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Monarch Wonderspam Strategy

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by axident, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. axident

    axident Chieftain

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    Really? I stand corrected then. But still, I try to save some forests in the hope that more will grow for later chopping! :)
     
  2. axident

    axident Chieftain

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  3. axident

    axident Chieftain

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    I rush the Confu missionary over to my capital. I have yet to switch into Slavery or anything else. I aim to switch to Confu and then into Organized Religion + Slavery on consecutive turns. (I messed up and actually had a turn in-between those civics changes, but oh well.)

    I have four solid cities now and am researching Pottery to start cottaging up for Bureaucracy. There is a bit of land to the northwest, but I'm so militarily weak that I would rather have Ethopia settle that land. If I grab it now, it'd just increase my expenses, stretch me thin, and make Ethiopia want to declare war on me. I've noticed that the AI doesn't declare war that often as long as it still has room to expand.

    Also, even if I wanted to expand, my borders don't really block off any land from anyone; Portugal has sealed off my East, and Ethiopia can sweep into my northwest at any time, open or closed borders. Therefore, I open borders with everyone except Portugal, which still hates me. Trading with others also helps with commerce and diplo.

    My 2nd city, Orleans, has been designated as commercial thanks to all that riverside grassland. I have it build another worker to help out. (The warrior it built is off scouting around.)

    I go for (ugh) Fishing next, since my stone city is almost worthless without a good food source.

    Followed by Hunting for the ivory, which I want for the +happy. Not that I'll care once I get Representation from the Pyramids, but every little bit helps now.

    My missionary finally spreads Confu to Paris. You may wonder why I didn't go OR earlier, but that was intentional; I knew the 2 key cities would be Paris and Lyons, my "other" wonder city. I wanted OR to benefit those cities for sure, and I wasn't sure if Judaism would spread to Lyons before I got Confu from the Oracle, and Confu might be founded in Lyons. The last thing I wanted was to have Paris and Lyons as different religions without a free missionary to convert the other one.

    This way, I now have Paris and Lyons both Confu. I can now switch to Confu as state religion, and then Slavery/Organized Religion on the next turn. Actually I forgot to switch for an addition turn in-between the religion and civics switch but whatever.

    Then disaster strikes! Paris is hit by a slave revolt, and I have a whopping 2 gold on hand to fix things. I try the third option... only to have the revolt continue. It's really hurting my economy, so I crack down on it the second time.

    In the meantime, I'm hooking up my copper. I keep checking, and both Portugal and Ethiopia aren't in their "pre war" state yet with "enough on [their] hands." Nevertheless, I want the option of whipping axes and spears at a moment's notice.
     
  4. axident

    axident Chieftain

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  5. axident

    axident Chieftain

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    I meet Rome.

    I get fishing and immediately start building a workboat.

    I go for hunting in order to get some more pre-Representation happiness going.

    I get my first Great Person, a prophet. I think about popping him, but instead, I send him to Lyons to build a shrine. This is because a) Confu is my state religion and I want Confu to spread to all my cities without my having to build many missionaries, and b) Lyons is already under cultural siege from Portugal. I want to keep my cow tile, thank you very much.

    I must have missed Incans back when I was opening borders. So I open them with Inca now.

    Temple of Artemis done! I also finished with Hunting and am going straight for the Great Library via Aesthetics->Literature. Aesthetics opens up 3 wonders, which ought to keep my capital busy for a while.

    In the meantime, I'll build infrastructure. Most of my cities are building granaries and libraries now. Granaries are particularly strong when combined with Slavery, as you get to keep half the food level when you go down in pop.

    In the meantime, I'm getting really nervous about the Pyramids not finishing on time, so I start chopping near Lyons.

    The "other" Romans show up. Justin's cataphracts are almost as scary as his melanin deficiency. Let's hope he wars on someone else. In the meantime, I'll throw open my borders to cultivate good diplo points. I'm not sure where Byzantium is. My warrior is making slow progress up north, but I'll eventually come full circle and discover everyone's whereabouts.

    Now that I have copper for emergency whipping, I don't feel so scared of Ethiopia. So I make my commerce city make some settlers to expand northwest, at the expense of not building infrastructure. Using a commerce city to build workers and settlers is not optimal; commerce cities benefit greatly from libraries, etc. but Paris and Lyons are tangled up with wonder building, and fish/stone-ville is barely on its feet and needs to get big fast if I want to win the Gr Lighthouse/Colossus. So I need those fish to be up and running ASAP.
     
