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Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Romegypt, Dec 7, 2018 at 11:51 AM.

  1. Romegypt

    Romegypt Your tank is now my tank!

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    So I have been playing on prince (Noble wasn't too hard anymore) and been getting smashed. What happens is, I do really well early game to mid-game, then get quashed late game or around when knights appear. What's going on?

    To see my playstyle I uploaded a video of a game to youtube. It didn't record my mike, so if I'm not doing anything on the screen, its because I was thinking aloud.

    Feel free to skip through the video. Let me know what I did right, what I did wrong, and that sort of stuff. I'd also appreciate if you explained why something is right or wrong. Thanks!


     
  2. Zavior

    Zavior Trying to (b)eat deity

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    Was this played on quick speed? Usually the games posted here are played on normal speed, so the timings might be a bit different.
    Quick comments from skimming the video:
    • Rostov should have been settled 2 tiles east on the coast, sharing the fish from the capital. As of now it has no food at all and you can't even farm anything near by.
    • Literally half of your empire is forests! Chop chop chop! Early hammers are the most important hammers.
    • Perhaps few more workers needed
    A challenge for your next game: don't build any wonders. Focus on expanding your empire, chop settlers and workers, tech to currency fast. Don't settle cities that don't have food! Share food from already settled cities if necessary.

    Also I suggest you read through this recent thread by Old Dude, it most likely already contains all the advice we are going to give you here :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 12:24 PM
  3. lymond

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

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    I watched about a minute or so, and have a few comments.

    1) First Quick/Huge is not a recommended setting at all. Quick speed is not doing you any favors, but map size and speed are relatively balanced to each other. So Huge is more for Marathon. So, point is, you have two major settings that are making things much more difficult for you, even on a very easy difficulty. I would recommend playing normal settings (normal speed/standard size) - no huts/events too (gives a false sense of your progress). Also, if you are really interested in learning, I would stick with standard maps for now. Pangaea is a great map for learning.

    2) Coastal starts can be tricky. You have to take into account starting techs (Fishing or not), as well as the food tiles on land. It can sometimes be a case where worker first is not always best if you start with fishing, but oftentimes it still is best to go worker first.

    Cathy starts with Hunting/Mining. You have grass cows (good tile) on land, and clams and fish in the sea. Your best food tile is the fish. You have a generous supply of forests to chop.

    Civ IV is about getting more stuff faster. Making better decision is the early game. And playing the map.

    AH is not a bad decision, but you will likely end up with idle worker turns. (Yes, you are teching Masonry but that is not a good decision)

    Based on the parameters in place with CAthy and the map, I would have recommend teching BW first here since you start with mining. Worker first. Then fishing. Worker should time just about right with BW so that you can start some chops. Chop workboats. AH>Writing probably good next.

    Not only will the early access to chops speed up workboats and subsequently growth, it will speed up your overall progress - growth, whipping, settlers, etc.


    That is it for now. Your settings are so not normal, that I really don't have much other advice to give. I'd just say that the stronger your early game, the better things will be later. If you are really interested in learning and getting better, then prepare to rethink/relearn much of what you think you know.

    I will recommend installing the Bug/Bull mods (SP option) or BAT, which can be found here:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/download-bug-and-bat-here.274636/

    BUG/BULL gives UI enhancements that provide you much more information - very popular here. BAT is BUG/BULL plus graphics in a stand-alone mod.
     
  4. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Just from looking.
    Worker first is always good build.
    You needed bronze working asap here. Don't be afraid to chop forest. By 880ad I am not sure you had chopped any. All that grassland you could of cottaged covered in forest. All those hammers to speed up builds.
    Try focusing on food/hammers early on. Chop more. Use slavery civic. Whipping settlers/workers early on. Masonry early on seems wasteful unless you plan on wonders? Noble Ai will be slow on wonders.

