I think Kublai is aggressive, so a cheap barracks to pump out cover-promoted warriors on the hills and forests would have been a better deterrent to barb aggression than researching archery

    Now, as to how to proceed.

    First, observations about city growth limiters: happiness and health
    1) You have few happiness resources, just silk, right? So you need to figure out a way to make your people happy. Founding a religion is okay, but if trying for one, I would have chosen Confucianism. With all those forests, oracle could have given this to you.
    2) Other happiness options include monarchy and drama/theaters/culture-slider. The exact one to choose could be determined by the victory type you decide to aim for.
    3) You have plenty of health resources, so health won't be a problem for you.

    Second, plans for the rest of the game
    1) You can choose a victory condition to shoot for as soon as you discover that you were on an isolated island.
    2) Cultural victory would be the easiest. Your first two cities have awesome food. Not only will this allow you to grow fast and mine/poprush for infrastructure, but it will also allow you to run boatloads of artist specialists. These will both generate culture for your cities and generate great artists. I recommend saving all of your artists until the turn in which you get all of your cities to go legendary. There are several threads on this. I've used walkerjs' as a good guide.
    2a) If you decide on cultural, I'd go the drama route (and get music first for the free great artist) for happiness.
    3) You have good production capacity for a domination win, but it will be a long affair with the sea invasions you'll need to launch
    4) If you decide to go for space race, then concentrate as much as possible on generating commerce. But with no cottages so far, you might be playing catch up.5) Decide whether to let the AI come to you or whether to beeline for optics to go meet them. At this point, I'd be tempted to let them come to you. That's just because your lack of cottages mean that you will not be too far ahead of them (if at all), so I'd spend my efforts improving "my" island. Note that it is a fair bit of time between optics and astronomy usually, so you should have time to fill your island with your own cities/cultural borders.
    6) Plan where you want to put your cities, and the order in which you want to place them. High food locations with good commerce potential first.

    Good luck! Let us know how it comes out.
     
  10. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    I'd say... general isolated advice
    1) Expand rapidly with lots of cottages (temporary science dip will be countered soon enough, aim for CoL to ease the pain)

    2) Getting a religion (optional if 3 is shot for)

    3) Getting Contact
     
  11. ArmoredCavalry

    ArmoredCavalry Warlord

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    Actually, I've played an isolationalist on prince where, despite having archers defend my cities, was never invaded or declared war on. I had absolutely no units in comparison to other nations. My only assult force was 2 swordsmen, 1 maceman, and 1 catapult to conquer a barbarion city. The key is a navy, seems kind of obvious but seriously, having a navy can seriously screw your SS competitor over. Declare war and watch thier suicide runs. the AI doesn't prepare for Inter continental warfare.

    Btw, if you want the SS, the internet is VITAL. so is the space elevator, and the dam is nice. my late tech line is plastics, rocketry(assuming I have flight or artillery) the reason for rocketry is obvious. computers>robotics>fiber optics. then cut all reasearch down to 0% and start refregeration. build the internet and rush the elevator. If you have enough, rush the dam to. After getting the Internet and aquirering all those free techs, set the slider back to 100% to get refrigeration then genetics. allowing all remaining components. the AI's go for the upper techs so you will get a distictive edge on the SS stasis chamber.

    After all of this, set the slider back to 0 again. one of the tech leaders will build the bomb because they feel like it. make them regret it, rush buy IBCMs. with a good navy in place, you're main competitors will wake up to a very bad day.
     
  12. Darkhrse

    Darkhrse Warlord

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    Thanks to the posters for their advice. I find myself playing on an isolated (unfortunately, tiny) island in a Prince-level standard continents game and I had to rush towards getting galleons fast and managed to be the first to circumnavigate th world. I'm on my way to GunPowder after getting Military Tradition so with Cavalry, I'll be able to start warring to get additional land.

    I'm having the most fun ambushing galleons filled troops and sinking them way before they reach me. :)
     
  13. jeejeep

    jeejeep qwertyuiop

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    Thanks for the advice everybody.

    To answer some points.

    I decided to try for an early religion as a result of getting mysticism from a goody hut in the opening turns. I was happy that this paid off when I founded Hinduism.
    As this was such a large continent, I assumed at first that I would be sharing it with another civ. Therefore, some of my early moves did not take my isolation into account.
    I have decided to go for a cultural victory and will go for confucianism with the oracle. I can probably pick up another later religion to give me the culture I need
     
  14. voek

    voek Prince

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    Good choise :goodjob:
     
  15. jeejeep

    jeejeep qwertyuiop

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    Alright,I'm back.

