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Orion's Home School: Winning at Noble

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Orion071, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Orion071

    Orion071 Home School Tutor

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    It seems to be the trend now to play a game and do a write-up of it so people can learn how to play better. Unfortunately, the Deity-level game doesn't help the beginning player at all and even Sisiutil's games are played on Emperor now. The Mansa Ju-Co game is good, but it's still being done on Prince, which is still out of the reach of the beginning player. My game is going to be on Noble which I think will reach a nice range of players. I will also be going into WAY TO MUCH DETAIL about my thought process throughout the game and the kind of strategy necessary to win Civ IV at the easier levels.

    This thread will not be for everyone. A lot of the things I say will be obvious to the experienced player. Feel free to come in and ask a bunch of questions about the things I do. It will give me a reason to put my tutoring experience to good use. It pains me to see that people who play and enjoy this game post that they struggle to beat levels like Warlord and Noble. So come in, take a seat, and hopefully learn to play this great game.

    OK, the game specifics:

    I'll be playing as Gandhi (note the spelling people!) who is Spiritual and Philosophical. No, that doesn't mean I'll be automatically playing a Specialist Economy. Personally, I suck at playing an SE. The level is Noble, and I'll be playing Beyond the Sword 3.13 and use Bhruic's unofficial patches as well. The map will be Standard size, Big and Small (my favorite) with low water level, normal continents, regular islands mixed in, and Epic speed. Most people feel that the slower speeds give the human the advantage, but I'm not a warmonger, so I stop at Epic.

    When I get home from work, I'll post the opening screenshot and save.
     
  2. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I think this is a good idea. As it is an educational game I suggest you have a certain plan. Some suggestions.

    1) Plan an early age war (does not have to be an axe-rush). Show how to build an army and win, even with the pacifist of the game.
    2) Show how to build diplomatic relations. Suggest getting one religion founded, shrined, spread.
    3) Show how to get a GP farm for prophets, then switch to a scientist farm.
    4) Show how to win the liberalism race and get a realistic tech (not something like physics). Maybe nationalism, printing press, astonomy.
    5) Try to get three cities going towards a cultural victory. You need not get there, just show how to set three up from the early start.
    6) Plan to win via space so everyone gets the full flavor of the game, especially the end. Founding corps would help.
    7) Build the UN and try to show how to manipulate resolutions. Just don't elect yourself to victory.

    I know it's your game, but I think these are concepts that would help most players struggling at the nobel and lower levels. Just some suggestions.
     
  3. LiberiGlacialis

    LiberiGlacialis To the stars!

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    Online, for crying out loud!
    8) Make sure to add in back-up plans in case one or more routes fail.

    Why? You may get stuck alone, or without metal/horses, preventing the early war//how to raise diplomatic relations stuff. It's also a good skill for us Warlords and Chieftains to learn ;)
     
  4. Orion071

    Orion071 Home School Tutor

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    Big and Small is a tricky map. Sometimes it sets you up for an early rush and sometimes it doesn't. Since I'm playing as Gandhi, I will be persuing an early religion and then the Worker techs. My first war probably won't come until I have Cats and Maces. We'll see.

    Absolutely. I feel that diplomacy is a major reason why beginning players fail. This game will have an emphasis on making friends and keeping them. Well, until I :backstab:

    Since I plan on getting an early religion, I will also attempt to get a Shrine set up for it. This is certainly a good way to get your economy going early on.

    I certainly plan on winning the Liberalism race. Even though I could probably get Democracy with it, I'll stick to Nationalism like I usually get. (Astronomy isn't a priority on this particular map, as you'll see later on)

    Most likely this will not happen. Sorry, but I think that this winning condition is so unlike all of the others that it would be counterproductive for me to set this up and then not follow through with it. Maybe in another game.

    This is my goal for this game. However, I fully expect this game to be a complete runaway (I play on Emperor after all), so people won't exactly get a realistic view of what their end game will be like. If the map allows it, I may even go for a Cavalry/Tank rush Domination. My game frequently end this way or with a space launch.

    This game will focus heavily on the beginning and sustaining your growth and economy through the Middle Ages and into modern times. Once you are a complete power, then end pretty much plays itself and you can chase whatever winning condition you'd like.

    I'll build the UN (if it gets that far), but I'll probably just use it to push the other Civs around... :mischief:
     
  5. Orion071

    Orion071 Home School Tutor

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    OK, so here's the opening screenshot:



    Well, it's not bad, but not too great either. Pigs, lots of Floodplains, and a few hills. That's a nice river system that could possibly connect my first few cities. The Wheat is out of range for my first city since I'll be settling in place. I can't really see a reason to move.

