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Optimal start with France (SVN)

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall: Europe' started by Chep, May 7, 2013.

  1. ezzlar

    ezzlar Chieftain

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    In my game I only got two settlers, that was kinda hard but then I realized I had an old SVN and updated.

    First settler on cow S of starting position. Second settler to Poitiers, S of wheat to the south-west together with missionary. Third settler to spot NE of wine just N of Burgundys starting position.

    One axeman to defend hills near Paris. One axeman to city SE. Two axemen to Milano for conquering.

    Start with barracks in all cities. Switch to Chateau as soon as Manorialism discovered, then complete barracks. After, military units and settlers. Mostly military units (axemen for forests in the east). Beeline tech for Swordsmen.

    No change of civics or religion until UHV 1 complete.

    Send one unit to Byzantium and Arabia to trade techs and open border agreements.

    Conquer Toulouse, Barcelona and Marseille. They are all easy targets. Prepare one catapult for Augsburg. 3-4 swordsmen for each of Augsburg, Firenze and Lyon. Lastly have two settlers ready for settling in Dunquerque and Saxony close to the UHV 1 time limit. Wait to conquer Bordeaux until some of the archers have wandered off.

    Things to watch out for:

    - Low stability. Civic change and catholicism are too destabilizing early on.
    - Eastern barb activity. You need some axemen fortifying the forests.
    - Northern viking invasions. At least three units in Dunquerque/Calais.
    - When settling Lorraine, make sure you dont settle in German flip zone (check with shift+hoover). Space above wine is decent.
    - Make worst possible settlement for the city in Saxony.
    - Give Saxony city and Augsburg to Burgundy when they spawn. They will probably declare war when they flip to Germany.

    UHV 1 complete!
     
  2. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    Okay, it seems really tough. I could use some help.

    I added my saves for 608 (after researching Calendar & Manorism) and 704 (current) (SVN version)

    This time I only took Milan (not Firenze) with my inital army -> stability stayed at +6 for a while and then decayed due to the barbs...currently around +1, no city lost so far (but it seems the barbs burned Marseille)
    research is incredibly slow, I'll finish researching the swordsmen around 750 ! Mounted sergeants should be available around 710-725.

    I just don't really know what to do differently/better.
    I switched to manorism for the gold from the UB but since my happy-cap is so low, none of my citizens really work farms (almost always hills/cow/horse/forest) so if it weren't for the much needed stability I might not even need to research Manorism.

    Blois seems useful, although the difference to to Tours (1 NW of Blois, north of the wheat) is not really noticeable so far (but in the long run it will be better therefore I also think Blois > Tours). Dunkerque works 2 minded hills + 1 cow -> I can't really ask for more, so that seems perfect as well.
     
  3. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    Found 1 great improvement:

    The first thing you have to build in Paris is a Skirmisher.
    That is essential.
    This unit must then make contact with the Byzantines.

    Not only does this increase all your traderoutes to +2 instead of +1 outside Paris, you can even get another +2 with the market.
    BUT you can also sell your cows for ~4-5 gold per turn which translates into a 20% increase in research. Later when you don't need the gold any more you can change the deal to a happyres (olives) but be careful, the traderoute gets disrupted every once in a while.

    Still...in 820 I only had France + northern Italy. I think I would have managed Barcelona as well..but Germany?
    If one is REALLY REALLY lucky it might be possible. But realistically? I don't see it.
     
  4. rfcfanatic

    rfcfanatic Mercantilist

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    Sorry Chep I tried to play your 704 AD save, but I failed :( I guess I'm too noob to understand Emperor :( These barbs kept coming from everywhere and I lost Florence to independents because of bad stability.
     
  5. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    okay, some thoughts:

    no "double-barbs" before 600AD
    With this I mean just spawn single barb units instead of 2 each time for the first couple of turns. I just lost Blois on turn 5. And Paris in 552. And in 580 I had 2 stacks of 2 axemen each appearing 2 tiles from Dunkerque, after that city had just defended against 2 barbs. No way to hold it. Yay. This early on there is nothing the player can do and it just comes down to luck "do the 2 barbs kill my archer or don't they"? also it makes it completely impossible to guard your iron next to Paris, because a non-promoted Axeman has no chance against 2 attackers and therefore must retreat back in the city :(

    and the 3-move-barbs later on really suck because they appear out of nowhere are stronger than your axemen and kill your workers :/

    edit: well actually I wanted to try and play a little further just to have more to say but the barbs just always burn down at least one of my cities before 600 AD, sometimes closer to 2. And if the skirmisher gets ambushed somewhere on the Balcans...well then it's game over.

