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Morocco Strategy

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by crdvis16, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Whenever I'm about to start a new game I usually do a quick search of the strategy forum to see if anyone has a post with tips for the specific civ I'm about to try. More often than not I don't find much of anything recent enough to be useful. So I've decided to just start making posts myself for whatever civ I'm about to play to get the discussion going!

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    Ahmad al-Mansur's Gateway to Africa

    +1 to all Yields in Capital per unique Trade Route partner, scaling with Era. Trade Route yields to or from Moroccan cities are not affected by distance. Can plunder Trade Units connected to unowned cities without declaring war.

    Berber Cavalry, replaces Cavalry.

    +2 CS and +3 RCS. Receives combat bonuses when fighting in Moroccan territory. Ignores terrain movement penalties.

    Kasbah.

    +1 Food, +2 Production, +2 Gold, +2 Culture.

    +2 Gold to adjacent Fishing Boats and +1 Culture to adjacent Coast tiles.

    Provides a +30% defense bonus to units stationed on its tile, deals 5 damage to adjacent military units, and connects any resources underneath it to your trade network. Can only be built adjacent to an owned City.

    +1 Culture and +1 Gold at Architecture. +1 Culture at Radio Unlocks at Chivalry.

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    The UA has me convinced that I will most likely pursue a diplomatic victory. I'll probably want to spread my trade routes out to as many different targets as possible which will most likely mean sending many of them to CSs. I assume that the 'unique trade partner' will trigger for trade routes sent to me by other civs in which case I might end up sending ALL of my trade routes to CSs if I can entice enough of the AI to send them to me. Trading primarily with CSs means Statecraft is probably a must and a Diplo victory sort of goes hand in hand with that.

    The Kasbah has me convinced that I should try to go wide with Progress if possible. Almost any land will be good enough for a city when I can place Kasbahs all around it so I may as well go wide and take advantage of that fact. The culture from the Kasbah will help counteract the increased policy costs from being wide, too.

    Also, the defensive nature of Kasbahs and, later, the Berber Cavalry means that when I inevitably get into wars due to border conflicts from land grabbing I will hopefully be capable of defending myself. I probably won't go out of my way to conquer others and will try to play mostly peaceful. The exception would be to liberate CSs from someone like Venice or a warmonger. I might need to have a modest navy in order to protect CSs on occasion, too.

    I'm guessing for my Industrial policy tree I'll probably go with Industry for all those trade/wide bonuses. For Ideology I'll probably lean toward Freedom for more trade bonuses and the great influence bonus with CSs when sending them trade routes.

    So my basic plan is to go as wide as I can with Progress->Statecraft->Industry->Freedom and pursue a Diplo victory.

    Next, for wonders I'll try to go for Petra and Colossus for those extra early trade routes. I doubt I will go for Roman Forum- it's probably more up the alley of a Germany/Siam/Greece and Roman Forum seems to be something you have to really commit to if you want it.

    Now, religion. Pantheon choice will probably be whatever makes sense for my starting terrain features as none of the pantheons jump out at me as "Morocco's pantheon". I'll probably choose a founder that benefits from having a lot of cities following my religion or has bonuses when spreading, as being wide will give me advantages with spreading my religion and my extra trade routes will too. Council of Elders (science/production when cities adopt my religion) and Way of Transcendence (entering a new era gives yields based on number of cities following my religion) look like they would fit in particular. Some of the others would work OK too.

    For follower beliefs I will probably grab one building and one "per follower" belief. I like Synagogues with progress for the +production but others would probably be fine too. Not sure which "per follower" belief I would go for and it might just depend on the situation, and maybe what kind of resources I have in my land and what I'm low on. For my enhancer I might go for Ritual (Religion spreads to cities 20% further away. Pressure to friendly City-States and via owned Trade Routes doubled). I believe most people consider it rather weak but being wide AND trading with CSs frequently I imagine I would be the ideal civ to benefit from both of its bonuses.

