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Noble to Prince

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by drlake, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    I can vouch for this advice. Blitzkrieg gave me this advice a while back and it works very well. :) I've had a number of successful warrior rushes and gotten nice land because of it. The only time I wasn't successful is when I was probably too far (still have trouble judging what is "close enough"). I realize warrior rushes aren't possible past Prince, but it gave me the opportunity to practice.

    I still play on Noble but I'm pretty sure I should move up. What I find encouraging for myself is that the great advice being given here are things I already do well (well I still have problems with city placement).
     
  2. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    Even on normal speed, warrior rushes are viable, especially if you have a three hammer tile in the BFC. 5 total warriors comes fast enough to catch the AI with 2 in his capital. Unless you get a really bad RNG roll (maybe 1 out of every 30-40 times), that's enough to do it.
     
  3. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    This is what I intend to do. I recently won a Noble Domination victory in 1864AD (although I vassaled all the civs, what no conquest?) where I had a significant tech lead. I mean, I was nuking longbowmen and macemen and crossbowmen.

    On Monarch, what is the hardest thing to adjust too? Is it the fact that my techs cost 15% more? All the costs (unit, distance maint, civic) are still cheaper. The fact that I cottage like crazy should still give me a nice tech lead, correct?
     
  4. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    My opinion:

    On monarch, by far the toughest adjustment is archers. Early rushes are later than on prince or below, because you have to find a military resource and then build enough to rush - no more warrior rush tricks.

    Everything else is a little tougher - overall it makes a difference. It was a tough jump for me - the toughest I had (before I gave up trying to jump to deity). Maintenance is a little more difficult, diplo is tougher, and the AI expands a little better. But the archer thing is the biggest change for someone used to playing on the lower levels.
     
  5. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I've never really been an early rusher. I guess it would be harder with the archer there.

    I guess I will have to try it and see. I'll probably get a rude awakening. :)

    I was just thinking that when playing Noble, I was so far ahead in techs that Monarch would bring me to an equal footing with the AI. I realize this the other night when I was looking at the techs the AI wanted and was baffled that they still didn't have, for example, Compass and I was researching like Artillery.
     
  6. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    Like michmbk said, no more warrior rushes...so if you're used to doing that, you'll lose that advantage. And if you count on a warrior rush to win on Prince, you're probably not ready for Monarch.

    Health becomes more of a factor at Monarch too. Civs with EXP leaders or health generating UBs gain some standing, imo. Diplomacy is also considerably more difficult...no more blanket denials of enemy demands, not unless you want to get attacked frequently.
     
  7. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    What do you find works for diplomacy? Personally, I'm usually willing to make trades of techs or resources with AI civs, and have no problems running Open Borders. Where I have trouble figuring out what to do is when they demand I break ties with a third civ, or attack that civ. Half the time, I'm not sure what if anything I'm trading with that third party civ, so I'm not sure whether or not it is a good idea to break those ties.
     
  8. jacklours

    jacklours Chieftain

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    I usually press F4 then and check the diplo advisor. It helps figuring who has ties with who.
     
  9. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    You can do that with a diplomatic contact open? D'oh! I never tried that. :wallbash:
     
  10. jacklours

    jacklours Chieftain

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    Yeah I found out a few months ago. It's a nice change from guessing all the time.

    Edit : don't press escape to leave the diplo screen though because it shuts the first window instead of the advisor's (well my computer does anyways)
     
  11. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    OK, thanks for the tip.
     
  12. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    I have used warrior rushes but I don't think I'd need them to win. For me, it was always just easier. Although I'm certainly not an expert at the early rush, I understand the mechanics of it. For me, the difficult part of the early rush is not to build enough units, but whether I'm close enough to do it. This, I guess, will come with experience.

    When you say health is a factor, what do you mean? The AI starts with a higher :health: base?

    Diplomacy, yeah, I have read about that here about the consequences of denying demands from AI. I've denied them a many of times on Noble and realize you cannot do that on Monarch. Are there more "hidden" diplo modifiers on Monarch?

    Oh, I'm sure I'll be looking for more info after my first crushing defeat on Monarch.:)

    Thanks again for the tips.
     
  13. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I am looking at a manual I have, and it actually says that the health base from noble all the way to Deity is the same....I don't think that's right, but could be mistaken. (I decided to look up what I'd said when you asked for details) Maybe it's just that when I started to play prince was when I got good enough to regularly notice when I'd hit health caps.

