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New Player (Civ 2 Vet) With Some Questions

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by TheAspiringWarlord, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. TheAspiringWarlord

    TheAspiringWarlord Chieftain

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    Hello, everyone! Nice to be here; despite the years and years of fun that I have gotten out of the Civilization games, I didn't know these forums existed until today. Now that this gross oversight has been corrected, I am here to start learning from other people, and sharing my own hard won knowledge.

    I am currently playing through my first game of Civ III (I am a long-standing veteran of Civ II, which I still own the MPGE disk of). I am playing on Chieftain to start (just to get my feet wet with the new mechanics and such), and doing really very well, but I am getting thrown some curves due to seeming SHARP differences between Civ II and Civ III, so I was hoping some of you Civ III veterans could help me out.

    First and foremost, Espionage as a tactic now seems to be entirely useless. I have never not had a planted spy be caught and killed instantly, and therefore, have never successfully attempted an espionage mission, let alone completed one. This is in stark contrast to Civ II, where espionage was thoroughly broken and allowed you to casually buy units and cities, as well as screw with your opponents in less abusive ways almost at will. Is there any way at all to get a spy to stick? I sank a grand total of about 10k just trying to plant spies so far; NOTHING has worked.

    Second, I have noticed that strategic resources seem to run out. This is a big problem in terms of keeping up production; does anyone know how to keep this from happening? Or, if it is not preventable, how to properly gauge how many units/improvements I can build with a resource before it goes dry?

    Last but not least, does anyone know what to do about balancing barbarians? I used to play with the highest setting in Civ II ALL THE TIME, but now it seems that barbarians are a much bigger threat even long into the late game (I am currently in the year 1900 and had a Stone Age warrior pop up out of nowhere and snuff one of my workers who was building a road to some aluminum beyond my cultural borders).
     
  2. Nathiri

    Nathiri Commander

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    The Espionage screen is not that useful. Its main use is to see what the AI is building, their garrison, and make embassies that then help friendly relations and sign MPPs, Alliances, and RoPs. I have almost never used to steal tech or sabotage production. In Multiplayer, the Intelligence Agency is useful to spot player units like a king unit, that the weak player is intentionally hiding so to survive; but this is a niche situation, and I wouldnt think that would happen in an AI game.

    Strategic resources exhaust is mostly random afaik, and nothing can prevent. It depends on the amount of players in the game too. So when one exhausts, another appears in another location, or in the same location, as there has to be a set amount in the game at all times.

    Barbarians are fairly easy to deal with for the most part. They only spawn out in areas 2 tiles from your border, and that is not fog-busted by a military unit. So even if a worker sees the tile, a barb camp can still spawn. What makes them dangerous in the Conquest expansion, is on era change. Horsemen stacks spawn on era switch. So this can be a problem on switching to the Middle Ages. Conquest expansion otherwise has very passive barbarians. It's not so much about balancing, but in understanding what they do, and what they prioritize. Once you do, then they are barely a threat, and only a threat if you chose to play very loose and risky.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  3. TheAspiringWarlord

    TheAspiringWarlord Chieftain

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    Thanks a lot for the info! Yeah, I tend to be not as cautious even when I have barbs set to Raging, because generally, my expectation is that mostly they won't be a problem. This was at the fringe of my empire, and I think it was primarily an opportunistic thing. After slaughtering the worker, they launched a total of 32 horsemen at the nearby city the following turn... But since it was guarded by TOW infantry, that didn't go so well for them, lol. So strategic resources respawn elsewhere when exhausted? Good to know, THANK YOU. I was scared I had run myself completely out of coal (and considering I own literally half the planet, and just got started building my rail system, that was a concern).
     
  4. tjs282

    tjs282 Unabashed immigrant

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    Welcome to CivFanatics, the best place in the universe (IMHO)!

    [party]:dance::rockon::band::rockon::dance:[party]

    My tuppence' worth is in addition to what @Nathiri said...
    Yeah, though not entirely useless, Espionage in CivIII is seriously nerfed/expensive, I guess as a reaction to its total OP-ness in the previous iterations of Civ (haven't played CivII myself, but it was pretty easy to Diplo-buy AI units/cities in CivDOS).

