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Monarch/Marathon game. Need advice.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by MarkJohnson, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. MarkJohnson

    MarkJohnson King

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    I have been having a lot of difficulties playing this level/speed. I usually get out teched and out built. I have never been able to build but a wonder or two as I just fall behind too fast. By the time I reach 1 ad. the AI have double to triple my score and they start declaring war on me one after the other. The early game I get bombarded by barbarians a lot and they seem relentless and just slow me down even more.

    I was hoping someone had some advice on beating this level as I can't even get a decent start.
    -=Mark=-
     
  2. Joshua368

    Joshua368 Warmongering builder

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    Have you been able to beat Prince consistantly?

    Anyway there's no way to tell what you're doing wrong without specifics. Some screenshots or a save file would help a lot.
     
  3. MarkJohnson

    MarkJohnson King

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    Yeah, I didn't leave much info for ya. I have a saved game now thats kind of early 2260BC. So far I seen 2 AIs, but I didn't come into contact yet. I barely seen their borders and ran! as soon as they find me, they seem to head straight for me, so I just wait for them to find me anymore.

    Some things I usually do are build 2 workers, then a settler, then a warrior or two, then usually another settler. although I seem to wait on making my third settler lately as it seems to drain my economy down to about 50% or less.

    Currently I have built two scouts and started with one and they just seem to die almost immediately and don't make it far from home.

    not sure what else to add

    -=Mark=-
     

    Attached Files:

  4. The Snug

    The Snug The Civ Heretic

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    Yep, need to see something. An early GS would probably help you. Make sure you have workers improving your land. Use hills. Irrigate copiously. Made sure you are trading for techs with the AI, that will help you keep even.
     
  5. Joshua368

    Joshua368 Warmongering builder

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    Ha ha, time for one of these posts again. Anyone who's easily offended should just look away, I'm going to be blunt and to the point and tell you where your mistakes are, so you can improve. Also I have to admit it's kind of fun doing this, in a Simon Cowell kind of way. ;)

    Okay, so I didn't think any flaws would be obvious this early in the game, but it turns out I was wrong. I think I may know where your main problem lies.

    It's 2200 B.C. and your capital is still size 1. For the first two thousand years it has only worked one tile. It has only just started to grow. At first I thought it must have been some poorly timed whipping or something, but no, despite teching bronze working you aren't in slavery. Guess you wouldn't have been able to use it much anyway.

    I'm really sorry, but I have to ask if you know how the basic mechanics work? Growth, population, tiles? You know workers and settlers halt growth, right? All those farms and mines can't do you any good if your city is still size 1. If your city doesn't start working tiles, your production (to get these warriors and settlers out) and commerce (to fuel research and fund expansion) is almost non-existant, which is why your tech rate is plodding along and you're scared to found your third city.

    Building a worker first is a very solid strategy. You get him out of the gate right away so he can get a high food tile up and running as soon as possible. Why? Because food, aka growth, is king. And once you have that nice 5 or 6-food resource up and running, your city needs to use it to grow. Build warriors or scouts or part of stonehenge so your city can get to size 3 or 4 before it starts working on something expensive like a settler.

    And you certainly don't need to build a second worker that early, you have way more improvements than you need as is! The workers are wasting their time if the city isn't big enough to use the improvements. This sucker had corn and a bunch of farmed floodplains, it should have quickly grown to work those mines and be an early production powerhouse. Yet all those farms and mines are sitting there, useless. Also you seem to have lost your second worker... animal accident?

    Your poor little second city has the same problem, stuck building a worker right off the bat, halting its growth as well. You should have probably anticipated its location by learning fishing beforehand, it should be building a work boat right now. Plus that'd speed up pottery for you.


    Aside from that, a few other issues... you've explored the vast jungle expanse to your southwest (wow, this is a vacant map) but you barely know anything of your immediate northwest. You should explore in a large arc around, so you know the best nearby sites for new cities.

    Also your cities are stark naked. At least your capital is starting to rectify this... expecting barbs soon? Usually I wouldn't feel comfortable having a grand total of zero military units at this point, but I don't know when barbs become a threat on monarch.

    Let your cities grow! Try resetting with worker first, then have the city work the high food tile while building things that don't stunt its growth like warriors and scouts. Wait until at least size 3 to build your settler, and don't build your second worker until after that. Then let your city grow to its happy cap and maybe start a whipping cycle. Not a "set in stone" strategy to follow every game, but it might get you on the right track.

