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My Thoughts on the Various Leader Traits

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Darkgreen, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Darkgreen

    Darkgreen Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Messages:
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    I've played about 80-90% of the leaders and I have achieved every type of victory at least twice now and I've noticed something about the various leader traits. In my mind they seem to group like so

    Group 1
    -Industrious
    -Financial
    -Philosophical

    Group 2
    -Creative
    -Expansive
    -Organized

    Group 3
    -Aggressive
    -Spiritual

    Now, at first I thought that Elizabeth and Qin Shi Huang were going to be the most powerful leaders by far since I thought that the Industrious, Financial, and Philosophical traits were the most versitile and most powerful traits, however I noticed that leaders that have a mix of group 1 and group 2 traits do just as well. I've also noticed that overall, a leader with two group 2 traits is really pretty terrible. Overall, this is how I would rank the various combinations of traits:

    Group 1 & Group 1 - Good
    Group 1 & Group 2 - Good
    Group 1 & Group 3 - Okay
    Group 2 & Group 2 - Poor
    Group 2 & Group 3 - Poor
    Group 3 & Group 3 - Poor

    I've found that the only way this analysis can be flipped on it's head is if you are playing a warmongering game, but I'm big on versitility and it seems like the only hope those groups have that I've rated poor is to go the path of heavy war.
    Recently I've taken to only playing leaders that have one group 1 trait, but by that same token I've picked opponents that have at least one group 1 trait since opponents without the group 1 trait seem too easy to beat.
    I would like to see comments on this.
     
  2. Viklas

    Viklas Chieftain

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    Aggressive is in Group 3 for you? Really? I *love* Aggressive, and I almost never warmonger. That free promotion makes my units built for defense much, much more effective. (And, of course, get enough "defensive" units and you can launch a nifty pre-emptive war.)

    Personally, I'd put Philosophical in Group 3, but that's largely because of my play style: I don't use GP much... I can't be bothered to micromanage their acquisition, and they don't seem that useful once I do have them. (Except for the first Great Prophet & Great Scientist)

    Also, the consensus on this board (which I agree with) is that Organized is completely lame... shouldn't that be in Group 3?
     
  3. juballs2001

    juballs2001 The Sultan of Sweat

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    i beg to differ

    i am often the Indians as both leaders, so either Spiritual and Industrious or Spiritual and Organized.

    as Spir/Org I can have roughly 10 cities and be losing about 5 gpt at 100% science. I can support an army and all cities are doing very well, i also recieve no revolution time and discounts on civics.
    as Spir/Ind i can revolt here and there and never lose a step on any wonders. This combo is like a Gret Person farm as they get cranked out from 3-4 cities.

    i dont see how you can group the traits as no one trait is so overpowering like in civ 3.

    they are all pretty even, financial is really good, but i will stick with my Indians which i can win with on Prince and above
     
  4. Darkgreen

    Darkgreen Chieftain

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    Aggressive can be okay if combined with a group 1 trait and you nicely point out some of it's strengths, but overall to me it isn't enough. Yes, you get that free promotion, but in the early part of the game it seems like just a couple extra units will make the difference much more than an aggressive trait and in the later part of the game you should be able to have numbers to fend of anyone no matter if you are aggressive trait or not.
    I can maybe see if you are going to play a heavy offensive game, at that point the number of battles you are going to be fighting may make the aggressive trait worth it (as I conceded above when mentioning heavy warmongering games) but the aggressive trait severly limits versitility in my mind.
     
  5. Darkgreen

    Darkgreen Chieftain

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    Well, first of all, I think the Spiritual/Industrious is an okay combination as I rated it above. I am happy for you that you do well with the Indians, but you seem to pigeonhole yourself into strategies that depend on a lot of civic switching, and I am big on overall versitility and it weighted in on how I grouped and rated the cominations as I think I mentioned in my original post.

    When you say how you don't see how I can group the traits as no one trait is so overpowering like civ 3, I think you don't quite understand my orginal post because I agree with you. I think that there are COMBINATIONS of traits that are however overpowering.
     
  6. Saint_Saturn

    Saint_Saturn Chieftain

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    While I do completely agree with the listing you have provided, I do have to point out that I personally feel that, depending on what your ultimate goal is, 'aggressive' should either be fit for group 1 or 3. If you are not planning on going to war (or at least, not much), then aggressive is rather pointless, even though it can be contested that auto-gaining 'combat 1' is a real perk when defending against early barbs and defending against rushers *cough*(monte)..

