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One City Challenge (sort of)peaceful diplomatic victory

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by allhailIndia, May 31, 2006.

  1. allhailIndia

    allhailIndia Chieftain

    Feb 22, 2001
    Casa de Non Compos Mentis
    After the long, gruelling marathon nuke-fest domination victory, you might want to ease off on your nerves and play a quick game or two to enjoy the variety Civ IV has to offer. I have found that one of the most enjoyable types of games are the One City Challenge, and a very entertaining, yet absorbing way to go about it is to aim for the diplomatic victory.

    For starters, you might want to play on a standard, normal speed, pangaea map wit 7 opponents. Permanent Alliances are an interesting variant to this, but for now I shall deal with the non-permanent alliance aspect of this game. Also the following strategy will work well upto Prince, as I have not yet tested it on Monarch.

    As far as I can see, Gandhi offers a good set of attributes to play this one on. Since we won't be going to war too much, we won't need an aggressive trait, nor will creative, expansive or philosophical be very useful because it is an OCC. Gandhi also starts with two pretty good starting techs, Mysticism and Mining which allow for some early wonders giving you a tech head start that you cannot otherwise do without. Spiritual is helpful primarily for the no-anarchy bonus, while industrious is important for the wonders you will be in a race for.

    Your broad strategy is going to be something like this:
    Keep up in tech till at least the Enlightenment
    Keep the four most powerful civs (in terms of population and area) happy, i.e. , always above 'pleased'.
    Wipe out the two weakest civs without lifting a finger yourself.

    Early Game
    In the initial phases, aim at getting ALL the religions upto Christianity. This is important because you want your neighbours, even if it is Izzy or Alexander, to share the same religion as you and thereby not attack and destroy you at the first opportunity they get. Also, Organized religion will give you a good production boost in the race to the early wonders. Once you have Theology, switch to Theocracy, and stay there while spreading only your one, true religion. As far as spreading goes, in the initial stages, it may be enough to get one-two cities of your neighbours to have your religion in order for that civ to convert, but if you miss a particular religion, it may be necessary to spread it to at least three-four before the opponent converts to the religion of your choice.

    Do not worry about worker techs until u get to alphabet when all of them will come in a couple of turns and with a Fast Worker or two, all the important resources and improvements will be up and running before u know it.

    Pyramids may not be a worthwhile effort as the bonus in switching to representation may be marginal as compared to the tech boost of Oracle+ Great Library, and maybe even Parthenon forest permitting. Another thing to note: Keep some forests in place in the fat cross and do not chop them ALL for cottages. As far as possible chop forests on hills for mines and then the ones next to rivers for the cottages. Leave the others for the hammer and health bonus.

    Send off a couple of warriors on scouting missions and keep only two-three units for defence against any wandering barbarians..

    You must aim to get the Stonehenge as early as possible for the Great Prophet who will build u your great shrine. The Great Shrine is absolutely necessary given that research will always be at 100% and your only source of income will be through missionary activity.

    Diplomacy in the early game will revolve around getting your nearest neighbours to switch religions and keeping out of early wars. Hook up all your resources as a priority and start trading any excess instantly. You will need the 'Fair trade relations' bonus later.

    Trade any tech with the most backward Civ first and the most advanced last. This is to allow you to get the most techs out of the trading. E.g., if you are the first to Alphabet (as u will likely be in most games), trade with the guy who has the least techs more than you, then with the guy slightly more advanced than the last one and so on.Seems fairly obvious, but can be forgotten sometimes.

    Once you have the tech lead, and say a Science Academy, turn your great people into super-specialists for the jump in production and cash (and later in research). Of course to maintain a tech lead, you will need to cottage spam, but keep in mind the necessity of keeping some forests in reserve.
  2. allhailIndia

    allhailIndia Chieftain

    Feb 22, 2001
    Casa de Non Compos Mentis
    Middle Game

    Here, you will not need to go after many wonders. Hanging Gardens is a good option for the health boost, but the Globe Theatre and the National Epic are a must. National Epic to churn out more GP, whereas the Globe Theatre to give you a great boost in happiness..you won't have to worry about it any more. Trade away all the luxury resources you have linked up to. Gift it to those not so happy with you and sell it to those already pleased or above. This way the less pleased will be happier with you AND you will make a few quid while you are at it.

