Liberty Domination Walkthrough

Moriarte

Immortal
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
2,171
Hello, fanatics! I would like to share my play style here, and, possibly, read critique, suggestions and ways to improve. Maybe we can learn from each other, as it usually happens in this forum. I am a big fan of domination victory, as I find it most entertaining, and at times even more challenging than other VC's.

This guide/description is centered around deity level, Pangaea, and, of course, any set of actions described here can be used on any other difficulty level/terrain, with adjustments.

I tried both tradition and liberty openings, and, having domination victory in mind, I find that liberty tree suits me a little bit better. This guide is a safety net play. the opening will be slower (food) than with most tradition starts, but, in return, you get higher production in your cities and good homeland defense/offense. If you want to win consistently at Deity, try it.

Playing BNW, I found out the AI have completely lost his idea how to tech and human player can make extensive detours to wherever he likes, stay there for as long as he likes and still catch up in the end. I saw some extreme cases, like Maddjinn's latest video, where he plays Venice with 200 science per turn after turn 200 and it's alright, basically :lol:

After playing 5 successful games (with Poland, Sweden, Shoshone, Arabia and Zulu) I decided to put down my techniques for further analysis on this forum.

The Opening:

I really like hills. Settling on a hill (and, especially, a hill with mining lux beneath it) gives one extra hammer at the very beginning of the game, which allows to construct early buildings & units at a slightly more rapid pace, than otherwise. I recommend (highly) to "waste" one turn to walk a settler on top of that hill, provided, there is a source of food nearby. If not, well, settle in place.

First build is always scout. So is the second. Scouts are invaluable, as they serve multiple purposes: scouting for good city spots, uncovering ancient ruins, meeting future trade partners, stealing workers, and, if you're lucky to get a weapon upgrade, you can either complete a city state quest, or, bring scout back for homeland defense.

Next comes the monument. It will help us let our first (free) liberty settler out in reasonable time frame, so we can land him on top of another mining lux nearby. (Hopefully).

Next comes the shrine. You never know if you can get a religion on Deity (I mean, you most assuredly can't), BUT, early perks can be nice, and, with luck and skill applied, they can be turned into powerful late game faith per turn (FPT), which is handy.

My pantheon priorities usually are: Faith > Food > Culture.

Next comes the granary, the first food producing building in the game. Followed by 2-3 archers.

Schematically:

Scout, Scout, Monument, shrine, granary, 2x archers.

EDIT: Lately, i find this path more balanced: scout, monument, scout, etc.. (because you may get a faster free settler this way)

Tech: Pottery (for shrine, granary), animal husbandry, mining/archery.

The workers:

I usually steal 1-2 or more from nearby civilization. Don't feel bad, you are a warmonger at heart and that's what warmongers do. If there is absolutely no way to snatch workers from civilization, well, you can snatch it from city state, postpone a granary, or use the cash from your scouting to buy a worker/granary. Having two workers makes a big difference early on. Later, third worker will come from liberty and any other subsequent workers can be snatched/produced. Snatching workers from both a city state and a civilization in a short time frame can lead to serious diplomatic repercussions. So you have to be creative.

The Expansion:

Now here is the twist. You may, or may not have a real close neighbor. If you do have one, produce :)c5production:) just one settler after the free one and spam 3-4 archers and a caravan.

If you're all alone in the wilderness, produce 2 settlers, 2 archers, caravan, archer, library.

In both cases the tech priority should be ---> Construction. A detour to calendar or trapping should be made, if that's what will keep your 3-4 cities happy.

City number 2 production chain: Monument/archer.
City number 3 production chain: Monument, granary/library.
City number 4 production chain (if applicable): Monument, library/granary.

(if there is plains wheat/deer/cattle in your satellites - lock that tile)

Decision, whether to upgrade to CB's right when you reach them (t.55 or so) should be based upon your willingness to kill somebody from the get go. Or if someone aggressive neighbor is close. Otherwise, you can postpone it for a few turns.

