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Nobles' Club 223: Brennus of the Celts

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by AcaMetis, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis King

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    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 Brennus of Celtia, whom we last played in NC 190; we last played the Celts under Boudica in NC 168. The Celts start with Mysticism and Hunting.
    • Traits: Brennus is Charismatic and Spiritual. Charismatic gives every city, Monuments and Broadcast Towers +1:), and decreases the exp required for units to level by 25%. Spiritual allows you to swap state religion/civics without suffering Anarchy, and gives a +100%:hammers: bonus to all Temples.
    • The UB: The Dun, a Wall which gives a free Guerilla I promotion to all eligible units (Recon, Archery and Gunpowder-type units, although Rifling will obsolete the Dun, making the free promotion impossible to get for any Gunpowder unit beyond Musketman without upgrade shenanigans). Guerilla II Archers right out the gate are some of the most defensive scouts you'll be able to get, especially in enemy territory during a war, but that aside this building does nothing that being Protective doesn't.
    • The UU: The Gallic Warrior, a Swordsman that can be build with copper in addition to Iron, and starts with the Guerilla I promotion for free. The game claims that this "makes it a formidable defender on hills", but Axes generally have a different opinion on that subject. More realistically Gallic Warriors have (easy) access to the Guerilla III promotion, +25% Hill Attack and +50% Withdraw Chance, putting these guys among the best survivors of implausible odds in the game. That this is true for the unit that chooses to forgo a shield, shoulder pads and shirt in favor of sweet tattoos, making them overall less armoured (and just dressed in general) than Ragnar's Berserkers, is something best not pondered too much ;).
    And the start:

    Spoiler map details :
    Pangaea, Rocky Climate, Medium Sealevel.
    Spoiler edits :
    Moved a fish that an AI capitol would ruin to within said capitol's BFC. Rest assured that civ can use the help...
    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 223 Brennus 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.
    Spoiler 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:
    Spoiler 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 labelled 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.
    Spoiler huts and events :
    Note: 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.
     

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  2. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    What a blessed start for Brennus! Both hunting and agriculture resources.
    We dodge the celts Achilles heel of awkward starting techs, woo hoo!

    Scout E then SE to uncover what looks like coast...?
    Settler 1E first, with the aim to climb that PH while still retaining freshwater and the corn+ivory.
     
  3. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis King

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    If you're talking about the tile 2E of the Settler, that's a 1 tile Lake. It may be difficult to see in the screenshot, but it's easy to make out ingame :).
     
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  4. scheines

    scheines Chieftain

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    Spoiler Up to T 70 / 1200 BC :


    Took a go at this on emperor. Meant to divide this in to smaller segments, but got too involved. First turn, I moved the E, then SE to maximize revealed tiles. PH felt like the right move here - double corn to easily share, ivory, a pair of hills, and dye for later. Lose the sugar but I'm sure I can reclaim later.

    Don't love losing 2 tiles to water but not like I'll ever use all 23 anyways.

    I go worker + agriculture first.

    BrennusT1.png


    On subsequent turns, I explore around. I find some water to the S. No *great* second city site quite yet. The grassland hill 2 below the left corn is decent, but I want to grow outward first to grab the contested land. Meet Toku and Victoria same turn. Must be a tight map. Mao comes a few turns after.

    For teching I am going mining -> BW, and warriors to size 3, then starting the first settler.

    Worker goes right corn, left corn, lower ivory, upper ivory to minimize walking.

    BrennusT14.png

    I settle on S1 for the second city. Shares corn, and gets me a second corn as well. Also has a few river tiles. I lost my scout, so I failed to do a good job of scouting the corners above me here. Saladin and Justinian also appear during this time frame.

    BrennusT29.png

    Here I am planning out my cities a little. The S mark is just too much of a freebee to not do, but I really wanted to grow out ward. Especially as here you can see how close Toku and Victoria are on the map.

    I totally forgot to hook up copper for way too long. Was too focused on city planning, and barbs weren't so bad with the seemingly tight quarters.

    Next I plan to go wheel, pottery, writing.

    BrennusT36.png

    I meet Zara, completing the AI list. I finally make it out NE, and find a bit more food + calendar resources. Certainly will want that earlier than normal. Plus, Ivory leans me toward construction rushing someone.

    Workers are still focused on getting improved resources, and occasionally chopping. Big mistake on how long I had no copper...

    BrennusT45.png

    Settle Tolosa for the easy food share, plus rice (not shown). Will need a culture pop, but shouldn't be too bad. No rush since I have the corn already. Definitely think I am short a worker here.

    BrennusT50.png


    Toku settles Tokyo in totally WTF fashion. Given how much of a PITA he is, he is making a great case to be rushed, but I hate doing so because of AGG / PRO. This also totally ruins that rice because I don't want border tensions with him. No thank you.

