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Problems with barbs at monarch

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by vetinari, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. vetinari

    vetinari Chieftain

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    Jun 3, 2006
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    Hi all

    I've recently moved to monarch level and I seem to do quite well if i survive the early game. yes, barbs are extremely difficult for me to deal with.

    I tried fogbusters, but it doesn't seem to work every time (e.g. when I got a start in a north corner of a continent, with my opps nearly on the other side- the barbs kept coming from every side besides ocean).

    Also I find it difficult to deal with early barb axes when I have no copper nearby.
    Archers may beat them when fortified in cities, but I can't stop them from pillaging my improvements... Not to mention that sometimes I must discover techs that I rather reluctantly do (hunting->archery) or give up producing some wonders due to constant stream of defensive/fogbusting units I need to stay alive.

    Is it absolutely necessary on monarch+ levels? Have you got any propositions how to deal with them more effectively?

    Thanks in advance for your answers ;]
     
  2. Eggolas

    Eggolas Warlord

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    Welcome to Monarch! The barbarian problem was probably the biggest adjustment I had to make in moving up from Prince.

    You will have to adjust your wonder building. Usually I go first for BW and if it's not withing 10 tiles of my capitol, I'll often head for IW if my research is decent. Otherwise, it's archers or chariots for defense. Playing as Egypt or Persia helps a bit in that regard.

    Overall though, the presence of barbarians on Monarch tends to slow down early wonder production and expansion. It's just a part of the game. Getting those scouts and other units to fogbust is important.
     
  3. Nares

    Nares Emperor

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    Get used to researching Hunting and Archery early.

    Moving up past Prince really starts limiting the builder options. With the AI receiving more (and more potent) boni, you start losing out on the builder strategy benefits (wonders and religions, basically) regardless of whether you beeline for them or not. It's also difficult to compete with both AI expansion and AI military buildup at the same time (again, thanks to boni received by the AI).

    Competing only against the AI in military production (and capturing the majority of your cities and workers) is generally the best way to approach the higher difficulties. As was pointed out, civs with powerful early UUs become increasingly attractive (almost a necessity).
     
  4. ownedbyakorat

    ownedbyakorat Warlord

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    I made that move not long ago, and boy, did I have trouble getting to this side of 0 AD! The way I deal with it is to prioritize getting a few (veteran if possible) archers out ASAP. Barb axes usually don't come out of the woodwork until you've had some time to set up a defense... the streams of archers that can emerge can still make your life hell, though. I like Drill promotions for my early archers, they seem to make it a lot more likely that the unit will survive multiple attacks by the AI on their fortified hill positions.

    You can forget about the peaceful no-army openings entirely... on the other hand, all those barbs open up new avenues for warmongering, as they can get your units up to level 3 before they stop giving XP. So if you can get a bunch of early archers/axes up to 3rd level, that makes a nice core raiding force for your unfortunate neighbor(s).

    For me, Monarch level was all about learning how to be a real warmonger.
     
  5. Naismith

    Naismith Prince

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    Feb 27, 2006
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    In my second Monarch game (played recently), I got killed off by the barbarians very early. It was standard panagea, epic speed. I always research BW first.

    Here is my current theory: If your first city doesn't have copper, I think probably the best thing to do is to build a worker, chop a settler quick, and get that second city established near the (hopefully) nearby copper ASAP. Other than a warrior to accompany the settler, forget everything else.

    If you can't get copper hooked up quickly, I think you're in for a rough ride. Getting to archery quickly enough to stem the barbarians might be problematical. I wonder if you're better off going for IW in that situation. I'm sure other posters have more experience and better advice on this point.

    In my last effort at Monarch, I built two cities and took the next three. I researched BW, and no copper in sight. So I went for IW, and lucky for me, there was some nearby iron. Playing as Rome, the rest was history. As for stealing workers, I suspect it's yet another technique I need to learn.
     
  6. Andrei_V

    Andrei_V King

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    The barbs, although moving somewhat randomly, tend to choose certain routes to your cities, just because they always tend to avoid open tiles, and walk over forests/hills. Usually you can predict their ways, and fortify a few warriors so that the approaching barbs come into contact and attack.

    Do not move your centinel warriors far away from the cultural borders, and find a good place, such as a forested hill, or a forest across a river. If the warrior dies, move another one out from your nearest city, preferrably so that the damaged barb attacks on the next turn. Build strategic roads to the centinels as soon as you can.

    This way you can usually delay developing Archery or hooking up Copper for a while, and focus on more benefitical early techs, even on Emperor/Immortal.
     
  7. RemoWilliams

    RemoWilliams Warlord

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    Feb 21, 2006
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    You can turn them off.....

    Yes, it's not the "pure" game that the "framers" and "founding programmers" "intended," but I don't "like" the "we don't understand" "english" "barbarians".

    Was that enough quotes for one post?

    Barbs are a nuisance, and in my opinon, the one annoyance that's a carry over from the old days. They were doing so well, and then.... barbs. It's just one check box. I wouldn't let it worry you too much. Just say no, man.
     
  8. vetinari

    vetinari Chieftain

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    Thanks you all for replying.
    It sounds reasonable, I'll try it in my next game.

