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Modern War Era Strategies?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by WhiteRabbit, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. CKS

    CKS Chieftain

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    I don't think that it is easier to win with Conquests than PTW. (I've not played vanilla.) The challenges are just different. For the way I like to play, Conquests is more fun, though. Because of GOTM/COTM, I play both a lot, and I win comfortably at emperor, usually at demigod, occasionally at deity, not at Sid. My preferred victory condition is 20K.

    Combat settlers can be a part of either game. When taken to extremes, you can penetrate very deeply into enemy territory. What you do is build a town, move a settler one tile past the town, abandon the first town, and settle again. If you want to have a continuous clear path, you will need to resettle behind as you go, too. With enough settlers you can go all the way through enemy territory. (Note: I have not done this myself, as I am too lazy to build zillions of settlers.)

    The new corruption model makes Conquests harder - before Conquests you could use the remote palace exploit or RCP to dramatically reduce corruption. In PTW I count out distances before placing a city, in Conquests I don't. This makes Conquests more fun, but more difficult to win. Better specialists allow your corrupt cities to be more useful in Conquests, but you have _many_ more productive cities in PTW, especially if you place your cities and FP carefully. I would say, Conquests is easier to play because of the corruption model, but PTW is easier to win because if you place your cities carefully the payoff is huge.

    In PTW, military GL are really nice. You can get lots of them if you spend lots of time leader-fishing or playing always war. I don't like to do this. In Conquests, MGL are much less useful, despite the nice armies. Instead SGL rush wonders (except in COTM, where they are turned off). You get far fewer of them, but you get them by fast research, which I like. I think the wonder/army issue balances out about the same in terms of difficulty, but the choices are different in the two games.

    The new bombardment rules do make Conquests easier. Artillery units attacking cities attack units first, rather than a random selection between units, buildings, and population, and this makes taking a city a lot easier. Lethal bombardment is also nice.

    I think the changes in civ traits about balance out, unless you select your opponents to give yourself a big advantage - playing Sumeria (agricultural and scientific) on a no-hut map with all expansionist opponents, for example.

    Faster forest chopping is balanced by volcano pollution.

    I like the 100K cutoff change with mapsize, but it doesn't affect the difficulty of the game.

    For modern warfare, the addition of some units and upgrades might make Conquests more interesting. If your opponent get to the modern age, it makes it more difficult to win because the TOW Infantry require no resources to build. In PTW, if you can cut off an enemies resources you'll be facing defense 6 units. In Conquests they will be defense 14; a cavalry army can usually take out a redlined TOW in a city, but not a 2hp one.
     
  2. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    Can you post a screenshot or a saved game of what you have in mind?

    Having some specific would make it easier to discuss the tactics which could turn into a discussion on strategy.
     
  3. Raliuven

    Raliuven Chieftain

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    One thing to note is that the AI will also use RCP in PTW (I would also assume Vanilla), so I think it is a fair tactic. I don't always like counting tiles for RCP4, RCP7, etc., but it is very effective. And if the AI is programmed to do it as well, I think it is even. The problem is with the FP, which as I have recently discovered, the AI does not use well at all - which is probalby why C3C was changed (?). I don't see any way the AI could effectively use the FP, so that could be seen as a 'cheat'. The answer to that, however, is to ratchet up the difficulty (not a perfect solution, but it works).
     
  4. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit Chieftain

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    I have no trouble dealing with the military aspects. That's the easy part.

    My entire question is all about the general effect of politics, government, religion, science and economics and how they form a strategy.
     
  5. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit Chieftain

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    RCP, GL-wonder-rushing and that combat-settler technique all strike me as game exploits that I generally avoid doing (especially wonder-rushing - that always seems like a game cheat to me).

    I'm not complaining about the corruption model, I'm just asking how people deal with the problem.
     
  6. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    One of the more common ways to deal with the corruption model is by specialist farming. There's an article by Bede in the War Academy called The Role of the Specialist Citizen. The long and short of it is this:
    • Corruption does not affect specialist output.
    • Multiplier buildings do not affect specialist output.
    • Corruption is capped at 90%.
    • After you hit the point where every city is going to be 90% corrupt, you:
      • Pack cities in as tightly as possible.
      • Water everything.
      • Hire as many specialists as you can.
      • Don't build structures in these specialist farms.
    • Pretty soon, you'll have 100+ specialist farms, each of which produces a small amount of uncorrupted gold or beakers. It adds up.
     
  7. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit Chieftain

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    Is this based on the Vanilla or the C3C changes?

