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Key Decision Points

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by saranwali, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. saranwali

    saranwali Chieftain

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    Hi all, I’ve been lurking for a while but haven’t posted much.

    I’m feel like I can win consistently on King but can only win on Emperor with my favorite civs in the right circumstances. To become more versatile, I want to identify the most important decision points in the game (like whether or not to try for a religion, first policy tree, what wonders to go for, if and when to declare war).

    What are the key decision points in the game, and what information do you try to gather to make a better decision?
     
  2. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    I'm at the same level as you, and I can say what I don't do right: diplomacy. Other players check out regularly what their neighbors can and cannot do, choose a side, bribe, make friends and enemies, so they don't end up fighting against everyone as it happens to me. But this is a personal treat of mine, my wife always says that I lack empathy and she might be right.

    Other than that, Emperor is the first difficulty where the player is behind the AI, considered in a void, so I guess external trade routes are of utmost importance.
     
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  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Yeah, I can say the biggest realization in diplomacy for me was the denounce. I used to never denounce anyone, but I have found its better to anger a far away civ and make some real friends, than try to play nice with everyone.
     
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  4. saranwali

    saranwali Chieftain

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    How do you know who to denounce?
     
  5. civplayer33

    civplayer33 Chieftain

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    Like Stalker0 and tu_79 said, you need to evaluate the situation and choose who to try to be friends with and who to anger.

    In early game up to about late Classical, unless you really want to play extremely peacefully, you shouldn't go out of your way to befriend anyone, really, but instead just set yourself up to have a good start into mid-game. This often means warring with your neighbors, which will make it hard to make friends with them in early game, but they will better respect and fear you in mid and late game if you start strong, so it's worth it. You may also want to try to defuse one or two of your neighbors by making them capitulate (start the war in Classical and let it drag into Medieval and then vassalize as soon as you enter Medieval); this will spare you from having to kiss too much a*s later in the game. The reason why you really want to do this early on isn't just the stronger position for you, which will make more AIs regard you as someone who is worth befriending, but also because the warmonger penalties and many diplomatic maluses will go away rather quickly and won't impact you anymore as you progress into mid-game, so it's essentially "free aggression". So in my experience it's not terribly important who you denounce at this early stage of the game.

    In mid-game, however, you need to do some real thinking about global power blocks; keep in mind, though, that the transition into late game with Ideologies is still up ahead and will likely lead to some pretty substantial shifts in alliances, but for now you need to focus on mid-game. Figure out who you won't be able to avoid pis*ing off (Denmark, Mongolia and other warmongers, for example...really hard to make friends and stay friends with them) and who you don't really need to be aggressive toward in the future. Also assess who is on his way to becoming isolated (you probably don't want to ally yourself with that civ, then). Then start forging your alliances by taking care that you don't annoy the civs you wanna be friendly with and denounce the civs that your potential allies don't like, especially if they have denounced that civ as well. You need to view every possible diplomatic action, whether it be asking them for stuff, trading, espionage, war, World Council etc. as an opportunity; don't arbitrarily decide solely based on what you need right now but take into account the diplomatic impact of all your actions.

    In late mid-game and late game you will likely see some major re-shifting of power blocks, because some civs will have withered to the point of irrelevance, some will have snowballed somewhat and you'll have ideologies coming into play. This is where, IMO, you should completely reevaluate your situation and not be afraid to completely restructure you diplomatic strategy. You will now know far better what Victory Condition you can realistically get, what VC the other civs may try for, where the late game strategic resources are and who needs to be stopped before they snowball out of control. I think that at this stage more "egoism" is often better than in the mid-phase. Here you should still use denouncements to suit your needs by denouncing unpopular civs to gain favor with their enemies or giving other civs an incentive to denounce someone by denouncing them first (risky), though you should obviously watch out, because the friends of the civ you denounced won't like that you denounced him.

    Anyway, that's my general approach, though I'm still learning as I go. I usually play Emperor and haven't lost a game on that difficulty level (I play Epic, though) and should probably level up to Immortal but I feel that I'm having a good bit of fun and challenge every time and it doesn't really seem too easy to me.
     
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  6. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    I think one of the most important decision points is pantheon selection.
     
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  7. Minh Le

    Minh Le Chieftain

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    Its true. Also decide on 2nd and 3rd policy tree also very important.
     
  8. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    One thing is that all social policies are strong. So even if you don't take the best path on your second tree, you still get a lot from your social policies. As an example, if you should have picked statecraft but picked artistry, I think you can still find a victory.

    My experience with the forum is that players don't make good pantheon choices and often don't realize how important they are. On some of the photojournals there are a lot of bad pantheon suggestions. Like, really bad.
     
  9. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    How can I stick this post?
     
