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NC XLV - Zara Yaqob

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by CivilizedTiger, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. CivilizedTiger

    CivilizedTiger Prince

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    The Nobles' Club series started out as a way for Noble-level (and below) players to improve their game. Most of the original participants now play at much higher levels, so this has become a way for advanced players to help others learn to play better. You can play your own game at any level and with any mod, but it would be nice to comment on the games of other players and give them advice.

    Our leader this time around is Zara Yaqob:

    Creative offers quick border pops, allowing you to pursue techs more important than mysticism early on, along with offering a good advantage for any early culture wars. All in all, this is a fairly good rex trait. Cheap libraries are also very nice.

    Organized reduces the civic upkeep by half, which means slightly lower costs. It also offers double production speed for lighthouses, factories, but more importantly, courthouses, making Zara one of the best early expanders.

    Unique Building:
    Offers +25% culture, along with the normal +1 culture. Not much to look at, in my opinion, but it becomes very useful when pursuing culture victory. (unless I'm terribly misinterpreting what the % sign means :))

    Unique Unit:
    A musketeer immune to first strikes, having a first strike of his own and Drill I and Drill II promotions. I'd say this is one of the best unique units in the game, lending himself to nice middle-game wars.

    Starting location:
    Spoiler :

    Non-irrigated corn, good food situation early on, though it could be better.
    3 Dye sources for some very nice calendar-commerce.
    Very few forests, so not much chop-rushing.


    Map is
    Spoiler :

    Fractal
    Temperate
    Standard
    Medium sea level


    Some more serious spoilers about the map:
    Spoiler :

    The player starts in what I'd call a privileged position, being able to secure a large part of the land after blocking the AI. The reason why I wanted to host this one is because Zara is a good expander, and this map offers him a lot of land to expand into.

    The main downside of the map is that it's rather easy, or at least that's how it seems to me; that means that there's less of a challenge with this map. If you're good with noble difficulty, you might try prince here. ;)


    Finally the NC doctrine, which I've shamelessly copied from dalamb :p
    There are no hard and fast rules here: fun and learning are our primary goals, but we do request that you update your progress at various points in the game, using the Spoiler feature of the boards.

    Tentative posting updates are suggested at:

    4000 BC (starting thoughts, no spoiler required for that discussion)
    1000 BC or so (how you decided to progress up the early tech/build paths, which AIs you have met, where you're thinking of putting cities, etc)
    500 AD or so (after establishing some cities and a possible plan of action)
    1200 AD or so (mid-game, Lib race, wars or peace, or whichever happened or didnt, met other continent if applicable, etc)
    1600 AD (or when you have decided on a course of action and a specific victory condition)
    End of game (Victory!!! or defeat, no shame in losing, especially if you tried a higher level. Learning is what we focus on, not fastest win or biggest empire)

    Remember, these are only guidelines. What we really want are your thoughts as the game goes on, so if your strats don't fall into line with those dates, feel free to adjust your reports accordingly.

    We also welcome players to ask for specific game advice, as we have a number or stronger players who lurk and help out with solid tips, and of course, we help each other. Replies to specific questions should also be in spoilers, with a simple "@" in front of the person the answer is directed towards.

    Special Thanks go to Bleys and TMIT, who really made this series a great one, r_rolo1, mapmaker extraordinaire, for his maps for most of the series, and all of you for playing.

    The WB-saves are attached. To play, simply download and unzip it into your BTS/Saves/WorldBuilder folder. Start the game, and load your favorite MOD (if you use one), select "Play Scenario", and look for "NC45-Zara-Noble". If you want to play without huts and events, you can try "NC45-Zara-Noble-NoSurprises". If you wish to play a higher difficulty, you can try one of these: (events and huts disabled for all of them) "NC45-Zara-Monarch"(AI has archery as bonus tech), "NC45-Zara-Immortal"(AI has archery, hunting as bonus techs), "NC45-Zara-Deity"(AI has archery, hunting, agriculture as bonus techs)

    View attachment NC45.zip
     
  2. Chimera1804

    Chimera1804 King

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    Location:
    Canada
    Dang...in place doesn't seem like a bad option but settling one away from water...I'm gonna have to think about this one...

