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Noble to Prince

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

  1. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    Too true. However, I've had maces vs. archer wars on Monarch level. It all depends on how you play the game ;). I'd say that Monarch is the level to really start focusing on the AI's UU and UB and their likely play style. For example, you can almost always have a war against Willem van Oranje and paralyze him without taking a single city. Just ravage his cottages. Same thing with Wang Kong. They almost always cottage spam. But on Noble/Prince, you might as well just over run him.
     
  2. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I've actually had maces prior to 100AD on monarch. There is a trick to it - no overexpansion, build the glh and use GMs to bulb MC and CS, while building the Oracle for CoL. The key is to be everyone's friend right up to that moment, then go medieval (literally) on their asses.
     
  3. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    I've been having an interesting time in my first Prince level game. I went with the Noble's Club IV (Frederick) game, since it looked interesting (I don't look at spoilers until I pass the same date). I tried an Axe rush against Pacal a couple different ways (saved before jumping off) and found that against high culture cities on hilltops defended by CG archers it doesn't work very well, but 8 Axes worked great for taking out everything that wasn't on a hill. By keeping him smacked down, I was able to tech enough and build up to Swords/Cats as the core of my army, though by the time I finished him off around 1200 AD - I'm too slow :( - I was using Eles and Maces.

    Right now I'm on top of the power chart, with Monty and Washington right below me. The two of them are different religions, and Monty has Gandhi for a vassal while George has someone else, maybe Huayna Capac. The Koreans are still independent, I think, but share a religion with George and I. I'm next to Monty, and he and his vassal just made peace with George and his gang, so I'm probably in for a war shortly. I just broke Open Borders with Monty a couple turns ago (it's around 1400 AD now), so he's pissed.

    I'm expecting to lose this game, since George has the AP and came damn close to winning an AP vote recently. I have the religion but only in a couple of cities, so should probably shift a city to missionaries to spread it before the next vote.
     
  4. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    @drlake: The capital is usually the biggest hurdle for axe rushes. The capital can have 40% cultural defense. If CG archers on a hill with that kind of culture bonus, you need a lot of axes to dislodge the AI. However, if culture has reached this level, it may mean that you took too long to get the RUSH going.

    Pacal sometimes founds a religion which makes the culture bonus (usually to the capital) pretty significant, 50% IIRC. Even a well timed rush will have a hard time with dislodging an AI with CG archers on a hill in a Holy City.

    @mariogrey: You can have maces vs. axes on Monarch without using GMs to bulb techs or having the GLH although it will definitely occur much faster if you do. If I have a good cottage-spamable capital, I usually prioritize Civil Service fairly soon in order to boost the science output of the capital early on (since I start working cottages while researching Currency). After that, researching Machinery while in bureaucracy isn't too bad and I have maces when a few civs are still on the path to Feudalism. I guess it all depends on your land and tech path choices.
     
  5. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    True enough. I developed the method I described to play the Vikings, whose UU/UB makes lots of coastal cities a preferable strategy, hence the glh part. And once you have the glh, you should see at least one GM before CS.

    But I am guessing you'd agree that the real key is that early diplomacy...you can't fight an offensive axe-war and make maces super-early, in my experience. Beelining maces is a pretty solid strategy when faced with limited land and a tough to crack neighbor (Hammy, SB).
     
  6. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    @blitzkrieg
    Yeah, my "rush" was definitely later than ideal. The nearest copper was maybe 12 tiles away, though I did settle my second city next to it and connect it to my capital (and third city, established later) as soon as I could. The minute I had the copper connected and barracks built, I started to chop out some Axes and went after Pacal when I had about 8 of them. I actually got Iron working (and had Iron in my capital BFC) before my Axe "rush" began, so it wasn't as fast as would have been nice.

    That said, I did win that war, and am now in the process of dismantling Monty's empire. Still no diplomatic loss to Washington, but it's close. I'm one of the first civs to gunpowder, and am pushing toward grenadiers and cannon to keep the pressure on Monty.
     
  7. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    :goodjob: solid, drlake. Way to employ that early rush. Losses have to be expected in a rush, but gaining a second Capital city and access to superior land is always worth the military loss (if the RUSH works of course :lol:)

    @mariogrey:
    No doubt, man. Maces and bureaucracy are worth the beeline all their own. Mostly, though, I'll go for early Construction/catapults with a tough-to-crack neighbor. Well, at least on Monarch that always seemed to work fine. Haven't tried it on emperor yet. Probably better to go for maces/bureaucracy on emperor.
     
  8. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I also haven't faced a situation where I had to take down one of those guys early on emperor yet either. I do think Maces could be the decisive advantage in such a war...but the danger is someone like Hammy who sometimes gets a great tech rate going may get to guilds by taking the feudalism path...and suddenly your army of cats/maces is in real trouble. I think axes/cats is probably the higher percentage strategy as levels advance beyond monarch. (at which level a good mace beeline can kill an enemy with surprisingly few losses)
     
  9. calla

    calla Chieftain

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    hey all, thought i'd piggy back this thread since i've just made the jump up to noble as well.

    as far as maps go, i think i'm addicted to the earth2 generator since i get that 'authentic' feel to the game. seems like the fractal map is the most preferred. would it be easier to improve my gameplay on the fractal map vs the earth2 map?

    when going for the cs slingshot, is it better to start with a civ that starts with a religion tech? i've been playing a lot with roosevelt and it seems pretty dificult since he starts so behind.

    how do i combat what seems to be a spy spam by the ai civs? unless i have spying up to around 20%-30% there always seems to be an improvment getting destroyed, etc. what really hurts the most is the water poisoning that pretty much cripples my high production cities.

    i've read the gpp guide think i'm slowly getting the hang of gp farming but it still seems like a crap shoot as to which gp i build. in terms of wonders, should i be building only the ones that add to the type i want to get?

    i think thats it for now, i'm sure i'll have more questions as i keep playing/reading. thanks
     
  10. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    Calla;

    No idea on the map question. I've been playing through the Noble's Club games, so that I can see how other players (at different difficulty levels) dealt with the same map and AI civs. You might want to give those a shot, the early ones have all be fun games.

