Nobles' Club 335: Brennus of the Celts


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 Brennus of the Celts, whom we last played in NC 280; we last played the Celts under Boudica in NC 291. The Celts start with Mysticism and Hunting.
  • Traits: Brennus is Charismatic and Spiritual. Charismatic gives every city, Monuments and Broadcast Towers +1:) , and decreases the exp required for units to level by 25%. Spiritual allows you to swap state religion/civics without suffering Anarchy, and gives a +100%:hammers: bonus to all Temples.
  • The UB: The Dun, a Wall which gives a free Guerilla I promotion to all eligible units (Recon, Archery and Gunpowder-type units, although Rifling will obsolete the Dun, making the free promotion impossible to get for any Gunpowder unit beyond Musketman without upgrade shenanigans). Guerilla II Archers right out the gate are some of the most defensive scouts you'll be able to get, especially in enemy territory during a war, but aside from that this building does nothing that being Protective doesn't do as well.
  • The UU: The Gallic Warrior, a Swordsman that can be build with copper in addition to Iron, and starts with the Guerilla I promotion for free. The game claims that this "makes it a formidable defender on hills", but Axes generally have a different opinion on that subject. More realistically Gallic Warriors have (easy) access to the Guerilla III promotion, +25% Hill Attack and +50% Withdraw Chance, putting these guys among the best survivors of implausible odds in the game. That this is true for the unit that chooses to forgo a shield, shoulder pads and shirt in favor of sweet tattoos, making them overall less armoured (and just dressed in general) than Ragnar's Berserkers, is something best not pondered too much ;).
And the start:

Spoiler map details :
Inland Sea, Rocky climate, Medium sealevel, +1 AI to balance out the field.
Spoiler edits :
A few strategic resource swaps, as well as swapping the player's starting plains cow for a nearby Wheat to make starting tech choices more interesting encourage mining the pigs, honestly ;).
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 335 Brennus 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.


  • NC 335
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Unless there's some incredibly clever play I'm not seeing here that seems like an obvious "T0 settle on Stone" situation. Really don't need Fish in the capital when you've got double clam, wet wheat and hill pigs already, keeps more (riverside) land tiles rather than half an ocean worth of water tiles, and Brennus starts with Myst (and is CHA to boot) so a second city getting the fish is fine anyhow. Oh, the scout? Eh...2NW I guess? With this much food in the capital it seems important to settle cities that can share it, so doing a ring around the starting location to find good satellite city locations seems prudent. Given the scout's starting position I think going NW to start, check out the area around what'll likely be a later city settle to grab the Fish (maybe not the second city exactly, but a city down the line for sure), and go clockwise around the starting position is probably best.

That's my interpretation, anyhow. What do the experts think :)?

The main question I have here is would you build Stonehenge? It’s definitely possible, but is it worth it?
I might sink some fail turns into it if the capital had nothing better to do, but even that is doubtful. My first priority in this situation is getting the capitol online and satellite cities down to expand and start sharing all of that food, so by the time I'd get around to building Henge another AI more than likely will have build it. Maybe if the most wonder build-y AI on the map is Genghis Khan, maybe, but obviously that's very unlikely. And frankly very concerning in it's own right ;).
Well, it shows I'm not a deity player, as moving away from the river and ruining the possibilty to work a nice production tile, gaining a plains tile in exchange would be a big :nono:.
I know, I know, food is production, production is... nothing, a quarry takes way too long to set up, a game should be won way before levees and industrial unhealth become a factor... don't care. :p

The other intriguing option would be to settle inland, on the other side of the river, 2N2E or 1N2E, if there were more food there. That would leave the PH for a later crazy GP-farm.
I know, I know, GP-farms have been out of meta for at least 10 years. Don't care. :p

That said, it would be the perfect start for a shot at my Mare Nostrum variant:
  • At the end of your turn, cannot own a non-coastal city.
  • At the end of your turn, your units must be:
    • within your cultural borders
    • or on a coastal tile
    • or on water
  • Additional victory condition: must have every coastal tile within your cultural borders.
    (can be either an additional VC, acting as a prerequisite to victory, or an alternate VC).
I think I will keep that one in reserve for when I decide to play a game... :)
Apart from the Stonehenge question, we are missing a few important technologies: Fishing / Agriculture. (/ Mining / Masonry / AH...)
Will be a tough order on deity. Probably skip fishing for a little while.... (Eat Wheat)

Else, 10/10 starting area :thumbsup:

Few forests... Maybe we can delay BW as well.
I need to break my bad habit of wanting Pyramids whenever there's stone in the cap :smoke:

More cities > Pyramids. Pyramids good if no (good) land available.
Amiright @Fippy?
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We'll see what is revealed in the first 4 turns, but I think Ag Mining BW seems like the most likely opening. It will be tough to build boats without BW or at least mining. If BW early, I would probably delay AH after Fishing and Pottery then to get commerce up faster.
settle stone with worker first agri mining fishing, dont need bw with pig mine + 2nd mine + wheat hammer + 2hammer base tile, you can 2-3 turn the boats. get fishing boats up for commerce. might play this later when i have more time.
with charismatic id like to grow this cap to size 6 work all the juicy tiles then pump settlers.
To @Nick723 question (Stonehenge worth it?),

Without having to build a quarry, and disregarding the cost of Masonry (100 :commerce: roughly) ; you get infinite monuments for the price of two (60 base :hammers:), while also "insourcing"TM the job of monument building, which I find very beneficial, if monuments are a priority in the first satellite cities.

