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My Previous Game

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by WeirdoJoker, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Chieftain

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    Just suffered a Diplomatic defeat playing Spain (Standard map, Archipelago, Regent). Problems were:

    1) I felt handicapped by being primarily on tundra from the beginning, and by the time I was able to expand elsewhere (a later successful war vs. the Iroquois; not counting my defeat of the Celts, who were also mostly on tundra) it was pretty much too late.

    2) It also would have helped had I tried for a Cultural victory from the start, but I misled myself somehow into thinking I was militaristic/seafaring instead of religious/seafaring, so I kind of sunk myself on both counts. I had retired the Celts and Iroquois, and was more than 1/2-way through the Egyptians when the loss came in, but probably could not have taken out any of the others at that point.

    3) Because of low commerce, research took relatively forever, such that though I was able to catch up & keep up into the industrial age, several AI civs started to overtake me, and by the modern age their research buried me. I would have easily lost the space race to France, had France not won the Diplomatic victory (it had, incidentally, also built the UN).

    So, for my next game(s), especially as Spain: how does one deal with being stuck on tundra? I imagine it would involve settling/conquering further toward the equator and moving the capital there, but that's all I can think of. If successful, that might solve the other problems (along with proper use of the selected civ, which woiuld help), but I'm not sure how else to go about it.

    (Next game will be Tiny map, continents, Greece, for the space race, so I'll have time to try Spain again later.)
     
  2. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    Two suggestions:
    1. Don't feel obligated to finish every game you start. After 10 turns of exploring and you realize that your terrain stinks, consider generating a new map (similar settings, same Civ) and start over. Just toss that game. The point of the game is to have fun, and sometimes overcoming a horrible start isn't fun. I started a game recently with a Pangaea map and Japan, to let my samurai run wild. Come to find out that I was on a big island, and everyone else was on the main land mass, surging ahead. Nope; rolled a new map.
    2. If you do find it fun to try to overcome a tundra start, try to make a lot of coastal towns and space them closer together than you normally would. Prioritize mapmaking and build harbors. Their commerce can fuel your research, while you expand toward the green land.
     
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  3. jarred!

    jarred! Chieftain

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    1. Strategically, you should see a start in the tundra and start thinking how to get to better terrain. Tundra is low food, which restricts everything you're trying to do early (build cities, grow population). It's best to focus on exploration so you can move to greener pastures.

    2. The civ you choose should have little bearing on what victory you go for, the terrain should indicate that. In high-level games (like hof games), the civ you choose is important: religious is needed for fast 100k games, science is needed for fast spaceship games... But for just playing a random start (with or without using a random civ) you should be interested in how you can exploit the terrain around you to your advantage, as opposed to worrying that you won't be able to war like you wanted to.

    3. At low levels when the AI is able to research faster than you, it's generally cheaper to buy techs than to attempt to keep up with the AI. Put research to 0 and build up cash so you can buy techs from the tech leaders and then sell those techs around to the civs that don't have them yet to recoup cash.
    With good land, a human player should be able to outpace regent AI at research. Make sure you have enough workers to improve land so you don't have citizens using upgraded tiles.

    Look at traits like bonuses, they're nice to have, but generally not game-breaking. Celts are a great choice for early conquest games, but aren't militaristic. You should also read a story by @Lanzelot: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/gandhi-on-the-rocks.611443/
     
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  4. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Chieftain

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    I did that once before, playing Russia/Continents/Chieftain ... got stuck in tundra, just Retired & started over. This time, though, I wanted to tough it out & see how I could do.
    Thanks. That makes sense ... kind of like CxCxC...etc. I had some green, so I got a couple cities to expand, but not much.
     
  5. CKS

    CKS Chieftain

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    On regent, don't be afraid to walk your starting settler to the best part of your starting island. If it doesn't look good right where you are, look around a bit before settling. (Above regent, you probably only want to move if you can see something better or if your lands are really horrible.) If your first couple of towns have food to grow, you can get to map making pretty quickly, and then you can settle better lands before the AI get there.
     
