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Moving from Monarch to Emp

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by bdubbs, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. bdubbs

    bdubbs Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Messages:
    82
    Hey everyone, so the last few days I've been trying to make the transition from Monarch to Emperor level difficulty and I've been getting beat pretty bad. I love the new challenge, Monarch felt very easy because I was able to get an early tech lead in virtually every game, expand at my own pace, and basically win however I want in most situations. So I suppose this thread would more properly be titled please help me snag my first emp win.

    I've been consulting the strategy articles, but I'm still struggling with my early game micro. To this point I've only tried the Roman empire on emp, and early warfare has never seemed so daunting, running the tech slider on 20% at a deficit is a position I've never been in on any difficulty before emp and even in the games I had some success in my early wars my economy was so crippled by the end I didn't know how to bounce back.

    The details of the map are it's a standard size pangea map, emperor difficulty. huts and events are on (I forgot to turn them off) and I am Augustus, which will prove problematic when it comes to capturing new cities later imo because I won't be able to get cheap courthouses.

    In my most recent game I felt like I had a good capital location. Rome is placed on a sugar tile (+3f) with a wet corn, and clams in the first ring with bananas and gold in the second ring. Screen shot is in the spoilers section because the image is pretty large.

    Spoiler :


    The way I look at things I have a few options to start, but I am drawn to building a worker while teching bw so I can chop a settler immediately because its the only way to ensure I get this city instead of Wang Kon. This is the option I think is best because even by grabbing that location I only end up with 4 cities that I can settle with pre calendar food. When I tried to tech ag/bw and improve the corn first, or built a work boat first I lost this city.

    Spoiler :


    I have Atrium by turn 30 by juggling the corn and clam tile to make the worker and BW finish on the same turn, switching to slavery as the worker moves into the first forest tile, and 2 chopping my settler while mostly working the unimproved corn. I managed to time it out so that the turn after the settler finishes and Rome starts a work boat, ag finishes and my worker can start improving the corn the same turn.

    I start a worker in Atrium, I still have a gold tile to improve in Rome after the farm is finished so I keep my worker in Rome. Looking at tech now AH is an option, but I only have the sheep resource to benefit unless I pop horses, and even then this isn't a game where I'm really depending on getting horses. I decide on the wheel -> pottery because I know I'm going to want granaries and cottages as soon as possible.

    As soon as my farm on the wet corn finishes I send the worker to the gold, and 1 pop whip the work boat at size 2 overflowing into a warrior. The gold mine finishes the turn before I grow to size 3 and I again decide not to move my worker to Atrium, which is 7 turns away from it's own worker. It would take me 5 turns to get a forest chopped over there, and I want to save the forests over there for something more useful and make the most of my worker turns. Pottery is 2 turns away, so I decide to build a road where the cottage will be (which will also be part of the road to Atrium) while I wait to place the cottage on a riverside tile.

    So now pottery / road finishes, worker starts on the cottage, my warrior finishes in Rome and moves eastward to where I like my 3rd city spot, Rome starts another warrior to garrison in the city while it grows to size 4, and Atrium is 5 turns from its worker and I'm at 2520 B.C. with no idea what the smartest thing to do next is.

    I need to get AH at some point, but as I said before I don't feel pressed about knowing where the horses are. (and I have played the map before)
    Spoiler :
    I have horses in Rome, but do not remember which other civs start with horses nearby, there's iron nearby too
    I don't have a pressing concern to find the iron either, I wouldn't be trying this particular game over and over again if I didn't have iron nearby ;) but I do have jungle that needs to be removed to make my third city strong enough for the future Praet rush.

    mysticism looks good, I'm going to need a monument in Atrium to pick up that wheat and 2 fps, and help strengthen its cultural borders by getting them going earlier. (I waited WAY too long for this last game) I might also be able to get some failgold out of Stonehenge, but I think it should be coming pretty soon so I'm not counting on it.

    It seems too early to bother with writing, no need for sailing, iw is also tempting because I plan to place a city that could benefit greatly from being able to remove jungles soon.

