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Please explain the "NC Start"

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Alatar1313, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Alatar1313

    Alatar1313 Chieftain

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    I've had some difficulty searching for this because the search tool seems to think "NC" is too short a word to be searched. Could someone just give me a quick run-through of how the NC start works and/or direct me to a video or other link demonstrating it?

    From what I understand, it essentially means building no or few cities until you have a library and NC in your capitol and then REXing. My questions are:

    1. Do you actually wait to build any cities before the NC goes down then REX out as normal or build just a low number of cities so you can put libraries down quickly?

    2. About what turn (standard rules) do you see your second city with an NC start? It seems like quite a while to wait if it's turn 50ish (though not saying it isn't worth it).

    3. What's a general early build queue for capitol? I've been trying out Monument - Scout - Scout - Library - NC - Settler - Settler (changes slightly sometimes depending on what my tiles are).
     
  2. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    A National College (or NC) start means you stick to one city until you build a Library, followed by a National College.

    Technology-wise its usually Mining (or Animal Husbandry) first, followed by Pottery and Writing. Depends on the surrounding terrain (Cattle and sheep are solid food-production tiles even in early game).

    The national College costs 100:c5production:. You can either hard-build or rush-buy a library which is the prerequisite (rush-buy only available IF you get a mining-tech happiness resource like gold, silver, gems and IF you find an AI with spare money).

    As for build queues, I presume most people use the following route:
    *set governor to default
    - build a scout (5-7 turns)
    - build a worker (usually 15-17 turns)
    *set governor to focus production
    - build a library
    - build National College

    The benefit of National college is 7.5:c5science: from the NC itself and 50% bonus to all other research done in that city, but I guess you already knew that :)

    EDIT: The other option is to go for two cities, in which case you hard-build the first library and rush-buy it in the second city. The national college costs 120:c5production: in that case, but your city should be large enough now to compensate for it. This may be a reasonable strategy if you want to grab a critical "second city" spot.
     
  3. Treso

    Treso Warlord

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    The NC allows (its right? :blush:) you to rush steel and get longswordman to beat your neighboors. I am usually going for Education -> Rifles or Education -> Public Schools. If you go for Public Schools you have about 200 beakers by turn 200 in standard speed. That on King difficult allows you to be the tech leader almost everytime. You can get infantry very fast or bulb some GSs your way to Mech Inf, Plastics or Apolo Program.
     
  4. Alatar1313

    Alatar1313 Chieftain

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    Think it's still worth building a worker over a monument if I'm getting a free worker as my like 3rd SP?

    edit: and playing France
     
  5. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak R.I.P.

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    You can always build a warrior or 2 while going for writing. Good barb camps buster, they can be upgraded to swordmen later.
     
  6. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    * never let your scout take more than 5 turns to build. So a forest or hill should be used for the first 5 turns.
    - then go food focus until writing.

    You need a worker, so either build it, or get a culture ruin and go Liberty for the free one. (build monument in that case)

    else, build order is:

    Scout->worker->
    whatever you want to waste some hammers on until writing opens up. (warrior is ok for dealing with a barb)

    Mining->Pottery->writing
    - if you have forests.

    AH->Pottery->writing
    - if you don't.

    oh, and you get 8 beakers total from the NC according to the text ingame (city screen). Use of floats is not very common in Civ.
     
  7. Ibian

    Ibian King

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    Right but the thing is, a second city gives just as many beakers at pop 5 with a library and then continues to grow from there, plus gold, resources, land grabbing and whatever else. And GL is cheaper.

    Only wonders i really go for before getting a few more cities is henge, and then mids later once nearby civs are blocked from taking stuff i want.

    Remember, each lux is 10 GPT without having to be worked, which can be turned into 20+ science with patronage, or even more with RA.
     
  8. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    This isn't quite that cut and dried. Chopping the NC is often a bad idea. If you're chopping, you're not hooking up luxuries, and that's costing you :c5gold:. It makes sense if you were going to chop the Forest anyway, but I can't recommend wasting a Worker turn moving and three turns chopping to clear cut a grassland unless you stole a couple Workers.

