Pick the worst start

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Qactus, May 13, 2022.

  1. Qactus

    Qactus Romani ite domum

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    I sometimes ask Mapfinder to look for especially bad starts.
    The mapfinder rules in this case were
    - no river
    - max 1 food resource
    Sometimes they're not as bad as they seem initially, but I found that when I played around with multiple starts to identify the truly worst, I have less incentive to stick to it. That's why I'd like to commit to only one before opening the save.

    Which of these five would you say is the hardest start for Peter (Phi/Exp, Hunting/Mining) on Standard/Normal/Imm/IceAge/NHNE? To keep me from wandering too far, I usually commit to settling on a tile visible in the starting screenshot.
    Spoiler Screens :
    Peter IceAge.png

    I think 1 and 3 are out because green sheep is a strong food tile and for No3 settling on the marble hill and going fishing-BW should be quite strong, especially with the oasis.
     
  2. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    All have a plains hill to settle on, so I'd keep looking.
     
  3. Qactus

    Qactus Romani ite domum

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    Ok, sure but I wasn't looking for the absolute worst, just the worst of the roll. No 2 has the oasis, No 4 should have seafood and relatively decent unimproved tiles, No 5 has offshore land (which could offer an economic lifeline with GLH)
     
  4. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    4. Hope the only :food:-res is seafood.
     
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  5. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Peter is such a great leader for :food:-poor starts though. Can't get horribly plainscowed because you start with hunting. Can also go straight to BW and start chopping, plus the scout is great at finding a good 2nd spot. EXP guarantees the start is not super slow.
     
  6. Qactus

    Qactus Romani ite domum

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    Good points. Thinking about it, I very much prefer a strong leader making the most of a tough map than a weak leader with bad starting techs standing in the way of an otherwise good start.
     
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  7. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Based on what I can see or infer, 4 is the worst. Your worker has nothing to do until Bronze Working, and Bronze Working first means no food for ages (unless there's some livestock or grain hidden in the dark).

    So Worker first is problematic, and you can't build a Workboat without Fishing... so what, you pump settlers out at size 1? Yuck.
     
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  8. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    It's not that bad really with EXP and extra :hammers: city center. Maybe worker-worker even and just chop.
     
  9. Qactus

    Qactus Romani ite domum

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    It turned out to be not that bad, but quite weird/unusual. Not that bad in the sense that there was a sheep where I had suspected coast. Went AH-BW and had ~5 idle worker turns before chopping (after a PH mine). Great second city spot with fish&copper, but awkward foodless spots in the vicinity apart from that. Sitting Bull as a neighbour with lots of Dog Soldiers, so decided against an Axe rush. Chariots might have worked, or HAs. Settled along the coast and built GLH, found Marble just when I had Maths and wanted to tech Construction, so did Aest-Lit instead which is just in at 1AD with 9 cities. AI appear to be quite slow as well (no Alpha yet, though Louis has Currency)
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0114.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0115.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0116.JPG
     

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  10. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    5 if you only have the cow.
    Moving on the PH results in a terrible city, researching AH gives only 1 improved tile and delays BW.
     
  11. NothingBesideRemains

    NothingBesideRemains Chieftain

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    The problem with searching for bad starts as you have been, is the chance that good tiles are within your fat cross but in fog of war. Since there is a bottom threshold of acceptable starts (which the map file will cheat to give you if not present).

    So for example, your screenshot 4 is guaranteed to have a food resource in the fog of war.

    To find a bad start, you would need to see the full fat cross, and also have something to check for presence of 'bad' food so you know it accounts for the minimum threshold.

    For a non-ag non-fishing leader that has hunting, I would suggest to search for 2 clams or 1 dry rice as the worst starting food. For leaders without hunting or ag, 2 clams or plains cow is probably the worst.
     
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  12. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    2 Crab (instead of Clam) would be worse news, suggesting you are near a pole and likely stuck with Tundra outside the BFC?
     
  13. Qactus

    Qactus Romani ite domum

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    This is a good idea, to look for specific sub-par resources that may have been added by the start normalizer :thumbsup:
     
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  14. Qactus

    Qactus Romani ite domum

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    I rolled another set of maps the other night, following the suggestion to explicitly look for (visible) seafood-only starts.
    The mapfinder rules were
    - no river
    - (max 2 food resources AND min 2 fishing resources) OR (max 1 food resource AND min 1 fishing resource)

    1200 maps were rolled and resulted in only three saves. Two of them don't look too bad at all, but the third, oh boy...
    Spoiler :
    Asoka Fractal.png

    Obviously No.3 is the one to choose for Asoka on Fractal/Standard/Normal/Imm, because in addition to the bad land it very much looks like isolation on a godforsaken island.
    Especially awful, that settling 1S you risk ruining the whole western part of the landmass (and all possible seafood there) if it doesn't extend any further.
     
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  15. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Curious to see how #3 plays out.
     
  16. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    I guess 1S, BW-fish, mine beaver, start chopping settler.
     
  17. Qactus

    Qactus Romani ite domum

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    I played a bit and it turned out I was wrong with basically everything I had guessed about the start. It's an interesting map though, definitely challenging, but for reasons more related with my questionable decisions / a greedy worker steal than with the map itself.
    I'll put my notes in a separate spoiler and the starting save here in case you guys want to play yourselves. Requires BUFFY005 mod though, because of Mapfinder.
     
  18. Qactus

    Qactus Romani ite domum

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    Spoiler Asoka T60 :
    Went 1S to get a better view over the lake and have the option to still settle 1E from there. Went Hunting-Fishing-BW.
    Been unable to make peace with Pacal after an early worker steal despite killing one of his archers. Don't think it was worth it. Now seriously contemplating to send the settler down south and settle a gift city for peace instead of the two spots I still want for myself. Otherwise, a stack of Archers and Holkans will show up soon and it's gg.
    Elizabeth has been plotting for ages as well, but I hope Inca are the target which are her worst enemies.
    Civ4ScreenShot0124.JPG
     

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  19. LincolnOfRome

    LincolnOfRome Glutton for Punishment

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    I see four cities. Why wasn't one of them adjacent to a strategic resource?
     
  20. Qactus

    Qactus Romani ite domum

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    In this case because they were either inconveniently placed (Copper) or revealed too late (Horse revealed after sheep settle).
    In general, food should be settled first for productive cities. And to secure contested spots such as the first city site here north of England, which was fogbusted with the stolen worker. Strategic resources I want to have in time for an attack usually (or for barb defense, which was not necessary here). Against Pacal copper would've been nice though, because of the worker steal war. Chariots less useful though against Holkans.
     

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