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King of the World #4: Mansa Musa

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Neal, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

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    Yea, you should move 1 tile or something if it's clearly advantageous, but settling on the Nile almost makes you play as Egypt. I think when playing on the world map, the capital should actually be settled IN PLACE.
     
  2. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    I'm with the group saying settle in Mali. You're Mansa freaking Musa. Make Financial and Mints work for you. Now, if you conquer Hatty and move your capital to Thebes ... that's another story :D.

    As far as North Africa goes, I would rotate the cities a bit: blue star 2NW of its current location; purple city 1N 1NW of its current location. That leaves you with a subpar site to the southwest of purple to get the iron and elephants.
     
  3. Neal

    Neal King of the World

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    Epic poems and written histories describe the forefathers of Mali as brilliant visionaries, conquering the wilderness and bringing light to the darkness. This was not so. They were a squabbling band of desert nomads that came upon a great river and almost arbitrarily decided to settle down.

    In 4000 B.C., Mansa Musa sat by the bank with his tribal chieftans to discuss the site of their first city, Timbuktu. A faction of elders, concerned with tradition and enamored with the desert, argued that the city should be founded on the spot. Mansa Musa rejected this proposal out of hand, for he knew as well as any that the northern wastes would not support life.

    Others were more radical, arguing that the lands before them were rotten and filled with disease, and that surely the lands of other Civilizations would be more hospitable. Therefore, the Mali should migrate to these lands and claim their share, by force if need be. Swatting away a river mosquito, Mansa Musa saw wisdom in their words. The Mali, though, were not a warlike people, and they were tired of wandering.

    The immortal leader of Mali was troubled, for no option stood out as clearly superior. Finally, more out of sheer aggravation at his own indecision and the bickering of his chieftans than anything else, Mansa Musa pointed to the shore of a nearby lake. "We settle there!"



    In those troubled times, Timbuktu was not the shining megalopolis that it is today. It was a rude collection of huts, constantly beset by disease and threatened on all sides by vicious desert beasts.

    The young, able-bodied members of the tribe who were eager to prove themselves in battle headed northeast in search of adventure, glory, and loot. They came upon the shore of a great sea, across which other cities could be seen: the rocky peninsula occupied by those who called themselves Romans, and the devout people of Spain.

    As they wandered, the braves also found a village of people even more primitive than their own. These people were superstitious and cowardly, but wise in the ways of the land. They taught the explorers the ways of the hunt, and dispersed, never to be seen again:



    Millenia passed, and very little changed for the people of Mali. Farms were built to harvest the land's bounty, but the river's pervasive rot spoiled most of the crops. Mansa Musa tried as best he could to encourage his people to breed, for he knew that population was power, but plague was ever his enemy.

    Finally, in 2280 B.C., a sinister apothecary arrived at the palace with a dire bargain:



    This weighed heavily on Mansa Musa's heart. He loved his people, and he did not take their deaths lightly. After days of deliberation, though, he decided that the future of his people outweighed its present.

    Years passed, and the apothecary's drugs made the people's lives more bearable, but plagues still intermittently swept the land. The borders of Mali expanded, and Mansa Musa finally felt as if he could begin to join in the game of nations.



    (Woof. I have never had a start this slow and crappy before. Even with the +2 Health from the Herbalist event and a free tech from a goody hut, it's 1320 B.C. and my second city isn't even properly running yet! I don't know if this start is even salvageable. Should we pretend this never happened and start over?)
     
  4. NcNikke

    NcNikke Chieftain

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    Even if you would start over, the starting location would remain the same, right?
     
  5. Shadowcrow

    Shadowcrow Chieftain

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    I think its salvagable. Personally I don't know about immortal much (is that the level), but I can speak in general terms.

    Your only real threat is egypt. In the long run given all the Floodplains in north Africa and considering that your Mali, you should gain a tech advantage and leverage that. In the short term however Egypt coudl possibel try and take advantage of you.

    Now IIRC, there is either Iron or copper in morroco, that can be used to build Spearmen to counter War Chariots, and perhaps you can leverage you UU to put Egypt out of the game.