    The main thing you need to know for III is that if you get caught attempting to plant a Spy (or carrying out any Spy-mission), the AI-Civ who caught you will flag you as 'untrustworthy', and until that flag is gone (it's stored in the .sav file), all further Spy mission-attempts against that AI-Civ are also doomed to failure (and if the AI also declared war on you — which they almost certainly will if they are at parity or better — you won't be able to do Diplomatic missions either). IIRC, the '&@$+@%§-tried-to-spy-on-ME!' flag has a 2/3 probability of being removed per turn, which means that it will most likely be gone after ~3-4 turns (~1-4% probability of it still being in place).

    On the bright side, getting spy-flagged by one AI-Civ doesn't prevent you from attempting to spy on someone else that same turn — unlike breaking 20-turn trade-deals.
    Spoiler Trade-reputation :
    As a general rule, if you deliberately or accidentally break a 'per-turn-payment for (the AI's hard-)goods' trade deal, not only will the Civ you swindled remember that for the rest of that game, but they will also tell all their friends (i.e. Civs they have an active Embassy with), so those Civs won't accept any further such deals from you, either.
    First of all, not all Strategic Resources run out (Horses and Rubber don't). Of those that do, it can only happen if the resource is hooked to your trade-net (i.e. roaded within your borders, or roaded-and-colonied if beyond your borders) during the interturn.

    However, you only need a resource to be able to start building a unit (or building rails); if you lose the resource before that build/job is finished, you can still complete it, which allows (what some might call) an exploit: after setting your cities to build resource-requiring units (and/or Workers to building rails), you can unhook that resource(s) yourself, so that it doesn't stay active over the interturn, and then re-hook it at the beginning of the next turn. You simply need to station a (cheap, defensive) military-unit on the resource-tile (to pillage the road), plus a sufficient stack of Workers/Slaves to be able to re-road it again (3 non-Industrious Workers can road an [unvegetated] flat tile in 1 turn, 6 are needed for a Hill, and 9 for a Mountain; double that for Slaves; halve it after Replaceable Parts; Industrous native Workers finish jobs 50% faster). To be honest though, you will likely have much more useful things to be doing with your Workers in the early game. (It is also possible to sell off your last instance of a resource, but that means losing it for up to 20 turns — not to mention risking breaking a deal if the resource disappears unexpectedly).
    Spoiler High-level trickery :
    The human player suffers a(n increasingly large) starting deficit of military units compared to the AI-Civs at higher levels, so this 'disconnect-reconnect' trick is more usually used the other way round (in the early/mid-game), to quickly make up that shortfall. By unhooking a resource (usually Iron or Saltpeter), the player can build a large stack of cheaper/resourceless precursor-units quickly, and then upgrade those units to their more expensive/ modern/ resource-requiring counterparts, once the missing resource is reconnected (e.g. Warriors —> Swords/ Legions/ Immortals/ Gallic Swords, or Horsemen —> Knight- or Cavalry-equivalents). The upgrades will require a lot of gold, but allow a large and powerful army to be fielded much earlier than if the stronger units had all been hand-built from scratch.
    Secondly, the number of (Luxury and Strategic) resources placed is directly related to the number of Civs placed on the map at the beginning of the game. So the more rivals you put on the map, the more Lux/Strat-resource-tiles there will be to claim/ fight over to begin with. So at Chieftain, you should be able to roll over sufficient AI-Civs sufficiently quickly, that you can/will eventually control a large proportion of the total resources on the map.

    Also, a good all-round strategy is to learn how to fight using a 'poor man's army': Warriors, Archers, Spears, and Catapults/Trebuchets (and later Longbowmen) do not need resources, but can be used to acquire them, provided that you plan ahead a little, and exploit (or prevent the AI from exploiting!) the various defensive bonuses. Attacking Archers can defeat unfortified Spears/ Swords/ Immortals on flat ground, attacking Warriors can likewise defeat Warriors/ Archers, Spears can repel Swords on defence, especially if fortified/ on Hills/ behind Walls/ Rivers, and Cats/Trebs can bombard both offensively (weakening defenders before you attack) and defensively (weakening attackers before they close with your defenders).

