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Optimal start with France (SVN)

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

  1. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    I just wanted to try to actually finish a game with France, when this happened:



    seriously? -.-

    Milan is not ing part of Justinians realm! It is mine :(
    (next turn it spread to Firenze...and 2 barbs appeared just next to the 2 now undefended cities -> I quit)

    edit:

    tried again, was again hit by the plague in those 2 cities and the barbarians appeared during this time.
    I ended up worldbuildering the mounted one that just came out of nowhere (only 1 archer survived and had to be used as defence for both cities) but was still left with both cities empty, size 1, no building in 650.
    this just sucks.
    I mean not conquering isn't even an alternative as a) you need these two (or at least milan) to build enough troops and b) the barbs would just raze them anyway -.-

    edit2:
    okay I played untill 710 this time. Milan and Firenze were about size 3, but my stability suffered gravely throughout, I had no production at all (but research was coming along nicely due to the low number of cities) and then they declared their independence right after they finished their first post-plague-defender. yeay -.-
    The plague essentially destroys all possibility to defend these 2 cities and the barbs are free to pillage the improvements around them, driving my stability in the ground. (from +2 to -8)
     
  2. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    My personal strategy is to found Paris one 1NE of the start. This has a number of advantages, namely that you get two cows, lots of hills, it's easier to block German barbs from the iron, and you can get the second border pop before 800AD, which gets you Picardie without needing to build Calais / Dunquerque

    I then found Langres on the wine to the SE, getting free happiness, and Aix La Chapelle north of the wine to the east, just outside the Dutch and German spawns. This gets me three cities all with iron, so huge production from them. Then it's just barracks followed by axes then swords. I try to build a settler as soon as one city gets unhappy and stops growing (usually Aix with the wine, iron and wheat) then found Tours to get the dye to keep growth in other cities.

    For stability, I found it helps to research manorialism and vassalage and then go serfdom + manorialism civis quickly. You get a +2 stability bonus, and extra economy stability from farm spamming in the cities you capture. Also extra production, which gets your cities pouring out axes and swords.

    Imo the difference from Monarch to Emperor is something that needs to be looked at for all civs, across all parts of the mod. There are too many civs, France included, where Monarch is relatively easy but Emperor is near impossible. Not only are there more barbs, but also a lack of bonuses against barbs, slower research so it's harder to tech up to fight barbs, and lower support for units so harder to support a big army with a small economy like early game France. One or two of these would make for a greater challenge, but all four of them just makes it a matter of luck whether you can win or not.

    With France, Emperor is much about keeping your starting troops alive and promoting them imo. If you can make it to around 600 with your four starting axes alive, and some promoted against heavy infantry, then they can deal with the barbs whilst the axes you produce go out conquering. If you lose some of them then you need to produce more to keep your resources and cities defended, and end up unable to start conquering. Also hope the barbs haven't killed Milan before you get there!

    It's even harder with the loss of free barb kills, which means you can't promote your starting axes quickly by capturing Bordeaux and Toulose, then using the city attack promos to take Barcelona. If any mods are interested, this is probably the biggest balance change for France, although it doesn't have a huge negative impact on Monarch as you can spam axes and hold back barbs relatively easily after around 600AD.
     
  3. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Possibly a side effect of using a skirmisher to open borders with Justinian for the trade?

    In my games I often park a couple of axes on the timber hill to watch Milan and skill up by killing barbs, then wait for the plague and swoop in whilst the city isn't defended. If you want to use your starting axes to take a city, try Lyon as it is usually relatively barb free and hence easier to defend.

    Also, try taking Milan around 650AD (after plague), building a barracks and axes there, then waiting until around 800AD to take Firenze using troops built in Milan. That's much easier on stability than trying to take (and defend) both of them right from the off. You can make Milan into a strong production city and use it to take Ausburg as well whilst your other troops focus on the west.
     
  4. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    (the above game was on Monarch, not Emperor. I think Emperor is/was almost impossible anyway due to the barbs)

    it's just that I've never been hit by the plague before the current SVN and yeah, it really screws over the strategy to use Milan as a 2nd productive city.

    Also: Lyon is guarded by 2 archers, whereas the Italian cities only have 1 (+ 1 spearman in Firenze, but axemen don't care about him) and Italy has cottages to pillage. Still, going for Lyon might be better if there are no barbs. However won't plague + barbs just raze both my (soon-to-be) Italian cities?