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  6. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Chieftain

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    That hadn't occurred to me. I've moved a square or two before settling if I saw something I wanted, but never really hunted for better terrain.
     
  7. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    My instinct is always, "Settle in place". If I think that I might be close to the coast, but not on the coast, I will move my worker first, to see a few more tiles. I've always been afraid of losing those first few turns of research and building the first warrior to explore.

    What CKS is true; at Regent level, a skilled player can recover from losing those first few turns while your settler moves to a good place. Getting to a river, possibly with a food bonus, will let a player generate settlers and build her/his empire. You (WJ) have written that you're still building your game skills, and improving your consistency winning at Regent. My advice to you (at this point in your game) is to consider moving a tile or two to get to a *wonderful* location, but to focus on improving your skills at expansion, worker use, and improving your empire productivity.
     
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  8. jarred!

    jarred! Chieftain

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    I play at emperor, and here are my turn 1 strategies:

    1. If expansionist, move your scout first. It should be moved to the nearest, highest terrain available in order to get the most info possible about the start location. The worker should be moved second; if you think you should settle in place at this point then the worker goes to the highest priority tile to begin work, if you think you might move the settler then move the worker to a tile that will remove more fog, if possible. The settler, in all cases, should be used last.

    2. Non-expansionist civ start, no food bonus in sight. Worker is to be moved first, ideally onto a hill or mountain, but otherwise onto a tile which reveals the most land. Settler is always moved second.

    3. Non-expansionist civ start, food bonus is in sight. Worker should be moved first, onto the food bonus. I still may move the settler in this scenario, so the terrain revealed by the worker move is important.

    Generally, I'm looking to see if I'm near a river. A river in your capital's BFC is worth several moves. If I'm trying for a fast finish, I'll risk 2-3 turns on emperor (I'm still achieving the slingshot here). If I'm 'just playing' a game, I'll use as many as 5 turns (these games are at a lower difficulty). The commerce loss from moving your settler is easily made up with a high commerce river capital.

    A second thing I'm looking for is coast: I need to make the choice of whether to move to the coast, or away from it. Being 1tile away from the coast is a bad situation as those tiles won't be able to net 2food since the capital won't be able to build a harbor. This is less of a problem if you don't plan on building a hospital there. Being 1.5 tiles from the coast results in a similar situation (BFC may encompass coast).

    Blindly settling in place is a non-strategy, and should be curbed. Knowing when to move your settler is an important aspect of initial growth/expansion as well as empire productivity.
     
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  9. CKS

    CKS Chieftain

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    In COTM 2 (a monarch-level game), players started on a small peninsula. Some players settled approximately in place, and some wandered for a long time before settling (mostly 5 turns, I think). The players who wandered did much better, and so there was quite a discussion about settling vs wandering. I especially appreciated the posts by SirPleb, DaveMcW, and Aeson at the time, but there are useful posts throughout the whole thread. (I read the thread when it was new, but I didn't have Conquests yet, so I couldn't play this game. At the time, I would not have thought to move.)
    The discussion can be found at:
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/cotm-02-first-spoiler-end-of-ancient-age.93033/
     
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  10. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Chieftain

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    That is usually my thinking.* However, I will sometimes move one square if I can see something from where I stand.

    * Especially lately, when I have been consistently falling behind on research, such that even starting with Alphabet I cannot successfully achieve the Republic slingshot - which I have done before, so I don't know what's going wrong now.
     
  11. jarred!

    jarred! Chieftain

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    You could post some ancient age saves for other players to look at. The slingshot should be doable at Regent (maybe not on tundra starts!).
     
  12. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Chieftain

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    Not a bad idea. I think on my next start, if I miss the slingshot, I'll do that. I've done it before, but not every time, and it's annoying to start with Alphabet (while the AI civs don't) and still miss it. Of course, my current game just about to start, everyone starts with Alphabet (Greece, Hittites, Portugal, Scandinavia), so ...