    It's 880ad and you only have 4 cities? Why did you stop expanding? No wonder you are getting crushed on higher levels. As a guide you want 7-10 cities by 1ad.
    2nd city around 2100bc date was late. You had a cow resource to grow on to size 3. Fish resource is strong but perhaps could of been chopped after BW. Or whipped once at size 2. Going sea resources early on can slow down expansion. Many players can have 3 cities by 2000bc. More than possible here.

    Are you changing civics? I couldn't see you switch to slavery. Might explain your struggle. You have huts on too so you should have a big advantage here.
    Didn't see you trade any resources with other AI either.
    Are you using great people? Running scientists in cities with libraries?

    I agree Rostov should of been on coast to share the fish. Building a city with no food resource in inner ring is poor play.

    You don't need archers early on. Warriors are ample. Same for walls, colloseums, market places and temples

    Overall it feels to me there are so many aspects of this game you are simply not using. Albeit cottages can be good use of workers to help build your economy.
     
  5. Romegypt

    Romegypt Your tank is now my tank!

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    my thought was to make rostov a cottage city. Thanks for the advise guys.

    I didn't realize my settings were wonky. Normally I have a lot more cities, but last game I crashed hard and all my units went on strike, so I slowed down expansion. You would've heard my thoughts if my mike was working :(

    As a general rule I don't like city overlap. Is it a good thing?

    Why is slavery hyped? I feel like killing pop may not really be useful.
     
  6. Zavior

    Zavior Trying to (b)eat deity

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    Slavery allows you to convert food into hammers. Even the most hammer-poor city can crank out units if it has food via slavery. It is the most powerful civic in the game bar none.

    City overlap is fine. You can for example settle a 'helper city' next your capital just to work the cottages that will pass over to the capital as you switch to bureaucracy.
     
  7. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Slavery is a very useful civic.
    It has more uses and benefits than any other civic in the game.

    Slavery and the granary is a match made in heaven though... With a granary, it takes you about 12-16 food to grow 1 population. That population can then be turned into 30 hammers.
    Thats an insane conversion ratio.
     
  8. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Chieftain

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    For reference, on Normal speed, it takes 20+(2√ócurrent city population):food: to grow another pop, or effectively half of that if you've got a Granary.

    As for why Slavery is such a powerful civic, I should add that whipping hammers are base hammers, meaning they go through whatever production bonuses you have based on your traits/buildings/civics/etc. Catherine, for instance, will get 45:hammers: per pop when whipping a Settler (Imperialistic trait) and 60:hammers: per pop when whipping a Library/Theatre/Colosseum (Creative trait), barring additional modifiers. In addition to that, there's also the benefit of getting something out now. A whipped Settler can settle a new city earlier (possibly getting it before an AI can), a whipped worker can start improving stuff immediately, a whipped unit can start defending the city it's build in immediately, and although it is less efficient to whip Wonders directly (less :hammers: per pop), it is nevertheless still possible to whip a Wonder and get the benefit of it right now, possibly before an AI on the other side of the world gets it done first. The same applies to forests, by the by. Getting 20 or 30:hammers: and a tile to cottage/farm now is worth more than the decent yield tile and :health: bonus you'd get after being stuck with a junk tile for several thousand years.

    Out of curiosity, how many cities did you have last game when you went into strike?
     
  9. lymond

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

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    Slavery is the single most powerful mechanic in the game ..bar none ;)

    @Romegypt City Overlap is not only fine but often more optimal. As I emphasized above, expect to relearn almost everything you think you know about the game.

    For perspective, pretty much every problem you have already mentioned can be easily fixed. With understanding a few basic things, you will soon absolutely destroy Prince level.

    Slowing down expansion is not fixing your strike issue, it is rather the idea of using bad gameplay decisions to try to overcome past problems.

    My recommendation, oft used here for new guys, is to run a shadow game here getting advice from the start. It will totally change the way you play the game.