    And while I agree that Langres is really, really useful and the most obvious choice in its region, I'd like to find a way to win without it, since the city will suck once Burgundy is there (and I consider settling in their starting area basically cheating).
    But giving up Paris' river placement for a "free" Picardie sounds interesting.
    I just placed 1 axeman on the Iron, fortified him and gave him the hill-promotions when he won enough battles, on Monarch this is enough there to prevent the Iron from being pillaged. The only thing pillaged were the 2 cows and Italy.
     
  5. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    Plague wasn't changed recently
    Anyway, I said that the first plague (Justinian's plague, although set to come a little late for gameplay reasons) only affects 2 territories:
    - Byzantium in the game
    - Justinian's Italian territories (historically)
     
  6. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    really? because in the previous SVN-version I never had a plague in my cities...
    well then I'll really have to try conquering Lyon instead and pray that Italy doesn't get razed.

    anyway....is it possible that the map will be (slightly) reworked any time? Because just having Langres as a sensible settling option sucks but right now there is no other city in that province that is even HALF as useful, but with Langres your city is half in burgundy's starting area and you either have to gift it to them or raze Dijon. Neither of which seems like a good idea.
     
  7. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    It's not a bad idea to try some indirect changes (preset bonus changes) globally for Emperor level, instead of tweaking all the barbs and other stuff manually for all civs.

    So with keeping the 0 wins against barbs, and more or less the current barb setup, what would you change first?

    Monarch:
    Spoiler :
    <iFreeUnits>5</iFreeUnits>
    <iUnitCostPercent>75</iUnitCostPercent>
    <iResearchPercent>99</iResearchPercent>
    <iDistanceMaintenancePercent>100</iDistanceMaintenancePercent>
    <iNumCitiesMaintenancePercent>100</iNumCitiesMaintenancePercent>
    <iMaxNumCitiesMaintenance>11</iMaxNumCitiesMaintenance>
    <iColonyMaintenancePercent>70</iColonyMaintenancePercent>
    <iMaxColonyMaintenance>100</iMaxColonyMaintenance>
    <iCorporationMaintenancePercent>120</iCorporationMaintenancePercent>
    <iCivicUpkeepPercent>100</iCivicUpkeepPercent>
    <iInflationPercent>95</iInflationPercent>
    <iHealthBonus>1</iHealthBonus>
    <iHappyBonus>4</iHappyBonus>
    <iAttitudeChange>0</iAttitudeChange>
    <iNoTechTradeModifier>60</iNoTechTradeModifier>
    <iTechTradeKnownModifier>0</iTechTradeKnownModifier>
    <iUnownedTilesPerGameAnimal>150</iUnownedTilesPerGameAnimal>
    <iUnownedTilesPerBarbarianUnit>225</iUnownedTilesPerBarbarianUnit>
    <iUnownedWaterTilesPerBarbarianUnit>1800</iUnownedWaterTilesPerBarbarianUnit>
    <iUnownedTilesPerBarbarianCity>160</iUnownedTilesPerBarbarianCity>
    <iBarbarianCreationTurnsElapsed>40</iBarbarianCreationTurnsElapsed>
    <iBarbarianCityCreationTurnsElapsed>40</iBarbarianCityCreationTurnsElapsed>
    <iBarbarianCityCreationProb>5</iBarbarianCityCreationProb>
    <iAnimalBonus>-10</iAnimalBonus>
    <iBarbarianBonus>-10</iBarbarianBonus>
    <iAIAnimalBonus>-10</iAIAnimalBonus>
    <iAIBarbarianBonus>-10</iAIBarbarianBonus>
    <iStartingDefenseUnits>0</iStartingDefenseUnits>
    <iStartingWorkerUnits>0</iStartingWorkerUnits>
    <iStartingExploreUnits>0</iStartingExploreUnits>
    <iAIStartingUnitMultiplier>0</iAIStartingUnitMultiplier>
    <iAIStartingDefenseUnits>0</iAIStartingDefenseUnits>
    <iAIStartingWorkerUnits>0</iAIStartingWorkerUnits>
    <iAIStartingExploreUnits>0</iAIStartingExploreUnits>
    <iBarbarianDefenders>2</iBarbarianDefenders>
    <iAIDeclareWarProb>140</iAIDeclareWarProb>
    <iAIWorkRateModifier>20</iAIWorkRateModifier>
    <iAIGrowthPercent>90</iAIGrowthPercent>
    <iAITrainPercent>100</iAITrainPercent>
    <iAIWorldTrainPercent>90</iAIWorldTrainPercent>
    <iAIConstructPercent>80</iAIConstructPercent>
    <iAIWorldConstructPercent>100</iAIWorldConstructPercent>
    <iAICreatePercent>80</iAICreatePercent>
    <iAIWorldCreatePercent>100</iAIWorldCreatePercent>
    <iAICivicUpkeepPercent>75</iAICivicUpkeepPercent>
    <iAIUnitCostPercent>90</iAIUnitCostPercent>
    <iAIUnitSupplyPercent>30</iAIUnitSupplyPercent>
    <iAIUnitUpgradePercent>15</iAIUnitUpgradePercent>
    <iAIInflationPercent>60</iAIInflationPercent>
    <iAIWarWearinessPercent>60</iAIWarWearinessPercent>
    <iAIPerEraModifier>-1</iAIPerEraModifier>
    <iAIAdvancedStartPercent>135</iAIAdvancedStartPercent>

