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King Younk's Questions thread

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by King Younk, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Least something interesting is coming from thread. Even on standard speed these games take ages. 1030ad on current game with 30 cities. On a standard map this number would be much lower. An ai city had a shrine gaining 56 gold a turn. Wow! Celts were doing well science wise. Super op cap for that date. Targeting ai with shrines really pays off.
     
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  2. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    Still playing KY's Qin game, Up to 1757, Shaka is gone, I'm top of the board in most things except military, twice as much land as closest AI but a very long way from domination. Maybe go for space, bit behind on tech at the moment but once Zulu cities grow should be able to catch up despite AI bonuses.
     

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  3. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    I played out the Louis map. Domination victory in 1648 (T719.)

    Having played a whole huge marathon emperor game, I'm not persuaded that this is more difficult than standard settings. It certainly comes with its own challenges. Here are my reflections:
    • compared to panagea, normal size and speed there are a lot of barbarians - as has been discussed axemen would be a good solution. On this start with industrious and stone, TGW worked well for me. Archers are, in my view, a unit of last resort.
    • there are probably answers to the balance between expansion and costs somewhere in the HoF threads but I was hesitant about putting down too many cities on average land and tanking my tech rate before meeting the AI. If I was going to play more on these settings (which I'm not) then I'd want to try and find out if it's possible to expand more heavily either peacefully or via war earlier. In my game I didn't seriously go to war until after communism which ensured I didn't lose via economic mismanagement but was slow to setup and created a mid/late game military unit production bottleneck.
    • the huge maps I've seen are quite uneven in my view with huge pools of the same resources in certain areas of the map and none elsewhere (what was Ragnar supposed to do with 10 or so dye whilst nobody else had any especially with limited trade options pre-astronomy?!) and inequitous starting positions - I have found a resource option for some map types with 'balanced' - maybe this would help?
    • these settings are really, really time consuming. I sometimes play very short turn sets and other times leave my computer on and go and do other things but I logged something like 60 hours for this map and I would think at least 3/4 of that time I would have been playing. I enjoyed the change of pace but if you want to play well and make every turn productive normal size, normal speed would be much better for learning as you can play 5 games in the time it takes to play one. Compared to say immortal, normal size, normal speed the decision making is easier but it's very difficult to maintain concentration and motivation for the duration of such a big game
    • one of my least favourite elements of Civ 4 is playing out the end of the game once I've got to the point where I feel victory/defeat is inevitable and marathon huge really amplifies this. I had a lot of fun in the early game but since my last update I've probably spent 30 hours playing the game and I more or less knew I'd won the map at the point I last posted. It stopped being fun a long time before I won - I know my huge stack of cuirrassiers/cannons/frigates will beat muskets/longbowmen but now I have to rinse and repeat for another 80 cities...
    • choosing the right war target is one of my weaknesses anyway but it was emphasised on this map - it's such a big commitment to move my stack over these vast land areas that there felt little room for opportunistic wars. Perhaps I worried too much about this but I normally leave 1 warrior in each city as military police and it's not too difficult to get an emergency stack out or move some mounted units to cover an unexpected assault - on these settings I had a vast border that I'd have needed to keep an eye on if I entered random wars for relations and producing defensive stacks is not my style due to costs and lack of utility. Fortunately I did keep a stack of eight or so cuirrassiers on my home continent as this exact problem occurred when I lost one of Pacal's cities to Ottomans and was able to retake it same turn. For the most part, my war target was whoever was nearest my stack of doom and wasn't the 40 city Khmer
    • as mentioned before astronomy, paper and communism were really useful economic techs and I would do whatever it takes to get to these as quickly as possible
    • if I played again I would consider targetting whoever has the biggest shrine - I'm not sold on building my own shrine but the dominant shrine was making something like 60 gold a turn by the mid-game - perhaps taking the shrine is the optimal solution to expanding before state property without crashing economy?
    • I really enjoyed playing Louis - I can't recall having much success with the French leaders before but he has really nice traits - I wonder if the benefits of industrious trait are even greater on marathon as there may be a bigger window of opportunity to failgold wonders with judicious use of workers to chop quickly?
    @Mr_Trotsky have you finished or did you get to a winning position and decide life was too short to continue?

    @King Younk What did you think of the great plains map? If you've played it and post some updates, I'll give it a shot but otherwise I'd rather lose the current deity BoTM or finish the noble's club game I started. If you're still looking for a challenge, why not join the next noble's club game? The map will almost certainly be normal rather than huge size but you can still play on marathon and the saves come with options for huts and events on if that's your style. AcaMetis does an awesome job getting them out each week and it gives you an opportunity to compare your position to other people.

