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[BTS] Mortal seeking help

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Strijder21, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. Strijder21

    Strijder21 Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Because I'm not Immortal. Get it?

    I've already got one win on Immortal under my belt, but fail to achieve a consequent winning streak on this difficulty level. That's why I've turned to you, the forumers, for any advice you're willing to give me.

    The plan is for me to play short turnsets (20-30 turns at the outset) and for you to give me advice on what aspects of my game I could improve. I will upload savegames. I'm somewhat busy at the moment so this thread will normally be relatively slow-paced.

    I rolled up a random game on Standard size/Normal speed/Fractal/Random leader, as to start the game without a preset strategy in mind. This is our start:

    Spoiler Scout moved :

    Civ4ScreenShot0000.JPG


    Our leader is Darius I of the Persians. Fin and Org are both solid economic traits, with the former being primarly useful in cottage economies and on coastal maps, and the latter reducing overall upkeep and making courthouses a lot more attractive than they usually are. Cheap lighthouses are good too, although I can't see any coast yet. Immortals make chariot rushes viable while they're also prime barb busters, with their defensive bonuses. Apothecaries are a meh bonus on a meh building, although they can be useful if we don't have many food resources or after factories and power plants.

    We start with Hunting and Agriculture. The former is mediocre IMO (especially as we don't have any hunting resources in our cap), although it does give us a tech boost towards AH, for our pigs. Agriculture is nice of course.

    My initial thoughts:

    • Seems like a very production-heavy capital with no room for cottages. That's actually a plus, since I tend to rely on those and ignore the advantages running specialists can run. The floodplains make up for having only one food resource (in sight). The PH we're on also gives us an extra production.
    • Marble, together with those forests and hills, opens up some options - the marble options are quite desirable. Failgold will be boosted either way.
    • Two huts (and a scout to pop one favourably)!
    Initial plan, open for debate:

    - SIP. We're on a plains hill and I don't see any more desirable spot.

    - Tech: AH for the Pigs (and horses, hopefully!), followed by Mining and BW. Switch to Slavery.

    - Builds: warrior - (city grows) - worker - warrior - settler.

    Thanks in advance!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Mar 11, 2008
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    22,025
    worker first (if you are generally building warrior first in your games, then that is a problem...although there are occasional exceptions)

    not sure where scout was initially but may have moved differently

    If you have another good food resource, cottages are not out of the question here..certainly the FPs, but also at least 2 more riverside grass tiles as well as 2 regular grass, which is fine for FIN leader. Riverside hills could be cottaged. Again food dependent, but your initial assessment is fine.

    edit: Oh..and it is generally recommended to turn off huts and events while learning. Huts aren't much help on highest levels, which AIs having 2 scouts each running around. But since you have them on, note one little trick during the first 5 turns. Game will store your beakers for 5 turns, so select/unselect tech for 5 turns before ending turn. This way you are not committing to a tech that you might pop from a hut. Interestingly I:

    Spoiler :
    popped Animal Husbandry on Turn 1 with the scout NW of city. CIty popped a map on settle. Unfortunately you are not likely to do so as your scout is not in position to pop next turn


    oh..and don't pop huts before settling your city as you won't get techs (popping with the city is fine though)

    I find events extremely annoying, but ..well..that is a personal preference I guess.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  3. Benginal

    Benginal Emperor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
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    Location:
    Raleigh
    Spoiler :
    Settling: SIP seem pretty obvious to me, for all the reasons you said. @lymond is totally correct, though, that's a completely reasonable spot for cottages. Immediately available are 2 FPs and 1 riverside grassland (and two more further east, although hopefully at least one is a resource). Other grassland tiles, grassland riverside hills, and riverside plains are all also reasonable cottaging tiles, especially for a financial leader. Each capital is supposed to get 4 resources and, if memory serves, FPs count as 1/3 or 1/2 which means you're still owed 1 more resource. Might be metal on one of those hills.

    Build: Definitely worker first. No question. You can work the 3F1C tile while building the worker. One of the best short of oasis or Imperial forested plains hill. Probably something like worker -> warrior -> warrior will be best. But wait and see if we get horses.

    Tech: Given that you're Persia I guess AH first is acceptable. I think it's closer than you think though since you've got only one pigs and AH is expensive. Mining the pig is a completely viable early strategy. So starting with mining -> BW could be good. BW is expensive, too, and we lack a compelling early commerce tile since no fishing. So there might even be something to say for Mining -> the Wheel -> Pottery -> BW. With mining and agriculture alone your worker has a lot to do. Farming one of the FP, mining the pigs and the two grassland hills. That all said, being Persia makes trying to find horses super tempting. But in general, one pig resource in the presence of so much else you got going (financial cottages) might not justify AH. Also, note that @lymond's tip about not teching anything for five turns is good practice regardless of whether huts are on or not. You get a discount on a tech if people you've met also have the tech. So waiting five turns gives you a chance to meet somebody and that's how long you have before beakers start to decay.