    Emperor:
    Spoiler :
    <iFreeUnits>1</iFreeUnits>
    <iUnitCostPercent>95</iUnitCostPercent>
    <iResearchPercent>204</iResearchPercent>
    <iDistanceMaintenancePercent>110</iDistanceMaintenancePercent>
    <iNumCitiesMaintenancePercent>110</iNumCitiesMaintenancePercent>
    <iMaxNumCitiesMaintenance>12</iMaxNumCitiesMaintenance>
    <iColonyMaintenancePercent>80</iColonyMaintenancePercent>
    <iMaxColonyMaintenance>100</iMaxColonyMaintenance>
    <iCorporationMaintenancePercent>150</iCorporationMaintenancePercent>
    <iCivicUpkeepPercent>120</iCivicUpkeepPercent>
    <iInflationPercent>100</iInflationPercent>
    <iHealthBonus>1</iHealthBonus>
    <iHappyBonus>3</iHappyBonus>
    <iAttitudeChange>-1</iAttitudeChange>
    <iNoTechTradeModifier>20</iNoTechTradeModifier>
    <iTechTradeKnownModifier>20</iTechTradeKnownModifier>
    <iUnownedTilesPerGameAnimal>125</iUnownedTilesPerGameAnimal>
    <iUnownedTilesPerBarbarianUnit>200</iUnownedTilesPerBarbarianUnit>
    <iUnownedWaterTilesPerBarbarianUnit>1000</iUnownedWaterTilesPerBarbarianUnit>
    <iUnownedTilesPerBarbarianCity>160</iUnownedTilesPerBarbarianCity>
    <iBarbarianCreationTurnsElapsed>30</iBarbarianCreationTurnsElapsed>
    <iBarbarianCityCreationTurnsElapsed>30</iBarbarianCityCreationTurnsElapsed>
    <iBarbarianCityCreationProb>5</iBarbarianCityCreationProb>
    <iAnimalBonus>0</iAnimalBonus>
    <iBarbarianBonus>0</iBarbarianBonus>
    <iAIAnimalBonus>0</iAIAnimalBonus>
    <iAIBarbarianBonus>0</iAIBarbarianBonus>
    <iStartingDefenseUnits>0</iStartingDefenseUnits>
    <iStartingWorkerUnits>0</iStartingWorkerUnits>
    <iStartingExploreUnits>0</iStartingExploreUnits>
    <iAIStartingUnitMultiplier>0</iAIStartingUnitMultiplier>
    <iAIStartingDefenseUnits>0</iAIStartingDefenseUnits>
    <iAIStartingWorkerUnits>0</iAIStartingWorkerUnits>
    <iAIStartingExploreUnits>0</iAIStartingExploreUnits>
    <iBarbarianDefenders>3</iBarbarianDefenders>
    <iAIDeclareWarProb>160</iAIDeclareWarProb>
    <iAIWorkRateModifier>50</iAIWorkRateModifier>
    <iAIGrowthPercent>70</iAIGrowthPercent>
    <iAITrainPercent>90</iAITrainPercent>
    <iAIWorldTrainPercent>70</iAIWorldTrainPercent>
    <iAIConstructPercent>60</iAIConstructPercent>
    <iAIWorldConstructPercent>80</iAIWorldConstructPercent>
    <iAICreatePercent>60</iAICreatePercent>
    <iAIWorldCreatePercent>80</iAIWorldCreatePercent>
    <iAICivicUpkeepPercent>50</iAICivicUpkeepPercent>
    <iAIUnitCostPercent>85</iAIUnitCostPercent>
    <iAIUnitSupplyPercent>25</iAIUnitSupplyPercent>
    <iAIUnitUpgradePercent>5</iAIUnitUpgradePercent>
    <iAIInflationPercent>50</iAIInflationPercent>
    <iAIWarWearinessPercent>20</iAIWarWearinessPercent>
    <iAIPerEraModifier>-2</iAIPerEraModifier>
    <iAIAdvancedStartPercent>150</iAIAdvancedStartPercent>


