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Playing below my level?

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

  1. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    I'm not convinced.
    Each level is a different game, and being aware of that let's you choose the right tool for the task at hand.
    Being aware that rushing an opponent asap is the best way to get a head start which generally converts into a win is something you can expect to use at all the levels.
    It's hard to perform on deity, but if you manage it you're well on the way.

    IMHO the game should be fun to play.
    There is no point in rotting the fun away by learning "recipe play" that is viable on all levels.
     
  2. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    I've certainly learned my lesson to prioritize currency and CoL more in the future, especially before monarchy. As for those other tech choices, maybe I can shed light in why I chose some of those:

    1. Archery: When I can't get copper or horses early, I tech archery. Don't know if that's the way to go, but that's how I've used to do it.

    2. Alpha: It was a choice between currency and alpabet. Since currency was 41 turns away and alphabet 28 at the time, I thought I could speed up currency with research and strike two flies with one blow.

    3. Sailing: No explanation. I guess my mind was wandering and I just forgot about those two key economic techs, otherwise I would never had done that. But as the damage is already done, better just make the best use of it and try to grab all the land I can get, since I'm going to fall behind in tech anyway. Later the bigger land area will hopefully help me catch up.
     
  3. Shafi

    Shafi King

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    Actually i played on a bit from your save, i ran a few sciuentist specialists, whipped a library in one city, also switched production to research in almost all cities we dont need settlers and managed to get Currency in about 8 turns i think and then CoL was only 6 turns or so away with most cities building wealth, slider was back to 60% - 70% - so it can be pulled back.

    EDIT - Dont worry i did'nt put the spoiler info in the post :). ^^ The info up there does not need a spoiler i think, what i meant to spoiler is,

    Spoiler :
    Ragnar is about to DoW, so that needs to be dealt with as well, i actually manged with the available troops + about 2 spears whipped in the border cities.
     
  4. Shafi

    Shafi King

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    Yeah - Archery in that situation makes sense.
     
  5. Silu

    Silu Deity

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    Sailing often IS an important economy tech. It enables trade routes via shore and rivers outside cultural influence, which often connects you to foreign lands without having to build a possibly long road. In the optimal case it connects you to overseas AIs (across narrow waters) in which case it's a very important tech. Without Sailing AIs can often benefit from your cities with you getting nothing in return.

    If none/not many Civs have Alpha then it makes a lot of sense to go for it before Math. Though in that case you should usually skip Math and go to Currency via Alpha instead (possibly getting Math in a trade as you can get that for Alpha 1:1).
     
  6. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    Thinking in hindsight there has been three big basic mistakes I have done in this game so far:

    1. Prioritizing monarchy over currency. I struggled with this decision, but for some reason monarchy seemed like a good idea at the time, probably because the happiness issues.

    2. Taking too many cities. At noble level I never razed cities, because there was not really a need to do so. Apparently I have to concentrate in this aspect of the game more now. I should have razed those too viking blocker cities and only keep the capital.

    3. Sailing. While it might be a key economic tech in some cases, now there was just no point in it, because I haven't met the other AIs yet.

    And yes, I haven't continued the game yet, so please keep info about future happenings in spoilers. I usually take long breaks in between games to ponder about what did I do wrong and what will I do next, sometimes for several days.
     
  7. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    Hey! Exactly the kind of thing that happened to me (and continues to happen to me as I move forward in levels..) Going back to my advice earlier in the thread, you need to focus your goals a little bit more as you move from Noble to Prince. This is, of course, true for every move up in levels.

    So, for this game, I think you realized that Sailing wasn't really part of any plan. At least it's good you realize it now. As for what a good plan might have been, well, I probably would have come to the same conclusion that you did. No horse, no copper, Rags as a neighbor = Iron Working ASAP. Frankly, the biggest regret you probably should have is to not have made this your #1 priority very early in the game. (I'm ignoring the possibility of eliminating him through a warrior rush.) If you could have founded about three cities and stormed into Viking territory with swords as soon as possible, you probably would have ended up with a manageable empire with two capital cities before 1 AD.

    As has been mentioned here, Rags is not a good neighbor in a situation like this. He WILL attack you. Period. He also has limited value as a trading partner. Goal number one for you should have been to eliminate him. Now, at Prince, you can still get away with skipping archery entirely here. When horses and copper didn't show up, archery makes some sense. However, when I set my goal of killing Rags, archery was not on the path to success. If you had no Iron, THEN it would be time to panic and go for archery.

    The second goal I would set (after completely eliminating the Viking) would be to figure out a way to tech my way to being somewhat advanced for when I eventually meet the rest of the world. I'd probably shoot for code of laws, which would also open up philosophy to bulb with a Great Scientist. You'd most likely found two religions, and give yourself a chance to leverage your traits. Since you can build half price libraries and temples, plus you can switch freely in and out of civics, I think you might be able to pretty much skip monarchy for a long time. Instead, once you isolated yourself, you could get through the period of time between dead Viking and Optics by running lots of scientists and priests. You'll fuel your research with the scientists, plus, if you can get away with pacifism, you could also generate a couple extra great people to bulb your way towards Liberalism->Astronomy and also to build a couple shrines to generate some cash.

    Lastly, do not automate workers. Just don't. I wasn't aware that a person could be successful consistently at Noble with automating workers. Automated workers can't possibly know what your plan is, and therefore they can't possibly be counted on to improve tiles around your cities to make sense with your plan.
     