    Edit: In fact, that may have been my problem last game. 6 out of 8 civs (including mine, Spain) started with Alphabet, and I was on tundra for that.
     
  13. tjs282

    tjs282 Un(a)bashed immigrant

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    Hey, wanna see my most recent start? (All Random, Large, Emp)

    Spoiler Here's what I saw in 4000 BC :
    Korea tiny island.png
    Spoiler Here's what I saw after moving the Worker and Settler in opposite directions :
    Korea island after moves.png
    Spoiler ...and here's what I saw in 3950, after moving the Settler once again :
    Korea island after moves 3950 BC.png
    Turned out that my starting island wasn't much bigger than what you can see here. No freshwater, naturally. The only consolation was a Cow-Grass and an Iron-Hill.

    And am I playing this one? Hell yeah, 'cos I'm a glutton for punishment.

    Spoiler After >100 turns of Curragh-exploration, I confirmed that... :
    ...this is a Continents map, containing the Ottomans, Germans, Greeks, Spanish, Japanese (Continent 1), Zulus, Egyptians, Americans (since deceased), Babs and Persians (Continent 2) and the Vikings (contacted, but not yet located).

    Oh what fun...
    If anyone's interested, the 4000 BC save is also attached...
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  14. jarred!

    jarred! Chieftain

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    This gave me the idea for a game we could play (potentially called "The Slingshot Challenge™") where a player posts a randomly generated interesting (READ: difficult) start, and other players dl the save and play until the slingshot is achieved (or lost), then everyone compares their game and we all learn :)

    Is there any interest in this? I would be fine with proctoring this (maybe with a co-proctor), and we could start a thread in GD or S&T to discuss some rules and regs.

    It'd be different from XoTM-style play since the starts aren't doctored, and the time commitment would be less (meaning, we all should still have time to play the XoTM games as well, of course).

    EDIT: Difficulties could be Regent-Monarch-Emperor? Lower difficulties might be too trivial, and higher difficulties might be impossible (desert Demigod start with no fresh water)
     
  15. tjs282

    tjs282 Un(a)bashed immigrant

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    I would love to know if anyone can achieve any kind of a slingshot from my start.

    Given the severe lack of fertile land* on my starting island, I didn't even bother trying for the CoL + Philo —> Republic sling: I decided that the Philo —> Mapmaking sling was my best bet. But even though I went 100% on SCI%, and was the first to learn Writing + Philo in my hemisphere, I still wasn't fast enough — though I did manage to pre(build) the GLight in Seoul; no-one else even tried for it (that I know of). So I already have contact with everyone, whereas my immediate neighbours have been too busy giving me War Happiness with their spurious DoWs to sail that far...

    Of course, I'm way behind right now. The most recent save is from about 400 AD, and though my substantial stacks of Swords+Cats have managed to take a large bite out of the Ottomans (who have no Iron), and bloody the Germans' noses, I still haven't quite made it to Republic (whereas the Zulus already have Gunpowder/ Muskets :eek: ). Once I get there, though, things should pick up speed. I also need to move my Palace to the mainland at some point — ideally with an MGL, if I can get one, so I won't have to abandon Seoul/GLight.

    *
    Spoiler +++Out_Of_Cheese_Error+++ :

    It currently has a grand total of 6 usable Grass-tiles (1 with Cow, 2 BGrass): 1 more is Settled (but has a Fish to compensate); 1 Forest-tile may have Grass under it; and 1 Grass is still outside my borders (because my Palace + GLight provides the only Culture on the island). Given that (without a Harbour, a Lib, and a Duct in each one), the non-Grass island-towns are going to be stuck at Pop2-3 until Electricity, I'm now idly wondering if maybe ICS-ing my start would have been the better strategy? I have the sites arelady picked out, and was planning to do that anyway, after I'd moved my Capital to the mainland — but maybe I'd have been able to move faster in the early game if I'd had more Commerce to play with.

    +++[Query]Redo_From_Start+++
    +++Computing_Please_Wait+++
    ...
     

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