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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. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    For sure I would keep even the weakest unit for MP, so long as it cannot come under attack and I need an MP. I also will disband any unit I do not need, to jump start a build. These are not mutually exclusive acts.
     
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  2. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    Upgrading the warrior will be cheaper than that. Cashrushing a sword with 2 shields in the box will costs (30-2)*4=112 Gold. Upgrading a warrior to Sword will cost only 60 gold. So clearly this is the better plan and if you have prepared for that plan it will even be a veteran unit to start with. But also regular units are good enough for attacking weak defenders and thus earning promotions.

    Disbanding should be used for buildings, not for units. In practise cash for cashrushing is expected to be short. I rather keep the gold for research. A negative balance is expected to occur most of the time, so the reserve of gold should not be reduced without good reason. Regular production for military use tends to become ample enough soon enough.
     
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  3. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    I thought about that later, but was just trying to make sure the OP gets a full picture of the options here.
     
  4. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    That makes a lot of sense, but on Monarch it seem AI does not have much money and most of the time by anarchy, I may have 1 or 2 AI's contacted. Also last two times I had to invade to get iron. Should I still try to invade?
     
  5. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    The later would indicate that you need to give exploring a higher priority. You should use at least 2 warriors and at least 2 curraghs for that. If you are expansionistic, scouts can replace warriors.

    It depends. Timing is of the essense.

    If you have to go to war to get enough territory to capitalize on low corruption, then you should go to war. But if by going to war you get only highly corrupted towns, then immediate war may not be in your best interest. Most of the time trying to get military tradition as early as possible is a sensible approach. Cavalry and the military academy make warfare so much more efficient and by that time you will have completed the most efficient parts of your economic build up. Early war delays those most efficient parts of your economic build up and/or slows down your research as you have to spend more money on the military that you would not have to spend once your towns have grown to city size.

    In the end it also is a matter what you like more. I may have a bias towards waiting for cavalry, but there are good arguments for that approach.
     
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  6. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    When you move to Emperor, I think you'll find that the AI has notably more money. Trading becomes much more profitable.

    Also, one thing I did notice about that 1255 AD save was that you still hadn't contacted all AI civs. Like justanick pointed out, bump exploration's priority up a bit. Getting a boat or two to contact the other continent can put you in a great trading position early on. You can buy techs on one continent and sell them on the other. Mind you, prices drop once a tech is no longer a monopoly, but it's still a worthwhile endeavor.
     
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  7. tjs282

    tjs282 Stone \ Cold / Fish

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    I've been playing from your 4000 BC save for the last couple of days. That start was brilliant: made the Republic-sling easily, have just administered the coup de grace after a short third campaign against Japan (the first war was just to slow them down, the second drove them offshore so that I could reach their Iron to build Riders), and also just exterminated the Egyptians (after Cleo refused to leave).

    I've got a full World Map, and reached the Industrial well ahead of my nearest rivals (after starting the Medieval behind them), I have SteamPower already, and am not far off getting Industrialization, and it's not even 1200 AD yet. The next war will secure the Vikings' Coal so I can start railing my continent (a 3-Rider Army is already en route from the Egyptians' last island-town, with more Galleons containing eRiders to follow shortly), and I haven't decided what I'm going to do after that...
     
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  8. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    Rider Army on rails? I know what you're going to do. I know exactly what you're going to do:
     
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  9. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    Amazing! So much better better. I kept on putting off war with Egypt. As you saw I could not even eliminate Egypt by 1255 AD. When did you start attacking Egypt? What research did you prioritize from the beginning after Republic? How many units did you have when you started war with Japan? Egypt? May I see a save or 2 to learn from them: Like where did you build your cities vs. where I chose.

    Too many questions but since I have just been playing recently I sometimes agonize over simple decisions.
     
  10. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    Also: The order of city founding and why?
     
  11. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    I read somewhere (forgot where) about shortcut of city queue. Ex. My recently conquered cities I would like all to have marketplace, aqueduct, harbor in that order. I should be able to copy that order and paste it to a new city. Does anyone have that shortcut?
     
  12. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    I don't know about cut/paste, but you can queue up builds.
     
  13. tjs282

    tjs282 Stone \ Cold / Fish

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    According to my cheat-sheet, "Save Queue" = Shift-Q and "Load Queue" = Q.

    I've used those shortcuts occasionally, but don't usually bother. I would generally suggest building Courthouses (and Ducts) before Markets, though... ;)

    I also started doing a writeup of my campaigns to answer your questions, but it turned into a stupid-long Wall'O'Texttm, which may not be 100% reliable because I don't remember all the details. So it would probably be better to just upload some saves and screenies (I've saved the draft anyway, because of course I did).

