Nobles' Club 342: Stalin of Russia


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 Stalin of Russia, whom we last played in NC 296; we last played the Russians under Stalin in the same NC - leader rotations can lead to silly stuff sometimes :crazyeye:. The Russians start with Hunting and Mining.
  • Traits: Stalin is Aggressive and Industrious. Aggressive gives all Melee and Gunpowder units a free Combat I promotion, and gives a +100% :hammers: bonus to Barracks and Drydocks. Industrious gives a +50% :hammers: bonus to all Wonders (World and National), and gives a +100% :hammers: bonus to Forges.
  • The UB: The Research Institute, a Laboratory with +2 free Scientists. A nice boost when going for a Space Race victory, but being the latest UB in the game it'll probably come too late to make a real difference.
  • The UU: The Cossack, a Cavalry with +50% vs. Mounted units. Barring the odd UU these guys aren't going to get sniped by another 2:move: unit until Tanks start rolling around.
And the start:

Spoiler map details :
Inland Sea, Cold climate, Medium sealevel, +1 AI to balance the field.
Spoiler edits :
A single strategic resource swap.
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 342 Stalin 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 342
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Tons of forests, tundra beyond the nearest river, and hills covered in delicious food :yumyum:...once Animal Husbandry is in. Really don't know what the optimal play is here. Moving anywhere is going to take forever, scouting is poor due to the forests blocking vision, and there's no telling whether there's floodplains or desert - or something in between - waiting down south or what. I guess in this situation I'd SIP, use capital culture to help fogbust the north tundra, and use the infinite forests to mass chop whatever the situation called for? Maybe not optimal play, but if there's a better option I don't see it.

What do the experts think :)?
I think it's SIP and AH, wandering south seems a bit risky. Though is that a river to the SE? SE-SE or SE-S might make some sense. Anyway the starting techs are great for SIP as you can go AH-BW.

Checked map details spoiler and
Spoiler :
on inland sea there is no real reason to move to block. You will have plenty of good spots, always.
That is indeed the mouth of a river SE of the pig hill, yes, hence why I considered moving into (hopefully) greener pastures :).
AH-BW and if there are no horses or copper you might need archery on that map script...

Of course there is also the "aggressively industrious" opening of worker-worker, BW-Masonry and pigs mine to chop a Great Wall soon after T30.
If I have something of taste to write i'll do it :o
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Depending on the commerce situation, I might go aggressive barracks and cover warriors if no strategic resource. No extra hammer on city centre tile but it’s four hammers at size two with both pastures up so decent base hammers means getting barracks up and some fog busters out could be possible in a reasonable timeframe. I’d have to play it to check this but it’s a long way to pottery if we go AH-BW-archery so I’d really rather avoid it if possible. But that’s getting ahead of myself. I’d SIP and go AH-BW.
I would not want to play this start on deity difficulty.

The scout has 5 turns to find gold, silver, or gems. If previous stones found, then start with animal husbandry. Otherwise, I would gamble on barracks and warriors. Bronze working > agriculture > wheel > pottery. Farm a riverside grassland for food. Hoping for deer and fur in the tundra. Barracks and warriors helps explore the map.
A bit of an overreaction, IMO. Sheep is 2:commerce:, 2nd city is connected. I don't think archery will be necessary with AGG.
Spoiler :
AH-BW-agri-(wheel-pot). 3 barracked warriors, east is secured so our hill animals are safe. 2nd should be settled somewhere to share the corn I think. I don't think it can go wrong really, can it? :nope: Potential stream of barb archers from NW shouldn't bother much, just build cover warriors to harvest xp. ;)

I was wrong about 2nd city being connected though, unless it's planted to the desert hill in the west to attract barbies...