    Sorry if this isn't the norm, if your cities tend to pick up and flourish after this point, I'm only going with what you gave me. Not a very good position but the game isn't lost yet, you should still be able to win this thing by quickly letting your cities grow while churning out defense and then spewing out tons of workers/settlers.


    tl;dr: Your capital shouldn't still be size 1 halfway through the first era. :)
     
  6. MarkJohnson

    MarkJohnson King

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    Yeah, I fell alseep for slavery and forgot to enable it during my turn and basically forgot about it as I didn't have the need to use it yet. This is an extremely slow game with 30+ turns to build anything. Maybe next time I'll try only 1 worker. then work on growth. My normal is 2 workers and a settler then a warrior for an escort. But that's like 100 turns, plus it takes a 100 turns to get slavery. Maybe I should try 1 worker, settler, then a warrior escort? or even 1 worker, warrior, then settler to get pop up a little quicker? This higher level bigger map is throwing all my timing off big time. I was able to chop stonehenge and Pyramids, so I'm starting to catch up and should be fine. I'm at least not in last place - lol.

    hmm, the second worker should be there? Maybe they're both grouped together? Anyway, I built improvements ahead of time so I can focus on my second city. This way I can focus everything on that city without running back and forth to the other city.

    Yeah, I planned to build that city elsewhere, but decided at to build it there for the gold to increase my happiness which I usually end up low on in most games I play. I did sailing next, but I wanted pottery quickly to get gold production up as I always get low in the style of game. I noticed last game I had a 4 gold tile that I stopped working to build production and when I put it back on that tile my gold production didn't go up and I only had two cities. So I seem to focus on gold a lot, maybe too much.

    I had three scouts and one warrior die in the NW so far. I don't know what's up with that, but I can't seem to go west or south. I got very far with SW as you can see. I circled around and died in the NW with my first couple guys. I've sent 2 south and they died. and last 3 or 4 NW die immediately(I'm at 520BC now).

    Barbs usually are a threat by now and I'm starting to build more military. I noticed a lot of AI coming over and clearing them out for me. Now I have a barbarian city to the south with Copper, so I expect some axemen on the rampage soon. I did get Iron in my borders as wwell as horses. I usually don't get this lucky.

    Sounds like a good idea. At this speed though, whipping is 30turns each time. I can usually grow back in like 15 or so turns. sometimes in a couple turns which is good if I have my library so I can research beakers for a tech lead.

    Yeah, I have it growing fast now. Just need to focus on beakers to catch up on techs and I think I'll be fine. I just hope I don't get barbarian swarms like usual. Them barbs can be a real PITA! Plus I'm in a corner so I don't have so many neighbors to upset.

    Thanks for the advice and here are two more saves, one recent and one just made.
    -=Mark=-
     

    Attached Files:

  7. CoZe

    CoZe Warlord

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    you shouldn't fix your self with pre determined work queues. Check how many resources you have in your capital BFC. For ex, if you have two food resources and something like gold or silver, I wouldn't start building the settler until you pop hits 3 (and farms and mines are built). Working special resource tiles in the early really make the difference.
     
  8. Sian

    Sian Emperor

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    one thing to know about Monarch is that it is impossable (or close to) to catch up on pure beakers ... on prince it is if you know your way around and manage to get enough land but on Monarch you have to start teching what the AI seems to get slowly and then trade it around ... every single trade might be loading in favor of the AI's but if you got enough AI's to trade it around to you win bigtime ... a single tech which no other AI have should easily be able to get you 3-5 techs closer to the top contender, if not even above the top contender (depending of cause on the number of AI's your met)

    early Tradebait encludes aestetics, Horseback riding and Compass
     
  9. The Snug

    The Snug The Civ Heretic

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    2 workers and a settler first? That's probably not optimal. Best bet is to get a food source hooked up right away (with 1 worker) and then build something (either a couple of scouts or warriors or a building of some sort. I personally like to pop a barracks first). While your building something your city can grow to 3 or 4, at that point you can start building settlers as you'll now build them quite a bit quicker and simultaneously you'll also have more commerce to stimulate your early tech rate. Quick, early growth is paramount.
     
  10. AndrewN

    AndrewN Prince

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    I agree that worker, worker, settler is probably not optimal. In fact I have tried a couple of times to go worker, worker and it doesn't always work if there is not much to do. In the best games I normally go worker, warrior and a few turns into a barracks before starting the first settler.

