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[C3C] Opening/early game questions surrounded by mostly infertile Lands

LordofDread

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Hi all,

Starting an Emperor game on a huge pangea map today, playing as the Egyptians. OK starting location, having one cow, a river throuh many hills and incense. As I scouted the area, I noticed that the surrounding lands are either infertile (Desert, Hills) or filled with jungle/marsh. There are also two plains areas south and to the southwest, but neither seems to have any river nearby.

I was originally planning a mid-late Ancient Age War Chariot attack (after switching to Monarchy) on my nearest most fertile neighbour, yet that might not be feasible anymore. I have 4 warriors scouting the Pangea, having met 7 other civ's until now.
Scientifically, on 2390 BC, I got all the starting techs, 4 slaves and some 50 gold through trades. Currently min. research on Mysticism, hoping to trade it for Iron Working later. Then I try max. on Writing&Philo, hoping free tech for Polytheism.

Any suggestions to strategy, worker management etc. are most welcome. I attached the save for those who want to take a closer look, but I'll be also posting some screens along.

Starting location:

Egypt_Start.JPG


The mines around Memphis give 2 shields each (so 10 shields at size 5), so I'll have an alternating Warrior -> War Chariot/Spearman -> Settler 6 turn Factory after completing Barracks. It will require a lot of micro management including the roaded hill with incense for 2 out of 3 turns, but netting an additional 8 Gold every 6 turns compared to only food micromanagment. I just have to keep in mind to build warrior first, and War Chariot 2nd. War Chariot will get 2x9=18 shields including incense hill, as well 2 more shields from growing to size 6. So far, so good I think. I wanna wait with founding two more cities near the capital, as there are more important spots to claim now.

But as to expansion the real problem presents itself. With exception north of the hills and to the east there is no fertile land to settle on, and also no river to irrigate any plains for something productive.

Lets take a look at southwestern region:

southwestblock.JPG


We notice the furs surrounded by plains. Though no river, so first intention would be to build one town near furs. But there are already borders of the Japanese in the west (you can barely see it on the picture, hence I marked it left of world map. One of my ideas is to very soon send 3 warriors and one settler, settling on the "C" and blocking passage with the 3 warriors. EDIT: Settling 2xNW from C could be preferable. But that doesn't make the plains area fertile. I also can't irrigate from Memphis south and then use some hill city to bring water to the plains - everything is perfectly blocked by Mountains. The only chance of bringing water here is from the Northern Jungle region:

Northern Jungle Region:

Northdyes.JPG


As you can see, there is limited space for about 3 cities. And I eventually could clear a marsh tile next to the river-coast in the west, and then irrigate southwards (for a long time). Other Civ's are way more to the north, so the only city I wanna settle soon is near dyes.

Moving East:

Northeast.JPG


In the Northeast I spotted the borders from the Carthagians. Yet I failed to scout the area more yet, especially in the "?" region, I'm gonna correct that mistake now. One settler is now moving towards C. In 8 turns, the Settler from Heliopolis is complete, which will then go northeast if we discover anthing fertile enough. Otherwise I intend to send the settler to the southern region, where I discovered horses for my much wanted War Chariots.

Southern Region:

Horsesdesertsouth.JPG



Infertile again, but settling on the horses and an early temple&harbor might be beneficial. Could irrigate from captial south through desert, again for ages.

Discussion:

So thats the overall situation. My questions:
- 3 of my slaves started building road towards horses in the south. Don't know if it makes sense already. What of my native worker? Should he road towards southwest furs so the settler will be faster at the choke point lateron?
- Worth building granary in Heliopolis and mine the tiles for additional settlers?
- Building tight spaced core instead of irrigating early for ages?
- Overall strategy? Assuming we go for Domination.
- Military outlook: Numidian Mercenary from Carthage in the east is hard to bring down with War Chariot. Yet it is so far the only close neighbour that could have fertile lands. May have to use Catapults, but I never used them those together with war chariots. May have to go with Swords instead (assuming we have Iron around). So roading horses might be a complete waste for now.
 

