Nobles' Club 283: Catherine of Russia

AcaMetis

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Spoiler :
This isn't great as WvO is the only non-vassal Civ that isn't pleased with me but I figure I could probably get him to pleased if I have to. It's just that he's been Ragnar and Monty's worst enemy on and off for the last few centuries so I've avoided buttering him up for a now.
Remember that for civs with vassals their actual attitude towards you is the average of the attitude of that AI and all of their vassals. So even if you bring Willem up to Pleased he won't actually be Pleased unless enough of his vassals are also either Pleased or Friendly. And Willem is one of those AIs that can be surprisingly aggressive in my experience, so be afraid once the Vikings start mass-importing dictionaries...
 

Mr_Trotsky

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Spoiler :


Spoiler :
Remember that for civs with vassals their actual attitude towards you is the average of the attitude of that AI and all of their vassals. So even if you bring Willem up to Pleased he won't actually be Pleased unless enough of his vassals are also either Pleased or Friendly. And Willem is one of those AIs that can be surprisingly aggressive in my experience, so be afraid once the Vikings start mass-importing dictionaries...

That’s not how I understood the mechanic to work. I thought if Willem was pleased with me he was pleased with me and he didn’t care what his vassals thought.

I’m aware that, if (say) Ragnar vassaled to me to gain the protection afforded by my eight warriors, Willem might show as being pleased with me but in reality he’d be the average of pleased (his opinion of me) and annoyed (his opinion of Ragnar). Consequently he’d actually be cautious and: i) much more like to plot; and ii) if I tried to beg from him it would actually be a demand, so he’d say no because he’s so much more powerful. But I thought your vassals matter to AI attitude but there vassals don’t. I’ve always just ignored vassals’ demands on that basis unless they remain a useful trading partner.

In any case I agree that Willem is one of the least welcome AIs in any of my games. It’s easy to forget how agressive he can be because he’s a good techer and he’s one of the harder AIs to manage diplomatically.

I guess I could just collect gold for a few turns and see if I could bribe him off. Although I fear there are already a lot of Norse-Dutch dictionaries in circulation.
 

krikav

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Thats how I understand vassals too.
If the player has vassals, the AIs will change their attitude toward the player, taking into account what they think of the players vassals too.

If the AI has some other AIs as vassals, they don't play any role in what the master AI think of the player.
 

AcaMetis

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I wasn't aware that the vassal attitude averaging doesn't go both ways, actually :think:. I guess the AI value the opinion of their vassals about as much as the average player does, than.
 

Mr_Trotsky

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T226

Spoiler :


A pleasingly fitting T227 culture victory with Voltaire’s pen pal.

I basically pressed end turn until I got ten turns from the end when I begged from Monty and WvO, the only two who could still attack me.

Things didn’t go perfectly as Ragnar capped almost immediately and Monty and Boudi made peace soon after. WvO ticked up to pleased with me the same turn he capped Ragnar and then started plotting again about three turns later. He didn’t like Monty or Boudi so I suspect he was targeting one of them - they were still at war when the plotting began which I think makes them even more likely targets - but I never found out. Boudi started plotting after making peace with Monty. Even though it couldn’t be me, it was problematic because it was almost certainly Pacal, and not Monty, meaning I couldn’t rely on her to occupy Monty any time soon. However, Monty never started plotting and just sat there, bottom in score, presumably rebuilding his decimated military.

It was slightly nervy but I’m not sure I needed to be. I idly clicked through after winning until a T348 culture "victory" for Willem to see if I'd get attacked. I had to think a bit about civic switching and demands to not get attacked but it wasn’t too hard, particularly after Boudi capped Monty. WvO plotted a few times but always stopped before declaring and always liked me more than the other non-vassal civs.

Despite winning, I think it's pretty clear that teching to rifling would have been the better play. Given Willem didn't reach a victory condition for another hundred plus turns I clearly had time and it would have meant that I could have fended off an attack. I don't think I was particularly lucky to not get attacked but there was perhaps a 10%(?) chance of someone plotting and me not being able to beg/bribe etc to save myself. Probably not worth the risk given that I had a fair few turns to spare. Or at least that's my take on it.

I'd be interested in the experts' take on whether I got particularly lucky or whether my assessment that an attack was a low probability, albeit high impact, event was a reasonable one.

Thanks for the map!
 

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krikav

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@Mr_Trotsky
I think your strategy makes sense. It's a question of how much you are willing to gamble and what preferances you have.
I would most likely have gone for rifling and accepted 5-10 turns later victory date, but with a keen eye on diplo and pulling the kinds of tricks you did (begging, bribing etc) it's likely just like you say, low probability but high impact.