    Diplomacy will become key here, and the middle game will make or break your chances in the end game. You may lose the race to philosophy and Divine Right to somebody like Mansa Musa or Hatshepsut, but to keep them following your religion, make sure that you have spread your religion to almost all their cities. It is also around this time that aggressive civs will start to go to war with the others and you must be absolutely careful in deciding whether to go along with them or not. Usually, by now, you will know who are the leaders and who are nowhere in the reckoning. Pick on the guys nowhere in the reckoning. Pick on the last and second last civs, and tie up alliances with ALL the big civs to wipe out these guys. You may want to contribute troops to the effort, but you are better off spreading the faith and building monasteries and university to keep up science. Oxford University is an obvious must-have.
    The important part in all of this is deciding whom to break off trade deals with and whom NOT to antagonize too much. Keep the following broad rules in mind...

    1. Never antagonize any of the aggressive civs by breaking off trade
    2. When two equally agressive (or equally not-so-aggressive) civs are in question, antagonize the one you have better relations with.
    3. When it is between a neighbour and a civ further off, keep the neighbour happy, unless it conflicts with rule 1.
    4. Avoid antagonizing Mansa and Hatshepsut as they are the best 'givers' of tech in the game, unless it conflicts with rule 1 and rule 3.

    As far as tribute requests go, give to all except the smaller civs whom you can bully and threaten at will. Accede to all the tribute requests (mostly reasonable) except changes in civics which throw research or production out of whack.

    When you break off the trade, you will need to give some gifts to get them back to liking you once both of you are on speaking terms.

    Keep a close tab on the relations screen with your Foreign Advisor. Keep checking as to how much the top four guys like each other and, occasionally, see if you can spot the one who is the favourite of a large number of civs. If you are NOT the favourite with more than this one civ, start gifting to the civ which does not like you as much and see if you can convince them to break off trade relations, or nullify whatever is causing such friendliness, such as same religion (different from yours) or same civic.

    As far as science goes, pick up those techs not often chased by the AI unless you are in the tech lead still and can get the important ones before the AI can. You must, at all costs aim for the Liberalism slingshot, and any tech that grants you a free GP (Music, Economics). Look to maximize tech in your city and ignore any city building which will not maximize your tech. In that regard, markets, banks, courthouses, and temples can be ignored from the production queue. Do not let up on your missionary activity and keep spreading your religion as it will be a great source of income.

    Once you have gotten to Liberalism, do not switch out of Theocracy. Keep Liberalism out of reach of as many civs as possible, but trade away other techs. Follow the same principles as in trading resources. Give generously to the poor and trade with the rich. By now, you should be close to Scientific method and Nationalism, and a tech leader, with only four, at most five competitors, with the four largest, all pleased or friendly with you.
  3. allhailIndia

    allhailIndia Chieftain

    Feb 22, 2001
    Casa de Non Compos Mentis
    End Game

    As far as research goes, do not be in a hurry to get to Scientific Method. More often than not, it actually causes your research to come down because of obselete monasteries and Great Library. Instead, aim for Constitution so that you can get Representation in, make sure you have sufficient specialists (including super-specialists), build an Observatory and THEN go get Scientific Method.

    Around this stage, when you are in the tech lead, if there are at least 5 other civs still in the game, concentrate on eliminating that one last civ. At this point you should be the most popular leader with the big Four, who are ready to do anything for you...for a price. Gift a few technologies everynow and then to the more backward of the Four to improve your ratings with them and keep your immediate neighbours happy.

    Your research path from now on will lead you first to Physics (for the free Great Scientist), then to Biology and Medicine (population boost will be important, even if it is only 5-6 more, it can make the difference between a diplo win and space race loss), then on to Electricity, Radio and Mass Media. Along the way, time permitting, get a hold of either Rock n. Roll or Broadway and gift away all the musicals/hits to the other four. Make sure to have saved a Great Engineer to rush your UN (just in case one of the AI is also in the race..usually never the case, but does no harm to finish early either) and begin the process of voting..

