Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by AcaMetis, Mar 30, 2020.
wow I am WAY behind in tech
Lose / Quit on emp at T72. Will be trying again
I haven't played in over a year and was never great on emp but monarch always feels too forgiving. I knew Shaka was one of those troublesome neighbors but I underestimated him a bit. Tbh I would have been fine but for some reason I never hooked up my copper and when he Dow'd me I only had a handful of warriors to deal with his small stack of axes/impis/archers. Very very nub mistake there. I was able to whip a couple chariots in time and in the hands of someone better and more persistent than me this is definitely a salvageable situation but I'm already so far behind in tech and am now limited to where I could naturally expand so by the time the war with Shaka is settled we really wont be in good shape.
What I learned / took away from this failure
Biggest mistake: not hooking up copper / building any axes. What makes my mistake more embarrassing is BW was my first tech and even though I was later to roads than I should have been I had all these workers and roads connecting cities but forgot to connect my copper. Idk if this works at higher difficulties but given the fact that I realized I had copper and shaka as a close by neighbor as early as I did I probably should have just stuck to 1 city and axe rushed him.
Mistake 2: Too much expansion too early. I got to 4 cities quick by settling the fish / pigs to the west, and the horse / fish city that can share rice with the pigs city in the eastern hill cluster. This compounded into multiple other problems as a result including slow tech which in turn left me with nothing to build but warriors, workers, and settlers in the new cities I was founding. This led to me just trying to find something for my workers to do and the result was unnecessary roads and mines.
Mistake 3: Underestimating Shaka. I know he has a rep for being a war monger who builds tons of units but I was blindsided by his Dow. I wasn't paying attention to him as a threat and paid the price. I need to pay more attention to the individual tendencies of individual leaders to take my game to the next level.
Mistake 4: Bad macro planning. When I settled my capitol and knew I had marble and elephants and saw the land around me the plan I had was get 4 cities up quick before the land could be claimed by other civs and try and oracle construction to elephult shaka / justinian. I needed too many techs without enough commerce to make it all happen. I started with bw and then had to go ag / ah for the cows and pig cities I wanted to settle, the wheel to hook resources up, myst for border pops a free happy bonus and to work my way towards the oracle, hunting to hook up the elephants, masonry for the marble. By the time the dow from shaka came that's all I'd managed to accomplish and was still 7 turns from pottery which I was trying to pick up for granaries and cottages to start generating some commerce.
What I'm happy with: The city sites I chose. Indecision regarding city sites is usually one of my biggest hang ups. I felt really good about the locations I picked, they had food in the first ring, picked up the important resources nearby, weren't too far from the cap and seemed like they would have had good synergy with shared tiles.
Sorry for the lack of screens, my work computer is on a closed internet network and I'm playing off my laptop which is offline. Still got 6 hours to go so I'm gonna get going on this second try which should play out very differently given the map knowledge I already have and having the benefit of scrutinizing the pros and cons of my original opening
ok there were 4 turns left on my peace treaty with shaka and he just broke it???
That can happen in a few circumstances, although it's rare. IIRC it happens if you DoW someone who has a Defensive Pact with whoever you've got a peace treaty with (the DP takes priority over the peace treaty), or if you're forced into a Holy War because of the AP. Beyond that I'm not sure what can cause people to break peace treaties.
Thanks @AcaMetis for the map. Domination win T265 Immortal. I think my attempt was riddled with mistakes but had fun nonetheless.
Spoiler Synopsis :
Decided to settle on the ivory. Still not sure if this was better/worse than 1W on the plains hill but I valued the extra river tiles and figured this was worth trading for being 2 turns later working the clam. Given there were only 630 land tiles with the high sea level I thought it might be better not to move towards more coast too? Went work boat first followed by worker. Tech BW, Ag, AH.
Spoiler Turn 9 :
Was worried about Justinian stealing the pig/rice spot but founded York there on T31.
Spoiler T31 :
Even in retrospect I'm still uncertain how I could have done this better but it seems really bad to have two size 1 cities at this stage of the game. Any thoughts? Maybe I should have gone Ag, AH before BW but I used BW for chops and would have had nothing to do with my worker otherwise - maybe I should have foregone worker until York was founded but made 2x chops to the settler and was able to get rice/pig online for second city...
