Jungle Start Strategy?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by Puppeteer, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Emperor

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    I usually restart if I have lots of jungle and/or marsh nearby. But yesterday I thought I'd see what I could do with it. I had a roughly 3-city-sized area of grassland with TONS of jungle around. I mean it's the most ridiculous jungle I think I've seen. I also randomly got Hittites and have no horses anywhere near my start, but I guess that's fine because the 3-man chariots would never get out of the jungle, anyway. I did snag an iron mountain, though.

    I thought maybe I'd try a very early chop and irrigation of the banana tiles. 24 turns with my opening worker. I haven't really played far into it yet, but I'm already having doubts. I have the tile cleared and irrigated, and finally placed a city to bring the irrigated banana into play, and also I built a granary in the capital. But I feel *really* stunted.

    What to others do with jungle starts?

    I was thinking if I leveraged the bananas and made lots of workers I could catch up. Maybe I can, but I'm just not sure yet.
     
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  2. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    You will need lots of workers. Under such circumstances you need to spam cities as this will help you with unit support and with food surplus for recruiting workers in the first place. Jungle can be cleared by simply founding a town. Donnot forget to spam settlers. Once all the land is settled, spam workers.
     
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  3. Chicken Pizza

    Chicken Pizza Warlord

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    I get angry, open a beer to use as pacifier and ignore it. As the game goes on this gets harder and harder, I start to neglect my other cities and important decisions, and finally abandon the game.

    I try to decide if I've posted too much on CivFanatics to pass as a normal person, then write a post complaining about something completely unrelated.
     
  4. tjs282

    tjs282 Stone \ Cold / Fish

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    My strategy?

    Open the Editor, and mod Jungles to allow irrigation (+1f), and be cleared using the 'Clear Forest' worker-job (= 1/3 fewer base-worker turns than "Clear Wetland") ;)
    A town surrounded by Jungle, without Bananas is going to get +1 FPT net from Pop1 to Pop2, and then starve on the turn after hitting Pop3 (40 turns in), during which time it will have accumulated 40 shields, solely from the town-tile. And you can't even whip with 10 shields in the box, because that will kill the pop-point you need to make the Settler (never mind the unhappiness incurred).

    So how is one supposed to "spam" Settlers under these circumstances? One Settler (+ Warrior?) per 40 turns per town seems unlikely to exceed the AI's expansion-rate at anything above Chieftain/Warlord.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  5. Chicken Pizza

    Chicken Pizza Warlord

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    I love this advice, using food to get more food, but why don't you do it in all games?

    What about the poor shields?

    You could build military and relocate completely on behalf on another civilization.

    Or peacefully settle a new capital somewhere else after doing some scouting/seafaring.
     
  6. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    Well, under these circumstances one needs to adapt. For recruting settlers each town needs to have 1 or 2 useful tiles in addition to the city tile. But such pure jungle is unlikely. Usually there is a bit more leeway than the extreme sitation you describe. My point is to have barely enough workers to get up to 2 tiles improved per town and invest into settlers before builing up any serios effort for clearing the jungle.

    One needs to calculate with being behind AI for quite some time. Hard starting position have a major impact.

    This may be viable.

    Given the lack of shields this seems less viable.

    To some degree i do. But the degree differs as there is a price to it in form of corruption. In the long run i want metropolises. In the mid run i want city size. So this limits the amount of towns one should found in a given area.

    If however you are surrounded by jungle the picture differs. Growth is limited by the lack of proper tiles which is limited by the lack of workers which is limited by the lack of food and unit support. Unit support will be a major concern after leaving despotism and i would argue that even with the jungle start one wants to become a republic, even though the logic there is not as clear as usual.
     
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  7. Buttercup

    Buttercup King

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    I'm not put off by Jungle starts and often quite like them, but not always, there's a lot of depending factors. Marsh can be good if it's well placed as the AI wont settle on it and wont clear it in order to settle it, so it's like having spare land you don't have to rush to dominate.

    Most of the time I'll be choosing an island start, and I've had some fun wins starting on islands full of jungles (at Regent level). However, one time I started on an island with another AI who had the luxury of a river'ed grassland cows start while I was stuck in the jungle. Needless to say, by the time I had settled four towns, the AI had already dominated the island and was already sending a big stack of archers my way. I died a quick death. But even then I could have salvaged the game, I just couldn't be bothered to negotiate peace once I'd been hammered a bit and thought it'd be fun to go down in a blaze of glory.