  6. axident

    axident Chieftain

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  7. axident

    axident Chieftain

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    Copper hooked up. Soon I'll make an axeman or something just to boost my power rating a bit, but I can probably get away with whipping reinforcements when needed and keeping the bare minimum in the meantime, so my military will continue to be crappy. But I will continue to keep a sharp lookout for any "enough on our hands" statements from my neighbors, as that is a sure sign of upcoming war.

    I meet China and immediately open my borders with them to gain +diplo points. (You often can't trade effectively if you try to open borders later on--by then you probably refused to help or stop trading with their enemies enough to get them Annoyed. So I try to open borders ASAP with everyone.) You know what's weird is that no religion has spread beyond its original founder yet. Boudica's the only Buddhist so far, and I'm the only Confucianist/Jew. I'm not sure who is Hindu.

    My anti-Portugese-culture shrine is built in Lyons. That guarantees that I keep the cows for now. When the Pyramids finish, that clinches it--those are my cows for good! The shrine gives gold and spreads my state religion for me, too, reducing the need to make missionaries.

    Before BtS, I used to beeline Alphabet and then Literature for the Great Library. I didn't even bother with the Oracle. But with the new BtS Wonderspam strat, I've found that beelining Oracle and then completely ignoring Alphabet and going to Gr Library via Aesthetics, is the better way to go. The Confu religion helps with Organized Religion's production bonus, plus the ability to build courthouses helps.

    The downside to this strat is that no Alphabet = no tech trading. Nobody else has researched Alphabet either, so I'm stuck with researching stuff on my own.

    My power rating is pathetic as you can see. Emergency whipping and the huge cultural defense % for cities that I'll be building up, should help in case someone attacks me.

    My pyramids look to take 8 turns to finish. I switch the floodplains tile for the elephant tile, and one of my workers finished chopping. So when the dust settles, those 2 moves shaved off 5 turns! The Pyramids are so important for happiness and research reasons that I chopped some forests just to help it along.

    I meet Saladin. He already hates me for being a different religion. Worse, his religion just spread to China. Finally a religion has spread to someone other than a founder--but it's the religion of someone who hates me!

    NOTE: when chopping forests I almost always go after riverside grassland ones first, then grassland, then plains. The reason being that unforested grassland is still useful for farming or cottaging (riverside grass is especially good for cottages; they give +1 commerce), whereas bare plains simply suck. I also try to leave patches here and there to encourage spreading of forests, and I'll make a chessboard pattern if possible.

    By the way I forgot to switch to Representation the first time around, so I played about a dozen more turns before realizing what happened. I hate reloading but I did it twice already: once when I meant to move my warrior AWAY from a bear and moved it next to the bear instead. This time, I had to reload to switch to Representation after the Pyramids was done. No random or diplomatic events happened in either case, so I didn't gain any advantage. These were the only times I had to reload. Somebody please tell me that I'm not the only one who sometimes misclicks or who sometimes gets Pyramids and then forgets to switch to Representation!
     
  8. axident

    axident Chieftain

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    You're welcome, I was going to stop posting if nobody seemed to care.. I'll keep chugging away!
     
  9. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    ^^We're just watching the show and eating popcorns, axident :lol: . Continue the good work :goodjob:
     
  10. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Chieftain

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    Keep the updates coming, it's very interesting and I read it all the way through. :)

    On the slavery and production bonusses thing. I think whipping gets all the same production bonusses just as chopping and normal hammers do. But whipping is a form of rush buying, like using gold under US, and it has two special limitations.

    One limitation is a 50% increase in costs (IIRC) if you rush complete a unit or building on the first turn. That is removed after one turn of normal production has been used . You effectively get 20 hammers per pop for first turn whipping.

    The second limitation is for building wonders and that is a 100% decrease in hammers available from whipping, you get 15 hammers per pop instead of the normal 30 hammers. All production bonusses are then applied to these 15 hammers per pop including Industrious and Stone/Marble and OR and forge.

    As far as I remember (and it was over year ago when I last tested this in Warlords) that is the situation and I presume they've kept BtS the same as Warlords in that respect as it worked well.
     
  11. axident

    axident Chieftain

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    What the... okay I was misinformed then, thanks for this info!

    Also someone, maybe you or another SE-phile, once said that Representation's beaker boost wasn't that great early on and the real power of SE was the Great People. We even did some math. And you know, you're probably right, because it did take me quite a while to realize that I didn't switch to Representation, since I was still doing fine techwise.
     
  12. bovinespy

    bovinespy Chieftain

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    I've been following your thread. Good job so far.

    However.... I'm a bit worried that your military is so weak, that you will get jumped (and I mean dog-piled) by the AI sooner or later - probably sooner.