Anyway, tech order continued TW, pottery. Founded Nottingham T38 on the marble figuring 2 bonus hammers for city centre were good and the hills defence could be beneficial with Shaka nearby. I realised DoW from Shaka was inevitable sooner or later. Plan was expand to 4 cities and launch a construction assault with Elepults. In retrospect this plan was optimistic and should have gone for axe rush but I'm a builder at heart and thought I might be too late by the time I had copper connected on T56. Really wanted that double gems site but if I'd put Nottingham there with no food and no IW it wouldn't have served any purpose.
Spoiler T56 :
Hastings founded T61 and Shaka plotting T62. Seems inevitable that it's me.
Spoiler T62 :
The inevitable DoW on T71 with Shaka stacking troops on my border on T70 and in retrospect I really should have whipped chopped more than the 2 axes and handful of warriors I had ready by this point.
Spoiler T70 :
Think my tech path was quite poor with mysticism and sailing before writing. Logic at the time was happiness from monuments and connect Hastings plus lighthouse in Hastings and London but think libraries would have been better. I manage to lose York to Shaka on T80 and learn a lesson about not keeping all my forces garrisoned in Nottingham for the fortification bonus when he has 2 move impis! Fortunately by this point I have several axes and am able to take it back immediately. There follows a bit of to and fro with my axes and the odd impi and archer.
Turn the tide and by T98 have captured Bulawayo and agreed a ceasefire.
Spoiler T98 :
I break the ceasefire and redeclare a couple of times attacking with axes and catapults. Shaka dead at T141. A bit of indecision here on whether to take the war to Justinian with trebuchets or go across the sea to the Celts but realise they can cross the sea but I can't due to culture and Justinian is racing ahead in tech so probably best to allow economy to recover.
Spoiler T141 :
By this point I think victory is more or less in the bag. I won the music race. Saved the GA until after the war with Shaka and got a golden age. Liberalism won T167 and get MT. Whip cuirassers.
Spoiler T167 :
I try a few things I haven't done in years including spies to revolt cities prior to attack and switching to free speech/universal sufferage when I'm about to go bankrupt whipping cuirrasers without being able to take Zara.
Anyway, victory at T243.
Spoiler T243 :
I don't feel I played this efficiently and it was probably an easier map but I had fun. Maybe try and rush a bit earlier next time. Spies worked well and will use again. Need to clean up my tech path a bit. Overall happy with another win on immortal having spent years playing on monarch with patchy success. Thanks again for the map.
Have lurked here for a long time but never had anything useful to contribute with all the great players already here. Really appreciative of all the work you guys do. The beginner guide by @Fippy is amazing and I have used it even when trying to dabble on deity (on which I'm yet to win!)
I have saves from every turn but not sure it's useful to post any of these?
So round 2 on emp got to T100 360 BC quick question about grand strategy
Forgive the lack of screens, I dont have internet on the machine I'm playing on right now
So this game I took out shaka first. I didn't feel cheap about it bc in my first game I went BW first and started mining the copper hill before it was revealed in my first play through. Went BW > wheel > ag/ah and worker/WB. Used the worker to pre chop forests. Ended up attacking with a stack of 4 axes and 2 warriors instead of 6 axes to stop him from settling his 3rd city. In retrospect this was probably not the right tactical decision bc I may have been able to catch him with 2 archers in the cap. But somehow the attack force beat his 3 archers and I was able to clean up his 2nd city with some VERY lucky dice rolls on the attack. Tbh if I had to do that over from scratch I would probably have to approach the attack differently.
Anyway shaka was dead by roughly T50. This is helpful but has opened up the map for byzantine expansion. Over the last 50 turns I have continued to expand to 5 cities, I have 3 more city sites planned, but they all require chopping a bunch of jungle and one needs calendar resources to come online so that one may not come up for a bit. Justinian who would be the next civ I have to go through if I were to go to war is up to 9 cities
The issue I've run into now is the lack of a grand plan. I let justin have the pigs / rice spot to avoid border tensions and decided not to put a city down on top of the horses with the thought in my head that my plan was to eventually elepult him. Now I'm near reaching 1 AD though and I still need math / construction / HBR in order to start building units for this kind of siege.