    According to the listing I have the actual biggest difference is in unit upkeep and # of free units. Unit upkeep goes up by 20% (.5 to .6 multiplier) and free units go down by 25% (8 to 6). Other than that, everything gets marginally harder...goody huts aren't quite as good, barbarians a little tougher, everything a little more expensive etc.

    EDIT: Okay: I was mistaken...Health bonus (+2) is the same all the way from Noble up.
     
  14. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I usually try to gift things to civs that are borderline with me (barely pleased, barely cautious or barely friendly). Easiest is usually gold or tech, but you can also build a settler, then use it to found a sub-par city location on the civ's border (or even out on an island somewhere) then gift that to the civ.

    When there is a demand to stop trading with a worst enemy, hit F4 to bring up the diplomacy screen, and you can check your trades. It is very dependent on three issues whether I accept such a demand: 1- how likely is it that accepting/denying the demand am I likely to get into an unwanted war (which is dependent on the personalities of both civs and the current diplo modifiers, also visible on the diplo screen), 2 - What trades will I lose if I accept the demand and 3 - What trades might I gain by accepting the demand (If you bring someone up a diplo level, they may trade resources/techs they wouldn't previously). So if I am friendly with the person making the demand, and only barely pleased with the worst enemy I am being asked to betray, and I don't want a war, then I deny the demand. Or if I am getting a key strategic resource from civ A when Civ B demands I stop trading with Civ A, and civ B won't provide that resource, I almost always say no.

    I am sure there are better diplomacy players than me though...I often accept or deny the demand based on who I am planning on killing next anyway.
     
  15. capnvonbaron

    capnvonbaron Democratia gladii

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    Nothing hidden. Civs just become more trigger-happy, AND their SoD is usually a lot scarier than you may be used to. Oh, since we're on the subject, a VITAL monarch tip --

    No what civs declare war at "pleased" and keep tabs on their attitude and power ratio to you. Keep an eye both on your borders AND several tiles into your neighbor's borders if any civ is even mildly peeved at you. If you and Hattie are happy pals, but Catherine there on the other side of Egypt holds a power advantage over you, you might see a massive stack of Russian units heading your way. Get a good look at what is in the stack, and then consider a couple of options:

    1) Bribe Hattie to close borders with Cathy. Perfect if Cathy's SoD bounces back into Russian territory -- you bought some time to whip/buy/draft a counter stack to her stack. Not so perfect if it bounces to unclaimed tiles bordering you... make sure you have everything claimed!
    2) Beg a pittance of gold from Cathy. 5:gold: should do fine -- it gives you an automatic 10 turns of peace before she can attack. Keep tabs on where the stack goes and do what I said in point 1.
    3) Don't do anything and let her DoW. If you have friends, try and get them on your side. Whittle down the stack with siege and clean up as best as possible. If you can, you are almost always better off taking to the offensive vs the stack than letting the enemy AI chose the terms of battle.

    Sometimes I'll move workers or leftover ancient units within sight of the stack and try to draw individual units out to opportunistically kill. If your rivals are overseas, expect a naval attack around the rifle/cav age. The AI is still kinda bad with naval assaults, but it can be tough to protect all your coastal cities from massive attacks. Blimps and leftover caravels are your friends here -- keep your eyes to the sea :)
     
  16. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    Monarch:
    For the no-more-warriors early rush, prioritize a worker tech to feed your capital (if your civ didn't start with one outright), and then go for a tech that provides military options (such as AH/Wheel for chariots or BW for axes). Then it's time for farms/food resources/whipping. Chop out units, too. You can have a pretty strong force pretty quickly with the chop/whip strategy. Just use lots of high :hammers: tiles and low :food: tiles while regrowing after a whip. This gets you more units pushed out before you can whip again waiting for :mad: to go away.

    If you don't have any strategic resources nearby, you may be in a bind. At that point, go for IW and prep a settler to be able to settle with the iron in the small city Fat Cross. Get workers out there to connect the city fast. Honestly, the swordsmen rush is the hardest one for me. Usually, if I'm planning on rushing an AI, it's because there isn't too much decent land to settle without a war. If I need to get to IW in order to claim land, it may be too late as an AI may DoW on me (if aggressive neighbor).