    OK, let's talk techs. Gandhi starts with Mysticism and Mining. Unfortunately, Mining doesn't do much by itself anymore since BtS loves to cover everything with Forests. Animal Husbandry and Pottery seems to be priorities. I love covering Floodplains with Cottages. We'll need Bronze Working to be able to chop those forests and mine those hills. However, in this game I want to start out with an early religion and demonstrate its power. Polytheism is better than Meditation for me because it leads to Monotheism and Organized Religion as well as unlocking better wonders (ToA and The Parthenon instead of the Shwedagon Paya).

    So I'm going with a path of Polytheism -> Agriculture -> Animal Husbandry -> The Wheel -> Pottery -> Bronze Working. I know, I know, you're going "ZOMG, BW is the best tech ever, WTF?!!1!". But let's look at this map. I'm not going to need those hills or Slavery until I get those Pigs pastured and Cottages on those floodplains. So I have to get those worker techs as quickly as possible. Bronze Working can wait.

    OK, so what to build first? 90% of the time, I will start with a Worker. It's so important to a fast start when you start improving your tiles as quickly as possible. However, as I've already said, there's not much to do for a Worker right away. So for this map, I'll start with a Warrior. Also, I'll take my time building him. I plan on working floodplains until he's done. That way I'll be size 3 when I start the Worker. When the Worker is done, I should be also done with Pottery. Well, that's the plan.

    We'll see how it goes...
     
  6. Sadan01

    Sadan01 Conical Flask

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    Subscribed to this thread. This will be interesting.

    I've found Sisiutil's threads to be a great help however as you've said, they are being played on Emperor so don't really fit as such where I'm at.

    I'm sort of a returning player myself and haven't made it much past BtS-Noble (RL has taken me away from Civ for quite some time). I have won a few games at Prince difficulty but that was with Vanilla a few months after release. In fact, in the last week or two, I've lost every single Noble game I've played so I'm watching with interest (on BtS).

    With the wealth of information on here, there is just so much to read and to then apply that to a new game takes time, trying to remember every nuance of each strategy. Hopefully this thread will cover some of those things that I have forgotten.
     
  7. Hackapell

    Hackapell Rhetorician

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    Well, It's good to see someone filling the void for the lack of lower-leveled walkthroughs. I tried to do that(for a time, see my sig), and so did another guy called Syrth, but both collapsed,Syrth's from his absence, and me from playing on warlords as BtS came out :sad:.
    Good luck with this!
     
  8. absimiliard

    absimiliard Warlord

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    I'm psyched. I love this sort of thread.

    I play at Monarch and usually quit sometime in the middle ages, I'm not really into the late game. I'd venture that 70% of my games could be won so I probably should move up, but I like Monarch for just plain fun.

    So I'm very psyched to watch an Emperor player take on Monarch.

    -abs
     
  9. Orion071

    Orion071 Home School Tutor

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    Whoops, except this is going to be Noble, not Monarch. It's going to be for the beginning player that has trouble at Warlord and Noble.

    OK, the start has been redone and it's in the above post! I'll play the opening turns and post a report later tonight.
     
  10. slaze

    slaze Deity

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    Why the instant conviction to settle in place? You could settle SW and get the wheat, or at least move the warrior W to see. I guess the noble player tends to always start in place but if you're gonna go into "way too much detail" you could start by taking nothing for granted.
     
  11. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Ctrl + R

    It's extremely important to be able to see resources, I estimate this shortcut is worth a full difficulty level.
     
  12. Jet

    Jet No, no, please. Please.

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    ^ Ha, ha. But yes. For a demo game I suggest Ctrl + R and also Ctrl + Y and Ctrl + T.
     
  13. Orion071

    Orion071 Home School Tutor

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    Well, I moved the Warrior 1E and found some Sheep. I have enough food in the BFC already so I settled in place. Settling reveals Wheat and Gold to the NW. Gold is so powerful that it needs to be a high priority. Let's take a look at the capital in more detail...



    OK, so there's 6 Floodplains, Pigs, 5 Grassland Hills, 1 Plains Hill, 3 Grassland Forests and 2 Plains Forests. There's 13 riverside tiles, which makes a Levee extremely powerful later on. There's plenty of food to use every tile and enough to make Slavery very powerful. This will mostly be a commerce city with all of floodplain cottages, but Mines on the Grassland hills will provide enough hammers for some nice early production and some wonders.