    My humble suggestion would be to IMMEDIATELY found a 5th city. From looking at your map, that area to the north of Paris, with the Sheep and the Bronze, should do quite nicely. I would implore you to build a Granary and a Barracks right away, and no other infrastructure. Also, spread Confucianism there ASAP.

    What should this city build? Nothing but military units and missionaries! I would probably try and rotate in 1 missionary for every 2 or 3 military units. This will have 3 immediate effects:

    1. Your Power rating will finally start to climb, greatly reducing the chances of getting jumped by the AI.

    2. By taking advantage of those Open Borders to spread your religion to your neighbors, you'll also greatly improve realtions with them, further reducing the risk of war.

    3. In sync with #2, by spreading your religion as far as possible, you'll be raking in the $, seeing as how you've already built the shrine.

    My first win on BtS was a Cultural Victory with the Netherlands. In that game, I never went over 5 or 6 cities, but I was able to avoid war because I had a dedicated Military City doing nothing but cranking out the units (along with the occasional infrastructure, like a Forge, Aqueduct, Factory, Coal Power Plant, etc.)

    Please devote more attention to your military, or your game will end in frustration at an early date! (I know this from painful experience.)
     
  13. axident

    axident Chieftain

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    Thanks, this relatively peaceful game is actually NOT representative of what USUALLY happens, for reasons that will become very clear very soon.

    Usually what happens is that a neighbor dislikes me for whatever reason. Religion or I stole a worker or something else. Soon he DoW, I whip emergency forces, and hold him off. (Keep in mind I know when someone is about to attack because they have enough on their hands = I can whip at least a few units to keep them out of my cities and then sue for peace.) Then the other neighbor declares on me, and I do the same for him and move my existing emergency-whipped forces over there. A great general pops up and I settle him into my future Heroic Epic city. Peace breaks out. At this point I am resistant to further attacks because I already have a strong stack from 2 small wars. I later get cats or trebs or sometimes don't even bother with either and attack my weakest neighbor.

    In another wonderspam game, I was in wars all game long and got about 10 great generals out of it since I refused to declare peace. I just ate up enemy stacks with my defensive stacks, hurt them with Statue of Zeus, and got a ton of GG points due to Great Wall. :) I did destroy one civ in that game sort of early, and I tried to push on offense against someone else in that game. But I kept losing defenders due to the hail of enemies streaming in, so it took a long time for me to kill a 2nd civ.

    So this game is kind of weird because of what happens next.

     
  14. bovinespy

    bovinespy Chieftain

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    So what happens next?! Tell us, you teaser! :p
     
  15. axident

    axident Chieftain

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  16. axident

    axident Chieftain

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  17. axident

    axident Chieftain

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    In Paris, I whip a Confu Missionary to send to Orleans to help its building efforts, followed by whipping an Axeman to help scout the northwest without as much risk of barb attack. In the meantime, I have a warrior scouting fogbusting that area--also to see what is near that cow/oasis combo and to see if it's worth settling there instead of the commercial city (copper and sheep.) I'm not sure what there is, so I label it "something."

    Aesthetics opens up 3 wonders so this is really my last good chance to whip Paris before it goes into full-time wonder-building.

    I have Paris make one more missionary after the Axeman, to spread to Ethiopia, which is strong and can be a powerful ally.

    Confu spreads into Rheims (stone city), no missionary required.

    Aesthetics completes, and Paris starts building the Parthenon.

    The "something" city turns out to have horses in addition to the cows and oasis. Good enough, I'll settle there. I have open borders so technically someone can steal my copper/sheep city, but that AI would have to be very optimistic to think that such a city could withstand the soon-to-be Legendary cultural output of Paris.

    In the meantime, my "other" wonder city is building infrastructure; it finished a granary and is building a library to keep up the cultural assault on Portugal.

    Mao shows up to demand that I stop trading with the USA. I say no, since Lincoln has a decent power rating, and Mao is Hindu so he's a likely enemy anyway. Plus he's far away and I don't feel threatened militarily by him.

    Unfortunately Mao is also the only one with Alphabet right now. I think about trading with him but decide not to. The first civ to Alphabet usually gets a bit of a boost from trading with everyone else, and I am wary of Mao rising to 2nd place very soon. I'm certainly not going to help him even if it means slowing myself down for a while. I'm already teching faster than I can build, anyway.

    As you can see, my poor commercial marble city is still pumping out that settler for copper/sheep, and neglecting its buildings. Stone city is building a courthouse. I whip the courthouse in Lyons, because I expect it to spend a loooooooong time building the "lesser" wonders from Aesthetics, and I don't whip wonders, preferring instead to leverage my +50% production bonus from Industrious.