So the next logical thing to do would hope he spreads his religion to me, adopt it, build up my infrastructure and tech my way to cuirs right? Well in my assumption I was going to roll out the elepults I didn't plant a city on top of the horses because I didnt want to give justin any reasons to pick a fight with me too early.
Do I try and elepult anyway? Even if I can can I maintain an empire that size? I have stone and marble. Do I try and pull some cultural nonsense?
Hard to tell much without screens or a save, but I am a fellow emperor player so I'll share some general thoughts.
Spoiler Thoughts :
You were done with Shaka by turn fifty. That's pretty quick to have dusted old Shaktopus, so good job. Something must have gone very wrong if your civ is still a shambles fifty turns later. If you dont have the techs you mentioned, what route did you go instead?
If the plan is to turn around and elepult Justin after the ax-ram, then you'll probably want to lay some cottages down right after the conquest [of Shaka], bulb math, self tech alphabet/HBR while waiting 17 turns for the scientist, then get to construction on the power of the maturing cottages and building research.
One reason I chose a four city bust over an axe rush this game is the poor quality of Shaka's land. It's fine land once the boonies have been whacked, but that takes worker-turns and research that could (and should, given this cramped start) be used more aggressively. My war was slow gaining momentum because of some bad luck early on, but I still managed to roll ShakSpear's gems before they vaulted him into the Medieval era. If you have elephants, room for four cities, and "someone to mess with" this strat is pretty much a free win as long as you prioritize and don't get sidetracked chasing wonders/marginal expansion spots just because you can (I have this problem lots)
Zara kindly offered some upgrade cash, so was repaid with DoW
followed by Cavs vs Augustus who trades with Justin part-way for rifles (slowing attack down )
but eventually pinch Cavs prevail
Steel and MilSci done, so full steam production of cannons/rifles with 3 MilAcad + 1 HerEpic
overall taking longer than expected and Justin on a tear tech-wise (double gold capitol )
with hindsight I think earlier eleput DoW on Justin would have been better as a buddhist block have been happily tech trading much faster than typical for Immortal Difficulty
1850 AD Prince Level
Im giving up. The game is won since a long time, and I just dont want to waste time grinding the finishing toil.
I basically destroyed shaka, and used his rich food land to mass whip muskets with mediums city with some cottages to pursue rifling.
I then mass upgraded and swept through Justinian like in butter (as us French people would say), vassaled ethopia after another mass upgrade from trebuchets and then (slowly) ate the backward auguste with my gigantic army.
Only half of my vassal territory count so I could not achieve domination on my continent. I intended to do a blitz invasion with modern units but its its just too long to set up and i want to play interesting games .
This is my first 'won' noble's club victory and it is also the first time I felt some grasp on the game. It is really the first time I managed a concentrated, 'intelligent', and efficient game like that. Im slowly beginning to tame things (at my level of course).
After some more games on Prince I think i I will be able to tackle monarch.
The game was interesting
Thanks for a good (long) game
Pro Redcoats = Drafting + Cannons, but not easy against Artillery/SAM Infantry/Machine Guns
Finally wipe-out Justinian, but takes about a dozen more turns to get Land + (in this case) Population back up
Definitely should have wiped-out or hobbled Justin much earlier
Finally got the Hatty win on Immortal (first Immortal win!), so trying my hand again on Immortal, NHNE.
Spoiler To 2760 BC :
Haven't read other's opinions much to avoid spoilers, but I started with a 1W settle for the plains hill. Starting build and tech was hard due to the amount of options. I opted for work boat first because I could get it in 6 turns with the unimproved marble. Also, I felt a worker here isn't getting me much; BW takes ~15 turns working the unimproved clam, which negates the purpose of getting a worker in 12 turns. AH is too far away, and ivory isn't important enough to go for it first. BW first because I figured I can sync up the worker with it this way.
Work boat comes out and I am 1 turn late for the worker, but the spare food will help much more in the long run IMO. Initial plan was to follow with agriculture + AH for the rice city to the left.
