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[BTS] Marathon Corps Deity Space Help?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Undefeatable, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    So I'm trying yet another marathon corps game, this time on deity. My fastest was 845AD arrival with Mr. Quechua Cheese, but on noble where warriors take over the entire continent no problem. Now I'm attempting the entire thing on deity where the AI's nice enough to build 10 cities for you but not nice enough to leave them anything but heavily defended.

    For funsies I chose Augustus because praets on marathon have a shelf life of at least 200 turns...pretty ridiculous, though maybe not objectively as good as some other UUs. I'm having no trouble bashing heads in, but my main concern is the IRS, with maintenance costs crippling me and forcing me to withhold from securing complete control of my own continent. Zara will be spared...for now.

    The main issue is not whether I'll win, but that I'm just feeling super slow on this map. Is there anything I could've done better to improve the shape that my economy is in right now? If I conquered slower more praets would've had to be built and die, and I run the risk of running into longbows or, worse, crossbows. Still, though, my research is in the ****tter and I feel like I'm not gonna make the sub-1400AD mark even. Any advice on what I could've done better and can still do better?

    PS...it's mildly amusing how Willem built a forge for me but I don't know metal casting yet...
    "Ah yes, this forge will increase our production of everything greatly, especially if we run an engineer!"
    "The heck is a 'forge'? And what in Zeus's name is an 'en-gin-near'?"
     

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  2. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    Think it's time to pull a page out of WastinTime's book, Undefeatable.

    One of the things that stuck with me the most from that massive space thread was "Massive REX creates its own BPT". It's true! At 100% your empire is pulling 352 beakers, which is quite respectable. And since you have gold and a want for the Shwedagon anyways, you should start converting whip OF + chop into 450 gold (Gold + Industrious), every turn if you can (you already seem to have some nice chops and OF in a few cities to get you started). That's enough to pay for more than 100% research, even. Meanwhile, 20 praets, some of which are very nicely promoted, is enough to do some more damage in the meantime, maybe finish off HC to get rid of some of the motherland anger. You'll need a short "dark age", maybe 20 turns or so, before the failgold kicks in, but after that things should start looking better really fast. Also of note that you've already maxed out on number of cities maintenance, so taking more cities won't sting too much.

    Sidenote: at 90h each, praetorians really suck for whip OF. But catapults, which you will start wanting quite soon anyways, are perfect at 100h (put in 9 hammers, 2-whip for maximum overflow). In the meantime, you still have needed infrastructure in some cities that will suffice for the moment, and could consider 1-whipping nearly completed praetorians as well. Hate to research construction since so many AI already have it, but it could be a good idea. You could also try to crank out a GS, bulb philo and use it to get back in the trading game.
     
  3. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    Great idea. Unfortunately some lucky schmuck already built shwegady pegady on the other continent. Maybe I could trade for marble and cash in on Parthenon?
     
  4. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    Yeah, sounds good. Or if marble is hard to find you could even do moai (or chichen I guess if we get really desperate).
     
  5. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    Zara has marble; I could just give him copper or ivory for it.
     
  6. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    Update: got 1500 gold out of Parthenon. Next target: Memesoleum of Mausollos :)
     
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  7. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    It's 600 BC and I've traded up to about parity with Zara. Got 4000 gold from failgolding Shwegady Pegady, which as it turns out wasn't built after all :). With feudalism, vassaling him seems like an attractive option about now. The question is...knights. trebuphants, or cannons?

    Knights will be much faster to reach considering I only have to tech guilds and HBR, and they can blitz the fastest. Furthermore the sooner he starts coughing up techs for me as vassal (already reached WFYABTA), the better. The downside is I'll probably need at least 30 to safely cap him, as he already has machinery, feuda, and civil service. Furthermore he's probably gonna get engineering soon which will make things real nasty.

    Trebuphants require just engineering and will probably be more hammer-efficient than knights, but then I'd have to "waste" a tech by researching something other AIs usually research anyways, reducing my trading options. And a lot of trebs will still die. Also, I don't really have a counter to macemen besides crossbows.

    Cannons will absolutely shred through everything medieval, and the added benefit is that if I lib steel for it I'm well on the path to railroad and therefore Mining Inc. However they're a ways off, and every turn Zara's cities are contributing to his economy and not mine is a turn wasted. Also, who knows what can happen in 50 turns - he could start plotting on me, which will make things messy, or even steal lib considering he already has philo.

    Personally I'm leaning more towards trebuphants but I'd like your input @Swordnboard . Maybe even disregard the "trebu" part and suicide ridiculous numbers of catapaults? I have 25+ cities to whip and he has just 5 on this continent; I can probably overwhelm with sheer numbers if it comes to that.
     