  10. civplayer33

    civplayer33 Chieftain

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    Stick it where? :lol:
     
  11. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    In a general strategy guide, if posible. I have a few guides, by topics. I find them to be quite useful, even to me, because as I am writing them, more acknowledge players correct my mistakes. They are also useful since I can find the relevant tips when I need them. Maybe it is time for a diplomacy guide, but dude, I'm so clueless at this... Sometimes I did start games with the goal of doing some diplomacy right, only to end up with a massive fleet, destroying my biggest competitors on my own, with little friends. This approach works on King, but not so much on Emperor. And before I try to write up such guide, I'd like to have successfully attempted myself some of those tips. (Which may take a while, since I'm taking a break, after testing this last release).

    So far, the best diplomacy 'guide' I've read was in a Moroccan photojournal, maybe yours or Workerspam's, I can't remember, with detailed analysis on the neighbors, and knowing how much gold must be gifted for increasing the opinion bonus and such. Other players do the same tricks, surely, but don't explain in such detail.

    Well, reading that photojournal was like reading a guide on how to tidy up your bedroom, but actually never committing to it :lol:
     
  12. civplayer33

    civplayer33 Chieftain

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    Heh I was actually having a bit of fun, because it's "sticky"; otherwise it sounds like you wanna stick the post up someone's ... :lol:

    But yes, a detailed guide would certainly be of great help to a lot of people (including myself), though I suppose many will say that we should wait for VP Gold before doing this. I think that kind of guide or set of guides may even be more helpful to most than a comprehensive changelog to vanilla, since it's just so much that has changed so fundamentally that I'm not sure a changelog is really going to be of much use anymore. All systems should be explained as they are, in terms of how they work, rather than as how they are different from vanilla.
     
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  13. Favorius

    Favorius I am not a Chief!

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    Well at emperor every basic decision like early city build order becomes key for my level.

    I am an average emperor player, I sometimes win and sometimes beaten.

    Before I start the game I design what policies/ideology/religious beliefs I will get for a particular civ and then try to accomplish that. I play the game first in my mind :) This includes if I play wide or tall, peacefull or warmonger and initial wonders. After beginning the game unfolds itself, the terrain, neighbours civs, CSs and i try to keep my intended course.
     
  14. Owlbebach

    Owlbebach Warlord

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    I very much agree with CrazyG for Pantheon choice, it is extremely important.

    Overall my advise would be that the whole game is about snowballing. That means that you should pay attention to details. I wouldn't say that diplomacy plays such a huge role. It has its role, but build order, research order, unit and citizen micro are much more important.

    You might look at a Deity game and see that Deity player's game situation looks similar but he is in a much better spot, but this happens due to a several of reasons. For example: Deity player built a city in a more defensive position, this means that he needs less troops to defend it, this means that instead of another melee unit he can build a production building, this means that he now has more production and will build all other buildings 1-2 turns faster. Moreover, because of better research order he now can build better buildings, which means he will snowball even faster. Thats how it works, small things matter because they all speed up each other
     
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  15. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I think this leads into another big point, city placement. As you noted, defensiveness is a key one that players coming from easier difficulties can fail to grasp. A city with fewer yields but has limited ways to attack is overall much stronger than a beautiful city that is wide open.

    I will go one step further. I know one of my habits I had to break was focusing on a city's long term potential over short term gains. As you said, the game is about snowballing. Settling near some strong food/production resources that lets a city grow and become self-sufficient quickly is usually stronger than placing that city that will be a monster in 100 turns but takes twice as long to be capable of really doing anything.
     
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  16. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    You guys are taking from a deity perspective. I'm sure that maximizing is critical, but so long we managed quite well at King, and it looks like we could be able to manage on Emperor too, if not for the absence of AI friends. Maybe the next step, going for immortal might require a more efficient economy, but I feel like my current level could be enough.
     
  17. Cobra522

    Cobra522 Chieftain

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    The biggest thing that helped me win much more consistently was paying attention to the small details every turn. The notification system covers pretty much all the important things you need to keep track of. Pop increases, city state quests, trade status, wars between other civs and on and on. Keeping a mental note of all these decisions actively helps in the long run. Letting a trade deal run out for a few turns doesn't seem so bad until you need those few extra gold 15 turns later for that upgrade. Moving the new pop from a tile that gives 3 food to one that gives 2 food 1 production adds up over so many turns.

    It really clicked for me after watching some streams on how deity players play. Usually I would just gloss over a lot of things and only do maintenance every handful of turns.
     
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  18. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    I wouldn't consider the exact location of a city a key decision point. Yes, some answers are better than others, but its not that important compared to a lot of other decisions. Being one tile left or right does matter, but it usually won't be the difference between winning or losing a game.
     
  19. Owlbebach

    Owlbebach Warlord

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    Yes, of course. Maybe except when you build a city on plains near Shaka's border
     

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