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Powering Japan

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Bibor, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Just noticing whenever a youtube deity player plays Japan, forgets to mention one important thing: Shale Plants (Japans Coal plant UB) does not require coal to operate. Thus, no unhealth if you don't connect (or trade away) coal, of if you simply don't have coal. Granted, you'll need oil for railroads then.
     
  2. ArchGhost

    ArchGhost Prince

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    Granted, I often overlook this too, but if a random map isn't balanced enough for one to have their own source of coal after all that can happen in warfare/expansion up to the point of Assembly Line, you're in more trouble than such a perk on a UU can fix or doing something else other than being successful in any case. Or maybe playing a victory type where you aren't gonna need factories (Culture?)

    Could see more merit in it on maps where resource imbalance is kind of the point and it's gonna go to modern warfare/space. The coal and unhealth bit is interesting I suppose, since you never have to go Fission or Plastics then or bend over backwards trading for coal. +10% production bonus is nice though, as it is a hammer bonus and thus can act as a boost to wealth/research in a hammer economy.

    I'm no longer nearly as harsh on Japan these days compared to when I was convinced he was dead last because I didn't understand the importance of starting techs (there are FAR worse than Japan's) and just how good AGG actually is as a trait.
     
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  3. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I've had more than one scenario where it was either invading the other continent(s) or going space and I lacked coal, oil or aluminum. Coal plants come relatively early, so building them without having an additional unhealth tax eliminates the need of building hydro (where even applicable) or nuclear plants. Overall, I think lacking oil hurts more, since oil can replace coal for most things, but its still a nice touch.

    I agree on Japan being okay, not as bad as people make it to be, except if you're Lain and deliberately start on a peninsula with 3 land tiles and a plains cow :D
     
  4. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    A decent, late UB doesn't really help much. Probably the weakest trait combo, no agri or mining for a fast start, mediocre UU... I just can't think of any leader that is weaker. Not sure if this is a meaningful subject though, as certainly games can be won with any leader. :)
     
  5. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Well...fishing is good for seafood starts. Also you can get fast pottery. Finally, at least it's not the dreaded myst/hunting combo which is useful in exactly 2% of cases (deer and oracle).

    Pro is bad but at least better with agg since then you get super-rifles. Agg is not bad, as previous users have mentioned. Samurai make macerushes slightly more viable (can power thru longbows better with FS advantage, less chance of stupid deaths to archers). Shale plants are good for...reasons mentioned before. So Japan is bad but I wouldn't say it's the worst, either.
     
  6. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Fishing is not horrible certainly, and can even be a good starting tech if all food is seafood. Still, most starts are not like that. Going pottery before BW is not often something that you want to do, but with certain starting tech combos you sometimes need to do it. Agree that fish+wheel is a lot better than myst+hunt.
    I guess saying that AGG is not bad is pretty much the same as saying that Japan is not bad. What is worse is the real question? I think only PRO is worse than AGG and obviously that doesn't imply that AGG is useless, just that all the other traits are just more useful. I ask again, what leader could be worse? I can only think of Saladin or Churchill, but I think both SPI and CHA are quite a lot better than AGG and I think Japanese uniques are roughly on par with Arabic or English uniques. Like I mentioned earlier, especially late UBs don't offer much help in winning the game.
     
  7. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Charlie would be worst in my opinion.

    Schnekts completely own with engineering rush but you're gonna have the chance to do that...maybe 0.5% of the time? And rathaus is nice, but still pretty inconsequential - mostly build wealth is how you're gonna sustain your economy until cuirs/cannons/whatever tech, and then it's killing time. If you need to tech again afterwards then get to communism and courthouses become mostly irrelevant. The only time it's useful is when you're recovering from an early rush but somehow still had time to grab CoL before currency? But in that case, 4-pop whips are still a hefty price to pay. You need good food as well. So...UU and UB is good but way too situational.

    Pro is, well, pro. IMP is good but faster settlers is literally the only thing you get (and by that I mean just better chops/whips for them, if you got plains cow and unforested brown land, then tough luck). Agg gives your offensive units an edge throughout the game and is great for barb defense, where C1 tips the odds in favor of forested warriors while making cover an easier affair, and facilitates rushing with HAs/elepults because barracks now don't cost an arm and a leg. So I'd say Toku = Charlie on traits, roughly.

    All in all, traits being par with each other, Toku's UU and UB might be slightly worse but his starting techs more than make up for that.
     
  8. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    IMP was always underrated, cos more play good starts than bad ones ;)

    It's really one of the best very hard map traits, first you can maybe secure important city spots before (deity) AIs get there, or save important hammers early if your city is really weak.
    Double GG points are also great when breaking out.
    They are imo better than Cha for rushes, getting 20xp to share freely makes such a huge difference for your starting army.
    Ofc extra happy makes Cha very good for cities.
     
  9. Anysense

    Anysense King

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    Yeah, I always thought that aggressive is worth more than most people around here think it is. Free promotion and almost free barracks may not be very important when you play a HoF map, but when you play normal game and struggle to beat that damn AI that had taken all juicy spots, aggressive can be the difference between win and loss. Imperialistic, on the other hand, really shines in HoF, because it enables ridiculously powerful early breakouts with consequent snowball.
    I used to play Japan a lot. Samurais are fun, if you can find iron of course, which isn't exactly rare. Very powerful in combination with agressive, with some CR promotions at least until gunpowder they go through any defences like a knife through butter. I don't fancy drill promoted rifles though, prefer CR3 ones upgraded from samurais.
     
