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Odd gaming: Investigation of Settlerless starts

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by BismarckTheBarb, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. BismarckTheBarb

    BismarckTheBarb Chieftain

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    I have recently played a number of games where I tried to win Civ V after deleting the initial settler as a variation to standard play. It is easy to win with some leaders, but pretty hard with most. I have listed my findings regarding this in the list below, ranked after simplicity to succeed. Settings are Pangea standard everything with no reroll until win is deemed impossible, and wins are played through to the end.

    1. Atila - game is straightforward if one just can find an upgrade ruin. I won on Deity with this guy.

    2. Bismarck - usually ends up in a more varied game than with Atila with interesting compositions of barbs. My best win is on Immortal.

    3. Maria Theresa - I do not remember these games well, but I have noted a win on King. I was probably befriending a city state and continued from there. Games were probably pretty boring since they are forgotten.

    4. Pocatello - now winning with this guy is hard to pull off but can offer real fun. My strategy is to promote the inital Pathfinder to Survival III (giving it ultra defense), find an upgrade ruin (this requires skill to guess where the left one may be), and go to war with a one-man army that can take down a small enemy army and an expo on its own after some extra promotions. Befriend a militaristic city state and one is good to go. My best win is on Prince.

    5. Darius - usually results in a really boring game where I look for an upgrade ruin and then terrorize a weak city state (prevent growth) until the resulting Immortal is almost maxed out on promotions. Then I time the final attack with a golden age, a close promotion (the healing is needed) and preferably take help from a barb strolling in from a saved camp on the other side of the city. I almost made it on Prince with this strategy, but the resulting one-man army was so weak that it could not prevent the neighbours from annecting my mini empire. Only true win is on Warlord.

    Note that there are two bugs that one needs to be aware of to play the games above.
    i) Obtaining a pantheon belief before settling crashes the game.
    ii) No science progress is recorded until one settles an own city.

    In principle it should be possible to win similarly with any leader, but then one probably needs increadible timing to steal a city during other's wars or take help from an allied city state. However this just sounds too hard! :crazyeye:

    Cheers,
    -B
     
  2. Volcanon

    Volcanon Chieftain

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    If you get an upgrade ruin as Attilla, do you get a ram? That's pretty boss in the very early game.
    You can't capture cities with an upgraded Pathfinder because they become composite bowmen. Or do you just terrorize an AI until they give you a city?
     
  3. inthesomeday

    inthesomeday Immortan

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    Yes, Hunnic warriors stepping on weapons gives you a ram as early as turn 1
     
  4. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    yeah, that's a semi-hidden trick what makes the Huns even more amazing in the early going. A Ram so early can two-shot a capital. If you happen to land a promotion on your first shot, use it for instaheal and first move pillage the tile for extra health and second move you cap
     
  5. BismarckTheBarb

    BismarckTheBarb Chieftain

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    Regarding the pathfinder that upgrades to composite bowman, one also needs a meele unit to take the expo. My strategy is to become allied to a militaristic city state, which will give me a warrior after some turns. The warrior can then capture the city after shooting it down.

    -B
     
  6. Volcanon

    Volcanon Chieftain

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    How do you get the money to ally a CS?
     
  7. SoonerJBD

    SoonerJBD Chieftain

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    You would be able to spend some gold on CS gifts from clearing barbarian camps and looting ancient ruins. But I'm guessing clearing camps and killing barbarians on their borders would be your primary way to gain influence.
     
  8. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    Nice post. I wrote a guide on how to win a Bismark domination victory without ever settling a while back. Basically you just build a barbarian army and besiege all of the world's capitals at once taking them simultaneously for the win. It works esp. well on longer game speeds. A few things to add: you can open honor if you pop a culture ruin or two as you burn cities giving you a huge advantage and culture from kills. Also, I found many other bugs in addition to the ones above. Most were inocuous, such as a palace appearing in every city you conquered and the game telling you you lost your capital every time the razing finished. Also great generals will spawn in mass if you ever stop burning a city for a turn based on the number of points you've accumulated fighting because they can't spawn naturally without a city point. CS gifts appear in their own territory because they can't find yours, and the AI never ask for peace as long as you own no cities. They won't even talk to you probably because your total score is so pitifully low without land. They start begging turn after you capture cities though. It's strange. I actually found I COULD found a pantheon and it didn't crash the game at all so I don't know what was up with yours. Maybe you picked a pantheon I didn't. Very few are useful anyway.