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The more I think about this, the more I think about changing strategy entirely.
- Changing Baracks to Settler immediately and send it, along with warriors to the choke point southwest ASAP. Time might be of the essence there, since that spot might be also nice for Japan.
- Since I'd like to switch for Settler now, there is no need to road towards the choke point for the time being. Early military protection will have to be produced at the choke point itself.
- Settling east towards Carthaginians as main focus still ok.
- Building Cities East and North tight. CxxC at least, or even tighter.
- Stop roading towards Horses. Instead improve Heliopolis for Granary and other core cities later. Settle Horses also somewhat later.
- Carthaginians will only get attacked early if they sit on some very nice lands. Therefore Memphis is gona produce Warriors and Spears at size 5 for now, once I discover Iron then it might be Warriors only, for later upgrade purposes.

Midterm I probably wanna go for Feudalism, there will be many workers needed to improve the plains at a reasonable speed. Good I picked a religious&industrious civ, although I'd rather have the agricultural trait here.

I probably continue playing mid next week, so any input is still welcome :)
 
Generally speaking not going for republic is an unsound strategy. This situation seems no different in that regard.

Your focus should be to build settlers and make the most of the land you have access to. At this point there seem to be no incentive to start a war.

I donnot like the idee of blocking. That may incentivize AI to declare war on you. Also it lures you into using your limited resources in a nonproductive way.

Going for the territories in the jungle and the swamp may not pay off in the short run, but your workers are fast. Use them after you spammed settlers for founding towns quite closely together.

Clearing the swamps allows you to irrigate the plains south of the swamps and make them quite productive. The land in the north and the east are just fine if you play your cards right.
 
@justanick thank you very much for your ideas and comments. It is most welcome. Especially heading for the jungles and swamps will prove to be quite effective I guess. Having some unexpected free time I played along.

At 1000 BC I claimed the eastern grasslands up to the Carthaginians border. Also northern swamp and jungle is claimed, though there are 3 spots left, my settlers underway.
Orgininally I abandoned the idea of blocking the Japanese in the southwest, but as they claimed their spot there I realized they might expand pretty fast into "my" western plains backyard. Also iron source there, so I impemented a 4 tile alternating blocking strategy (img attached). Always leave on tile open for the AI, unless a settler approaches there. Then close the opening, and open the other end of the blocking line. Using that in other games has proven to be quite effective, the AI runs his settler around uselessly. And there is min chance of DoW, since there's always a passage open. That way, I did forgoe claiming the plains early, and focused getting land towards the other AI's. Might extend blocking lines to 5 tiles, can block multiple settlers this way. Though none has shown so far.

Tech rate is pretty fast. Aztec's have at least 1.5 reasearch speed I have, and they also just completed The Pyramids. I have small tech lead on CoL, though I suspect that Construction might be discoverd by AI soon.

As for Government choice I do not agree. Ill be using a massive amount of workers for clearing the jungle soon, as well some irigation work on the plains, and I won't have any size 7+ city until I claimed everything. Also my Empire is quite extended, medium sized amounts of swordmen and war chariots are needed north, east and southwest. So unit support will be devastating in Republic. After clearing jungles and irrigating plains to at least 2/3, Ill be joining most of the workers in the full of rivers jungle area, and then make a 2 turn Anarchy for Republic. In the long run, going for Feudalism early with a timed switch to Republic will pay off much. If I'm able to trade Currency for a non-despotic Gov. before Feudalism, I will do so ofc.

Forbidden Palace will be built in the jungle area.
 

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As for Government choice I do not agree. Ill be using a massive amount of workers for clearing the jungle soon, as well some irigation work on the plains, and I won't have any size 7+ city until I claimed everything. Also my Empire is quite extended, medium sized amounts of swordmen and war chariots are needed north, east and southwest. So unit support will be devastating in Republic.
One might think so and without the proper practice this can of course happen.

But you need to keep in mind that you have fast workers, so you donnot need that many of them. It is a maximum of 2 per town. But at the same amount of workers per area you can built more towns per area and therefore have fewer workers per town. This also gives you the free +2 food per city tile. Spamming towns is quote powerful in the early game and when dealing with jungle it is quite called for.

Once your better towns become cities you can abandon your lesser towns to mitigate corruption and building maintenance.

After clearing jungles and irrigating plains to at least 2/3, Ill be joining most of the workers in the full of rivers jungle area, and then make a 2 turn Anarchy for Republic.
It is not sensible to join workers before anarchy. That can wait till you are in the new government. In a republic joined works will net you a benefit. During anarchy they may net you a disadvantage.

