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Opening moves for China

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by Ninal, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Ninal

    Ninal Chieftain

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    I'm experimenting with China for the first time and I would like some advice on how to start my games.

    My settings:
    Deity / Pangea / Normal Speed
    No events, No Ruins, No tech brokering or deals
    I do not play on the most recent version but a version I guess about 1 year old.
    I do not save/reload but I do reroll till I have a reasonable starting location. I have won once on each different Victory type but lose many more Deity games than I win.

    So with that out of the way I would like to get some advice on my opening moves with China. Playstyle-wise I prefer not to go for a domination victory but I do not mind some defensive or (very minor) offensive warring. I consider Progress a good choice for a Civ that wants to expand peacefully. In my recent attempts I have tried two different approaches both based on China's UA.

    Rush to Classical Era than Settle
    The idea here is to get a strong capital and build Monument, Stonehenge, get a military unit and worker and maybe settle one priority city-location while waiting to rush Classical Era (mostly through Writing). When in Classical you can build cities, reap your rewards and keep them a long time while you delay Mediëval Era.

    So far this approach hasn't worked for me. By the time I am in (or close to) Classical most of the good city locations are already taken. I can often still settle a total of 4-5 decent cities (including the Capitol) but that doesn't seem enough for progress or enough to really profit from China's UA.

    Settlers first than delay Classical
    This approach focusses on grabbing all the good city-locations ASAP and getting an immediate boost in food and culture from your UA. I delay getting into Classical because that would lose me my bonus culture and food. I have had slightly more succes with this approach but it has a few important drawbacks too. You do not get any of the great wonders, policy and science-costs skyrocket when you are at 6-8 cities and you delay getting writing and thus the Papermaker. It also requires a larger investment in military to defend your expansion.

    So my questions to you are:
    - What is the strongest way to open a China game?
    - Are my approaches viable or am I missing something?
    - Do you have suggestions as to why I might be failing?
    - Do you have general tips/tricks to get China to shine?
     
  2. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    1. I think China can actually open the game pretty normally. There are things you can do to maximize the UA, but you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Your extra yields mean you just do everything a little bit earlier, which is a big advantage.

    2. Don't wait till Classical to settle cities. I think you are miss understanding the UA. It is designed to decrease over time, you have to just let it decrease. Advancing to the next era is still a good thing.

    3. I wouldn't overthink delaying classical. If your cities are all on inland rivers, just go for the watermills. Don't research fishing just to avoid entering classical. The bonus isn't intended to last all game. On the other approach, if a normal civ wants to settle 4 cities, China probably wants 4 or 5. Don't force yourself to build 7 settlers just because you are china. If you do create that many cities, make sure you have social policies and a pantheon that supports it.

    4. Progress + God of Wisdom is very friendly towards a strategy that settles a lot of land quickly. You should get a religion and take the belief related to WLTKD. Being in WLTKD basically forever is a big part of China's power. You can also take some more cities by war, especially with the ChuKoNu, if you want to get some more cities.
     
    Ninal likes this.
  3. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Reinvent, no. Invent, yes.

    G
     
  4. Ninal

    Ninal Chieftain

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    Thanks for the reply @CrazyG !

    Maybe I am overthinking it a bit... I do understand that the bonusses are supposed to decrease over time but I still want to try and optimise my gains. So far the "wait-with-settling-till-classical" didn't work out so well. Most city-locations were gone. So next time I will try and settle early and see whenever I go to classical.

    How many cities do you normally go for when going Progress? As a rule of thumb I normally go for 3-5 cities in a peacefull Tradition game and aim for 7-10 cities in a progress game. The problem is that I normally run out of good city location after 5 or 6 cities and I feel that is a little too small for progress (especially China). Does that mean that offensive warring is pretty much a necessity with progress China?

    Thanks for the advice on Goddess of Wisdom. I hadn't really considered that pantheon for China yet because China doesn't have Obvious synergies with science. So you mostly take it for the 1 science and 1 faith per city early? Is that enough for a religion if you settle 6-8 cities?

    What exactly does China gain from regular WLTKD's that other civs don't? She only gets the food/culture from her own We Love the Empress thing right?
     
  5. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    She just gets it very consistently, which means she can get more value out of synergy. For example, the synagogues belief gives 10% science in cities during WLTKD. For an normal civ, that bonus is active for about half the game. For China, its active for most of the game.
    I commonly go to war as China. You have the early strength to help bully a neighbor.

    Progress I want 4 to 10 cities. !0 is better, if I have 4 is a temporary plan while I find some more land to conquer or settle.
     
  6. Ninal

    Ninal Chieftain

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    So the WLTE thingy counts as a "We love the King Day" too?! That explains! That would make Synagogues, Theocratic Rule and the WLTKD wonder (mausoleum?) very good indeed!

    So that aligns with my perception on the matter...

    I don't like doing offensive wars much (playstyle-wise) but I guess I will need to if I want to play wide (progress) again...

    Two more questions:
    1) What second policy do you normally like for China after progress?
    2) China seems like a strong Civ to start off with but I am not sure yet what Victory Condition she is most suited to. I guess she is rather flexible. Do you have a preference?
     
  7. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Prince

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    China is indeed flexible: you could aim for diplomatic, domination or science victory if going Progress, depending on your religion/neighbours/... I set Cultural victory aside because peaceful wide doesn't match too well with it. If you went Tradition you could aim for it.
     
  8. Ninal

    Ninal Chieftain

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    3 of my 5 Deity wins have been with Tradition so I'm not going for tradition this time. Playstyle-wise I prefer not to go authority-domination this time. So that leaves me with Diplo or Science as victory conditions. Which mediëval policy-tree do you think would suit a progress China aiming for a science victory? When playing wide I normally went for Fealty but I am open to other suggestions... Is artistry worth it for a progess Civ? Most of my experience with Artistry has been with small Tradition empires...
     
  9. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    The change to Empress (WLTE) instead of King (WLTK) is just for accuracy between male and female leaders.

    I have a preference for Artistry and Tourism wins. My second choice would be fealty, maybe diplomatic.

    I understand the desire to play peacefully, but sometimes you just can't get quite enough land peacefully.
     
  10. Ninal

    Ninal Chieftain

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    Thanks! That does make WLTK synergies strong with China!

    Me too! I have only done it with small Tradition empires though. Any chance you have some pointers on how to do it as a wide-progess empire? If that is even feasable at all...

    I think fealty is usefull in general for wide-play but I guess if you go the diplomatic route you go Statecraft right?

    Very true. I'm not totally against offensive wars I just prefer peacefull expansion. I love the threat of warmongers and the need to keep your army in good shape. I just don't like the endless clicking that is involved in huge offensive wars. I get more enjoyment out of making the policy/building/techpath choices you make with peacefull play.

    The fact that peacefull (no offensive warring) wide-play is nigh impossible on Deity level is one of my very few gripes with VP. I would love if the Deity AI would settle just a tiny bit slower so that you might get a chance to play more of a "peacefull" expansionist style.
     
  11. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Not necessarily. You can win diplomacy with fealty, or tourism with statecraft, or militarily with artistry. I personally find statecraft a touch weaker than the other two policy trees (but not that much weaker).

    Get a religion that supports you, with beliefs such as mosques, inspiration, iconography. Just spam culture relentlessly. Sometimes you do need to use military to knock down an AI with high culture, but it can happen peacefully too.

    Here is a game that goes something like this: https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...nals-ii-the-celts-new-players-welcome.636685/

    Progress and many cities to go wide and focus on culture. In the end I used ships to win, but progress, artistry, and a strong religion gave me the culture I needed to get ahead of snowballing AI.
     

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