[BTS] Monarch Shadow Game: You, Me, and Hannibal vs. The Turtle

Henry.K

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Fellow Fanatics,

Thanks to the help I've received on here, I absolutely blitzed my last game on Prince! The issue was with my bias towards turtling and investing in irrelevant/inefficient buildings. Now it's time to step things up to Monarch and I'd really appreciate your input to help me refine my play.

For this go-around, I'd like to:
- Focus on great scientist generation, and bulb key technologies ASAP
- Find out when to go for certain wonders, and how to leverage them
- Get a better grasp on ideal city placement and when to expand
- Learn more about when/when not to whip
- Aim for a Cuirassier timing attack

This playthrough is on default settings, with no random events/huts on a pangea map.

All that being said, this is my first shadow game so please let me know if there's a certain etiquette involved.

Let's go! :cool:

Spoiler :
001 - Initial Settle.png


Last shadow game I re-rolled because of an overpowered start with two gold and two corn, this time? :lol: Looks like the universe wants me to have gold and corn! So be it... at least it's only one of each. I moved my warrior NW and found some sheep. I'm leaning towards settling in place. Thoughts?


Moderator Action: Merged Original Posts....text below is from merged thread. -lymond
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Spoiler Original Post for Merged thread...lymond :
Fellow Fanatics,

Thanks to the help I've received on here, I absolutely blitzed my last game on Prince! The issue was with my bias towards turtling and investing in irrelevant/inefficient buildings. Now it's time to step things up to Monarch and I'd really appreciate your input to help me refine my play.

For this go-around, I'd like to:
- Focus on great scientist generation, and bulb key technologies ASAP
- Find out when to go for certain wonders, and how to leverage them
- Get a better grasp on ideal city placement and when to expand
- Learn more about when/when not to whip
- Aim for a Cuirassier timing attack

This playthrough is on default settings, with no random events/huts/espionage on a pangea map with diplomatic victory turned off.

All that being said, this is my first shadow game so please let me know if there's a certain etiquette involved.

Let's go! :cool:

Spoiler :
001 - Initial Settle.png


I settled in place because I heard plains hill is pretty strong.
Should I move?
Would worker -> warrior be a good build queue?


002 - Technology Choice.png


For technology, I'm thinking Mining into The Wheel.
Thoughts?
 
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lymond

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Don't understand turning off espionage. You realize it makes popping borders harder, and using it passively is actually quite fun and effective. Also, puzzled why folks turn off victory conditions....see no point to it. Especially, all this while learning the game. Play the game as intended first and then make adjustments as you see fit.

Ok, do you know why settling on the PH is good? Anyway, yes you did make the right decision here to settle in place on the PH, but I would always move my starting unit first to help make decisions on where to settle.

I'd say Wonders should be the very least of your focus, if at all. Granted you are Capac here, so at minimum you can learn some fail-golding. You will have marble so that likely will come into play. But wonders are very situational, less fail gold, and far less impactful than learning good gameplay concepts like worker management, expansion, economy, etc.

Cur attack is fine, but let's see how things play out here. You are on Monarch level on a Pangaea so much earlier warfare may present itself....possible to finish game before Curs are even sniffed.

Anyway, certainly an OP start with 2 wet corns and two golds. Gold will be important but good food here means whipping early.

Most def worker first and I might consider going another worker at size 2.

Straight to BW for now.
 

krikav

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Crazy start, highly unusual!

SiP was almost certainly correct, but as @lymond pointed out, there was no reason to commit prior to warrior move.
I would move warrior in either NW or NE in a dialoganl for 5 turns to hopefully meet some AI that knows mining so you get a slight discount on mining when you commit to it T5.

Mining->BW seems obvious, and tw->pottery after that looks posible. Riverside financial cottages are nice.
The start is one of those rare starts where an oracle play might be possible too though, key factor being the insane free commerce from the gold.

Really, for learning purposes, I would advice selecting a more normal start. Dual wet corn is already super powerful, and with two gold and Capac as a leader...? Well, thats just overpowered. :D
 

Heathcliff

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With Hyuana Capac on monarch it is possible to do some fun stuff with the quechas like steal a worker or a city.
 

Henry.K

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lymond: I turned off espionage because I can't say I'm that crazy about the mechanics. You raise a good point about playing the game as intended though. With regards to the plains hill, I'm under the impression that it's a strong play because the city tile will get an extra hammer.

krikav: Yeah, I saw all that food and the plains hill and said "okay, done!" :lol: Typically, I always use up the turn on my other unit first. Totally crazy start for sure, and I chose Capac because I figured I needed the extra push for Monarch. I see your point that, for learning purposes, the freaky start may limit how much I can apply to other situations.

Heathcliff: Certainly done that before! Not on this difficulty though.


I'd like to get the most out of this, so is the consensus that I should re-roll?
I can turn espionage and diplomatic victory back on.
Is Capac too overpowered? I wouldn't mind trying Hannibal.
 

lymond

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lymond: I turned off espionage because I can't say I'm that crazy about the mechanics.