    If you have a coastal start then settling lots of little towns with no expectation of growing beyond size 3 in the short-term can still yield you lots of gold without using any land of any type, which will get you out of despotism quickly and enable your Workers to chop faster.

    If you're in the middle of a continent and surrounded by AIs it's a bit tougher.

    When you say "3-city-sized area of grassland", do you mean 1 square of Grassland to create a size 3 Capital, or do you mean approximately 30 squares of Grassland that can easily maintain 3 size 12 cities? If the latter, then the Jungle shouldn't be an issue really. If the former, then even just one square of Grassland is enough to have 2 workers by turn 10, a Warrior by turn 20 and then a third Worker by turn 30, by which time you should have cleared more squares of Jungle and be able to start spamming Settlers.

    A screenshot would help greatly.
     
  8. Buttercup

    Buttercup King

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    I think we're assuming the Capital doesn't start exclusively in Jungle. It is quite common, however, to have periphery towns that are restricted in the short-term to size 3, where, as you say, it can take 40 turns to get to size 3.

    However, Workers only cost 10 shields, so as long as you have a town that can afford to make a worker every now and then, then no, it only takes 30 turns for the Jungle bound town to make a Settler. You get the town to one turn before size 2, then have your Worker join the city, next turn it can produce a Settler (wait until it's 2.5 citizens for pure Jungle). This method works much more efficiently if the Town can at least produce 2 Shields, bringing the time it takes to make a Settler down to below 20 turns. 25 turns should be enough time to clear 1 square of Jungle, so by the time the first Settler is off the Town should already be capable of getting the standard 2 food per turn as its base.

    It's certainly not fast whatever you do, but there are ways to speed up seemingly slower starts to something a bit more competitive.
     
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  9. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    Technically getting out of despotism will slow your workers down. During anarchy workers produce only 1 point per turn. During despotism and republic etc. it is 2 points per turn. So clearing jungle at 16x3=48 points takes 24 turns.

    As cleared tiles are expected to be scarce it makes sense for towns to have only 1 cleared tile for use most of the time. A second cleared tile needs to be shared with other towns. Overlapping fatcrosses are even more essential than in regular starting positions.
     
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  10. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Emperor

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    In the OP, @Puppeteer writes that he has a region of grassland about the size of 3 cities' BFC space, surrounded by lots of jungle. When I last had a jungle-heavy start, I walked some escorted settlers *through* the jungle to settle on the coast on the other side. I left a gap of unsettled land until I could grow enough, building more workers and more efficiently clear the jungle. Might that be an option -- settle in the good land on the far side of the jungle, after filling the grassland?
     
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  11. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    It certainly is an option, but corruption-wise such an A-C-B-approach is not optimal. Your cities closest to the capital will have the lowest corruption, hence you want them to be developed most, hence you ought to found them first.
     
  12. Theov

    Theov Deity

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    Turn off "cultural linked starts" as it gives you Native American tribes, that often are greeted with jungles.
    Ok Hittites... but still, you're pretty much ****ed for most of the game, other than that you got a defense buffer.

    Maybe jungles should give you shield bonusses like trees do. But if we go with what 'should' and 'is' then we might want to move to Mars.
     
  13. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    Is there really a link between jungle and culture group?
     
  14. Theov

    Theov Deity

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    IIRC
    I cant find the source now. I could be wrong.
     
  15. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Emperor

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    Thanks all! I had intended to try to stick with it and learn some jungle strats, but I seem to have taken the 'abandon the game' approach so far.

    The game I originally asked about basically had 3 cities' worth of land, meaning I think I think 3 12-pop cities would nearly work it all without clearing or working the jungle.
     
