Nobles' Club 304: Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire


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 Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire, whom we last played in NC 242. The Holy Romans start with Hunting and Mysticism.
  • Traits: Charlemagne is Imperialistic and Protective. Imperialistic adds +100% to Great General generation and +50% :hammers: bonus to Settler production (note that the settler bonus doesn't apply to excess :food: directly converted to :hammers:). Protective gives all Archery and Gunpowder units a free City Garrison I (+20% City Defence) and Drill I (+1 First Strike chance) promotion, as well as a +100%:hammers: bonus to Walls and Castles.
  • The UB: Rathaus, a Courthouse with -75% city maintenance instead of -50%. Only really useful lategame if you're heavily using Corporations, since without ORG Courthouses are simply too expensive to justify building early if you don't have to. And if you have to in order to unlock Forbidden Palace for a colony the extra reduction won't be noticed so much anyway.
  • The UU: The Landsknecht, a Pikeman with +100% vs. Melee units in addition to Mounted. Fantastic stack defenders that will leave the AI scratching their collective heads for a viable counter (hint: it's Crossbows), although their base 6:strength: makes them fairly weak against units they don't get a massive bonus against. That's nothing a bit of Siege can't solve, though, and Engineering does happen to unlock Trebuchets as well...:devil:
And the start:

Spoiler map details :
Continents, Tropical climate, medium sealevel.
Spoiler edits :
Strategic resource swaps and an unworkable Fish was moved to your shores.
Spoiler isolated? :
Not iso.
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 304 Charlemagne 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 what is demigod :
The difference between Immortal and Deity difficulty is akin to the difference between Noble and Immortal. Players eventually reached a point where Immortal was too easy, but Deity was still out of reach, and so neither difficulty provided a fun experience. "Demigod" is an otherwise standard Deity game where the AIs are only given their Immortal level starting units, in an attempt to bridge the gap.
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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Not the most awe-inspiring start for a leader with garbage tier starting techs (though I'll admit Hunting is at least better than Fishing in this circumstance), but I've seen worse. I'd SIP and wonder whether to go AH or Mining after the obvious Agriculture opening - AH reveals Horses, opens up Pastures and gets a double discount thanks to starting with Hunting, but Mining can (temporarily) turn the capital into a production machine and leads to Bronze Working. I'unno, I want to mine the pigs because it would be a fun opening. But I'm not convinced about it being a good opening.

What do the experts think :)?
What a treat! :D

SiP looks likely... Maybe move scout W->SW to the hill to gain visibility of a few tiles that could warrant a settler move NW?
Or maybe move northwards to see if settlement on the banana would be an option.

Straight AH would be tempting with two nice piggies, but Agri->Mining->BW is also possible, farming the banana and mining the pig-hills for more hammers for the IMP bonus toward settlers is likely strong as well.
I'm less convinced to move north since there's visible jungle near the "field of view" text, so while there is apparently a blank space to our north I don't think there's going to be a lot of good land up there pre-Iron Working. Than again they may very well be gems up there. As for moving off the plains hill I'm also not entirely convinced, T0 settle on a 2:hammers: city tile is not a bad opening by any means, but than again what if there's Corn in the

Since our starting techs are so awful I think I'd check out the west and see about a possible 1NW move. I struggle mightily with leaders that have bad starting techs, so I'd definitely want to secure many river tiles and get a T0 settle to not lose a turn of research. Might even go the AG -> Mining -> BW route mainly because I want to do silly things, but also (allegedly) to get hammers in the capital to maybe get some early failgold going, and of course units to fog bust. Obviously nearby Copper would be the dream, but enough Warriors to not need Archery would save me from possibly needing to go on that detour as well.
Reckon I’d send the scout to look for gems north of the banana. In the unlikely event he stumbles upon some shiny rocks, I’d settle on the banana. Production is going to be good enough even if you lose out on something nice the other side of the trees and mitigating the terrible techs would be lovely.

Realistically, they’ll be no gems and settle in place. I’d hold off tech decision until I knew how important agriculture was going to be. It may be worth skipping if it doesn’t do much other than allow you to farm the banana. Need to open the game up and do some maths as I don’t yet have deity tech costs seared into my brain.
Satan's voice :satan:: settle on the pig :devil:! <-- :jesus: : don't do that. Just don't :nono:.