    I only have a couple of manual saves, though, because each session was pretty long. I can upload what I have later if you're interested (you could look at the replays for the fine detail).
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
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  14. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    I would caution against using such a thing, mainly because I want to evaluate each city after each build.
     
  15. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    Then that begs the question what to do with cities with 95% corruption. What I have been doing is conquering a town, starve/produce settlers to 1 pop (only as long as I cannot take over the entire civ) then move armies out again once town is reduced significantly in size, while other armies are still marching. My workers are building railroads/irrigating like crazy (1T) while I slowly expand and build cities closer together with newly bought settlers. CxxC. In those cities I start with Aqueduct --> Harbor (if coastal) --> Marketplace. Even before aqueduct is finished cities have reached 6 pop limit and after aqueduct slowly turn them into science farm. With cities 10-12 size I have 3-5 scientists and have been getting 4T tech easily while making ~ 400 GPT. This is where I want standard build and don't care for anything else. Does that seem like a good way to you guys or should I be doing things differently?

    Yes, please! Thank you. It would be very helpful in reducing second guessing myself. Also I don't mind the the Wall'O'Text since thanks to you guys and me reading in detail that I am able to kick AI butt on Monarch level easily. I am hoping to advance to emperor level soon (maybe few more games - 1 with diplomatic victory, 1 with spaceship at least).
     
  16. tjs282

    tjs282 Stone \ Cold / Fish

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    Spoiler Don't complain that you weren't warned... ;) :
    My exploring Warriors went along the rivers first, then a couple went south and another couple went north. Once I found the chokepoint near the Marsh-y area, I used a Warrior to block it, so that Cleo couldn't send any Settlers into that section.

    I prioritised town-sites on rivers, and settled my 1st-ring towns pretty tight: my second town (Shanghai) was founded on the coast 3 tiles downstream from Peking, where it could share one of the Cows; the 3rd went on the coastal Hills near the Silks 3 tiles upstream, where it could share the others until the Jungle was cleared (gotta love those Industrious Chinese Workers!). The 4th town was founded 3 tiles NNE of Peking, on the Grassland next to the Mountain, and the 5th on the coastal Hill 3 tiles ENE. My first off-river (2nd-ring) town went SE to the coast, where it could access all 3 Bananas and (eventually) the Whale, and I eventually put another 2nd-ring town on the coast SE of the Tobacco as well.

    (I should really have put that last one further south/east, so it could eata 'nana as well, because 'Nana-town has ended up with waaay more food than it needs — even after I planted Forests on them!)

    I settled 2 towns on the isthmus towards Egypt, the second of which covered the chokepoint, but did not completely block it (this was important later!). My last 1st-ring town was built right on the point of land SW of Peking, beyond the Forests — but not until I was close to learning Mapmaking.

    Research priority was the Republic beeline, and I traded for a lot of the early Ancient techs — including Iron-Working and The_Wheel — with Japan and Egypt. I think I researched Maths and Construction directly after Republic, then Lit + Currency (I was already well ahead of Cleo and Toku by that point), but I don't remember exactly. Iron-Working showed that Japan had the only Iron on our Continent, so I knew that war was going to be required, and soon, before Toku had a chance to build too many Swords. So I also put a "2nd-ring" town NW of Shanghai, on the coastal Plains beyond the Mountains, and built a road to it along the coast; and I sent another Settler to found a Hill-fort on the Japanese borders, between the Gems and Kyoto. These were both fairly aggressive forward Settlements, but I wanted at least 2 jumping-off points to attack Japan, when I was ready.

    (The Hill-fort had insufficient food for Pop7, so after the first war was finished, I began building Workers out of it, with a view to eventually Worker/Settler-disbanding it: when the next war started, I built a 'permanent' town on a Hill only 2 tiles away from Kyoto, to allow me to attack it quickly)

    After I got Republic, I converted BGrass mines to irrigation for faster growth, and built Barracks (one at a time) in 1st-ring towns that didn't have one yet; outer towns built Courthouses first. Once the Barracks were up, I built a few Archers (after Warrior_Code), then Chariots (after The_Wheel) and eventually Horsemen. Peking already had a Gran, so it also spun off Workers and Settlers from time to time; eventually all my river-towns got Grans (most of my rWarriors were disbanded into these).

    Toku had already Settled in the northern Desert (1 tile away from the coast, or course :rolleyes: ), so my vChariots were stashed towards the nearest Japanese border until I got Horseback_Riding (can't remember if I researched this myself, or traded for it) — then I upgraded them all to Horsemen, while continuing to build more. Once I had 5-6 Horsemen for each of my first 2 Japanese targets, I declared on Toku.