    Spoiler To the bitter end :

    Ottoman's offered me capitulation without me setting a foot on their continent. My plan at the time wasn't to take small vassals but it seemed too good to decline.

    Cannons and cuirrassiers slowly rolled over Native Americans, then Spanish, Americans (who had taken Persia as a peace vassal) and finally Romans. My golden age was delayed considerably as I popped a second great spy in my capital at 20% odds and had to go physics for the great scientist. Once that was in I powered through railroad, combustion and to assembly line. Railroad was less useful than I had thought it would be in saving me time - loads of worker micro to get railways in the right places and by this point I largely had enough units but where they were stuck was predominantly in AI land where my railways couldn't help. I enjoyed the fact airships don't need to go on transports, they were fantastic for map visibility and a few free hits on later era units was nice but whether that justified the tech cost of physics in this game I'm less sure - the golden age was very nice with nearly 100 cities.

    Khmer spent ages settling an ice desert island in the south only to turn it into a Byzantine colony. Gilgamesh gave away a much nicer but small island to his North as a Chinese colony. The AI tech pace picked up a bit after that - combination of trade partners and less city maintenance with less cities?

    The main problem came in the sheer amount of land needed for victory. Once I had the northern hemisphere I thought a small vassal or two would do it but having taken the low hanging fruit of Carthage and Babylon I was still about 5% off. Khmer declared on Sumeria who bribed in Zulu and Vikings.

    Troop movement became a nightmare with around 200 land units (I did use galleon chains in the end) as even with enough transports getting all the ships into position takes an eternity. It's infuriating to see the AI getting rifling and infantry in the time it takes to move my stack across the board... I joined the war against Shaka thinking I could cap him and Ragnar to get over the line but Shaka vassalled to Khmer after I had taken only one city leaving me with a small stack on his continent with nothing useful to do.

    Ragnar went down fairly easily and thankfully submitted to me not Khmer but left me on 49% land area, needing 51% to win. By now, China and Sumeria had infantry, Ethiopia was building factories and railways everywhere and Khmer were still on cannons and knights but logistically awkward to get to and the biggest AI with potential to do game prolonging things like sniping a city or two in some bit of the map I wasn't concentrating on by this point if I went to war with them.

    I thought if I took Mao's island that would be enough. Suicided a lot of cavalry on infantry - infantry really are a hard counter to mounted - something like <1% odds for heavily promoted cavalry! Still, enough numbers will win most fights and I didn't have the need or enthusiasm to get my cannons in place to upgrade or build a new stack of artillery. Destroyers were useful for bombarding cities though and having a monopoly on combustion units (can't remember if AI could build destroyers but they didn't) is a massive boost.

    Khmer took one of China's cities and after destruction of China I had 50.2% of the land. As the Chinese cities came out of revolt and borders popped I'm fairly sure I would have won but in the interest of real life time I made one last effort with my transports and put my cannons, artillery, infantry and riflemen outside Sumeria's capital. He would have signed peace before this but with the loss of one only Uruk he would now capitulate which was fortunate for me as I would have been running short on decent units in the right places to continue the war. Gifting back Uruk (+/- a border pop somewhere) gave me enough land area to finally get over the domination threshold.

    Sadly, I forgot to switch into hereditary rule before ending turn on the last turn - hopefully I can still be 'world king' even in representation civic!
    Spoiler Capitulation of Gilgamesh :
    Civ4ScreenShot0040.JPG

    Spoiler World King :
    Civ4ScreenShot0041.JPG
     

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  4. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    UN victory may be a possibility. Do AI's need to be friendly with you to vote for you or just not dislike you and prefer you to the other options? Looks like almost everyone is pleased with you and as the biggest player you'd definitely be one of the options in a diplomatic vote. I'm not good at the late game but maybe nukes and tanks would be the military option given that you have monopoly on nuke tech and presumably more production than everyone else given you have so many cities. I'm always tempted by 'The Internet' if trying for space with a slight tech disadvantage but the AI always seems to get it just before me!
     
  5. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    I think if you can cheese out or go UN maybe these settings would of been better for you? I thnk killer here is marathan settings. Your playing over 3x the usual amont of turns. Plus you are trapped on an island and having to do naval conquest .

    On my current game 2 Ai dead. 2 capitulated and it's just a case of chain vassal for the remaining 6 Ai left all on about 9-14 cities. My army will be too big for most to beat. I can stack 60-70 cuirs. Greeks have biggest Ai stack but are friendly to me.

    I wanted to play Russians for their UU but always seem to end on cuirs. Ooops.
     