I recommend just playing with it on for now and getting used to it. First, it screws the culture mechanic which is really annoying. Yet, there's some interesting passive things you can do with espionage without making it much a factor one way or another. (We can discuss it more in a game where you have it on)

With regards to the plains hill, I'm under the impression that it's a strong play because the city tile will get an extra hammer.

Yep...just wanted to make sure that you were aware of it. That extra hammer pays off nicely early such as a faster worker. There are other things you can settle on that gives bonus..basically it's what you see is what you get. Like settling on bananas or sugar will get you an extra food in the center. (does not apply to settling on flood plains or when forest is removed from the tile)
krikav: Yeah, I saw all that food and the plains hill and said "okay, done!" :lol: Typically, I always use up the turn on my other unit first. Totally crazy start for sure, and I chose Capac because I figured I needed the extra push for Monarch. I see your point that, for learning purposes, the freaky start may limit how much I can apply to other situations.

In my opinion having double strong food is absolutely fine as it allows one to practice city overlaps and tile sharing. The golds are certainly a bit OP and distracting in a sense.

Heathcliff: Certainly done that before! Not on this difficulty though.
I worker steal on any level

I'd like to get the most out of this, so is the consensus that I should re-roll?
I can turn espionage and diplomatic victory back on.
Is Capac too overpowered? I wouldn't mind trying Hannibal.

Actually I tend to recommend lesser leaders for learning as there is less focus on Uniques and traits. Toku is good ..he's the worst. I also like Washington as a good neutral leader....good passive traits that are not op, and irrelevant uniques.

Feel free to reload for this shadow game. Of course, you can always save this one off to play later at your leisure.

The point being that when learning the game there are far more important things to learn than dealing with traits and uniques. Get familiar with good early gameplay concepts before focusing much on that stuff.

That's what's gonna get you movin' up levels.
 
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konata_LS

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Capac is fine for learning purpose, as long as: 1) you avoid a Quechuas rush, and build a Worker first; 2) you avoid founding an early religion

Reason of 1), because Quechuas rush is a particular strategy only for Incans. Once you play as a civilisation other than the Inca, the skills you've learnt with Quechuas cannot be applied to others leaders. For 2), because unlike many leaders starting with Myst, Capac can found Buddhism or Hinduism without slowing down the early development too much, as Capac is the only leader who starts with Myst and Agri.

Besides, in a Quechuas rush, people usually build Qs first. It's the opposite building order with all the other leaders, because we usually build Worker or Workboat first. Playing too often as Capac may lead you develop a bad habit of "warrior first, then worker".

Though I understand when moving up a difficulty, people prefer to choose a powerful start and a strong leader. This double Gold and double Corn map would be a perfect choice for a high score attempt in your personal HoF. But the "danger" with double Gold is that the good tech rate from high :commerce: of gold mines, you may neglect early cottage.
When I moved from Prince to Monarch level, I also played one or two games with Capac. But I quickly stopped playing as Capac and chose other leaders with strong traits but without early UUs, like Willem or Mehmed.

Tech path may be: Mining-BW-Wheel. After the wheel, the tech choice depends on what your Quechua will find around your capital.
 
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krikav

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Espionage was turned on in a somewhat recent game of the month.
It was kind of annoying that you needed 20 culture to get borderpops in cities. That throws alot of stuff off.

Double food resources is fine and quite common. It's the super high commerce that would make the experience diverge alot from standard play.
With that gold, you reach techs so much faster, and you don't have to pay attention to upkeep and maturing cottages etc.

I have an opition that leaders with war oriented traits are good to learn with, since they give you a tilt toward warfare which so many players struggle with (I certainly did), and since you mention turtling, you probably did too.
Cyrus, Genghis, Hammurabi are some examples.
I think staying clear of financial, philosophical and creative makes sense.
 

Henry.K

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Mods: Please delete... I'll start a new thread with a new game based on the feedback.

Moderator Action: Merged threads to consolidate, and preserve the helpful advice. Cheers - lymond
 
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Fabled

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NE of sheep looks reasonable to me, although I'm curious what stronger players think. Your worker won't be later than settling in place with the extra hammer, although you'll be later on tech. I might be fixating on the plains hill, the BFC for settle in place looks very lush!
 

lymond

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Yep, I think the PH is a logical target to settle here. Not sure if warrior has moved yet. No reason to have gold in BFC so fine taking an extra turn to settle and keep the food.

Settler can do a bit of scouting too...step 1NE, if nothing exciting to change idea, then step on corn then on PH next turn.

@Henry.K Please attach the save
 
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krikav

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Key tiles here is the corn, the sheep, the gold and the lake. (Superb tile with financial).
Leaving the gold isn't that painful, can easily be grabbed with a second city.
And with the lake, the value of the gold is dramatically reduced since there already is a good source of extra commerce in the lake.
A PH settlement, even if it's on T2, is very good.
Quesiton: At what turn would the corn be farmed if you SiP? If you settle on the plains hill north-east of the sheep?