Now it is turn 50, you should have 3 - 4 cities, 3+ workers, working on granaries/libraries and we move on to the next part.

The Snowballing:

Now some start are just production heavy (looking at you, Salt). There is a good chance to get Pyramids before turn 70 on Deity, and given the magnificent nature of this wonder and it's synergy with liberty, one can attempt it just before constructing a library in capital city. If production is not that great - DON'T.

If there is a good production tile near the city (horse, mining lux, deer, cattle) start off by improving it and work it. Next, construct a farm. It is likely there won't be enough happiness in the beginning to make use of all these farms around your cities, so prioritize hammers at first.

The next tech target is Philosophy --> Engineering. (EDIT: or Philosophy --> Civil Service) On most maps, liberty can be finished around turn 80-85 or earlier. I suggest getting yourself a great engineer (GE) and rushing National College (NC) in your capital with it. This action frees up a lot of space for other necessary builds (aqueduct, caravans, market, army, etc.) But be sure to finish libraries by that time. Picking representation before meritocracy helps a faster NC. Next you are on track for civil service/education.

In the meantime, it can be a good idea to expand once more. (t.70-85 window) If there is a good spot for a city, hard build a settler right after (or just before) rushing NC, rush buy (or produce) a caravan from engineering and send it to that city. If you want/can, rush a granary there too. This city will grow pretty quickly. I wouldn't recommend expanding any more than 5 cities with liberty, as other cities can be gotten with an army a short while later. Speaking of which:

The Great warpath:

Now, you might take a city or two from an early neighbor with your composites, this won't actually hurt much, but I wouldn't recommend getting more cities if you want to play it safe. I suggest stopping there and saturating until at least crossbows. If you go all out killing and razing, say good bye to your trade partners, and, since commerce tree have been nerfed for warmongers, there is absolutely no place to get happiness from, if everyone hates you.

So be wise and tech scientific theory --> dynamite, or vice versa if AI's tech rates are slacking. By the time you get there, you should have a couple solid friends and few silent haters. Don't worry, they'll pay .. in time. Safe army composition is: 6-7 artilleries, 4 horse riders, a melee or two, and 3-4 crossbows/gatlings. It is good to have armories before constructing cannons, and you can easily fit them into build queue.

With that first solid army on a glorious crusade, it is time tech for some modern warfare.

After dynamite and scientific theories are finished, I suggest this beeline: Industrialization, Biology (oil), Flight (planes), Combustion (land ships), Ballistics (AA guns), Rocketry. You might not need rocketry at all, depending on how many oil (and hence planes) you have, but keep in mind that stealth bombers aside, there is nothing better than R. artilleries at bringing down cities of size 120 and such.

It is also a good idea to keep a tri plane or two for interception/sweeping, especially if AI is still ahead of you after turn 200. (which shouldn't be the case if you start warring with artilleries)

Having a couple of workers at the front line is very nice, as they can help pillage/heal, quickly repair resources after war and connect your new acquisition to the empire.

Dictator's policies:

The dictator needs happiness. So, if one can manage to set up early culture well (by allying cultural CS) he can go to consulates after finishing liberty. There is everything in this little policy: happiness, faith, culture, you name it.

If one is called Casimir III, he can delve into commerce to get that policy, precious to every warmonger's heart - protectionism. Casimir likes rationalism too.

If early culture is not so brilliant - the best choice would be to do rationalism after finishing full liberty. (with possible detour to some opener, like Patronage, Aesthetics, Commerce or Exploration)

With a spy on offence you can easily promote him to level 3 and give him a task of allying cultural CS with less than 70 influence. Helps.

I won't discuss tourism and guilds here, in the opening post. It is obviously nice to have them but can be skipped in domination play, at least in part. Later, when juicy capitals will start falling into your hands, you can rearrange these works of art and enjoy theming bonuses and all that. I played all three ideologies and find order/autocracy to be best choices for war. Not sure, which one is better, actually. Perhaps, the one which is more common in the world ;).