    Most AI-Civ towns (Pop1-6) will build only 1-2 defenders, so a relatively small PMA (say, 2 Spears, 5 Archers, 4 Cats) can be used to take such a town. But obviously, the longer you leave the AI-Civs alone, the more towns they can found, and the more units they can build/upgrade: ordinary cities (Pop7-12) may have 3-4 defenders, and Wonder-towns and Capitals may have 2-4 times as many defenders as an ordinary town/city of the same size...
    Spoiler Wot I do :
    I start every new game assuming I will not have Iron/Horses readily available, and build PMA-units accordingly. If The_Wheel shows that I have Horses, then I might build (vet) Chariots (for upgrades when Horseback-riding comes in) rather than Archers, and then Horsemen to go and get some Iron (which is increasingly important for the Middle Age, and essential for the Industrial Age). Conversely, if Iron_Working shows that I have Iron, I can upgrade my (vet) Warriors, and then go and get some Horses — because fast units are key to taking territory/ winning wars in CivIII.
    Barb-camps can only spawn in areas which are 'fogged', i.e. previously explored, but not currently visible to any Civ's units, cities, or Outposts (if you bother making them — I don't usually have the Workers to spare). So no Barb-camps will ever appear directly adjacent to any Cultural borders, nor directly adjacent to any unit on flat ground, nor on any tile within 2 (flat, unvegetated) tiles from any unit on high ground, or any Outpost.

    You're still seeing Barbarians in the late game primarily because you're playing at Chieftain level, at which the AI-Civs' growth, production and research is crippled compared to yours: everything costs them twice what it costs you (i.e. Settlers cost 60 shields instead of 30, and they need 40 food instead of 20 to grow a non-Granaried town by 1 population-point), so they expand very slowly. This means that even in the late game, and especially on Large/Huge maps, there will likely still be a lot of unclaimed, explored-but-fogged territory in which Barb-camps can spawn.
    Spoiler Levelling up :
    Conversely, at Regent, the AI-Civs have no such production handicap, and at Monarch+, their growth-, build-, and research-costs all get progressively reduced compared to yours (at Monarch they get a 10% discount, at Demigod they get 30% off, and at Sid they get a whopping 60% off). They also get additional starting units (including 2 Settlers at Demigod+) — although they remain dumb, reactive algorithms with no forward-planning ability (unlike the human player, one would hope!).
    So the smaller the map, and the more Civs you place on it, and the higher the level you play at, the quicker that map will be filled with cities/exploring units, and the sooner the Barb-camps will cease to be an issue (at Emperor on a Standard-size map, this is usually well before the end of the Medieval Age).
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  5. TheAspiringWarlord

    TheAspiringWarlord Chieftain

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    Wow, lots of good information there, too! Thanks. That also completely explains the horde of wandering Stone Age barb troops... I own half the planet, on a Huge map, but the AI only owns another quarter between all six other surviving tribes.

    That is also why the railroad thing was so vital... With an empire my size, there is honestly no way to efficiently handle pollution without railroads being built, and a lot of them. I have something like 150 workers deployed currently, they STILL were not able to keep up until recently, because despite my massive territory I had no coal and had to exterminate the Iroquois to acquire some. So when that node vanished, I thought I was hosed. Glad to learn I was wrong.
     
  6. catalin72

    catalin72 Chieftain

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  7. Theov

    Theov Chieftain

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    Yet dont worry, there are only 3 kinds of barbs, the warrior the horseman and the galley. And when you have a unit that can enslave then you can get a lot of free slaves out of them. Slaves work half as fast but dont require mainenance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  8. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Chieftain

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    If you want aggressive barbs, set NoAIPatrol=0 in the [Conquests] section of the conquests.ini file.

    C3C by default turns off AI patrolling which saves time in big and late games from the AI moving all its units for the hell of it. But this setting also makes the barbs quite sedentary, unfortunately. NoAIPatrol=0 is what people refer to when they say "fixed barbs".

    I have a YouTube video showing adding that setting to a new install, although since this is part of a series on installing on > WinXP my files are in a custom location:

     
  9. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    Barbs will have an uprising, when two civs go into the next age. So that is when you get the barb camps with up to 32 horses. Not a fun thing, if you have a new town near and only a spear or so. If the town is well defended, they can pillage. The patrol flag will cause them to tend to be stationary by default. At around Regent the AI will do a lot of the barb clearing for you. At chief the AI is hapless at all things. If they kill of the towns defenders, they will just get gold for each attack, not capture or raze the town.
     

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