    As far as diplomacy goes, make sure you get Military Tradition as soon as possible. Around this time, as Liberalism starts spreading, you will start to lose your +4/+5 bonuses because they have shifted to Free religion. Keep holding on to Pacifism until you see yourself falling behind in tech and observe the other civs also switching to Free religion. Therefore, you must get to Military Tradition as soon as possible, sign Defensive Pacts with ALL the others once the fifth and weakest Civ is eliminated. At this point, if you have traded maps properly, you will have know what are the sizes of each civ. It may be a bit boring, but go through each civs cities and count how many citizens are there and therefore, how many votes that civ has. Obviously the largest one can be found by looking at the Victory Advisor (?), but it is also important to note what percentage of votes will you be able to corner.. If you have been nice enough to all, you are likely to get ALL their votes, except your immediate competitor for the post, so in most circumstances, a win should not be that difficult.

    However, given the amount of warfare, it may be entirely possible that one civ has just about enough to prevent you from winning. One way to remedy this would be to give ALL the other civs, except this one, Biology AND medicine (often ignored by the AI), get these other three to switch to Environmentalism, and wait for a few turns to get the other three to improve their populations and get you the win. If the largest civ is also on your border, you could pump up culture, use a culture bomb or two and reduce some cities to rubble through cultural expansion. In the meantime, DO NOT GET imbroiled in a war under any circumstance. Keep a close tab on the relations between the big four, and break off DP if you think there is a high chance that Napoleon is going to pick a hissy fight with Victoria. However, if one of the combatants is the main competitor for the post of Secretary General and does not share a border. Feel free to engage in the fight ONLY AFTER you tie up a global alliance.

    Normally such a game won't take beyond 2.5-3 hours so it should be a good break from a long back-breaking Conquest/Domination game and can also help improve diplomacy skills for higher levels.

    Hope it was useful
  4. Cort Haus

    Cort Haus Chieftain

    Apr 18, 2002
    One question sprang out - why Theocracy? A Taoist or Islamic missionary isn't going to hurt if another Civ has those - in fact it's another 10% science once the monastery is up. I'll switch to it under SPI to build a few units, but will otherwise be in Org Rel or Pacifism if religious.

    I've been trying for OCC diplo wins on Small Pangeas, Prince. I found the ones who switched out of my religion into Free Rel were those who had founded their own. This lead me to try getting all seven in my next game - which I did, but a weak starting location gave me very few resources to trade. This meant that I was less competitive in the love stakes, as I could accrue no 'You have supplied us with resources' points. Also, the focus on the race to all religious techs, including Philosphy & Divine Right, prevented my usual build-up of a tech lead through economic focus (eg: cottages & Civil Service). Hence no easy 'you have shared you tech with us' points that a tech lead can give. All this, plus the fact that all civs are the same religion, which means they give each other the shared religion points as well.

    A good way to grab the first five is to use Oracle to snag CoL then a prophet from the Henge + Oracle to take Theology. A gt scientist would then be nice to take Philosophy, but these are not guaranteed in OCC with Henge + Oracle in town. A second prophet can be saved for two-thirds of Divine Right, but even the remainder takes a while when added to a manual Philo research with a modest economy.

    If there's only one food resource it is almost impossible to run enough high hammer tiles and specialists for OCC, and if you don't have health resources, and have no means to acquire them, it's impossible to cut down the forests to make way for the cottages that you need.
  5. ooloi

    ooloi Chieftain

    Mar 17, 2006
    North Carolina
    The first and largest problem is the Barbarians, who after 2000 BC are a constant problem to my limited infrastructure. I've run over 15-20 different games of this already, and the warriors, archers, and axemen are coming in constantly. 8-10 archers spaced on the best defensive squares just can't handle it, and my few workers can't really get any new work done. The only time it wasn't a problem I was in a corner of the pangaia on a narrow peninsula, and I could chokepoint 2 spaces to keep anything from getting in. Of course, the rest of the situation was terrible.

    The other half of this problem is being able to escort missionaries safely to other civs to ensure they stay on my side.

    I'm not sure either why I'd want to go to Theocracy, since theocracy doesn't keep Other civs from the spread of religions (even ones I've founded but not using), just mine, and I only have one city.

    It is rare that I get Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, nevermind Christianity And Confucianism, even with Gandhi. Other people who found religions really really don't like to convert to yours, regardless of the specifics of the situation, and they have numerous cities to grind out missionaries and convert your friends while making the Sistine chapel and being annoyed with you.

