Play the Map and Civilization (PTMaC) Part 2. Mastering Prince This Prince level walkthrough will focus on helping players from Settler through Prince Difficulty levels. The emphasis is to choose the path to victory by using the available land and adapting the game as map knowledge is gain. I have yet to lose a game while playing the map up to Immortal. For simplicity the game will be broken into several Phases. Phase 1: Capital and initial techs, builds and exploration. (Turn 0 to about Turn 35+-) Spoiler : Settling the capital. Food is king and I hope you have at least 1 good (5-6 food) tile. Move the starting nonsettler unit to see more of the land before settling. Then found the capital. Start a worker. You cannot get the lost worker turns back. We start the game losing 10-15 turns of worker turns. After the worker is built, allow the capital to grow while building warriors for fog busting and city garrison. 2-3 is normal before 1st settler. Techs. Learn techs that will allow the worker to improve the capital BFC. Often heading to BW is good since you will know where copper is located; chopping become available and can switch to slavery. Explore the area around the capital for potential second city. So use defensive terrain as much as possible when exploring with the initial unit to keep him alive. By the time when you start building the first settler, it is time to stop the play and determine where to place the second city. Use Alt-x feature (in Buffy at least) to create a dot map. Determining the second city site will allow you to send a warrior to spawn bust the area and allow the settler to get to the city site with minimal escort. BTW, if the capital is not fully grown to its max happy size it is not a big deal, the early second city founded close to the Capital will increase the science by 2 bpt immediately via trade routes if the cities are connected by road or the Capitals culture. The new city center commerce will offset the -1gpt maintenance. Phase 2: Peaceful Expansion (Until available good land is taken or Science slider drop to about 30%). Locate and settle your first city between T30-40. Hopefully the cities are connected via road or culture. I have observed that even before the knowledge of Sailing, cities that are connected by rivers will establish trade routes as long as the cities are connected via culture boundary. Spoiler : Founding Cities (Some fanatics call this Horizontal Expansion) After the settler is complete build another worker. Then let the capital grow to happy max (or beyond if slavery is available and intend to use the whip) start building settler/worker/warrior (or axes by then). Some players call letting cities grow in population Vertical Expansion. The second city should build a monument or a warrior first and then if available a granary followed by whatever you need to help the expansion process. If the city has out grown available improved tiles, then it is a good idea to build a worker here also. Continue expansion till sustainable science is down to about 20-40%. At first this seem wrong, but as cottages in the capital is maturing and economic techs (Alpha, CoL and Currency) are being learned, the Empire will recover. In regards to city placement, Keep in mind that overlapping cities is a good practice. Always try to claim sites with food in inner 9 tiles of the city but do not discount food in outer BFC. Particularly if creative or has access to build a Monument. When possible, Always found a blocking city to force an AI to go away from you. My preferred expansion is to get to 3 cities as soon as possible and start on a choice wonder; The Oracle usually. Tech path. Tech toward getting all needed early techs to improve the tiles around. But keep in mind that Prince and lower AI will only have few trade options and therefore learn only the techs that you must have for immediate benefits. This is again very Map Dependant and then head to Alphabet and trade for what you want. Plan to learn CoL and Currency by 0 AD. My preferred tech path for Emperor and below is to learn alphabet and then currency. If there are many forests to chop or using the whip, then learning Math before Alphabet and currency is better. I hold back on trades until currency is done and get some gold in the process of trading. The Empire should have about 7-11 cities by the end of this Peaceful Expansion Phase depending on the map. Things to Consider: Assigning a worker (and possibly with a warrior attached for protection) to build a road to the nearest AI city for better trade gold output. If planning for war start building roads to the target Civ and specific cities. Remember to keep you power level to about 1.5x average to avoid getting DoWed. 