  16. tjs282

    tjs282 Stone \ Cold / Fish

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    I actually random-rolled a Jungle-start the other day (Small, Raging, 80% Archi, Temperate, Normal Humidity, 3 BYO, Emperor). Almost nothing but Jungle, Hills, Marsh and Desert in every direction surrounding my coastal spawn-point (as France), and stretching all the way to the Forests near Persepolis, ~10 tiles away to the NE. There were maybe 3 clear Grassland tiles in my core area.
    Spoiler What I did with it :
    Since all I could see at 4000 BC was 2 Deserts (1 with an Oasis) and a Hill, the first thing I did was move my Worker to the Oasis -- revealing Jungle. So I moved my Settler 1N before founding, to get access to that more 'fertile' ground.

    The (mined) Oasis allowed Paris to build a couple of Warriors and a couple of Curraghs as it grew to Pop3, and then my first Settler, which founded Orleans near the Grass and Marsh-Deer. Both towns then alternated Warriors, (Curraghs) and Settlers. I started settling at CxxxC, prioritising Hills, thinking I might backfill the Jungle later with trash-towns, just to clear it quicker: further towns generally built a Warrior and a Worker first, and I built roads over Hills + Marsh rather than Jungle, to get new Settlers to their destinations quicker.

    I also traded away Alph for a Persian Worker, and my Curraghs made overseas contacts relatively early, so tech-trading was easy. Then Iron showed up on a Hill-pair where I was willing to settle (at CxxC) but Jerxes wasn't, so the start wasn't nearly as hard as it might have been.

    Neither the Persians nor the Aztecs bothered sending (m)any Settlers my way; I only saw one Persian Settler-pair, and promptly walled off my end of the island with Warriors and Archers, so that it couldn't get past.

    (Nice pair of neighbours, eh? And both starting on my island/continent, of course! Whereas the Celts got an island nearly as big, and all to themselves; and the Chinese and Spanish shared another)

    I also took a risk and traded away Writing soon after I got it, so Mapmaking also came in relatively early, and the small map-size then allowed them to colonise the (marginally) more fertile/ grassy islands offshore to the north and east, instead of heading south. They also went heavy on Archers for barb-hunting in the untamed wilds.

    After 5-6 Settlers for the first towns I switched to Warriors, Archers and Swords (plus a few reg Spears for the border-towns) to fend off the Jerk and Monty, in preference to the Workers I needed to turn my core into a usefully productive area. So even though I made the Rep-sling successfully, it's been a pretty slow game overall.

    Also, 3 Civs on Small = 3 Lux-types on my landmass: I got the Incense, and traded — then fought — for the Furs and Spices. Swords and Archers were sufficient to evict the Jerk, but Monty was a little further away, and took longer to dislodge, even after I got Feudalism. I had Horses by that point, so traded for Mono and Chiv, allowing my Maces + a few Knights to finish pushing Monty into the sea, then chase the Jerk over to the next large island to the east — dry, almost all Plains, Desert and Mountains — to finish him off and grab the 2 Salt (+ 1 Iron) over there. But becoming able to build Musketeers also coincided with the end of my slow-unit wars, and my entry into the Industrial era.

    Monty DoW'd (again) shortly after the Jerk's demise, but he didn't last very long. I had a Galleon and a Cav-Army (MGL from an eKnight, Cavs from upgrades) by that point, which singlehandedly took 2 of the towns he'd founded on the long Grassy island to the north; while at the same time a small force of Maces clubbed down the Spear-garrisons in his Pop1-3 Antarctic Tundra-towns. I also recruited Mao to fight alongside me, resulting in the capture of Tatung, just offshore from Tours, by the perfidious Aztecs — and its susequent liberation by the glorious French Cavalry. What I didn't realise was that Monty was fighting Brennus as well, and it was he who administered the coup de grace, after taking a choke-point on the northern island which blocked my Army from reaching Monty's last Tundra-town overland.

    I used the break in hostilities (and my now-sizable collection of Industrious RP-boosted Slaves) to finish railing my core, farming the trash-islands, and building ToE (taking AtomicTheory and Electronics just because I could: no-one can build Hoovers except possibly Brennus, but those 2 techs are still fantastic trade-bait) and a few Factories — and also finishing off my FP, which I didn't do earlier, because I didn't have a good place to put it*, my best core-towns were otherwise occupied with building units, and I didn't really need it until now (the long stringy islands on this map make distance-corruption a real problem, so the FP will now be useful).

