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Looking for advice in my current Monarch game

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by ronaldsf, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. ronaldsf

    ronaldsf Chieftain

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    Hi all,

    After a several-years hiatus, I am picking up this baby again and giving it a go. I have beaten Monarch consistently with standard settings before, and have never beaten Emperor. I have decided that for my next foray into Civ 4 I should see if I can win a Monarch game.

    My last game I started as the Mongols on a small continent with only Korea as my neighbor. Lots of plains tiles and the only available horses were deep in Korea's back lines, so now Keshik rush for me. By the time I eliminated Korea I was hopelessly behind the rest of the world in economy and science.

    So I gave up that game and now have the current game (SAVE FILE ATTACHED).

    My immediate question is what to do about Stalin?

    I have done some aggressive expanding and have a land advantage over my 3 neighbors on our continent: Stalin, Hatshepsut and Justinian. When Hinduism spread to my lands from Byzantine I adopted and spread it through all my cities, and I seem to have a stable alliance with Hatshepsut and Justinian based on religion and peaceful relations. I had a huge economic hit after aggressively expanding, and my science was 10-20% for many turns, and since I invented Code of Laws and Currency my economy has been recovering and my science went back up to 60%. I also have been watching the Diplomatic window and making sure to research techs that I could then trade with my 2 friendly neighbors, and I am now getting close to tech parity with them.

    It was at this time that the isolated Stalin (who I had made sure to hem in by aggressively settling in his direction early in the game) declared war on me with about a dozen units of chariots, swordsmen, and axemen. He has also started building horsemen.

    I knew this was coming (I'd seen his Power chart rising and I knew he had no option but to bust out of his corner) and so I'd started building units in advance of this. He has pillaged resources around my border city but that city is otherwise doing fine. I have focused my cities on building military units, mostly catapults because he has concentrated all his forces outside of my city and is using a catapult to bring down my defenses.

    So I see these as my options:
    1. Go down to zero science and spend hundreds of gold to upgrade my melee units into Heavy Footmen and attack Stalin outside my city with suicide catapults and then melee. When I tried this without upgrading, it went pretty badly. So I reloaded! (Yes I know I'm a bad boy.) So it seems like to do this I'd have to take an economic hit and I'm worried that Hatshepsut will surpass me -- she just built the Colossus and the Great Library! Or is my land advantage and territory increase after I win the war enough to carry me through?
    2. Hunker down in my city, maintain an adequate defense, and hope that Stalin will launch a catastrophic assault against my well-defended city? (We're also on a hill, by the way.)
    3. Wait for my next big research (Philosophy) and gift it to Hatshepsut in exchange for her declaring war against Stalin, to split his front?

    Any thoughts from the Civ community?
    And if you have any general tips on how to improve my game please fire away! (Please be nice - I'm new at asking for advice here!)

    Thanks in advance!
     

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  2. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Why upgrade anything? You are on a hill. He will bombard for next 5-6 turns then probably attack. You have a very strong defence here and I will be suprised if he wins any real combats here. Not even sure you need to whip any units here.

    For 1080ad your science seems rather slow here. Unclear if this is down to a slow teching AI.

    Once he has spent his stack go on attack. 2-3 heavy footman here with those captults and other units should be enough to take his capital.Don't bother fully bombarding his capital. Attack with catapults and follow in with 8-9 other units.

    You really didn't need all these court houses and city walls. Same for temples.

    Overall you have a decent tech lead here to go on the attack and you should switch civics to bureau at some point.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  3. ronaldsf

    ronaldsf Chieftain

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    Thanks! I was assuming that Stalin and I would have an extended arms race into perpetuity, and I'd be keeping parity with Stalin's military build-up forever.

    I'm glad that I'm probably overestimating the AI, and that it will probably commit a foolish attack! :viking:

    My science was down to 10-20% after some hasty expansion once I saw that I had 3 neighbors on my continent. Perhaps I could've expanded more slowly? I am a Financial civ and so I hope that the cottages will let me catch up on tech soon.

    I'd built city walls because there was an extended period when my economy was suffering and I could only build more units and city walls. I built city walls to prevent having to pay to maintain more units.

    I thought courthouses and temples (city size) were important for economy? I discovered Currency after Code of Laws, and am working on Marketplaces after Courthouses.

    Yes, once I am confident I can wipe out Stalin I'll switch out of Vassalage.

    Any thoughts on whether I should try to eliminate Stalin? Or just cripple him/take his capital?
     
  4. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    Courthouses are useless, and so are temples, 95% of the time. The solution to most economic problems is build wealth and later state property.

    And markets are an absolute waste too. In fact, the only buildings you need in most cities are: granary, forge, library. That's it. Everything else is throwing hammers into the wind (until the industrial era where factories/power come into play). Raw commerce and GP bulbing is what gets you research/money, not some 25% modifier building that takes an eternity and a half to build.
     
  5. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Expanding to 3-4 cities by 2000bc is normally good play. 7+ cities by 1 ad.

