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King of the World #21: Charlemagne

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Neal, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    Worth noting that Oracle hasn't gone.
     
  2. Silverbow

    Silverbow Chieftain

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    Yeah, techs/buildings are a bit out of whack - e.g. as Japan, you can Oracle Lib.

    Another thing worth noting, France will crush you with culture a lot.

    Cairo is good to have, but not a good early target, unless you fancy your galley sinking with troops onboard.
     
  3. Minigrinch

    Minigrinch Chieftain

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    Take out the two barb cities and Syracuse, then turn on France then Spain/England/Vikings. A united Europe beats out a peice of Europe with some Middle East any day.
     
  4. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    If this map is indeed the same as the standard Earth map but with more stuff happening, then netting Cairo will also help you grab horses so you can build more knights without having to borrow horses from Lizzy the Lionhearted or whatever. That sounds like a plan that nobody else on the map is going to try, so hey!
     
  5. Silverbow

    Silverbow Chieftain

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    Danzig has much more accessible horses...
     
  6. NoSuchName

    NoSuchName Chieftain

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    A weird idea I've been playing around with in world maps is to stay in my historical core territory - and vassalize the entire world. You could try it here, I guess it'd means holding Danzig and possibly/eventually Visegrad is OK - the rest can be returned for diplo gain. I invented it, admittedly, because I got tired on microing too many cities and wanted to learn handling vassals. On Noble, I've even won it with Saladins crappy Earth18 start - while never expanding outside the western Fertile Crescent and Arabian peninsula.

    It works because vassals, even capitulated ones, won't break free if they're happy with you. At least, it hasn't happened to me - but I'm not sure that it's impossible. Having 300% of my area and pop wasn't enough to break capitulations however.
    City liberation (+1.5 diplo/city) makes it quite possible to (over)compensate the DoW penalty to keep vassals in the critical early period before religion and common wars starts to matter. In the first 10 turns, capitulation can't be broken no matter what.
    +15 :) "We influence other civilizations" is an interesting, and unusual, way to handle unhappiness.
    Not getting to 8 cities for national wonders kinda sucks though, main downside of the variant.
     
  7. Bei1052

    Bei1052 Chieftain

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    You can't (at least I've never seen it) vassal someone larger than you.
     
  8. NoSuchName

    NoSuchName Chieftain

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    I've noticed that too, but just take a couple cities and they won't be larger anymore. I actually think you'll have to get either their population or area below 50% of yours, before they're willing to capitulate. I only return cities once peace has been agreed on, hopefully in a favourable way. Peace vassals can be larger, I think. I tend to play with the further restriction that all AIs have to survive to the end of the game, but that can make me lose due to events way off my horizon.

    The first vassaling wars should probably be against minor empires of roughly equal size to you - or militarily weak techmongers. Scooping up weak nations is important anyway to stop them from peacevassaling/capitulating to a dangerous rival, which would make it considerably harder to cap either without accidentally killing the weaker civ.

    Later wars will be dogpiles (you and your vassals) against powerhouses several times your size, but by then vassals will contribute with the lions share of your troups and techs, sufficiently so to put them back down to size - eventually allowing them to capitulate. The coalitions total area and population may well supercede theirs, which will matter to the war chances albeit not for capitulation area.
    As you'll get bigger for every city taken, they won't have to be reduced as badly either. The higher number of cities needed to be taken in late wars also works neatly against the greater penalty built up for formerly declaring on their friends.
     
  9. astre

    astre Chieftain

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    I tried the 2 first tours taking a new game with same settings.
    Its quite easy to take cairo (with one knight), syracuse (with both rome defender) and dandzig (with 2 knights).
    Should be easy enought to take the last barbarian city but it's >80% bizantine culture make it troublesome to keep it in the long term...

    I didn't try the oracle gambit in rome, might be worth it...

    After those few turn, i noticed a major problem for charlemagne: foreign culture will eat him alive. especially around bremen...
     
  10. Neal

    Neal King of the World

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    Round 1 is played (and attached, for those of you who want a sneak preview). I'm gonna try to write it up tomorrow.
     
  11. Lokki242

    Lokki242 El Presidente

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    Yeah, I was playing Korea, and around 1700 I got a good look at Europe. Charlemagne had lost Bremen to French culture. So holding that back is a future priority.
     
  12. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    The French also have a knack for conquering the barbarian cities to the north of Caucasus that represent the Khazars. Without a human playing Germany, they're usually the ones to conquer Danzig as well.
     
  13. Coffee Mug

    Coffee Mug Chieftain

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    Along with the Oracle, the Sistine Chapel is a great wonder on this map, since all the religious buildings are pre-built (and there are more cathedrals than you would be allowed to build on your own). It's the best non-violent way to deal with French culture.
     