    *(The only freshwater on my island is a 1-tile lake, and the Aztecs had founded 1 tile away from it: I Worker-/Settler-disbanded that town to build my FP-town on the lakeshore, hoping I'd get an MGL from an eMace to leader-rush the FP. But most of my eMaces died instead: some of them against Archers!)

    It's now 1635 AD, and I have built no other GWs, so also still haven't had my GA: I'm currently contemplating whether to carry on all the way to Space, or just DoW someone (Mao and/or Bella) and hope that a Musketeer wins a fight and triggers my GA, so I can pump Cavs to win Domination (which would be almost too easy at this point).

    (Even though I can now also build Infs, I discovered that my missing GA also meant that I could still upgrade my vPikes to vMusketeers, which was a nice surprise)
     

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  17. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    I avoid them, unless I start at the edge of a jungle, and probably even then I want something more appealing for my start early. They are slow.

    But, the Great Moonsinger long ago called jungle and marsh tiles "uncleared grassland". She was referring to the food potential for citizens for higher score. There's more since grassland tiles are better than plains. Not only food wise, but production wise since although any plain tile can give you three shields once railroaded, so can bonus grassland squares, and you can only mine so many plains tiles for shields. You need some grassland tiles or food bonuses to support more than 2 mined plain tiles in a city. A pure grassland area in a city's fat X is likely to have more than two bonus grasslands, I think.

    Probably you know that you're more likely to have coal with a jungle start (appears in hills and mountains). What isn't so clear from most play is that rubber spawns in forests, jungle, and marsh. You have a good amount of jungle and marsh? You might just have a head start on controlling the world's rubber supply. A strong player from a while ago said this:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/120-days-–-a-newbie’s-journey-from-monarch-to-sid.141910/

    Infantry, as you recall every type of tank, and some spaceship parts are out without rubber. You have the rubber? The AI will kill your citizens with what? If you have infantry, they will kill you with cavalry? If you have tanks and mechanized infantry, they will kill your citizens with ToW infantry, and maybe bombers when you have a decent probability to get oil based units also?

    The AI controlling jungle and marsh also makes for annoyances. Your cavalry will need to walk through the jungle and end a turn before they can attack, unless in an army, and armies still lose three movement making their multiple attack ability nothing on that turn. Artillery units moving through jungles and marsh is another slow down. And using combat settlers to shell out a city becomes trickier with more marsh around.

    So, even though jungle and marsh starts are slow, if one keeps the perspective of the long game in mind, there exist upsides that make playing jungle and marsh starts appealing. Or at least in the aggregate it should work that way theoretically.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
  18. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    Only bonus grassland. Regular grassland with a mine is as good as plains with irrigation, but irrigation is cheaper than a mine.
     
  19. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    By 'grassland tiles' I meant the set of all grassland tiles, and 'plains' the set of all plain tiles. I didn't think through how to express that well. I even started thinking that food bonuses might shift the balance. But, I assumed that the food bonuses work out equally. I do think that in more cases than not, the set of grassland tiles you will have will be better than the set of plains tiles for your game's potential, and that the set of grassland tiles you had in previous games was in more cases than not better than the set of plains tiles you had. At least, once cleared grassland.

    As a reminder, the regular mined grassland tile once railroaded produces two shields and two food, while the railroaded irrigated plain tile produces one shield and three food. The railroaded irrigated plain tile is better for growth or possibly so that some other tile can get used which enables more production in the city overall. The railroaded mined grassland tile is better for production. For getting commerce I think things get more complicated. The railroaded irrigated plains tech is better for selling technologies for gold or for trading for other techs. The railroaded mined grassland tile is better for conquering so that one can produce more science later or gift cities or luxuries to AIs (we love the leader days reduce their corruption of commerce tokens) so that they can pick up their research rate, I suppose. But, if you have a hospital, you can get more science sooner from the irrigated plains tiles with an extra scientist or more gold with an extra taxman. Which isn't to say that making the hospital is worth that advantage.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
  20. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    Without railroads it is 2 food and one shield in both cases.

    If we have advanced to railroads we need to compare 2 tiles each. One mined plain and one irrigated plain together yield 4 food and 4 shields. 2 mined grassland tiles do the same.

    By the time railroads are available converting irrigations into mines so that net food equals zero is a standard procedure.
     
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