    I happened to be using Augustus this game so if I wanted to make an oracle play it would favor feudalism over CoL imo because I wont have the bonus building courthouses. This would favor beelining to monarchy and hoping I can get it before someone builds the oracle.

    So there's a save of where I'm at, 2520 BC. Apologies in advance for the poor scouting, this is like my 3rd time trying this game and I know exactly what and who is out there, as well as the limited food resources nearby which is really what's dictating my city placement at the moment and why I just left my scout warrior in Atrium when I founded it. I'll put a couple screen shots in a spoiler section of where I plan to place my next cities.

    My last game I got my 4 cities up asap by chopping and whipping, teched IW after pottery and started chopping / whipping out Praets, which was fine other than the fact that my economy was shot, my cities were underdeveloped, and even though it was relatively successful it did not set me up strongly for the rest of the game. I'm particularly interested in tips about my tech path, priority builds, and the date I should be aiming my Praet rush for so I can take out a neighbor or two. Ideally I'd like to rush before LBs or if that's not possible without crippling myself aim for early siege. Thanks for any input, and trying to help me get my first emp win! :D

    Spoiler :
    These are the only locations nearby with some kind of food resource
    Spoiler :
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Neinet

    Neinet Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Messages:
    13
    I think that your city plans are very spread out. You have nearly no overlap between the cities' BFCs. This not only increases maintenance, but you also lose use of resources. Your cities can't really use that many tiles until you expand your happy cap, especially if you're heavily using slavery.

    If you're building up to 4 cities before planning a war, you may be unnecessarily delaying it, requiring you to spend more resources on it. By what date was your rush finished last game?

    I'd definitely research Animal Husbandry next for the food resource in Antium. Food is a very very major factor in cities. At the moment, since even 6 cities is a stretch without war, a rush of some sort is probably best.


    I also played along to 700 BC here. It's an interesting map.
    Spoiler :
    I researched animal husbandry immediately to work the food in Antium. Then, I decided on my 3rd city location
    I put a 3rd city here in the end after horses were discovered.
    Civ4ScreenShot0000.JPG

    I researched horseback riding as well, and followed it up with a horse archer rush on Egypt. I chose Egypt because the Zulus build a lot of units and Korea is protective, and the rest of the civs are too far away. I stayed on 3 cities, and built a barracks and stable in all of them. I'm not sure if this was the right choice, as I am not sure if I plan on going to war with anyone soon after Egypt.

    Here's a couple screenshots

    I attacked ASAP before they got defenders up and moved to pillage copper

    Civ4ScreenShot0001.JPG

    They only got 1 spearman out before I pillaged it

    Civ4ScreenShot0003.JPG

    I made a cease fire so that they'd move some units out of Memphis.

    Civ4ScreenShot0004.JPG

    I actually thought at the time I may have messed up and attacked with too little here. The battle was closer than I would have liked, but Memphis was conquered.

    By 700 BC Egypt is destroyed. Back home, I discovered alphabet and traded for iron working and sailing. I also am running scientists in Rome for a great scientist. Overall, the economy is going well in this situation after the rush. For future plans, it seems like it may be a good map for a cuirs, as there is both horse and iron with some stables already built, and the tech situation looks good..

    Civ4ScreenShot0005.JPG

    Civ4ScreenShot0006.JPG
     
  3. bdubbs

    bdubbs Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Messages:
    82
    So I had a chance to check out where you were at when I got home, and I can't believe it never even occurred to me to put a city on the horse and wheat. Having that city has made this game a lot smoother for me than the ones before it. I decided to stick with my Praet strategy though, and it might be about to pay off. I'm at 300 B.C.

    Spoiler :
    I forgot to take screens along the way, but I followed your lead for the immediate few turns, researching AH and founding my 3rd city near the horses and wheat. I teched IW instead of horseback riding, followed by writing and alpha. I got libraries up in my first 3 cities while I waited to hook up the iron (already had barracks everywhere) and I decided to take my shot at Ramesses as you did because my previous games I went after Korea and Shaka with less than optimal results. I definitely slowed my rush down noticeably by founding the 4th city and building libraries, but I think they are both moves that are going to pay off in the long run, especially now that I can work the gems.