    I'll probably take a whack at it on Monarch/Marathon
     
  3. Sidney Magal

    Sidney Magal Latin Lover

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    Location:
    Brazil
    Finally a series where people don't try to impose their own views of huts and events and let us choose ourselves!

    Congratulations, Mr. Tiger, you are indeed civilized. :goodjob:
     
  4. cas

    cas Emperor

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    Not sure how anyone could 'impose' their view of events on you...I think you've always had the option to check or uncheck the box going through the game setup.

    :rolleyes:

    cas
     
  5. Amao

    Amao King

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    Shanghai
    Should try my first Emperor game or stick with more Monarchs? It's a question.
     
  6. duckstab

    duckstab Child of Noble Family

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    Zara's one of my favorite leaders to play. Unfortunately, I've yet to win a game as him. Maybe this time.

    I'm going to start by moving my scout 1SE to see if there's any reason to move to the coast. Otherwise I'll settle in place. Since the BFC won't have any water tiles I don't regard this as breaking the usual rule against settling one off the coast.

    Looks like Agriculture is the first priority, followed by Pottery and BW. I will probably try for Stonehenge which gives a free Stele in every city, but that might depend on how far away the nearest Stone is.

    I'll be using BUG 4.3, Noble/Epic.
     
  7. BigTime

    BigTime Prince

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    Jun 18, 2009
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    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Signing in. In place seems fine unless scout reveals something pretty. Immortal/normal as usual. Finally a normal Noble's Club map!
     
  8. Sidney Magal

    Sidney Magal Latin Lover

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    Location:
    Brazil
    You can turn events on alright. But what about huts, baby? Let me show you what one of the series hosts suggested:
    Meatbuster was the man: a map with huts and one without. Has any of you hosts ever tried to remove the huts in a word processor? You'd be surprised to see that clicking replace all "improvement=goody_hut" with a blank takes less than 15 seconds.

    I get that sloth can make setting two maps too tiresome for some people, but, if you don't have the energy, don't bother hosting a series. That's what I think.
     
  9. cas

    cas Emperor

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    I'm quite aware of TMIT's view of huts...and yours. However, my reply said nothing of huts, only that you were mistaken on events. If you don't have the energy to type an accurate sentence in your first zing, you shouldn't bother. That's my view.

    And you can always take time to host a NC game yourself. We've had plenty of different hosts contribute to this series now.

    cas
     
  10. Chimera1804

    Chimera1804 King

    Joined:
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    620
    Location:
    Canada
    Up to 150 BC Monarch/Marathon

    Spoiler :
    So I couldn't just wait a bit for pregame discussion and went ahead and started. I decided to settle in place, and ended up with horses in the BFC :D that was a help. I also nabbed stonehenge. I reloaded it once :mischief: cause my warrior escorting my settler was killed...while defending in a jungle! I wasn't going to take that and went back to the auto save (especially on my first game on Monarch). I realized after settling my second city that it was surrounded by jungle and I didn't even have BW yet...I more or less went straight for IW (with two little detours along the way for techs like Pottery...and something else which i can't remember). I had some barb trouble (again this is my first Monarch game...man barbs are tough now:cry:) but I stopped it losing maybe one warrior (all this was pre-archery and pre-BW). After that everything went smoothly; i settled another city...took three barb cities and razed a fourth with plans to settle next to it...but after re-examining the situation I ended up settling on top of the ruins...size 4 barb city down the drain...

    When I stopped my economy was pretty much as bad as in 1929; seven cities, no money resources (not counting calendar resources), and no code of laws. That and a large stack of axes for barb city taking. Just before 150 BC I finally opened borders with Boudica in the hopes of getting hinduism spread to me. The turn after I converted (it came in like a turn or two), BOTH Bismark AND Darius DoWed...Darius instantly dropped a stack next to my copper city, no sign of Bismark (heck I haven't even seen his borders yet).

    Spoiler :


    Sure they were Buddhist but the only minuses I had were "This war spoils our relationship." Both were cautious (and still are, in fact). Do Monarch AI regularly do random DoWing like this?

    Anyways, I'll probably loose the copper city before any help comes. All it had was a warrior (I've whipped an archer) and my axe stack is pretty far away in a newly captured barb city (meaning no roads). I know I don't have many screens (technically none) were there any obvious mistakes I made? Not that I've been able to give much info...just if there are some REALLY obvious mistakes twould be helpful to have them pointed out.
     