    The new Granary is completely absurd in the right start. If you have a start with multiple Plains Wheat/Forest Deer and can scrape together the cash quickly enough via ruins, CS exploration and loans, go Pottery first and buy it. 8 GPT = 180:c5gold:, having 200 :c5gold: via CS gifts and ruins by turn 10 is very doable, and it's completely worth the mortgage. 4F/H tiles before Workers are even a thought are just wrong.

    Pottery -> Calendar -> Writing and buying the Library can also be a good idea.

    Believe it or not, growing them is still a bad idea. The bonus :c5food: from Maritimes/LE impacts productivity the most when the city is small. GL doesn't return anything approaching enough :c5science: to be worthwhile. And the effects of the NC on the capital are pretty substantial as the game progresses.
     
  9. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I'm not convinced that faster research that early at start equals better empire. Stuff still takes time to build. As long as you get techs fast enough for your cities to be busy I see no reason for making "huge leaps forward" in tech. Its not like you can trade them away or anything. Investment into other stuff will pay back later as well. As you mentioned - early granary or stables can completely change your city's capabilities in a 100 turns, maybe more than a NC can.

    I guess it all breaks down on how productive your possible 2nd or 3rd cities can be and what difficulty level you play on.
     
  10. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    yes difficulty level matters.;)

    but given that the NC hammer cost rises/city, if you ReX then try for it, you've probably wasted more hammers/turns on tech than you would if you NC first then ReX.
     
  11. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    true, not 'cut and dried', but close.

    If mining tech lux around, then definitely mining first.

    I do like to chop the Library or NC (depending on when the worker is available/forests exist) to speed it up. an extra lux can be sold later during the ReX phase. If the worker is out early enough, you can start chopping for the library 2 turns before writing. 5 turns into the Lib you could have 2 forests chopped then move on to lux.

    It does depend on the start you have. If you've got jungles everywhere, then you've got a rough start.
     
  12. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Chop is, what 20, hammers? That means two chops can really cut down the NC cost.
     
  13. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    yeah. more importantly it cuts down the time you are staying at a single city.

    If you can time getting another SP around the time you're finishing the NC, then free settler + faster settlers = win all around.
     
  14. Alatar1313

    Alatar1313 Chieftain

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    Anyone happen to know how fast hammers degrade if you put a few into something but don't finish it? I often find myself putting like 3 turns into a warrior before doing library/NC and wasn't sure how much I was losing for it.
     
  15. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    pretty sure they don't degrade. Better not degrade. :blush:
     
  16. Fluxx

    Fluxx Mr. Almost There

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    A couple of things to add.
    Make sure you have a worker before you dedicate yourself to building something hammer-heavy. In this case that will be the NC.

    Also, with almost every race and most maps I build warriors instead of scouts. Warriors are simply put better. If you control your warrior manually you will most of the time be able to move 2 tiles each turn, you can actually capture barb camps, you can defend against invading barbs and they upgrade to swordsman.

    Building a NC in your first city used to be "normal" in the last patch, however I have been toying around with some other strats now with certain civs.
    F.e. China, I found out you can mix it up a bit. I got to four cities first, and build 4 papermakers, then a NC in my capital.
    It felt like a more natural transition, it allowed me to get the "sweet" spots I wanted and my tech never dropped during the rest of the game. Also papermakers are just crazy, especially after the patch.
     
  17. kurtkage

    kurtkage Warlord

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    10 turns and hammers start to degrade I believe. :(

    You can switch back to it for a turn and reset the timer probably.
     
  18. Luderhow

    Luderhow Chieftain

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    They don't degrade, I pre-hammered out an Oxford university until it was only 1 turn once and when I finally hammered it out 50 turns later it was still 1 turn for me. :D

    I'm curious though.. where did you get the idea that it would degrade? :confused:
     
  19. Alatar1313

    Alatar1313 Chieftain

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  20. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    If there's something that can be mined, I probably settled it, and given that I will go Mining first.

    Given the choice between:

    a) chop Library, build NC
    b) hook up a luxury, sell it for 300:c5gold:, buy Library for 380:c5gold:

    the choice is very easy. It's made even easier if you were able to sell a luxury on turn 10, since you know you'll get close to 300:c5gold: on turn 41 to buy the CS/Education RAs.

    Getting hammers as Monty is often a problem.
     

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