    So, I hope you' consider some of the following suggestions (all of them might be a bit too much but 2 or 3 should really make this possible):

    1. No double-barbs before 600 AD
    2. give France some early-game stability-boost
    - either: no declarations of independence before 850, less stabilitydecrease due to barbs pillaging or make Firenze a historical area for France until 850. Or remove it from the goals. Since France has a great stability this boost should not affect anything that happens after UHV1 too much, but I don't think my suggestions do.
    3. maybe no mounted barbs in the region before the start of Venice?
    4. You might think about adding a Skirmisher or Mounted sergeant to Frances starting unit set.
    5. Let France start with Calendar/Manorism/give them more starting gold.
    (I don't know if they don't have these techs because it's historical that way, but on Emperor you run out of gold before you have researched your first tech and unlike on Monarch you can't depend on conquests to help you out (stability)
    6. give Paris a barracks/walls/market/manor/stable (any of these). (only talking about Paris aka the 1 capitol city the French found in 500AD, since the other 2 settlers have to move and then found theirs later) Lutetia has been a Roman settlement for a while, so why shouldn't some infrastructure be there after all? This would allow Paris to produce more archers/start producing them faster. After all I needed these buildings on Emperor to get my research above 40% and to keep my stability.

    I give up on the French. I might try Byzantium on hard, but to me the French seem impossible and the sheer amount of barbs in the first 100-200 years make it pure luck which cities survive.
     
  6. ezzlar

    ezzlar Chieftain

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    Since we in a way are still playing in "beta" no civ is balanced on the emperor difficulty. Once the monarch difficulty is balanced we can do some barb balacing.
     
  7. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    well, on Monarch everything seemed feasible. Except for the Ottomans, where everything depends on the start.

    Also, since France has one of the hardest UHVs I think the suggested changes are useful for Monarch difficulty as well. They should help bringing France a bit closer to the difficulty of other civs.

    At the moment France isn't just "not balanced" on Emperor, in my opinion it is not really playable.

    But your city placement ideas sound interesting. Once there are some improvements to the French game I might try them.
     
  8. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    As balancing for Monarch alone is hard enough, we don't really balance the game for the other levels.

    And as some new civs will be included in next version, the balance will be more "broken", as the new civs will have impact on many civs. So making the game balanced for now is useless, as it will change anyway with the new civs. It's better if we wait until the new civs before we do a balance overhaul.
     
  9. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    I can understand that you don't want to put too much effort into balancing something only a tiny fraction of players will ever use.
    But France is already close to being unbalanced on Monarch (after all it is one of the hardest UHVs to reach) so just consider my suggestions as ideas to help make France a bit easier to play on Monarch.

    Also: If you decide against them for some reason - changing Firenze to a stable province until 850 and/or adding 1-2 mounted units to the starting set on Emperor would maybe not balance it, but would make playing France possible.
    And for the AI this should not change much, as it rarely conquers Firenze anyway and probably won't make good use of the mounted units.

    Just think about it. I kept my suggestions so that they are valid for Monarch on purpose, as I know you won't be able to put a lot of time into balancing Emperor.

    But from what I heard the new civs won't affect France's play between 500 and 850 in any form, or do they? All suggested changes should have little to no impact after the appearance of Burgundy/Germany anyway. (okay, maybe giving France Calendar+Manorism would move them slightly ahead in the tech tree, but that's the equivalent of maybe 5-6 turns research by then)
     
  10. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    I'm not against those suggestions and I also agree France could use some rebalancing. But I still would rather wait for it. You're right that the new civs won't change much for the 1st UHV of France. But it's much easier to do a big balance overhaul at once, instead of doing 1 thing now and other balancing things after the inlcusion of the new civs.

    We also not against balancing Emperor. Minor things can easily be made. But to make it properly balanced like we try on monarch has a very low priority.
     
  11. rfcfanatic

    rfcfanatic Mercantilist

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    I noticed there was some talk of balancing civs on Monarch. Is Bulgaria among those that have already been balanced?
     
  12. 2phunkey4u

    2phunkey4u West-Eastern Divan

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    I found the recent SVN changes have also greatly affected the early game for Bulgaria - i.e. made it more annoyingly luck-based. That topic deserves a thread similar to this one.
     
  13. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    Balancing is a continuous proces. All civs have been balanced and rebalanced many times. I can pretty safely say that all civs are balanced well enough for a good game. But there is always room for improvement. And with every feature we include it's likely we have to rebalance some civs.


    EDIT:
    2phunkey4u gave a nice example. Bulgaria was nicely balanced. But because of the last changes, the balance went of. So we have to rebalance it again.
     
  14. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    Yes, RFCE is really well balanced in most areas. I think Spain could use a buff now that Cordoba has been strengthened, but I'd like to keep this here about France. The other discussions please in the general feedback-thread ;)
     
  15. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    It seems you played quite a lot with the most recent version
    What would be the best approach in your opinion?
     
  16. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    (Emperor only)
    - well, I'd say the stacks of 2 barbs appearing must go - at least for while. You often have barbs appearing in 2 places at the same time or at least reaching your city from 2 different points of origin, that it comes down to luck anyway. If there's 2x2 axe-/spearman approaching your single archer its just game over.
    -> set the barbs on Emperor similar to those on Monarch (at least until 650-700), with the lower tech-rate, lower happyness and higher maintenance cost you still have enough trouble until then. by then you can have 2 archers per city if you're lucky, each with 1-2 city defender-promotions -> it should be feasible (remember: none of the normal French cities can be founded on a hill, unless you want to change the map).