  11. DocBrown

    DocBrown Chieftain

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    Can I play these saves if I use a mac?
     
  12. calla

    calla Chieftain

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    2 quick qs - whats with the 5 different scenarios?

    and if you get stonehenge, does it count as the ub? i thought it would just overwrite it something
     
  13. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

    Joined:
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    Different difficulty settings and some of them have huts disabled while in others they still exist.[/QUOTE]


    Yes it counts as the Stele - the Ethiopians don't have a "Monument" building as the Stele overwrites it.
     
  14. CivilizedTiger

    CivilizedTiger Prince

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    @Sydney Magal
    Thank you, but unfortunately I can't take any credit for that. :) I was playing without huts when I stumbled upon this map, so I made all the maps without huts. When I remembered about them, I placed 21 on a noble map. (I copied it first) Unfortunately, I don't know if I'd have made two noble maps, one with events and huts, and one without, if I had been playing with huts on when I got the map, so, I can't take the credit. :(:)

    @chimera1804
    Spoiler :

    Well, this might seem mean, but... please post more screenshots. A screenshot of a war declaration is a lot less relevant than other screenshots you could have taken, which might have helped, most important of all being screenshots of your land. But you offered a lengthy description of your game, so:

    1. You have to understand something about marathon high difficulties, something which has been ruining most of my games at monarch (because I also play marathon): barbs spawn very often. In my experience so far, animals will almost always kill one or more warriors, and if by the third city, there is no axeman/archer in your army, you're almost always doomed. I used to rely on chariots at prince, but at monarch, spearmen appear soon, so chariots get slaughtered.
    2. This is the main reason why I wanted screenshots, because I can't make out all you know of the land from your minimap, so I might offer some extra spoilers: there is a copper source, very accessible, to the west of your starting point. I don't think copper can get jungled, and though that city will be almost completely useless until you get iron working, it will at least offer copper. And if you're playing marathon, you need either a source of metals or archery, if you want not to get thrown off the map by barbs. There is another copper source near Boudica's land, but I don't know if you have a city there.
    3. I don't know all of the techs you studied, but... I don't think iron working was good early on, considering that you could have had a decent situation early on even without taking down all jungles, or at least that's my impression, I might be wrong. But one thing which seems important to me, early on, is currency. If you want to expand/conquery early, the ability to build wealth seems essential to me.

    I'm rather surprised that you got attacked by Bismarck and Darius, considering none of them had borders with you. If you could have guessed you were the target, you could have asked Boudica and Qin to stop trading with them, but I don't know how the relationships between you and them, and them and them, were :).


    @Amao
    Well, my opinion is that you could try emperor, if you're confident enough with monarch difficulty.
     
  15. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    Signing in to play along. I screwed up my Hannibal game (Noble's Club 5) by not expanding enough, so I think I'll bail on that one and give this a shot. I've never played Zara, but the traits should add up to a hella large empire.

    I'll be playing on Prince/Epic, I think. I'll probably settle in place. I'll tech Agr first while building a warrior, and then probably go BW to reveal copper and allow chopping/slavery. I'm tempted to make a run at Stonehenge this game, since I suspect I'll be building enough cities to be worth it.
     
  16. Chimera1804

    Chimera1804 King

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    Location:
    Canada
    Went to 390 AD

    Spoiler :
    Not much good happened. Boudi and Qin are pleased with me now that the religious modifiers kicked in. Darius spent a lot of time sacrificing his soldiers to my gods of war :D after the initial declaration he quickly took two cities (defended by a total of three units...:blush:), but my ax stack came in and took them back with just one casualty. He sent another stack that was completely slaughtered. So far he and Bismarck still refuse to make peace. Also izzy DoWed a turn or two after I refused to switch to Buddhism, but there hasn't been any sign of a stack from her.

    Currently my research is at 20% and I'm getting +6 gold per turn. I've finally got CoL so I chopped out a bunch of forests to get courthouses out quickly. However even with trading it around to the few civs without it I'm still waaaaay behind in techs...:(

    I did get an overview screen and tech screens...in the overview the southernmost city has iron at the very bottom of it's BFC.