     
  4. InovA

    InovA Immortal

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    116
    Spoiler Turn 0: Initial Thoughts :
    Settling: SIP is the clear choice here.

    Build: Worker first, no doubt. Worker -> Warrior -> Warrior/Settler(@3-pop) is the standard to me, may finish the 2nd warrior and go to up to 4-pop if I want more protection for early settlers. Follow this with a 2nd settler as soon as you can.

    Tech: AH -> Mining -> BW looks like the right tech path.


    Spoiler Up to Turn 55: :
    We found very close Khmer, and close horses! Immortal rush is on! I also got Mysticism from the 1st hut on T0, after settling capital. (As Lymond said, you won't get a tech until you've settled first!)

    Settled 2nd city:
    1W of cows, so it has horse+cow and eventual Fish after Monument for border pop.

    Build:
    Followed my initial idea, but without the 2nd settler so I could properly Immortal rush off 2 cities.

    Tech: AH -> Mining -> Wheel -> BW -> Pottery -> Fishing -> Writing (otw)

    T51: 3rd city was just settled by Khmer, messing up my path to his capital, but I still bolt straight for it. DoW on Khmer with my 7 Immortals!
    T52: Kill stray Archer near his capital
    T53: 7 Immortals > 2 Archers on his hill capital. Easy take! Has a Granary and Lighthouse already!
    T55: Capture his Bronze+Flood plains city and raze his coastal city (it was 1-pop, can't capture it unless I wait for it to go to 2-pop, but that could give time for another Archer or 2, and I already stopped Immortal production)

    Khmer are dead, 4 cities are up, Settler 1/2 way done in cap. Total of 11 Immortals were made, along with 4 warriors! All this land + ORG trait makes me want to REX and go for fast Code of Laws (after Currency + (maybe) Metal Casting). The +100% Courthouses are always appreciated!

     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  5. Major Tom

    Major Tom Immortal

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    Jun 1, 2005
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    Location:
    Oslo
    I also mortal, not winning all maps on IMM. Will also play this.
     
  6. InovA

    InovA Immortal

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
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    116
    Spoiler Up to Turn 115 (1 AD) :
    T62: Settled City #5
    T70: Gift Pig, Cow, Fish to India (I don't need the +:health: right now)
    T75: Notice this is a lone continent! Already met India and Ottomans, so nice that I'm not isolated after killing Khmer.
    T78: Horse to Mehmed for Wine
    T78: Settled City #6
    T80: Settled City #7
    T88: Settled City #8 (didn't note when next cities start after this)
    T89: Academy in Khmer's old capital
    T95: Trade w/ Mehmed disrupted! Barbs took his city our trade network was set through :cry:. Now :mad: in 6 of my cities, they want their booze!
    T95: Palace finished in Khmer's old capital
    T98: Trade resumed
    T106: India is plotting war! Hmmm.. I'm at +5 Pleased with him while Mehmed is at -1 Cautious. There may be others near India, because after 4 turns of meeting him (T50) he had 0:espionage: applied towards me.
    T107: India finally gets Alphabet! Trade Math for IW so I can start working the southern gems ASAP (city & road to the jungle already established :))
    T108: Finally get Currency. The REX slowed my tech for a while, but I'm at 13 cities already, so I'm happy! Sell cow for 2:gold:/t, Currency for Alphabet + 40:gold:
    T110: Rice for 1:gold:/t
    T112: Horse Whisper event comes up
    T115: I'm at 15 cities, 16th will be captured soon (barb city). CoL on T116 will help bring that -122:gold:/t maintenance down by half quickly, especially with the ORG trait. 2 cities are on the other continent, so domestic trade routes are going well.

    Still behind in tech, but probably not by too much since CoL is finishing now.



    Plan to go Calendar next. Would've gone for Great Library, but we have so much land after killing Khmer that it's not as beneficial to have 1 super science city compared to a large empire of Wealth building. Kind of regret the Academy for the same reason. Oh well, it will still help since that's the GP farm! May still go for Great Lib for the GP farm after I get Calendar.
     

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  7. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Finland
    1AD (some spoily info, I'd suggest to play a bit further before reading)
    Spoiler :
    My strategy until T60 was very similar with InovA.

    I snuck in fishing before pottery, as granaries/cottages won't be useful pre-attack anyway. A scouting work boat is very often a good idea on fractal. However, due to exactly poor scouting, I missed the cow and settled the 2nd city to a sub-optimal spot. Lucky for me that it allowed Sury to settle his 2nd to a good spot (as it's going to be mine soon). 3 workers, no barracks, attack his capital with 7 immortals on T54 I think.

    Civ4ScreenShot0446.JPG
    I didn't see much value in taking his weaker cities and rather let him live and grow some cities/workers for me. I didn't focus on REX, rather on working those sweet financial floodplain cottages asap. This meant getting monarchy first for :). Then towards CS, lost confu to Asoka by 1 turn but at this point it didn't feel important.