  10. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Well if the start is commerce poor, which is like 80% of starts I roll randomly, pottery as tech #1 isn't such a bad idea. Of course, I don't play deity, so that's a factor.
     
  11. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I think AGG is my favourite trait and whenever people complain about AGG, I'm always thinking that they are playing with barbs off. :)

    Agg is a close equivalent of having archery from the start. And with toku (or any leader that doens't have hunting already) that is such a massive beaker saving in the start.
    Build a barracks early and if you got like one mine in your capital you can feel 100% safe against barbs untill axes start showing up since pairs of warriors with shock stand a very decent chance even against spears.

    Agg gives you phenomenal chances of axerushes, and it has lasting value too. Having all your units able to promote to pinch right away is really huge.
    Other nice tricks can be pulled of too, such as hitting all of one AIs coastal starts with amphibious grenadiers...
     
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  12. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Quoting this for truth:
    It's easy to see the power in lifting 10 axes from 3xp to 5xp early on. But that is just one of countless examples of tricks you can pull of.
     
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  13. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I have not ever tried, but I would imagine that one can do nice things with the rathouse in endgame with enviromentalism and corporations.
     
  14. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I also think game speed and map size skew the leader traits a bit. I never play it, but I'm sure huge maps with hundreds of cities play well into "organized" and some other traits, units and wonders. I can imagine the Three Gorges Dam and other "every city" wonders scale in importance with map size, or praetorians and other UUs being more interesting at marathon speed. Overall Charlie is a terrible leader (AI Charlie is no better) and I don't think Rathaus is a saving grace in this instance. I'd rather have Expansive and Free market over Environmentalism :)
     
  15. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Many answers and only Charlie being suggested as worse. ;)

    I think pottery first is nearly always horrible, because the early turns are about expanding rapidly to good sites i.e. :hammers: and :food: are much more important.
     
  16. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    Pottery after food can be good on commerce trap (my own definition ;)) starts.
    I learned the hard way that you should not go Agri - AH - mining - BW on some deity maps, ofc that would be the worst case.

    If Toku starts with corn i.e. and ~2 river tiles, Agri - Pottery can be best.
    Much depends on second city spots, if they are also commerce poor i may want to boost my Cap before expanding.
    Other factors like are they contested by an AI? will also be considered.
     
  17. elmurcis

    elmurcis Emperor

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    Any leader is playable as long as it gives satisfaction to player (from highest performance to some role-playing or just some cool "need to tech all tech-tree to finish any win condition").
    I like playing Japan time by time on "medium" difficulty (when you have to do things right in general but have place for different options and can allow minor mistakes here and there) as playing it makes mind to think aggresive (not neccesary rush- type aggressive but more focused on potential military in case its good thing to do) and because I do have much more fishing starts (to be honest - most of starts) - early opening is pretty solid (specially if can get SH done with Stone - big thing on Huge maps where any AI with religion can be on other side of planet and some cities won't have easy way to get monument (or library).
    Samurai is pretty solid UU, Shale Plant works as late game EXP trait (if can get away from Coal).
    Playing as Sid would be difficult (if that would be with no UU/UB, no starting techs, no traits) but even there some great players could win Deity I suppose :D
     
  18. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    PRO is my least favourite trait.

    Just had to defend toku since I'm currently enjoying this map:
    Had total control over the entire island at somewhere around T40-T50 with 5 warriors or so. And only lost one warrior in total.
    I also went pottery before BW, but iso is a very special case when there is really no rush to settle spots.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0001.JPG


    I think that it could be, that I build quite a few castles in this game tbh, PRO+stone might make it worth it. :)
     
  19. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Castles are interesting for a "steal my way back into the game" approach (along with the +1 trade route which is always good). I think espionage is underrated a bit. Not the giant hammer hog buildings, but the slider & modifiers approach. You can get them for, what, 25 hammers a piece with stone? That's worth it just for the trade route.
     
  20. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Well, it can be a fun alternate approach..there are many in the game for casual type play. However, it is by no means optimal in any way. Castles are a rather poorly designed building - not quite the phrase I want to use. But timing wise, I mean, they are very poor. By the time or nearabout I trade for Engineering I'm well on my way to finishing Economics in most games...and well near finishing the game unless going for Space. Even in Space games castles will have a very short life, and Eco provides far more benefit in the long run, plus said trade route.

    I guess an argument could be made of the Engie bulb path with stone for some cheap protective castles, but in the case of Toke that is already irrelevant since he starts with Fishing.

    Not much one can really say in defense of the Protective trait. Is a trait thrown in for the AIs, and only fosters passive play in for humans, and this game favors aggressive play-style - at least optimally speaking.

    (with that said, I like Toku a bit more than most give him credit..but he is still the worst leader especially in terms of traits..and gawdawful as an AI generally. IMO Sams have some uses. Shale Plant largely irrelevant but, on paper, a very nice bonus over base building, so nice for Space. Starting techs open some opportunities in some starts, and yes, I think early POT can have its merits, but again, very situational. Bottom Line - Toke can be good with the right start. Not very adaptable though like some leaders)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019

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