Man this cannot be! Civ's cr*p!


Sep 6, 2005
Ok, that's my story... the story of my last campaign.

I'm a Civ addict since Civ1 came out in 1994 (well, I played it a little later, I guess...). Played Civ2 with joy, played Civ3 some years ago and now I'm playing it again. :crazyeye:

Tired of lower difficulty levels like chieftain and warlord, I tried something harder like monarch. I took Xerxes and a small map, but once multi-revealed the world I saw that I was about to be history in just 100-150 turns. Hehe, ok, my fault, I had to learn.

My second campaign, I used the French in a huge map, only 2 opponents, and I was victorious in 1918 due to immense superiority (oh, I love the sound of their pikemen's bones crunched by my modern armors...). Well, it was easy with a good use of PowerBar during the wars! :spear:

Ok, I was just "exploring" the difficulty level. Now, I wanted something fairer, so I tried using no cheats, except for one: I created a new race, the Utopians (expansionist, militarist, religious, commercial, scientific, industrious... yeah, all of them), beginning with bronze working, masonry, ceremonial burial and literature. Quite a boost, isn't it?
Of course, I had to expect centuries for my golden age, and my UU (Mecha Trooper, 32.40.2) is the ultimate weapon but replaces the Mech Infantry, so I had nothing special to bully my neighbors with, before I develop computers.

Thanks to the scouts, in a bunch of turns I completed the ancient era and I was far ahead the AI in science. Moreover, I had 3 luxury goods quite soon (even before I could build marketplaces!) and I'd win culturally if only I had 100k CP. I was planning to make things even fairer. Was that enough?

NO! Because the AI is a nasty b**ch (now I know)! In something like 70 turns, my opponents closed the tech gap and even overtook me! I don't know how it did that. That's a thing I don't understand and I really don't like. These are the others:

1) Why other races are always annoyed to me even if I did nothing to them? At best they're cautious, but that wasn't the case of the Germans, who soon asked me for a free tech, and when I told them to go hang themselves they attacked me. Not a real problem, they were from another continent, so I razed their only city on mine and made peace later. But man, I'm "european" too (that's the utopian cultural group).

2) I was trying to have a good relationship with my nearest neighbors, the French. Joan was kind to me, but suddenly moved some troops inside my territory. Did she want to attack? It seemed strange to me, but when I asked to retire her units she declared war on me! What the hell?!?!? (Was razing Bonn so bad for my reputation?)

3) I think I learned something from the tech thing. I stopped ignoring the opponents, I made peace with Abe gaining also a bunch of techs that put me on par. I was back again and progressing, but all had a cost: my military stood still. And all of a sudden, the "peaceful" French attacked me again! :( And man, I really had no time nor troops for that... My game stops here, for now. 1070 a.D., and riflemen for everyone.

4) As I said, Joan was polite before her attack, then she was furious and I never saw her better again. Ok, I razed 3 cities of hers, so she will be mad at me... forever? What can I do? When I'll be left in peace? I've enough of that. :sad: I think the AI is just too harsh: Civilization is a game based on war, so common war facts like razing a city shouldn't affect the game that much, and civs should change their moods much faster.

5) I know that the other civs were making war among them (since I don't think Buffalo is a german city), so why are they always ready to exchange techs? How can a republican Bismark be so friendly with a communist Mao (that's it...) and share an alliance against me?

6) I know that at monarch level the AI takes a 10% discount building stuff, but has it some bonuses in combat too? Example: I had a fortified veteran pikeman on a hill, the AI attacked with a regular longbowman. The combat calc says that my odds for winning are 77.3%. Result? I reloaded several times, and the AI won 4 times out of 5. Man this cannot be! [pissed]

And this explains part of the title. Of course, Civilization is not cr*p, it's a wonderful game indeed. And now I love its high level of customization, and I have to thank the guys from the customization section, expecially R8XFT for hew Hector's leaderhead and BlueO for his Power Armor unit :goodjob: and everyone who has written a guide/tutorial/howto. I thank you all. :clap:
I think Firaxis did a great job, but some things are really frustrating... First of all, my idea for difficulty level should be based on AI smartness, not on bonuses (for the AI or the player), but anyway...

