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[BTS] Prince Questions

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Stibi-shimi, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Stibi-shimi

    Stibi-shimi Chieftain

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    Hello all,

    I am looking to consistently win Prince level games. I'd like to show you a recent game to ask for some help.

    The major issue in this game was that there was a distant Civ (Darius) who outpaced me (Caesar) in growth despite the fact that I won a number of major battles against the other civs. By the end of the game, Darius and I had split the civs into vassals and he was far enough ahead in tech that he would win space race before I could do anything.

    Looking for tips on either this specific problem, or general tips on play. Thanks.

    Saves are BTS steam version so no mods.
     

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  2. lymond

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

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    Yeah, I looked at your 1937AD save and your 650BC save, and there are a ton of issues.

    First, let me explain something just to give you some perspective - for learning purposes - and that is that by grasping a few basic concepts you should absolutely dominate the AI on Prince...I mean sillytown absolute domination.

    So its to those basic concepts that we really must strive for here. I see little point on analyzing your current game much at all since there is just so much wrong with it that there's no benefit in discussing. I will point out a a couple of things though from your 650BC save:

    1) 3 cities at this date is very very bad
    2) Granary is the most important building in the game..really THE only important building. Everything else is situational to flat irrelevant.
    3) Overall in this game, other than the missing out on basic stuff you need to learn, you appear to build way too many buildings and I surmise that you played with little purpose - with no goal in mind - which is not unreasonable considering your experience at this point in time.

    So really what I recommend is start from ground zero. Post a shadow game at Turn 0 and get advice from Turn 0. Your settlings are fine (no huts/events is recommend), but I recommend turn espionage on. No espionage throws off the culture mechanic and we can at least show you how to use it passively for now. Prince difficulty is fine to play on if you wish - its not a big step up from Noble.
     
  3. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Best way is to post a turn 0 game with your thoughts and then only play short sets (5/10 turns) pausing to discuss what you are doing.

    Had a quick look at the BC0650 save and a few immediate things (it reminds me of my games before I discovered this forum!!):-

    • Make sure your cities are always working your best tiles, e.g. capital is not working rice
    • Why is the capital building a monument? All a monument does is slowly expand your borders, your capital doesn't need it because it has the Palace.
    • You've had Bronze Working for ages but aren't in slavery, learn to use the whip!
    • You have a worker building a farm at the capital, it has plenty of food but two hills that need mined - chop the trees into Praets and then mine the hills.
    • You capital is unhappy but you have a gold mine that isn't connected
    920 AD save
    • You only have 6 cities, you should be aiming for 6 by 1000BC and 10 by 1AD
    • Related to that it looks like you waited for catapults before going to war which has slowed you down far too much
    • You haven't fully explored your continent so you have little idea what is out there
    • Ravenna is a horrible city with no food at all, horses aren't a priority as Rome
    • Neapolis is another poor city, misses the river by one tile and no food so you had to farm a flood plain
    • Antium has food at least but again you are missing fresh water by one tile
    • As Rome the hammers put into settlers for that island could have been Praets that took Greek and Portugese cities
    • Likewise you wasted hammers on Temples and Monasteries, why?
    • You're trying to go to war but the Capital is building the Great Library with no marble, ugh
    Sorry if this seems harsh, but I've been there - before finding this forum I struggled on the lower levels now I can comfortably beat Emperor and also with a bit of luck (and specific settings) on Immortal and Deity.

    As I say post a start and let us help you play it through.

    Good luck!

    EDIT: Cross posted with Lymond, agree with what he says.
     
  4. lymond

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

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    Here's an example of a recent and pretty good shadow game, if you want an example:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/noble-shadow-game-for-guyyee-2.662208/

    You can glean some good advice from that as well.

    Also, not sure if you play with BUG/BULL mod, but it is highly recommend. Install into Custom Assets (SP option) and the mod does not need to be loaded, and saves are compatible with or without. You can find it here, and Blue Marble:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/download-bug-and-bat-here.274636/

    (Note: Be careful when copying the BULL DLL file over to you Assets folder...make sure you rename the vanilla dll so you can revert back to it when needed)
     
  5. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    You can play with Mods even with Steam by the way.
     
  6. lymond

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

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    Ah steam version. Few pointers there:

    1) You need to revert to the Beta original release version. Go to BTS in your library > right click > Properties > Beta tab > select "blah blah..original release...blah blah" from the drop down. Steam will download some stuff. This version is compatible with mods. Do this before you install any mods or change anything.

