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Need some tips for Immortal (general)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by HunkofSteel, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. HunkofSteel

    HunkofSteel Chieftain

    Sep 9, 2014
    So I'm pretty much challenging myself to beat immortals now. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't. When I don't, the main problems I get is the AI overpowering me with units and troops and generally cause chaos. There is also the (very) sneaky move some AI use to ally a CS next to you and the next turn BAM you have 4 enemy units at the back of your frontline.

    I need some advice on how to fight the AI. I've read quite a few guides here and there, and most say "Civ 5 AI is stupid. I can defeat their entire army with like 5 units without losing any". Looking on the strategy section, many of the guides simply say something like; Fight the AI, defeat the AI, take a few cities."

    What they don't really specify is how to beat the AI armies. I've tried to fight them more than several times, and each time I barely come out on top, unless I have an overwhelming army (which is kinda ridiculous since it sucks so much money).

    My general opening is liberty into spamming as much city as I can in my space (usually I hit 7 and have to stop because of happiness and gold, as well as AI threatening me).

    Am I supposed to not give a to the AI? How do I manage to spam so much city and many of the guides say to (20 cities, says http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=503798)

    How do you balance between income, army, and city?
  2. persisT

    persisT Chieftain

    Aug 9, 2014
    I am trying Immortal right now and except 1 time (where i had sejong...) i lost due to being way back at science or military power. I just don't seem able to keep up with them at evertyhing.
  3. Waywocket

    Waywocket Warlord

    Jul 5, 2011
    If you build more than half a dozen cities, or if you're in the centre of the map and build more than three or four, you will spend a great deal of time at war, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. An AI neighbour that can't expand is almost completely guaranteed to become hostile.

    As a result, that particular sacred sites strategy simply doesn't work on immortal, unless you get crazy lucky - I've tried, many times. That strategy is almost guaranteed up to King, and works pretty well on Emperor, but I don't believe I've ever succeeded with it on Immortal.

    Pay attention to who is most likely to attack you, and keep enough units close enough that you can hold out for at least a few turns. If you're keeping the aggressive expansion to a minimum, you can probably avoid being at war with more than one AI at a time, so it really comes down to how many ranged units you've managed to squeeze in to your build order.
    Now personally I like to also get a pike. I know a lot of people say that's a waste, but I like that a pike can generally survive a turn or two of drawing fire from your archers, plus provide a zone of control. You'll be outnumbered anywhere from 3:1 to 8:1ish, so that extra turn or two can really help to whittle them down. I assume you understand the rules regarding zones of control? If not, have a search - it's very important for good tactical play.

    On Immortal, you do need to make hard choices: You won't be getting many wonders, unless you want to lose. Unless you're aiming for a culture victory you probably can't afford to build more than monuments and maybe amphitheatres. If you are going for a culture victory, you should understand that it's by far the hardest victory condition, and requires radically different gameplay to the others.

    Bear in mind that you will be behind in tech for a lot of the game, and don't give up just because it's turn 150 and you're dead last. I generally find myself starting to pass AIs in science anywhere from 150 to 200ish, beyond which point my science grows exponentially and I typically end up soaring ahead.
    Some of the slow start is because you need to essentially 'waste' turns building enough of an army to act as some degree of deterrent; you don't really have much of a choice in that, and you need to resist the temptation to keep putting it off until, before you know it, Catherine has decided you look weak and there's an army worthy of Mordor rampaging through your lands.
  4. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

    Mar 17, 2008
    The answer is ranged units in pairs (or more), be close to your city so your city bombard comes into play as well, going for complete kills.

    AI gets mad if you have more than 150% of the cities they own, which makes Liberty tougher in this regard.
    However if you 7 ranged units to go with your 7 cities + keep them up to date then if you saw the AI coming and placed them in the correct area you'll probably kill their entire invading army in 1 or 2 turns with no loses. (That's a key, always have at least as many land ranged units as you do cities)

    (Melee units are mostly used as screen units to prevent the AI from attacking your ranged units with them)

    Actually cramming as many cities into the same space is inferior happiness strategy due to city unhappiness.
    What you want is the fewest cites in a given area that still result in some city taking in all the key tiles.

    Adopt a religion that has happiness beliefs if self founding wide. It's sometimes easier if you can self found it so you can pick the happiness ones you like, but if an AI next to you founded one and has a happiness follower belief that will also work.
  5. Primacide

    Primacide Settler

    May 2, 2014
    This is great stuff. I would only add that you need to spend your money. In other words, put your gold to work right away. It's the major adjustment I have to make when switching from emp to imm. Don't save your gold for a rainy day. Know what you're going to do with it ahead of time and use it. Deity and immortal players who are successful always seem to GET THEIR CRAP UP FAST. Then they worry about the nice-to-haves. (This is not me by the way. I always get distracted by something shiny and looooooose.)
  6. Silmarillion

    Silmarillion Chieftain

    Jun 23, 2012
    Stadtbergen, Germany
    I certainly remember the times when I was scared of Immortal. :) But by now, I have beaten Immortal with all leaders several times, so it is very doable; hopefully I can help a bit.

