Nobles' Club 250: Willem van Oranje of the Netherlands


May 21, 2018
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 Willem of The Netherlands, whom we last played in NC 200. The Dutch start with Agriculture and Fishing.
  • Traits: Willem is Creative and Financial. Creative gives every city +2:culture: for free, and gives a +100% :hammers: bonus to Libraries, Theatres, and Colosseums. Financial adds +1:commerce: to any tile that already produce at least 2:commerce:.
  • The UB: The Dike, a Levee with +1:hammers: on Water tiles as well as River tiles. As an added bonus Dikes can be build in any city that has a coast/ocean tile within it's BFC, in addition to cities that are settled alongside a river. Note that a city that merely has river and/or Lake tiles within it's BFC cannot build a Dike, even though both will benefit from it. A city must either be riverside or have coast/ocean within it's BFC to build a Dike.
  • The UU: The East Indiaman, a Galleon with 4 cargo space instead of 3, 6:strength: instead of 4:strength:, and the ability to explore rival territory. The last ability allows the unit to go trough rival culture without Open Borders, and not be expelled from rival borders when a DoW occurs. Note that while an EIM can enter rival territory even while transporting units without the Can Explore Rival Territory ability they cannot enter a rival city without OB regardless, so the only units they can transport into closed borders territory are those with the CERT tag themselves (Spies and Great Spies, though since the ships are forbidden from entering port the spies will, presumably, have to row themselves to shore the hard way).
And the start:

Spoiler map details :
Fractal, Temperate Climate, Medium Sealevel.
Spoiler edits :
Uh...I think a resource swap or two to give AIs nearby strategic resources, nothing else? Don't really remember, rolling this map was surprisingly hard.
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 250 Willem 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.
Spoiler 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 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.
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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Even the game is suggesting settling on the Stone, so I'm assuming that's a closed case. The real question is what to tech first. AH for pigs obviously is tempting, but maybe Mining -> Bronze Working first would be better? Get started on chopping out Workboats/Settlers/Workers/etc. ASAP, can farm the Corn since we start with Agriculture, mine the pigs in the meantime? What do the experts think?
I've been lurking but too busy to play the last week or so. Between work, family obligations and watching sports. I will give this one a go.
Willem, the most noob-friendly leader of them all! FIN forgives your bad micro and CRE forgives your bad city placement. This is the game where you all should to move up a level! ;)

Warrior SE. Unless he reveals something insane that makes me want to settle 3E, I'd settle on stone. Mining->BW & mine the pig seems like the right move.
I'm going to try this one on Deity. I've never played Deity before and this looks to be a nice map to start with.

Spoiler :

I moved the warrior southeast and found a fish. Settled on the stone with the plan of teching mining > BW. The land is excellent; I can already see three nice city spots. We even get ivory.

On T6 I met Mao; his scout came from the east. After finishing the worker, I built one warrior to head north.

Ramesses found me on T19. He is already settling cities close to me.

And we found copper 3E of Amsterdam. I will tech The Wheel and settle there first.

If I don't attack Ramesses this guy might kill him first.
Genghis Khan.png

Normally the placement of Utrecht wouldn't have required much thought at all: it would have to be placed 1SE of the fish. But since we're creative, there are a couple more options available. I could have settled 1S of the copper to share tiles with the capital. Ultimately, I decided to claim the cow with this city. I do think AH is important here with the pig and two cows (there is another one in the south).

Here come the barbs. I will try to defend with two warriors. I have copper now so I can whip an axeman if things get bad. Also, Mao is swarming the south with archers, so I should be fine. I haven't seen a single barbarian in the north.

I am going to whip a settler for the cow in the south. I am teching Hunting > AH, then Masonry. I would like to take a shot at the Mids. I might even build them in Utrecht; that place has strong hammer tiles and plenty of forests. No one built the Great Wall yet.

City three claimed the southern cow, city four took the clam in the north, and city five claimed triple seafood that Ramesses missed somehow. I later got a sixth city for the corn in the northeast.