    For reformation I would probably target One World, One Religion (Receive 1 additional Delegate in the World Congress for every 8 City States in the game. Missionaries performing the Spread Religion action erode existing pressure from other religions). I could also see going for Global Commandments (+10 Science, Culture, Gold, Faith, and Golden Age Points per turn while the Host of the World Congress. Receive 150 of these yields instantly when you pass a Proposal. Bonuses scale with Era) but those bonuses would actually be better for a tall diplomatic civ, perhaps like Austria, as they don't scale as well with lots of cities. Defender of the Faith (Land Units received +15% Combat Strength vs Land Units in own lands, and an additional 15% versus Land Units of players that do not follow your Religion. +2 Faith and +3 Culture from all Defensive Buildings) would also fit Morocco thematically and if I find that I'm having trouble defending myself I could go for that.

    The last thing I am unsure of is how best to use the piracy nature of Ahmad's UA- being able to pillage trade routes without having to go to war. I'm unsure of how the negative diplomatic modifier works for that- does it keep increasing and getting worse if I keep pillaging the same civ's trade route, or is it a one and done modifier no matter how many times I pillage? Will the negative modifier go away after some amount of time? Will the AI 'get smart' and send its trade routes to me in order to avoid me pillaging them? I like the idea of having a few pathfinder units and a few caravels roaming around pillaging everything they can find, consequences be damned, but if it eventually turns the entire world against me that could be a problem. It just depends on how bad the diplo hit is which is something I have no concept of at this point.

    So- do any experienced Moroccan players have any tips or criticisms of what I've laid out? Any feedback on how the trade route pillaging works and if it is worth using against everyone or perhaps only against established enemies with bad relations anyway?
     
    lunker, CrazyG and Viralvoid like this.
  2. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Good guide.
    • Pillage trade routes of civs who are far away from you. An extra 100 gold early on is a big deal.
    • You didn't mention the desert start bias. Its really good for a trade civ because of Petra. A strategy of Stonehenge, Petra, Goddess of Beauty, and tradition can be really strong.
    • Keep an eye out for spirit of the desert.
    • If you can't get a religion, that's okay. You can without one, just try to be aggressive early game.
     
  3. theMisterRud

    theMisterRud Chieftain

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    I'm playing Morocco right now and I can say that Tradition is not a bad option, as the UA synergies well with it. Often times a got away with going Petra -> Roman Forum/Hanging Gardens, which is a huge setup for diplo victory
     
  4. neo_arcadia

    neo_arcadia Warlord

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    Do you play with transparent diplomacy on? Is the diplomatic consequence for pillaging trade route exist? How do you approach this part of Morocco UA?
     
  5. Legen

    Legen King

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    I don't have experience with Morocco, but I can tell you the following: part of playing diplomacy is identifying who you should be crippling and using all tools available to do so without getting hated by everyone else. Morocco's pillaging ability lets you do that if you pillage only trade units from that civ. You can cripple someone's economy or tourism modifiers without needing to declare war, and doing so this way means nobody else will consider you a warmonger or a competitor.

    The rest of the civilizations have to go for all the trouble of proposing and passing a sanction, or actually declaring war. Maybe even sanction city-states to cripple their target, even if it means not benefitting from one of Statecraft's policies. Morocco doesn't have to get into all this trouble, Ahmad Al-Mansur can just roam around and pillage any trade unit moving out of the target's borders, while profiting from that. This can also be used to deny them positive modifiers with other civs.

    In short, the UA doesn't require you to pillage every trade unit you find, it is still a powerful tool when applied surgically.

    Another use is to cut competing Statecraft and Freedom civs from getting CS influence through trade routes. This can be just as problematic for them as a City-state sanction would.
     
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  6. CrabHelmet

    CrabHelmet King

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    Tradition Morocco seems like a massive waste to me. The Kasbah's huge advantage is that early additional Cities more than make-up for their Cultural penalty from rather early on - 6 culture a pop is just lovely, you have to be at 61 culture or more before the penalty slows you down, and that's not even considering Monuments etc. Morocco seems like a nailed on Progress Civ.
     