    What I'll focus on is the military aspect, since that's also what you pointed out as your biggest problem. Only one word regarding other aspects, however: these forums are absolutely correct in the power of 4-city-Tradition. I have been using it for dozens upon dozens of games now; once every 20 games or so, I give in and try Liberty... and it's really like playing one difficulty level higher. By contrast, Tradition feels like one difficulty level lower. :crazyeye: So, while you're still struggling with Immortal, I'd strongly suggest trying Tradition.

    But, military now. Others have already pointed it out, but it is the most important aspect: Ranged Units. What I use every game against the AI, and which destroys them every time, is three archers and two or three melee units. That's pretty much it, I never build more archers than that. The key is in quality over quantity: getting these three archers the good promotions (Double Attack+Range) as soon as possible. Also, related to that: crippling my AI neighbors before they ever get to even build a huge army against me. If you have reached the point where an AI actually has a huge and balanced army at your doorstep, there has already been a mistake, and it can get tough.

    Scouting is important, therefore: you should always be aware if an AI is building up an army, and if so, who they're targetting. If you can be sure they're targetting you, then strike first, anywhere near their borders. Maybe steal a worker, kill one stray unit, ideally even a settler that was only escorted by one unit. As soon as you declared war, they'll pretty much break down and become a headless chicken: sending only a couple units against your cities instead of their entire army because they'll keep a lot of units back to defend themselves or hunt your strike force.

    By this point, they've become a no-threat, and you're free to carefully roam around their borders and shoot down their units one by one, racking up XP and promotions for your archers. Always keep your archers protected by having your melee units, mountains, swamps, etc. between your archers and the enemy. You can keep up this state of war with several AIs with no problems for eras, since they'll never mount a successful offensive against you. Also nice: as long as you leave their cities alone, you won't get any warmonger points from other civs, no matter how many units you capture or slaughter :)

    So, as soon as the archers gain Double Attack, they'll gain XP effectively twice as fast, and it won't be long until they get Range. As soon as you have your three archers/Composite Bowmen with Double Attack and Range (I always have those even before Machinery), nothing is safe from you anymore. Now you can decide to conquer any city you want with impunity (using a Scout with Extra Vision or a regular unit going back and forth to get vision of the city you're bombarding) or turtle safely now (since your enemies are crippled and you have perfect defense units if they get uppity again).

    Finally: I get your pain about the AI buying a City State that attacks your back! :mad: Hate it when that happens. The only thing that prevents that is to ally yourself with the City States near you first, which also has all the normal City State benefits as well. Really helps to secure your borders, I strongly recommend it.

    This was massively long, and I apologize :blush:. But it is the tactic that wins me every Immortal game now against the AI.

    TLDR version: Maybe try Tradition. Get a couple of Ranged Units, be active with them, keep them protected and level them up. Don't let an AI build up a massive army to walk right up to your doorstep: attack them first with hit-and run-strikes, keeping them confused and contained.

    Best of luck to you! :) I hope you keep at it and continue to have fun with this amazing game!
  7. beetle

    beetle Deity

    Mar 19, 2004
    Frederick, MD
    I pretty much play at Immortal, and I am still finding the early DoW to be a challenge. I am also trying Liberty more, as it's more fun to have more cities, and BNW seems easier than GnK.

    Half the time I have to reload 50+ turns back to save a game. It is a good learning experience.

    Barely coming out on top is my goal. Even losing one city for a few turns can be okay. Barely surviving the initial onslaught means I didn't waste resources on units and gold/hammers went to infrastructure. At that point in game, I keep the war up until I have AI cap. The war stays up until I start meeting other civs. At that point I should be in decent shape for the rest of the game, but I still have a long haul to catch up tech wise, and it is still a challenge.

    I agree with others that you should switch to 4-city Tradition for now. You prolly hate that advise. So what I will say instead is that 6-7 Liberty cities are okay, but each and every one needs to be in a really good spot. Any city that does not yield a new unique lux (can be in ring 2 or 3) will be a severe happiness hit, much more so than with Emperor. Settling 1 or 2 for strategic resources or to make a channel between oceans is okay, but 3 cities like that will wreck your game. Just pick your spots a little more carefully than is prolly your habit, and I think you will be okay.

    From first post in that thread:

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