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  6. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    Thanks for the feedback @Gumbolt

    Domination/conquest was a bit of a RP victory condition; you're right that some sort of diplo win would have been quickest :)

    It was probably poor play on my part not to go for chain vassalling as both you and Mr_Trotsky have suggested. Perhaps in hindsight I should have avoided communism to get to cuirassiers faster and got a better attack window, needing fewer numbers before AI even had much in the way of longbows and pikes? As it was cuirassiers were still relevant but I would have needed about 60-80 to start and ongoing production of replacements and sufficient transportation to the frontline. I don’t have a feel for what works on these settings and how long my window of opportunity would last and (at the point I got cuirassiers) was worried if the attack fell short I'd find myself in a dire position. As it was I slowed down further to get chemistry (frigates to bombard) and steel (for the odd cannon.)

    Chain vassaling the whole map works very well for me on Pangaea maps on immortal or when all the stars align on deity but in that scenario I am confident I don’t need any more tech ever and whip my empire into the ground. Assuming we'd need, over the course of the game, 100-200 cuirassiers to take this map that would have been a lot of whipping from 20 cities with a very long way back if the attack fell short even with police state from Pyramids and industrial forges.

    Does capture gold alone stave off bankruptcy with a 20 city empire vassaling the whole (huge continents) map and how readily do the AIs fold or would I have still had to take half of Khmer's 42 cities whilst probably having Zulu and Ottoman bribed on me if I'd attacked them with say Sitting Bull, Victoria and HC as vassals? I know Sitting Bull is an extreme example but he wouldn’t offer capitulation until he was on something like 3 cities this game and it wasn’t because he was getting much war success. Perhaps a learning point would be I should have played with a less conservative strategy.

    Game speed aside your current game sounds like it doesn’t have all 17 AI which probably makes a speed difference? Shame about the Cossacks! They’re quite good too unlike the musketeers…

    I'm going to have a week or two of no Civ 4 after this to avoid burnout but after that I will play some normal speed and size continents maps to see if I try some riskier strategies on a similar map.
     
  7. Mr_Trotsky

    Mr_Trotsky Chieftain Supporter

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    @5tephen

    Kudos on the coronation.

    I’ll reply properly when I have time but I am still playing and intending on seeing it through to the end. However the sameiness and a lack of time mean I’ve been playing half an hour here and there the last week or so.

    I’ve capped the Khmer, Shaka, Rameses and Spain. The Khmer required six or seven cities to see sense but the others just the one with transportation time doubling or tripling the length of the war.

    I have artillery and nobody has rifling. Two civs have RP - one is my vassal - three or four have MS.

    in a perverse way I think marathon makes it quicker. On normal somebody would get to infantry and I’d at least have to think about industrialisation and building a new army. Whipping and moving units both take the same time on any speed and that’s all I’m doing. I’ve largely stopped building units because the issue is moving the units around, not that I need more of them. I’ve vassaled eight civs for the loss of nine cannons so replacements can be slow built in a few cities. The pre rifling window on marathon is absurd.
     
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  8. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    You have 3400+ land on that map which I guess matches 18 civ map.The idea of going communism and cuirs seems interesting. It means you have gone PP, SM, Astronomy and communism on top of the usual cuirs techs. If you waited for frigates that is chemistry too. 1200ad on emp seems a very good date for all of this. I think map issue is land you have access to. One AI to roll over. Plus the need to build galleons and frigates too. No galleon chaining makes tougher.

    I played pangea so this makes it easier to grab land. Normal speed makes warring times more limited with Ai getting rifles circa 1500ad on immortal. On plus side if you war early you can have 30 or so cities by time you get cuirs. I had to steal quite a few techs but got them at 1220ad with 30 cities. At that point I just kept whipping. Currently at 1500ad losing 160 gold a turn. Key to whipping economy is to keep capture gold and use wealth if negative gold gets tough. At 50 cities. So grabbed 20 cities. Which is a city a turn. 4 Vassals. 2 AI dead. Need 15% more land which is about 15 more cities or 2 vassals.

    4 AI left. One with grenadiers and close to Rifles. Others a bit more backwards. Few turns off rifles myself so could still get cossacks.

    Okay 1565ad and all done. Should of just whipped 12-13 settlers sooner and taken 2-3 more cities to secure land. Smallest of margins.

    I think issue is when you reach critical mass as you said it becomes the art of finishing instead of winning.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
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  9. Mr_Trotsky

    Mr_Trotsky Chieftain Supporter

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    T644 update

    Spoiler :


    Played for another hour and capped Lincoln, Darius and Hannibal. Darius and Hannibal capped after two turn wars in which I landed one turn and took their capital next turn. Lincoln capped after three or four cities. He might be a pussy cat but he still had 17 cities and was near the top of the leader board (once you scrolled past all my vassals). This suggests the five remaining leaders - with the exception of Hammy - will take a lot longer to crack given they all have fifteen plus cities. Apart from caveman Hammy they all have MS too, so I'll have to be a bit more careful.

