Play With Me 2: Iroquois Zero-Culture ICS

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by alpaca, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    You not only get it NOW but also where you want it. This is a pretty substantial bonus as it can boost low-production cities and improve your wonder-building cities. I typically go for lumbermills in production cities and trade posts otherwise, but don't replace improvements unless the relevant tiles in the rest of my nation are improved.

    In general, going for production is indeed better than going for gold. I prefer mines to trade posts on hills, for example. On the other hand, you only want so much production in an ICS filler city because you don't really want more than a university and theatre in them.

    Also, rush-buying becomes more efficient the more expensive a building is. A hospital only costs 1040, for example, with a production cost of 400. So here, gold isn't much worse than 2:1
     
  2. Folket

    Folket Deity

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    How come you prefer mines to trade posts, but trade posts to lumbermills?

    Mines give just 1 prod while lumbermills give 2 later in teh game. I never build mines other then one city.
     
  3. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Mines yield 3 hammers, lumbermills only 2 (nevermind industrial, when you get to industrial your cities are typically already set up for the most part). If I have 2 or 3 citizens, they will work 2 or 3 mines first and when I have a colosseum and university set up, they will become scientists. Lumbermills and trade posts don't come into the equation unless I let my city grow further. If I do that, it depends. I guess it depends on what your typical city specialisation is, then. For me, it's money. If I go for money, the city won't use the hills anymore.
     
  4. dublos

    dublos Chieftain

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    I have so far had only one occasion to test this.

    My capital city was one hex away from forest, and as soon as I upgraded that one tile from road to railroad, all my forest connected cities showed the railroad bonus.
     
  5. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    looks good lol. It's amazing that you can grow like this without any social policies at all.
     
  6. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Wow, you are right, I just tested it with the FireTuner. This bonus is more massive than I thought. Railroads take huge amounts of worker turns and Iroquois connect their cities instantly. Not to mention a save of 2 gptpt (gold per turn per tile).

    Edit: Just saw your post luddite. Well, Paeanblack lately posted in Dale's thread why this is. I don't want to repeat it in detail but the main things about ICS are high base tile yield and cheap settlers. Everything else just makes things even better.
     
  7. bryanw1995

    bryanw1995 Emperor

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    especially because your forests count as roads for you and, um, forests for the invader. even if they take over a city or two they have to slog through the forests to continue their attack, giving you more time to prepare defenses/plan counterattack. if you're even close on tech and forest-heavy the irroquois are quite strong.
     
  8. bryanw1995

    bryanw1995 Emperor

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    I think you have it backwards, 1g=2h
     
  9. EscapedGoat

    EscapedGoat Warlord

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    Right... I'm glad you're not running my finances :)
     
  10. fjordan

    fjordan Warlord

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    This is a nice read. Keep up the good job.

    A remark though: I think in an ICS you should not keep puppets. They will eat away all your happiness with the CS food. If they don't have a wonder I would do the trick Martin Alvaro showed: annex and build a settler, then raze and replace. I think you can build a settler much quicker than a courthouse and it saves 5 GPT. You can even sell the current buildings.
     
  11. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    I keep only capitals, really. I don't like to annex most of them because annexing is a huge happiness hit until you get a courthouse, much worse than letting them grow. You need some money-engines anyways, so why not use the few puppets you have for it?

    Keeping Hamburg in the beginning was mainly to keep the Dyes it provided and sell them to another civ. The 300 gold were easily worth the happiness I had to put in for a while, and it's not like I can't just raze the city for instant happy faces in a pinch (as I did later). I stand by that decision but I'm not sure if I'd do it today. Mostly, I instantly raze cities, the annex and build settler routine isn't such a hot idea except for the very beginning because annexing is a huge happiness hit and you can build settlers cheaply enough elsewhere.

    Part 9 coming soon. I fear it's not a great read, mostly boring economy shots and nothing very interesting happening. The game has entered its wrapping up-phase.
     
  12. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Play With Me 2: Iroquois, Part 9. Something new in the east.

    Last time, things weren't looking so good with me being at war with all of my neighbours, two of them the guys with the strongest armies of the planet. Read on to see if I can pull my neck out of the noose.

    Turn 183/184

    Nothing much is happening, really. The World War 1 association I had the last time was aptly chosen because nothing much is moving on any front. I'm not quite in trench warfare yet but neither side is making progress. Luckily Siam signs a white peace with us both threatening one of the other's cities. I probably won't resume hostilities before I have riflemen or artillery to deal with his elephants.