The Clock is ticking:

Timings are crucial. Since this is deity, and we want to play it safe, there is no need to allow AI to saturate too much. Hence, a good time for universities - t.110-120, public school - t. 150 -170 (depends whether dynamite or ST is first to research) and research labs we won't be needing at all. It is normal to have 600 bpt+ at turn 200 on most maps. Feel free to annexe few cities and rush buy science stuff in there (or any other stuff).

EDIT: 600 bpt. can be achieved with 5 healthy cities filled with public schools & free thought by turn 200. (approximate sizes - 24, 16, 15, 14, 13)

Once the artillery war starts it is good to be slowly fighting your way to victory without breaks for lunch.

Sometimes the AI manages to runaway though. In this case a final push with research labs + Stealth bombers can be made. Nothing like a little air superiority.

Lastly, I'd like to add few screenshots, of how you liberty empire can look like, if you wish to achieve t.220 - 260 domination victory.

Fight well.

And comment. I only briefly touched aspects of war, so if anyone would like to expand on it, I will happy to join the discussion, answer questions and hear criticisms.

Spoiler :





And to finish it off my favorite quote from Civilization, which is unlocked with Stealth Bombers ;) May it help you on your path of war:

"Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate"

Sun Tzu

Chinese general & military strategist (~400 BC)


Link to video.

PROS:

1. Each city starts up with an extra hammer once you hit republic --> fast initial builds.
2. Free settler to claim that natural wonder. (and you won't need to rely on trade partners to get your settlers)
3. Cultural hit from annexing cities (late game) is less severe.
4. Early army at your disposal, general. (sub turn 60)

CONS:

1. The need to build monuments, aqueducts.
2. Considerably less growth bonuses. [than tradition]
3. Free happiness is not immediately available, if compared to Monarchy.
4. The need to purchase multiple tiles throughout the game. (because borders will grow at slower pace)
 

slowcar

King
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
819
Location
hamburg, germany
Good read!
I wonder though: If you do only a short early war and wait it out until Dynamite otherwise: Why not open with Tradition? I am trying to play Liberty more, but i kind of return to Tradition often as it just seems stronger in the long run.
You lose a bit on the fast expansion, but you don't have to hard-build monuments (and aqueducts) in your new cities.
But well, don't want to derail the thread :)
 

Moriarte

Immortal
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
2,171
You're right, tradition works too.

But as I mentioned, I like it safe. I didn't play tradition much yet, but I imagine it would be a pain to get 3 - 4 cities, some infrastructure and a CB army @ turn 55, consistently. With tradition you rely on traders for both settlers AND composites. That's a bit over the top for me, considering how many times I started next to Attila ;). With a free settler I am guaranteed a good expansion spot, fast. And another one, shortly.

All in all, I feel I don't need tradition's long term food bonuses, while going for a super wide (and often tall) domination game. .
 

vanzlmalc

Chieftain
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
31
Good guide, ty :)

Do you ever consider building shrines and/or temples in other cities?
 

Moriarte

Immortal
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
2,171
Only if I have strong religion/FPT. It adds up nicely, especially, if there is nothing else to build, but otherwise I don't find them particularly useful.

I would spam them everywhere, if playing as Mayans.
 

Walter E Kurtz

Warlord
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
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146
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The Netherlands
Do you puppet whole empires or do you only take the capitals? I can't finish my domination games before flight if I puppet everything, and that's on standard size maps / Immortal.
 

Moriarte

Immortal
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May 10, 2012
Messages
2,171
I usually keep solid cities and sell (raze) weak ones, provided weak cities are not in the way of my next (or future) targets. If that's the case I am forced to keep them. Tactically retreating to allow opponent to overtake a city you just took and force it to 1 pop is one solution.

Also, AI is happily buying horses and iron well after turn 200 in BNW, so that's a good source of extra cash (to spend on happiness) during domination campaign.
 

vyskol

Chieftain
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
10
Thank you for this fantastic write-up! I will be giving it a try on my next game. I'm thinking Assyrian.

