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Playing below my level?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Continental Op, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. §L¥ Gµ¥

    §L¥ Gµ¥ Prince

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    it's still relatively easy to do all the things you did on noble at prince. It's just a matter of cleaning up things with micro and specialization. As a result, you can still neglect certain facets of the game which aren't as important when you're in the lead [diplomacy, trading, etc] and still be fine.
     
  2. Shafi

    Shafi King

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    Noble to Prince is one of the easiest transitions hardly a difference. If you are winning consistently on noble, you should'nt have a problem on Prince.
     
  3. CornPlanter

    CornPlanter Emperor

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    Nothing :) Prince is not much harder than Noble. If you can do anything on Noble, Prince is gonna be your normal game where you need to use your head in order to win, but you will win nevertheless.
     
  4. Grashopa

    Grashopa Emperor

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    Go straight to emperor/immortal. The game is very different. Heck if I dropped down to noble you'd be winning better than me at it just from experience with it. You just need experience and be willing to lose to get it :) Play out many quick starts, try different stuff and force yourself to move on after 15 minutes.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Going straight to IMM when I was a monarch player got me burned (an utter trouncing in IU 1 - Montezuma). It depends on personality and how many games you play (as well as time per game). For me a gradual progression worked out the best, but some people started on monarch and quickly vaulted up.

    That said, noble ---> prince is one of the less-drastic jumps, so you may find yourself headed for monarch+ soon.
     
  6. Shafi

    Shafi King

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    I dont think i did anything different between Noble & Prince, i played a grand total of three games on Prince, won all comfortably, and moved to Monarch, it's a bit of a jump to monarch but not too much, key differences are that AI has archers to start with + in terms of my game play i had to focus a lot more on economy as i really began to feel the city maintenance.
     
  7. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    Maybe its's just me, but it feels like my first prince game is heading towards a disaster. Got crammed in a small island playing Hatshepsut with Ragnar. No copper and Ragnar got the horsies, so I built 5 cities and tried to sword-rush Ragnar. Took 2 of his cities and totally crashed my economy and went on strike. Had to call it quits with Ragnar, now it feels like it's taking me forever to recover, was building and deleting settlers because I had nothing to build but units and couldn't afford more units. Went for alphabet because it was only 28 turns away (normal speed) while currency was 41. Was this an idiotic decision? I know that wealth is better than research, and I don't have anyone to trade techs with.

    And is this kind of crashing economy thing normal, because it never happened this way at noble? Not after only seven cities.
     
  8. Shafi

    Shafi King

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    Can you post a save?
     
  9. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    Question: What to do when you find yourself in a deserted island with Ragnar Lodbrok?

    Answer: Kill him the first chance you get. He's ugly and smells like fish. Besides, he's a lousy tech partner and, although a fun guy to make friends with in another type of setting, a terrible neigbour when there is no one else around. Besides, he'll do exactly the same to you if you'll let him, so don't go off feeling bad about it.

    So, the plan of action seems clear. But the trouble is, I've never found myself in this kind of situation before. I usually deal with my neigbours with the fine art of AI manipulation or rush with either copper or horses. Neither was possible now. Maybe warrior rush would have been possible, but I'm unfamiliar with this technique and decided to pass. Sword rush seemed more viable option, but given that I was in an uncomfortable situation I probably made a lot of stupid mistakes, because I just didn't know what to do. And went bankrupt. Maybe this is totally acceptable situation now and my empire will skyrocket later, but nevertheless, it's new in my experience.

    So here it is, the save. It's patch 3.19, straight up - no mods. I automated most of the workers just now because, well, they just don't have anything more to build anymore. The map ain't that great - just water and desert, it seems. I made sure they'll leave old improvements alone, though. And in case someone's wondering why the heck I gave one of my spears a CR promo, that was just an accident. I'm a very haphazard player.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. pat4

    pat4 Believe it!!!