    I've read that C3C changes to the corruption model make this solution extremely viable. I'm wondering how viable it is in Vanilla?

    As far as I can see, adding a Taxman specialist in one of my outlying corrupt cities adds 1gp/turn to my income, or adding a Scientist gives me one beaker.

    Most of my outlying corrupt cities are coastal-tundra placements. For these, I find rushing a harbor very useful to get the population up, then put the city to wealth, with tax specialsts and leave it like that. I do earn profits from this, but one needs support from luxuries to make that work.
     
  8. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit Chieftain

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    In case anyone is curious, or has been following this thread, I've since played through a couple of games trying to incorporate some of the advice in this thread.

    I have established that the way to achieve my goals is to beeline for republic and then stay there, building up my cities and my empire and occasional wars against my continental neighbors (seeking to establish a tech lead). Once I get my hands on the all important modern era war technologies, I start building up my war machine (army, navy & air force).

    Once I have a suitably large modern military (6-8 battleships, 4 carriers, 12+ destroyers and 12+ submarines, with a dozen transports, about a dozen fighters, 30 bombers, 12-15 artillery, 60+ MA and 30+ mech infantry), and I'm ready to launch a major invasion of another continent (targetting the 2nd place Civ), I switch over to communism. On Regent difficulty, I can usually be ready to roll by the mid-1800's.

    I usually spend the 'anarchy' period moving my vast fleet into position off the coast of my target. Once the revolution is complete and my new communist empire is stabilized, I begin the offensive (and put my home-empire to work building reinforcements to send over after my initial invasion).

    This seems to work pretty well since it allows my newly conquered cities on the far off continent to be actually productive after I conquer them. The loss of production in my core cities seems to be more than offset by the increased production in my many more numerous non-core cities. Also, many of my newly conquered cities are are mega-metropolis types with huge populations, so pop-rushing a temple is very easy and efficient. I experimented with switching to communism after launching my modern era war in republic, but that doesn't work well because when the WW hits, one is forced to go into anarchy when one has a dozen recently conquered cities and that's not good at all. So I switch over BEFORE the invasion.

    For anyone who likes this type of game strategy, the most important part seems to be that when one attacks a powerful enemy civ, their capital must be one of the initial targets for conquest - otherwise one has 'culture-flip' problems. If you take their capital first, that seems to really hamstring their culture strength and reduces the chances of conquered cities flipping back to them (since we are a long distance away from the home territory capital/FP).

    Once I take the enemy capital, I just proceed to roll up the other cities, make peace and then switch over to building the spaceship. The modern era conquest seems to massively increase my overall game score (by increasing my population and territory).

    If no one is space-racing with me (which is usually the case since I just exterminated the 2nd place civ) then I can stall on building the last component of the space ship to allow my empire extra time for peaceful population growth (and a higher score).

    I'm getting over 2000 points at Regent level for a space-race victory on a standard size map which is way more points than I was getting with any other type of strategy or victory. I like to keep trying to get higher point totals in successive games.

    I suppose my next goal will be to try to achieve the same type of game-strategy on Monarch level. :)
     
  9. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    Science farms work better in C3C/Conquests than vanilla since in C3C/Conquests each science specialist generates 3 beakers per turn and each taxman 2 gold per turn. In vanilla they do help, but not as much.

    Science farms do require a certain amount of micromanagement. Every few turns you need to cycle through the cities to find out which ones have stopped growing and hire the geeks. Not too hard a task but very easy to forget.

    Also, Conqeusts added two more specialists: the cop and the engineer (hard-hat). These specialists are tied to civ advances in the Industrial Age, but I cannot remember which ones :)old:). Cops decrease corruption which (generally) adds more shields per turn to the current build. Hard-hats will add 2 shields per turn to the current build if it is a city improvement or wonder. They add nothing to settlers, workers and military units.

    EDIT
    I started my Civ 3 life in Play the World and really resisted getting Conquests. The only reason I did was due to the Succession Game of The Month eliminating the PTW category. The first games were a bit rough (new units, new traits, new wonders and new civs along with the corruption model changes) but in time it became easier. I can tell you enjoy your games in vanilla and I enjoyed my PTW games, too. I just think you'll like C3C better.
     
  10. ChaosArbiter

    ChaosArbiter Chieftain

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    Police come with Nationalism, Engineers come with Replacable Parts.

    For the full list of changes:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=104294
     
  11. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    C3C changes. I bought Complete right off the bat, so I've never actually played Vanilla or PTW. It looks like CBob has covered the changes, though. In my (C3C) farms, I almost never rush a harbor, because it simply won't pay for itself, in terms of net profit.
     