One quick question, could you elaborate on this statement?:
...provided weak cities are not in the way of my next (or future) targets. If that's the case I am forced to keep them.
 

Moriarte

Immortal
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
2,171
Sure. What I like about Pangaea domination is you can build uninterrupted chain of roads starting from you capital, through all cities and empires you conquer. Doing that you are helping your gold per turn greatly. So, if, for example, I leave one city somewhere in the middle unconquered, and the owner of that city is hostile to me (won't give open borders), all my acquisitions beyond that city won't be receiving gold from "city connections". Hence, I take that city, just to help connect my future cities to a capital. (by road or rail)
 

IkM

King
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
861
Hey there Moriarte!

good read. lately, I became warmonger too (kinda weird to say :lol:) really enjoy domination victory. especially Huns and Mongols are my favourite factions. but I'll try Assyria as soon as possible.
 

livsbrand

Warlord
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May 6, 2013
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299
Location
Sweden
What do you think about rushing to Pyramids, provided no early neighbor? I always do that, but I play Immortal. Awesome write-up btw, I really enjoyed it. I like how the granary is the first food building in the game!

What about national wonders? In my current game I had ten cities by 140 or so, only one of which is a puppet, so only NC for me at t165. Do you prioritize them?
 

Securion

Civ Veteran
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Its not the smartest thing in the world to settle on top of the only few tiles you have that give you gold. Especially now with BNW. Only do that if you have to. Otherwise a good strat. :thumbsup:
 

Moriarte

Immortal
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
2,171
Its not the smartest thing in the world to settle on top of the only few tiles you have that give you gold. Especially now with BNW. Only do that if you have to. Otherwise a good strat. :thumbsup:

Well, it gives you gold if you settle on top, don't it? :D In the end of the day, that extra +5g (including modifiers) per turn from single gold tile is compared to a 10 turn earlier settler/worker/granary/archer or whatever, not to mention extra gold when most needed, during first 30 turns.. Might be worth it. Especially on deity. I usually end up with 400+ gpt, so.. I see your argument though.
 

Moriarte

Immortal
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May 10, 2012
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Are you usually the first to pick out your ideology? And what would you use Oxford to get to?

Only once I managed to be the first one to picking ideology. And they made me change from communism to autocracy.. Usually, I am second or third.

Oxford for artilleries/bombers/combustion (totally map dependent)
 

Moriarte

Immortal
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
2,171
What do you think about rushing to Pyramids, provided no early neighbor? I always do that, but I play Immortal. Awesome write-up btw, I really enjoyed it. I like how the granary is the first food building in the game!

What about national wonders? In my current game I had ten cities by 140 or so, only one of which is a puppet, so only NC for me at t165. Do you prioritize them?

I find East India very helpful, especially with civs like Portugal and Morocco. If hammers are really great, i'll 100% go for it, otherwise.. depends.

You mean rushing pyramids with GE? Again, if hammers are wonderful (NC in < 13 turns), then why not. At that point i'll also be considering Oracle for fast consulates.
 

Moriarte

Immortal
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May 10, 2012
Messages
2,171
Policy question. What do you think of the Honor tree?

I don't know, it seems sub optimal on deity level. Some guys, like Old Peter, make it work, as seen from deity challenges. Maybe he can stop by and explain how he does it.
 

Tabarnak

Cut your lousy hairs!
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Sep 17, 2010
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Québec
Nice guide Moriarte :goodjob:

Few questions :

Is it possible, in BNW, for a regular civ to stop by Machinery(before Education) and push up even more and earlier if opponents aren't warmonger crazy? I'm guessing that China and England can do it automatically. Same for Arabia and Mongols or maybe Songhai for Chivalry?

There is a gap between CBs and artillery. What if you fail at capturing early cities? Is it still faisible? Thoughts?

Well you insist about the ''safe'' part so it's all about happiness capacities and AI relations i guess.
 
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