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  11. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    Thank you for the article, I'll read it to check if there's something new in it. But the problem in this particular map is that city specialisation is very hard - what to do, when you can only get at most 3-4 hills in your cities' BFCs and the rest of the land is mostly desert and ocean tiles? The answer: very bad production and commerce cities. Initially I was pondering real hard whether I should make my capital a GP farm because it had 3 food resources in it, or not. I decided against it, and in hindsight I think I made the right decision there given all the happiness and economic issues I'm facing right now. The Viking capital looks like a fine food city to me if I need one, and if I can take it.
     
  12. pat4

    pat4 Believe it!!!

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    Now please remember that I am not the most experienced player but I am decent.

    Just had a quick look at the save and long story short you need more space. You are building two settlers which is good you can defintely fit two good commerce cities on the island to the west possibly three if you're lucky. From my quick look your land seems to be well developed, I'll take a closer look later if I get a chance. You are building research in two decent production cities which might seem like a good way to get a short term beaker boost but I think it would be a better idea to spam swords and take the Viking Capital. I think you may be behind on techs when you meet the AI but don't be disheartened its not that hard to beat an AI with a tech lead. If you're last on the leader board attack the guy in second last (if he has no allies), you'll slowly move up.

    Good luck.
     
  13. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Took a look at your save and have a few tips for you...hope they help. :)

    Firstly, yes, your situation is not great, but hey, it’s your first attempt at prince and all part of the learning curve. :) You're at that classic stage where you've grown through war and your economy is now feeling the strain. This is actually quite normal with 7 cities as you move up the levels and is partly due to the higher maintenance costs you're now paying. In your case, the problem is exacerbated by your lack of happy resources, which is limiting the number of tiles you can work in each city. Taking Ragnar's capital would've been ideal (as would’ve TGL) but it wasn't to be. Now you've to re-group and ready yourself for the next war.

    As it stands, there are a couple of reasons why you're labouring. The first, as you've noted, is the lack of currency. No, your move to tech alphabet was not idiotic given how little commerce some of your cities are generating. However, this point does highlight a problem: some of your cities are barely generating enough commerce to cover their maintenance costs, so you need to favour working commerce heavy tiles. Perhaps it was also worth razing Haithabu given that it doesn't grant you a wonder, key resource, or provide much commerce? In addition, I’d be inclined to ask whether it was worthwhile teching monarchy before alphabet. Admittedly, HR raises the happy cap but, as maintenance costs rise with the playing levels, the ability of alphabet or currency to help you recover from expansion becomes ever more important. With either researched, you’d have been able to subsequently tech to monarchy (or anything else such as CoL) by building wealth or research as necessary. In the meantime, IMHO, the happy cap would still have allowed you to take on Ragnar by (i) whipping troops (ii) controlling regrowth and whip anger by running science specialists as needed and (iii) chopping every tree in sight. The last point is important since, if I recall, there are currently 7 forests still standing in your borders and you can chop them all without impacting health since they’re outside all BFC’s. That’s quite a few soldiers which would really have helped in the war.

    Now, since we can only change the future (unless you replay an earlier save of course :lol:), let’s look forward. With that in mind, my suggestions are as follows:

    Tech path: currency, CoL then depends on how things are with Rags.

    Talking of Rags, my first priority at this point would actually be to whip some spears pronto in Heliopolis, Elephantine, Haithabu and Uppsala to protect your border cities. (NB: walls would’ve been ideal but I note you don’t have masonry or stone.) Whilst it looks like you should be able to out-produce him having acquired a few of his cities, your problem at the mo’ IMHO is that you’re defending two borders against chariots and HAs – both very fast units that can attack your peripheral cities within a turn or two. Spears are the order of the day IMHO. I’d also move Memphis’ axe to the front line ASAP. Once done, its libraries as needed and a WB.

