Nobles' Club 347: Boudica of the Celts

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 Boudica of the Celts, whom we last played in NC 291; we last played the Celts under Brennus in NC 335. The Celts start with Mysticism and Hunting.
  • Traits: Boudica is Aggressive and Charismatic. Aggressive gives all Melee and Gunpowder units a free Combat I promotion, and gives a +100% :hammers: bonus to Barracks and Drydocks. Charismatic gives every city, Monuments and Broadcast Towers +1:), and decreases the exp required for units to level by 25%.
  • 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 :
Pangaea, Temperate climate, Medium sealevel.
Spoiler edits :
A number of strategic resource swaps.
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 347 Boudica 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.
 

Attachments

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Uh...scout 1NW to check the empty tile, consider settling the plains hill 1NE if it's nothing? Or maybe even if it's something? To be honest I'm kinda under the weather right now, so not really feeling like doing an extensive analyses of the starting position (insofar that I'm able to do so). Going to have to ask the experts to fill in this one.

(Ignore that I do that all the time anyhow :rolleyes:)
 
Tundra 2S1W of scout, so despite the river S is uninteresting. Scout NW (or N) and likely settle 1NE looks good. Hopefully 1W of settler is copper.
 
If we go for 2 production city center, then based on only visible resources Agri-Mining would be ideal to avoid idling on worker, possibly going for settler at size 2 on wheat and pigs mine.
 
Tundra 2S1W of scout, so despite the river S is uninteresting. Scout NW (or N) and likely settle 1NE looks good. Hopefully 1W of settler is copper.
If it is copper, I couldn’t resist beelining IW for the infamous Boudicca Gallic rush.
 
If it is copper, I couldn’t resist beelining IW for the infamous Boudicca Gallic rush.
If there's gold, silver, fur, or 3+ seafood resources nearby. Otherwise it's not a beeline because you need pottery first and then it might be too slow.
 
On deity self teching IW in non isolated starts is rarely a good idea because almost every AI gets that really fast and will trade it for any tech like math and above, and those GWs will be amazing in siege-based attacks as they keep those promotions when upgraded to maces, grenadiers, etc.

On lower difficulty though it seems to me that Guer3 GWs are a pretty good rush (comparable or better than horse archers on hilly enough terrain?)
 
On immortal - I would encourage you to try gallics.

Iron working is cheaper than horseback riding.

Building at copper means no time to hook up iron (one of the downsides with a traditional sword rush).

Gallics have better odds vs archers and vs their counter (axes for Gallics, spears for HA) than horse archers. They also get defensive bonuses (even more on hills!).

They get better promotions than horse archers: city raider or guerrilla line as appropriate.

The only downside (and it is a big one) is movement. But depending on the map Gallics can be quite nippy still.
 
I wouldn't qualify that - Boudica gallic rush is a strong play on deity, it's just rare to have copper and a map it makes sense to rush on. Of course, you still have to adjust your expectations given her starting techs.
 
Deity turn 72

Spoiler :

Settled in place for the double Agri food to support delaying AH. Once I saw I the peninsula to the west I focused on protecting it with spawnbusters (especially the fish-rice-FP spot) and teched Agri-Mining-BW, waited to finish 2nd warrior at size 3 before switching to settler. First city went east instead of west though to get the copper. In the end it wasn't necessary for barb defense but I won a few 50/50 fights so it could have been. After BW, Wheel-Fishing-Pottery-AH. 3rd city for elephants / sharing corn, 4th for fish/rice. 5th city just settled coinciding with AH.

It's too late for construction rush and we have a lot of good land to develop anyway. Zara got Alpha really early and based on his research before I lost espionage visibility on him, should be done with Aesthetics by now. I am not sure which tech path to pursue after Writing for trading potential. Maybe MC (with a later goal of engineering), but I'll have to see how long that takes.

Diplomacy with trading is a bit tricky though since Zara and Toku are mutual worse enemies, so are Pacal and Saladin.


nc347_t72.png

 
Hello and thanks for posting these games.
I´m a returning (lol after 8 years player), formerly emperor, now just really rusty. I started this on Monarch/standard, BUG mod.
Any advice will be welcome.

Spoiler T71 around 1100BC
Spoiler :


Compared to @antimony I was able to grab 3 more cities to the north, but have no control of the peninsula.

My next plans:
settle one great people farm I peninsula, settle one more city to the east? / keep expanding there?
Celtic Sword rush Japan or Ethiopia - is it still time?

