Need Monarch Help


Nov 11, 2006
So, I win pretty much everytime on Prince. With random leaders, random map settings. On Monarch I lose everytime. Sound familiar?

I've read a bunch of articles on the forum and some of it has helped me. That said I'm still not improving quickly enough to keep up in Monarch. Is it normal to be WAY WAY behind in techs for like the first half of the game? Perhaps I'm just not being patient enough.

In any case, I suspect the problem is my early game strategy. I've posted an early save from a game I just started. Any early advice would be appreciated.

In brief here is what I'm thinking right now. I'm rushing 2 settlers before building a single worker which I'm guessing is wrong. But the map feels tight with the Incas and Mansa close in and I want to claim copper and stone while possible.

After I build the second settler I'm planning on building workers till I hook up the copper- maybe 3-4 total. Then building 4-5 axeman for defense while I let my 3 cities grow and allow my economy to catch up.

I'm pushing toward Alphabet to open up tech trading and allowing me to backfill the early techs and hopefully open up techs like currency early. I typically do not worry about Wonders or early religions and this game is no exception.

So...are there any basic things that I'm doing wrong? Lots of things?

Thanks for any help!


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I haven't looked at the save, but it sounds like your early game production choices are a big problem. A worker can improve your best tiles and speed settlers through chopping. I wouldn't be surprised if you can produce two settlers ultimately quicker by building a worker first. It wasn't clear from your post, but did you build any additional warriors to help scout and protect your settlers? If you went straight away settler-settler that would be very bad under almost any conditions.
I did have a couple warriors in my original save that I used to scout around with. Generally I agree with you on workers but I really felt like I need to claim the resources with Mansa about to pounce on the copper.

It looked like I was right (maybe) as I quickly founded my 3 cities and Mansa founded 2 cities surrounding mine. His culture quickly overtook my basic borders and I ended up losing the very resources I was fighting for!

I luckily had Iron in London so I chopped a bunch of swordsmen and took the city in question culturally crushing my 2 cities. I posted a current save for any new advice.


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But you can speed the settler through chopping forests. Yes, it is very important to get the copper, but you can pass on the stone. I really wish I could look on your save but I don't have Warlords. Maybe you could post some screenshots?
Ok, I posted a JPEG screenshot. Mansa is just off the the SE.

I have a couple of follow-up questions (in addition to any general advice people have!) -

1. Tech Trading. I played a lot of Civ 3 and tech trading was always critical in that game. My impression is that tech trading is less important in Civ 4. I pretty much always tech trade even if the beaker costs of the techs involved are pretty unfair. I've never seen the AI (even Pleased AIs) offer "fair" trades and I figure they'll eventually trade with each other netting me nothing. Is it reasonable to tech trade aggressively? A common ratio for me might be I give up 500 beakers:AI gives up 380 beakers.

2. Two phase war. On Monarch, I find that it's tough to war as the AI usually has a much larger army and more cities. So what I typically do is mount a small offensive, take a critical city or two, then sue for peace. I wait the requisite 10 turns and reorganize my army, then attack again. The 10 turns of peace feel critical to re-organize or I'm spread way too thin. In this game, I took 1 of Mansa's cities that was a cultural problem for me and then made peace. I'm planning on massing my smallish army of swordsmen and axemen SE to make a run at Timbuktu in 10 turns. Is this 2 phase way reasonable? Does it create major AI relationship headaches with the other civs?

Thanks again for any help!


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Ok, wow, I see your point...Timbuktu is very close. In most games you have a choice between an early rush and peaceful expansion, but here as soon as you see Timbuktu you need to focus on taking that city.

I believe England starts with Fishing and Mining, so you can research Bronze Working right away. If that capital wasn't so close I might start with a workboat while growing to size two, but here you need to speed everything up. So I would start straight away with a worker while having my city work the unimproved clam.

I know your heart was in the right place in building those settlers first, and I like the location of York, but really you should be planning to hook up copper before you know if you need a settler or not - and you always need a worker. But next you do need to build a settler, and you can build it entirely from forest chops while building a workboat (or warrior if necessary). The copper isn't on the river, so your next tech is Wheel, though you may have time to fit in Agriculture first, I'm not sure.

Some other players may have done things a little different than I suggested, but my point is you need to see what your early priorities are and work towards them. I'm not trying to suggest an early rush is usually the best approach, but in this game it was. Mansa should be dead before you get Writing for that Library :D

As far as tech trading, it is still very important. You won't get perfectly 'fair' trades, but you can use the techs better than the AI can. 500 for 380 beakers sounds reasonable, but it obviously depends on what the techs are and who you're trading with. You can afford to give better deals to civs that are further behind.
Quecha, thanks for the advice!

Just so I'm clear, you're suggesting my original build order could've been-

1. Work Boat to grow to size 2
2. Worker
3. Settler through Worker chop (Found York with Settler)
4. (once Copper is hooked up) Axeman in London/York to try and take Timbuktu early.

Is that basically right? I feel like the AI has such an early military advantage that I never try and attack that early. But since I've never tried, I've never tested that assumption. ;)
That sounds about right. I would've started with a boat, but if I had found Timbuktu early enough, I would've switched to a worker right away and finish the boat after as I was chopping the settler. I'd also whip a barracks before the axes, Mansa's skirmishers can be pretty nasty.

But starting with a capital this close is a much tougher situation than usual. Personally, I found I could beat Monarch comfortably once I had a basic grasp of managing my tiles and cities, even though my early game was still pretty sloppy. That's why when you said you built two settlers before any workers it stuck out - it's very important to have your citizens working improved tiles.
Thanks again Quecha!

If anyone else is lurking out there, I'm posting my most recent save. I'm at a loss on what to do next. Take out Mansa? Switch to Confucianism and take out the Incas? Build my economy up?

This is the most competitive I've been this late in the game so I'm really looking to win this one!


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If you have forests, the quickest way to get settlers is to build 2 workers.
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