I did succeed in getting the Pyramids. It was a fairly late date, but I thought I had time considering how long it took the AI to build the Great Wall.

Mongolia predictably started plotting at one point. He can't get through Ramesses, so I should be safe. Mao likes me and would be even happier if I got his religion.

T89 position. I just finished self-teching Alphabet and will now backfill some cheap techs.

With Sailing I will settle the island, putting me at 7 cities. I might also build some swords to capture the barb city. Mao doesn't seem to have metal yet. The long-term strategy will probably revolve around Liberalism, either cannons or cuirassiers. I don't have horses and they might not be available for trade, so cannons could end up being the way to go.


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Immortal/Normal/NHNE. To turn 68 (1280 BC).

Spoiler :

Nice land around the start. I like the food... and the Stone for Pyramids of course. I almost built the Great Wall too but since it's such a cheap wonder the failgold isn't much.

Finished the mids early on turn 67 and revolting to Rep now. Settler is on the way to settle city #4 with 2 clams. I'm going to have to REX right now before the land runs out. Problem is Khan is north of me and he's been plotting since 2000 BC. Needless to say I was a bit worried. Turns out he hates Ramesses and went after him the same turn. I freaked out when the horn sounded! :lol:

But yea that's a very early declaration from the AI and the land between me and Khan is jungle but I got little choice. I have maybe 2 city spots before I have to settle that.


Spoiler :

Seems like this map is probably a walk in the park on deity, with mids + rep + fin coast. Why not restart and give it a try on that difficulty? Now seems as good of a time as any to try for your first deity win (if you haven't gotten it already)!
as of 740 AD Monarch no huts, no events
Spoiler show :
whole continent on buddism. was able to broker a trade embargo from gengis (who just built the parthenon!) against ramses. got pyramids, great lighthouse, hanging gardens, great library, univ of sankore and spiral minaret. going towards engineering with no feasable targets on sight. got a map that looks pretty complete, but haven't met with the english. so far I am the tech leader, but no ideas on how to proceed... (trebs+elephants looks weak on any on the continent). no horses, so no cuirs... I ussually play noble, so I tried one step up to force me to change gameplay, but ended up wonderspamming again...ideas?
@Fish Man

Spoiler :

I thought this was gonna be a cakewalk too with more food than one can use, but GK has proven to be one of the tougher things to manage. He keeps plotting on poor Ramesses 1 turn after I bribe him off. GK is in his own religion vs the rest of the continent so needless to say it is a bloodbath :)

Mao plotting at pleased is also troubling since it seems there's not much you can do to avoid getting declared on if he plots (you're his only land target).

@Fish Man

Spoiler :

I'm not ready for Deity. I beat Immortal with relative comfort now but still have to pay attention. Basically if I play on autopilot I find myself losing some games. Besides I enjoy playing on a lower levels where there is more flexibility. Already on Immortal I find myself sometimes pigeonholed into a few strategies. Almost every game is either early UU romp, Cuir rush or push for culture. Often with help of the Pyramids. Other strats just don't seem optimal in comparison and I imagine it's even worse on Deity. The beauty of civ 4 to me is the diversity of strategies that are available.

I think much more skilled players can experiment more and still win!
I enjoy playing on a lower levels where there is more flexibility. Already on Immortal I find myself sometimes pigeonholed into a few strategies.
This is why I mostly prefer to play on Immortal too. Basically never lose, but it's so nice to be able to play different styles and still stand a chance, as opposed to what I tend to experience on Deity. It needs full concentration and if you miss a beat diplomatically, it can be game over.
250 eh, haven't played in a while but might give this a go!

Settle on the stone and lose fresh water, hmm no thanks - SIP looks mighty fine to me, not much commerce but FIN and 2 fish will be ok.
Just watch some AI survivor by Sulla..deity has that reputation, but you can come back from lots of mistakes actually and try different things ;)

I can come back from mistakes on Deity if I have Deity bonuses as well! :lol:
Finally the weekend is here and I can play some Civ ... :)

On to turn 110 (125 BC).