In the long run, going for Feudalism early with a timed switch to Republic will pay off much.
I rather doubt it. Feudalism is not early, it means staying in despotism longer than necessary. But given that you are religious your approach is not that bad either.
 
It is not sensible to join workers before anarchy. That can wait till you are in the new government. In a republic joined works will net you a benefit. During anarchy they may net you a disadvantage.
Sure, bad writing from my part.

I rather doubt it. Feudalism is not early, it means staying in despotism longer than necessary. But given that you are religious your approach is not that bad either.
Thats what I was beginning to see too after starting max research on Currency instead of Republic. Luckily after a few turns the Koreans already had Currency - I traded it for Polytheism, which I got from a civ in the western part of my blocking site. Could be a total continental blocking site, the coast goes extremely far north - I have two warriors to confirm it.

Well its 875 BC, I only lost a few turns max researching on Currency. Its either Construction or Republic now (will certainly not research on Monarchy, and no Civ will have it soon, so I won't get out of Despo for some time). Researching Construction would be a waste of time now I think. There should be some civs researching it now, and I think I can trade for it somehow, at least as long as I'm the only civ having both Currency and CoL.

So Republic it is :) . Together with some fill-in towns in Jungle, as you suggested, I can let eastern core cities grow to 6 gradually and still providing some workers, while taking benefit of commerce bonus. Core will get also 1-2 more towns. If lateron I should feel the need for Feudalism I still could. Certainly the more safe way.

Many thanks again for your answers, really helped!
 

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That is a lot of jungle.
That is not going to be productive in another 1000 years.
So just grab it and focus on something else.

Well there isn't much of something else I can think of. If there was, I wouldn't have started a new thread.

My current core probably won't sustain effective research for late Mediveal and early Industrial Age. Am I wrong on this? I'm not sure. I doubt even with irrigated plains it will be enough.

I've also played 5CC's on emperor on huge pangea maps, being able to out research AI's until late Mediveal Age. But the setting here seems very different.

There is always the option of waging war against someone. The only not so distant neighbour are the Carthaginians, having 3 halfway good grassland/river cities. The rest is jungle, hills and desert. Gems on a mountain. My gut tells me they are more worth alive than conquered for the time being.

Wonder building is out of the question currently. 2nd Wonder cascade over ToA and others is running.

So there seems to be nothing else left to do that would make sense. I'm gona locally produce workers for clearing jungle, as justanick suggested. Gona have to switch to Granaries now in the riverlands south of jungle/dyes. Some towns dont have a single food bonus.

Together with acceptable military defense I can afford sitting here, clearing jungles for a 1000+ years. That may cause my research to fall back at first, compared to future tech leaders. But better a nice comeback mid Mediveal Age than falling behind slowly but constantly.

Edit: Attached 875 BC save if anyone is interested. Just ignore the irrigation work eastwards. Was on the phone xD
 

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You should ask yourself whether you have too few settlers(only relevant early on), too many workers(mostly relevant when in republic but mostly below size 7) or too many military units(relevant when in republic but mostly below size 7). Once you have entered the republic you may want to disband the lesser military units in favour of less unit suppport.

Also you may be limited by a slow rate of growth. In such circumstances there may be instances where it makes sense to produce wealth when production is only 1 shield per turn. That way you avoid building expensive military or useless buildings.

Sooner or later AI may pose a military thread. So making the tech feudalism a priority makes sense for stronger military units. MedInfs offer a good deal in terms of deterence per unit support. Knights would be slightly better, but neither tech nor production will suffice for them in the beginning.

Avoiding wars seems to be in your best interest. You have more land than you can utilize well before then industrial age. Corruption will limit your productivity. The ratio of risk and reward does not favour war before cavalry changes the picture.
 
Hi all,

Starting an Emperor game on a huge pangea map today, playing as the Egyptians. OK starting location, having one cow, a river throuh many hills and incense. As I scouted the area, I noticed that the surrounding lands are either infertile (Desert, Hills) or filled with jungle/marsh. There are also two plains areas south and to the southwest, but neither seems to have any river nearby.

