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[BTS] Nobles' Club 201 - Alexander of Greece

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Fish Man, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Side note: before I begin, I made sure to set MaxTurns=0...so if your game ends before it should on marathon/epic, I absolve myself of any responsibility!

    Edit: fixed handicaps, everything should work now. Reply if it doesn't and I'll troubleshoot again. Also, phalanx not hoplite...kept thinking in Civ5 for some reason.

    The Nobles' Club series started out as a way for Noble-level (and below) players to improve their game. Most of the original participants now play at much higher levels, so this has become a way for advanced players to help others learn to play better. You can play your own game at any level and with any mod, but it would be nice to comment on the games of other players and give them advice.

    Our next leader is Alexander of Greece, a decent leader by any standard. His starting techs, hunting and fishing, leave some to be desired, but they still open up a few options, including a fast-track to animal husbandry and the option to start on a workboat immediately if needed. His traits, agg and phi, are more powerful than they might first appear. Agg gives you a leg up in some early rushes and helps greatly against barb archers, while phi is considered top-tier for the bulbing benefits it provides, especially in the upper levels. Or you could run a superspy economy like @Kaitzilla :).

    The UU, the phalanx, is an axeman that has 100% defense against chariot. Not the most useful thing in the world, but if you need to axe-rush someone it safeguards against nasty surprises should they have horses.

    The UB, the odeon, is a colosseum replacement with an extra +3:culture:, +1:c5happy:, 2 artist slots, and +1:c5happy: from hit singles. Not too shabby for a culture victory, but alas, that is not going to be a path many will be likely to pursue with such a warlike leader. It's also alright for guarding borders against tile flipping when you don't want to go all the way to drama.

    And the start:

    Spoiler :




    Spoiler: map details

    Spoiler :

    Medium sea level, temperate climate, continents. No other edits.

    The narrative:

    Spoiler :

    "I'm not a warmonger!", insists Alexander. "I swear! In fact, I'm better at teching and peaceful expansion than any other guy or gal in the game!"

    And to prove it, he'll win via a science victory, and he'll do it faster than almost anyone's ever done it before!


    The challenge condition:

    Spoiler :

    Launching a spaceship...WITH NO SURVIVORS! (Kudos if you got that reference.)

    As Alexander, on any difficulty you desire, and taking full advantage of his traits, achieve a space race victory in under 250 turns. However - you also need to completely kill everyone else on your continent, with no exceptions, before any other civ from another continent meets them. You're gonna need all the land you'll get with this tight of a deadline. And besides, after all, we wouldn't want to leave any evidence of our crimes behind, would we? Nope, we're completely peaceful people - what do you mean our city names are un-Greek? That's preposterous; we wouldn't harm a fly!

    (Keep in mind that expansion and warring is significantly easier on the lower difficulties but tech trading and letting AIs do the heavy lifting/settling for you is an advantage of higher difficulties. On noble you're not likely to get any trades if you rush all your neighbors and become too strong early on. Choose your level carefully!)



    Finally, a cut and paste of our standard doctrine: The WB-saves are attached (zipped; they are bigger than standard saves). To play, simply download and unzip it into your BTS/Saves/WorldBuilder folder. Start the game, and load your favorite MOD (if you use one, if not, check out the BUG MOD), select "Play Scenario", and look for "NC number Leader Noble" (or Monarch, etc., for higher levels). You can play with your favorite MOD at the Level and Speed of your choice. From Quick-Warlord to Marathon-Deity, all are welcome! We stuck with the name "Nobles Club" because it has a cool ring to it.

    What's up with specific difficulties
    :

    In each scenario file you can select your level of difficulty, but that doesn't give the AI the right bonus techs by itself. Use the Noble save for all levels at and below Prince. The Monarch save gives all the AI Archery. Emperor adds Hunting; Immortal adds Agriculture; Deity adds The Wheel.

    For players on Monarch or above, you should add archery as a tech for the barbarians (if you don't, the AI will capture their cities very early). This cannot be done in the WB save file and must be done in Worldbuilder as follows.

    How to add techs to the barbarians:
    1. Zoom in all the way so you can't see the rest of the map.
    2. Use the CTRL-W key (or the menu) to enter the worldbuilder. Avoid looking at the mini-map in the lower right corner.
    3. By default you're in "player" mode (look in the box in the upper right; the icon that looks like a person should be selected). You'll get a drop down menu labeled with your leader's name. Barbarians are at the bottom, so cover the rest of the list with your hand if you don't want to see who else is on the map. Select "Barbarians".
    4. Select the "Technologies" tab in the box on the left.
    5. Find Archery (the arrow head icon; 8th row, 3rd column from the right) and click it.
    6. Exit the worldbuilder.
    7. Zoom out again after the map fades, and start playing.
    If you're playing at higher level than Monarch, consider also giving them Hunting at Emperor, Agriculture at Immortal, and The Wheel at Deity.