    It's interesting reading your strats on the other characters, but personally the only one I find terribly interesting is Bismark. I don't see the point in delaying a game-start if I'm just gonna settle and carry on as normal later. I either settle that first settler or I never settle ever and play as a perma-barbarian. My personal rules for Barbarian Bismark are that I DOW on sight, never make peace, and never keep any cities or civilian units alive. The ultimate barbarian :D I take joy in creating armies to babysit all the capitals and keep everything pillaged and unproductive till I'm ready to take them all. Have never tried OCC but It'd be great if it let you burn capitals.
     
  9. ShakaKhan

    ShakaKhan Chieftain

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    I imagine pillaging tiles would be considerably more lucrative than barbs.

    Ah, yes. Most likely.


    A flurry of questions regarding game mechanics when you don't settle a capital. If you never had a capital/never had any cities...
    a.)...you then couldn't win a domination victory because you're not in possession of your own capital?
    b.)...other civs are locked out of gaining influence with you?
    c.)...as per above, other civs can never win a culture victory, or win when they become influential with everyone EXCEPT you?
    d.)...are you exempted from paying unit maintenance?
     
  10. BismarckTheBarb

    BismarckTheBarb Chieftain

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    I find robbing caravans best for gaining money. However, since I want to promote the Pathbowman anyway I usually steel the first worker that pops out of a militaristic CS and continue to harass it for about 50 turns. Then I declare peace and return the workers through feeding a barb camp or my target expo. The CS becomes so happy for my improved attitude that I have received up to 3 warriors this way.

    My game crashes for sure, but I may have formulated bug ii) wrong. It should perhaps say
    ii) Obtaining a pantheon belief before capturing a city crashes the game.

    Nice(r)! I am unfortunately poor at warring (just barely can win on Deity) but knows how to win otherwise so I went with the simpler rule of just deleting the settler when I felt done with the standard game setting.
     
  11. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    a) yes you can and I've done it two games on standard/small sized pangaea. The first city you capture becomes your capital and a palace appears. If it is a previous capital then your city still builds a palace and claims it as "your" capital too. Even though the cities become your "capital" when you capture them you can still raze them. It just says you lost your capital when it goes. However, it does not appear to prevent you from winning.
    b-c) no, they can win cultural over you. Someone almost did it one game. The best defense is to wipe out the cultural guys first as they can't win the game until they become influential over everyone. Take them out in the order where this is less of a risk. Playing epic/marathon speeds helps and I'd recommend it. try to open honor from ruins so you are collecting culture as you kill barbs. It helps immensely.
    d) Yes, without a city you pay no maintenance. I built a 50-unit barb army one game without paying a cent. It was like a plague of barbs lol and I wiped out the entire world twice using the strategy and never owning any cities till I conquered all capitals at once at the end.

    Here's more info I compiled on this old thread (it's long) but if you want to play you can check it out. Have not tested OCC but if you can burn caps with that checked it's even better then the simultaneous assault strategy I recommend.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=524417

    I've considered making a guide video on this playstyle for a while as it's so fun and I haven't found any videos showcasing the strat yet.
     
  12. ShakaKhan

    ShakaKhan Chieftain

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    But if you never hold a city, you'd never be prompted to select a social policy, right? It seems to be a chicken/egg scenario - unless you're Aztecs (which means you're not Bismarck), you'd never gain any culture which allows you to open honor, which is where you'd start generating culture. Unless you're getting it from ruins, which I play without but guess I may have to start playing with if I want to try this? Also, doesn't one culture ruin give you slightly less than one policy worth of culture, meaning that you'd need to be lucky enough to find 2 culture ruins in order to open honor and have some means of generating culture?

    Also, you mentioned getting units from militaristic city states, which seems to be the only way to generate units unless you're Bismarck if you're doing your all-out version of the challenge where you not only don't settle a capital but never keep a city at all. Question is, if you never own any territory, where do the militaristic CS units spawn?

    Also wondering what difficulty level is a good to play the challenge at. Clearly the game is going to be much, much more difficult than Deity normally is. The problem I foresee is that if the difficulty level is Immortal, or especially Deity, the AI are going to clear out all or most of the barb camps early, which is where Bismarck would build his army and generate most/all of his culture and some of his gold. If it's Emperor or below, the barb encampments are going to be delayed considerably in generating decent units because that depends on what the AI is qualified to produce, and if you have no lands, you can never upgrade.
     
  13. fyar

    fyar Chieftain

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    Danaphanous, thanks for sharing your guide! I tried it out, but with two additional twists:
    1. I DoWed all city-states on sight as well as major civs.
    2. I turned on the one-city challenge setting.