This part of the game is always most problematic to me - I almost always end up in some prolonged war and extremely backward technologically. I ever do buildup at this stage, as it seems to me it´s impossible to win on starting territory even on Monarch.
Solution I guess is to more works/cottages, shorter wars.

My build orders:
Warrior (15 turns)​
Turn 16​
Warrior (5 turns)​
Turn 27​
Settler (8 turns)​
Turn 31​
Warrior (3 turns)​
Turn 38​
Warrior (2 turns)​
Turn 41​
Monument (31 turns)​
Warrior (2 turns)​
Turn 44​
Settler (6 turns)​
Turn 45​
Worker (4 turns)​
Turn 51​
Worker (10 turns)​
Settler (6 turns)​
Turn 54​
Monument (30 turns)​
Warrior (2 turns)​
Turn 58​
Warrior (8 turns)​
Turn 59​
Warrior (2 turns)​
Turn 60​
Settler (6 turns)​
Turn 62​
Monument (15 turns)​
="Royal​
Axeman (7 turns)​
Turn 63​
Granary (10 turns)​
="Green​
Axeman (7 turns)​
Turn 68​
Axeman (4 turns)​
Turn 69​
Monument (10 turns)​
="Royal​
Granary (10 turns)​
Turn 70​



Animal Husbandry​
Mining​
Bronze Working​
The Wheel​
Pottery​

1707680142214.jpeg


 
@Nicol.Bolas

Spoiler :

Since you got AH first and saw the horses it makes sense to put a 2nd city there, but between rice and horse is better to not need a monument. Would have also got the wheel before bronze working in that case because having a road between your first two cities is 2 commerce every turn.

Your cities 4 and 5 are not very productive, the cow one would have been better 1 tile northwest of the cows for example.

But mostly you only need 4 good cities for the rush, especially with that many forests to cut. What you're missing now is the research. So the western peninsula fish as 4th city (leaving 1-2 warriors there until it's ready to prevent barbs appearing) would have helped. Fishing before Pottery but after bronze working (you want to cut the forest to get fish boats fast, and fishing tech gives a discount on pottery).

Also you should cut forests quite liberally to get your initial infrastructure set up, so workers, settlers, granaries, fish boats, monuments when needed. These are all things that make your cities more productive. It's not worth waiting for mathematics since production now is better than production later.

 
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@antimony
thanks for your tips. I played the turns before I read it, but its still helpful. I was able to play today, next time I can play is in 20 hours earliest

Spoiler t130 ad600 :

Regarding cities 4&5. I know, the idea was to grab territory, but I know on higher difs the cities must be good from start.
I started cutting the forests for the rush. Weirdly, on this map I didn´t have the need earlier and still expanded a lot, money was limiting me more.

Any way, this is how it turned out, the only new tech I managed to get was IW and prepare about 16 GSW for the attack.
Tt was late, as there were already longbows, but enough the get the capital and one smaller city. I thin I can finish him (with mre GSW chopped out), or at least the remaining cities not on hills.
this kind of map also forces to have two defenders at border cities.

Plan:
keep attacking. then also attack japan .or consolidate and reasearch, do great people in peninsula city.
do some filler cities in the peninsula, but does it have any point?

1707694440841.jpeg

 
@antimony
thanks for your tips. I played the turns before I read it, but its still helpful. I was able to play today, next time I can play is in 20 hours earliest

Spoiler t130 ad600 :

Regarding cities 4&5. I know, the idea was to grab territory, but I know on higher difs the cities must be good from start.
I started cutting the forests for the rush. Weirdly, on this map I didn´t have the need earlier and still expanded a lot, money was limiting me more.

Any way, this is how it turned out, the only new tech I managed to get was IW and prepare about 16 GSW for the attack.
Tt was late, as there were already longbows, but enough the get the capital and one smaller city. I thin I can finish him (with mre GSW chopped out), or at least the remaining cities not on hills.
this kind of map also forces to have two defenders at border cities.

Plan:
keep attacking. then also attack japan .or consolidate and reasearch, do great people in peninsula city.
do some filler cities in the peninsula, but does it have any point?

View attachment 684475


In general if you do a rush you want a few number of cities, just enough to build the units and do the research, and get the proper tech as soon as possible. Alternatively, you grab more land but then need time to build your economy and go for a later military tech. That's most true on high difficulty but it makes war more expedient on any difficulty.


