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Prince tech tree "trap" near Rifling

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by auldian, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. auldian

    auldian King

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    Alaska, USA
    Game after game I seem to encounter the same thing. At about the time I have gunpowder and am researching rifling, the AI players (all but the lowest scoring ones) suddenly have Rifling, Artillery, Steel, Scientific Method, and Steam Power. I've literally been tied in research with them, only to see 3 or 4 civs with those 4 or 5 "Won't trade" techs on the list one turn later. Out of 60 or 70 Prince games, this has probably happened on 95% of them.
    I really feel like I've walked on a mine at this point as I have a tech disadvantage that I have zero leverage to barter from and I'm defending against Artillery (the pretty much game-ender) with Musketmen and a few Riflemen; I regularly lose 4:1 units until - and IF - I make it over this hump. My "pleased and friendly" neighbors won't share and now I have the top one or two warring with me and bringing vassals in as well.
    Does this happen to others? I'll confess that I don't like Prince level. Is there an obvious flaw at this point in the game I should try to deal with?
     
  2. Hans Lemurson

    Hans Lemurson Prince

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    Silicon Valley
    When someone will not trade you a tech that is a pre-requisite for others, you won't know if they have any further technologies down the line as well. Even if an AI has only 1 tech they are willing to trade to you, they could easily be 2-3 techs ahead of you.

    Also, be aware that the AIs will trade technologies amongst themselves, and especially to their allies, so small tech leads held by a number of AIs can become a large tech lead by all of them dangerously quick. Be aware of alliances, and of Mansa Musa (who will trade with almost anyone).
     
  3. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

    Joined:
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    3,663
    If you have a save to load from these circumstances, it may help identify specific problems.

    My immediate guess is that you haven't been keeping up in GNP, and have fallen off the table compared to other civs, simply from lack of commerce.

    It is possible to overcome a late tech deficit, if you are gearing towards the space race. The internet can help, of course; but more commonly you have to arbitrage techs - research along the bottom of the tree, then trade your way back up. It's not a very interesting game, (Sirian: "there's no thinking to it") but it is effective.
     
  4. auldian

    auldian King

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    It sounds like I just suck at tech, which I know is true; I usually lose to Space Race if I see a Prince game to the end (rare).
    Thanks for the pointers.
     
  5. ElJojo

    ElJojo Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
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    A few opinions and potential advices :
    Maybe you should not research rifling. I almost never research it first. The AI seems to prioritize it, which means everybody gets it quickly and it has no trade value. So research something else.

    How does your GNP compare to others ? Do you switch to free speech to get more commerce from towns (if you have built many cottages)?
    Do you have print press ?

    Do you manage to get liberalism ? If yes then you should get nationalism as a free tech that should be tradeable.

    Gunpowder may not be a good tech to priotize so try a new path in the tech tree. (same reasoning as rifling : most AI tend to get gunpowder).
     
  6. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    With the AI grabbing Rifling/Artillery/SciMeth/Steel, not researching gunpowder is a huge mistake. You need to grab Chemistry as fast as possible in this case. I've noticed that the AI prioritizes Rifling over chemistry by far and Chem provides grenadiers which recieve a 50% vs rifleman bonus automatically. Combine that with 2 Combat promo and a gunpowder promo and you have 95% vs. rifleman. This gives you (assuming AI gives 2 str promo to rifleman) Grenadier: 23.4 str (with no penalties or def bonuses) vs. rifleman: 16.8 str (with no penalties or def bonuses). Add in a fortification bonus and some cultural def from your city and you've got a great counter to those riflemen.
     
  7. Pogel

    Pogel Warlord

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    Feb 24, 2006
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    The Grenadier bonus vs Rifles is only on attack, so you won't get the defensive bonuses as well. Not generally a problem as you'll likely be trying to take them out proactively rather than waiting for them to hit your walls, but worth pointing out.

    I tend to use Grenadiers as city attack (usually promotes maces) and use Rifles for defense, as the AI will generally attack with Cavalry if they can.
     
  8. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    ^^^An excelent point. The AI usually has an unbelievable amount of mounted units, but cavalry especially. I never really understood this tactic as my cavalry would usually fall rather easily to the defenders. I also play on Noble, not prince, so I find myself on the delivering end of the gun more often than the recieving end :)
     
  9. ElJojo

    ElJojo Chieftain

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    I meant that gunpowder was not a priority because you could easily trade for it. If you research and everybody has it, well you can't get anything from it.
     
  10. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    ^^I turn off tech trading often. I hate how all AIs end up having the same level of tech.
     
  11. orgonebox

    orgonebox Squidtastic

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    On Monarch, when I expect the AI to have more techs than me for quite some time, I turn off the goody huts. They really don't need any help, and seem to pop free tech more often than not. No tech trading would be a good idea for a continents or archipelago map. A recent archipelago game as Hannibal had me in the lead for a time, but suddenly the other continent, with Wang Kon and Brennus as score leaders, jumped five or six techs ahead of me in the time it took me to research one. Wang was out-teching me while fighting two wars (as a result of bribery!), and he only had six cities.

    Thus, when it comes to the AI and researching gunpowder, just bribe someone else into a war with something like drama. Once you have nationalism, research gunpowder and you should still be the first to printing press etc. After all, the AI can't fight a war unless it has superior units and you're undefended. Cultural victory games are the only games where I get my butt kicked sometimes. Then again, if I really want to get pounded, I could just move up to emperor.
     

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