    Economically, I'm letting a few cities grow slightly more now that all good accessible (i.e. not endangered by hostile AI units) settling spots are taken and the desert in the middle of my empire is still blocked by barbarians. This is the current state of my empire. Some more size 3 cities as you see.

    To give me a better chance against Elephants, I will build some pikes to upgrade to Riflemen.


    Turn 186

    Alex conquers Edinburgh. There's nothing I can do at this point except to wait for him waste some units.


    Turn 190

    Well, I'm not posting much and this represents the news I can tell you. I created another deathzone near Rome, this time even worse because Greece has to attack over a river. At least I can play more fluently now without writing all the time.



    New cities are still building Colosseums and libraries, I let them grow to size 3 now I have the FP. My primary cities (Vienna, Onondaga, Brantford and Salamanca) and puppets are allowed to grow as much as they like and I'm hoarding money for when I finish Big Ben. Here are some economy shots for you.






    Turn 197

    In perfect timing, I generate another Great Scientist the turn I research Rifling. I spend him and the one I still have around on Fertilizer and Dynamite.




    Turn 199 - Mahal's tears

    Woohoo, a golden age! At the end of turn I also get a Great General, whom I will use to lengthen it. Taj Mahal is possibly the best wonder in the game. A 15-turn golden age is quite awesome. Only rivaled by the Pyramids and, in ICS the Forbidden Palace, maybe.






    Turn 203

    Because he had an annoying settler who would have founded yet another city right next to Rome, I declar war on Siam again. I have a couple of pikemen who were promoted to Rifles so I shouldn't have any big troubles handling his elephants. Onondaga will finish Big Ben in 2 turns, then I'll buy some things like Artillery.




    Turn 205

    I capture and raze Vientiane. I have a settler ready to replace it with one of my own cities because I don't like such large cities in bad positions, as puppets, if I can help it. Definitely not in a 0-culture game.



    Big Ben is finished. I buy windmills in Onondaga and Salamanca. Next turn, I'll start buying Artillery in Vienna when it finishes a Barracks. I define Lake Simcoe, Kanawale and Oneida Lake as additional primary cities and allow them to grow.






    Turn 210

    The rough times are a thing of the past now. I have a lot of happiness surplus that I can put into vertical growth now and I'm rolling in cash. My production is constantly rising and my army is now almost the largest in the world due to both buying new units and defeating hordes of enemies. The game is already pulling city names from other civs, too. I'm at 39 cities now.







    Unfortunately I lose Gao this turn because Siam has juuuust enough experience for an instant heal of one of their overpowered elephants. This is precisely why I hate instant healing, it just makes taking cities way too easy. I don't care much. There's 30 more where that came from and I'll retake it in two turns or so anyways.


    Turn 215 - We're the good guys

    I liberated Edinburgh. I'm also eating into Siam quite quickly. If you're first to artillery (and I am by a long margin, even though I wasn't really playing too well as I have to shamefully admit), you stand a pretty good chance of dominating the political landscape for a while, which you should use.


    Turn 217

    Alexander offers a white peace. I want to cut him down to size before I sign one, though. Below some before and after screenshots of scientist reassignment.






    Turn 219

    I once again take Teotihuacan. This time, I highly doubt Alex will be able to retake it for long.




    Turn 221

    My golden age is over. I will rekindle it in a moment with another Great General but I wanted to take some un-boosted economy shots for your reference. Due to the razing bug I can't really end the game now to reload later but I'll take a break nevertheless.








    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry for all the economy shots but there simply wasn't much to talk about. This part of the game is just wrapping up and doing what you like with all your money and research. I really got my universities going too late due to the lack of a happiness golden age you usually get when you get Freedom and the Forbidden Palace some time later. Still, this session was significantly more fun to play because I finally saw some progress. I knew I was making progress before but it's not really fun progress, just plopping down cities. Seeing these cities grow now and building some wonders is a lot more fun. Nevertheless, I think this little experiment proves nicely that the power of ICS doesn't really depend on Social Policies. Alex was close to a run-away civ and I easily outteched and later also outgunned him. Read about how good the Iroquois ability is in the modern era in Part 10
     
  13. avl8

    avl8 Prince

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    Great job! Nice to know youve got snowboll rolling, Alex is good as dead now.
    In your opinion, when an ICS player should stop spamming cities and start vertical growth usually?
    And how many cities needed to be settled before you allow them to grow at least to a size 3? To unlimited size?
     