Spoiler :

But looking forward you already have the most cities so I would suggest trying to build on that land, use cottages and libraries to gain back a tech lead.

You can settle filler cities when you have currency if the trade routes give you a net positive income from them.

What are the peace terms Zara would agree to now?
 
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ad1000 - I made a huge mistake, which turned a probably won game to game which will be very hard to win, if at all possible. I should have listened to your advice @antimony

Spoiler :

zara jacob turned to vassal to china? which meant a war with china out of a sudden - I didn´t know htats possible.
kinda forgot that defying the f... apostolic palace means -5 happy in each country.
economy instantly tanked, 3 units disbanded per turn. best I could do is to trade cities for some pillage gold.
I´m getting grotesquely behind in tech. not sure what to do. probably give up this war and try to reconsolidate,

now zara again broke free, but my army and economy is in ruins. even giving up religion didn´t help

EDIT
I tried to ply it out, but it was unplayable, I got massed by everyone. well lesson learned.

for purposes of learning only, I will reload before this mistake, as I didn´t know about this (forgotten) and want to see if the game is winable, I like this map)

1707780367516.jpeg

 
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did anyone manage to win this?
eventually I managed to conquer Japan, but then germany + maya + china massed me with tanks, I was completely unprepared.

they just teched the whole time.

i almost never find the proper balance between rexing, teching and conquering and I´m always behind in tech, while they trade like mad
1920ad
Spoiler :

1708289266771.jpeg

 
T147 - 740 AD

Spoiler :

Reached Metal Casting on T96, at that point I also had barracks/granary/lib/monument in core 5 cities. With subsequent tech trades received Alpha, Currency, Sailing, Math and about 300 gold. Settled a 6th city on Zara's border to offload capital's wheat (since pigs were now pastured) and run a few mines (was planning on a spot also sharing Vienna's copper but Zara's culture got there first.

Reached Engineering on T119 (100 AD) having to tech everything else manually (no one would trade Construction or HBR). Did not go the Civil Service route to keep the Chemistry bulb open for Steel later (had one GS and my westernmost fish city would go back to run specialists during the war for 2nd one). Prebuilt war elephants and a few gallic swords before Engi and then whipped a dozen trebs.

Ready to invade Zara in 225 AD. He is the tech leader and already has Engineering so that's not ideal, but doesn't have that many pikes and longbows (mostly elephants / maces), and no castles up for most of the war. Also he (alongside Qin) is already in a war with Toku. Toku already took 2 of Zara's 9 cities and I proceed to get 6 of them (all but the single tile island one) by 740 AD. I got Guilds and Knights in time to face his Oromo Warriors and oh does that immunity to first strikes help there.

Pacal founded the AP in Buddhism before the war, luckily it was present in the first Zara city so I could switch to that and avoid being the target of a joint AP war. Bismarck, Toku and Pacal follow that religion as well, but Zara and Saladin have none of it. Bismarck still declared on me a few turns into my war with Zara, but the next AP vote put an end to that. Unfortunately Zara peace-vassaled to Bismarck with 3 cities left, which prevented me from extracting concessions from him (like Gunpowder) and forced me in a war with Bismarck, which hopefully ends with no consequence soon.

Saladin has 10 cities but only 4 good ones to take (4 off on an island, 2 in the tundra and 1 captured from China and struggling to own any tiles), and no gunpowder. Therefore I can probably capture those from him with my current pre-cannon army (mostly 3-4 promotion units), despite those Prot longbows and castles. After that it gets tougher, but thankfully no one is running away with the game. Germany is probably the biggest threat. Pacal and Qin are technologically ahead but city-poor, Toku has 10 cities but is stuck in a 4-way war (Qin, Saladin, Zara and now Bismarck due to the same peace-vassal issue). I almost got him to friendly too with this shared religion and war bonus.



nc347_t147.png


 
Mostly non-spoiler question:

If an AI you are at war with peace-vassals to a third party, what determines your war/peace status after that event? Sometimes you get in forced war with the suzerain and sometimes in forced peace with the vassal. I'm not sure if all forced peaces were because of an existing peace treaty with the suzerain.

Also a general comment (in spoiler) about the map:
Spoiler :

It seems you can do better with that start with Boudica, on the other hand no matter how nice the land is Pottery is a long way for the Celts, and our only initial target is teching really well. With knowledge of copper, now I'm wondering if a 3-city (2-city?) gallic rush would have worked better, may try it out later.
 
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