Though Charlie, Toku, and Saladin are often considered as the bottom tier leaders, Charlie deals better with animal start than Toku or Saladin. Plus, the :hammers: chopping into settlers is very nice for IMP leaders. At Monarch level (the level of my "final exame"), I think SIP looks quite obvious. AH-Mining-BW maybe...? :think: After 2 pastures, the worker can build a mine in that unforested grass hill while waiting for BW. If AH reveals Horse nearby, the second city might be founded near the horse.

:commerce: would be an issue though - maybe the lack of early happiness as well. I didn't see any gem or gold in the start screen. So, as some point of the game, we need to research Agri or Fishing, because it's required for Pottery. Maybe scouting the land for more information :think:? If there is no Agri resource, going for Pot through Fishing is not a bad choice. OTOH, Agri-Pot has advantages for those who want to do an Engineering rush, as Agri doesn't ruin Engineering bulbing while Fishing does. It depends on the land and the neighbours.
Like sip if the scout sont reveal something worth moving for. Will probably scout N.

The first 5 turns of scouting will be important before desiding the tech path.

Close gold, will make, mining bw fast and fun.

Agg, Mining, bw is probably better long term.

Straight AH wont give the IMP trait much value.

So the first 5 scout turns will decide :) looks like a fun map.. I will give it a go tomorrow :)
Deity NHNE T45

Spoiler :

Sent the scout north and no rock based commerce source so settled in place. Scouted clockwise and liked what I saw. The gold pushed me to go mining - bronze working, along with the fact that I hadn't met anybody and there looked to be a lot of land. Mining the pigs is just as good for settlers, nearly as good for workers and much better for warriors until you grow beyond size two on to improved tiles and I was worried about barbs.

I went worker, warrior x2, settler. I founded Prague next to the gold and worked that to get me to archery because the copper is too far away and I reckoned I'd spend a lot of production and unit maintenance relying on warriors. Once I had a couple of archers, I could failgold SH in Prague while building workers and another settler in Aix-la-Chapelle. The fail gold will get me to AH or pottery.

Not sure where to go next because I could do with more commerce but I'm not sure I could even work cottages at the moment because my cities are too small. I'm thinking AH to grow first. That will reduce unit cost too. I also need to deal with some barbs that are in my territory. Nothing fatal but improvements at risk. Too tired to think about it now though.

Just about to found third city on the X to grab the rice and the pigs. Longer term I want to get a monument and library in there to try to flip the barb city.

Diplo wise, I've met Ragnar, Wang and Sury. Psycho 3 city Ragnar started plotting around 2500BC and declared on 6 city Sury. I hope he knows what he's doing. The last thing I need is a monster Sury.

I met all of them to my north which means I could have a lot of land to myself. I've built a scout to push out a bit to work out what's going on. I had to delete the original one after it got trapped by two warriors.


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Spoiler :
Psycho 3 city Ragnar started plotting around 2500BC and declared on 6 city Sury. I hope he knows what he's doing. The last thing I need is a monster Sury.
You have to commend the AI's steadfast determination to derail every single plan I come up with even long after I've given up on coming up with much of any plan because they always end up derailed in some way :crazyeye:.
Monarch from T0 to T231 :hammer2:

Spoiler :

Settings as below, no huts:

Before starting the game, I was wondering why several Deity players suggested Mining before AH :think:. Then suddenly I remembered the different tech costs between difficulty levels - with 1 pre-requisite (Charlie starts with Hunting), AH needs 15 turns on Deity. So, a Deity player SIP gets 12 turns worker but that worker has nothing to do for 2 turns. On Monarch however, research AH takes 12 turns, namely the same time that the first worker is finished. On Noble, getting AH comes before the player finishes the first worker, so it's obvious that, with this start, people research AH first at lower levels. I guess Deity players go Mining before AH because Charlie's starting techs are terrible. If the leader here is Mehmed instead of Charlie, probably many Deity people will go for AH first and let the worker farm the banana...?

SIP. AH-Mining-BW-TW-Pot. Found a gold mine and an Ivory not far at the south, +2 :)- is really nice in the early game. Met Sury and WK, but they were not my neighbours. After T50, saw Ragnar's culture border up north. It seemed all the AIs were in the north, and there was some nice land towards the south for at least 6 or 7 decent cities.

A city was still gifted to Ragnar, though I deliberately built it near a barb warrior (thanks to @ sampsa for the trick :satan: ). 2 turns later that gifted city was razed by the barbs :devil:. But the problem was he started plotting even before that city gift :hmm:.