    I took the Desert town easily, but left it ungarrisoned to draw his fire, and moved my troops into the Hill-fort so that I could cut down his Archers and Warriors on flat ground as much as possible. Once that was done, my Horsemen were free to advance. I took Kagoshima (near the Gold-Hill NE of Kyoto, which I eventually Worker-disbanded and resettled), the Japanese Gems-town near Kyoto (Worker-disbanded), and Nagasaki (further NW along the coast, autorazed), but by that point my forces were getting stretched thin, and WW was starting to bite, so I signed peace, getting Izumi (on the far western point) as part of the deal. Then I consolidated my holdings, while building more Horses and Cats for attacking Kyoto, and also hardening the southern chokepoint.

    The Second Sino-Japanese War happened shortly after I got Invention (I'd managed to contact the other continent by then using Curraghs/Galleys, so I'd been able to trade Lit and Republic and other late age techs for the other ). I'd continued to build Horsemen and move them to all the border-towns (3/4 going north vs. Japan, the other 1/4 going south to garrison the choke-town), and I also built a couple of Settler+Spear pairs intended for 2 Hill-sites NE and SW of Kyoto: these moved inside his borders and Settled directly after my DoW. Toku had not been able to recover from the first war nearly as effectively, and had also wasted shields on the Oracle (in Kyoto) and 3 Settlers and Galleys for the Hilly island to the west of Izumi, so I mopped up Nagasaki's replacement, Edo, Osaka, and his Tundra-trash very quickly, then took Kyoto with Longbows + Trebs + Horses, and signed peace for 2 of the 3 island-towns (which built Spears until I could ship a stack of Riders over there). Turned out I didn't need to worry about Toku building Swords, because I only saw maybe 3 in total over the course of the game: I suspect that a Volcano had destroyed the road to his Iron at some point, and he had wasted dozens of Worker-turns cleaning it up before re-roading it.

    The Japanese war had been so easy, I'd also had sufficient (excess) production to send 4 Settlers to the island off the coast of Egypt (the only other source of Iron I could see), build Workers to fully develop that land, and get a long way to chopping/building Courthouses. This left me a little vulnerable towards the end of the Japan-war, when Cleo decided to DoW instead of withdrawing her lone rArcher from the chokepoint, but the only reason she managed to capture my island Iron-town was because I wasn't paying attention (she landed a War Chariot while I wasn't looking!).

    The first dozen turns of the war were basically me killing her incoming stacks at the chokepoint. This is why it was important not to found a town where it blocked the choke completely: if you do that, the AI is 'forced' to attack the town (or sail past it). By heavily garrisoning the chokepoint-town (6 Horses, 4 LBMs, a couple of Spears, some Warriors than I hadn't got round to disbanding, and half a dozen Trebs) but leaving an open path overland, Cleo bypassed that town to head for Hangchow (midway up the isthmus) instead — which also separated her War Chariots from her Archers (she had no Iron/Swords — but even if she had, this would still have worked).

    I'd got my first MGL from an eLBM near Osaka during the Japanese war, and I used it to build an Army, which I then sent all the way south to Hangchow, where it was loaded with 3 vRiders, upgraded from Horsemen using my Leos-discount (I'd actually been trying for SunTzu, but got gazumped by the Portuguese, only 4T from completion). The Army was stationed due south of the chokepoint, so also dealt out ZoC-damage to the incoming stacks; the Trebs bombed the rest, and the LBMs and Horsemen/Riders slaughtered the injured.

    My first Rider-victory kicked off my GA, so in between building more Riders, my core-towns were also building Libs + Unis + Markets (and Peking built CopsObs as well!), while my Japanese conquests began building Courthouses + Ducts (formerly Egyptian towns built Workers as they starved). I also managed to get an SGL (for Physics, I think?) so I diverted to Navigation to build Magellans in Tsingtao (and also to allow me to trade Luxes to the Mayans + Byzzies).

    Once the stacks were mostly gone, I could start moving forwards. Progress through Egypt was initially slow, though, for several reasons:

    (1) I wanted to get a second MGL/Army, so I could send a covered stack of Riders down each coast, while also defending my conquests using followup stacks of the slower Trebs, LBMs, and a couple of Muskets (I'd also got Gunpowder by now); in the end, the second MGL/Army came from the Iron-island!
    (2) Cleo had managed to build the Great Wall in Thebes, so even without Iron, her Spear-guarded towns were that much harder to take, and her cities needed to be bombarded (also with the Trebs+ LBMs)
    (3) her Horses were right at the south end of her territory, and (I guess) she also got her GA from a WarChariot victory, so she was able to continue sending Chariots at me for almost the entire duration of the war

    Since most of my Riders had to pause to heal for a couple of turns per town captured, and the risk of flips was (initially) high, I pressed forward judiciously, only when I could be reasonably sure of taking the next town within a single turn. And by judicious Army-pillaging (or Treb-bombing) of the incoming roads, and blocking the remaining roads with my stack(s), Cleo didn't get many chances to retake her towns (she only managed it once, when I miscounted the path-length to an ungarrisoned capture): although a couple flipped back during the war, they didn't stay Egyptian for more than 1 interturn. This minimised my losses, and also kept WW lower, because I didn't have units on enemy territory for so long — and the healing units were also forcing incoming units off-road. But once I took Thebes, it was all over for her...