    Indeed, the lack of free barb wins is probably the biggest for France
     
  8. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    I didn't touch anything related to the plague for months now

    If you mean minor resource rearrengement, or small province border changes, then sure, anytime.
     
  9. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    I mean something along the lines of putting the other wine in that province on a hill tile (maybe moving it 1 tile so a city founded there would have less overlap with other probable cities) and changing the hill tile where langres currently is to a grasland wine. (basically switching the geography of the 2 wine resources in that province)

    I can do a couple of worldbuilder-screens of what I mean, if interested.
     
  10. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    Sure, that would be great!
    Same for anyone who want to suggest some resource rearrangement anywhere (Britain, Iberia, whatever came up recently):
    post a pic, then we can discuss those suggetions easily
     
  11. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    okay, so here we have the Champagne:



    I moved the Wine resource in the orange circle out of Lothringen (from next to the Iron).

    Since the player will found a city in the Ile-de-France (in the starting position, 1 NE or on the cow seem to be prefered)
    I would recommend placing the wine sufficiently far from that area. thus the orange circle (although the 2 tiles just south of it might be okay too)
    Since France won't be able to use that resource unless it settles on it, it should be in a good position for either capitol.
    And in order to make this city defensible it would be nice to have it on a hill tile (since all other french cities are on flat land, just having one would be sort of cool).

    the southern wine resource, where you have "Langres" is currently a perfect place for a city:
    1 additional happyres (that you will need)
    city on a hill (great defense)
    city on your road towards the south (nice strategic location for the conquest of Italy and southern France).

    but it basically is in the area of Burgundy.
    So I'd say: change the tile to a flat land or maybe move the wine into Burgundy, moving it just 1 tile south would still keep it in Dijons BFC but would remove it out of the Champagne thereby reducing the French players incentive to settle this close to Dijon to almost zero.

    edit: although it is something completely different: I'd love to see an additional stone resource somewhere between the Polish and Lithuanian area...
     
  12. ezzlar

    ezzlar Chieftain

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    Please give Bordeaux a hill! That city has zero production!

    Otherwise, the mod is still to plenty in good city placements giving several resources, good trade, good health, cheap maintenance. I feel the game should be more scarce regarding city spots/resources.

    While I remember. The AI considers copper to be an important strategic resource which is not always good since there is iron.
     
  13. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    the alternative would be to move one of the many cows (or change one into a horse) France has towards Bordeaux. with workshops and watermills you do get some production there if you want, not much but not all cities can be winners ;)
    (yes, I'd love for some hills there as well, but if thats not an option this might ease the productivity problems as well)
     
  14. 2phunkey4u

    2phunkey4u West-Eastern Divan

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    I actually really like the Langres site. It forces you to change things in Burgundy - but for the better: raze Dijon, found Chambery and Marseille 1N now you have perfect spacing in that area.
     
  15. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    That's why I go for Aix and Langres as two other productive cities - get them iron asap and you have three cities churning out axes so no need to take a risk rushing Italy.

    It's not really in Burgundy's starting area. And besides which, any half decent French player will almost certainly kill Burgundy as soon as they spawn then raze Dijon, so it's not like it makes much difference in the long term.