The copper was a little far. Made a quick detour to Archery and chopped archers in border cities. Luckily, there was a land bridge between Ragnar and me, so I knew all his units could only come from that direction. The scouting chariot located Ragnar's stack. The target was definitely me :trouble:.

So be it :ninja:

Ragnar sent two waves of stacks. He made peace after losing the second stack on T104. Got a first GGeneral :eekdance:.

Only lost 1 archer. Killed 10+ Viking units. This DoW slowed down to some degree my empire development, as the :hammers: which should have been put into workers or libraries had to be put into archers.

Stayed at peace until Lib. I didn't want to Elepults Ragnar, because as shown in the screenshot, Ragnar's land had many jungle tiles - I'd prefer to let Ragnar's workers clean these jungles. Besides, there were several good spots down south that I wanted to backfill first. Sury oracled Confu and started converting our continent. Gifted another city to Ragnar.

The tech situation became weird: usually AIs go for Feudalism before CS, but in my game Ragnar built Mids so he ignored Monarch-Feudalism and beeline CS :crazyeye:. Sury went straight to CoL then Theo, building Confu AP :crazyeye:. WK beeline Construction for his UUs. They all refused to research Monarchy for a long time. I ended up self-teching Monarchy :crazyeye:.

Ragnar started plotting again around 300AD. I saw his frightening Elepults stack wandering around my borders :scared:. Under panick, I went for Feudalism and whipping longbows :cringe:. But several turns later, he moved his stack away and DoW WK :whew:. Got some nice trades with Feudalism though, as no AI had it :lol:.
After Medieval era, both Ragnar and Sury became Friendly with me thanks to shared religions + civics. The war between WK and Ragnar lasted several centuries. WK got dogpiled by Sury and ended up capitulating to Sury, which ended Ragnar's Friendly attitude towards Sury, as Ragnar was only Cautious towards Sury's vassal WK. For example, in the AP election vote, Ragnar voted me, probably because Ragnar's real attitude to Sury dropped to Pleased after Sury took a vassal.

Lucky discovery of gem :jesus:

Peacefully founded 9 cities and captured a barb city. Razed another barb city because that city had only tundra and ice, no food.
Lib Chemistry. Pre-built trebs, generated a GMerchant, and upgraded trebs to Cannons. Attack with Cannons. Ragnar had a stack of 40+ units. It was a tough fight. Finally he capitulated after losing his capital.

Admittedly it's quite rare to see such a smiling and joyful face when an AI capitulates :lol:. Took the techs but didn't take the city in the capitulation deal, as that city was surrounded by Korean culture.

Landsknechts are quite useful for stack protection, especially for an opponent who spammed Knights and Berserkers. Lost some archers when I attacked the barb city with archers + catapults :blush:.

Ragnar had the highest "build unit prob". But in my experience, in terms of diplomacy, Ragnar is slightly easier to deal with than Shaka or Nappy. Ragnar's favourite civic comes very early, and his shared religion bonus and civic bonus are all quite high, it's not too difficult to get him to Friendly. Same for Sury, shared religion + OR would easily ensure a Friendly Sury. In comparison, Shaka and Nappy's favourite civics come very late; they're not very religious. It's very hard to get Shaka or Nappy to Friendly.

Sury tech very fast, he already has Cuirs :sad:. Fortunately he's still Friendly, both towards me and my vassal. So I shouldn't worry about Khmer DoW when I'm teching towards Rifling.

Sent caravels and met Pacal, Kublai and Asoka. It seemed Pacal and Kublai DoW Asoka, and Asoka capitulated to Kublai. Traded Education for PP from Pacal, but this trade angered Asoka, as Pacal is the worst enemy of Asoka :rolleyes:

Sury has 14+ cities; he already has Cuirs and Economics. I probably need Rifles to attack Sury/WK. Though I need to scout Sury's land and locate his stack.
I was thinking about Astronomy for the intercontinental trade routes, but both Pacal and Kublai are under Mercantilism. Plus, I can get Astro from my vassal Ragnar. Perhaps going straight for RP-Rifling is better :think:.

Maybe start a GAge when building Rifles is not a bad idea, considering the captured MoM. With 2 GGenerals and Copper + popped Iron, I almost want to build my HE in this city. But this city will probably often under revolts due to culture pressure, so it's better to build HE elsewhere :lol:.