    You main advantage is going to be the floodplains which can hopefully translate to a large tech advantage, so you'll want to capitalise on it as much as possible.

    Even if you lag now, if you can survive to establish a good Science base then your good.
     
  6. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    Neal: repeat after me. COTTAGES.
    ;)

    edit: I played around with the start myself, and I see the problem -- unhealthiness without a food tile to overcome it.

    Maybe that's the benefit of settling in the desert -- you don't get the FP and the jungle unhealthiness stacked on you. I also see why you built farms to overpower the unhealthiness. You just need to hook up the crabs and cows and the wheat in north africa to get this rolling.
     
  7. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    Rushing hatty would have been much better i think.. And the capitol spot just asked for this problem. Who cares about long term if it never happens? Given that this is monarch it is certanly salvagable however... The herbalist event is the best possible thing that could happen to you, still i just don't get it why you went for agriculture over fishing-> pottery or just ag-> pottery. Those financial cottages on floodplains doesn't take awfull long to pay off and they would have sped up your journy to IW imensly...
     
  8. allansm

    allansm Chieftain

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    At least on Monarch, you can win the game. I started a game as Mali on the Earth map a couple of days ago, settled on the same spot as you and I'm doing very well. Your start will be very slow, but as soon as you hook up some resources you can deal with the unhealthiness and cottage the floodplains. Attack Egypt, capture Thebes and Memphis and you will be the tech leader soon.
     
  9. Frankthetank

    Frankthetank Chieftain

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    it's a long way to the nile delta if you're going to rush -- by then culture defense through a likely religion will be problematic without catapults
     
  10. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

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    You don't have a strong start, but that's not reason to quit. Keep fighting Neal.
    Do settle some of the cities in your area soon and maybe adopt a religion. I think REXing much of Africa is a good idea since it'll give you a lot of land without even a need to war much.
     
  11. Neal

    Neal King of the World

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    It's 1320 B.C.- I don't think anything we do at this point qualifies as a rush :lol:

    Alright, I'm convinced. I'm gonna roll up my sleeves and charge on. After all, we learn more from failure than from success, and all that rot. So.. Practical advice.

    Africa is jungle, and lots of it. So we need two things: Lots of Workers and a way to protect them. The waves of Barbarian Warriors is going to start up soon, so I'm thinking we need to switch from AH to Archery and get some Skirmishers online, stat. Timbuktu has a Barracks, so that should be our primary source of Skirmishers. Djenne needs to increase its population a bit, then it can start pumping out Workers. We also need to mix a Settler or two in there, and (eventually) Libraries and Granaries.

    I'm actually thinking we should switch Djenne's build from a Worker to a Monument so as to get those Cows hooked up. I also think we should trade our (lone) Gems to Saladin for Fish. The Health cap is much more of an issue than the Happy cap right now.

    Sound good?
     
  12. PirE

    PirE Chieftain

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    I am also playing as Mali on the Earth map. I settled Timbuktu 1 East to get access to the hills. I got a random event that gave me Tin in one hill for 2 extra hammers and the +2h-event to relieve some of the :yuck:
    I settled my 2nd city on the exact same position as yours. I barely beat Alexander to the Algeria-city and I managed to get the Iron city in Morocco up and running aswell. Getting Iron fast proved to be important in my game. Djenne was under constant barbarian attacks when i was settling the north and I almost lost it when I got attacked by 3 Barbarian Axeman.
    Hatty found a religion in my game and rushing her was not an option. The entire african continent is now settled in my game. Hatty got most of eastern-africa, I managed to settle the entire western shore including the Gems, Copper, Elephant-City in Congo and South-Africa. I am barely keeping up techwise, it was very hard to keep up with Hatty REX-wise but I have most cities up and running now.
    BTW, Stealing Izzy's shrine is no option anymore in my game, Louis Axerushed her :mad: and he is the runaway leader tech-wise.
     
  13. Neal

    Neal King of the World

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    All right. It took forever and a day, but I finally feel like we're participating in this game.