Things I learnt:
1) Make love, not war. The AI will take care of beginning wars, even with you. Even if you didn't do anything for centuries. Even if you didn't do anything at all.
2) Always update and strenghten your army. Being bullied leads only to defeat.
3) Never raze a city, even if it steals territory and resources from you and it's a real pain in the...
4) Begin a war only if you have a huge amount of powerful units. At that point, eradicate the entire civ you are fighting. And think twice before razing, because if you destroy 10 cities, that's a permanent +10 in the AI attitude towards you (and the lower, the better).
5) Be ready to trade techs. Be ready even to give them away, if you're in difficulty.
6) Build up your culture. It helps for not being bullied.
7) Always try to gain as much techs as possible, by research or trading. You know the order the AI researches things, so wait for the AI to discover "common" techs (that will lower their value) and research something the AI will be glad to trade.
8) Always take care of the AI mood.
9) CFC and CFF are immense sources of info.

My problems:
1) I love razing enemy cities. The game starts to become boring when I have more than 35 cities. Plus, I don't like cities full of resistors, always ready to civil disorder, placed where only an idiot would place a city, with idiotic land improvements. And it takes too much time and effort to shrink it by famine, and let it grow again, and abandon it when your people match the stranger. I save only the great wonders. This means that if I want to eradicate a civ, I should be ready to eradicate the entire world... :thumbdown
2) I tend to ignore the other civs. Bad things. Diplomacy is basic, now.
3) I'm not worth to be king.

What I need:
1) Some luck, really.
2) Two turns per turn! :wallbash:
3) Some really effective cheat utilities. After I patched to 1.29f, nothing works! This doesn't mean that I want to cheat again, but I love to see the map at the beginning, so I can tell if it's worth the effort. Anyway, the AI itself cheats...

What I will do next? Adding some other boost, I think...
1) Creating my own map and trying again, or
2) Switching to regent, using a greater map and less opponents, or
3) Replacing the warrior with the utopian mecha trooper. :rockon:

Sorry for the long post, and my bad english...

What do you think of that?
I think if you had fun, then its all good. I think that if you want to learn to beat the game at Monarch or Emperor, you should play the game straight up and then you can see what works and what does not.

I think playing on a Huge map with only 2 other civs on Monarch is surely going to be very easy. Stick to the default number of civs until you have that level done pat.

I think your english was just fine and feel free to write as long of an article as you want. If it is interesting, people will read it. If it is not, it does not matter how long it is.

Also forget anything you know about CivII, not of it applies. Combat is just the RNG having its fun, no AI boost.
Of course I don't want make such boosts, I'll switch to regent instead, which is the only honest (and intelligent, I'd say) thing to do. It was only my third campaign being a monarch, I was just trying to figure out how hard this harder level is.
And now I've an answer: too much! I mean, too much for me and my way of playing. I was expecting to change my playing philosophy, but that was a revolution, and I didn't expect that. Being a a warlord, it was all easier, so easy that I ended up becoming a wonder addict, and researching faster (much faster) than the AI was doing was not a problem.
You know where this funny smiley comes from: :spear: Quite a common situation.
So I figured I could menage to be a monarch. That's it. But I need some more training. I had fun only when things were not frustrating as described. I haven't the chance even to see Mecha Troopers in action! :cry:

And I really can't stand the AI cheating. I'm not talking about its production bonuses, or its initial units. I'm talking about the pikeman-longbowman battle I described above (honestly, there was a chance of 0.2% for that thing to happen). I'm talking about seeing my city of Marseille behind Tenochtitlan in the Top 5 Cities screen for centuries, even if it was producing 36 culture points per turn, while Ten was doing only 31, and their total culture amount were very close (the difference was less than 50).

So, in the end I'm asking: am I learning well?
About the Pikeman-Longbowman thing, its the RNG. Love It, Hate It. But you always gotta make sacrifices.
AnsarKing101 said:
About the Pikeman-Longbowman thing, its the RNG.
Too strange to be fair. There where one odd against 500 for it to happen. But it happened. I don't mean that it couldn't happen (since I said the opposite!), but it happened just when I decided to score the results.