    I do disagree with the above post in how philosophical should be a group 3 trait, as even if GP are not a large concern the overall bonus is tremendous. That means this trait is absolutely crucial to people who are striving for GP (such as me - I always do), but even if you are not focusing on them, having this trait will guarantee you getting a few more during gameplay, and the insta-bonuses a GP can provide are not worth overlooking.

    The only traits that I've found to be rather worseless are 'expansive' and 'spiritual'. Expansive is rather pointless as an extra 2 health p/ city may be helpful for a city early on that is going industrial, but by mid-game, you should easily have enough improvements to ward off any unhealthiness without having to resort to this trait. I also find spiritual is being pointless since the main advantage is no periods of anarchy. Now while this may be my style of gameplay only, I don't change my civic's all that much. Maybe 4-6 times in the game will I change them, and often if I do plan on changing, I will try and consolidate multiple civic changes to the same round, to avoid long periods of anarchy.
     
  7. Stageon

    Stageon Chieftain

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    For my purposes, I would order the list this way:

    Group 1
    -Financial
    -Philosophical
    -Aggressive (group 1.5?)

    Group 2
    -Creative
    -Expansive (group 2.5?)
    -Industrious

    Group 3
    -Organized
    -Spiritual

    That's just in general. Map and difficulty considerations matter a lot. I MAY drop aggressive into group 2 and expansive into group 3, it just depends.

    I disagree strongly about agreesive trait. No it's not uber powerful, but then neither are the other ones really. There's always a way to play to your strengths and avoid the worst of your weaknesses.

    If rushing, I'd say Creative/Aggressive take on much more prominence.
    If turtling, Financial/Philosophical/Etc are big.
     
  8. cleverhandle

    cleverhandle King

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    I agree that Aggressive is a bit sub-par. I think you really have to leverage it in the early game - the free Combat I promo means that your foot troops (from a barracks) can "specialize" (i.e. take Cover or Shock) immediately. But then for an actual conquering force I'd really rather have my Axes/Swords take City Raider anyway, so the specialization benefit only has full impact on skirmishing and pillaging units. Later on in the game, I don't see that Aggressive has any substantial benefit at all - once you have real combined arms and proper military civics, your wars will be more influenced by your economic and production infrastructure than they will by the relatively small 10% strength bonus. At the very least, I'd like to see the free Combat promo extended to mounted units - that would make games with no available copper a lot more warmonger-friendly.

    edit: Oh, and I definitely think you undervalue Spiritual. At the very least, being able to switch civics freely saves you several turns of anarchy over the course of the game, including the very important early one to adopt Slavery. And then there's the efficiency of always having the right Civic at the right time. It's also one of the more versatile traits in terms of playing style. The benefits of Spiritual aren't as flashy as some of the others, but I think they're just as significant.
     
  9. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    I think you should revise spiritual and organised now that the new patch is out. Organised is actually a good trait if you like expanding quickly, or warmongering. And late game when you want to switch more than one civic, they have raised the anarchy times significantly. 3 or 4 turns of anarchy usually costs me about 15-20 tanks as i typically have atleast 7 cities cranking out a tank every 2 turns...and a few several more building one every 4 turns. Before 1 turn of anarchy MAYBE two didn't bother me too much. but if you get attacked now you lose3-4 turns for the switch to vassalage/theocracy leaving you with a choice of more units without promotions or fewer decently promoted units...it can be a game saver if you have spiritual. Plus the greatly improved chance of an early religion means more cash early. Also it means neighbors are more likely to adopt your religion which improves trading greatly and they spread it for you...so even MORE cash. I think my next game will be a spiritual civ probably with the aggresive trait. Occasionally i play a game where I found one religion and try to play holy warrior. I switch to theocracy as soon as possible and stay there forever. This keeps foreign religions out. I then refuse all trade or diplomatic relations with the heathens. After all land is settled I begin going to war with heathen civs. any cities i take with a foreign religion i raze EVEN if they have good wonders. They are unclean therefore must be purged. Once i have achieved my goal of every city on the entire map being one religion with no other religions present. i just stop playing. I usually start a game with a goal in mind other than this victory condition or that victory condition. I try and give my games a purpose. Sorry if I drifted off topic
     
  10. Crimso

    Crimso ...aaaaaagh!

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    It's cool man, just break that into smaller paragraphs next time.