    Try to get used to building wealth or science if you have no great builds. Use scientists to push for alphabet on monarch level. That or aesthetic to trade for it. I think Monarch so are slower on tech speed.

    Avoid techs like archery and iron working early on. So always tech these early on.

    I see no harm whipping units here to take Russian cities.
     
  6. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Cottages are important for the economy! Normally your capital will focus on cottages. With 1-2 cities within distance to work some of the capital's cottages. Those farmed river tiles should of all been cottaged.

    Your expansion here was slow! 2120bc for a second city is really late. 1500bc or so for third city is late too. I aim for 3 cities by 2000bc on most games now. Guessing your blocker city slowed down expansion by 1-2 turns but I think Lak could of been put where your current capital is and you might of still grabbed lak.

    Your capital should normally start on worker build then grow on warrior to size 3 then builds 2 xsettlers. Your second city can normally whip a worker at size 2.

    Placement of Lak seems good. It had a chance to work 2 cottages from the capital. I can see why you moved your capital. It's a shame Mutal never had the corn.

    Teching masony, archery and IW was a huge mistake. Writing and open borders is huge! That and libraries. This would of also delayed your first academy too. This is why you were forced to build so many units which are a drain on your economy. You have that big stack and I don't even think you were planning any war.

    Big issue this start has is happiness resources. So a Oracle play for monarchy would of worked well here. You can then use warriors as cheap military protection to increase happiness under HR civic.

    Yeah plenty of scope for improvement here.
     
  7. ronaldsf

    ronaldsf Chieftain

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    Trying to follow your reasoning here.
    Granary = I understand this. You increase your population quickly, which can be converted into commerce and (using slavery) into hammers

    The Forge increases hammers to make everything else

    You say +25% buildings are a waste early on, and recommend the library? Can you explain?

    You say that the +25% buildings are more useful once the industrial era kicks in. I assume because you can build them more quickly and there is a lower opportunity cost, yes? Before the industrial era, what do you focus on building after you have created granary, forge, and library?
     
  8. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    Just to be clear, what I'm about to say pertains mostly to the middle game (after all good land is settled but before the industrial era).

    Generally, offensive military units are the strongest build. Often we can conquer AI cities with massive populations, nice tiles, and already constructed buildings at the cost of a couple of suicide catapults, plus maybe another casualty (so under 200 hammers total!). This process is more efficient than anything else you can do by a massive margin. The one caveat is that we need a strong unit, for example war elephants or cuirrassier, to do the conquering. If you don't have the necessary technology, focus on getting there by working scientists and building wealth.

    The ONLY building that outweighs these objectives is the granary. Not even libraries or forges supersede the superiority of military units. Of course, if you need research and have either a strong commerce or strong food (=specialists) city, a library can be better than wealth-building.

    Finally, a note on the so-called 25% buildings. Focus more on the type of bonus rather than the magnitude. Libraries (and forges to a lesser extent) are good because we always need research and aim to run that slider close to 100%. Markets provide the same magnitude of bonus, but we try to run our gold slider as low as possible so the bonus is usually wasted. This also applies for larger magnitudes. Banks are usually bad, and even the hermitage's 100% culture bonus is too weak outside of the cultural victory.
     
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  9. M3dge

    M3dge Chieftain

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    Libraries also help cultural expansion, and are needed to build scientists which are critical. And, they are pre-requisite for Universities, which are needed to build Oxford, IMO one of the few critical wonders.
     
  10. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Build library. +25% science in city. Run 2 scientists somewhere for 17 turns and you have a scientist. Academy adds + 50% science in city where you build it.
    Library/academy in capital. Add Burea civic commerce bonus too. If you add on specialist bonus for mids.These bonuses can stack up in a big way.
    That can easily be +75% science in your capital. With a 50% bonus on commerce which hugely increases your capital science if slider is at 100%.
    On top of this if you prepare a cottage capital well you could have 10-14 tiles generating 5-6 commerce each long term.

    A forge is nice long term but early on you want science to help push your empire forward. 120H is a big investment. Pre 500bc I would rather have settlers and workers to expand my empire. I would rather 3-4 pop whip a forge once I have granaries/libraries and empire sorted Note not every city needs a granary/library and forge..

    In fact on the SGOTM series some games the best players suggested building forges only delayed conquest dates.

    For every building you build you need to justify it. What is better 40 gold from wealth or a temple/aqueduct/colloseum. I rarely build any of these 3. For industrious leaders forges can be more rewarding.
     
  11. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Hmm, I think Oxford is good only in space games, because the :hammers: cost of 6 uni and Ox itself is huge.

    Agree with Gumbolt that even a forge in a city that is going to whip many units soon might not pay itself back, because it delays the initial attack.
     
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  12. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    I like forges in high food cities while I'm waiting for the tech to breakout. But yeah, except for my capital and a few specialized cities, most buildings are ignored. I may whip courthouses in farther away conquered cities while i'm building towards the next military tech
     

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