I was originally planning a mid-late Ancient Age War Chariot attack (after switching to Monarchy) on my nearest most fertile neighbour, yet that might not be feasible anymore. I have 4 warriors scouting the Pangea, having met 7 other civ's until now.
Scientifically, on 2390 BC, I got all the starting techs, 4 slaves and some 50 gold through trades. Currently min. research on Mysticism, hoping to trade it for Iron Working later. Then I try max. on Writing&Philo, hoping free tech for Polytheism.

Any suggestions to strategy, worker management etc. are most welcome. I attached the save for those who want to take a closer look, but I'll be also posting some screens along.

Starting location:

View attachment 654392

The mines around Memphis give 2 shields each (so 10 shields at size 5), so I'll have an alternating Warrior -> War Chariot/Spearman -> Settler 6 turn Factory after completing Barracks. It will require a lot of micro management including the roaded hill with incense for 2 out of 3 turns, but netting an additional 8 Gold every 6 turns compared to only food micromanagment. I just have to keep in mind to build warrior first, and War Chariot 2nd. War Chariot will get 2x9=18 shields including incense hill, as well 2 more shields from growing to size 6. So far, so good I think. I wanna wait with founding two more cities near the capital, as there are more important spots to claim now.

But as to expansion the real problem presents itself. With exception north of the hills and to the east there is no fertile land to settle on, and also no river to irrigate any plains for something productive.

Lets take a look at southwestern region:

View attachment 654393


We notice the furs surrounded by plains. Though no river, so first intention would be to build one town near furs. But there are already borders of the Japanese in the west (you can barely see it on the picture, hence I marked it left of world map. One of my ideas is to very soon send 3 warriors and one settler, settling on the "C" and blocking passage with the 3 warriors. EDIT: Settling 2xNW from C could be preferable. But that doesn't make the plains area fertile. I also can't irrigate from Memphis south and then use some hill city to bring water to the plains - everything is perfectly blocked by Mountains. The only chance of bringing water here is from the Northern Jungle region:

Northern Jungle Region:

View attachment 654396

As you can see, there is limited space for about 3 cities. And I eventually could clear a marsh tile next to the river-coast in the west, and then irrigate southwards (for a long time). Other Civ's are way more to the north, so the only city I wanna settle soon is near dyes.

Moving East:

View attachment 654398

In the Northeast I spotted the borders from the Carthagians. Yet I failed to scout the area more yet, especially in the "?" region, I'm gonna correct that mistake now. One settler is now moving towards C. In 8 turns, the Settler from Heliopolis is complete, which will then go northeast if we discover anthing fertile enough. Otherwise I intend to send the settler to the southern region, where I discovered horses for my much wanted War Chariots.

Southern Region:

View attachment 654399


Infertile again, but settling on the horses and an early temple&harbor might be beneficial. Could irrigate from captial south through desert, again for ages.

Discussion:

So thats the overall situation. My questions:
- 3 of my slaves started building road towards horses in the south. Don't know if it makes sense already. What of my native worker? Should he road towards southwest furs so the settler will be faster at the choke point lateron?
- Worth building granary in Heliopolis and mine the tiles for additional settlers?
- Building tight spaced core instead of irrigating early for ages?
- Overall strategy? Assuming we go for Domination.
- Military outlook: Numidian Mercenary from Carthage in the east is hard to bring down with War Chariot. Yet it is so far the only close neighbour that could have fertile lands. May have to use Catapults, but I never used them those together with war chariots. May have to go with Swords instead (assuming we have Iron around). So roading horses might be a complete waste for now.

Sorry I cannot read everything that was written yet, but some very clear statements to what I understand are your questions - and regarding questions you did not ask but should have asked ;) :
-you missed the obvious best 2nd town location, which is 233 of your capital, for a 4t-SF in your 2nd town. your capital could then, more or less, produce everything else. there even were the forests around for it, you could have set up that SF rather quickly.
-yes, there is a lot of hills and mountains. but from what i see, practically all of it will be very productive land in the early IA already! meaning many many core shields. what you do need, is a big workforce.
what helps me to see that is to count the food on the workable grass (or plains etc) tiles available to such a hill/mountain-town. like, the location 88 of the capital. with 3 ir-grass tiles, it will have +8fpt at size 3, allowing for a size 11 town working the city tile, 3 grasses and 8 hills! plus the lake, you´ll have a neat productive size-12 core town there once.
99999 is a similar case!
-visualize marsh and jungle as grasslands, this gives you a much clearer picture of what the land will look like soon
-the chokepoint town, the horse town, and any other of these outlying locations are irrelevant in the short term. they will be a burden to your empire and contribute nothing.
-min on Myst does not seem like a good idea, ever. the AI always goes for it. you should have gone for Wri, either min or full throttle, right away.