    But if you move that wine then it will still be used by a city in Lorraine. There just isn't enough room to fit cities in the Ile de France, Champagne and Lorraine without a lot of crossover, which means that players will always use Burgundy's territory at the start.

    And if you change the southern wine resource to being on flat land that will just make the situation worse - it will be a three food tile, so there's even more incentive to found a city there as you can work the iron straight away and still be bringing in two food per turn for growth. If you move the wine south, there is still the incentive to settle nearby as again you get a tile with three food, which is vital for early growth and production for France.

    The only way to discourage a player from settling near Burgundy would be to move the wine further north, expand Burgundy's flip zone by one row north, or move the iron to one of the hills south of Dijon. Moving the iron is probably the best bet, as it will remove the productivity from Langres. In that situation, a player may avoid the wine as they know they can get two food and three hammers from putting a mine on the hill later. Even then the area will still be crowded to avoid overlap from Champagne and Lorraine.
     
  16. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Not quite sure what all the tags mean, but imo the only thing that really needs to be changed is that the frequency and number of barbs spawning should be the same in Monarch and Emperor, or only very slightly increased.

    As far as I understand it, the major changes from Monarch to Emperor are:

    1. Slower tech as more beakers needed per tech
    2. Worse economy as higher maintenance and fewer free units
    3. No 10% bonus against barbs
    4. More barbs
    5. The AI cheats

    The problem here is that the top four combine to make barbs far too hard to fight. Basically:

    1. Means lower tech units to fight barbs
    2. Means fewer units can be supported
    3. Means it's harder to kill individual barbs
    4. Means there are more barbs to fight

    Personally I think if the number of barbs stays the same from M to E then there will still be a harder challenge if barb numbers remain the same, as you are at a disadvantage vs the AI. Fighting barbs will already take more effort, because of 1, 2 and 3, so the extra barbs aren't needed, and mean that 90% of your time in the early game is spent hoping you will win battles against the endless barb hordes rather than actually expanding and playing the game.

    Also, in general the first three changes from M to E mean you rely on improving your strategy when fighting, as you have fewer and weaker units with no bonus so have to be more careful. But the increase in the number of barbs means you rely on getting luck with the RNG, as eventually if you fight enough barbs you will lose several battles even at 80%+
     
  17. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    I agree. Also keeping the amount of barbs for these 2 levels similar helps the AI as well, since some of them now just get run over on Emperor (Cordoba, Byzantium, most eastern civs) which sometimes makes the game almost easier than on Monarch for the human player.
    Since the AI gets production boni and other buffs while the human player gets weakened, an increase in barbs is not really needed in my opinion.

    And concerning Langres: Well, it seems the opinions here are divided (except for that it's currently a beautiful spot for a city).
    Of course you won't be able to fit a city in each province in Germany and France without some overlap, but then you usually only play either civ so you only have to care about the provinces in one country, while you can focus on sensible city placement in the other.
     
  18. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Very good point - forgot to mention this one. Some late game civs like the Ottomans can be almost ridiculously easy on Emperor as the ERE has been pounded into the ground by successive waves of Emperor level barbs that even human players will struggle to contain.

    I think as long as the iron can be worked by a city that is in Champagne but still outside the Burgundy flip zone then a city on the edge of the zone will be preferred. Ultimately, France's 1st UHV doesn't rely on sensible city placement, as much as it relies on maxing out production in the early game in order to spam soldiers and build settlers. As long as that iron is within range, I would always try to settle near it as it gets me another city that can pump troops out fast enough to conquer all you need to as France.
     
  19. Chep

    Chep Chieftain

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    I start getting the feeling that the French don't like me in RFCE:



    because last I checked Lyon is not in Italy ;)

    edit: it then spread to Langres on the next turn.

    Apparently you're not allowed to have open borders with Justinian and the Pope. Thats really mean. And it really was different before :(
     
  20. gilgames

    gilgames Priest-King

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    ok, here is my french settle map, that worked perfectly for my uhv-1 on monarch

    View attachment 355190

    move paris next to iron, 2, city: blois, near wheat 3. is on the wine. (i do not like settle in res, but this is exeptionm +bonus happy must have :D)

    and yes, later you'll get a gap between your main cities, but its aint a big loss.
     

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