    Getting to discover all the other folks before 2000 BC happens rarely. It is difficult to influence the invisible civilization who had Hinduism and is also trying to convert people. Scouts are dead men walking after 2000 BC because of the random barbarians in the wilderness, and warriors aren't much better.

    This whole thing looks like it *ought* to work, but unless the setup in practice is rather different than what I'm looking at, it doesn't, at least not yet for me.
  6. Moon Templar

    Moon Templar Chieftain

    Jun 12, 2006
    How do I build an Oxford University or Globe theatre If I only had One city. though Oxford requires 6 universities and the Globe needs some theatres around your country.
  7. mice

    mice Moose

    Jan 26, 2006

    If you select one city challenge in the custom games optoons menu (it's down the menu a bit) you dont have these restrictions. All Nat wonders can go straight into the one city.For GL you need 1 library etc.
  8. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

    Aug 26, 2005
    Nice thread, very well explained. I discovered OCC not long ago and I enjoy it very much.

    Some comments:
    - IMHO philosophical is the most important trait when playing OCC. You only have one city, 20 tiles to work. How can you have more food, hammer, gold and beakers once you are working those 20 tiles? Just adding superspecialists to the city.
    - Quote: ""Trade any tech with the most backward Civ first and the most advanced last.....Seems fairly obvious, but can be forgotten sometimes.""
    It doesn't seem obvious to me at all. If I trade first with the most advanced civ, I can get a tech some of the other civs don't know, allowing me to increase my trades with those other civs. Also, the trading value of my tech is going down every time I trade it, so I should aim at the most expensive (most advanced) techs first. Besides that, you sometimes want to let a turn pass in order to be able to trade new techs you can't see this turn. If you have a monopoly on a tech and you have given it to the most backwards civ, they will trade it with the most advanced civ for something they don't have. If you have given it to the most advanced tech, there isn't anything they could get from the others, so they wont trade it.
    - At higher level of difficulty you are not going to be able to found all/most religions. I am not an expert at diplomacy, but my approach to this is not to found any religion at all. The more civs found a religion, the better. If you plan to kill a civ, choose one that has not founded a religion. Don't never adopt any religion (unless you are unfortunate and there is a clear dominant religion in your game). The idea is not to get + modifiers with you, but to get - modifiers between them. Makes sense?
  9. Sisko

    Sisko Chieftain

    Jul 30, 2006
    You say it as if these are the 2 Nat.Wonders you should get. But i found i could get any nat.wonder in the city during OCC

    First time try , and it is refreshing. I got all the religions and got to eliminate 2 rivals without much fight (once got declared war on and had to fight off 2!! units (1 of them a cat) turn 2 of that war he had a 4 fronted war :lol:
    Now i'm in the last couple of turns, late 1800's and america has just 2-3 population more then he should so he keeps me from diplo victory, but the rest is growing so almost done (had to sleeep, am at work now :mischief: )

    Defensive Pacts are not good in all cases. I wanted to get them all around the time the UN was built, but Wang Kon was not going for it, and without any DP he voted for me, but with the 3 DP's with the others he voted for america and i would never be able to win.
  10. rlawrence

    rlawrence Chieftain

    Jun 19, 2012
    Fun game .. until the vote. I have DPs with all the top 4. #2 is in the running against me. #1 has superior population, but no problem, because I have +15 relations with him. But the vote comes, and he doesn't vote for me, he votes for #2.

    It's something like 310 for Cyrus, and 260 for me (Gandhi). What would you do to turn things around, or is it too late?
  11. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

    Jul 17, 2012
    Somewhere in Europe
    after a long highland-domination-game I just decided to try an OCC as well, of course with Gandhi ;)
    (normal size, pangäa, king)

    I got a great starting location (river, 3 corn fields, lots of forests, oasis (!) however no stone/marble or immediate luxury res).
    I reloaded the initial save 3 times, but: even starting as gandhi and being able to work on an oasis tile (either from the start or after the first cultural expansion), I wasn't able to get any religion before judaism.
    however stonehenge gave me Theology almost immediately afterwards and I was able to convert my 2 immediate neighbours to christianity and create myself a "shield" from Isa & co.
    Using the GP to (mostly) work in my city as super-specialists and stealing some teachs via the great spies, I managed to become teachleader and now am moping up all the big empires with my riflemen.
    It's really fun to see how one city can - given some preparations - outproduce entire empires.

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