t_x
 
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Agree with what justanick and templar_x said: you should have gone for the 4-turner asap, spam settlers for a much closer ring around the capital and go for Republic asap. This starting position isn't that bad for emperor. I'll extract the seed from your .sav and then play up to 1000BC to illustrate the power of that strategy.
 
22 is absolutely fine as well, if there are enough shields around. what i cannot see from the screenshot. 233 works in any case - enough forest wood, enough shields, enough food of course. but yes, the 2nd town was the natural pop factory, whichever position you could find for it!
t_x
 
Agree with what justanick and templar_x said: you should have gone for the 4-turner asap, spam settlers for a much closer ring around the capital and go for Republic asap. This starting position isn't that bad for emperor. I'll extract the seed from your .sav and then play up to 1000BC to illustrate the power of that strategy.
if you´ve got the save, do you mind if we both give it a try? not sure i will find the time (with these special needs of my newborn at home ;)), but it should play out rather quick! we could even compare 22 and 233 for the 2nd town - only if 22 is a viable 4t-SF spot, of course.
t_x
 
if you´ve got the save, do you mind if we both give it a try? not sure i will find the time (with these special needs of my newborn at home ;)), but it should play out rather quick! we could even compare 22 and 233 for the 2nd town - only if 22 is a viable 4t-SF spot, of course.
t_x

I finally had the time to play to 875 BC and compare the two saves. I used the following properties extracted from LordOfDread's 2390 BC save:
properties_cleop.png


I started my game with exactly these properties, and the map looks identical. However, there is one slight difference: where we can see Carthage in LordOfDread's screenshots, I have the Incas in my game?! I have no explanation for this. When I extract the properties from my game with CivAssist, they look the same. But it shouldn't affect the initial settling phase.

Comparing the two approaches does not yet look like it's that much of a difference, but one needs to consider that the effect of the Republic is only just setting in. In ~20 more turns, it will be much more pronounced. At the moment, the most striking advantages are approx. +25% population & production and almost +100% income, even though I have one town less:

GameTownsPopulationIncomeProductionMissing techsArmyResourcesContacts
Despotic1630 (+14 in Settlers and Workers)54gpt42sptRep, Lit, Cons, Mon22 warriors, 1 archer, 5 spearmen
(340s)
Incense, (Horses in 2 turns)15
Beeline for Republic1542 (+12 in Settlers and Workers)127gpt52sptCur, Cons, Mon7 warriors, 17 archers, 3 spearmen
(470s)
Incense, Dyes, Furs, (Horses in 4 turns, Silks pretty soon)13
 

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Hi Lanzelot,
Usually the reason for the map not matching is that the civs are not in the starting order of the original game. It is easy to match the order, if you have a save where all civs have been met.
Then I use the score tab to see the order of their turns and can place them in the new start using that order.
 
Hi Lanzelot,
Usually the reason for the map not matching is that the civs are not in the starting order of the original game. It is easy to match the order, if you have a save where all civs have been met.
Then I use the score tab to see the order of their turns and can place them in the new start using that order.
The spaceship launch screen also gives the order, but in reverse to one of the setup screens, if I recall correctly.
 
Thanks both of you, that's interesting to know. But apparently the F10 screen is also in the original order, not reversed.

I checked both screens in LordOfDread's save, and it looks like this:

civ_order.png


And then I checked it in my game -- and it looks exactly the same?! :confused:
But definitely the Inca and Carthage start locations are swapped in my game...

PS: well, in fact, it looks more like a three-way swap...
 
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Then check the Choose Your World. Next is the Player Setup. Those tend to just make small changes to the map like a resource is not where it was in the original. No mods on the original or yours? Lots of things in Player Setup to over look.
 
HI Spoonwood,
I usually have Space off as it crashed me. Now with Flintlock it works, but I forget about it.
 
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