  14. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Play With Me 2: Iroquois, Part 10. A truly Great Warpath

    Turn 224

    I finished the Brandenburg Gate. This is one of the late wonders I like to pick up (along with the Louvre) for the sole purpose of feeding into my long golden age. It provides a general who provides 5 more turns of golden age goodness. I get a GS who researches Replaceable Parts.




    Turn 229

    I finish Macchu Picchu in Kanawale. Due to the requirement of having a mountain in your culture inside the city radius, you can often pick this wonder up quite late. For ICS, it's quite useful, for me it adds about 50 gpt at this point.



    It might be interesting to have a look at my unit production city, Vienna.



    By the way: If you don't need them anymore, it's a good idea to delete some workers. They cost more than 3 upkeep for me. It's little things that sometimes make a significant difference (I had 24 workers).


    Turn 231

    I capture Tenochtitlan. Another capital in my collection.




    Turn 232

    My golden age is at an end. Watch my production :(




    Turn 233

    So. I built one railroad tile. Let me show you something.



    In case you are too lazy to count, that is 22 cities, immediately connected by railroad. For an upkeep of 2 gpt. All my primary cities except of one. Had I known that the Great Warpath connects railroads, I'd have given the Iroquois a try much earlier. The only small caveat is that you don't get the movement bonus from railroads.


    Turn 235

    I conquer Sukhothai, which puts me at -15 happiness once again. Quite annoying but I don't have enough money to buy happiness buildings right now. I sign a White Peace with Ram in order to avoid losing units there. Alexander isn't so dangerous because he apparently doesn't even have artillery yet. Still, I should make sure to get my happiness back up.

    I will probably go for a domination victory in this game, it looks like the quickest route to wrap it up.
     
  15. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Well, if you're playing it as good as possible (which I didn't really do in this game because I'm not invested in it enough and mostly finishing it up because I started it and didn't get away with silently dropping it) you will stop when you don't need the additional science from the new city anymore, i.e. when you can't get it online with a university before the end of the game.

    Doing this properly requires early planning of which victory you go for, when you will reach it, and how - all of which I didn't do in this game. If you don't want to plan, you don't have to stop growing horizontally to grow vertically. Let your primary cities grow and your secondary cities until you don't have more than +15 surplus happiness (+15 is a solid number allowing you to plop down 5 new cities if you want to continue expanding). Letting your fillers grow to unlimited size isn't a good idea because it will just put you at unhappy and reduce the growth in the cities where you actually want it.
     
  16. avl8

    avl8 Prince

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    Hmm cool! Nice to see how badly imbalanced Iroquois gets @industrial era if the player is great :)
    Great path is simply thing other civs cant beat in my eyes. Even constant bonus of 25% to production of Rome.
    Early it provides much time to get the land improved cause of forest roads (free gold saved from maintenance too!). Then comes longhouses and finally, railroad great path (with free maintenance again!).

    As a side note you got Macchu Picchu btw, not Chichen Itza. Always forget which is what myself :)

    As for myself, inspired by your game Ive started to roll Iroqois ICS on large great plains map, emperor (should roll immortal as its pretty easy on emperor).
    Got HUUUGE forest area, spammed 14 cities before turn90 @standart speed and pulled GE for a fast FP. Got 120 gold, 40-60 science per turn and steamrolled closest neighbour with mohawk raiding party by the turn90.
    They just kill things and strike back damn fast @friendly territory.

    From then it becomes very one sided, cause every other AI is far far below in both cash and science. At the same time Im rolling 3 RA/4 PoC/like 15 PoS which means they will fight each other till the end (( ...

    Btw, what great people you prefer to get first with ICS? Is it worth to get GE 1st?
    And do you specialize your primary cities somehow?
     
  17. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Yes I under-evaluated the Iroquois I think. Seeing they usually start in forest, they have a very solid package. You get huge bonuses for the Mohawks and their upgrades because they move fast and strike hard, the UB is pretty nice in forests and the UA saves a lot of money and worker turns (especially because normally, roading in forests is extra-painful but necessary). Your game sounds much better done than mine.

    I don't typically think a GE is worth it because you can get the happiness more easily by teching to Renaissance with a GS and getting Freedom. I would use him for Taj Mahal, if anything. The GA from Taj Mahal is just awesome and usually allows you to build the FP and Big Ben a lot more quickly, too.