  8. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    Do you have a save I can take a look at real quick? But just from the sounds of it I like elepults still, even bring the leftover praetorians as well if there still are any. Elephants don't really have a good counter until pikes, which it sounds like zara doesn't have just yet, and catapults are much more hammer efficient than the trebs, especially if you have a settled GG city that can make a few accuracy pults for quick cultural defense removal.
     
  9. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    Yes I have a save.

    Played ahead a bit. He gets engineering in 4 turns :(. BUT - from my limited scouting it seems he has only 1 iron. If I make a mad dash for and pillage that, he'll just have longbows, which is definitely winnable. Of course he could have like 3 more iron in reserve which basically screws me over...

    On the bright side his "main stack" is like 10 units...not much of an army if you ask me. And he also doesn't have a lot of spears last time I checked. Time to go on the warpath again?

    Save attached below.

    PS - Augustus is ind which means easy 2-whip forges. However, if I have those, I will ruin the 2-whip cat overflowing into phants. Hold off on them a bit?
     

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  10. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    Yeah, so I think that iron resource being zara's only one is a little too optimistic... we'd better get some better units. I'm not opposed to waiting until cannons actually, medieval wars are such a slog against the deity AI. Plus, you can use hannibal (colony? or just regular vassal?) as a proxy to trade with zara, since zara will probably give anything he researches to hanny anyways. Meanwhile, you could clean up HC (and Willem if you can find his land), without pushing too hard on building units, most cities would still be free to do other stuff and we could maybe even head into caste system.

    Unrelated to the warfare question but on the topic of caste system, the lack of great people at this point is really concerning. Getting to steel quick means we probably wanted to bulb Education and Chemistry, but I'm not sure we'll have even a single GS ready in time since Mutal will probably birth a merchant and you need to worry about getting an engineer for mining inc still. Not sure quite what the right plan at this point is since there are a few competing objectives, but something to think about at least. I guess you could bail out on the corps plan and go SP, but it goes against your plan (and the thread title), as well as corps having a pretty big advantage on large/marathon, so I'm not strongly leaning one way or another on that issue.
     
  11. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    The GM from Mutal isn't actually that bad. 4.5k gold is enough to fund another 15-20 turns of research. I'm not against "soft cheating" in the form of rerolling until I get the right GP (though I do keep the seeds the same to stop myself from doing particularly egregious things like forcing all 5% combats to win), at least in this game. As for the lack of GP - yes, that's true, but sort of unavoidable given most of my captured cities weren't up to the task of running scientists. I actually have a GS coming up about 10 turns after the GM (could be more though with the increased GPP cost). Most cities I had, when they came out of resistance, had so much anger that even after cold-whipping something and running all food tiles they still just barely broke even in food consumption. Most of Huayna's cities didn't even have improved food at the time of their capture. And running 2 scientists in libraries - sure, but we're not PHI so it takes eons to generate GS that way. Any revolt now is out of the question, as it would waste 4 turns at least - and gain us not very much, honestly, even burea. Stuck between a rock and a hard place in this instance.

    As for Zara only having 1 iron - OK more cheating. This was actually an NC game and I saw some people play it a while back. IIRC there is no more iron on this continent. Not sure about his dozens of stupid island cities, but do I wanna gamble on that? With reloading it isn't really a "gamble" but replaying 30 turns because I launched an attack I shouldn't have is no fun either.

    Alright, you're probably gonna stop helping me because you realized I'm a terrible person. But still, I somewhat agree with the cannons part - do I really want to sack 5 trebs for every city I have to capture? No not really (side note - I don't reroll combats unless I lose at 95%+ odds in which case I call BS and choose to sack a less important unit). Hanny is a colony BTW.

    Something else to consider: Zara has GLib, the one wonder that we probably want most right now. To take sooner rather than later is prudent, IMO.

    Another thing to consider: the phants-trebs-praet combo. Can't really be reliably countered by any medieval unit, absolutely stomps against cities. All I need to do whip one unit per city to have a 35+ unit army.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  12. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    GM may not be so bad, you are right. I thought you were going to save it for sushi, but I suppose we may be the first to Economics as well. As for the other GP, I think marathon speed has got you twisted up a little bit. Working 2 scientists with a library would take 50 turns to produce the first GS, 100 turns to produce the second... could you really not have spared 2 cities out of your massive empire sometime in the last 100 turns to do that? And with rep, scientists are even better than many improved tiles! You're working lots of mines and things in various places anyway. Same for anarchy. Yes, a golden age would be great, but we are talking about 5 turns of anarchy out of a 600 turn game! You will have to revolt sometime, and at this rate won't have a shot at a golden age for a really long time (again, unless you use the merchant, which might be a good idea). And with the increased cost, that GS is not 10 but 60 turns after the GM...

