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Nobles' Club 264: Zara Yaqob of Ethiopia

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by AcaMetis, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

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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 Zara of Ethiopia, whom we last played in NC 224. The Ethiopians start with Hunting and Mining.
    • Traits: Zara is Creative and Organized. Creative gives every city +2:culture: for free, and gives a +100% :hammers: bonus to Libraries, Theatres, and Colosseums. Organized cuts Civic Upkeep in half, and gives a +100% :hammers: bonus to Lighthouses, Courthouses and Factories.
    • The UB: The Stele, a Monument with +25% :culture:. If Zara's Creative trait isn't enough to peacefully secure your borders early game, the Stele will give you an edge that few can match.
    • The UU: The Oromo Warrior, a Musketman with +1 First Strike, immunity to First Strike, and a free Drill I (+1 First Strike chance) and Drill II (+1 First Strike, -20% collateral damage taken) promotion. As a side-effect this also gives them immediate access to the Cover, Formation, Pinch, Ambush and Medic I promotions. Musketman are usually ignored since their low :strength:, lack of inherit bonus vs. a specific unit type or on the defence and lack of access to City Raider promotions make them overall mediocre units, even through as the first Gunpowder unit they completely ignore Walls and Castles. Musketman that, with just 5xp, get 4-7 free shorts :ar15: against everything not immune to First Strike are a slightly different story. Combine with Cannons (and, if necessary, a few Pikes to act as stack defenders) for maximum fun :devil:.
    And the start:

    Spoiler map details :
    Fractal, medium sealevel, temperate climate.
    Spoiler edits :
    One resource swap was done to give an AI a nearby strategic resource.
    Spoiler isolated? :
    Not isolated. Jury's undecided on whether it's semi-isolated, but it's not isolated.
    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 264 Zara 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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  2. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

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    Honestly I'd probably just SIP here. Both 2:hammers: city tiles move away from what looks like plenty of river tiles and wet Corn, and unless the scout (send south, obviously) finds something worth that trade I see no reason to move.

    What do the experts think :)?
     
  3. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    I may have misread the forests but looks like south may be tundra - I'd move the scout NW-NE looking at the possibility of moving settler over the corn towards the north eastern river. I can't foresee a scenario where I wouldn't want to keep wet corn in the capital but I'd rather avoid AH for a while so wouldn't mind abandoning the sheep with a later opportunity to settle a second city on the marble. Agree that I'd most likely SIP though.
     
  4. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Did anyone play this out?
     
  5. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    I've started to play. Looks like great starting position about 10 turns in. Bit of an overwhelming number of games on at the moment with both the cookbooks too! Will post an update when I can
     
  6. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    I wonder if these games should be fortnightly/monthly. It would of been great to see more standard pangea maps. Then diplomacy will matter a lot more.Otherwise your free to just kill off all nearby AI.
     
  7. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

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    I would be willing to cut the rate back to one every two weeks, at least for right now. Bit busy with life things right at the moment, so at least tomorrow's map will be delayed to next week.
     
  8. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    @AcaMetis - thanks for the map - nobles club is one of the main things that keeps me interested in this site. There is some delicious land in this map but not sure if I'm good enough to utilise it!

    Spoiler Major spoilers to T87 :
    To be honest I'm a bit lost and aimless in this game. Early on I thought we were semi-isolated but later I met Elizabeth who isn't putting any espionage points on me but hasn't met Hammurabi so obviously not.

    I gambled on moving my settler north east of the corn and was rewarded with a fantastic capital site with two wet corns and pig. Finding stone and with this much food I can't see past The Pyramids but also didn't want to sacrifice some great city spots. Barbarians were hard work. Mids are in and I'm getting libraries up but it seems a bit late. I can get most of the rest of the good land although Elizabeth has started to settle our continent and I will crash the economy if I expand now. I realise I really don't know how to play semi-isolation - should I have forgotten about boxing in Hammurabi and let him build me some decent cities on this continent to plunder later and opened borders ASAP and got to friendly for research trades before later war? At no point have I been in a position to take him out early - tech path was Ag->BW->TW->pottery-> masonry->writing. No copper, don't know if I have horses but with weak commerce I couldn't have got HBR early enough (better players might have.) Maybe mids were a mistake - was my fourth city and no cottages by that point but delay any longer and I'd lose the chance and I really wanted that fish/corn site for Gondor - I'm not sure if I'm over-prioritising gaining good city sites?
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0004.JPG
     
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  9. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    Spoiler Update and a question on courthouses :
    I've played on to turn 133. I have a bad habit of overexpanding and am economically behind where I would like to be. My plan is to try for Taj and GA my way to steel (will use next GS for GA if beaten to Taj) - take out Hammurabi with cannons and oromu warriors with a view to building Oxford in my new capital and trying for spaceship. My immediate concern is patching up my economy a bit. I need to whip out a few more granaries and the palace and then switch civics to beaurocracy and CS. I've selected nationalism for now but the more I think about it I think I'm going to go paper -> education and try to lib nationalism - it's pretty late but both the AI's I've met are behind this and I'll need liberalism for eventual state property.

    I never build courthouses in recent years but would this be an exception? With organised trait, they only cost 60:hammers: and maintenance is costing me 95:gold: per turn - my calculation is probably flawed but for courthouses in all 13 cities, 60 x 13 = 780:hammers: investment, 780/(95/2) = 16.4 turns until they pay back - few turns longer in reality as 2 pop whips will remove some specialists/cottages for a few turns but there would be some overflow which I could use to get failgold. I guess there's a timing question as well as this would involve a significant delay to nationalism and I'm already on borrowed time aiming for Taj and during GA I want as much population as possible. Maybe post-GA but pre-war? I think this would still pay off before I get state property...