    The intensity of AI espionage seems related to the AI civs in the game. I've played games where I was getting hit all the time, and games where it is a minor issue. I suggest you build spies and station them in key cities, that seemed to help when I tried it. I generally just rebuild rather than boost my espionage slider very high. So far, that has worked for me on Noble and Prince.

    For GP farming, my experience is that you focus your efforts using specialists, not wonders. How thoroughly you pursue GPs depends on the way you are playing the game. I did my current game as a SE (specialist economy) game (NC IV - Frederick), and that has taught me a lot about using specialists and GP farming.
     
  11. WeaselSlapper

    WeaselSlapper Prince

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    Like you I was never one for an early rush, but the more I play I find myself getting better at it (by early I mean with axes/chariots not warriors). Now I actually look for opportunities for an early rush. What helped me make the jump to price was getting the hang of city specialization. Once I figured out what types of terrain were the best kinds of places to put each type of city I was able to handle Price easily.

    What helped me make the jump to Monarch was ideal placement of cities (the one thing that really helped was making sure I had a good source of food in each BFC and not worrying about overlap), learning when and how to utilize specialists, and focusing more on worker/resource techs rather then trying to snag a relion. Before this I was able to only win a Monarch game every so often now I find it quite easy and I'm about ready to make the jump to Emperor.

    Something that helped me with my diplo was being willing to give into AI demands/requests for techs and resources (I used to always say no on principal). I almost always give in now unless I'm planning on declaring on that civ soon or they are demanding a freshly researched tech that I plan to leverage the advantage of. As far as stop tradind/go to war. You need to pick who you want to have as your ally/allies early and almost do what they ask especially if the person they're asking you to declare on is on another continent and nobody has astro yet. What I'm still getting better at is deciding who I want as my ally and who I'm going to kill. For my last few Monarch games I've been practicing not relying on war and relying more on diplo to help me figure out what kinds of strategies to use. My diplo is still the weakest part of my game and needs the most improvement so I'm sure there are others here that can give you better advice.
     
  12. WeaselSlapper

    WeaselSlapper Prince

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    What helped me was whenever I don't have a continent to my self I always keep a spy in each of my cities, just like I would keep a defender. Having a spy in the city will help you catch AI spies, but it's no foolproof. Also if you're at war with someone you have to use counter espionage. For me normally one turn before I declare I have a spy counter espionage the civ I'm going to attack and I make sure that I do it again the next time it comes up (I play normal speed so it lasts 10 turns).
     
  13. calla

    calla Chieftain

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    will having a spy stationed within my city also help defend against tile improvement sabotages?

    i'm still a bit confused on how to exactly run a specialist economy. guess i'll have to look through the nc thread
     
  14. WeaselSlapper

    WeaselSlapper Prince

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    Spies seem to have a bit of a range where they can catch enemy spies, but even if you have a spy stationed in a city that city can still be targeted, it just increases the odds of you catching them. The only thing that works reliably is counter espionage, but it's a pain to keep that active so I normally only use that when I'm at war.
     
  15. calla

    calla Chieftain

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    holy cow i just tried that nc frederick scenario on prince and i can't seem to rex fast enough to prevent pacal from getting a ton of cities
     
  16. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    I used a couple of wars to beat him down. First war took out (absorbed or destroyed) several of his more weakly defended cities with a stack of Axes (plus a spear or two and a sword or two). Second war added catapults and wiped him out. That was on Prince/Epic.
     
  17. Sportyatuncw06

    Sportyatuncw06 Warlord

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    I just recently made the jump to prince myself and am now working on Monarch. I do well on small maps but am working on larger maps, diplomacy, and specialization. I seems to me the AI expands much faster on prince than noble. Trying to match their expansion drains your economy and leaves your defenses weak. I have started a policy of early rushes to slow down AI rexing. One thing I have learned in prince is war is more effective soon than later. Often I wait until I feel I can overpower my neighbors and while this works in noble and I can often eliminate ais in one swoop, sometimes on prince I have to make peace and come at them a second time like drlake said. The number one thing I have learend though is being on top of the tech race is not necessary on higher levels, in fact it can actually be detrimental. There are many ways to catch back up in the tech race and deficits I use to consider impossible to make up are now closed very quickly.
     
  18. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    I remember that game! It was a very fun game, but that was not exactly a map I would suggest for somebody trying to move up a level. BTW, read my first post in that thread (it's on the last page.) I also thought about trying to out REX Pacal, right up to the point where a series of early events made me go for iron working early. Pacal, like most AI leaders, was MUCH more useful dead in that game.
     
  19. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    Generally speaking, the AI will slow it's tech rate and invest highly in espionage if you start running away with techs early on. Especially if the civ is an aggressive unit spammer, their tech rate tends to get stale pretty quickly and if you're playing on easier levels, you can pretty much dominate the AI in techs. If that happens (at least from what I've noticed in my experience), the AI will start investing heavily in espionage.

    I've not had too much trouble with spies since the 3.17 patch fixed the AI's water poisoning bug. Do you have the latest patch?
     
  20. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    Ah, that's very interesting. I'm fully patched, but am still trying to figure out Espionage beyond the basics. I'm finding it very useful already, though.
     

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