    3 golden rules for you today:

    1) Granary is the most important building
    2) Worker the most important unit
    3) FOOD is KING
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 3:33 PM
  10. Romegypt

    Romegypt Your tank is now my tank!

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    I see. Slavery does look good. I restarted the game, and am uploading the new one to youtube now- My mic is working as well. I didn't whip anything, I kinda forgot, but I feel like I did play a lot better. Got to 4 cities just after 2000 BC. This game is on normal/standard size, with 12 AIs. I like a lot of AIs.

    I had 9 when I burned I think? At about 950 BC. I'd chopped the everliving life out of every forest in my borders to pump settlers. Then I did nothing but workers, granarys librarys and defense. Cottaged the heck out of everything. I came out of it, but was so hopelessly behind, I scrapped the game.
     
  11. Romegypt

    Romegypt Your tank is now my tank!

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  12. lymond

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

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    @Romegypt

    First, never build scouts.

    That is a very bad start. Occasionally, one will roll a start with just a plains cow, which though a good tile is not really food. If that happens, reroll the start. you want at least one good food resource (corn, pigs).

    Video doesn't really do much for me other than demonstrate a few clear early problems. Not much to say really with such a bad start.

    Again, I suggest posting a game from the start for advice. Also, as I mentioned and linked above, I recommend highly installing BUG/BULL or BAT. BUG has a nice dot map feature for planning cities, among many other great things.

    Also, recommend playing Pangaea for now if you want to learn. Normal settings, normal number of AI. If you want to learn, then learn. You can play around with odd settings later on at your leisure, but I would go with what we recommend for now.

    Note on huts - Well, play with them as you wish, but keep in mind that as you move up difficulty they become far less beneficial. And again, they give a false impression of your progress.

    I will point out an important mechanic of the game. City and distance maintenance. More cities cost more maintenance, and the distance of these cities increases it as well. It's a balancing act early on as you expand and establish your economy. Rexxing is fine as long as you know how to handle it and recover. My recommendation for now is to continue expanding in your games early but settle cities judicially. Settle for food first and make sure cities are connected for trade routes - very important. Cities are connected via road, river and coast (within borders or after Sailing). Foreign Trade routes are very important and should be established as soon as possible.

    Slavery and whip I can assure you is absolutely crucial, and you will discover this overtime. This map was very bad and you did not have any food or settle as such, but we can go over this later if you post a game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 3:43 PM
  13. Romegypt

    Romegypt Your tank is now my tank!

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    I did post this game from the start. I am also doing quite well by the end of the video.

    I know how to play the game, I know the mechanics. I just want to get competitive and really efficient like people like sulla.
     
  14. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Agree with Lymond horrible starting location. Your not learning much from that start. I would of rerolled. Your scouting move toward forest was a poor choice on turn 1.
     
  15. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Don't think your doing that well.
    Your capital growth is determined by a 3f cow resource. It may be size 5 but you have no great tiles to work. You could farm the spice tiles? In my games I would be whipping away unimproved tiles.
    Your gold city I would of split into 2. You want that rice tile farmed. I would of cottaged the flood plains and as city grew to size 5-6 working these you can gradually add the gold resources. Settling 1E would of been better.
    Rostov is a nerfed city. Has no food resources. Will struggle to get past size 3-4 here. For those lakes to be useful you wanted this to be a coastal city with a lighthouse. Growing on 3 lakes or grassland is painful. Rostov settled 1S as well. Still not a great city 1S.

    Technically you are playing the game but if you want to move above prince level you need to work on the game basics. To do this you will have to embrace game mechanics like slavery.

    You will struggle on this game later on as your capital is not a great bureau city. Your science will be okay for a while here due to all those gold resources. At present I struggle to see where your economy will come from here.
     
  16. Romegypt

    Romegypt Your tank is now my tank!

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    Part of the issue now is I'm not super motivated. I haven't seen anything I've done be considered good, and so now I just kind of feel like I'll never actually get better.