Spoiler :
Are you sure the East is secured? I think there is still a row in the extreme north and a column in the extreme east where barbs are free to spawn...
I got beaten badly by barbs from that direction in my first attempt. :sad:
Spoiler :
Nope, just being cocky since I haven't played for a while! It is a 4xp woodsman dude on a forested hill though. Killed a warrior and another one escaped, so probably not tons of archers (yet) there. I did remember to add barb techs.
Spoiler :
I'll admit I was not expecting HC to push against your borders quite that quickly even on Deity, but Civ IV AI and subverting my every expectation and all of that :lol:.
Of course there is also the "aggressively industrious" opening of worker-worker, BW-Masonry and pigs mine to chop a Great Wall soon after T30.
That is a bit of overkill - one can mine both pastures afterall. You can get TGW at t32 with a single worker and Masonry-BW. It gives only one chop, so with good micro T34 with something like Masonry>Agriculture.

Spoiler :

late inmortal win

Spoiler :
settled south on turn 2. explored with the settler. reloaded for: barb bs, shaka walking across the map ignoring people he is annoyed at, bad war planning at the endgame. industrious was useless. got sankore, but had to go free religion soon after.
got into huayna's religion and diplo befriended bismark for comfort. got nice land. a barb bad roll got me to retry propperly fogbusting and paying extra for a lot of units. the golds paid for the unit extensive start. I suck at great people farming. also went for GL and lost badly. darius, joao built everything. lincoln was a beast. wiped 6 cites huayna with cuirs, shaka appeared on the other end somehow having oppened borders with darius. reloaded and gained 10 turns, wiped his stack. capped bismark with cossacks. eveyone but shaka had rifles by then. so fed rifles to shaka in exchange for him taking some of darius empire. backfire, darius was a beast with a vassal. lincoln capped julius (another backfired bribe) and while I was going for tanks joao peace vassaled to him.
went for tanks and attacked darius. it was a dissaster, his choppers where a nightmare.
reloaded, went the other way. wiped joao, capped lincoln and julius. brute force + spies, but less tech needed.
darius was close to space, so just ammassed everything and pushed. no capture, razing everithing to the ground
very late diplo victory. on the same turn would have gotten conquest and domination since shaka just capped with no major fight
I'm doing sth very badly. had to build infra in every city to even compete, but it delayed army pumping. dunno, maybe the whole literature plus early land grab just set me back a lot.

Spoiler :

I think you are correct for the fastest Great Wall at T32, with the downside of (if I calculate correctly) 5 idle worker turns between mine 2 completion and BW being researched. Agri before BW also runs into an idle worker problem.

BW-Masonry-Agri with 2 workers finishes the wall on T34 at the cost of 5 chops total (but we have 16 forests in BFC) and almost 2 warriors worth of slack production. Also 2 workers will finish the farm faster after Agri helping to catch up on city growth.
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Spoiler :

It’s hard to comment without seeing saves etc but one thing that might help is just playing slower and taking more breaks. There’s no way I could finish a game in two days!

I’d say an average deity game takes me three to four weeks to complete. That’s partly because I’m not allowed to play as much civ as I’d like but also because I lose if I play quickly. I will often end my first turn set before settling my second city or play only three or four turns if I’ve got an important few rounds of tech trading to think about for example.
That is a bit of overkill - one can mine both pastures afterall. You can get TGW at t32 with a single worker and Masonry-BW. It gives only one chop, so with good micro T34 with something like Masonry>Agriculture.

Spoiler :

Spoiler :

You can also consider settle on sheep if you're committing to this.
T54 and a correction

Spoiler :

So my out-of-game calculations underestimated the speed of research, we are getting BW on T16 and Masonry on T27, so GW on T32 (then Agri on T36). That 1C from the unimproved sheep for the first 19 turns makes a difference.

3rd city up on T54, Pottery next turn. Made a few mistakes as I thought the pig road would connect the cities (will be fixed by roading corn next turn), also forgot to switch to slavery yet. Probably going for copper-deer city next, and maybe beeline Construction? SE border with HC is a bit worrying...


Lulz whoah ! You're all skipping Agriculture :lol::lol: :crazyeye:
This start screams to me : " grow to 3, double worker, chop". Oh, yeah, research Agri, BW, The Wheel in the meantime.

You're all crazy :crazyeye::lol::lol:
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