Comparable to starting with Shaka close by in the early game. The case could be made for going archery early on and build/whip 4-6 archers just to be sure you won't die, but the case can also be made that the risk is too minor and that it is detrimental to the game.

Last game of the month, I went for a bunch of early archers and also masonry mainly for walls, even though that set my deveopment back alot, but with those games that come only once a month or fewer still, not dying to a random early war declaration feels important to me.
This game with cathy and the other recent NC game with Mehmed, I certainly did not go archery early on. :)
 

Fabled

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I had what felt like a really strong start but it fell to pieces after the classical era. Most of my games tend to do that, come to think of it. I've forgotten how to close out a win on emperor :cry:

Spoiler T284 :

The expansion phase went really well, I got ~10 city spots in to the AI's ~6 each. Ragnar hit me with an early declaration of war and I claimed his southern cities with a wave of chariots. After building my economy back up I had a longer war with Montezuma, taking his northern lands with catapults, maces, and knights, and forcing his capitulation.

At this point I was clearly ahead in land and score, so I felt like the game was won. Pacal and Mansa Munsa were running away with the tech lead, but my relations with the world were excellent (everyone not vassalized was either pleased or friendly), so I opted to next-turn my way to a diplomatic victory.

When I was a couple of turns away from finishing the united nations, Mansa sniped the wonder. Shortly thereafter Pacal, and then Boudica declared war on me. I lost a couple of cities on the northern front and gave a way one from the southern front to buy off Pacal. I'm upgrading from a cossack-based army to infantry and machine guns, but he's at tanks and I can't match the size of his stacks. Boudica won't talk about a peace deal, but she's only raiding with cavalry so she's not much of a threat at this point.

I could probably still grind out a conquest / domination victory here, but I'm super not feeling it so I think I'll call it quits and try again when the next noble's club game goes up. Maybe I can learn something now that I'm free to read all the spoilers.

Here's what my land looks like at the current moment:







Here's the tech situation:



And here's the info screen:



I developed a massive power deficit and I don't know why. I've had a large stack all game that Ragnar / Montezuma weren't able to contest at all, and I have been building mounted units at nearly 1 per turn since knights were available. Pacal and Boudica clearly had something that gave their power a massive boost, although I can't for the life of me guess what it was.


I would appreciate feedback and critique. I've been away from the game for several years, and clearly I've forgotten something about winning on emperor difficulty. I consistently come out of the classical era with a successful war or two, and thus a lead in land and cities, but behind about half an era in tech. I then get knocked out of the game by an attack from multiple AIs about the time they hit rifles, which is usually when I'm just getting gunpowder and cuirassiers online. I feel like my worker and city micro is reasonable, especially for the first 100 turns, but I don't have a clear focus to help me transition out of classical-era warmongering.
 

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krikav

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@Fabled
Spoiler :

From first reading your post, I reacted at this: "so I opted to next-turn my way to a diplomatic victory.".
Not sure I intrepreted you correctly, but if I did, then thats a dangerous attitude.
I like to grab whatever land I can, as early as I can and for as long as I can. Diplo is a victory for when the conquest doesn't get you all the way.
In either case, just end-turing sets you up to nasty suprises.

I dived into the save file and I saw two things that stand out.
You are not really getting any infrastructure to speak of. Alot of cities have only a granary and more others have granary+library.
Sure, buildings are overrated in most circumstances, but I think you are playing abit on the extreme scale here, considering the game has gone on for quite some time. At least forges/barracks are nice at least! :D
Still, feels hard to critique someone for building too few buildings since in 9 cases of 10, people are building too many buildings, not too few!


One thing that I almost certainly think you should work on is your great people management.
You are right now set to spawn a GPerson at 500 great people points, this means you have gotten 4 great persons so far.
You also got the artist from music, and you have done 2 GAs. (1+2 gpeople) and you have settled one scientist in Moscow. The other two I assume you bulbed something with.
You built two wonders, Swedagon Paya is bad and the failgold would have been much better. Parthenon is a very nice wonder though, that is if you utilize it.

You have been in free religion for the entire game I think. I don't think this is optimal. At least brief stints into pacifism during golden ages is super good.
Worldbuildered in 3 GPersons to start a GA in your game now, just using Moscow here to show how it's usually done.

Swapped to pacifism and buddhism.