    By now I'm heavily leaning binary research to hit writing.

    BrennusT55.png

    Overview at the T70 mark. Got up to 4 cities. I liked Tolosa for the 2x food. Felt like a gimme city I shouldn't prolong too much further. Gergovia steals food from Vienne, but we still have 4 food resources for 4 cities, so it's not too bad.

    Workers continue chopping all in sight to expand. Out east I find a decent barb city I want. It's draped in jungle though; which is less than appealing early on. However, it's the land that's left. So I'll continue pushing that way while I have the space. I also gave up on the marble to the SW -- Once I saw the space to the east, I thought it wise to push that way.

    For tech, I still like construction vs any of the nearby AIs (Zara, Toku and Victoria already nearly touch my borders, but with the space I have, I'm less sure now. I'll sit on that for a bit, perhaps.

    Aesthetics is decent for the trade bait for Alpha + Math + IW, so I might do that. I don't know if I want to leave slavery while I can whip settlers and settle more land.



    BrennusT70.png
     

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  5. earthy

    earthy Warlord

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    would settling the sugar ever be a consideration here? It probably wont' do us any good for a long time, and food > hammers right? I guess health could be an issue without fresh water though..
     
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  6. scheines

    scheines Chieftain

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    Spoiler Up to T95~ / 450 BC :


    Shorter update; got really stuck. Want some opinions.

    So, as I saunter to the west, I find Saladin. There's a decent bit of space, and a barb city I want. So, I call off any war plans for now. Despite the religious mess (Saladin as a zealot vs. 2 other religions on what seems to be Pangaea), no plotting yet.

    BrennusT71.png


    I feel like my eco is pretty tanked. I'm in the green without research, but if I settle cities 5 or 6, I figure it'd go red. I failgold stonehenge for some quick cash. Workers are throwing down some cottages for the teeny help to commerce; I feel pretty desperate here.

    BrennusT75.png

    I manage to tech most of aesthetics with the fail gold. Hoping to trade this around for everything else. I think here, I've even deleted a few extra warriors since they were costing me cash.

    BrennusT80.png

    I finally make it to aesthetics, and trade it around to backfill everything: Alpha, IW, tier 2 techs (minus masonry). Still broke as hell... You can see the settler by Tolosa and there's even a second behind the Axeman near the Saladin T17 marker. I want to expand, but I'm broke? If I settle more cities, I'm losing money at 0% science.

    I relied pretty heavily on 2x scientists in nearly all cities to make this work.

    BrennusT90.png


    So as a demonstration, I save, then settled Verlamion and Camulodunum. Had to deviate on Verlamion since I didn't want to waste the grassland horse tile. Camulodunum feels... questionable, but where else can I go here? It can share food, but now I'm tight on food (6 cities for 6 food resources). Not terrible but really no great GP farming going to happen here. I guess Camulodunum would be okay once I can get lots of cottages on all the grassland, but there's plenty more to do before I'd have the time.

    And, lo and behold, I'm losing money at 0% science. I don't honestly know why. I don't know if I've ever gone totally broke like this. I don't have any unit supply or costs, just city maintenance.

    From here, I'd assume currency is the play to fix my wrecked economy, but I play it out and start disbanding units. Where's my error here?

    BrennusT92.png
    BrennusT92B.png

     

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  7. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @earthy
    Absolutely a worthy consideration imho.
    If settling on either of the PH, we don't get the sugar in the capital BFC even.
    Food is better than hammer, although one early hammer helps alot with the first few warriors in the very opening.
    Settling on the PH does enhance the starting area with +2F though, as it kills that tile. If we settle on sugar we don't get that, and instead we gain no food from the PH terraforming, but we lose 1F long term as we can't put a plantation there.
    Freshwater is just a tiny advantage, I would say roughly en pair with the advantage of being on top of a hill (any hill) for defensive bonuses.

    How would you move your starting units, if aiming for the sugar?
     
  8. elementoffear

    elementoffear Warlord

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    @krikav but why tough? why is it better than the starting position?
     
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  9. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @elementoffear thanks for the question!

    Perhaps I'm not crystal clear, but the city spot I have in mind for the capital is NE of it's current location.
    That location would keep corn and ivory and freshwater and it would be on a hill.
    The capital city center would be a 2F2H1C tile, instead of SiPs city center tile 2F1H1C. So we would gain 1H per turn for the rest of the game, really neat!

    It's likely that we are going agriculture for that corn, and moving away from it loses us one turn as the worker have to spend a turn moving toward it.
    We also lose a turn by moving the settler up on the hill.