    Huts and events:

    The standard saves have no huts and have events turned off. If you want tribal villages and random events, choose the saves with "Huts" in their names. If you want huts but no events, select the Huts saves and use Custom Scenario to turn on the option that suppresses events.

    And with that - happy (very) late Thanksgiving (you can imagine the pig is a turkey if you want) and let the games begin!
     

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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  2. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Nice!
    Pigs, riverside gold and some corn to top it off!
     
  3. Olafeson

    Olafeson Prince

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    You sure you have the right settings. Somehow the demographic shows only 16000 soldiers instead of the usual 24000 to 30000 soldiers. At turn 0. Deity difficulty NHNE.
     
  4. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Yes, something is wrong.
    Played from the NHNE-deity save. Met an AI with a warrior and only one city.
    Did open the wb-file and it seems that all AIs have nobles level units. (One settler and one scout/warrior).
     
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  5. Olafeson

    Olafeson Prince

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    Probably Scout 2N on the grassland hill to check if it would be beneficial to move more inland in order to avoid coast and grab more land tiles and maybe more river tiles. Another choice woul be the PH with forest 1E for faster worker. SiP is quite decent too. Thanks for the map @Undefeatable .
     
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  6. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Prince

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    Eh...aren't those called Phalanx?

    As for their defensive capabilities, for reference, a Spear out in the open is (slightly) better against Chariots than a Phalanx in a forest. Since Alex starts with Hunting, and there probably isn't a line of defensive terrain leading to enemy cities, I would recommend you build a Spear or two to act as a stack defender anyway. That said surprise attacks are indeed significantly less dangerous. Under ideal circumstances a Chariot only has a <30% chance to survive attempting to snipe a(n Aggressive) Phalanx. Against a regular Axe that'd be >90%.
     
  7. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I tried to run the script, and it seems to work now.
    Can't give any guarantees though, since this isn't the proceedure I'm used to. :)
     

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  8. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    This is weird...I removed AI_handicap_noble line from every player?

    I did it manually btw, maybe I should look into getting Linux...
     
  9. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Found what the problem was! You have to remove handicap_noble from every AI line...even the AIs who don't exist. So, players 7 through 17 get the same treatment as 0 through 6.

    Also...fixed the UU name. Kept thinking hoplite for some reason.
     
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  10. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Still old file up? I downloaded again and still no settler on deity.
    Use my file, or make sure the file in the header works. :)
     
  11. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Yeah, still old file.

    Replying previously made me a bit late for class, will fix ASAP :)
     
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  12. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Alright, should be here and free of problems now. Have fun!
     
  13. Wrathful

    Wrathful Warlord

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    Immortal NHNE to Turn 50:

    Spoiler :

    Fantastic start here, with two strong food tiles and gold too. Moved scout 2N, found some floodplains. Settled on the PH 1E of settler initial position.

    Met this guy just in time to get the bonus to Agriculture.
    Suleiman.png
    Went Agriculture first, then Mining, then Bronze Working.

    Met Shaka much later (Turn 28).
    Shaka.png

    Found copper by this pretty awesome city spot. Pigs and corn...sounds familiar. And it has some flood plains in the second ring. Can I beat imperialistic Suleiman to this spot? He did settle his second city already, so I might have a chance.
    Awesome City Spot.png

    Settler produced on T34, revolted to slavery then. Went for Animal Husbandry after BW and found horses in my capital. Very nice.

    I don't really know if this is the best second city spot, but I still went for it. Surely I won't lose it to the barbarian...because they can't enter borders yet. I hope.
    Sparta.png

    After AH I went for the wheel. Want to hook up my copper to defend against the inevitable barb rush from the frozen wastelands up north.

    Fortunately, Suleiman provided me with some much needed free labor...
    Worker Stealing.png

    Shaka won't mind. I think I will wipe out Suleiman later with Horse Archers. Or Phalanxes, gotta use the unique unit. Let's see what his land looks like...

    Suleiman Capital.png

    Looks pretty good, with pig and corn. Déjà vu?

    Third city up on turn 44, taking the (farmed) pig.
    Corinth.png

    Found Suleiman's second city and horse supply. And a barbarian.
    Edirne + Warrior + Horse.png

    I researched Pottery after The Wheel. And that brings us to T50. Kind of hard to fit everything into one screenshot, but here goes...
    T50.png

    Sparta can 1-pop whip a Phalanx when needed. Some barb warriors are coming from the north. Suleiman has no metal; he brags about his numberless Chariot when I pester him long enough. But he might get copper soon. He wants a city for peace.

    Athens will get out a work boat the turn after the warrior. I didn't check what map script this is. Plus, I revealing the coast would help me get trade routes with Shaka eventually. Won't be trading with Suleiman.

