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Newbie to Civ 3. Numerous Questions for perfecting early game play

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by ArenE, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    Hello All,

    I just started playing Civ 3. Started a game with Chieftain, and Warlord and thought I could win it without too much trouble so I stopped. Also thought that my starts were far from perfect so wanted to try Regent and practice start and Middle Ages. As I progressed felt the AI was nipping on my heels too much with science research. I usually like to be way ahead. I recently read about 4 turn research in forum so I tried to achieve that with dismal failure.
    I was playing America and exploring popping numerous huts on Hugh map. Also had difficulty balancing money/science in republic since I had switched to Republic around 1500 BC with 7-8 cities mostly 1 size with 2-3 cities ~ 3 range. But started to get bog down on economy and science and could not achieve 4 turn science since I did not know what to do next. In that scenario I had numerous workers 2-3 workers/city. I am sure I have lot of misunderstandings and hopefully you guys will correct them. I thought it is oxymoronic to have conquest as Victory condition and wanting 4 turn technology but I that is the way I wanted to play.

    Having said all that I started new game on Regent. America, standard continents with Victory condition: Conquest only. How would you guys handle this situation from here? See picture.

    I had planned to place new cities as marked and gaining spices, horses, diamonds and cow in that order of city placement. I am waiting for Boston to get to 5 population and then start settler farming. What should I do about NY - I got it from Hut and I am not sure if I should settler/abandon and move the city that way or keep it? Also I read the term beaker farms but do not know which cities I this example would be best for that. Also besides settlers I did not know what to build since I am waiting for them to grow. Lots of warriors? Granaries? etc.

    Thank you for taking your time to help me.
     
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  2. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    Sorry took a long time for upload these 2 images.
     

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  3. Fergei

    Fergei Warlord

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    Welcome ArenE! I am no expert (play at emperor level) but looking at your screenshots I'd be trying to rush cities 1&6 to join up with New York as soon as possible. I'd prioritise this for two reasons:

    Firstly, New York (and cities 1 & 6) are in the direction of your opponent(s), so it would be denying them land. Your other city placement options are in areas where no rival should be going near anytime soon, so you can populate them at your leisure.

    Secondly, it looks like you have no fresh water near your capital but have one tile to NE of NY where you could sneak through irrigation towards your capital (assuming there is fresh water near NY). This is hugely important otherwise you'd be stunting growth for your starting area until electricity.

    If in doubt what to build, check your military advisor for military expenses. If you have free capacity of units then you cant go wrong with warriors to keep cities happy and stake your claim on new territory (e.g. harassing enemy settlers without declaring war) and protect workers from barbarians. Then you can upgrade the warriors when you get iron. You'll probably also want a barracks in your most productive city and churn most of the warriors from there. Also workers to speed up roading to NY. Also a coastal city to make a ship to contact other civs (since you are starting in a remote area which will limit your contact by land).

    I'm not an expert on settler farms and beaker farms so won't touch on that. The only other thing I'd mention is that if you space cities so close together you will quickly reach the higher corruption rate that kicks in at 17 or 20 cities (I forget which) on a standard sized map. Personally I'd space them out a bit more, but I am not expert on domination victories or infinite city sprawl. Good luck.
     
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  4. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    I appreciate your comments very much...

    No fresh water anywhere unfortunately. even 30 tiles south of NY no fresh water. All mountains and no Iron even. lol. I will do as you advise regarding the cities. I will space the cities farther. The reason I was trying this strategy was some was saying you need cities CxxC or CxxxC spacing. Thank you for the clarification. I did not take corruption into account.

    Should I go directly to Republic as soon as it is available even though my cities are very small? Currently I am about 25 turns to the Republic. The reason I ask is that I then run into too many units. Specifically workers....
     