Now... this below looks very spammy but this is really close to what at least I do every game.
Every single move is savoured, and each move might completely change the situation so after each new piece of information things should be reevaluated.

T0
Warrior north-west -> reassess.
Settler north-east -> reassess
Settlers second movement -> reassess

T1
Warrior first -> reassess
Settler move1 -> reassess
Settler move2 (likely up on the PH northeast of sheep)

T2
Warrior move again -> reassess
Settler likely settle on PH.
 

Nick723

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I have to say I disagree with moving away from the gold for a T2 plains hill settle.

Although it’s possible that gold could be captured with a second city, it’s not certain that’s the case (no visible food).

Also, the value of capital gold is that it can be worked much earlier. A gold tile is what 3H8C - a lake at 2F3C not really in the same bracket? In the early game 1F=1H...approximately.

I would settle in place.
 

mscellaneous

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Despite the gold and the lake this seems a pretty commerce poor start. I am not sure that moving away from the river and the Gold is a good trade-off for a 1 turn earlier worker. In worst case there are no commerce tiles up north so you have to research fishing to be able to work the lake to get some commerce going. Further, you have to research AH for the Sheep. Besides Mining and possible BW that is a lot of beakers with seemingly low commerce.
Finally, the plains hill 1N of the Sheep might be coastal, hard to see from the screenshot though.

I agree with @Nick723, I'd settle in place.
 

Henry.K

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It looks like opinions are split right down the middle, so I flipped a coin and SiP won.
Not too bad of an outcome because it looks like there's tundra to the north:

Spoiler :
002 - Technology Choice.png


I assume we'll go Agriculture first for the corn?
Then Hunting -> Animal Husbandry for the sheep?


After the worker, perhaps a warrior?
 
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mscellaneous

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Worker > Warrior seems good. Agri for Corn is the way to go. I'd scout a bit first before deciding what to tech next.
  • Go Agri > BW if no / few Pasture resources are found.
  • Otherwise AH is OK. Normally, you'd want to research either BW or AH, not both since they are relatively expensive techs early on. But with the Gold it should be fine. I'd skip Hunting, unless Camp resources are present near the location of your next city.
Maybe play up to Agri and post to ask for advice.
 

lymond

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HK please post saves with reports and the start save in the OP...some folks might play along with you.

Also, it is recommended to place pics in spoiler tags to help with page loading....thanks

========

Ag for sure ....next techs uncertain until scouting

First tip - You have a 5t grace period on making a decision on selecting a tech. Beakers are stored. Select/Deselect tech so that no beakers are invested in any tech for those turns. On turn 5, select the tech. One thing this does is allow for possible meeting of AIs who own said tech - like Ag, which provides a small bonus. Also, in some cases you may want to delay selecting a tech for more scouting if the decisions are not a solid as they are ...say ..in your case here.
 
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Fippy

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Gold usually shifts teching towards anything that gives :food: early, with a 15t worker AH should be ready after improving corn.
Much can be learned here already :)
You also have CHA (= more happy), while sheep are not the strongest animal tile (pigs are) they are a very solid help.

20% AH research bonus from hunting (as mscellaneous mentioned) can be okay, but not if worker timing gets messed up (worker done with corn, AH still several turns away).
You can see those pre-tech discounts in the science advisor, each arrow leading towards another tech counts.
Astronomy gives a good example, no arrows from other techs makes it more expensive than it might look.
 

Henry.K

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lymond: I'm not really sure how to go about posting saves. This is my first time on a Mac and it's weird... took me weeks to figure out screenshots :crazyeye: I had no idea you could hold off making a tech choice for five turns! That's so handy, thanks!

Fippy: So THAT'S what those arrows on the tech tree mean; Some are hard & fast prerequisites and some are bonuses. Also, as you said, explains why Astronomy is such a slog. Can't believe I've played this game for so long without knowing that. Thanks so much :cool: Yeah, I wanted to try Hannibal for the Charisma specifically. Plus the 25% experience bonus for units seemed powerful, for when it's time to crack some skulls!


As suggested, I scouted a few turns until Agriculture finished. Here's what I found:

Spoiler :
003 - Scouting.png


Napoleon and his capitol are pretty close to the left, so I figure I should send the warrior south of my settle to find a second city spot. That said, the plains hill my warrior is on in the screenshot looks nice... with grassland rice, pigs and fresh water access. However, too close to Napoleon perhaps?


As for technology:

Spoiler :
004 - Technology Choice.png


Animal Husbandry for the pasture?
 

lymond

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lymond: I'm not really sure how to go about posting saves.

There's an upload file button to the bottom right of the text field next to "Post Reply". (I suspected you were on a Mac)

If you are uploading to an existing post, choice edit>more options - the button is just below the text field.

Have to see more stuff to determine best spots to settle...need save or more pics. Spot your warrior is standing on is nice. Very close to Nappy so no guarantee of nabbing it, even on Monarch level.

I think AH is fine here. As My said, the gold tile puts more emphasis on food.
 
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