    But our starting worker won't take 60 / (2+1+1) = 15 turns to complete, but it will take 60 / (2+2+1) = 12 turns to complete.
    So our starting worker will actually start improving that corn a full turn earlier.
     
  10. elementoffear

    elementoffear Warlord

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    OK I understand the quicker worker, but long term, is it a better city? You cant work the sugar, and who knows whats further east.
     
  11. Snowbird

    Snowbird Warlord

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    Scout 1E, evaluate, likely scout 1SE. If the aim is to settle on sugar, I think player should scout other location (northern PH) since extra resources in the third ring are somewhat common.
     
  12. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @elementoffear
    It's a complicated problem, no doubt about it. :)
    Abit of a rethorical question, but isn't it better for the empire long term, to gain short term benefits early...?
    And also, the extra hammer doesn't stop yielding after the worker is done, from turn 13 to 1AD we gain 100 hammers extra from the city center.
    A free settler 1AD isn't nothing. :)

    Settlement 1NE compared to SiP:

    Starting screen for reference:
    Spoiler :

    brennus_223_startscreen.jpg


    The only thing we know we lose is forest and the sugar. And since we are close to the equator, the forests can't hold deer/fur.
    We go from 13 to 8 forests if I count correctly, which is bad.
    We know we gain the dye which is good to have in the capital.
    Other than that, we know we are not giving up any resources as there are no tiles that can hold them.
    But we stand to potentially gain something in the east.

    So:
    Lose 5 forests, lose sugar, lose one turns worth of capital yield (2f 1h 9c).
    Gain potential more resources, extra hammer in city center, 1turn earlier corn.

    I wouldn't go up on the hill blind though, but it feels very likely. Scout E and then scout SE and then reevaluate is what I advocate.
    Do you have alternative scout movements in mind?
     
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  13. elementoffear

    elementoffear Warlord

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    @krikav , honestly I'm not sure, I would take the scout to the hill NW, and only if I see something attractive I would consider moving the settler. In my (limited) experience starting positions are usually balanced and I only move settlers when its for grabbing some early resource .
     
  14. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I think there are 4 candidate sites for settling here.
    SiP, on sugar and on either of those two forested plains hills.
    All those 4 sites keep the corn, which is the resource everything here pivots around.

    Imho, the scout move should strive to give us as much information as possible, so that we can make the best informed decision of which of these sites are the better.
    Scout move 1E, then SE makes perfect sense I think!
     
  15. dr£ddlord

    dr£ddlord Chieftain

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    Spoiler :
    Isn't the best option to settle on the hill as we've seen it will scoop up a 2nd corn resource from screenshots posted by scheines
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  16. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @dr£ddlord
    Spoiler :

    Yes, absolutely, and that becomes apparant after the scout makes the (imho) natural move.
    But it isn't crystal clear right from the start!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  17. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis King

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    @scheines I see a few problems.
    Spoiler :
    First, you seem to be working too many unimproved tiles, I believe due to a lack of workers? I see three workers, at six cities you should have around six to nine depending on how much work there is to do (more if you've got a ton of forests/jungles to chop, many roads to build, etc.) :hammer:. Second, you don't seem to have any foreign trade routes. Road into Elisabeth and Toku, get foreign trade routes and see if you can sell some resources once Currency is in (which is all that Toku is likely to be good for, sadly).
    @dr£ddlord What krikav said. In case you don't know, spoiler blocks are made like this:
    Code:
    [spoiler]Post spoiler information here[/spoiler]
     
  18. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    For me, there is no doubt that settling on the PH 1NE is a very good option. We might lose the sugar, ok, sure, but we gain a dye in the north, and that's also good for later (bureau-capitol). Also we neutralize the PH in a rather food-poor capitol. Worker 2 turns earlier, great. It's a bit unlucky that he has to travel 2T to reach the corn.
     
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  19. dr£ddlord

    dr£ddlord Chieftain

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    There, amended
     
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  20. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @scheines I have played up to T90 as well now, will start to write up now.

    But took a quick glance at your screenshots/writeup, some initial feedback:
    Spoiler :

    Your techpath was as far as I can tell identical to mine, and your city settlement for the second city is also solid.

    With those two cities though, and having to go BW before any economic tech (no seafood, no coast, no lakes, no nothing) economy might be hurting.
    Right when I got pottery my prio was to connect cities and put down cottages on the riveside.
    You went for more expansion with chopping before that I think...?
    That likely put you in that economic hole.
    Nothing wrong by doing that, sometimes that is necessery to grab enough land, (land is so much more important than a functional economy, can always catch up later in tech with bulbs/trading).
    But here, there is no real rush to settle alot of cities right away, better build up some economic base first.
     
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