    I still prepped my rush with the first 3 cities, the 4th focused strictly on its own development. I DOW'd Ramesses in 625 B.C. The city on the Ivory had not grown large enough yet so it was automatically razed, I don't see where the benefits to that city are worth the costs anyway. Another city had just been placed in the jungle but was guarded by only two spearmen and fell quickly, again automatically razed. In 5 turns I'd razed the two outer cities and captured Thebes. I needed to heal before I made the final push on Memphis and Heliopolis so I made peace, the following turn Shaka declared on Isabella and like a loyal brother of the faith Ramesses declared on Shaka with her :eek: Needless to say once I was healed it was over quickly, I had already split my troops and took Egypt's last 2 cities on the same turn in 425 B.C.

    I kept Heliopolis but I razed memphis, it didn't have any food tiles and was almost all coast. I only lost 3 Praets to the war and I was still building more so I decided not to take the extra maintenance cost. I got to thinking about how I owed Shaka one so I decided to check up on how he's doing, and he's got about 6 archers between 4 cities that I can see, but he managed to take a city from Izzy a few turns ago.

    I have 10 Praets, 4 of which have CR 2 outside his border ready to move next turn, with another 5 still traveling back from the Egyptian area. I have no idea what kind of stack he might be fighting Izzy with but I'm confident that I should be able to do enough damage that he won't recover. Currently he has 2 archers in his border city, and only one in Ulundi.

    Something I'm concerned about though is Shaka converted to Judaism (The religion Izzy founded) 2 turns ago so if I declare on Shaka and he makes peace with izzy and he has a strong attacking stack in her land I could be setting myself up for a bad time. On the flip side if I wipe him out completely I would have the most land by a considerable chunk, and once I develop my new cities I should be able to win by Cuirs.


    Edit: Pulled an all nighter and Kept playing short update to 100 A.D.
    Spoiler :
    I had about twice as many Praets as I thought, I invaded Shaka about 5 turns after my last update in full force. Apparently he and Izzy hit a standoff after he took Barcelona, I was able to steam roll him with almost no resistance. I made peace with him when all he had left was Barcelona which could work 0 tiles because of cultural borders and an island city he settled. Might turn my eye on Boudica, I have a hand full of CR 3 Praets and the cultural border in the south from Boudica is strong will take a closer look tomorrow, I need to push out some more commerce, even with courthouses in 4 or 5 cities I'm getting about 34 gold at 0% tech and -115 at 100%, currently with 11 cities.
     
  4. oranje willem

    oranje willem Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    323
    Maybe you can post your next save? I agree with Neinet that it's often good to keep your empire more compact (cities close to each other). In general it is better to think short term with your early city placement, because it snowballs into a much greater advantage in the mid term. For example I would have settled atrium 1 south, so you can improve and work the wheat right away. I would even say it's a better city spot even if you were creative, since you only lose a floodplain, but gain more riverside tiles and it's closer to your capitol.


    I don't really like your idea to Oracle Feudalism, if you're going for Oracle then you should maximize the chance of finishing it before the computer, and Monarchy is not a cheap tech. Metal Casting is a solid choice, especially since you can get cheap forges. That would have been a better alternative.

    If you go for early wars like these, it is often wise to head for Currency once you have all required military techs, because with currency it is basically impossible to go bankrupt. I also would not stretch your war campaign too long, because even with currency it is often better to start building up your cities/land instead of spamming even more units for the next target. As long as you have a lot of land, you will eventually surpass all your rivals, pretty fast even when you micro manage everything well.
     