    Nobody has rifling though and I'm two turns from railways with combustion maybe another fifteen turns. I doubt I'll tech beyond combustion. Vicky just finished MS for me and I plan to trade for that and then give it to all my vassals so they can upgrade and increase the average power. As all of my rivals apart from caveman Hammy have it there is no fear about increasing the tech pace. Generally I've not been allowing my vassals to finish techs because I want to keep everybody nice and backward.
     

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  10. Mr_Trotsky

    Mr_Trotsky Chieftain Supporter

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    T675 domination

    Spoiler :


    My last update was wrong. There were still six of them left - urghh - but it wasn't just Hammy who didn't have grenadiers :) Sailed east from Hannibal towards Zara, stopping off for two turns in Babylon to cap Hammy, and then landing next to Zara's "stack" six or seven turns later. Given he had 27 cities and a 7 city vassal (Ragnar) it took a while. I had to take ten cities, which with all the getting in and out of boats took a while. He capped the turn Ragnar broke free and Ragnar capped too. During the war I finally got to combustion which sped things up a bit.

    I then swung round to the top of the island and landed next Uruk which had Giggles' stack and his fleet. I surrounded it with destroyers so he couldn't move his ships out without attacking a destroyer with a frigate. I also landed on his northern island. I took a city on that island and destroyed most of his stack in Uruk. His fleet tried to escape by rolling the dice against one of my destroyers and he lost all his frigates. He agreed to cap the next turn. Shows how odd the game is when a 20 city AI caps after losing one city. I then declared on Mehmet and attacked Bulawayo where I'd been stacking an army I'd built with the Khmer cities I'd captured. I didn't have enough units to take Bulawayo first turn of the war. Apparently Mehmet would cap but wouldn't talk so I took Bulawayo and he capped the next turn. This tipped me over the domination limit. I considered liberating some cities to get me back under the limit so I could take Augustus and cap the world for a conquest victory; it always feels more satisfying than domination and would have ended any questions of the identity of the true world king but after twenty three hours of game play I couldn't face it.

    Nobody got to rifling, partly because I wasted all by vassals' time directing them to nearly research techs to slow the tech pace. Only Giggles got to steel and a handful got military tradition and grenadiers. But it was still pretty absurd. I was about four turns from flight and spent most of the last thirty turns confirming my suspicions that artillery does well against longbows.
     

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  11. Mr_Trotsky

    Mr_Trotsky Chieftain Supporter

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    @5tephen

    My thoughts on your thoughts.

    Spoiler :


    I like Louis. The French are good. Strong starting techs. A unique unit that complements one of the most common and powerful rushes and a unique building that adds free GPP at a stage when you’re less precious about GPP pool pollution are both decent. My take on it is that apart from a few really strong and a few really weak leaders, most aren’t that dissimilar - which is a real compliment to the balance of the game - but I guess I’d put Louis and probably the other French leaders as top half with Louis perhaps slightly behind CDG.

    I think he might be improved by these settings as well. I think industrious is really strong because, with so many AIs competing for wonders, the boost can really help you get some key ones. It also makes fail gold even stronger. I suspect it might become weak on immortal and certainly deity though because your chance of getting key wonders is reduced by the size of the competition. Fail gold is also harder to profit from if you’re not getting to the relevant tech first.

    I wonder if creative becomes one of the best traits though. At least on this map there seem to be so few spots with double food in the first ring because resources are so spread out. The land is also generally of poorer quality so getting as many workable green tiles as early as possible really helps. I think sharing tiles is weaker on these settings because most cities don’t have a surfit of resources meaning they can share and the need to settle close for maintenance costs falls away. It also has the benefit of helping with early fog busting and, on difficulty levels where you can get the Great Wall, the cheap library makes it slightly easier to avoid getting a great spy which is pretty lame on these settings because nobody will have anything to steal.

    I’m not sure if it’s coincidence that the leaders who did best in our games seemed to be the creative types (Sury, Zara and Giggles).

    One downside for Louis is that being Mr Globe Theatre feels weaker as drafting isn’t as strong. Given that you can two pop whip a rifle which gets full experience and doesn’t cause three unhappiness, nationhood isn’t that exciting.

    I agree that the least enjoyable bit of the game is the part where you’ve already won/lost and these settings extend that period enormously. Although I think that’s more down to huge than marathon because marathon means you can pretty much take the map with the tech edge you had when you started chain capping.