    The primary problem with a Great Engineer for me is usually that by the time I get more than one engineer slot, the GE will be vastly expensive, and I don't think it's worth stalling your research just to get a GE. In this particular game type, I probably should have tried it, though, because the FP is quite important if you have no SPs. That happiness golden age you can normally get is very useful.

    And yes, I specialise my primary cities. Most of them will be specialised on production but some on gold (they build markets and banks). I don't typically specialise them for science because I just don't think it's necessary with all the science from your secondary cities but I sometimes do it just for the heck of it. Production is most important, though, as having a few places where you build wonders and units in good time can really provide significant benefits, even if it's just building the Brandenburg Gate for a free GP to trigger a golden age. 4 turns of golden age are worth maybe 800 gold and as much production for me in the current game state. If it's something like Macchu Picchu (thanks for the hint, I'm a bit tired) that provides 50gpt it's also really useful.
     
  18. avl8

    avl8 Prince

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    Thank you!
    Totally agree on GE being too expensive cause of small engineer slots early. Ive tried to get GE as my 1st GP and lacked a slingshot early.
    It was awfully slow compared to GS,
    still got Chichen Itza (+1 GE point and its bonus to GAs is simply imbalanced) and rushbought garden (+1 GE bonus point)
    resulting in total +5 GE points per turn. Comparing to 7-8 GS points its kinda slow, tho saved me many turns on FP.
    Still dont know if it worth doing :)

    Does it mean not every city gets univercity? And whats typical building setup for non-primary city you were rolling?
     
  19. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    No, they all have universities but I won't run scientists in primary cities unless it speeds up a tech a turn.

    The secondary cities have Library, Colosseum and University, that's it. I typically let them grow to size 2 while building a Col first, then build a Library and set 1 or 2 scientists, depending on how many I need. I try to put in as much production towards the university as possible but not at the expense of much research. In a golden age, however, I often go down to 0 or 1 at most to make best use of the bonus (you also don't need the freedom happiness during the GA).
     
  20. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Play With Me 2: Iroquois, Part 11. Wrapping the gift

    This will be my last update for this game because I'll get it over with now. I'm not very fond of finishing games when it's obvious I have won but for the sake of a public game, I'll make an exception


    Turn 235

    I decide to raze Lampang in order to get me out of the Very Unhappy state of affairs. I have a settler to resettle it on the spot after it's razed.


    Turn 236

    I get a new Great Scientist. I could use him to research Electronics next turn (saves 4 turns) but I would rather use him for another Golden Age because I don't have enough money for substantial upgrades anyways.



    Turn 237

    Sparta is captured. This is the last city between my army and Athens. I decide to puppet it because I need an access route to Athens.




    Turn 240

    I take Athens and buy a Theatre somewhere to compensate the unhappiness. I sign a white peace with Alex and sell him a ton of stuff (5 or 6 luxuries at 260 each and 15 horses). I will now move on to take the last capital, Mecca.



    This is what the score panel looks like, in case you're interested. Most of this is from number of cities and population




    Turn 242

    Harun declares war on Alexander. Sure, kick him while he's down. Also, please send your units out of your own territory where I can pick them off with my Mechanised Infantry much more easily :)


    Turn 244/245

    I declare war on Harun. Mekka shouldn't be too hard to take seeing his most modern unit is cavalry. Even though he has Himeji Castle + Oligarchy, which I consider to be a good combo.



    The Louvre is finished, the artists are invested in another golden age.


    Turn 246 - 'twas too easy



    Alrighty, that's it. Once again I win using the very unlikeable domination victory. Imagine the last capital I took would have been Gao, where I just sneaked in a steal. Even so, it feel stupid to win a domination victory with large enemies still present - they could at least allow for a period of grace, forcing you to hold on to all capitals for 20 turns...





    ------------------------------------------------------

    I hope you enjoyed reading about this game. The ending is anticlimactic, as usual in Civ5, and I really had to force myself to play the last 50 turns or so. Nevertheless, I also had some fun moments during this game. It was certainly an interesting experience but as you can see I was able to out-tech and out-produce every single AI civ on the second highest difficulty level, without taking any Social Policies, thereby ignoring a core part of the game. And managed a victory in less than half the allowed time. If this doesn't prove to you that something is amiss with the game in regards to ICS, I don't know what will.

    While I have the opportunity, may I point you to my own personal modding project, the PlayWithMe mod. It's a gameplay design and balance mod, which you can find here on the CFC: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=400420 I will probably start a public game with it at some point to show you how the changes work out but at the moment I'd rather spend time improving than writing ;)

    Until next time

    alpaca
     

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