    But as said above, the terrain should dictate your build order, there is no point in building a worker if there is nothing for it to do when complete.

    Swapping to Slavery is not essential when you tech BW. I quite often wait and sometimes never swap. Apart from the turn of anarchy which you can't always afford, in BTS there is always the chance of getting a slave revolt. Only swap to Slavery if you are going to wip stuff. Some people say wipping is a vital part of playing the game, but personally I am very reluctant and only do it in very high food, low production sites as the regrowth time really slows everything down.

    I cannot say strongly enough, you should scout the area around your capital for new city sites, not running all over the map looking for huts. By the time you have built your first settler you should know where your next 4 or 5 cities are going. If necessary use the drawing tool to sketch out the BFC of your proposed cities to see the overlap.

    BTW, ignore Sian's advice. I can easily out tech the AI on Monarch. Once I get Alphabet I will trade for the early techs that I have missed but once done there maybe very little tech trading on my part.
     
  11. Joshua368

    Joshua368 Warmongering builder

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    Just keep in mind that the earlier you get your civilization up and running, the sooner you can start to overtake the AIs. So while games vary and you shouldn't use a predetermind order for every game, you'll be in a much better position with growing at 3500 B.C. rather than 2500 B.C., by the simple math of working more tiles, even if you don't whip. The actual build order may vary, but your cities should always grow.

    Also just think "how does this help me right now now?" when doing things. Building improvements for the future don't really help you much in the present, when they should. Instead of focusing on getting as many improvements (farms, mines, etc) up as soon as possible, try to focus on having the city work them as soon as possible. You should fine one worker is usually adequate early on.
     
  12. afa2000

    afa2000 Time to die

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    If (start with fishing and sea food at fat cross)
    work boat // micromanage to get it built as fast as possible
    else
    if (food resource at fat cross) {
    research food tech
    build worker }
    build warrior
    Size2 = build settler
    if(another food resource at fat cross)
    research another food tech
    else
    research mining or bronzeworking
     
  13. The Snug

    The Snug The Civ Heretic

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    Agreed. Seafood resources are the best for early game. Provides both food and commerce immediately and a workboat doesnt slow down growth like workers and settlers.
     
  14. Joshua368

    Joshua368 Warmongering builder

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    Checked the 520 BC save. You're doing better, but there's still a lot more you can improve. It's pretty obvious your empire got off to a slow start, only founding its third city recently.

    I'd want to settle those great sites to the northwest really quickly, before Willem gets to them. There is an awesome wheat/incense/floodplain spot and another location on the coastal green hill which has some nice floodplains as well.

    Your current builds could use some work. Your capital is building a temple, but thanks to representation its happiness is through the roof, it doesn't need that +1 :) at all right now. Your second city is building some walls... considering its tucked away from other civs, these aren't really needed. Plus you got fishing and it has fish right next to it, it should have built a workboat right away to work that thing! And once again your little newborn city is stuck building a worker, when it should be growing to size 2 and 3 to work those awesome gem tiles.

    Also you have a high health cap and thanks to representation a high happy cap as well. Your capital should work less mines and more farms for the time being, grow that sucker! Your second city in particular is frozen at size 5 when it could easily be size 8 or 9, it should really have had that fish hooked up eons ago and grow.

    And you ended up building the Pyramids without stone... even though there's stone right nearby? By now a barb city has popped up but you should've been able to easily put your third city there much earlier. It would have been worth it with all the hammers you'd save on the Pyramids. Speaking of which, building those things and running represenation, but not a single specialist? I guess it's another "will pay off later" things, huh? ;)

    Let your cities grow to their happy caps, don't build useless buildings, and see if you can't rush out at lest three more cities before 1 A.D.
     
  15. Lord Parkin

    Lord Parkin aka emperor

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    Most things seem to have been covered already in some detail. I just wanted to comment on the following:

    I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but the scouting out of the nearby area around your capital really should be done by around 1500 BC at the very latest. Building Scouts after this point is just a waste, because the animals start disappearing and real barbarian units start appearing. This is obviously not good for any Scouts, because they get killed rather quickly, as you've noticed.

    I'm actually surprised that you kept building 3 or 4 in a row after having the first ones killed. A good common sense rule of thumb is that if a particular strategy isn't working, don't keep trying to repeat it over and over, because it will just yield the same results (e.g. in this case, destroyed scouts). ;)
     

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