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  7. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    It sounds good on paper, but then you have to research Chivalry before you can start placing Kasbahs, so if you overexpand, you'll face two eras with slow progression. Statecraft spies might be handy in this case, but even then.
    The first two eras Morocco may benefit more from staying tall (not necessarily with Tradition, Authority works well too). After Chivalry, Morocco can expand aggressively. Kasbahs can be placed on puppet cities too, not much culture, but helps defending the territory. Since Moroccan cities are easier to defend, more units can be gathered in the same front. The only thing that does not mix with Kasbahs is water: lakes and sea tiles.
    I've read a Moroccan photojournal where everything stayed peacefully, but it can be played aggressively too.

    I have no experience with the new pillaging mechanic, though.
     
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  8. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Sticking to pillaging civs that are far away initially sounds like a good idea. I play continents++ so typically the civs in the other continent aren't much of a threat militarily, though I might have to worry about the safety of CS allies. Early game I suppose I can stick to civs that don't share my borders. Though in the game I started last night my neighbor is Askia so I'm contemplating pillaging him anyway as I assume war is inevitable.

    You're right about the desert start bias, btw. My start location has my first 6ish cities in the desert. Already nabbed Petra and spirit of the desert. I should be on course for a strong religion I think.
     
  9. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I should note that I just played a Tradition game as Korea and I pretty much never play the same style twice, so I purposefully picked a civ that I thought could go wide.
     
  10. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I think you're right that this is how it could play out later in the game once the biggest threats become more obvious. Maybe I can seek defensive pacts and then passive aggressively neuter my competitors via trade pillaging, daring them to DoW our alliance.
     
  11. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Yeah I can imagine a slow-down between the time that I've settled lots of cities but before kasbahs have arrived. Slow teching = slow culture gain for Progress so my policies and techs could fall behind at that point. If I somewhat beeline chivalry maybe I can keep from falling behind too much, though.
     
  12. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

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    IIRC, Kasbahs can be built adjacent to non-owned cities, as long as the tile is in owned territory.
     
  13. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    A couple more observations from my game:

    1) Morocco seems to require a LOT of workers if you want to actually get all your improvements done, roads setup, and kasbahs built asap. Especially because you might end up re-improving a tile, like replacing a plantation on a lux with a kasbah. Usually with Progress's worker buffs, one worker per city is plenty, but with Morocco's Kasbah it seems like you might need to plan for a few more. I think building/ buying a few extra right when kasbahs are unlocking is a good idea.

    2) I'm finding it surprisingly hard to locate trade routes to pillage. I'm running units around looking for them in foreign lands but it's oddly difficult to find them. Are there any places in the GUI that can give hints on where trade routes are? I believe I have routes setup to be visible already.

    3) When sending a trade route to a new trade partner I don't always see the yield increases I expect. For example, I'll send one to a CS and expect to see my culture/faith increment from the "+X to all yields in capital" part of the UA but they don't increase. Also, mousing over the gold yield icon shows "+X due to traits" but I don't see a similar listing for culture or faith, for instance. I haven't checked directly in my capital to see if it's listed there yet but I will check next time I play.

    Despite my current game going fairly well I might restart and try again now that I think I understand the flow for Morocco a little better.
     
  14. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    More updates!

    The bonuses from unique trade work partners do indeed show up in the capital's city interface and seem to be working just fine.

    Morocco does benefit greatly from trading with CSs in order to maximize his UA but other than that he doesn't have any particular bonuses to help with CS alliances so diplomat units are particularly helpful. One very useful weapon he does have is the ability to pillage trade routes without war. In my game my CS competitor is Germany so I have taken to running an explorer through his land non-stop to pillage routes, especially those going to CS. My navy will shortly be doing the same. He can DoW me if he wants to but Morocco shines on defense and he would be peace blocked from my CS allies. It seems like Morocco's big advantage in the diplomatic game is being able to sabotage his competitors.
     