  14. Neal

    Neal King of the World

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    In the year of our Lord 1000, a grand Crusade was called by the Christian nations of Europe upon the godless Vikings and the heathen Arabs. The true prize in the east was the holy city of Jerusalem. French, English, and Byzantine armies were camped out in the northern hills and did lay siege upon the place, but it was well defended by Longbowmen and camel-mounted cavalry. The Holy Roman Empire had a small contingent of troops floating just offshore. "Huzzah!" cried the Crusaders. "The stout Teutonic Knights shall surely be the key to breaking this stalemate. Come, help us to bring down these blasphemous walls and take Christ's city for Christendom!"

    "Screw that," did say the Teutons, and they did seek out easier spoils in Egypt:



    Seriously, joining in on a dogpile in which our city-taking units (one) are far outnumbered by those of the AIs? Sounds like an exercise in doing someone else's work for them. Instead Cairo, home to little but (and that's a big "but") the Pyramids, was defended by a single Archer, and was well enough away from Saladin's other cities that it would at least be able to work its inner ring without cultural interference. Interference from Saladin's reprisals was, perhaps, another question, but we'll get to that.

    Syracuse, too, on the tip of Italy, was defended by a small garrison of Archers and was taken easily:



    Not that the city was of much use. Charlemagne did consider razing the site, but it was home to a small population of Christians and tearing down their homes would likely not sit well with the prelates of Rome. So we kept it.

    Danzig, an independent Christian city-state on the Baltic coast, was brought into the fold in 1010:



    Their resistance was strong, costing us a precious squad of Knights, but the city brought in hardy Polish Horses, so those losses could be replaced.

    Charlemagne easily won the Apostolic Seat as the Catholic west stood in defiance of Justinian and his Russian allies:



    As you can see there, the people of Rome, in a brief lapse of faith, sought out the guidance of pagan gods for precious technology. I make no apologies. The more perceptive will note that Ragnar converted to Christianity, buckling to the will of the international community. After all, Odin and Thor are all well and good, but they don't let you build sweet, sweet Temples and Monasteries that give +2 hammers. This was part of a massive wave of revolutions in which the AIs discarded their historical civics for ones that, frankly, made a little more sense (for instance, Slavery made a BIG comeback across Europe!).

    Cairo, now a small Holy Roman outpost in the pagan darkness of Africa, was not an easy city to hold:



    It wasn't difficult, necessarily (those Camel Archers were defeated in a heated battle on the desert sands), but even those harrying strikes were near misses. A proper counteroffensive would spell the end of our foothold. Thankfully, that concerted push never came, and we were free to (for instance) take-and-delete those silly Arab Workers that came too close to the city's borders.

    The Oracle paid off, not that the spoils were anything terribly incredible:



    Gunpowder wasn't bad, I guess, but something like, say, Nationalism would've been better. Ah, well. Had to take it before I was beaten to it. Visegrad was taken by (of all people) the French in 1050. I decided against trying for it given the Byzantine cultural pressure it was subject to. The French, with their predilection for pretty things, might fare better than we would have. Then again, they might not. Time will tell.

    By the close of the 11th century, Spain was well on its way to the Reconquista of Al-Andalus, and Elizabeth, too, dabbled in pagan sorcery:



    The Temple of Artemis will be a powerful wonder for the British Isles. I would say that they bear watching, but if my previous experience with Earth maps holds true, Liz is going to be content to sit tight in her little corner of the globe and rot.

    While Rome had been working on the Oracle, meanwhile, Bremen had been establishing its own Wonder of the World:



    The Great Library should be a big help, both in bolstering our research and in holding off French Culture (especially once Rome finishes the Sistine Chapel). Can you tell that I'm putting the pieces together for a Specialist economy? Not that it'll be truly viable for too much longer before being outpaced by Cottages, but whatever :p

    Our (admittedly minor) explorations of Africa also brought us into contact with the Mali. I made a (horribly lopsided, I know, but eff Divine Right) trade with them in order to Please them and set up a valuable ally in the future:



    And seriously, with the Apostolic Palace bonus, Monasteries suddenly become a primo city improvement, so I'll get some use out of Meditation.

    Both Ragnar and Saladin had Christian cities, and so were subject to the edicts of said Apostolic Palace, so, with my army in dire need of reinforcement, I attempted to use it to bring an end to the hostilities:



    Both of my opponents defied the edict, which had just as beneficial an effect, rendering both pariahs. Not that they weren't already.

    So it was time to buy peace the old-fashioned way. Tell me, Ragnar, what is the price for peace?



    Um, eat $%^* and die. A few turns later, he was willing to sign an armistice for a paltry sum of gold (like, less than 10), so I did that instead.

    Saladin, after I took and Razed Tripoli (mostly for the free Worker hiding out there, and to ease cultural pressure on Syracuse), was willing to pay me for peace:



    I'm sure he has enough to worry about right now, what with the other Crusader Kingdoms putting much more effort into the war (and, interestingly, getting fewer results- I've taken, what? Three cities with as many units?).

    With peace settled over the land, and St. Paul born in Bremen, I decided to call an end to the round:



    We're in a Golden Age. I'd put off any Civics changes until we could accomplish them without any lost time.

    So let's take a look at the screen:



    Representation (thanks, Cairo!) is a no-brainer, as is, I think, Caste System. What else? Bureaucracy?