  5. yyeah

    yyeah Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
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    Location:
    Poland
    This is such a strong start.
    About city placecments its a preety large field to improove for you.
    For me natural 1st exp is 1E from wheet reasons:
    -food in 1st ring,next to river
    -you can shere 2 cotages and Gold mine with Rome ( oh there are horses, so you can shere horses and cotage and Gold mine)
    2nd exp would be depended where Iron is. But for sure not west from rice my plan would be SW from rice( is next to river and all good tiles you have in 1st ring!). After i reveled Iron ( i know where it is entered WB), i would settle 2W from rice.

    tech path
    Agc-BW-Wheel-IW

    This 2 gems tiles and Prets are very good excuse for IW thats no question about it.

    Worker 1st improove corn, choop WB improove Gm settler at size 3 whip another settler at size 5 probably depends how fast i would be on IW.

    If Wang settles that sheep i would say thank you Wang for settling cities for me thats a nice spot.

    Edit
    Going BW-IW and settle Iron as 1st city could be a better play here but since we start with gold theres no reason for me not go for agc 1st.

    Do you have starting save ?
     
  6. bdubbs

    bdubbs Chieftain

    Joined:
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    I don't have the true starting save, but I do have a turn 1 save, so assuming you don't hate where I settled rome it shouldnt be an issue haha. I completely agree with liking the space 2w of the rice but I didn't want to place the city on the jungle and since I didn't tech IW early taking the time to chop that jungle didn't seem like the best move at that time.

    Very curious to see what you do here yyeah, I've seen you around the boards, and seeing what you do in the same game would be an awesome way to reveal some of the mistakes I've made and some of the things I could do different. It sounds like the 2 cities you want to settle could turn Rome into a strong bureaucracy capital.
     

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  7. bdubbs

    bdubbs Chieftain

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    I decided not to make a run for the oracle, it just didn't seem like it fit this game for me, but you're right that MC probably would have been the way to go. As far as placing cities, it's always been the weakest part of my game imo but I'm definitely learning about the power of overlap.

    I forgot to save after I steam rolled shaka last night :mad: so I'll post the save I had a few turns before I declared on him, thanks for the input, and if you want to play the map I just posted a turn 1 save too. I already have currency, and my plan is to finish aesthetics to get some fail gold and then work towards CS
     

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  8. Lennier

    Lennier Emperor

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    Unless you deleted it or started another game, the initial save will be in the autosave folder.
     
  9. yyeah

    yyeah Emperor

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    Poland
    I like where Rome is settled
    Not exacly, this isnt strong bureaucracy capital better would be ... even that wheet spot i think ,but it can be strong NE spot. I would conquer good bureaucracy cap probably ;).
    Settle Rome is good especialy if you are planning early warring is allways good to settle 3f or 2h tile.
    I personaly dont know would i settle there becosue i dont rly like setling my capitol without access to river, in bureau cap i jsut have to have levee.
    But like mentioned this can be good NE spot so settle there is definetly fine with me.

    Why i mentioned about shereing tiles is beocuse you said that you have problems sometimes with eco while warring early. Placing 2 cotages on this grassland river tiles would help a lot, and usualy you want to 2 pop whip Prets or axes or sth w/e so shereing this 2 cotages is kind of importand thing. I dont think its like rly importand here becouse you start with gold but yea it is something what you can keep in mind.
     
  10. yyeah

    yyeah Emperor

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    Your sheeps :D

    Spoiler :

    6 cities 6 workers.



    Edit

    700BC

    Spoiler :

    My land 11 cities ( i think) 10 workers


    tech race :lol:

    tech path
    Agc-BW-IW-Wheel-Pottery-Writing-Math-Currancy now i dont know yet where to go (options are HBR,Constrtucion,Aste)
    Damn i forgot to sell my resources :mischief:

    producion


    Map winable with nothing more then Prets and We's i supose. Prets are just too op on dif. below deity.

    Realy fun map i think i will finish it :D

    If you want to check it out.

    Edit 2
    2 things witch i forget to write yesterday about your game.
    - you didnt road to any ai, when you reserch writing you want to road asap to ai for foreign :traderoute: ( not your target)
    - :crazyeye: amount of forest ( same Neinet), choop and whip army thats a lot of :hammers: if you lacking with workers make 1 wm2 guy and steal them.
     

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