    Yeah, sure you can turn 'em off but the game without barbarians (and even animals- it seems like there is no way to turn them on/off separetly) sounds a bit lame. I tried it once and the early game was kinda... strange :crazyeye:
    Although they are annoying and I hate to restart my game when I get one of my first cities razed, I'd prefer to deal with them rather than switch them off.
     
  9. Andrei_V

    Andrei_V King

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    A few more things.

    I don't really like fog busting on higher levels, for two reasons. First, having too many units outside of the cultural borders costs a lot. Second, after the initial wave of barb attacks, they usually build a city nearby, and then stop coming. You'll still see an occasional Archer coming out of their city, but it is a lot easier to deal with.

    The fog busting prevents the barbs from building cities, so they keep coming from all possible directions. :)

    To the centinel warriors, if they survive an attack, I prefer to give Woodsman I and especially II promos. The Woodsman II warrior can walk 2 tiles across the forest, and have a good defense bonus. I like to use them as backup units: when a non-promoted centinel dies, the Woodsman II quickly approaches, and gets attacked by the damaged barb.

    I also like Chariots against barbs, they are really great. First, they can withdraw, and they have 1 mp left to retreat and heal. If this happens, they receive a huge amount of experience points.

    Second, they can beat even barb Axemen on open, if you give them Shock as the second (after Flanking I) promo. Once you have some roads around your first two or three cities, a stack of 2 or 3 Chariots can effectively counter any barb invasion.
     
  10. Paul666

    Paul666 Chieftain

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    I have started to turn off Barbarians in about half my games now. All of the hints above work and I CAN manage the Barbs. But it is a job. If I have to work that hard I might as well be working and get paid for it! The Barbs just are not "fun" for me, so sometimes I turn them off. I will admit that I do like taking barbarian cities though, they always seem to turn into useful additions to the empire.
     
  11. ownedbyakorat

    ownedbyakorat Warlord

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    Turning barbs off can hurt you, too, as you lose the opportunity to get those first 10 xp on your early units. Also, barbs mess with the AI as much as they mess with you... sometimes they can really screw an AI good, to your advantage. I would guess it would be more satisfying to leave them on, rather than having that nagging thought after you win ("but I turned barbs off, so did I really beat the level?").
     
  12. Eggolas

    Eggolas Warlord

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    I really like having my axemen get CR2 and CR3 from the barbarians before taking on an AI or capturing a barbarian city. The sometimes tense early game adds some interest.

    I also agree on early fogbusting. Those barbarian cities can be pretty nice sometimes and the gold from razing them, if needed, helps.
     
  13. The Keeper

    The Keeper Warlord

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    Could be purely chance, but I have noticed losing a lot of warriors to animals since the jump to monarch.

    In a recent game, I lost 3 warriors to animals. (one to bears, so I dont count that one as much). 2 lost to lions defending at full health + combat 1 (agressive civ).
     
  14. kamigawan

    kamigawan Warlord

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    Barbs are certainly a challenge on Monarch. If you cannot get copper immediately adjacent to your second city (or within the fat cross of your second city if creative) or earlier, you definitely need a contingency plan.

    Archers are sufficient even dealing with axemen - properly promoted after killing off warrior barbs and archer barbs, fortified on hills or forest, but you will need several.

    Chariots are also excellent alternative to axes for barbarian control.

    Good luck.
     
  15. ownedbyakorat

    ownedbyakorat Warlord

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    One other thing to keep in mind is that players get bonuses against barbs at lower levels, but those disappear as you go up in difficulty. So encounters that you could have reliably won at earlier levels may be chancy by Monarch.
     
  16. naterator

    naterator Bravely running away

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    there's nothing wrong with turning off barbarians, just don't think "wow!, i just beat monarch."; because you didn't.
     
  17. Fellow

    Fellow Chieftain

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    As a good Tipp , early Units (besides Archer) often get e bether defense bonus on e hill with wood (75% for Warior) than in citys(25%). and They will be atacked there.
     
  18. Silver Marmot

    Silver Marmot Warlord

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    I can manage them fairly well once I get axemen. For me, it is absolutely necessary that I get axemen ASAP, not just because they are the best counter, but because the axemen that fight the barbarians can be promoted to City Raider III and used in future wars.
     
  19. RemoWilliams

    RemoWilliams Warlord

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    Actually, no, the AIs are much less likely to be molested by the barbs than you are, even at Noble difficulty. At higher difficulties it's ultra rare that the barbs will touch the AI if you are within about 5000 miles or so.

    It's in one of the xml files, I just forget which one.

    As far as I'm concerned, barbs are not fun, and that's why I play the game, to have fun. It's not like leaving barbs on is gonna help get me chicks. "Hey look babe, I beat Monarch! With barbarians!"

    "OMG, u r so l33t!"

    Yeah.
     
  20. Naismith

    Naismith Prince

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    Another cherished theory squashed. :lol: I'm not a purist either. If barbs irritate you, it's stupid to leave them on. I haven't turned barbarians off, but I'm tempted to find a way to do away with animals. It's irritating that they keep eating my scouts and warriors who are just, well, scouting.
     

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