Spoiler :

I didn't even micromanage here but my economy is rocking. After the 'mids, built GLH around 700 BC then GL in the capital with a Great Engineer that popped. My cities are making serious beakers and this is while maxing out growth everywhere except Amsterdam pretty much. Decided to found Nijmegen off of the coast to get the river and some land including Spices. AI's don't have many happiness resources to trade. All good in the hood.

Two problems though...

Ghengis just ate Ram took his capital and a few other cities. He's becoming very strong and doesn't like me so he's gonna come after me when he's done there. Qin is plotting right now and I'm his only land target. Makes me consider to delay Music a little and beeline Feudalism. A few AI's have Monarchy and I can trade for it. With a better diplo situation, this game would be a roaring win but I think as is it is definitely winnable but will be challenging. No religion spread to me unfortunately. I think some of the AI's are on other landmasses. That's what my gut tells me.

Here is my empire:



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De-lurking to have a go at this one since it's a nice round number. Deity NHNE to 1AD:

Spoiler :

Settled on stone, early tech order:
Mining -> BW -> Wheel -> Hunting -> AH -> Masonry -> Pottery -> Writing -> Sailing -> Alpha (600BC)

Farmed corn, mined pigs (2F3H is a *very* good tile), grew capital to size 3 then chopped out a settler and put Utrecht 3S1W of capital, where access to a few power tiles allowed it to support REX. Met Mao and Ramesses very early so panicked a little and dropped a bunch more cities, but Mao expanded very slowly and Ramesses got in a war with Genghis very early, so I got my cities quite easily, but the economy crashed hard. Got a fairly late and lazy Pyramids at 1120BC (t72?), swapped to Rep and crawled to Writing by working citizens, then whipped out cheap libraries. Land at 1000BC (t75):

Note there is a settler 3S1E of Nijmegen in case Mao makes a run for the crab city.

Played up to 1AD fairly standard from here - filled in three more cities including the nice 1-tile island, met Hannibal, Churchill and Catherine (they do not like me) and managed diplomacy with my two immediate neighbours. I joined the war vs Ramesses for diplo but Genghis wiped him out completely. We're the same religion anyway, so he's chill. Managed to find one spare tile in Mao's culture to drop a gift city and now he's chill too, but there are some red fists amongst the far away guys so there might be a galley war coming my way soon-ish. Dropped cottages, including on non-riverside grassland - once they've been worked for 10 turns they jump to 2F3C which is quite nice. Popped a scientist in Utrecht who scouted a bit and then bulbed Philosophy. Backfilled a few techs (Monarchy and Calendar) then beelined Currency -> CoL -> Civil Service and did a large swap into Bureaucracy, Caste System and Pacifism. I didn't make any effort to spread Judaism myself, but had a few organic spreads and luckily it landed in my best food city - Rotterdam - so that's now working five scientists. Catherine has sniped a lot of wonders and looks like the main competitor, especially if I have to waste resources on a war before Lib - but Hannibal's land looks good as well. Order of business now is to irrigate down to my neglected city of Maastricht and get some farms down near to The Hague as well.

Land at 1AD, post civic swap:

I'm going to struggle to get infrastructure - Library and especially Lighthouse - built in Delft, but the value of going into Caste System was too good to pass up. There's also the small matter of eventually winning the game. My tech rate at 100% is 300+ bpt and I have great GPP, so Lib -> Steel might be viable if the AIs stay away from the Lib race. Mao already has Longbows, so can't touch him for awhile, and Genghis has been at war for a long time so has a bunch of GGs and stacks of obsolete units hanging around.

Looking forward to continuing with this later this weekend.


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Just watch some AI survivor by Sulla..deity has that reputation, but you can come back from lots of mistakes actually and try different things ;)
That reputation is well-deserved, I'd say, and based on personal experience in my case. There have been games where I declared on the "wrong" AI (in hindsight), and I lost because another AI ran away with the game while I was busy smashing heads. Or because I missed a chance for a bribe or something like that in between that matrix of smily faces. Better players will be able to overcome such things I guess, or prevent them by knowing everything from my sig without looking stuff up.