    However, I actually got lucky in my last game as Asoka (ORG/SPI). I had Monty to my west across some nasty desert terrain, and HC to my south with good jungle/cottage-able terrain. I went for AH, no horses, but popped BW from a hut. No copper anywhere near me, either, but HC had it in his capital's BFC. Monty was becoming more powerful and our shared religion can only stave him off for so long. But I was able to beeline IW (thanks to popping BW from the hut) and rush HC to take his good lands. Bribed Monty to war with another AI to keep him off my back while I rebuilt my economy/whipped infrastructure/filled in the land.

    Turns out it was my best game to date. So, I guess you should never discount the ability to rush successfully even if you don't have any horses/copper.
     
  17. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    Good advice. What's the time span for this? I guess what I am asking is to build up a nice army to early rush (not Protective or Aggressive), what's the deadline? 2000BC? 1000BC? I guess I need to factor in a) the turns to build up the army and then the turns to actually reach the city(ies) themselves?

    I can build 6 axemen, but by the time I reach the enemy, they would have had time to beef up their defenses.
     
  18. Kietharr

    Kietharr Prince

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    Not that much of a jump between noble and prince. Prince is the first level where the AI starts getting substantial bonuses (they also get some on noble but it's the closest to 'balanced' there is) but if you've got a good military game and a little bit of diplomacy skill it's pretty easy to keep up or even stay ahead of the game.

    The only people I've ever seen have problems with the jump are the noble players that try to get every wonder and build every building in every city, which you can get away with on noble (and tbh even prince or monarch if you get good land). Wonders are still quite easy to obtain on Prince but you need the extra hammers focused on military builds.

    Just keep one thing in mind as you climb the ladder: The AI is awful at warring. They may have more units than you do but they also do boneheadded things like bringing 30 cannons and 5 riflemen to attack a city with a machinegun. Military victories get harder with level, but not as much as lategame tech based victories such as UN or Space due to the AI's huge beaker and hammer bonuses. The AI still gets hammer bonuses to make huge militaries and tech bonuses to have modern ones, but that does not change the fact that the AI doesn't know how to use them.
     
  19. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    This is entirely dependent on the map, location of rivals, the land in your capital, your chosen civ, and gamespeed.

    You kinda have to read the whole game situation to make a judgment call on how much time you have to RUSH your neighbor. If you play on Normal speed and the rival civ is pretty far away (IE more than 15 tiles away), you might want to focus on peaceful expansion first (which also needs BW for whipping, so you can also get a defensive postured military force online during peaceful expansion).

    I can't give you a definite answer because I have successfully RUSHed a neighbor on Emperor with Swords in 200BC and I have UN-successfully rushed a neighbor with Axes in 2000-ish BC.

    I generally have 6 to 8 cities online by 1AD (given a Standard or Large sized map) and recovering nicely from REX or war (100-125:science: per turn with a near-zero net :gold: per turn). So if I have to rush to get them, I want to have the cities captured by 1000BC to allow for whipping infrastructure. I really don't know, though, as I generally don't pay heed to the year count until I'm checking my economy @ 1AD.

    As a piece of general advice, if my civ starts with Mining, I will usually go for Bronze Working as my early military tech-of-choice unless I have pigs/cows/sheep in my BFC. This is because BW not only reveals copper/allows you to build axes/spears, but it also unlocks the Slavery civic and opens up chopping forests for workers. But again, priority number one is feeding the capital since you don't have much hope of getting out settlers/workers/whipping an army without food. This is why I love starting with Agriculture and having corn in the capital BFC. I can start researching AH or Mining->BW right away and get the rush going faster.

    EDIT: I wonder if any higher level players have prioritized BW straight off the bat (starting with Mining) in order to chop settlers/axes out and only prioritizing a food tech AFTER getting BW. It doesn't seem like it would be optimal, but perhaps in some bad situations (ie VERY close Shaka AND Monty), it would be preferable to be able to claim the copper site ASAP. Any Immortal/Deity players want to chime in on this one?
     
  20. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    Ah, yes. This brings up a memory of one of my very first games on Prince when I thought I had mastered the Axe Rush and decided to Axe Rush Hatshepsut. Anybody want to guess what happened there?

    I've been playing so long that sometimes I forget that I had my own learning curve for things that seem so obvious now.

    So, let me add another bit of advice for moving from Noble to Prince: Pay attention to strengths and weaknesses of other civs. When you are first making the move up between these two levels, you may suddenly feel some pain from AI civs actually getting an advantage from their leader traits and/or unique units and buildings. At Noble, you could probably out-research Sitting Bull so badly, that you could smack around his protective archers with maces before he ever has a chance to get longbows. That window's a lot smaller as you move up in levels.
     

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