  5. tjs282

    tjs282 Stone \ Cold / Fish

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    Planting towns at 'optimal' placement (minimal overlap between towns) -- as the AI does -- has several major disadvantages in the early game: you need Culture (i.e. buildings) to fill the gaps (at a time when you won't have a lot of cash to spare for building-maintenance), and you will 'waste' a lot of tiles -- i.e. tiles which your towns' citizens will not be able to work until Sanitation (Hospitals) in the Industrial era -- and especially if there is no freshwater available to irrigate/ get those towns past Pop6 without a Duct.

    So in the early game, CxxC (N/S/E/W) to CxxxC (diagonally) is perfectly acceptable -- and may indeed still be slightly too 'loose'. So I would say the city placement on your map is fine, in general.

    The only thing I might change on your dotmap would be Town 1's placement. Generally it's much better to found either directly on the coast, or at least 2 tiles away from it, so that you don't end up with 'unimprovable' (1 food per turn) Coastal tiles within your town's Fat Cross: building on the Coast allows you to build a Harbour, which brings the food-output to a self-supporting 2 food per turn. So I would place a town on the north (either 1E, 2NE, or E-NE) and south (1SW, or 1S) sides of that neck, rather than Town 1 in the middle of it.

    New York is similarly badly placed off the coast, but at this early stage of the game it's not really worth Abandoning: you need all the towns you can get! But since it will only be getting 1-2 shields per turn, and growing every 20 turns, consider setting it to alternate between building reg Warriors (for exploration/guard duty) and Workers (to build roads back to your core, and further out towards resources/ your rivals).

    Once you don't need NY so badly anymore, you can set any 'excess' citizens (=people producing insufficient food to feed themselves) to Scientists) and start building Workers: when you are down to 1 citizen, and the shield-box is full, you will get a pop-up telling you that you do not have enough population to complete the Worker. You then choose "Abandon this town", which will destroy the town, but gain you the Worker. This tactic is called "Worker-abandoning", and it is preferable to simply "right-click Abandoning" because you get to keep that population-point.

    You can instead build a Settler to "Settler-abandon" a town the same way (at Pop1 or Pop2): it will take longer, but you can then found a new (and better-placed!) town instead.

    Your biggest problem on this map, though, will be the lack of freshwater. Even if you can get your towns to Pop6 (which will be difficult where you can't irrigate Plains tiles), none of your towns will get to Pop7 without Aqueducts (which are expensive to build, and require maintenance).

    Since you can't irrigate, you will need to get the 2 food/per turn (for growth) mostly from water-tiles. That means you will need Mapmaking for Harbours. Fortunately, the AI likes this tech, so you can often trade for it -- perhaps in exchange for CodeOfLaws or Republic

    4-turn research is nearly impossible to achieve in the early (Ancient Age) game on a Standard map. So don't worry if it's not happening yet. You need a non-Despotic government (preferably Republic, which gives extra commerce per roaded tile), good-sized towns (once your towns reach Pop7, free unit-support significantly increases under Republic), Libraries (Literature) and Universities (Education) before 4T-techs will be even close to achievable.

    Beaker-farming is a mid- to late-game tactic, to be used in the totally corrupt fringes ("1-shield towns") of your empire. So again, it's not something you need to be thinking about at this early stage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
  6. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    Thank you for the in-depth analysis @tjs282. I really appreciate it. Most of what you said makes sense. Few questions...

    From what you said if I move Town 1 to 1S, so I place another Town 1NW of the horse?

    Also is it reasonable to wait for my towns to grow to 4-5 before starting settler farming that way I can pump out settlers faster?

    How do I deal with corruption at this point if I build all the planned cities? What are good towns to build courthouse in? e.g. >40% etc. corruption or all towns except Washington? > 80% would be turn into beaker farms?

    Should I go directly to Republic as soon as it is available even though my cities are very small? Currently I am about 25 turns to the Republic. The reason I ask is that I then run into too many units. Specifically workers....
     
  7. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    In that case you should start on a different map. Not being able to irrigate changes the picture compared to a regular game so much that you should not even try such a game.