    The idea is to play a game and get critiques on what I've done so far, not to have people tell me what to do every five turns. Do that and slowly move up the difficulties. I played a seperate game where I didn't do as well, but I focused on whipping, and making sure that mechanic is cemented in my mind.
     
  17. Olafeson

    Olafeson Chieftain

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    I am going to watch your youtube video Nr. 2. Surely you are doing good things in your game. Quick note about myself as a Civ 4 gamer. I can win Immortal every time and around 40 - 50% of my deity games. I mostly start playing sloppy in the very lategame deity difficulty games. Besides that i played really a lot of Civ 4 (2400 hours according to steam) (and i even had a harddisc earlier :D which i lost) and i still do not know all mechanics of this game.

    So surely there are more expierenced players like lymond or gumbolt but maybe i can give some advice and point out good or bad things you did based on my own expierence. Surely a low food capital makes the game harder, but in terms of learning mechaincs and improving i think it might even be helpful.

    I still remember when i was playing on noble difficulty and had a hard time and thought deity was just some difficulty i would never win like ever.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 8:01 PM
  18. lymond

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

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    I'll be honest here, I mean this in a friendly way, I haven't seen much good at all in what I've seen in your videos. I say that to help you improve - not as criticism - we've all been where you are now. Best thing I saw was building worker first in the last game. Then you started with a scout this game.

    This is a very friendly forum. Many people here are eager to help newer players learn the game. We enjoy it. However, it does require listening and..more importantly as I've stated a couple of times..completely relearning the game. I'm talkin' tabula rasa. You think you know the game and the mechanics, but sorry, you do not. We can help you learn the game in such a way that you can move up difficulty quite quickly.

    Whipping is more than just understanding that you can do so, and whipping things randomly. It still should be done judiciously. Understanding things like how many hammers a whipped citizen is worth. Hammer overflow and how to maximize it.

    Trust me, this is a very complex game and you've just scratched the surface on what there is to know. I've been playing the game over 10 years and still learn new things.

    I say all this for the purpose of perspective. It's really up to you on how and how much you want to learn. We are not here to argue with you but only to help you and hopefully encourage you to keep enjoying one of the greatest games of all time. Civ IV is a very rewarding game. No..you don't have to be a Deity player, and you may not care for that, but even learning some solid basic concepts you can move up difficulty, and become competitive. (sullla was an okay player...but keep in mind that he played the game many many years ago)

    As for these videos, I really don't get much out of them. It's hard for us to critique these games if we don't have a save. Well, I guess it's okay once you get a good game to post some videos, but we still need saves at certain points to really get into it and see what you've done...as well as give advice much faster.

    And, if you post a starting save, others might play along with you some so you can compare games. That can be really helpful.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 5:34 AM
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  19. Undefeatable

    Undefeatable Chieftain

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    Trust me, you'll feel more motivated when you see how much you can do with an actually decent start :)
     
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  20. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    This game is insanly hard and complex compared to almost all games I have ever played.
    I don't think it's a coincidence that this attacts so many obviously brilliant people.

    Some quotes from a thread from the last few days:
    "I looked briefly at trends. It is only a weak correlation between wonders (but it is there). F.ex. if Oracle goes early, Artemis is early only 1 in 5 times (correlationcoefficient +0.27, measured by deviation of the finishingturns to the mean.)"
    "If I find time I can sort out how many of each maptype it is (iso, semi, continents and pangealike (all fractal tho), and also plot in number of IND leaders in each game and check differences. Multiple regression formula should suit the task." :worship:

    And if you want to see charts plenty, and a very friendly and rewarding conversation, check out the recent "cookbook"-threads.

    If there is one common goal everyone here on the forums has, it's to get better and to master a insanly difficult and complex game.
    If you show that you too want to get better, and that you respect that it aint easy (because it's not) people will flock to help you out.
    But if you have an attitude that you already know almost everything and only need a few small advices... Well the desire to help you out will be less.
     
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