I get the worker and BW out. Lots more map revealed so I tentatively map out a few cities. I started to doubt I could get the rice.. if Justinian wants it I think I cannot beat him there. So I go for hunting to be safe and avoid possibly wasting a tech.
Only thing worker can do is chop, so I do this. The mine on copper isn't as worthwhile until I have the wheel.
As expected Justinian steals the rice away. I will have to settle around him... then probably axe rush him or somebody. The map is so small (630 land tiles), so I expect to go to war early for land. Not sure which city I like second best.
State of things after I scout a bit more. I continue chopping to rush out a settler. I might've misplayed and should've considered improving the cow, but London is locked on 2 pop while it builds the settler, so I assumed a chop would be faster long term.
Going for the wheel, pottery, writing, though I'll probably start waging a war before I get there. I think Justinian is 100% the target; he is just so close. Though, Shaka is always a dangerous target I don't want to be vulnerable to.
Where would you settle first? South, or southwest? I reckon I settle one, then it'll be time to DoW. In that sense, the south city is closer, but has less food and forests.
Why the hurry to research hunting and then improve the ivory? You don't need The Wheel to build a mine to improve the copper*. Building a mine on the marble and then the copper nets you 10 production a turn. Bronze working by BC3360, 4 turns to improve, one turn to move, both mines should be up by BC3000. With the two extra food and one production in the city, that's 13 "production-food" per turn for workers and settlers. Combined with some natural growth and no removing forests**, assume you go "settler - worker - warrior" and repeat***, by around BC900, you should have a capital, 4 other cities, each with a warrior to garrison, and a worker to improve the tiles. During this process, you might want to get the wheel and then pottery to support those new cities and to chop out granaries to speed up growth.
*I assume you are a pacifist and do not want to attack anyone with axemen.
**I assume you are an environmentalist and do not want to destroy forests
*** I assume you are a humanist and do not support slavery.
Spoiler To 625 BC :
@Sylvan, lol no, I am not preoccupied with the moral or environmental complexities of in game mechanics, despite them representing bad things. Maybe you are kidding; I can't tell. Anyways, I went ivory first because I want the commerce, and don't have enough population to work the copper and ivory. For production, sure 13 is great. However, my thinking is I can chop production, but I can't chop for commerce.
Also, I would never mine marble; there's always something better to do (improve food, chops, cottages, other resources, roads, etc.)
Played to 625 BC:
Continuing on with pottery -> writing, I found York first. It's closer to Justy, and my third city won't play much of a role in war. Justy builds the great wall, but barbs are a non issue due to the tightness of the map. I am starting the whips here; I promise I'm not working that unimproved forest tile
Workers are focused on chopping out barracks, granaries, and I'm typically whipping settlers / workers.
Nottingham goes down next. I get my granaries in place and then get ready to chop / whip out some axes. Writing is nearly in, but I don't really go for libraries. Perhaps I could've, but I've learned to not half ass two things, so I committed to the axe rush.
Pre-DoW on Justy. 5 axes vs. 3 archers (forgot to screenshot before attacking). I start self teching alpha to extort some from Justinian later, since I doubt I'll finish him off yet. I roaded into Thessalonica which saved me a few turns of travel.
Comfortable capture; managed a 33% win, which helped. From here I sit idle to let a few guys heal, and bring a few more out. I don't want Justinian to start whipping tons of units out, so I sat back while I reinforced.
I pushed eastward. I figured one more city and then we peace treaty; I got the land I wanted. Luckily, I got a capital, which is typically an above average city placement. There is a river which really bit me in the ass; had to waste a few more turns dawdling around to get the best odds. Thankfully, Justinian didn't whip much more during those turns.
Took a few brave men to die at 3% odds , but I got it. Really a great example of why early war is your friend; that's a hell of a lot better of a city than anything else I had! 2x gold, 3x food, stone, and it's a holy city.
I take the best peace deal I can get, since I am done warring with Justinian for now. The rest of his land is uncharted for me, and I don't want to waste turns in a suboptimal war, wandering around and looking for something to attack.
Now that I have some breathing space, I plan to backfill 2 cities: Hastings, and settling on the horse. I hate the latter, but Justinian' settlement plan really forces my hand.