    Civ4ScreenShot0447.JPG

    1AD I still have only 8 cities. I am making nearly 300:science: per turn at break even :gold:, which is pretty high even with these traits. Won music, although that might have been just a distraction. No religion so don't want to start GA yet. GLib+NE up in former Khmer capital. Building up some army to take Khmer out for good. Poor bastard is WHEOORN on me. :lol:

    Civ4ScreenShot0448.JPG


    @InovA
    Spoiler :
    You have a nice position, and winning from there isn't going to be a big challenge. Judging from your posts you are an ambitious player and want to improve your play even further. That's why I'm going to be a bit blunt and call such REXing strategy simply a mistake. Maintenance costs go way up after 10 cities so many of those cities are slowing you down right now. In order to put your :hammers: into good use, you need to first produce a lot of :science:. Hence concentrating on :commerce: after the initial expansion (to say 6-8 cities) leads to the best results in my experience.

    Despite me having only half the cities you have, I think we have exactly the same amount of pop (57) at 1AD, I have roughly triple the :science: rate and already at least 6k:science: lead.
     

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  8. InovA

    InovA Immortal

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    @sampsa
    Spoiler :
    Thanks for the advice! I have been paying a lot of attention to maintenance costs in the past week or so, but believed REXing would pay off soon, despite its initial cost. In my post on another thread I notice the cost for a 15th city comes out to around 100:hammers: (100:gold:) Settler and -20:gold:/t (more with higher pop) in the end, but within ~30 turns it can be working enough tiles and have established trade routes to remedy the -20:gold:/t. And courthouses to bring it down to ~-13:gold:/t, so Wealth building after whipping Granary, Forge, and Courthouse can make it a beneficial city.

    But I think the point is that focusing on making 8 more cities (after first 8) into +10:gold:/t cities over 30+ turns compared to focusing on making your initial 8 into such powerhouses, like the +23.6:gold:/t (your average 1 AD) while my average is only +4.3:gold:/t (1 AD) and later +12.9:gold:/t (860 AD), where I finally match your 300:science:/t! I don't match your :gold:/city until 1100 AD, while in a Golden Age! Though I am at 21 cities at that point, so I know my cities are becoming really expensive, I just have the mindset that the hammers and whips from the cities will pay off and love the warring off this high production.

    My questions to you while I try containing myself in the future:
    • Did you tech Monarchy and Alphabet yourself or trade for them?
    • If this were a GLH game, would my natural plan of REXing this much be a better/equal play over making 3+ cottage cities? (Assuming coastal cities)
    • Did you skip a monument in the Khmer capital because it had enough food/hammers in the 1st ring for the Library to be fast enough?
    • Do you not think the forge is worth building ASAP? - You did just research MC last turn, so maybe just wanted to quickly save and put the game on hold, but I've been building forges everywhere as soon as it's ready. Though I recognize that my cottage city probably shouldn't have it.
    • Is the courthouse > the forge (for non-production cities) in your opinion? I see you're building a courthouse, though maybe the same reason as above.
    • Did you purposely delay Iron/Copper connections because you knew you were safe and wanted the cheaper 15:hammers: Warriors for Hereditary Rule's bonus?
    Thanks again!
     
  9. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Finland
    @InovA
    Spoiler :
    I think it's not that you can't make extreme expansion to pay off eventually, but that there are other things that pay back faster, like growing existing cities to work good tiles/specialists.
    • Self teched Alpha 1160BC. Was unfortunate that Mehmed got it 1T earlier, so could have gotten it via trade had I gone Math myself and partly teched Alpha. Put +100:science: into Monarchy and got it from Asoka for Alpha 700BC. Due to Sury being alive, "we yearn our motherland"-unhappiness was annoying pre-HR and for example his ex-capital was size 5 but with 2 unhappy citizens. After HR it started to explode in size of course.
    • GLH allows you to expand more profitably for sure. Still, probably the best way would be to grow those floodplain cottage cities and use other (coastal?) cities to whip some settlers. Maybe ~10 cities 1AD.
    • Yes, I knew Khmer ex-cap would be a GP-farm so went straight to library (2 chops I think). Unhappiness was a problem so couldn't work those high :food: tiles with maximum efficiency anyway.
    • I like forges, but usually I find there is something more beneficial to build (units/workers/settlers? fail gold or wealth to maintain 100% slider?). I often like to whip forges after 1st dip into caste+paci when I switch back into slavery+OR.
    • I deeply hate courthouses, but for organized civs I think they are OK. I did finish courthouses in both big ex-Khmer cities. Mainly because of the cheaper cost vs forge as I didn't want to whip those cities, rather grow before GA. Also that -1 :yuck: is problematic when growing is the aim. Not sure if it was the right call though. Think I'll be mostly skipping forges this game since I'm so close to astro that whipping them would delay the inter-continental attack (need to whip galleons+units).
    • Yes, built +10 warriors for :). Need to remember to delete many of them after Khmer is gone.
     

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