    If somehow you feel the need for a challange you may try a map like this at a later point, but most players would simply reroll till a promising starting position occurs.

    I advise against that. During despotism it is distance corruption that is more important than rank corruption. Hence low distance to capital is preferable. Once you are an early republic you need every town you can get for unit support. Only much later, say in the second half of the midle ages, the picture changes in favour of fewer towns per area which means more quality tiles per city.

    Always go for republic, donnot hesitate about that. But adjust your strategy to the needs and challenges of an early republic.

    While still in despotism donnot build barracks and donnot build military except cheap warriors(spearman are still too expensive). What you need before anarchy are foremost settlers. You also needs a few cheap wariors, but not too many of them, say 1 to 2 per town. You also need a few workers, but even fewer of them because your population is still low. What good are improved tiles if you lack the population to use them?

    Until you have become a fully developed Republic with say 10 cities of size 10+ managing population is a major concern. You need to optimize your population growth and you need to adjust your amount workers so that population and improved tiles are a proper match.

    Once you leave anarchy and enter republic a major change occurs. You can no longer use military police. So disband all military except what is needed for defence. Now you may also complete your first barracks and build some proper military. You need to get the most bang for the buck and unit support has become your biggest concern. But even with a small sized military having a decent amount of workers will mean that you will have to pay some unit support. There is no reasonable way around that. Not until you reach city size. At size 7+ free unit support is 3 instead of 1 and at 2 gtp per unit this does matter.

    Once you have approximately 2 workers per town you are likely to have enough workers. Donnot go beyond that. If you are industrious a slightly lower amount can suffice.

    In the early game when settlers take precedence over workers 1 worker per town can be "ample". This changes once limitations like corruption or limited space for settling hit in. Then getting the most out of your existing towns becomes important and workers help to achieve that.


    First switch to republic, this changes the picture a lot. Then you can think about courthouses.
     
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  8. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    @justanick Thank you. Again very helpful for things I have been struggling with and cannot seem to get it right. This has been the crux of some of my problems since I have either been overdeveloping with too many workers/cites or too many not enough or too many buildings. What you said exactly hit the nail on the head. I will try to perfect this fine balance early in the game. After @tjs282's advice I did start building cities closer just like I had outlined (and took his recommendation regarding town 1).

    Long time ago, in a galaxy far far away I use to play Civ 1 & 2.... I never bothered with diplomacy and just blasted my way to spaceship victory with Hugh lead in science. Here it seems like this is not possible on higher difficulties without diplomacy. Do you guys have good overview regarding this?
    Also I did not attack any civs but if they started a war I just defended until mobile armor/stealth bombers etc and then destroyed civs with overwhelming science/military might (civ 2). In civ 3 this is does not seem possible at higher difficulties so my usual practice of avoiding wars as long as possible is stupid. My understanding from reading this forum is use knights and later cavalry to destroy enemies. Is this correct? Also is it a good idea to have mutual pact (I have limited understanding regarding this) with closer civs if later you are going to take them over?

    Again Thank you all for great replies. Much appreciated.
     
  9. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    On regent this should still work reasonable fine. An important difference to civ2 are resources. To get them you need to either go to war or to import them via diplomacy.

    Cavalry works very well, but knights are not such a blast. The purpose of knights is to be upgraded to cavalry. Knights serve as a savings account for shields.

    Mere horsemen are slightly better than knights in terms of shield-efficiency. But unit support does matter and that is where expensive units such as knights come in handy.

    As a general rule you should never sign a mutual protection pact.

    Choose an enemy, declare war on him, create military alliances against that enemy and only end those alliances by destroying the enemy. That is the way to proceed regarding alliances.
     
  10. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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  11. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    There you are likely required to shape the entire diplomacy. Let AI fight AI, let the AI wear each other down so that you are winning in relative terms.