    2) Always run BTS from the executable in Steam/steamapps/common/BTS/BTS...not from the Steam library. I add the folder to Quick Access in Windows Explorer.

    3) I recommend setting the executable to 'run as adminstrator". Right click on executable>Properties>Compatibility> Check the box

    (Steam modified the Civ IV for their multiplayer system a few years ago and jack things up for mods. They provided an original release version when everyone hollered at them.)
     
  7. Stibi-shimi

    Stibi-shimi Chieftain

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    This is great advice and exactly what I'm looking for. I'll post a shadow game sometime. Thanks all.
     
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  8. scheines

    scheines Warlord

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    Is this the current REXing benchmark? I think I saw 6 by 1 AD in the past; perhaps I need to up the ante :undecide:. This also seems to deviate a bit from what I see in some Lain games, but I guess sometimes you just get boxed in at 6-8 cities?

    Back to the OP, I can’t add much more than what has already been highlighted, but I’ll throw my thoughts in the ring anyways. Shadow games will teach you more than you can imagine.

    • Build fewer buildings. The typical advice you’ll see here (for domination / conquest games) is that granaries are good, everything else ranges from situational to useless. Stuff like grocers, walls, etc. you will virtually never make. Even most wonders are viewed as not worth their costs, save for a few.
    • A lot of guides laying around are outdated with the current norm. Don’t take too much stock (or sometimes any) in them. They have a number of pitfalls that generally will just create bad habits. IMO, Especially avoid reading about cottage vs specialist economies and city specialization, that messed me up so much :lol:.
    • I can’t recommend BUG+BULL enough. Learning to interpret a few key features probably moved me up a difficulty level (plotting AIs, slavery timer, notifying of available trades, etc.)
    • Will add more once I can open saves


    PS - check out Fippy’s beginner guide; it hits a lot of fundamentals that can probably set you on the path to winning at prince, if not higher.
     
  9. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    At Prince and below definitely, not always possible but good to aim for.
     
  10. Stibi-shimi

    Stibi-shimi Chieftain

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    I'm looking over this game. I've stopped building buildings except for granaries everywhere and libraries. Before I post a shadow, I have a question about something I noticed on this, which is that the science slider is all the way down. What is the logic to this and how does it work? Do you just buy techs from other civs once you have alpha?
     
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  11. urbestfriend

    urbestfriend Chieftain

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    This is a technique called binary research, essentially you only put the slider at 100% or 0%. Keep it at 0% until you have the gold to research the tech all the way through at 100%. It has some small bonuses like avoiding rounding errors, letting you have more gold on hand for things like trades (or events if you play with those), and lets you save your research for say, after you get libraries built. Here's a thread about it: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/binary-research.327660/
     
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  12. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    The other big advantage of binary research is in those turns running at 0% percent what you want to research next might change - you might get a trade from an AI , your explorations might reveal a new resource or a war might start. Binary research avoids making the commitment to the next tech until you have to.
     
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  13. lymond

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

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    I'd add too that you may meet more AIs the know the tech you are targeting. Knowing AIs with techs you don't have provides a small bonus on the tech. Also, it helps fund expansion during the expansion phase.

    Basically, once you hit deficit research you want to consider running 0 or 100% research. Deficit research occurs once you settle your first city, other than the cap, as you start incurring maintenance costs. Lower slider to 0% until you have just enough gold to then complete the next tech at 100%. After Writing, when you start looking at the more expensive tech from the next era like Alpha, Maths or Aesthetics, and while getting libraries up and running, you might run 0% for a extended time using one of the techs as a placeholder. This pay off especially on higher difficulty levels where maintenance costs increase significantly, AIs tech faster, and tech trading becomes more important.

    But first and foremost in the early game, the rounding issue at some X% slider is the main reason for binary or 0%. (You still have the 1 beaker from the Palace so there is some progress at 0%)

    You can see this rounding issue in your next game. Next one you start up do this little check after you settle your first city. Lower slider to 0%. Note the gold per turn at the top left and the beakers per turn next to the slider. Now raise slider to 10% and note the same. What is the difference?

    Later on the rounding issue disappears once multipliers are in place and such, and you run scientists. You might play with the slider some then, but generally I go with 0% or 100% for most of the game. But the goal is always to be at 100% research as much as possible. You will have ways of acquiring more gold after Currency is teched...plus wealth building and fail gold opportunities.
     
  14. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Library is an expensive building. Definitely not a good build in every city.
     
  15. Stibi-shimi

    Stibi-shimi Chieftain

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    I've started a shadow game here for any who are interested.
     