    Spoiler State of the economy :
    Civ4ScreenShot0001.JPG

    Spoiler Tech tree and trades :
    Civ4ScreenShot0002.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0003.JPG

    Spoiler My land :
    Civ4ScreenShot0004.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0006.JPG

    Spoiler Babylon :
    Civ4ScreenShot0005.JPG

     

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  10. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Emperor

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    Spoiler :
    You don't need Courthouses, you need Currency. Cities that are building Research should be building Wealth, and while 780:hammers: worth of Courthouses would save around 45-odd :gold: per turn the +1:traderoute: from Currency would generate up to around half of that amount in extra :commerce: instantly at no :hammers: or population cost at all.

    That said if you were going for a military campaign against the English, or other overseas targets, it would be worth it to build six courthouses and Forbidden Palace on your starting continent at some point. That way you can build a very cheap Palace on your newly conquered continent/large island and avoid the colonial maintenance penalty on the cheap, until you can get to Communism and adopt State Property.
     
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  11. 5tephen

    5tephen Warlord

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    Well, I lost this game - more or less - but I found it a really fun map.

    Spoiler I'm probably going to replay :
    I'll go back to when I got The Pyramids - I think I should have focused on CoL and currency at this point or have beelined optics. Pretty sure this would have made a big advantage for my tech position. Other learning points aside from valuing currency higher are I waited too long to change into beaurocracy and CoL once I had the prerequisite techs - think delaying a turn or two to get a GA is OK but 10-20 turns later is a wasted opportunity, I'm not convinced Oxford was worth the hammers invested, having moved my capital I really needed to get more cottages up early to justify it, Globe Theatre could have been OK with cheap theatres but it was pointless to build it without a clear plan to go to war within a short time of doing so, and lastly I think I try to wing the diplomatic situation too much - when 3 AIs are plotting for 30 odd turns it probably isn't great play to get caught with one warrior/archer in all my cities...

    I've attached a save from the turn before I get DOW'd by Tokugawa - decided not to try and fight the war as I can't see it as a winnable position from here .


    Thanks @AcaMetis for the map and the advice.

    I would be interested to see anybody else's attempts.
     

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  12. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    Hmm, i forgot that to bulb Astro effectively you have to avoid unlocking Paper and, subsequently, PP.
     
  13. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    Deity 860 AD. Thoughts?

    Spoiler :

    The general plan from here is cannons go boom. I expect AI to have rifles soon... certainly before I'm ready to attack anyone. I'll probably need grens or rifles.. don't think oromos will be enough this late.

    Basically none of the AI will trade maps so i need to get a few units to scout potential targets.
     

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  14. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Izuul I'm playing this map too.
    At 150AD (T122)
    Spoiler :

    I saw you mention astro, so I jumped into the map to enjoy some Iso-fun. Was abit dissapointed first when I saw our neighbour, but my god what a juicy map. :D
    I will play on until contact before checking your spoiler/game out.

    I failed to get pyramids, but got myself a very late oracle.
    Took aestethics and teched on to litterature, got GLib in capital and finished Parthenon in Gondar.
    Civ4ScreenShot0020.JPG

    Gifted a bunch of horrid cities to Hammy, will continue to develop and culture-push him as long as I can, then I hope I can just gobble his cities up when they are ripe.
    Civ4ScreenShot0028.JPG
     
  15. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Izuul
    Spoiler T152 :

    This is an overview of my situation at T152: I have fewer cities than you do, and I have given more to Hammy.
    Some of your cities I don't really like, they are contributing too little at the moment, would probably be better without them.
    I like your overseas island village, if you settled that one early it have given you a significant boost.

    One large problem for you, is the lack of overseas traderoutes, a bummer that almost everyone is in merc. :/
    If I where in your situation now, I would probably just roll over Hammy and take his stuff. As he built the pyramids I would probably have attacked him way sooner.
    Civ4ScreenShot0030.JPG

    I don't know about you, but for me, that fun part is already over. We both have landed at a very favourable position. :D
     

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  16. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    @krikav
    Spoiler :

    Thank you for the feedback. I'm sure i made quite a few mistakes. I know i did a poor job with GPP, in particular. Which cities of mine would you not have settled? Incense for sure and probably the iron city?

    I can't remember the exact situation when Hammy build the Pyramids, but everything was slow early in this game and i was kind of afraid to attack him vs keeping him at friendly for possible tech trades and just settling all of the available land. That's an interesting decision though and maybe something i should've looked at a little closer.
     
  17. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Izuul
    Spoiler :

    I was mainly thinking of the 3 cities south, notably Zeila and Massawa, both around the incense. But in my game I didn't have Adulis either.

    I did settle those spots though, and a few others too. But only after I checked that Hammy was willing to acept gifted cities and then right after I settled I gave them to him.
    That gave him a millstone around his neck in upkeep, and he had to slow-build the monuments and improve the land...
    A sweet bonus was that he littered all my land with roads to connect all those coastal villages too. :D



    Thinking about my own game too...
    Spoiler :

    I think I too got stuck in a mindless expansionist sprawl... I wasn't nearly as focused as I could have been. I should probably beelined cuirs much faster, then taken hammys developed villages, then made peace and continued to gift him jungle cities later on.
     

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