    I started out by switching from Animal Husbandry to Archery, and I switched Djenne's build from a Worker to a Monument. In addition, I sent Warriors north to do some long-delayed fog-busting:



    I rather intentionally didn't fogbust near Djenne, nor did I hack away at its jungles. For the moment, at least, I'll simply fortify it up, allowing it to serve as bait to any barbarians coming from South Africa.

    Timbuktu's Settler headed north to claim Fish, Sheep, and Marble, all three of which would be most useful to us:



    It'll never be a superstar city, but it's decent.

    By 525 B.C., the Congo line (get it?) had started:



    Stock Warriors against CG Skirmishers? Easy work.

    In 350, Alexander and Julius, two brothers in Buddhism, decided that the Mediterranean wasn't big enough for the both of them, so they went at it. I decided to stay out of the scuffle, not wanting to pick the wrong side, like I did with the Roosevelt alliance in the Tokugawa game. Besides, it was looking like the Hindu bloc was the more attractive, being larger and closer to home. I still don't have any religion in my cities, though.

    So here's the world in 200 B.C.:







    In terms of Religion, Isabella and Caesar are Buddhists, and Hattie, Cyrus, Saladin, and the recently converted Alexander are Hindu.

    I finally feel, 100 turns in, like we've gotten past Mali's initial awkward growing pains. I'm sure it could have been done faster or more efficiently, but it's done. And we're on Monarch, so we're not totally screwed. So now it's time to pick a strategy and run with it. We're up to three Workers running around doing their civic duty, with a fourth on the way.

    Should we found those backfill cities to claim the crabs and western gems? Should we press south, attempting to tame the Heart of Darkness? Would now be a good time to start thinking about Construction and an attack on Egypt?

    Oh, and do you guys prefer the narrative I used in Round 1 or the drier but more straightforward description here?
     
  14. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    Neal: use whatever voice suits you at the time. You have to write to please yourself, first. If you like it, we will too. :)

    Game-wise, you need to lay your hands on every health resource possible. Crabs south of Timbuktu, cows near Djenne, sheep near Kumbi Saleh ... get the second gem and ivory tiles working to trade for some more. You can pick up a third ivory tile for trade bait on the Morroccan coast. You can probably get a 2 for 1 trade with ivory.
     
  15. Neal

    Neal King of the World

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    We're actually, wonder of wonders, not doing horribly with health right now. We have the Djenne cows online, as well as Sheep and Fish in Kumbi Saleh. We also possess the +2 from the herbalist event as well as the standard +2 for difficulty level. But, yes, we will need more.

    So you think the other two West African cities should be our priority?
     
  16. FoRcEaBlE

    FoRcEaBlE Chieftain

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    I dont think so. Those cities could hold off for the time being. I would start expanding southward in order to get more resources and better cities, nothing is at the west thats worth putting a city over there immediatly. (unless you prefer desert over jungle)

    As for taking down eygpt? Ancient powerhouse? Just :backstab: after you get 'er to declare on ceaser. Of course, thats just me.

    ftr, I liked the part 1 narrative. ;)
     
  17. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    Let's see, you should start with 5 health with fresh water, 8 flood plains, 6 jungles, so 5 unhealthiness With +2 health event, that's 7 health, so the quickest start would be to get early size 2 settler with whip overflow, and get another city to do your worker/settler pumping.
     
  18. Joshua368

    Joshua368 Warmongering builder

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    Yeah, you should probably start building up your empire, possibly founding some cities closer to Egypt... there's no hurry to take out Hatshepsut but of course she'll have to go eventually.

    As for narrative, I'd say it depends. When you're making important strategic decisions and need to explain how and why you're running your empire, straightforward is best because it lets us know what's going on. Once you get to a phase where you're just "going through the motions" (such as conquering everything in the end of the Tokugawa game) the role-playing perspective helps make it interesting.
     
  19. Frankthetank

    Frankthetank Chieftain

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    I would move "closer" to Egypt, maybe allowing England or France to found some western cities for you.
     
  20. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    Fill out rest of africa(block hatty maybe?) then backfill then take out hatty or something.. Although you could take out hatty and then fill out the rest of africa. I don't think it'll matter to much in the end. If you could get some wonders from her that might be better...
     

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