    Now I really need the advice. Something went very badly with my money situation. I suspect it may have to do with not having enough cottages/ overexpansion. I am now down to 60% research and things are not looking good at all. I founded Confucianism and solved my barb problems, but after that everything just went downhill. All the important techs take about 15-25 turns to research. Because of the money situation, I also cannot spare a city to use as a Great Artist farm, which is necessary for a cultural victory. This game way already be too far gone but I would still like advice on what I did wrong.

    View attachment 121388
     
  16. opensilo

    opensilo Warlord

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    I haven't looked at your save game (at work), but you're probably fine with 60% research in 275BC. Don't forget that it's the number of beakers, not the percentage rate, that determines how much research you're doing. And, once you've gotten to CoL, you don't need to rush any research anyway. With two religions, you should be in good shape for spreading them around, getting temples built, and eventually cathedrals. Try to get that free music great artist!

    You won't see the AI until 1000-1100AD, so just keep planting cottages.

    That second city of yours can eventually pump out great artists. The specialists will be more productive when you run pacifism and have national epic in the city anyway.
     
  17. Elmstr

    Elmstr Warlord

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    built citys so you get all the recources
     
  18. jerVL/kg

    jerVL/kg Sheep Nuker

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    Haven't looked at the game, but thought I'd share my advice about isolated starts on Prince/Monarch. Personally, I love isolated starts...you get to expand at your own pace instead of rushing to beat the AI to critical resources. Of course, the downside is finding yourself in a tech black hole when you finally meet other civs. But you're not there yet...

    1) Founding at least one religion is *crucial*, since you can't inherit one from your neighbors. You got Conf, so that's good.

    2) Early cottages, as others said, are also critical. You want them to mature just when you need commerce the most. BTW, 60% is not bad at all...I've run myself all the way down to 40% before consolidating. It's ok to overexpand a little bit, because those extra cities will pay off more the longer they exist. (In fact I've sometimes expanded to the point where I was down to 20% science and still losing money...that was tricky! Don't recommend it...)

    3) Did I mention that early cottages are critical?

    4) Frankly, I never bother to beeline Optics. The AI civs always seem to get that tech first anyway, so let them find you first. Then, trade for it. However...do NOT trade techs with the first AI who finds you, because he's almost certainly the tech leader at that point, and you don't want to enrich him. (He may also be everyone else's worst enemy, too.)

    5) Lack of happiness resources will be a big problem, so research techs that give you those...esp. Radio/Mass Media, for Eiffel Tower etc. Also go for things like Education (Oxford) & Economics (Wall Street...or is that Corporation?) -- science & commerce are far more critical than military when you're isolated.

    6) Don't forget the cottages...did I mention cottages??

    7) Kinda late for this, but for future advice, you should pick and choose Early Wonders that will help you the most. Best ones are Stonehenge (cheap & easy to chop-rush, but don't bother if you're a Creative civ), Parthenon (excellent for a Philosophical civ like Kublai), Great Library (easy to get first if you beeline Literature, but don't wait too long) and The Hanging Gardens (often ignored by the AI, so you can get it even if you delay researching Mathematics...but again, don't wait too long.) Alternatively, you can try for Great Lighthouse/Colossus if you have lots of coastal cities; and if your capital has very high prodution, lots of trees for chopping, AND stone nearby, you might even take a shot at the Pyramids. Most importantly, you need to pick one or two Wonders, maybe three, to aim for and just forget all the rest.

    8) Cottages!

    9) I did mention cottages, didn't I?

    10) In 3960BC, check the Top 5 Cities screen to see who your competitors are (good idea for any game, whether you're isolated or not.) If you see lots of Industrious civs, then you might as well abadon all hope of building Wonders and focus on something like religion instead. If you see Spiritual civs, then forget about religion, or at least try to beeline one ASAP.

    11) You probably won't ever catch up in tech unless you beeline the Internet, or do some very, very shrewd trading. (Watch out for the WFYABCA glitch...)

    12) Don't forget the cottages!!!
     
  19. bob rulz

    bob rulz Prince

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    What's the WFYABCA glitch?
     
  20. rddc05

    rddc05 Warlord

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    I'm pretty sure he means "We Fear You Are Becoming Too Advanced". I wouldn't really call it a glitch, it is just kind of unpredictable under what circumstances certain AI will stop trading techs with you for this reason and whether there is an absolute numerical limit to the number of techs an AI will trade over the course of a game.
     

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