Spoiler :

First turn, starve down as much as you can, utilize the food bar. Ofcourse this should be done in multipe cities, and cities should have been grown to as large size as possible prior to starvation. Each added population gives exponential return.
Civ4ScreenShot0000.JPG

Next turn, all in on specialists. Here it helps to have multiple cities with alot of overlap, so that some other cities who isn't on GPeople duty during the golden age can take over the tiles not being used.
Civ4ScreenShot0001.JPG

Last turn of the GA. Starvation from 13 -> 7 is perhaps abit extreme, and doing it in the capital isn't good (since burocracy is super good). But it shows abit the potential for great people generation.
Think of it abit like whipping out units with slavery. Here you whip away population and get GPeople for it. :)
Civ4ScreenShot0002.JPG




I think it would have served you better to do an academy in capital instead of settling that scientist. And perhaps it would have been better to be in burocracy more too.

 

Fabled

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@krikav

Spoiler :

Thanks for the thoughts and feedback! There's a lot to think through here, but I'm seeing new ideas and I'm looking forward to trying them out next game.

With regards to infrastructure, what are the important buildings? I usually value granary and library and then either spam units or, more typically, just build research. Since Catherine was creative I ended up skipping many of the libraries this game.

Swedagon Paya and Parthenon were both mistakes! I had some down time to generate fail gold and I forgot to start something else when they were at 1 turn remaining :wallbash:

I don't have a clear idea of what to do with great people. Usually I get an academy and settle great scientists, and avoid any other type of great person or specialist. This game I tried something different, starting golden ages and bulbing techs. I can see the value (something now is superior to something later), but I don't have a good way of comparing the value of super specialist vs bulb vs golden age.

Academy instead of super scientist makes a ton of sense. I was attempting to get beakers now instead of more beakers later, but at that point there wasn't an immediate end of the game in sight so it was a poor choice.

I've never seen the starvation GP generation trick before, that's nifty! "Whipping for GP" is clearly a good tool for the tool box :whipped:

You are correct, I never swapped into a religion. With so many aggressive opponents I was reluctant to commit to an alliance bloc for what appeared to be marginal gains. I value religion very lowly for anything other than diplomacy, maybe that's a shortcoming on my part.

Thanks for taking a look!
 

krikav

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@Fabled
Spoiler :

Extremly hard to say whats essential infrastructure and what you can do without. Your intuition of just going light and focusing on units is good play imho.
I end up building granaries everywhere, libraries in most cities that are by rivers or are coastal or places where I know alot of cottages will end up.
I build alot of barracks and forges since most cities will be drafted or whipped or slow-build units.
It was just that you where up in 1800AD and had cities with either just granary or granary+library that was abit odd.
With creative I usually build way more libraries way sooner than I do with non-cre leaders, since libraries are half-price.

Alt+M allows you to set up reminders, helps with those failgold wonders. :)

GPeople are mostly scientists to bulb stuff like philosophy, education, liberalism, astro etc.
And a academy in the capital if it's good, but it's hard to ever go wrong with an academy in the capital.
After that, GMerchants to run trade missions in the city with Temple of Aretmetis (or any large city, preferably coastal with harbour+customs house) once you have a large capital is the best GPerson.
Other than that, it's mainly just GA-fodder, and it's a rare game where you do more than a GA with 3 people (4 people is very rare in my experience).


Yes, not utilizing religion and the civics is for sure a shortcomming. Pacifism is super good, but also organized religion is wonderful when you build or whip infrastructure. Getting +25% hammers makes forges so much easier to whip.
Theocracy is also very sweet, getting +2xp and having units with one more promotion can do wonders.
Ofcourse... sometimes you are so weak and vunerable and with religious nutbags as neighbours that it's hard to commit to a religion, but even then, sneaking in a quick visit into a religion for the duration of a golden age to run pacifism is still too good to pass on.

This looks like a nice map to play in case you haven't got other games going:
https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/nobles-club-253-elizabeth-of-england.662622/
Elizabeth is a super strong leader, and playing with philosophical might help you place more value in great people.

 

konata_LS

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@krikav

Agree with you about CRE library. After Currency, CRE libraries are worth building in many cities, because foreigh TR give each city at least 4~6 :commerce:.

But generally speaking, apart from library, what building should be built? Forge and HE in the military city? Maybe some AP religion buildings? National Epic in a high food city?... Often confused about that :crazyeye:.

Do you think theatre is worth building in some cities? It's not for border pop, mainly for dealing with war wearness. Sometimes an AI build Statue of Zeus, and the war wearness is already soaring after the player only captures one or two cities. So I wonder if building some theatres before the war starts would help controling war wearness.

The Lizzy NC you suggested looks like a fun map - I might play it later (currently busy with other games).

@Fabled

There is @ krikav (someone much more competent than me) who has already given you a lot of useful advice :D Certainly you've learnt many things which would help you in your next games :)
 

krikav

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I tend to build quite a few theatres (and in large cities often colosseums too). But if they are sensible or not probably depends alot on both playstyle and what map it is.
But with creative they are both half priced so they are a bargain.
In large cities once you have war weariness, draft and whip anger and emancipation anger every little bit helps!