    (all difficulty levels):
    - give France 1 mounted unit (skirmisher, maybe mounted sergeant on Viceroy?)
    - change the area of Firenze from "foreign territory" to "border/contested" (at least untill 850). If I am supposed to capture this city, it shouldn't drive my stability into the ground. Alternative: No independence declarations before 850 (this is even stronger than the other suggested change) but will probably make the game more fun to play.

    I think these changes don't make AI France much stronger but help a human player going for the UHV.
    The mounted unit equals roughly 6-7 turns of production from Paris, so while not really a big deal, I think it would be a nice to have.
    But if you decide to give them any of the boni mentioned in 5. and 6. you could probably drop it.
     
  17. Andrrew

    Andrrew Chieftain

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    Just did Emperor UHV1 for Franks with the latest SVN. I have to say it is close to impossible...

    Cities:
    -Paris 1 tile East (with horses)
    -Poitiers (encompassing wheat, cow and pigs in BFC as well as 4 hills)
    -Langres on the wined hill (hill defence bonus is a huge help early on, as well as the happiness from wine)

    Tech: Calendar, Manorialism (Chateaus for stability!) and then tech to 0%...
    Initial units: 3 axe on iron hill NE to Paris, 1 archer in Paris, 1 archer + 1 axe in Langres.
    all cities start with an archer then barracks + axes forever...
    Chateaus when stability is dangerous. (Later markets when you feel confident)

    Attack route: Milan (1 defender), then Bordeaux (dye), then Toulouse/Lyon/Marseille in whatever order.

    Now comes the trick with the stability: wait outside of Barcelona, Augsburg and Firenze, killing off defenders until its only 1 or 2 spears. Then wait till your stability is above +2 to capture each. Important thing is to hold all provinces for 1 turn - if your timing is good you don't have to bother with defence for your 2 settlers founding cities in Lorainne/Saxony, it doesnt really matter if they get captured over the next turn.

    If stability is really an issue but your timing is good you could even found the 2 cities + capture the 3 cities on the same turn, accomplishing the 1st criterion (even if in the next turn they declare independence).

    N.B.: Calais will appear in 804, 2 berserks will attack in ~823.

    Now my economy is in the toilet, I'm 1 era behind but with my military i can crush burgundy/germany hence i think an UHV is doable.

    View attachment Charlemagne AD-0836 Turn 84.CivBeyondSwordSave
     
  18. ezzlar

    ezzlar Chieftain

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    Can we move the conditional spawn of Calais to 840 AD? Right now it spawns with double crossbowmen in 800 AD. For an unprepared french player that hasnt settled the province by then it will be very hard to tear down those two xbows in less than 40 years while getting all the other provinces.
     
  19. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    I agree that moving it seems like a good idea. But on the other hand you usually get attacked by 2 barbarian vikings shortly afterwards. with their help you might take it easily (or they burn it down -.-). But thats just pure random luck :/
     
  20. ezzlar

    ezzlar Chieftain

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    I have tweaked my strategy just a little and found out it works most of the time:

    Capital to S on cow. Second city on hill with wine to the SE, this gives you an instant happiness resource. Last city N of wine to the E, missionary goes here. This gives you three cities with one health and one happiness at start. All three cities have iron.

    Two axemen to conquer Milan. One to the E city and one in the hills north of Paris.

    Research Manorialism for chateau, Calendar and then go for Chain mail and Swordsmen. Lastly you need Engineering for Catapults. Thats all you really need, pick what you like later. Get Code of Law once you complete UHV1 for some badly needed stability.

    Start with building barracks. Switch to Chateau once it is researched in all cities. After, complete barracks. Then build axemen until you get Chain mail and produce swordsmen instead with City raider promotion. Dont build anything else. You will also need three settlers but wait a while before starting building them. Once Paris is finished with barracks, build a Skirmisher and send it down to Byzantium and Arabs for tech trading and Open Borders.

    Conquest plan: First Milan. Then Toulouse. After Bordeaux or Barcelone depending on defenses. Take Lyon. Raze Marseilles. Settle Poitiers S of wheat in SW of Paris. Settle Dunqerque before 800AD (otherwise Calais spawns with two crossbowmen). Capture Augsburg. Capture Firenze and settle Cassel to the NE of the German starting position very close to the UHV1 date.

    Thats it. UHV1 complete. When Burgundians spawn give them Lyon, Cassel (liberated for some strange reason) and Augsburg. They will declare war against Germany. Once Burgundians are up, settle Marseille. After a few turns against the Germans the Burgundians will offer Vassal state, accept.

    Once Venice is lightly defended, capture it. Build up for Genoan spawn and capture their capital and sue for peace. Now you can raze the German capital. Aid Cordoba and declare war against Spain. Now competition should be easier.

    UHV2 and the revolt mechanic dont mix well. If you win the first crusade you will face 3-5 attempts at revolt if you capture Jerusalem. Win each crusade and gather the units fortified in a forested hill and capture Jerusalem a few turns before 1291AD instead.

    Since stability will be really bad, dont change civics or religion until UHV1 is done.
     

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