    The early turns are all about exploration. Don't just go off in one direction. First you need to make a loop around the capital to plan cities 2 and 3. I like to reveal at least 10 tiles in every direction. Don't leave any tiles unearthed. I remeber following an SG where they went waaaay out of their way to establish a city by Copper 20 tiles away, but there was another right next to the capital.

    Very quickly, I meet this guy:



    Joao must be very close to my SW and is a definite rush target. I'm sending my Warrior that way to see how close.

    Not too soon after, I meet this guy:



    Ragnar is a dangerous opponent. Financial and Aggressive, he'll outtech you and then attack with superior troops. He could be a good candidate to convert to my religion and be a tech partner.

    On that same turn my Warrior popped a hut and got experience. My initial Warriors (or Scouts) always get Woodsman I/II. I'm fortunate to get both right away. Now my Warrior can move 2 in Forests and Jungles. This gives me a big advantage in hut-popping against Civ with normal Warriors.

    I like that we've met a few Civs already and we're not isolated. We can make tech trades right away.

    My exploring Warrior found another hut:



    Well, it's not BW, but a free tech is a free tech. It's not on my projected path, but I can use it to research AH directly instead of going through Agriculture.

    The very next turn:



    I can convert right away and not lose a turn because I'm Spiritual. My exploring Warrior discovers more floodplains and 2 more Gold mines to the west and directly north of Joao. Expansion in that direction seems certain but I may lose that prime spot to his Imperialistic quick Settlers.

    On turn 21, my Warrior appears. Delhi is size 3, and I start on a Worker. The second Warrior will also go exploring. I don't need a garrison quite yet.

    Turn 29 and Animal Husbandry comes in. There's 2 Horses - one directly north of Delhi's BFC and the other just to the west. Delhi will expand to cover the first one pretty quickly, so there's no rush to place another city quite yet.

    My Woodman II Warrior popped another experience hut! Welcome to the brand-new Woodsman III. +2 First Strikes, +50% Forest and Jungle attack, +15% Healing rate for units in the same tile. Wow, that's pretty awesome. It makes the Warlord Medic III unit a little less necessary.

    OK, maybe this is a little overkill:



    :lol: Well, he can't get any more experience from animals or barbarians. I'll have to upgrade him now. It will be interesting to see how he ends up.

    Turn 44: My opening moves have been Warrior -> Worker -> Warrior. Now Delhi is size 4 and I start on a Settler which will be done in 15 turns. This is sooner than I thought I'd build a Settler, but I really want to beat Joao to the site to his north. Here's a preliminary dotmap:



    White is Delhi and Green on the far left is Joao. Red is the site that I want right on Joao's doorstep (4 Floodplains, 2 Gold and Silk). I'll be fighting his culture and eventually be fighting Joao if I take that spot. Yellow is a good second spot, but it would probably be just as good 1SW of its spot (loses Wheat, but gains Sheep). It would gain an Oasis, but also more Desert tiles. I don't know yet. Black and Teal to the south don't gain a lot of resources and are later targets. Light Green to the east has a big-time food shortage due to all of those plains. It won't be a very good city until Biology. I like Blue and Pink in the east. They get a lot of nice resources. I don't know if Ragnar is near there or not.

    Turn 50 and I get a quest:



    This isn't one that I'll do most likely. 7 Stables means 7 cities and that's a lot. The reward isn't that great either. +1 Food for Stables is probably the best.

    It turns out Rangar is in the east, next to Pink Dot. More Horses are in the fog in Pink Dot's BFC, so it's a very nice spot now.

    Turn 59: The Settler is done. Red Dot is available, so I'm going to go for it. Delhi starts on another Worker. Pottery is in, so my first Worker can start on some Cottages. One of my Warriors will fogbust the path for my Settler and eventually garrison the new city. My 3rd city will depend on where the Copper is. I'll definitely need better troops than Warriors.

    Turn 63: Bombay is settled, and boy is it a beauty:



    Yeah, Cows too! What a great spot, except for that annoying green border nearby. Take a look at the minimap. This is a huge continent for only the 3 of us and there's even more to the east of Joao. Bombay starts on a Fast Worker because the 2 I have will be busy improving Delhi for the near future. 3 Workers isn't too extreme considering all of the nice tiles I can improve now. Plus, I'll be building a third city soon and a 1:1 ratio of cities to Workers is what you should aim for.

    The very next turn, the game says that Bombay is asking to join Portugal. :mad: Wow, is that annoying. I think that's one of the worst things about this new expansion. Not even Bhruic's patch of the patch seems to address this.