    Yeah, I think the traits are a great aspect, because depending on our playing styles we'll all rate them differently (let's try to keep that in mind!). I'm on Monarch, just for reference. Here are my thoughts (experience, and theory):

    Agressive: I had an addiction to this once. Then, I thought back to Civ III, where the Militaristic trait was really unneccesairy to a warmongering strategy. I have been trying to reach this point in Civ IV, with no luck so far to be honest. Damn.

    Creative: I rate this very low. There is the obvious immediate advantage, but after that, almost nothing. I will always go with the long term advantage over the short one. You people must convince me that this trait is worthwhile.

    Spiritual: This trait comes down to play style more than any thing else. I am not one to frequently change my civics, and thus cannot percieve any advantage in the trait. Others will obviously feel differently.

    Philosophical: Again, playing style is key here. Me, I'm not crazy about Great People. One prophet, four scientists, and one or two artists are all I need. Anything else is just icing.

    Industrious: Like Civ III, I am trying to minimize wonder addiction as much as possible. Avoiding wonders entirely did "wonders" for my skill, and I'm trying to recreate that here. I am actually quite surprised (to be nice) at the sheer amount of wonder addicts here. Is wonder-addiction an out-dated concept though? I certainly hope not. I do love forges though, oh yes I do.

    Financial: I am absolutly in love with this trait. Oh my god. *drool* Commercial and Industrius (France) were my favorites is Civ III, so you can see where I'm coming from.

    Expansionist: I like this trait. In theory, it alows you to focus on one limiting factor in the growth of your cities instead of two. Cheap granaries are also great. But it's usefulness can be quite dependent on the situation, which is dissappointing.

    Organized: Plain and simple, Financial will get me more wealth/beakers in the long run. That is my bias. I've done the rough math, and Organized seems to be only good for using the highest-costing civics coupled with a constantly expanding empire. I'll take Financial cottages over that any day. I am one to take full advantage of my traits, and not one to run Police State, Vassalage, Eviromentalism and Organized Relegion at the same time.

    Keep in mind my opions can, and probably will, change in the future.
     
  11. patmcq

    patmcq Chieftain

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    I disagree with your evaluation of several traits. Versatility is not a major concern for me, they gave leaders traits so there would be a certain way to use them best. I have found that having a cohesive strategy and sticking to it for the whole game helps me win on higher difficulty, because you can't half-ass anything when the AI is cheating. You also seem to neglect cheap buildings in your ratings, which can be a nice advantage to some civics.

    My thoughts on the traits:

    Industrious: I'm finding this less useful as I move up the difficulties, as it lends itself to wonder addiction. As the AI cheats more it becomes less and less worthwhile to go for wonders. Spend the hammers on units and steal the wonders you want. Cheap forges are nice though.

    Philosophical: Doesn't really give that many more great people, just means getting them sooner, which can be big. It can work well for most strategies. Cheap universities are always a help.

    Financial: It is pretty much universally accepted that financial is the best trait in the game.

    Creative: Okay if you're lazy I guess. Obelisks are cheap and stonehenge is easy to get, so I don't think it's that big of a deal. Cheap theaters are good for setting up culture in conquered cities.

    Expansive: I think this one is really underrated. Cheap granaries can make a huge difference in the early turns, the most important part of the game. The 2 health makes it so your cities can work more tiles sooner, giving you more of everything when it counts. Or, you can support more specialists, leading to more great people.

    Organized: Not as bad as everyone thinks. Yeah, financial means more gold in the long run, but organized can be clutch for early expansion. The patch made early civic maintenence a lot higher, so it helps keep you in the black until you can get towns established. Maintenance is a ***** if you expand really fast, and cheap courthouses allow you to get a bigger empire sooner, which once again gives you more of everything during the most important part of the game, as well as grabbing key resources sooner.

    Aggressive: 10% is often the difference in fending off the barbs, and cheap barracks get those promoted units out sooner when it matters most. Having combat 1 right off the bat also makes better bonuses availible with a single promotion. Having cover or medic on fresh units before theocracy or vassalage can be quite powerful.

    Spiritual: You say you value versatility yet you knock on spiritual? Changing civics all the time is the definition of versatility. Your civ can be geared towards whatever you want at any time, and you don't have to commit. Also, shifting civics and state religions to match another civ each time you talk to them can give massive relations bonuses, so you have war allies when you need them and can trade techs freely to stay up to date. Cheap temples are the icing on the cake.