The main thing for me, though, is that the game feels more open on Immortal. I have more options, and that I find fun. It's rewarding to play on Deity and win, but it's not necessarily a fun experience to be up against the wall for pretty much the entire game. Just to take an example from the early game, on Deity it's so easy to get boxed in. That then constrains your options, and everything is about breaking out by winning Lib or something like that. Incidentally, this is also why I'm not a big fan of isolation games. Options are reduced, and it's all about getting to Astro. I like more dynamic settings where I have more options available to me.

Anywho... that's my take on it. Sorry for derailing this thread a bit. And I mean no disrespect to the Deity level players of course.
Well, for example in the deity no-cottage game we have 4 takers so far, all with vastly different approach. I also don't think deity is as hard as it seems at first, but you need to iron out a few wrinkles.
(Immortal, NH/NE) To 50BC

Spoiler :
I decided to settle on the stone for the faster start. I went Mining-BW whilst building a worker, followed by a work boat and then a settler at size three. Worker turns were a little awkward but I did speed up BW by working coast for a turn. The copper having been revealed, I sent the first settler over there, revolting to slavery once the settler was built. I decided to forgo a warrior in the capital in favour of another work boat.
Spoiler :

From there I wanted to go for Sailing and Pottery for GLH and the Pyramids. First however I researched The Wheel to connect the copper and then squeezed in Pottery, wanting granaries for the whipping potential.

After Masonry I went Hunting-AH-Writing. I built GLH in the Amsterdam with chops and lighthouse/settler whips, whilst building the Pyramids in Utrecht.
Spoiler :

Pyramids were completed by 925BC. From then on the game has been fairly straightforward. I gifted seafood to GK and Mao to try to improve relations, whilst teching Alphabet-Maths-Currency and pushing out settlers. Both leaders would later demand a tech, which I gave to them. I got a few tech trades but nothing major, the biggest being Iron Working. Also some nice money trades post-currency. I also built Hanging Gardens, which I rarely am able to do, in Amsterdam. I popped a Great Scientist, built an academy, and teched to music for the Great Artist, then towards Civil Service.

GK hates Ramesses due to peace weight, border tensions and different religions (Not often I see GK founding religions...). When he inevitably started plotting I wasn't too worried, and sure enough he soon declared war on Egypt. I traded copper to the metal-less Ramesses in the hopes that he wouldn't collapse like a house of cards, but the Mongols have captured two Egyptian cities thus far. I'll be keeping tabs on that.

The state of the empire at 50BC:
Spoiler :

Spoiler :

Note the city of Sarmatian to the south was a barb city that China captured just before I was able to flip it. It then immediately revolted and Mao gifted it to me, hence the anarchy.

I'm finally starting to meet more of the leaders and open up more trading options. The second GP was a merchant who will go on a trade mission abroad as I make my way towards Liberalism. I'm pretty sure this game should be quite easy at this point. Lots of nice land, a great leader and some powerful wonders. And Mao is not plotting for now. He appears more interested in settling locations halfway across the world. I often tend not to finish games, especially when I am ahead, but I might try to wrap this up. Dikes should be fun :D
Last edited:
Deity NHNE, 1AD - 1350AD:

Spoiler :

Sorry, I'm really bad at playing small sets!

We left off at 1AD with nice BPT and GPP. Not a great deal really happened between 1AD and 700AD. Highlights:

  • Catherine declares war on Churchill, Hannibal declares war on Catherine. Nice! :thumbsup:
  • I kept my economy going by failgolding Chichen Itza, Angkor Wat and University of Sankore, taking good advantage of the stone.
  • Popped a Great Engineer who bulbed most of Engineering, and 3 scientists, who double-bulbed Education and later put one bulb into Chemistry.
  • Genghis starts backfilling the huge north of the continent, eventually landing at 21 cities!
  • By 700AD, I'm able to grab Steel from Liberalism:

After this, research is set (slowly) towards Rifling. Lots of expensive techs in between, so the plan is to take on Genghis with Cannons and maces/pikes/muskets, then selectively upgrade my city raider maces to rifles when the time comes.