    As you can see, I messed up. I should have traded Monotheism to Mao for Sailing, but he apparently got it somewhere else. I need Sailing for Great Lighthouse, though on this mostly-land map it kinda sucks.

    Ethiopia is about to turn Confu from that one piddly little missionary I sent.

    I'm absolutely paranoid by now, so I keep checking to see if my neighbors are about to attack me, but neither of them do. I am emboldened to reject Portugal's request for Aesthetics, as I want more time to build those wonders for myself. Plus it's not like I have alphabet, so I can't trade Aesthetics to everyone else on the same turn that I lose my monopoly on it.

    Wonderspam is starting to crank great people. I get another Great Prophet.

    Paris finishes the Parthenon, but that's not even the biggest news that turn! And getting Literature wasn't the biggest news either!

    Despite having no open borders with Portugal, Confu spreads to them anyway! I can almost open borders with them now, though they were momentarily Cautious earlier when they asked for Aesthetics so I guess one of our negative diplos faded or we got +1 for long-lasting peace or something. Notice that in 600 BC Joao was Annoyed, then one turn later he is Cautious but demanded Aesthetics before I could even have a chance to open borders with him.

    At any rate, I go for mathematics to make chopping more effective and also as a prereq for bigger and better things such as Currency and Civ Service. Paris starts on the Great Library, naturally.

    As you can see, I wasted my Great Prophet on a shrine that I didn't even need. In future games I will not shrine anything other than my wall st city. Except that hindsight is 20/20 because I thought that Orleans (Jewish shrine city) WAS going to be my wall st city! I had little idea how cruel the RNG (random number generator) was going to be later.

    Nobody other than Mao has Alphabet yet. Again.

    Sheesh first Mao then Lincoln demands that I quit trading with the other. They apparently hate each other but I won't stop trading with either of them, in order to keep open borders and hence trade routes open.

    Paris as my wonder city, Bureaucracy city, etc. is absolutely critical. You saw what happened to my economy when Paris had a slave revolt. It seems like the RNG wants to keep Paris beaten down with the vermin thing, which I had no money to counter. I was 3/4 of the way to size 8, too!

    In better news, I am pasturing my cow/horses/oasis city and war has broken out between Boudica and Saladin, probably due to their religious differences and close proximity. Of course I decline to help Saladin. Screw you, Annoyed dude. You won't even trade with me, and you want me to take on Boudica, who is 2nd in score?

    Portugal comes asking for another tech, this time the much more reasonable Organized Religion. I give it to him to get 10 turns of guaranteed peace and to improve relations. But it isn't enough to raise him above Annoyed.

    I get math and instinctively go for Civil Service. But I change my mind and go for Calendar instead--you'll see why.

    I immediately see if anyone else has alpha so I can start trading away my non-Aesthetics stuff. Justin has sailing, and I'm not dumb enough to make the same mistake twice. This time, I trade Monotheism to him for Sailing. The other stuff I'm keeping because I want the Hanging Gardens.
     
  18. axident

    axident Chieftain

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  19. axident

    axident Chieftain

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    Lyons was working on Chichen Itza after it was done building its courthouse, but when I got math, I immediately switched to Aqueduct for Hanging Gardens.

    Fish/stone city starts building a lighthouse; it was also done with its buildings and was starting on a barracks for home defense, but since Portugal has that 10 turns of peace thing in exchange for extortion, and Ethiopia converted to Confu after I sent my missionary over, I think I can do without a military for a bit longer.

    As previously stated, I change my mind away from civ service (which went from 17 turns to 15 due to the Sailing tech trade alone--who says Sailing isn't an economically beneficially tech?). My capital doesn't have enough grown cottages to make it worthwhile, and I have another idea: get the Mausoleum, then the free artist from Music for an extended Golden Age. So I go Calendar instead, to build the Mausoleum.

    In the meantime, copper/sheep has been settled. That ends my easy expansion phase; the rest of the lands around me are all claimed or tundra-filled.

    Tech screen again. Saladin apparently has math already, so I hope I get the Hanging Gardens in time. This game I found both stone and marble but in other games where I've wonderspammed without one or the other, Hanging Gardens is skippable since it requires an Aqueduct which sucks up time. Same thing with Great Lighthouse and Chichen Itza, 2 other wonders I consider skippable if I don't have the production/resources for them. Their effects don't really justify their costs, especially if built outside of your main wonder city.

    That's a pretty blank resources trading menu right there.

    Thanks to my powerful culture and timely expansion, I have the most land right now. I'm even pushing that Portugese city near Lyons--and when the culture from Pyramids gets Hanging Gardens on top of it, maybe I can peacefully annex it!