    To speed research, I’d also suggest using a few more science specialists where possible. Assuming you build / whip spears as mentioned, you can work the pig, 2 cottages and 2 scientists in Heliopolis, and two scientists in Elephantine and Thebes. Having built the Moai in Memphis, work coastal tiles here to get commerce. For future reference, it’s worthwhile whipping a granary (eg. in Uppsala) when the food bin is at most half full to speed regrowth. Whip your two settlers in production next turn for 2 pop and build military as you regrow, trying to work cottages as you do. After finishing the lighthouse, Alexandria should invest one turn in a galley, whip it for two pop and then build / whip an archer or two for your settlers. I’d split your workers between (a) chopping remaining trees for military and (b) clearing the jungle on the island to the W and mining the gems for your new city...time for automation to cease IMHO.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW, in light of your following comment,

    don’t worry, that’s precisely when these forums can help. :) With that in mind, if you’re looking for further tips, look in on Shafi’s current and / or previous HUI games played on monarch (or even Sis' ALCs) – hopefully, they'll help you climb even further than prince. :D
     
  14. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    Again, thanks for all the tips and advice, especially the bit of where I went wrong. It was actually a hard decision for me whether to go for monarchy or currency and CoL, and now I see I made the wrong turn there. And I've never before even thought about razing cities - on noble, these kinds of things are just not that important. Empire management is a weak point for me, and I have always had the propensity to automate workers too early. I think I'll have to write much of this info down to remember it all during the game. And I have not begun to play it yet, nor will I at least today, so if anybody has anything more to say, there's still time. I'll post a note here before I continue.
     
  15. pat4

    pat4 Believe it!!!

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    I didn't realise you automated your workers, well I never have so I'm not sure how to go about wheaning yourself off that. I'd say go to the War Academy and read up on it.
     
  16. Badtz Maru

    Badtz Maru King

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    When I moved to Prince I felt like I HAD to start at least a couple of wars of conquest. My goal is to wipe out or at least reduce by at least 2/3 one of my neighbors in the BC times, and to take over another neighbor once I start getting Macemen. On Noble, I can expand peacefully and win the game with my original 6-7 cities, but on Prince that is not an option.
     
  17. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    Or focus on developing strategies that will be viable on higher levels.

    You know how to ride a bike right? Here hop in this jet fighter. They both have wheels.
     
  18. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    Well, it works up to noble level, if you don't do it before they run out of things to build and make sure they don't tear down your old improvements from the options screen. But you're right, I really should give it up now. But what will I do then when they don't have anything more to build? Just put them to sleep? When automated, they usually build roads at least. Well, as said, I really suck at micro.
     
  19. CornPlanter

    CornPlanter Emperor

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    You can automate some of them. I usually do "build trade network" at later stages. They hook up all resources (usually thats modern tech resources and food resources I didnt bother to connect earlier) and yes, build roads. Also when workers have nothing to do, one of the following might be true:

    a) They do have something to do, indeed. But on the other continent/island.
    b) They do have something to do. Look again, carefully this time. No city works unimproved tile? No improvement needs replacement? Especially former AI cities tend to be improved rather poorly, I usually reimprove tiles around them.
    c) They can build roads towards your next target.
    d) They can chop forests which are a bit away from your cities but still, hammers.
    e) There are problems with teching. New players usually dont value much worker techs and do value much religion/new_shiny_unit_/new_shiny_wonder techs.
    f) Waiting for Calendar to improve those 15 dye tiles. Now other players might disagree on this, but I usually build plantations on 1-3 calendar luxuries. One for myself and some more for trade if I feel like it. The rest are cotteges all the way, you dont even need to wait for calendars. Pays off much better imo. Ofcourse it all depends on circumstances (as in "play the map").
    g). If you run out of tiles to work often, there might be problems with your expansion as well. Look, see - this is Ghandi. He has plenty of tiles for your workers :)
    h) Dont forget you can build fortress on resources and hook them up in this way. E.g. I never wait for Combustion for hooking up oil, when said oil is not in City radius.

    Ofcourse sometimes there's really shortage of work. In that case I usually disband some workers and freeze others somewhere near capital so I could easily find them when I need them again. Just dont forget you have them :)
     
  20. Shafi

    Shafi King

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    Had a look at your save, some feedback maybe already covered by others,

    1) Researching currency @ 680 AD is EXTREMELY LATE !!!

    2) You should have gone for currency ahead of - Monarchy / Meditation / Priesthood / Sailing / Archery / Alpha for sure --- It's a more important tech.

    3) WHy are you building more settlers, better to build research in those cities until you get to currency.

    4) You can actually run some scientist specialists in Thebes / Elephantine & Memphis to help with the research.
     

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