    The former was just because that seemed more in-line with a "barbarian" play-style, since the barbarians in the game attack city-states no differently than major civs.

    The latter made things both easier, and harder at the same time. The "one-city challenge" (incorrectly) assumes that you already have "one city" so it automatically razes any second (or in this case, first) city that you capture by force. This includes capitals. On the one hand, you never have to worry about going bankrupt. On the other hand, you also never get the chance to open honor.

    Also, you have to be careful if you want to win "officially" with one-city challenge turned on. The last two civs I destroyed were Rome and Sweden, and I captured Rome. I think the game then checks if anybody has won a domination victory, and decided "Two capitals remain, Stockholm and Rome, and they have different owners, so no victory yet." Then Rome was insta-razed. I then captured another Roman city, I think Cumae. Again the game performed the same check, and decided, "Sweden has all the remaining capitals, therefore Gustavus is the winner." I got the splash screen for defeat. :( No matter, I clicked "one... more... turn..." and then went and killed Gustavus anyway. I hardly consider myself to have lost that game, but if you want your victory to be official, you have to take the final two capitals consecutively.
     
  14. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    glad you enjoyed it! I'm glad someone tested OCC, I was curious what the effect would be. So it's easier all game till the end eh? Probably still a tad easier then what I did, capturing all the capitals on the continent in the space of 5 turns. You need more troops that way. :) Thanks for sharing!

    @Shaka: the CS units spawn in teh CS's territory if you don't own any. However, you will own some territory briefly as you raze things. As you raze the culture screens become available so even though you won't be prompted if you've gotten 2 culture ruins you can purchase tenets in honor which allows you to start earning culture from barbarians. I've opened 4 policies so far in a Barbarian Bismark game this way and it is also a bit of insulation against a CV by another civ. Getting the ruins is easier then you think if you play raging barbs. It makes it harder for you but it hurts the AI far more and later it means more culture if you got lucky enough to open honor. Another thing: as you raze a city check your great general bar. If you've earned one you can trigger a spawn by stopping the razing then resuming in the same turn. They immediately spawn in when you do this.

    If you play with Marathon checked I've beaten up to emperor. Another player reported beating immortal, but Deity seems a tad difficult due to their 2-city start and free techs. Might be possible on smaller maps though. I haven't tested it in a while, let me know if anythign is different then I describe and I'll update the guide. :)
     
  15. Volcanon

    Volcanon Chieftain

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    I tested this on a warlord game. Met two religious CS and the game crashed. I picked god king, which might have been dumb because I had no palace.

    Possibly marathon is better just because you have to meet an absurd number of religious CS to get a pantheon on marathon.
     
  16. docbud

    docbud Chieftain

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    This sounds like fun. My next game I'll give it a try.
     
  17. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    Weird, either this is a windows-only bug or a new bug. I got a pantheon maybe 3 times on my tests of these games and never experienced a crash. I play the mac version of this game through steam if that makes a difference? I think I took faith healers and it didn't crash with that choice. Can you reload and try a few and see if the bug happens all the time?

    For new players trying this: you may need to attempt your first conversion a few times. It can be easy to lose your first unit. I played raging on my test and it is probably easier without that, but later raging really pays off in culture from kills. I was able to open 3 useful honor policies that helped with my domination. If you struggle to overcome the challenge on marathon you may try installing the infinite xp from barbarians mod--it makes it a bit easier to get the high promotions.
     
  18. fyar

    fyar Chieftain

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    Volcanon, I had this same problem as well, and contrary to what danaphanous is saying, it happened to me on a Mac. This happened even though I was playing on marathon speed, because I always seemed to pop a faith ruin. I posted the issue on the tech support forum: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=563280

    It was annoying enough that I got to the point where after turn 20, I would save before opening any ruin. If it gave me faith, and that faith was enough to select a pantheon, I would reload. This is usually a cardinal sin for when I play Civ V, but to avoid a crash I'll make an exception. (If you open the ruin one turn later, you'll get another random bonus. It could be faith again, but just keep waiting one turn until it's randomly something else.)
     
  19. Volcanon

    Volcanon Chieftain

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    Im on Windows but only because they made civ5 not work on osx 10.7
     
  20. docbud

    docbud Chieftain

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    ^^I'm on OS 10.10, and I've never had a problem with Civ V. Are you using the steam version or the Apple Store version? Which Civ V are you playing (vanilla, G&K, or BNW)?
     

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