Techwise, I opted for currency for the immediate jump start to my economy. Long term I am after priesthood for a temple in Constantinople, then caste because I have enough food to synergize with some specialists. I figured I will skip the great library, and just get the NE out later.
I am piling up GS points, but probably will stop early so I can get a prophet first for the Mahabodhi. Everyone is Buddhist, which will surely make for a good gold generating city. Shrines apply for all cities, not just my own, correct?
Yes they do
Spoiler To 1210 AD :
OK, this one got tough. A DoW from Shaka slows me down a bit. I saw it coming so I was fine, but had to emergency whip a few units.
After beating back a few waves of impis with protective archers, I use my spare axes to grab the barb city. Key city too - my only iron. You can actually see the Celts from here, but I couldn't meet them without Optics.
In the end I manage to get music first for the golden age. Do others typically try for this? Seems like I don't hear most people talking about this. Is it tough to do regularly on immortal+?
Aside from that, I am teching toward lib, planning to cuirassier rush Shaka. I know he will not play nice so I reckon I'll eliminate him entirely.
I have a desperate worker shortage so I am forced to slow build a few; and fail gold for marble and gold based wonders elsewhere. Organized religion helping out as well.
Luckily I get my priest on about 67% chance; I'd have had a wasted spy otherwise lol. Since Buddhism is the only continent for the whole religion, I get a nice +20 gold. Since I had to spend a GP on a prophet, I self teched most of philo instead.
Justinian is infringing on the city culture borders, making it less great than I thought it'd be, but as long as I have the 2x clam it's still quite good.
Shaka is plotting again I tried various times to bribe him on someone else, but he wouldn't even take ~4 tech bribes. So, he picks me again. I sacrifice the barb city out west because my border with Shaka is too wide to defend. I also start losing out on worker turns; all the things I want to do are too close to Shaka.
Nonetheless, I manage to hold off thanks to protective longbows, including a few CG III and Drill IV longbows from my generals. I win lib and continue working to MT + gunpowder.
The hero himself lol. This might be the most heavily promoted unit I've had.
With MT + and gunpowder, I am ready, but I have to trade about 5 spare resources to Boudica to get iron. Luckily someone had it at least; I forgot I had lost mine. I manage to turn the tide in between waves of Shaka attacking.
I manage to quickly grab Nobamba and Ulundi. From here I'll take a break and think strategy. I want to eliminate Shaka entirely if possible, then I can reassess plans. I am not too behind tech wise; Zara and Caesar are a little ahead in tech, but I think I can recover easily if I have ~15 cities. I might go space here afterwards because Zara + Justy are in a defensive pact.
I could mess with eliminating Boudica and Mansa Musa and try for domination (Boudica doesn't even have alpha lol), but I can't quite tell if that'd be enough alone. Is there somewhere I can see all civs' land mass %?
Spoiler Late loss, then back to the drawing board! :
So eliminating Shaka went slowly - lots of missteps on my part of losing a city I had captured, which certainly cost 5 - 6 extra turns to retake.
Toward then end Shaka also vassaled to Justinian and brought him into the war. I managed to make peace after eliminating Shaka and taking a few of Justinian's cities. However, Zara and Caesar have run away with a tech lead. I tried two approaches: space race, and domination / diplomacy.
Space race seems like a dead end (see below). I lose out with Genetics and Ecology to go (stasis chamber and life support), and Zara easily wins the space race. I think I took too long to claim Shaka's land for space to be viable? Thoughts?
My second attempt was to reload from 1535 AD and go for domination. I think it *could* work, but after a few tries, I can't keep Boudica + capitulated Mansa and Caesar off my back long enough to tech tanks/bombers to try and finish the game. I'm too far behind everyone but Boudica so I think I need to circle back to the start and revisit early - mid game.
What do y'all think of the macro strategy in my early / mid game (axe rush Justinian for a few cities, then push to cuirs)? I think allowing Shaka to declare 2x on me is the main culprit of my demise; I had to waste a lot of production and time on defending. I considered axe rushing him in a retry, but looking at Ulundi it doesn't even seem worth it. Perhaps I need to make use of elepults to eliminate him as a threat sooner.
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