    Overall, any trait can be powerful if you use it right, so pick a leader that fits your style.
     
  12. Luhh

    Luhh Chieftain

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    Uhm, the most powerful mix I can think of would probably be Creative/Organized, but no leader has these traits. Combine this with a good ancient UU and you have the perfect warmonger imo. You don't have to worry about culture and you can sustain a large empire and many units.
     
  13. zafyro

    zafyro Warlord

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    agrassive trait is now most valuable with increassed barbarian activities... there´s a huge diference in a unit with, or wothout combat 1 when fighting a barbarian on monarch or superior
     
  14. LordTerror

    LordTerror Chieftain

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    Well, I just have a few things to say about this:

    -Organized and Aggressive should be switched. Aggressive is only good if you are in war alot, so it can be very good (1) or very bad (3). I think group 2 is a good group for aggressive. Organized (usally about 10-15 extra gold/turn) is horrible compaired to financial (usally about 10-15 extra gold/turn per city), so I would put it in group 3.

    -Group 2 & Group 2 can be okay.

    -Unique units and starting techs can sometimes make more of a difference than the leader traits.

    Other than that, I agree with you.
     
  15. Gufnork

    Gufnork Prince

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    *sigh*

    In these discussions you must mention what difficulty you're playing. I'm convinced that the OP plays on moderate difficulties, but he never mentions it. Expansive and Industrial are worthless on some difficulties while one of the best on others.
     
  16. Glinka

    Glinka Prince

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    There simply will be no agreement on what traits are best or worst, because playing styles are so different. About the only thing we can say for certain is that the developers felt some combinations were devastatingly effective, because they didn't include them in the final cut. Even so, that's their opinion, as well, because there are bound to be some players here (and I'm not among them) who have put in as much time by now, and have evolved their own approaches to Civ 4.
     
  17. Carrot

    Carrot Chieftain

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    Obelisks become obsolete already at Calendar so I have found that an early CoL and establishing Caste System will give you those crucial 10 culture, from employing an artist, cheaper. All it takes is three turns of limited productivity and you're set! I think this is a reasonable compromise and it saves a few hammers too. Plus you get early access to Courthouse for sustaining a rapid expansion rate.
     
  18. petey

    petey Prince

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    I think that as you go up in difficulty, Expansive becomes more and more uselful and Industrious becomes less and less useful.

    The extra health that Expansive gives helps offset the difficulty modifier to that on higher levels and lets you get decent sized cities with less trouble. Also, the cheap granaries make pop rushing early city improvements much easier. With Industrious, since the AI gets to the techs for the Wonders so much earlier than you and has production bonuses of its own, it generally gets them anyways, so Wonder strategies are less productive on the higher levels.

    Financial is the best, but Organized lets you expand quicker. The main effect of the extra income from Fin takes some work to get the maximum benefit out of, so it doesn't help as much for early expansion and if you're going to use an early warmonger strategy, then it doesn't help out as much during that period.

    Creative is OK, but it's duplicated by Stonehenge, which is dead easy to get at any level, so is essentially a waste. Spiritual is much better now that Anarchy takes more than one turn and if you don't mind micromanaging your empire, it can be one of the most powerful.

    Aggressive is good for the early game, which is by far the most important, so that makes it a valuable one to have. All the GPs from Philosophical make it extremely powerful throughout the whole game, too.

    There are benefits to all of them and which one to use depends on which strategy you're going for.
     
  19. zafyro

    zafyro Warlord

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    organiced is also a bonus because of half prized corthouses... also 15 coins per city is not realistic at all unless you are spamming cottages and need some time to be of use unless you are in a heavy flooded [rivers] region. For sure you will have more gains but a organized civilization can make use of high upkeep civics without so much impact in early game [organiced religion and vassalage]

    Half price courthouses are so much better than half prize banks...
     
  20. Breunor

    Breunor Deity

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    The discussion not only depends on the LEVEL people are playing on, but the MAP also.

    For instance, on a low resource map like Plains having the 2 extra health may be the best feature, but on a resource rich map it may be next to useless. My first prince win was the Persians on plains, which I got randomly, but the extra health helps.


    I also think we should think about adopting to the traits. That is, if you are industrios, you should build wonders or you lsoe a characteristic. (I recognize that on harder levels this may just be impossible).

    So, if I'm aggressive, I do tend toward a military game and if I'm industrious, its wonders!

    Best wishes,

    Breunor
     

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