    No religion on this landmass. Hope the other continent isn't full of super techers. I didn't check for Mansa. But they haven't built any wonders yet...no one has. So there might be hope. And there might be someone else on this landmass, seems to be a big continent.
     

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  14. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Noble, huts and events, just for maximum fun and de-stressing :crazyeye:.

    Spoiler :

    t142 communism and 1000bpt, 25 cities

    I hope I can make the t250 deadline. Continent has no marble, which is annoying, so MoM is slow, Taj will take forever, and missed out on Oracling CS because taking out Shaka took way too many chariots (and he didn't even have metal!).

    Research plan: physics and electricity for mill commerce boost. Then to assembly line it is. None of the AIs seem even close to feudalism and it's past 500AD. Oh noble difficulty, how I've missed you.

    The capital:

    Spoiler :




    The commerce core:

    Spoiler :



     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  15. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Spoiler :

    This is immortal, you're agg, and Sillyman's capital is flat. A pure axerush could still very well be feasible at this point, though somewhat risky.
     
  16. Samuel_996

    Samuel_996 Chieftain

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    Deity NHNE/Normal to 1AD (t115)

    Spoiler :


    Scout 2N finds a second gold tile! I have a long think about it and opt for the PH capital even though AG->AH->MIN->BW leaves a few worker turns hanging. Settling on PH seems to offer a very nice city 2N1W of the pigs, so I opt for that configuration.



    There are also two very suspicious unforested grasslands in my BFC. I'm rescued from sac'ing a few worker turns when one of them pops horses.

    Anyway, things proceed fairly swimmingly. I meet Suleiman on turn 5, in time for a small bonus to my Agriculture research, and manage to get two good cities along his border without really having to race him. Here's turn 50.



    Corinth takes back the pigs without too much difficulty.

    Taking account of my two risky neighbours, lack of religion, and high-food spots, I decide a semi-beeline to Code of Laws is reasonable. Corinth pops the holy city and I spread it to both Suleiman and Shaka. Once I run out of premium spots to settle, I also gift both a city. Suleiman's tundra crapheap actually gets razed by barbs before he gets any defenders to it:



    Which is obviously good, because now he has to spend the hammers settling it himself, while I still get the diplo. Still, I was looking forward to being able to trade for a fur.

    Anyway, with PHI, religion, and food, Caste+Pacifism seems too good to miss, (I decided the Horse Archer window was too narrow in this game given Suleiman's decently high buildunitprob. He was advertising his swordsmen at around turn 50 anyway.) so I start gearing for a fairly standard bulb-line to a Cuir rush.

    A spanner is thrown into the works around turn 97, when Shaka goes into WHEOOHRN. Having Alphabet but not Currency, I desperately research all but a handful of beakers into the cheapest tech I had available - Archery - and beg for it. He accepts (t99):



    And then promptly declares on Suleiman (t100):



    I had thought this was fairly unlikely since they were pleased towards each other from first sight, but I guess my gifting and religion worked out. Plus, he had enough borders with Suleiman to make him a land target, whereas he didn't with me. No matter - I don't see this being a game with a huge risk of early WFYABTA. I just wish I'd begged for Sailing instead. Anyway, Suleiman has Currency, so I beg 40 gold from him and end up with 10-turn peaces with both my neighbours. This is useful because I don't want either of them demanding I join the war.

    So I carry on with the bulb path. By 75BC when Civil Service is in, I've already bulbed Philosophy and have two further scientists out, who are doubling as cartographers by scouting the continent. I opt to switch back into Slavery at the same time as Bureaucracy to save a turn later. Not sure about this move because staying in Caste would allow me maybe 2 or 3 more GPs, one of which could be used for a Golden Age. I was hurting for infra, though, so I thought it wasn't too bad a call. I'll only need one more GS to be able to bulb both Paper and Education (the Lib bulb is impossible with leaders who start with Fishing), and that will come in more than enough time just working two scientists with PHI/Pacifism.



    And here's 1AD:



    Shaka has a nice stack sitting in the one city he managed to take from Suleiman in their (now concluded) war. Though he's at +10 with me, he's got something like 8 more turns of peace with Suleiman, so I'm a bit worried about him (in a kind of abstract, "nothing I can really do if he comes for me now" sort of way). I've only recently discovered the little island just south of me. I'm toying with settling the double clam city



    but it doesn't really help me achieve anything. It's a long slog to Nationalism especially with no Academy and not that strong of a capital, and I could do without the extra maintenance. That said, neither Shaka nor Suleiman are looking particularly strong, so I think I have a reasonable chance of converting this into an endgame. I'll probably play for cuirs -> space because I'm not really feeling intercontinental stuff.