    Military alliances are a key element. But sometimes AI will just seek war. If you play nicely this increases chances of not you being the one AI declares war opon. So if AI is demanding tribute you might be wise to pay.

    Once you are a developed republic with 10+ cities with size 10+ and have embassies everyhere you will have the means to shape the entire diplomacy. Building up till you have such means is the the early game. Once you have those means the game has entered a new phase.
     
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  12. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    With the caveat that I'm really just an emperor-level player, and without having scoured this thread, here are my observations. Please forgive me if you already know some of this.

    1. You have no fresh water anywhere that I can see. Nor any food bonuses. The lack of fresh water and food bonuses is going to prevent your cities from hitting size 7. While the game is still winnable, that's bad enough that I don't think anyone would blame you for just rolling a new start. I'm just starting my first Emperor game in a long time, and I'll be the first to admit that I didn't take my first (miserable) rolled start.

    2. Republic is a good all-around gov't. I use it for everything but All-War. That said, if you go into Republic too early, it suffers from some 'growing pains.' in terms of unit support. Support is dictated by the size of each settlement. Towns are size 1-6, cities size 7-12, metropolises (metropoli?) are 12+. Support for each early gov't, according to settlement size, are:
    Despo 4/4/4
    Repulblic 1/3/4
    Monarchy 2/4/8

    This means that once a town hits size 7 in Republic, it goes from supporting 1 unit to 3. Since you can't get to 12+ until at least Shakespeare's Theater, or (more likely) hospitals), size 7-12 is the sweet spot for unit support for Republic for a very long time.

    3. Town placement - Up to and including Emperor, I like to give my capital a few extra tiles, so I'll usually space it CxxxC. That's a little looser than most good players, I think. I like a large capital, but I also know that's going to mean some unused tiles for a while. After the first few settlements surrounding the capital, I try to stick to CxxC, with an offset so that it's something like

    Cxxxxx
    xxxxxx
    xxxxxx
    xxCxx

    Somewhere around here (at CFC) there used to be a jpg floating around that diagrammed that kind of city placement. I'm not sure I can find it, but it showed how this kind of placement allowed for pretty efficient use of all tiles, at least up to size 12. As I almost always go for Domination, I rarely need anything larger. One exception to that is if I feel like building a super-science-city.

    4. Courthouses -- I usually build them in the 40-70% corrupt range. Cities with less corruption don't generally need them, and cities with more can't generally benefit enough to make them worth the shield investment.

    5. Science Farming -- As noted, that comes much later in the game. When you get to those cities that are so corrupt that they'll never produce more than 1 shield or 1 gold, plant 'em CxC, water everything in sight, and hire as many specialists as you can. Neither food nor specialist output is subject to corruption, which is why this technique works, and scientists are the most productive specialists in the game.

    6. Recommended reading: Hit the War Academy and look for "Cracker's Opening Plays," and Bede's "The Role of the Specialist Citizen."

    Finally, welcome to CFC!
     
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  13. tjs282

    tjs282 Stone \ Cold / Fish

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    No, either due north of the Horse, or NE, i.e. also on the coast (or you could also Settle on the Horse itself)
     
  14. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    Just to clarify, @ArenE , you can settle on strategic and luxury resources, but not bonus resources. Settling on strategics and luxes immediately hooks them up to that city and any cities connected to it. Settling on bonus resources squashes them.
     
  15. tjs282

    tjs282 Stone \ Cold / Fish

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    You can settle on bonus-resources giving commerce- and/or shield-bonuses, it's really only food-bonuses you want to avoid whenever possible.
     
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  16. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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  17. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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  18. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    Are you using the "Reply" or "+Quote" buttons, or trying to input the code for quoting manually?
     
  19. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    Tried both reply and quote. I cannot figure out how to type response in a separate box after the quote/reply. How do I input the code manually? Sorry I am not used to this since I usually never post anything online.
     
  20. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    Also forgot to upload the save file.
     

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