    Another way of looking at it is this: that is a trade of 35 population (which could be scientist specialists at least, generating a total of 210 beakers per turn plus GPP) for 35 military units which probably won't come close to generating that amount of economy even if you took Zara's whole part of the continent with them. And you might not if pikes/maces are commonplace and he builds some stacks. But if you do some better scouting and find Zara to be weak, I'm OK with taking him out now.

    Finally, as for the cheating/reloading business: I'm not an anti-reloading crusader by any stretch. In fact, I only recently started with GOTM/HOF play and before that exclusively played games where I allowed myself to reload. But being able to reload is more about executing a different strategy you didn't think of before, or playing much of a game again after getting some advice. And reloading definitely should not be an excuse for not scouting, taking dumb risks, etc. For combat rolls, you lose at 95% odds 5% of the time, be prepared for that and bring enough units!
     
  13. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    I have scouted with a few workers and found, as I said, nothing impressive. Still what you say is some good food for thought. What’s better: building wealth on a grass hill mine, or runnin a scientist? Also should I 2-pop whip forges in all my cities now?
     
  14. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    If the city is producing failgold instead of traditional wealth, the grass hill mine is a lot better. Otherwise, I would go for the scientist. As for forges, it depends: you should specialize your cities a little bit. If the city wants to whip military or is exceptionally high in production, go for it on the forge. Also the forge is +2 happy, so any city that will run into that issue needs one as well. But if the city just wants to grow on cottages or work specialists, no need for a forge just yet. Just because the forge will pay back rather quickly, and certainly by the end of the game, doesn't mean it is always worth doing over the scientists and build wealth gameplan, since your research will have a strong payback at this point as well.
     
  15. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    Zara peacevassaled Huayna and that made me frustrated enough to go back 500 years and try to take out the idiot when I had the chance. 20 legions later and the core of Ethiopia was under my control. I even beat him up so hard he coughed up calendar for me - what a nice gift. Anyways, now I'm public enemy #1 on my continent but it shouldn't matter because by now they're all so weak I can just wait to wipe them all out with ease. Sad that I won't get trades from them though - thinking I should vassal Zara later on because with 10+ island cities he's bound to have a lot of seafood that he'll be compelled to generously donate to me down the line for sushi.
     

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  16. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    New one looks pretty good! I'd put some effort into sending out a few boats in the next couple turns, try to find some AI who don't hate you and will be willing to trade, in addition to the failgold I'm sure you have in the works.
     
  17. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    Yep, Parthenon is gone but Shwegady Pagady looks juicy.

    Also I knew from my previous playthrough that the only way to contact other civs is through Zara EXCEPT if I settle a city on the northernmost tip of the island to the west of Rome (the city) and get a border pop there, in which case I can meet everyone :eek:. Better get on that ASAP.
     
  18. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    Also, one more thing: if you're IMP and you whip a settler at 150/300 you get max overflow, which you can then put into a wonder. And I still have another island to settle. So...

    I tend to get sloppy if I play more than 100 turns at a time, or more than an hour, whichever comes first (sorta like Lain). Will take a short break for now.
     
  19. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    Played to 190 AD with the new save. Unfortunately this time around Shwed and Parth got built 300 years earlier, so I got a relatively meager 750 failgold total. On the bright side I have Chicken Pizza and Sistine lined up to net me about 3000-4000 but nobody will build them :mad:.

    Taking Zara's 5 cities made a huge difference. His cap is a good GP farm and 2 GS + 1 GM easily put me in a clearly dominant position. Libbed steel and OMW to steam power; might detour to rifling to vassal Zara/Justi with units an era ahead. CR3 rifles + cannons will absolutely shred everything medieval in a city.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  20. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    I lost :(. Well technically I'm about to win, but there's no way I'm arriving by 1400 AD.

    Going back a looot of saves now to do some things different. First I'll lib railroad instead of steel, and then actually make an honest effort to generate a GE so I don't have to twiddle my thumbs for 200 years waiting for mining. Second I'm going to ignore sushi completely; given :) restraints from emancipation anger it's pointless to grow cities much anyways. Also instead of capping Justinian which literally took 100 turns of razing dozens of crappy island cities because apparently he has military science so he thinks he's hot **** (i.e. "we're doing fine on our own") I'll go after the much juicier and easier Willem. With enough luck I should be able to pull this off.
     

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