    Here's a look at the empire as it currently stands:



    Still not great, but a hell of a lot better than it was.

    And techwise, we're doing pretty well for ourselves:



    Gunpowder is a valuable secret that we can keep in our pockets for a long, long time, I think. So what should our next move be? Build more units and Workers, I know. After that. I don't know about going rogue and trying to conquer Europe. It seems like the easy way out. Maybe call a second Crusade in a few centuries? Try to wipe Saladin off the map? Take Jerusalem for ourselves? Maybe (maybe) crush the Orthodox east? I look forward to the discussion.
     
  15. Ravus_Sol

    Ravus_Sol God-Emperor of Mankind

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    Congratulations on Keeping Cairo! This game certainly starts out quicker then the ancient era beginnings.

    I think once you grab the Sistine Chapel and spam temples and monasteries everywhere it becomes more a case of when and not if you will end up at war with Europe. France and Spain will probably stay friendly (France has culture, Spain has distance.), But Byzantium and Russia will get annoyed eventually. Especially if the Holy Crusade ends.

    I'd suggest building up, waiting for the era of the Knight to end and when Byzantium loses it's UU war boost swing through their empire in a lightning offensive ending with Jerusalem. Seems apt that the Holy Roman Empire should try to "unite" the remains of the old Roman Empire after all.

    You could of course try to play nice and just set up the ultimate religious economy;
    • Holy City
    • Apostolic Palace
    • Sistine Chapel
    • University of Sankore
    • Spiral Minerett
     
  16. Silverbow

    Silverbow Chieftain

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    Not taking Ribe (and really all the nice and easily taken Scandinavia)?:sad:
     
  17. NoSuchName

    NoSuchName Chieftain

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    You're going to want eight cities reasonable soon for National Wonders. Syracuse needs Moai badly and you have a barb city south of Cairo up for grabs. That'll make 7 decent cities with room to found another on the Nile. Distance upkeep may be an issue here though. I don't recommend invading France, keep the West as your allies as long as possible. Calling another crusade sounds plausible, maybe you could even aim for Tunis and Mecca rather than Jerusalem. The latter should be reachable from Egypt and under much less competition. That shrine is probably weaker, but it's a better city in all other aspects.

    For civics, skip Bureaucracy. An extra promotion for your emerging army is useful, so it comes down to Bureaucracy vs OR.
    Bremen is fairly weak in both hammers and commerce, while several cities still need infra - in particular Syracuse, Gdansk and Cairo + any extra Nile cities. This certainly makes OR sound the more attractive, though it costs more and brings in less commerce. Getting the Moai in Syracuse and Library in Cairo et al makes up for a bit of it - and the Nile region is great for catching up in commerce. Bureaucracy doesn't multiply specialist beakers anyhow.

    Not really sure about labor civic though, a pity you're not SPI. Slavery could help you build faster in the hammer-poor cities and crank out units quicker. Serfdom would make it much more managable to gets the improvements up fast - especially fp cottages can take a while to build otherwise. Caste System is best long-term, but less so right away as you probably won't run >3 specialists/city soon anyway - too much to build.
     
  18. Coffee Mug

    Coffee Mug Chieftain

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    Rome is by far your best city; IMO bureaucracy is beneficial only if you can move the palace.


    Re. Ribe: if memory serves, it's a horrible and misplaced city (founded on the pigs) with no infrastructure or production capability. It's also heavily defended and not worth the cost of taking it.

    One other feature of this mod worth mentioning is that the AIs are not on an equal footing (i.e. Noble). The European powers are playing on Chieftain, and will manage to zoom ahead even with their crappy land and tiny, suboptimal cities. Saladin is on Diety and will stagnate despite a large empire. I think Justinian is Monarch.

    This also means that the AIs will value your techs differently when trading. Justinian will give you better deals than the English because your tech costs him more beakers than it costs Elizabeth.
     
  19. Silverbow

    Silverbow Chieftain

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    Yes, it sits on Bremen's pigs, and annoys Bremen with culture. Thus one should take it and raze it. Your Bremen garrison of 2 knights and crossbow should be able to take it. It's not that heavily defended - 2 longbows and a berserker. Worth even losing an unit or two for grabbing the pigs and freeing up Bremen, if nothing else.
     
  20. Dem Taqat

    Dem Taqat Bladespawn

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    I agree with Coffee Mug (which is unusual, I usually prefer tea :p ) on bureaucracy, Bremen isn't a nice enough city for it to be worth the it. Better to use your vassalage bonuses to free up some of the land around it.... :mischief:

    I agree that burning Ribe would be beneficial, but I'm not sure it would be cost effective at this point. Better to wait until you have a bit of a tech advantage, or at least some more spare seige.

    As to longer term planning, I agree with Ravus that going east into Byzantium is a good plan. I would go a little further than him, and see if you can clear out the rest of the arabs, maybe stopping around Persia. Afterwards, with that much territory and the kind of religious economy you could build, you would be well set to go wherever you want on the map and 'colonize' it... :mischief:

    DT
    Advising :think:
     

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