At this point, I use one final Great Person to launch a golden age. I'm a little behind on infrastructure, so the first civic set is REP/BUR/SLAVERY/O.R. This allows me to put up forges and barracks in all my cities as well as spread Judaism everywhere without needing monasteries. Before the golden age ends, I swap into my war civics (POLICE/BUR/SLAVERY/THEO) and begin pumping cannons and other units at about a 50/50 ratio. There are lots of good opportunities for whip micromanagement: with Police State and Forges, every population whipped into a unit yields 45 hammers. Meanwhile, the 4 units I'm building cost 60, 70, 80 and 100 hammers, respectively. Paying attention to each city, juggling tiles around and managing overflow meant I could extract a good amount of units even from weaker cities like Delft. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, my cities stacked up 50+ turns of whip anger in this phase of the game. Oh, to be Montezuma... :crazyeye:

Anyway, by 1030AD I'm ready to go:

The rough plan in my head is to ignore Tabriz and Memphis and try to carve my way north to Heliopolis and New Sarai, mainly to get the happiness resources up there under my control ASAP. Much later, the original stack splits to mop up his north east, and I clean up Tabriz and the old Egyptian cities with two new, smaller stacks composed of just fresh rifles and cannons. In hindsight perhaps I should have targeted Memphis earlier - the 26GPT from the Temple of Solomon is nice and it came with a Bank and a Market.

Genghis being Genghis, he doesn't go down easily, but wasn't the nightmare I was expecting. There is one notable counter attack which I just about manage to weaken and clean up with spare units, but it requires me promoting a new stack of cannons down an ugly line. The stack below is 1 tile SE of Memphis:

Anyway, Genghis has absolute piles of units and eventually gets Knights, which are always a pain on AIs with high war courage. I have to play close attention to make sure I have a rifle guarding any small reinforcement stacks. Eventually, he turtles up and things get easier, though there are still stacks of 15+ units in most cities and 40+ defending Karakorum when I finally get there. He doesn't capitulate until I take something like 13 cities, but I extract Astronomy and Nationalism in the deal and set my sights (slowly) on Steam Power to unlock the Dutch's powerful UB. However, my early DoW means nobody else has Steel or Rifling yet, so I start shuttling units down towards the Chinese border. Mao has a second continent with about as many cities as the mainland, so it shouldn't be too hard to kick him off my continent, but I'm not sure he'll capitulate without a galleon invasion. Maybe I don't need him to, though. I doubt I'll need to build fresh troops for this war as I have a lot of highly promoted veterans and 4 settled GG in Karakorum should I need more.

Here are two shots of the empire at 1350AD, the turn Genghis capitulated.

As you will see, I've gone for another large civic swap into Free Religion, Representation and Free Market.

On the other continent, Churchill and Catherine are back at war, only this time Churchill has managed to capture one of her cities via intercontinental invasion. On the one hand, it's nice that they are busy, but on the other hand, Catherine loves to vassal to the other AIs, and I'm not exaggerating when I say she has built almost *every* wonder:

So eventually I'll have a culture victory to stomp on, and it would be a huge pain if Churchill vassals her. I'll probably look at bribing them to peace when I play my next set. Oh, and Hannibal is in WHEOOHRN, probably for me, but I have enough units to not be too concerned about that.

So: next set, I'm looking at stabilising the economy, probably through State Property, getting rid of Mao from my continent, and then evaluating the position from there. Space could be a nice option but Catherine will surely get to culture before I can launch, so will have to deal with that at some point.

I'm attaching two saves to this report - my latest one and also one from 1030AD before the DOW. Thought it might be fun for anyone who fancies playing a Deity war and would be interested to see what vassal dates other players can manage! I definitely made some mistakes - playing shorter sets would be clever as the attention can slip when there is so much unit and city micro to do in a turn. Will try to conclude the game over the next few days! :)


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