  12. Raliuven

    Raliuven Chieftain

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    I disagree on RCP and GL-wonder-rushing. The AI can and will use both of those tactics, more or less. This is like saying that the AI doesn't know which tiles to irrigate or mine so I shoud automate my workers so it is even. Arguably, a settler or worker factory is a bigger exploit. Again, you can make up for this by turning up the difficulty.

    In the same vein, combat settlers and ship chaining are closer to an exploit than either of these. But it is not more or less an exploit than using armies since the AI doesn't do that well either and usually won't attack armies, giving you near-invincible moving fortresses.

    There is a long list of the things the AI doesn't do well. But that doesn't make them exploits. Add more AIs (since they tend to gang up on the human) and up the difficulty to offset the these things.
     
  13. MysteryX

    MysteryX Chieftain

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    There is an article somewhere on this site that tells all the causes of war weariness, it's good to read.

    If you want to war as a Democracy in the modern era, you need to maximize your luxury happiness, get as many happiness-helpful wonders as possible, build your happiness-producing improvements, and be prepared to spend some gold with the happiness slider as the war goes on.

    When you know what leads to war weariness, you can plan your turns accordingly. You want to attack targets that you can attack and beat in 1 turn. If it takes you 2 turns to get your large stack of modern armor to your target, then each of those units behind enemy lines is causing you a lot of war weariness. And of course you're not in a position to use anything but overwhelming force to attack enemies in the modern age- if you can't bust a stack of Mech Infantry in a Metropolis protected by Civil Defense sitting on a hill in one turn, all you will be doing is sacrificing your units while strengthening your target by turning all its defending forces into fully-healed elites. You just have to do your best to plan attacks so your forces end on friendly ground (such as, a captured city).

    The bigger your empire gets, the more corruption you have, and more corruption makes that happiness slider less effective (the happy faces you get per city are directly related to the income the city produces). Also, when you annex cities on other continents, you lose the happiness effect from wonders that are limited to continental effects only.

    The main reason it's harder to keep your empire together in the modern era than in earlier eras, warring as a Democracy, is because in the modern era you are probably fighting with more units (each unit is an opportunity for war weariness) and your empire is bigger (more corruption = less happiness) and you are more likely holding territory on other continents (it gets much easier to conduct naval invasions with late-Industrial advances).
     
  14. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    Agreed ... some exceptions include:

    -- if you're setting up farms on a mid-sized island, you need at least one harbor to get the luxuries out there, and keep the folks happy.
    -- in your initial forays onto a foreign continent, you may need a harbor again, since the land trade routes may be inactive due to war

    Having said that, I myself build harbors in all my coastal cities even if they're hopelessly corrupt. Probably cause I like to build things, and want the city to get 2 food from the water tiles, rather than a hard-nosed determination of whether the benefits outweigh the costs.
     
  15. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    Yeah, I feel the same away about coastal cities and science farms. Just gotta build something.

    I have this fixation that building wealth is a bad idea. I would rather hire taxmen instead.

    Plus, doesn't wealth generate just 1 gold per turn?
     
  16. ChaosArbiter

    ChaosArbiter Chieftain

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    In corrupt cities, yes. Until you get Economics, Wealth gives you 1gpt for every 8 Shields the city produces. Once you get Economics, it gives you 1gpt for every 4 Shields.
     
  17. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit Chieftain

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    With those coastal/tundra cities, I build the harbor to get enough population so I can have a taxman. And once the harbor is built, the city gets set to wealth.

    I don't see how "building wealth" and "hire taxman" is contradictory. They seem rather complimentary to me.
     
  18. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit Chieftain

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    I'm aware of the effects of war weariness. Indeed, that is the problem that caused me to make this thread. As I noted in the OP, I like to take over HUGE territories and dozens of cities in modern era using modern weapon systems (i.e take over whole continents).

    Doing that on Republic is extremely difficult due to war weariness. And trying to end every turn inside cities sounds good, and probably quite easy to do with small wars, but when one has literally 100's of units in the field on a continent far away from home, that gets rather tricky and extremely tedious.

    And yes, when I take a city, I always take it in one-turn-attack. And I do like to do this two or three cities at a time (since it takes a while to conquer 20-30 cities).

    Anyway, it seems to be a consensus that switching to communism is the way to go for modern era warfare (on the scale I'm talking about) - which eliminates the whole WW problem entirely.
     
  19. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    Is the gold to shield ratio based on total shields or just uncorrupted (blue) shields?
     
  20. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    The city square produces 2 food, so you could set the first citizen to a taxman without the harbor.
     

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