  15. neo_arcadia

    neo_arcadia Warlord

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    Question: Pillaging trade routes gives you how many negative diplomatic point?
     
  16. FoxOfWar

    FoxOfWar Prince

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    Morocco is one of my most played civs, and my go-to is Progress->plop a handful of strategic cities near my capital->Chivalry and finishing Progress->start pumping settlers and workers like crazy, and from there mostly just defending what I have from the inevitable wars, picking a victory direction somewhere along the way later depending on map and other choices I had to make along the way. If you have enough workers to get those Kasbah up asap, you can both get new cities nicely defended and nicely built up pretty easily. This does leave me slightly short on science for a while, but it can be alleviated a fair bit by prioritising Council/Library/University on those new cities, as Kasbah helps a ton with the other yields.

    Definitely agree on the point that if you go wide with Morocco, you want a lot of workers. A lot.
     
  17. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Probably my last update after a vacation hiatus- I'm cruising toward a diplomatic victory fairly easily. I have a stranglehold on CSs and dominate the world Congress. I'm the policy leader by a few policies and the tech leader or tied for the lead. The infrastructure in my 7 cities is so up to date that I often run out of things to build and end up running science processes after running out of paper for more diplomats.

    I went progress->statecraft->Industry->Freedom and am totally rich as a result. I invest in nearly every building and upgrade my troops as their upgrades become available.

    I don't really have any friends but I've easily weathered every DoW using Morocco's defensive bonuses from Kasbahs and Berber Cavalry. I've refrained from taking any cities other than to liberate a single CS and have happily pillaged the trade routes of my enemies mercilessly, constantly hunting their lands if they are dumb enough to give me open borders and stalking international waters.

    Overall it's been a pretty fun game and Morocco seems pretty strong, mostly on the back of a very strong UI.
     
  18. void_genesis

    void_genesis Prince

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    I am playing Morocco and finding them a bit odd. Extra trade routes from Petra (desert bias) and colossus (can usually found a coastal city too) sound good but the +1 of each yield per trade route is actually pretty underwhelming in the mid game onward as it doesn't scale with era. Beelining colossus is a bad choice in my experience. If you start off in the corner of the map with few CS nearby it is pretty useless, but I guess you can say it means you have to scout more and settle with that in mind. If you want Petra on higher levels then tradition seems to be necessary to be competitive for it depending on your start. The casbah do seem to favour wide play but they come online very late for a UI and make more sense to me as a feature in puppet cities so it is easier to leave your puppet territory unprotected by units (maybe just a few ranged horses around). The free pillaging sounds good but trade routes are surprisingly hard to find in the early game, and the map usually fills up with territory as they come online and long before open borders become a possibility, so again it is more of a late game bonus, best in the open ocean so no-one sees you and there is no diplomatic penalty. Would it be worth giving the recon line automatic open borders for Morocco with all civs? Maybe with a small diplomatic penalty. I think they are a perfect example of how gazebo has designed lots of civs to not be an automatic win machine- the game at its heart is deciding how to use your advantages depending on the situation you find yourself in.
     
  19. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    Actually it does scale with era.
     
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  20. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    A couple things:

    1. Chicorbeef is right, the +yields per unique trade partner do scale.

    2. Tradition should not be necessary for Petra. The desert requirement often means you are competing with fewer AI for it.

    3. The Kasbahs biggest strength is turning mediocre settling locations into great ones because you are guaranteed some great tiles around the city. Those yields are largely wasted if the city is a puppet due to the yield reduction penalties. The Kasbah isn't SO late if you prioritize its tech.

    4. Prior to open borders there is usually unsettled land to stalk with your scouts to find trade routes to pillage. CS land is always "open borders" as well and allows some maneuverability to find them. It can be hard to find the routes but mobility upgraded scouts can cover so much ground that they can get the job done- I purposely went the trailblazer line to the max and that scout was a beast pillager. Later on the Caravel line does a good job too.
     

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