    I think the thing I liked least about the game was how the other leaders’ personalities were completely irrelevant and diplomacy generally was too. One of the things I enjoy most is diplomatic shenanigans to keep yourself safe and planning your targets with how other civs will react. My war decisions were based on wonders - I wanted the Great Lighthouse so attacked Vicky and her vassal HC - proximity and eventually rivals’ tech. Apart from the immediate neighbour, it just didn’t seem to matter who the other leaders were. I never looked at how other leaders would react to a declaration because they were too far away and incapable of naval assaults and I stopped reading requests - the answer was no.

    I think war pre-communism is fine. Maintenance costs are seriously reduced. I teched to communism without difficulty while killing with cannons. This wasn’t even really due to capture gold which is much less powerful on marathon.

    I find the AIs incompetence with barbs on these settings a bit depressing. You getting the Great Wall crippled poor Pacal and I suspect you can do that in almost any game on these settings. Also, I needed the barbs to give me something to do during the first few hundred turns! Final point on the Great Wall, is it feels a bit gamey. It’s a lot better on these settings but the AI can’t deal with non-standard settings and doesn’t give it any higher priority. It’s like building TGW on raging barbs or going all in for the GLH on a tiny islands shuffle map. There’s a wider point about how non-standard settings are almost always easier because the human player adjusts to them but the AI doesn’t (at least not enough). Getting an overpowered GLH economy when judgment is required to determine whether it’s the right call is one thing. Ending up there because the wonder is always absurd on particular settings is much less fun.

    Agreed that it would have been more fun to play the more normal speed and normal size games than just the one on these settings. However, I don’t think I could play five games in the time it took me to finish this - perhaps only two but maybe not even that. I reckon I was about ten hours into the NC Alex game with a long way to go before I switched to playing this. It’s my first go on deity so I was playing slowly but I always feel like I play slowly when each turn counts.

    Turns were much quicker than they would be in a normal game for large parts of the game. Once the empire was set up and I was trundling towards lib, I was basically just killing barbs and ending turn. There was a fair bit of micro to build an army and then transport it but most wars were landing next to the city with the stack in; destroying that stack; and taking the capitulation. On normal speed you could only have taken perhaps half the map like this and you’d have to think about teching and producing a new army which pushes you to keep more cities. I kept cities from the first four or five civs I capped but after that I just liberated them back until the end where I kept Zara’s cities because the war lasted long enough for some to come out of revolt. My one attempt on the earth map normal speed, NTT and no vassals took me almost twice as long as this game because I went much deeper into the tech tree. Some of the AI got rifling on normal speed :nono:
     
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  12. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    Finally finished my Qin game. 1896 space. What's amazing is not my late victory date but the fact that the AI weren't even close.
     
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  13. King Younk

    King Younk Warlord

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    Spoiler :
    upload_2021-11-14_8-17-6.png

    So I ignored all your advice about archers, as I didn't see a source of Copper readily available.

    I am building up my economy right now, and going to see if I can tech to Feudalism, CoL, Engineering, and Iron Working quickly, so that I can conquer Greece, the Ottomans, and the Khmer - just generally take the continent in the Middle Ages, when Charlemagne is strongest. If I can do this, I think I can coast more easily into later eras, as I will have "Manifest Destinied" the early games, and will be able to focus more on economy/tech. Maybe go for a Space Race victory.

    A couple questions -
    1. How should I use corporations? How do I know if they're worth the maintenance or not? Whenever I've used them, they've ended up costing me more than they helped.
    2. What do you think of my city specialization? I have probably 5 financial cities, since that is what flood plains are good at, but do you think I should try to specialist cities too, in Florence and Pisa in particular, since I have the Pyramids?
    3. How should I approach war and diplomacy with my neighbors? I have three countries that attack on pleased, Ottomans, Greeks, and Khmer, and I want to subjugate all of them. I think I will try to attack whoever the Ethiopians will join me in fighting.
     

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  14. civac

    civac Prince

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    Corporations are good if they provide a lot yields obvisously. So in a way the more expensive they are the better. On Standard or large maps, if you have courthouses in your cities and Wallstreet in your HQ you should come out ahead, ie. the corporation should gain more commerce than it costs maintenance. On very large maps this may not be the case. They have a large setup cost and thus are usually more suitable for space games as they push the timing of military campaigns further back. The slower the game the better. Epic/Marathon speed and/or no tech trading make them stronger. The best one are Mining and Sushi, in some cases Cereals. The others tend to be bad except in special situations (culture victory, lack of strategic resources).
     

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