It seems to me that Firaxis used a poor random number generator, that allows "threads" of luck or shame, even if the random seed isn't kept (that's because it's changed randomly using the same method, perhaps).
Or, maybe, that's exactly what Firaxis had in mind: when things go wrong, they go wrong all the way!
Well, you have learned from this expierence right? The art of the SOD, the art of tech trading, the Art of worshiping the RNG, and the art of keeping the AI happy. You got better in the long run.
I suggest you play on small or Standard Contientes on Regent, & set your science to 90, this way the AI will never overtake as long as you build Libs, it's not hard to stay ahead of them @ all espically with a sci or exp civ. Your other option would be to play the same settings (WITHOUT CHEATING) as the celts. Build a granary so you have a settler pump, & build a barracks in another city. then build about 1 or 2 dozen warriors. Set your sci rate to either 10 or 20%. By the time you learn Iron working, the AI will be FAR ahead of you in tech, but it makes no difference. Upgrade the 20 or so warriors to GS, & have so some wiping out the nearest opponet. then sue for peace. You not only acquire land, but you will also be back on top w/ Techs. then switch ur sci rate back up. Also don't forget the impotance of Workers. You should have no problem beating Regent this way or Monarch either.
Umm... losing four times out of five in a 77% battle is far too small a sample. If you did it a hundred times, you'd see that it evens out.
@Titankid: I'm playing on regent, and things are going just fine. Even too much. I applied something I learnt in my monarch campaign, and I'm building wonders & wealth now, since I've 1k gold (and growing fast) and a large and advanced army (riflemen when the others have knights and pikemen at best). Ok, I started quite well, since my second city was the Perfect Settler Pump, with 3 cattles, producing alternatively a settler (6 turns) and a worker (2 turns).

Next time I'll play with another race and maybe fight the Utopians. ;) But still I fell strange how being a monarch is so much harder.
Really, do not create such races, as Utopians. I think that it is programmed that you can have no more than 2-3 unique traits. I tried to play with all traits, but I think that RNG desides, what you have and when. It is just safer to have 2. Regent game shoud be beatable by you.
josephstalin said:
Really, do not create such races, as Utopians.
Don't worry, it was just a test :) I won't use them anymore outside a scenario they fit well in.
MaxArt said:
Ok, I started quite well, since my second city was the Perfect Settler Pump, with 3 cattles, producing alternatively a settler (6 turns) and a worker (2 turns).

First I have to excuse myself for MY bad english. I'm new here, I'm from Germany and 20 years out of school (out of learning english).

A city with 3 cattles should be able to produce a settler every 4 turns. Three cattles without irrigation are a plus of 3 food in despotism. With the 2 food your city square produces you have a surplus of 5 food/turn. That means you can mine the cattles to get the shields you need to produce a settler in 4 turns. Of course you need a granary.

I have beaten a monarch-game with a capital with two irrigated cattles and some micromanagement. This city has produced 25 Settlers in 100 turns. Last night I started an emperor-game several times until I found a starting position with three cattles. I think I beat that game if the AI is not to close to me.

edit: I play Civ3 Vanilla 1.29f
Welcome to the forums! I figure you just have to take the good with the bad in RNG. I'm not very good in the whole advice thing, but you should give in to demands if the AI is in an advantageous situation. Better a living chicken than a dead tough guy.
The RNG is a re-occuring topic. In short, its been touted by the very knowledgable people on this site to be random, although I'd still like think its results have tend to make combat a little "streaky". But regardless, one things for sure, and that's that it balances out on a long enough time line. Good luck can be one computer generated number away..
I'd also recommend spicing the game up with a number of the mods and scenarios on the forums here. Some contain tried and [generally] true work-arounds many of the problems with the default Civ3 or conquests game.
I often find myself getting into wars I can't win by refusing to pay off greddy rivals.

They do turn on you rather quickly though , I hope the AI will finder harder to start a massive alliance against you in CIV4
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