The only 3 issues that I can see:
1. Delays city 2 (and 3, ...)
2. Capitol will be polluted with GP points
3. Some AI can get it first
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After (the relatively obvious) settle on stone, I don't think Stonehenge will be that useful. Cap will claim fish on 3rd ring T50 for the 2nd/3rd city. Maybe on monarch or something similar you can still get it after initial expansion (say at 4 cities).
Stonehenge brings prophet pollution, a never-build for me. Mids is less useful when Cha. Settle on stone generally means TGW if you want a wonder. Espionage city revolts can even pair with guerilla iii units.
Or you can play à la Obsolete :old: (settle 1000 specialists in cap)
This start is so generous :love:
Deity T79
Spoiler :
Well I had to go full wonder mode :o

Failed much gold on the Pyramids. Julius thinks he's Augustus as well. :D
En route to Collossus now.:smoke:

Land grabbing is poor naturally but there is hope. Especially if I can take that barb city somehow.

This won't be a cottage game :)

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Nah golden age and hope to find a weak prey to outproduce with my mines :)
Deity T40

Spoiler :

Followed @Henrik75's idea for The Great Wall, just got it on turn 39 exactly as two barb archers were 1 square from my capital, good timing :)

Tech was Agri-Mining-Masonry-Fishing, now working on BW.
After worker, grew to size 3 building two warriors, then settler and great wall, cap will grow to size 4 just in time to work the clams and should have 3rd settler out around T50.

Ethiopian capital is close and we are lucky he did not put his 2nd city our way. Zara got a good 3rd city spot with rice NE of my elephant city, but I still have the double fish to the W and rice to the E to settle, plus possibly helper cities to the north and south.


Emperor Raging Barbarians T0 - T64
Spoiler :

Inland sea + Raging barbarians would be super spicy brutal :eekdance: Should be trying to behave like a superhero gamer and to survive without building the Great Wall :rockon:.

Settings as below, no events no huts. Raging barbarians 👿.

The first wave of bad luck came with this bear 🐻 . My warrior in forest was killed by a bear on T27. Quickly sent an archer towards the area near the ivory & flood plain, but losing the warrior made that area remain in the fog a little longer :trouble:.

Fortunately my archer arrived before more barbs spawning near that ivory spot. As shown in the picture, Zara's culture could be seen up north, which meant that area should be free from the barbs :yup:.

I thought archer in a forest hill should be enough for fog-busting, but what was this??? a barbarian stack matching towards my fog-busting archer? :eek:

The southern front against barbarians was not good neither. A barb archer threatened my fog-busting warrior. Even the warrior was in the forest hill, I still preferred to avoid that archer. So I decided to move the warrior to the SW forest tile, away from that barb archer:

Unfortunately the warrior moved SW only for meeting another barb archer :wallbash: . I thought the area around my warrior was fog-busted for a while so no barbs there, but I forgot that barb units could move. A barb archer could spawn in a non fog-busted area and walk to my warrior.

(of course, my warrior was killed next turn)

I was busy dealing with all the barb archers down south for a while. When I took a look around the northern area again on T50, Zara's culture border already disappeared :hmm: :

Moving the mouse over the pasture tile (I didn't have AH yet so couldn't see the horse) showed the tile culture "0% Barbarian, 99% Ethiopian". Did Zara lost his capital to the barbs :dubious:?
But I had no time to laugh at Zara, because - how could I rescue my scout :please:??? The poor scout was trapped by the barbs.
Zara's capital fell, so the northern area was not safe anymore :sad:.

All these barbs gave me a CG3 archer on T52 :crazyeye:. It was rare to unlock Heroic Epic at this stage of the game.

Zara couldn't recapture his capital, probably his remaining cities had no metal and he could only build archers. As a result, more barbs came from the north.
Looking at this stack; I guessed even AI Shaka wouldn't make such a stack so early. :eek:

Vienne razed on T61 😵 Only 3 severely wounded archers remained in Bibracte :scared: Had to 1 pop whip an archer so that my capital wouldn't fall next turn.

Barbarians launched another assault on the city of Bibracte 😱

A brutal end on T64 😵

Apart from Zara and I, Mao lost a city to the barbs as well, even he had PRO archers :eek2:.

Maybe I should have settled on pig for +25% hill defense 😵‍💫. Or maybe I should have gone Fishing instead of AH, as clams were free from barb archers pillage 😵‍💫.

Well... Inland sea + Raging barbarians are probably a silly idea, especially without the great wall :o. I'll keep trying this map under raging barbarians though :rockon:.
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@antimony A t-39 TGW, given stone, has a ~40% fail rate, and if it fails close to the end of that it can be instant game over. TGW should be either an all-in or a lucky late assumed-failgold build. You can get it t-28 with this map which is more like a 3% fail rate, with Mining -> Masonry, mine pigs then ph. It costs a lot of development, but you also get that gspy 11 turns faster. I point this out for as a TGW fan for everyone's benefit, because consistent deity attempts go completely against the "improve food first" meta.
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