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  16. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Yes, this, and it also helps you take some time to decide what to go for while banking gold, or wait for a trade to open up, so you don't put a couple hundred beakers into something you can trade for in just a few turns.

    Also, hey Adora ;).
     
  17. odin1981

    odin1981 Chieftain

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    If you have a even amount of beaker's per turn at 100% research, and your government is stretched by # of cities you have settled you can run research at 50% to cut costs due to city maintenance as you beeline to currency to recover your economy again. Because you won't have a rounding error and miss a beaker that you would if you had a odd # of beaker's. But that is a corner case example if you are stretching every little bit out of your economy to hit a breakpoint tech.

    It would also have to be matched out how much gold you gain per turn at 0% research to see if the 50% would get you there faster. This is largely because outside of high pop commerce cities (FP rich for cottage's + luxury metals) most tend to avoid gold buildings. So when you set research to zero you will often get much less gold than when you set 100% research and get much greater #'s of beaker's.

    It might be a little micro intensive, but occasionally especially in early game with under ten cities you can research faster than binary due to this. Often time's to even get one turn of 100% research it takes 3+ turns of running 0% for full gold production to earn enough gold for one turn of 100% this is were the 50% would pay off. Because at 50%, two turns of 50% = one turn of 100% ideally you would be able to get say a +1-3 gold per turn in a perfect situation as well.

    Please note however that I am talking about a severely stretched economic situation. Also if your bpt was at a # divisible by 5 this would also open up running 20%, 40%, 60%, or 80% as well but really only the lower end of by 20% (so 20 and 40% hopefully) in such a situation but that is really probably only for a HOF style game I would think where you're trying to go super fast to accomplish a research task.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  18. civac

    civac Warlord

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    This doesn't make any sense. If you need 3 gold turns for each research turn you can't run the slider at 50% without losing gold. Slider position does not impact your average research speed at all (except for rounding errors and building timings).

    If you are sprinting to currency it can be worthwhile to research one turn with non-binary research since that is faster than a full gold turn and a full research turn if you can crawl to currency at 20%, say. But this can only ever be one turn in any research project.
     
  19. odin1981

    odin1981 Chieftain

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    I said if it takes 3+ turns of 0% to gain one turn of 100% research then a 50% if BPT was a even # at 100% is better. But if not a even # of commerce, yes you lose a beaker per turn. If you really stretch your economy to it's limit's yes it happens. Granted only Darius and Huyana are going to be able to stretch it that far generally. But I also play marathon/epic and most seem to only play normal/standard whatever it's called.

    If you say for example have 8 cities by 2000 bc your economy is hurting. You will probably have two libraries up and running. The first enemy capital you take over if commerce heavy and your own capital. The former enemy capital will generate less but for the purposes of example say it brings in 12 commerce, and your capital brings in 20 so with libraries they respectively bring in 15 and 25 commerce in those cities so 40 total at 100% research. Let's say the other 6 cities bring in 24 total.

    However the zero research slider doesn't factor maintenance costs so while technically you have 56 total unmodified commerce running at 0% nets you much lower in GPT determined by distance and population as well as probably other factors I'm not taking into account. However when you run at 100% research you get 64 BPT. It conceivably take 4-5 turns at zero % too get enough gold to run at 100% for one turn. But hypothetically at 50% you could run at a minimal loss to a minimal gain say -5 to +5 variable range at that research. So you would be getting 32 BPT set each turn while if running at zero for 3 than 100 for 1 you get 64 total but at 32 each turn it nets you 132 beaker's over those same 4 turns.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  20. civac

    civac Warlord

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    Let's take your example except we assume the non-capital cities make 20 commerce and your capitals both make 20 commerce for 60 total commerce with library bonus for 40 of it. Also assume you have costs of 48 gpt. You need 4 turns to accumulate 48 gold which is enough for one research round of 70 beakers. If you are running at 50% you would make 35 (well 34 actually due to rounding) beakers each turn except you also have costs of 50 gold against gains of 30 gold each turn so you would be bleeding 20 gold that you don't have. But wait, we can lower the slider further to 20%. We now make 14 beakers each turn while staying even on gold. After 5 turns we have accumulated 70 beakers exactly as in the binary research case. It can't possibly have been otherwise.

    As I said the slider position does not affect your average research speed. Does you intuition not tell you that pushing the timing of gold accumulation and research around via the slider cannot possibly make 100 extra beakers appear out of thin air? Is that not completely obvious?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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