Someone asked me why I had so many farms, and I might go abit low with cottages in many games, and the above is a reason for that, if you have many cottages the price for the culture-slider happines is much higher than if you build your economy more on farms+specialists and hammers.
 

AcaMetis

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What you should build in a city depends largely on what a city needs and what direction you expect the game to go. Are you going to run over the entire map with cuirs? Than Observatories aren't too useful, and AP buildings can be risky depending on whether you have to defy any "stop the war!" resolutions. But Forges for better whipping and Barracks for +3 unit xp are both very good, and if you're lacking happiness/expecting to stack war weariness a Theatre or Colosseum (especially cheap CRE ones) can be worthwhile. If you're going for Space instead than Observatories are mandatory (later required for labs, even if they didn't boost beaker output), AP buildings are less at risk of losing their bonus, and while Forges can be nice for getting up infrastructure faster (especially Factories/Coal Plants, in fact I believe a Factory requires a Forge?) a Barracks won't do anything for you. Theatres? Well, if you're not swimming in happiness as is they could be worthwhile, although you can expect to lose some population once you've got power up and running, so might not be worth it if it's only a short-term investment. Than again maybe you're EXP and have tons of spare health sitting around, or you're expecting to beeline Biology, or you're CRE and they're dirt cheat, etc. Lots of situational things to consider.
 

civac

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I tend to build granaries everywhere and forges in every city which whips regularly or has some production. After that it gets highly situational. Courthouses haven't been mentioned. I tend to build them in cities with 8+ gpt maintenance cost if nothing more important is going on (eg. war preparation). Preferably, after forges and with Organized Religion.
 

konata_LS

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@krikav
So, sometimes theatres and colosseums are worth building in large cities :yup:. Apart from dealing with war wearness, it also helps reducing drafting anger or emancipation.
Ah, I see why you value farms. You're right, the culture slider mainly affects :commerce: from CE, but :science: or :gold: from hammers are immune to the culture slider. I didn't pay attention to that. Thanks for pointing that out!

@AcaMetis
Yes, the need of some buildings varies with game/map/victory path. Like you said, Observatory and Labs are often needed in a Space game, but when people are ready to conquer the whole Pangaea map with Cuirs/Cavs, they even don't bother to research Astronomy. Unlike Granary that we almost build everywhere, some other buildings (forge, university, theatre, ...) are really situational. And it's the "situational side" which makes the noobs like me confused :lol:.

@civac
CHs combined with OR and slavery looks good. Sometimes I build CHs as well, to avoid strike; chopping + 2 pop whipping under OR are usually enough for a CH.
 

Henrik75

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bit late to the party but I started this game on Deity last night, should be uploaded in my channel in a few days if ppl want to see the lets play.

Turn 49
Spoiler :
just finished third settler, headed south east to grab double gems.
initial tech path: agg->AH->archery->BW->wheel->pottery->writing
early archery because deity barbs are scary and its inland sea, did fight a good bunch of archers especially in the north.

https://imgur.com/a/aeWFiL6


Turn 97
Spoiler :

Expanded up to 8 cities, with 2 more spots to the north marked to get me up to a health 10 cities.
Very early civil service date, good classical and medieval tech trades, mansa trading early currency for a bunch of cheap stuff was really nice.
Personally I went aesthetics literature route for TGL, seemed very doable with all the forests and marble. Did indeed get it around 500bc.
Running research in most of my cities to get faster CS date since I managed to get tons of money from selling techs, and fail gold from parthenon and shweg.

https://imgur.com/a/n41DoXF
 

sylvanllewelyn

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Question for @Henrik75
Spoiler :

Why didn't Montezuma or Ragnar attack you? They aren't even plotting. You didn't gift them cities, you don't share religions, you don't seem to have a very strong military. They aren't friendly with you. What am I missing?
 

krikav

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@Henrik75
Do you have some thread where you put up the starting saves? Saw you started a isolation game and I'm in the mood for that. :)
 

Henrik75

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Question for @Henrik75
Spoiler :

Why didn't Montezuma or Ragnar attack you? They aren't even plotting. You didn't gift them cities, you don't share religions, you don't seem to have a very strong military. They aren't friendly with you. What am I missing?

Spoiler :
I gifted Ragnar a city pretty early actually, he was dangerous. Monte had only chariots until 500bc or something so he couldn't plot. Eventually I switched into budhism to assure my safety, only for stupid monte to switch into self founded Christianity
 
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