    Boudica wants me to get tangled in her war. I tell Boudica to shove it. I don't want war. Yet.

    Saladin's mathematics pressures me to whip the aqueduct the rest of the way in Lyons in preparation for Hanging Gardens. This is a good whip, because I get only the OR +25% bonus for aqueduct, but I get a +75% bonus for Hanging Gardens, which is a wonder.

    Even with OR, poor Orleans is taking forever with its infrastructure building; it doesn't even have a library yet. My making it build workers and settlers for so long doesn't help.

    Great Library built! I had no competition for it since nobody else had Literature. Now I can start on Statue of Zeus, which I like for its effects and massive cultural output. I don't have meditation yet so I can't build Paya, and I am holding off on National Epic until I clear out more of my backlog of wonders to build.

    My strong push to Calendar left me with little money, so I can't take advantage of the +1 beakers to Library, instead settling for 52 beakers to Calendar. Argh! +1 beakers may not sound like much, but it's in my capital city and with Oxford, library, salon, and university, that +1 beakers eventually turns into 3.25 beakers. Lesson learned--I need to stockpile a little more cash to take advantage of the POSITIVE random events that affect Paris. As well as to pay for lost grain and slave revolt stuff when NEGATIVE stuff strikes. :)

    Alphabet has spread around a bit more. I'm only going to trade away crappy stuff, though, which means Inca's needs and mine might mesh well. I could use some iron in my resources diet.

    The Incan price is too high, though.

    Joao has gotten to Cautious and I open borders with him. Yay for religious spread. This rarely happens and in most games I would be massing an army against him by now. :) I decide to trade my cows for his corn, to boost relations even further.

    Got Calendar. Mausoleum time--Paris switches to Mausoleum and leaves Zeus hanging. Also race-to-Music-time--but I have such a big lead on Music that I change my mind and go for Currency instead, as my economy could use a boost. Okay, okay, the REAL reason is because I am teching beyond my production capacity. I checked and Mausoleum would take forever for Paris to build--15 turns or so. Enough time to squeeze in Currency and then Music.

    Prior to BtS, Music's free artist kinda sucked. Now Music rocks because it's a free golden age--you only need one GP to start your first golden age now!

    Rheims finishes the lighthouse and starts to work on barracks again. I say no, work on the Great Lighthouse.

    Also, Confu is really getting around; even the Incans have it. This is a bit good and bad, as I want most Apostolic Palace votes to be MY votes. I hope Confu doesn't spread beyond my borders any farther.

    The Confu spread reminds me that I need to leverage OR better. Orleans, my whipping boy, whipped a library and is working on a courthouse. I tell it to stop building a courthouse and to build missionaries to spread to my newest cities.

    I think Rome just got alphabet this turn because the tech advisor says Rome can't trade tech, yet they can! They are the low man on the score pole, so I feel okay trading them math and a throw-in for Iron Working and a throw-in. Some people wouldn't take archery because they are afraid of the tech trading limit. I am a veteran of Wonderspam games where I research most stuff myself. So I'd rather be able to whip crossbows and longbows than worry about a trade limit that I probably won't ever cross.

    I also trade for Meditation with Ethiopia. I usually try to keep my neighbors weak, but I do want to be able to build temples, and Monotheism is getting traded around anyway.

    Unfortunately my iron is to the west out of my borders, and to the south out of my borders.

    Nobody else has anything worthwhile to trade, except Mao and he wants too high a price for Monarchy, which I can afford to delay since I have Representation via Pyramids.

    I settle my Great Spy in Paris for the beakers.

    Meanwhile, you have GOT to be kidding me, Paris got hit hard by slave revolts and vermin, and now there's another slave revolt. Why can't it be some other city that isn't as economically vital? Thankfully this time I have enough gold to buy the least-bad response.
     
  20. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Chieftain

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    Another good round. Keep the story coming.

    Those random events in BtS seem to nearly always affect the capital. It is particularly annoying to get a slave revolt in the middle of a race to build a wonder or to research some vital tech. The losses of each turn of revolt are huge as the capital often has 50% of your, and my, empire's research beakers and the best production hammers. It is painful that the special investment of settled GPs and the academy are affected by these revolts. One trick I did notice is that you can take "advantage" of the revolt to change civics in the rest of the empire and the two periods of anarchy run together so the capital doesn't lose the anarchy of a civics switch. That's making the best of a bad job.

    I wonder if it would be worthwhile to move the capital to another city? As long as you're not running Bureaucracy of course. That might avoid most of the negative random events.
     

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