    Techs:
     
  17. lymond

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

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    @chimera - I'd recommend spamming cottages before rushing courthouses. Zaqob traits make courthouses less a priority and only probably for more distant cities. Cottages should help your economy before courthouses and if I reading your screenshot right, I don't see a lot of them. Your in a bit of a hole right now, but you have a lot of land so you may recover. Diplo needs some work. Darius is usually one of my better allies in most games and good tech trading partner. It appears that the Aesthetics line may be the best way to catch up on techs via trades with a focus on getting Monarchy and Currency. Happiness was light in the early going for me so Monarchy was a priority.
     
  18. CivilizedTiger

    CivilizedTiger Prince

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    @chimera
    Spoiler :

    That screenshot clears things up a bit. :D

    Please note that I'm currently struggling with monarch, so take this with a grain of salt.
    1. You haven't settled any cities for the western copper source. In my opinion, that's one of the mistakes you made. That city can grab rice, if you so choose, and have one copper mine and one rice field, being able to work a specialist or two before you can clear the jungle, but the main point is, it grants you copper very early on, which is important, and even more so when playing marathon. Also, if you had grabbed that city early on, you could have delayed iron working some more, allowing you to get currency earlier, for instance.

    2. I don't see any cities settled for the gold mine, but you surely must know that you have gold near your territory. Of course, you might have a city which isn't visible in this screenshot, in which case what I'm saying doesn't apply anymore. Anyway, the point is, gold offers 1 happy face, allowing you to have better cities, and it offers huge commerce boost early on. I think it can help you pay for two extra cities. (not certain, though)

    3. City founding order: I can't make out the names of the cities perfectly, but it looks like Gondar, your second city (unless you changed the names), is in the middle of the jungle, which means it was almost completely useless until IW. You almost always want your second city to be useful as early as possible, unless you desperately need to block someone, in which case a useless city might be ok. This wasn't the case, though, as there's no chokepoint here. (chokepoints are the places which make useless blocker cities rather important, imo)

    You might turn this around, and it would definitely be inspiring to see that you can rise from a double early DoW and a bit of less fortunate choices, but... remember... trying the map again from the start is more than acceptable in these games. ;) It's your choice, between a challenging game as you play now, or a game which feels more secure, but offers less of a challenge, in which you apply what you've learnt from this try.
     
  19. calla

    calla Chieftain

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    prince/epic here

    Spoiler :
    i wish that wave of barbarians werent in there :cry: i guess you put in the advice to get the copper first for a reason, but i wanted to try to skip over axes and get IW so i could start clearing out the jungles
     
  20. CivilizedTiger

    CivilizedTiger Prince

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    @calla
    Spoiler :

    There's no particularity to this map that would make more barbarians pop up. But there is one particularity which ensures that you will get a lot more barbarian trouble than other leaders, since there is a lot more land available to you, with no AI civilisation to take some of the barb attacks away from you. One of the good parts of deity, as I've read from others, is that the AI gets so many cities up so fast, that barbs are a lot less of a threat. Of course, on deity, you get a whole lot of other troubles. :)

    Anyway, another point is that the slower the speed you play on, the more barbs you seem to get, or at least that's what Silu has recently clarified for me, when I was asking for advice after having almost all of my monarch marathon games ruined by barbs. If you play on epic, you'll get more barbs than on normal, so you must be prepared.

    Getting the copper city up as soon as possible isn't something map-specific, except in the sense that there's a source of copper very close by on this map. But there's no escaping the fact that you want defense as early as possible. If you don't have copper, you either have to go for archery, or, if you can research fast enough, try your luck with IW. This map doesn't allow early IW as a viable choice, though. You'd normally want one commerce happy tile in your BFC for that, such as gems/gold/silver, maybe fur.

    The other point is: you need IW to clear out the jungle, but while you were researching it, you could have researched writing (plus a part of something else afterward), in stead, allowing you to have some scientists here and there and get a faster tech rate for other techs, most importantly imo, currency and CoL maybe. Don't get me wrong, this land has a lot of jungle, and IW will be one of your best friends in the game, but it can wait a bit. With the exception of the western copper site itself, you can set up at least 3-4 cities which have little, if any, jungle, before you need to worry about jungle cities.

    Anyway... I don't know what your game's situation is now, but... I hope you have a good game here! If you post more info, maybe some screenshots of the land you've settled etc, you might get more specific advice as well, not just this general pile of words. :)
     

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