2 x averages is better. It is time to determine what kind of game you are playing. For all but a traditional culture game, the next phase is inevitably war unless you are happy with just 7-11 cities and heading to UN or slow path to Space Colony. So it is time to build an offensive army and hopefully you know construction and can build cats. Phase 3: Forceful Expansion; aka War Mongering. First thing to do is to select an opponent. I like to takeout someone that will be a monster soon or a lunatic that will give trouble soon. Hopefully the AI shares borders with you but that is not a requirement. At this level, typical AI has about 5-6 cities with about 2 defenders in each and almost no stack of doom (around 0 AD). Monti and similar character may have a stack and already warring. So always keep an eye out for known troublemakers. OB with the AI and send couple of chariots/scouts/warriors on recon learn about the units the AI have. Spoiler : Typical attack force: 3 promotable cats per city intend to capture 6 Attack units per city. You wont need that many but better one extra than one too few. Include a spear and about 2 axes per group. Multiple Stacks Multiple stacks confuse AI and they have a hard time determining where to defend. As a result the cities does not get numerous defenders. So put together 2 or 3 teams and move them near the target cities. Preferably just before Declaring war to avoid AI from seeing your stack and build defensive units. Declare and move in using defensive tiles when possible. Place your stack to avoid crossing rivers during actual attack. Do not promote units before attacking. The reason for waiting to promote the unit until just before using is that it allows healing if damaged during movement and get to choose the right promotion based on the defender. City capture Strategy suggestion For most cities protected by Archers/Spears/Axes/Swords, use no more than 2 cats for direct attack for every 4 defenders and use the remaining cats for culture bombardment first. Give CR promotion to the first Cat and attack. This will damage the main defender the most. Next use a collateral damage promoted cats and attack. This will damage the remaining defenders the most. Follow up with attack units. You should have 3 cities within 2-4 turns of war. If the losses are great, heal units in the captured city. If the losses are minor and you still have about 3-6 healthy cats, create 1 or 2 groups and send to next target cities. Rinse and repeat as needed and keep up supplying units to the front to replenish losses. Stop the war once your objective is achieved or if the AI will take peace and about to counter with a sizable force. Why loose a city that you captured? If hasn't done already, now it is time to determine how you want to win this game. If it is a war game and the map is a land map, and you know the three critical techs: Alphabet, CoL and Currency, then the game is pretty much done technologically. All you need is units for taking cities and workers to road to AI's and basic improvements. So you can turn off science and start gathering gold and go warring. This work really well with special UU like Preats, WC, Immortals, Phalanx and Hawach's. If I missed one, it was not intended. If the objective is a peaceful game or need Astronomy, then it is time to recover from financial collapse. Phase 4: Post War Recovery. Spoiler : Build Courthouse. Connect cities Build Libraries in cities that can run scientists and/or high commerce. Build Markets in cities that can run merchants and or high commerce. Build Forges in cities that can work hammer tiles. Then preferably work tiles that will give 4, 8, 12, 16 hpt.... etc to get the most out of the forge. But it really does not matter. These cities can build wealth or bulbs as needed. Build units to stay powerful as needed. Learn techs to get critical techs to develop the map and to the Victory selected. Have fun winning. Phase 5 and beyond: Do what is needed to win. Spoiler : You may need a war or two, here and there, to make the game easier to manage. If you see an AI getting little out of hand, it is up to you to go spank him/her. You may want to help a weak AI who is your friend against a large menace or take him Vassal. Only the game and map will set this condition. Have fun Playing the Map. On to the Game This game will be a random leader, shuffle type map using HoF Buffy Mod. Here are the settings. Spoiler : The random leader is Spoiler : Monti ... so I won't meet the loony today, too bad. He is a decent leader and has one of my favorite attributes, Spiritual. Agressiveis not bad either. Very good UB; Sacrificial Alter and a so so UU. I guess I am going to have to whip in this game. The start is... Spoiler : Humm. Ok this is not the first start. The first start had a sheep on a plains hill and rest forests. No thank you. I want food. So on 4th regeneration, I got this. This is good enough. I am already sure that I am going to settle on the PH wine for extra hammer and commerce. Will be back with first set.