  8. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    Point taken. Actually I never automated them before I had manually developed all tiles in my 5-6 core cities. At that point there was usually big enough lead to just forget about the workers. But even so there was never really any sense in it, when I think of it now. When they ran out of things to do, I could have just made them build trade network, because that's basically all they did anyhow. I just never really stopped to think about it before now.
     
  9. Navarre

    Navarre Legio XIII

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    Automate them to build a network after you've made them build everything you need around your cities and connected all your resources makes sense, I do it too. Just don't automate them to improve your land.

    Remember to check where your resources are when you discover a tech that unlocks a new one (coal, oil, uranium, aluminium) and make sure they connect it even if it's under an old improvement.
     
  10. Silu

    Silu Deity

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    Like most everything in this game generally regarded as "noobish" (early religions, worker automation, slacking city micro, megaweak military, 'Mids without IND/Stone etc.), if you know how the rules work you can get away with breaking them and not suffer. I guess TMIT is the pioneer here as well - if used in conjunction with the different emphasizes for the city governor, automated workers aren't that bad. He routinely plays whole games on Immortal by automating all workers. I need to teach myself the inner workings of that system, as probably half of my ~2h Normal/Standard game times are worker micro ;) (wonder what it tells about me that I'm too lazy to learn how to be more lazy :lol: )

    Anyway, automating after developing 5-6 core cities is perfectly fine on all levels IMO, or at least up to Imm.

    Timesaver micro hint: make a hotkey out of an automated stack of ~3 (depending on speed) workers by ctrl+1 (or any #) and if there's an immediate need for improving something specific you can select them with 1 instead of looking all over your empire or F5'ing for them.
     
  11. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    That's a well fleshed out response, that's true that rushing in general is a good strategy to be aware of.
    It sounds like you are saying that if you know "the recipe" then you can beat deity, I think that would be a tempting recipe to use. ;) :p

    Sounds like my play (or lack of play) -style. :)

    @ JTMacc

    I suppose the game would be pretty much lost if you had to tech Iron Working and found no iron at all, huh? :sad:

    I'm not sure I buy your claim that Monarchy can be skipped because you might found a couple of religions... that just seems kind of risky, I think it could work but definitely Monarchy is a more sure bet for eliminating unhappiness.
     
  12. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    I played the game for a few rounds more, and things are looking much brighter now. Rags declared on me very soon. A bad play by him. I took his capital, razed the other city and found out he had inhabited a small island in the southwest near Antarctica. Built some galleys, followed him there, kept the city because I still am too greedy - but Rags still is not dead. That guy is like the cancer - each time you think you've beaten him, he emerges somewhere else. This time on that very nice looking island to the west, that is now inhabited by two barb cities also. At this point I could feel the strain again and made temporary peace with him - got three techs out of the deal.

    And now, the tech slider is still at 10%, but I'm compensating by running scientists here and there and building research in Thebes. I might be less developed than the others when I meet them, but at least I will have the biggest empire with 9 cities so far. And this being an archipelago map (I think, I shuffled it), I don't think they are doing that well either. We'll see.
     
  13. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    No Iron, copper or horses. Small continent. Viking Neighbors. Yes, that would be a difficult situation. Spam archers, found a religion, try to make the big guy friendly, and see if you can get longbows and expand off of the continent as soon as possible. Definitely go for Monarchy/Hereditary Rule in this situation. First, it would give you a diplomacy bonus with Rags. Second, you actually need to have a boatload of units, so you might as well use them to solve your happy issues. Third, it's on the path to longbows.

    As for why I say you can blow off Monarchy in the scenario I proposed:
    1. With no angry neighbor, and really no neighbors at all, you don't actually need to build a lot of units.
    2. When you isolate yourself, you need to come up with a plan to tech efficiently until you can start trading with other civs again.
    3. So, I propose that you build half price libraries and temples in your cities. You run scientist specialists pretty much everywhere. You beeline code of laws for religion #1, and you use a Great Scientist to bulb Philosophy for religion #2. You flip into Pacifism (which will be pretty good, since you don't need a large army) AND you prioritize Aesthetics so that you can build the Parthenon since you have Marble.
    4. Enjoy a great person bonanza allowing you to bulb your way right up through liberalism, plus you can build a couple shrines to generate some nice profits.
    5. Happy problems are addressed as follows: State Religion +1. Temple +1. Gems +1. Forge +1 (for the gems). Sugar +1. This will get you to a size 9 city (10 in the capital) once you're up through Calendar. It's not great, but you will probably be running as many specialists as possible in your high food cities, so they're not going to be able to grow much past 9 anyway. If you find some other happy resources around (preferably gold or silver) you'd be set for a long time.

    Even without another metal, what I'm saying is that you could kill Rags with swords really early on, (bring some spears and destroy that horse pasture ASAP) and then choose a research path that gives you Code of Laws -> bulb Philosophy, Aesthetics, Masonry, Metal Casting and Calendar. That group, combined with some good civics, wonders, and specialists will put you on a really good path to be ready for the rest of the world when you meet them. You may or may not decide to pick up monarchy on your own as you go along, but I don't think you need to prioritize it IF you kill Rags really early.
     
  14. Navarre

    Navarre Legio XIII

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    Not to mention religions spread along trade routes, so you have better chances to get the religion you want (ie the one everyone but you has on the goddamn landmass, as it happens way too often). If you're cut off the others by some jungle, hoping for a religion to spread in one of your ports is your best bet.
     

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