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Land grab VS research and infrastructure

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by eben, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. eben

    eben Chieftain

    Jan 8, 2003
    i've been land-grabbing up to the borders of my opponents with chop rush in all my monarch games, but have seen some posts that suggest this is a mistake. is it better to stay small with a maxed-out research rate, even at the expense of facing much larger enemy nations? i would think that getting the most amount of territory possible, even if it means falling behind in technology, is more valuable when your cottages on all that land start to mature.

    perhaps if you start small and get ahead in tech, you can attack your neighbours with modern units to grab their territory early? has anyone tested the two methods against each other?
  2. GenericKen

    GenericKen Not at all suspicious

    Sep 2, 2005
    As with most things, it depends.

    Other than catapults, most military units are more dependant on strategic resources than technology (copper/iron for axeman, iron for swordsmen, ivory for elephants, horses for horse archers) until gunpowder, at which point you're decidedly in the mid-game. If you feel that your start is strong enough, definately expand to try to hit some of the better strategic resources.

    As to overexpansion, it also depends. You should definately always stop expanding if you don't feel you can militarily keep your gains. Otherwise, be sure you stop before your science slider hits 0. Most prefer to stop at 40-50%, some can go as low as 20% if the opportunity is worth the stagnation.

    The key early and most reliable technologies for maintaining a large empire are:
    -Pottery (Be sure to cottage in some of your backfill; happiness techs allow you to work more cottages as well)
    -Currency (Extra trade routes help a lot, markets syn w/ pottery and allow for great merchants)
    -Code of Laws (Courthouses are big; Caste system can also allow you to starve down cities to something reasonable with merchants)

    Religion can also help significantly if you manage to found a religion, build the shrine, and spread it to most of your cities. Later on, Spiral minaret can be obscene. Great lighthouse can be good at times.
  3. TLHeart

    TLHeart King

    Oct 15, 2005
    I used to land grab until I could grab no more, with science at 20%. Figured I could catch up later. Wrong.

    New stratagy, grow slowly....found my capital...let it grow to 4 pop, found an early religion in it regardless of who I am, then build a settler, and a worker, and found my second city....By this time the barbs start to arrive, and give my military some good experience.

    Current game, random start, at prince, got to Alexander, and I only built 4 of my own cities...took two barb cities, one from Isabella, two from montezuma, and one from Hyuna Capac (sp). 10 Cities total. I have a strong military, productive cities, 3 holy cities, going for number 4 as soon as Isabella gets angry with me again, which she will over religion, and let the shrines support my army.

    It still depends on the map, and the oppenants if I will land grab, or build slowly.
  4. FratBoy

    FratBoy Chieftain

    Dec 18, 2005
    Playing on emperor level (mostly pangea map) I will chop rush workers and settlers to grab land quickly. As long as I already have pottery I will keep expanding even if it means my science is at 0%, since as soon as a city is size 2 and both those citizens are working tiles with a cottage it means I will go plus. Another important thing is to switch to slavery ASAP to save some money.
  5. Rain

    Rain Marquesa

    Feb 28, 2002
    As with many strategies it depends on the game, map size etc. You need to ensure you have some room to expand. but overexpansion can be dangerous if you do not have a plan to fix the resulting stagnation resulting from finanacial woes. In some maps you need to be wary of getting trapped on a small chunk of land. I have at times found it is better to stretch the gap between cities and eat the higher maintenance if I can get a choice location rather than buidl tow cities to occupy the same space in a rollout process. Typically I can fill the gap in later.

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