    Turn 71 and Bronze Working is in. The only Copper is on the Grassland hill just south of Teal Dot, but I can't move Teal Dot any farther south without losing its Cows. Well, we'll have to make do with Chariots until I see where the Iron is hiding.

    I can immediately revolt to Slavery and I break out the whip:



    I'm only losing the 2 unimproved floodplains, so it's no big deal. The Granary will allow me to grow back very quickly. After the Granary, I'm thinking about chopping Stonehenge. Stonehenge is great for 2 reasons: 1) the Great Prophet point will help me get the Hindu Shrine and 2) The extra culture will help Bombay fight off Joao. I'm researching Writing because Libraries will be useful in both of my cities right now.

    I'm going to stop here and field questions from anyone who wants to ask. Here's the current save and the initial save so people can play along or compare their own shadow game.

    View attachment Gandhi BC-2225.CivBeyondSwordSave

    View attachment AutoSave_Initial_BC-4000.CivBeyondSwordSave
     
  14. Orion071

    Orion071 Home School Tutor

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    You can constantly outthink yourself with the starting placement. I could go SW and gain the Wheat but I'd lose the floodplains I would have to settle on. The starting spot have plenty of food without the Wheat and I'd rather use the Wheat for another city.

    Good point. I'm not used to these and only used them in round 1 for the dotmap. Future rounds will have these on the whole time.
     
  15. Orion071

    Orion071 Home School Tutor

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    Here's some shots of the home continent:





    As you can see Joao is in the west, I'm in the middle and Ragnar is in the east. There's tons of room in the south for whoever gets there first. There's also a few islands in the SE that usually will lead to another continent and some more civs. I've found that the Big and Small map usually makes Astronomy unnecessary because the islands mixed in will link all of the main continents.

    There's Horses all over the place, but the lone Copper is in the middle of the map. Iron may make that spot moot, but for now I don't have any metal. I'm uncertain if my opponents have metal or not. I'll be able to check with Open Borders in a few turns when Writing comes in.
     
  16. xanadux

    xanadux King

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    No huge criticism considering this is only noble, and any strategy works. Cracks me up 'turn 71 BW is discovered'. Sure BW isn't the absolutely crucial tech #1 some people say, but seriously, your capital had a lot of forests, so you are just throwing away production by waiting to chop them until turn 71.

    I am impressed by the long range city 2. It took you a long time to get city 2 out, but it is a good spot, and I'm sure Jao is going to die anyway. When I look at sites for my first 3 or 4 cities, I don't really consider maintenance at all. A single excellent tile can be the equivalent of 3 or 4 more maintenance.
     
  17. Burialdog

    Burialdog Chieftain

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    public learning :bowdown:
     
  18. qwertz

    qwertz Prince

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    poor Jao, he seems to be mob a lot in those threads :(
     
  19. Stephanus

    Stephanus Chieftain

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    Interesting thread, which I will most certainly follow up.
    Until now I still have not seen anything new to me, so I hope to learn where it goes wrong in my games at a later stage:scan:
     
  20. vormuir

    vormuir Prince

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    Wow, you're good. Are you sure you're only a Noble player?

    Couple of things. If you build Stonehenge you are giving up on an early Axe rush against Joao. That's OK, but be aware it's what you're doing. You probably won't be able to take him out until Construction and catapults. (Though you can have an early war to pick off satellite cites and pillage.)

    All those flood plains will let you run a lot of specialists. I know you say you're not a good SE player, but I'm not talking about an SE... just about taking advantage of opportunities! I'd suggest a mix of farms and cottages in the floodplains. In the early centuries, Priests and Scientists are both good, and IMO it's OK to run both specialists together and take potluck. (Not everyone agrees on this.)

    A minor tip: have you looked at the "complete" tech tree? The one that shows all the "or" gates? Because you get a small tech bonus if you have all the prerequisites. The classic example is Writing. You can get Writing if you have Pottery OR Priesthood OR Animal Husbandry. But if you have two of the three, you get a 5% bonus on beaker production, and if you have all three, it's 10%. Not huge, but every bit helps, and if all other things are equal (they usually aren't) you can save some beakers by teching this way.

    As for Ragnar: he has some weaknesses. One is that he tends not to found religions. Spread him yours if you can -- it may be worth building a Monastery and a Missionary early, if you're not going to war with Joao. Hey, Monasteries give you +10% beakers and culture too.

    Will be watching with interest!

    cheers,


    Waldo
     

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