    If I'd put all my shields into Riders instead — and sent them all south, instead of also shipping a couple of Caravels full over to secure the 2 islands — I would probably have been able to conquer Egypt a little bit quicker, but I would have had a much less well-developed empire (and higher total unit-maintenance costs!) at the end of it. I also would not have been able to administer the coup de grace to Toku, as soon as our previous 20-turn PT was over.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  17. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    You're on the right track: science farms.
    Good.
    Good, but be wary of leaving armies or tons of valuable units inside a city that may flip. That can cost you lots of units. BTDT.
    Mostly good. If a town is big enough to warrant the shield and maintenance costs of a harbor, aque and market, it's big enough to produce military units, IMHO. The other side of that is: If it's not big enough to produce military units, it's not big enough to warrant those things.

    When I think "science farm," I'm talking about a town the sole purpose of which is to feed and support scientists (though they may be switched to tax collectors from time to time). For quite some time in my games, they get no buildings. None. Zero. They get CxC spacing, feed their scientists and produce beakers. That's it. When I first started playing C3C, someone here at CFC posted something that stuck with me. To paraphrase: "A city needs nothing to survive. The only question is what the empire needs for it to have."

    With all of that said, once I get rails and police officers, I will build a handful up into cities (7+) for the unit support. By and large, though, my farms produce nothing but workers and settlers, bombarders and beakers. Poor bums don't get no markets, no libraries, no harbors, no nothing.
     
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  18. tjs282

    tjs282 Stone \ Cold / Fish

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    OK, here are the manual saves that I have, plus a screencap of the World Map (from CAII) for each one. Unfortunately there are no really early-game saves, because I powered through the Ancient Age in a single long sitting (put it this way: the birds starting to chirp was what reminded me that it was really time to :sleep: :lol: ):

    490 AD (well after switching to Republic in 1200 BC or so, and also after the first Sino-Japanese war):
    Chinese Monarch 490 AD World.png
    Note that my ships have already nearly finished mapping the coastline of the other continent: you can see where I eventually managed to cross, from my easternmost town (and where earlier ships had failed to cross, west of Toku's island and east of Egypt).

    920 AD (Tokugawa is down to 1CC following the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the first Egyptian town, Pithom, has also just fallen):
    Chinese Monarch 920 AD World.png
    The Americans are already defunct, courtesy of Mayan + Viking aggression.

    1160 AD (Toku and now Cleo have just been forced into early retirement as well...):
    Chinese Monarch 1160 AD World.png
    Egyptian conquests are building Workers, or Settlers to fill in all those gaps Cleo left. And with a monopoly on Navigation, I could buy everyone else's WMap -- but they still can't sell maps to each other. Thanks for the gold, guys...

    Next stop on the Chinese World (Domination?) Tour: Copenhagen, on the Vikings' east coast, just north of the Byzzies (Pop4, Coal nearby and a Harbour already built -- thanks, Ragnar!)

    This is my core as of the most recent save. I've tagged each town with its founding date (Spoiler'd for large image):
    Spoiler Monitor's 1600 x 1200 pixels, what can ya do? :

    Chinese Monarch 1160 AD core.png
    Note that the Bank-builds in progress are actually shield-banks: i.e. prebuilds for Factories, for when Industrialization comes in. Ironically, Peking will likely get its Factory after the rest of the core (I'm not likely to lose Newtons to a cascade, since no-one else knows ToG yet...), but it should only take 10T or so.

    And then: prebuilds for ToE and Hoovers...?

    I made a few playing errors so far, mainly due to sloppiness/haste, but there were no reloads or do-overs. The saves are below
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  19. ArenE

    ArenE Chieftain

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    Amazing! :thumbsup: I still seem to make the same mistakes. After looking at what you did and what I did on that map, I can see a big difference. I need to improve my way of building cities. Since I don't have the experience I end up selecting early build sites poorly. I need to adapt your strategy of literally ringing the 1st city before going farther out. I try to do that but not systematically as you have done here. Thank you very much for that detailed explanation:D. I will have to keep going over it again and again for it to sink in.

    I understand what you are saying. How many scientists do you have in each city? I am not building anything but I just queue it up and then forget the city (I now know that is a bad idea) until large to add 3-5 scientists per city. Ex. my current unit limit is 160 because of science farms. So: from what you have said 95% corruption don't build anything, but < 90% build ducts and marketplaces then should I build barracks and then produce units?
     
  20. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    90% is the upper limit of corruption. You cannot go above 90%. Not unless you count in anarchy or (for shields only) riots.
     

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