    Will get back to this in a few days hopefully. Got some job applications to work on but had a little crack at the early game to procrastinate :D
     

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  17. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    t219 space race win. Challenge completed successfully! :dance:

    Spoiler :



    This was by far my quickest space win on normal speed EVER, including all difficulties and civs (yes, even HC). The true power of phi is letting you bulb every expensive tech ever on the way to communism, and then still having enough GP generation power to nab a 4-person golden age while spamming like 3 trade missions - that's what people mean when they rank it higher than financial. Still, the terrain, and the fact that half the tiles on the continent seemed to be grassland riverside, helped a lot as well.

    I might add a detailed writeup later, but for the moment, the most important thing I learned was this: if you have free space for simcity expansion like this (especially on noble where you've killed everyone off), the fastest way to space is forgo economy, spam settlers/workers, and rush/lib communism. And don't hardbuild them - whip like your life depends on it :whipped:! Because you only get to press enter about 250 times or less times, turns are valuable, and slavery saves so many of them even if you forgo growing cottages. Every turn a good tile is left unimproved/unworked is a turn that yields are wasted. Got 20 cities before 1AD, which tanked my gpt for a bit but then sent my research skyrocketing shortly afterwards. I had assembly line and electricity by 1070AD, a feat usually only reserved for 20-city runaway deity Justinians and Mansas (and I've never even seen them tech quite that fast, honestly).

    Oh, and a eulogy to the dearly departed. Thanks Suleiman for not building any defense besides 1 warrior and giving me a free worker. Thanks Shaka for building the Great Wall so I didn't have to get swarmed by barbs. Your contributions will not be forgotten :).
     

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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  18. MeowZeDung

    MeowZeDung Prince

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    Emperor NH NE to t50:

    Spoiler :
    Back to civ after a longish break. Was playing at IMM, but going to play EMP here to knock some rust off.

    Had some good luck with the scout early on and didn't get eaten for quite some time. Was able to follow the coast southwest all the way to Shaka's capitol, but wasn't able to get vision on it. There is some good land surrounding my capitol, and I think I'm going to be spamming settlers to claim it all.

    Met Suleiman just a turn or two after Shaka. The scout wrapped around the western coast toward the north and I finally realized that Suleiman is landlocked and just to the west of my capitol. I had already settled a double gold FP city and saw Ottoman borders in the fog, so I rushed to get a settler to the copper/pig/corn spot and claimed it ~t48. My plan is to hurry to get the corn FP and fish/gold spots to my west and Suleiman's south. If I can't get both (and perhaps even if I can), all this fabulous gold in multiple cities and horses in the capitol has me leaning towards an HA rush on Suleiman and probably a later war with Shaka. Shaka did found Hinduism, so it's feasable that it spreads to me and we can just be buddies indefinitely while I peacefully expand and tech to a Space Race victory. . . but then again it's Shaka.



    edit: posting images from imgur used to be as easy as copying and pasting the code, but it seems imgur has changed the way it's coded. Any insight?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  19. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    I think you have to select the "image" option on the toolbar at the top, and then paste the direct link.

    As for playing peacefully - reminder that it's easier to go to space much faster with 30 cities than with 10 :)
     
  20. MeowZeDung

    MeowZeDung Prince

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    That's what I did (I thought), but it doesn't seem to be working. Edit: figured it out :rockon:

    Indeed! I'm just not sure 2 wars are necessary here. We shall see.

    I liked what I've seen of the map so far and decided to play some more.

    To t90:

    Spoiler :
    Opened borders with Suleiman and Shaka as soon as writing was in and sent a chariot to spy out Ottoman lands. Suleiman's capitol is a doozy, and I immediately tagged it as my future GP farm. Also spotted a Settling party on the way to take the corn/fp location. That settles it. HA rush it is.


    HA rushes are a whole lot easier when you are working two gold and have decent production cities and lots of forests. The gold also let me tech alpha during war prep and war. I declared war around 900 BC and sued for peace after taking the Ottoman capitol, razing his poorly planted corn/fp city, and taking his horse/corn city. Suleiman was kind enough to have 3 techs I hadn't researched yet.

    He settled a nice pig/copper spot near the mouth of Shaka's peninsula that I plan to take after the peace treaty can be cancelled. That will come close to cutting Shaka off completely, assuming there isn't huge amounts of land to his south. This will either force him to plot against me, or will keep me so far ahead in power and production that Shaka will be a non-factor this game. I think there's enough land, and good land at that, to be settled to get my city count quite high enough for a good space game if that's the route I take.

    One last note: Suleiman founded Judaism in his (now my :p) horse/corn city and wasted no time spreading it to my capital and 3rd city. I didn't convert in order to keep Shaka docile for the moment, but it gives me options. I may soon convert to judaism for the immediate resulting happiness and OR bonus, but I am unlikely to pop a great prophet, and if Shaka builds the Hindu shrine I can capture it and spread Hinduism all over this rather large continent for some serious cash.
     

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