Have to take a break now. Will think about how to fight the monster Sury in the next few days .
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Spoiler :

yikes, resigned like t70 after getting devoured by barbarians to the south. AH->mining->BW and was banking on getting my 3rd city working both gold mines but took so many losses to barbarians and never had the commerce required to go archery
Spoiler T100 :

I saw dry rice and said "yuck" and settled in place.

Met a whole crowd up from the north, and I seem to have a huge landmass in the south. Stone was possible so I decided to make a go for TGW.
Worker->Warrior->Warrior->Settler @ pop2, mining->TW->Masonry.
I was on my way to BW after that, but T30-T35 sometime Ragnar raised a red fist so I swapped for archery.

I got ~40+ gold in failgold from building SH in Prague just a few turns ago.
Contemplated gifting the city away to Ragnar (or Wang) for diplo bonus, but I needed every hammer I could get to get walls and an archer out. Also they where worst enemies so what I would have gained in diplo with one I would have lost with the other.

Imp+TGW makes GGeneral points easy. A 4xp fight gave me 16xp toward a GGeneral.

Venerable Bede doesn't know that Ragnar is a paper tiger!
Also, a constant stream of barbs is flowing upwards, slowing the guy down.


Settled a pair of cities safely down south out of Ragnars reach.

Drill promotions makes the fights easier, but they don't lower XP gained.

Ragnar does not like me! :(

This must be a very large map, Sury has 10 cities already and just did gardens for a massive population boost.

He has lost 45+ units and he still demands a city for peace.
Maybe the razing of Prague made him gain a whole lot of war success?

I think I overexpanded, hopefully I can limp my way to aestethics once I lay down a few cottages and get both goldmines up and running.
Settled the GSpy T90.
Think I'll avoid fishing and see if I can bulb at least machinery. Will get sick Xbows.
The other continent has hogged Budd/hindu/juda/confu but have not seen any GGenerals abroad. Culture victory danger... :|

Spoiler :
Wondering if I should have swapped Ragnar and Wang Kon's starting positions :think:. I thought AIs weren't likely to start plotting war if they still had land to settle peacefully and Ragnar has a fair bit of jungle to get lost in for a while (unless the player rushes into it, but why settle in Ragnar's face to grab jungle?), but Ragnar seems determined to prove me wrong...
Acametis (not really a spoiler beyond early turns, just gives away 1 AI)
Spoiler :
Crazies like Rags will almost certainly start plotting early if they connect copper's how they work, and why they lose so many AI survivor games if you liked watching those :)
Spoiler :
Wondering if I should have swapped Ragnar and Wang Kon's starting positions :think:. I thought AIs weren't likely to start plotting war if they still had land to settle peacefully and Ragnar has a fair bit of jungle to get lost in for a while (unless the player rushes into it, but why settle in Ragnar's face to grab jungle?), but Ragnar seems determined to prove me wrong...

As Fippy said...
Spoiler :

If these crazies (Monty/Shaka/Alex/Ragnar etc) has easy access to metal, they can roll the dies and start plotting very early.
Here for me though, it was awesome! If he had come 5-10 turns later that would have been even better, but 5 turns earlier (or maybe just one) would have been GG.

The odds are lower if you are not a land target ofcourse, but each turn the warmongerer has metal they roll the die. :)
Acametis (not really a spoiler beyond early turns, just gives away 1 AI)
Spoiler :
Crazies like Rags will almost certainly start plotting early if they connect copper's how they work, and why they lose so many AI survivor games if you liked watching those :)

Not as crazy as someone who spends the first 5 turns moving the first settler into a more "optimal" location... **cough** **cough** You know who. The one and only. The infamous. ^_^

@AcaMetis: This was a really fun map for me. I no longer have the time nor the patience to do writeups with pictures like I did in the past, but all that early room for expansion plus imperialistic is my kind of game. Thank you for this fun map! ^_^
Spoiler :
You have to commend the AI's steadfast determination to derail every single plan I come up with even long after I've given up on coming up with much of any plan because they always end up derailed in some way :crazyeye:.
Spoiler :

He started plotting when he had two cities. I think he's the closest to me and I still can't see his borders so he's got to have room to expand. I've played another fifteen turns. He hasn't taken a city and has even failed to stop Sury expanding. You can normally rely on Ragnar to ruin at least two civ's games, one of which is invariably his own. It looks like he might just have to settle for ruining just the one game this time around!
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