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Progress 5 Cities Opener

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by jma22tb, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    I wanted to share what I consider to be one of the best openers to gobble up a large amount of land, resources, and, just as importantly, secure them with city garrisons.

    This approach works on any map besides archipelagos / island maps.

    Okay here goes:

    Tech Order

    Trapping
    Pottery
    The Wheel
    Animal Husbandry
    Mining
    Bronze Working
    Trade
    Fishing

    Explanation: This sequence gives you everything you need to garrison and connect your cities, while uncovering Horses and Iron on the map. Once you get Trade and Fishing you'll then be able to make every city profitable and be able to see Fish for maritime start areas, like a peninsula, and your Scout will be able to embark and explore the entire landmass they can access and survive.

    Policy Order

    Progress
    Liberty
    Equality
    Fraternity

    Explanation: The worker and improvement construction speed makes connecting cities easy. Equality is the best wide economic policy of the Ancient era, followed shortly by Fraternity which is the best wide scientific policy.

    Capital Production Order

    Monument
    Shrine
    Scout
    Archer
    Archer
    Settler
    Option 1) Farming if you can't build a Warrior before Bronze Working
    Option 2) Warrior to give you a flanking buddy for your initial Warrior
    Statue of Zeus
    Archer
    Settler
    Archer
    Settler
    Archer
    Settler

    Explanation: Starting off with Monument and Shrine is important because you want a Pantheon and you want to get your Policies faster. This is even stronger with Ethiopia and their Stele. Scout should be obvious, but how you use it won't be. Before Fishing, a Scout is actually very limited in their ability to explore. Your Scout is a flanking buddy for your Warrior until you can embark. The Archers are there to garrison every city you have, which greatly facilitates your ability to deal with Barbarians as you go, in combination with your Scout and Warrior units breaking up camps.

    The option is based on your capital's production. If you can get a second warrior you'll be able to send your Scout off to explore a bit more while waiting for Fishing, because two warriors can break up camps just fine.

    Statue of Zeus might be a head scratcher, but the free Forge is the kicker. You'll crank out the last three cities very quickly if you get it. This depends a bit though. Sometimes the AI just gets a crazy amount of culture early on and gets this, but SoZ is not a popular Wonder for the AI as far as I've seen. Nowhere near as much as Pyramids or Temple of Artemis. If you don't get it, it only costs you some extra hammers and you'd be trying for it anyway so you get started on the last three cities faster.

    Settled Cities

    Monument
    Shrine
    Market

    Explanation: The idea is to keep up with your Policies as you go. You could invest in Monument if you're Carthage, but if you're not, just set to Production and leave them be.

    It's worth pointing out that a coastal city with high production potential like Hills, Iron, Horses is the perfect military-industry city. You can build your navy and army in the same place with Heroic Epic and Ironworks, freeing up your capital to focus on Wonders.

    Pantheon

    Normal Pantheon: God of Commerce

    Explanation: This is something I consider requisite. Expanding this fast is expensive, especially when you add up the costs of new buildings. I was considering doing Earth Mother for India, but what you gain in static hammers is lost more severely in gold if you don't have any mining luxuries, like Copper, Gold, Silver, Jade, Salt, etc. I've never lost a Religion from doing this and it has a supplementary effect with Equality.

    How I Use Those Five Cities

    Capital - Civic Engineering

    I slot Engineers and Merchants with an emphasis on building Wonders. The ability to freely adapt to building a Wonder that is just available is critical to getting them on time. Also where I build NWs like Scrivener's Office, National Monument, School of Philosophy, etc. It just makes sense - who doesn't want their capital to be the sexiest city in the world?

    2nd City Coastal - Military Industry

    I also slot Engineers and Merchants, but the emphasis is on building your army and navy. If you put Manufactories here and are fortunate enough to have Stone, Iron and/or Horses, this will be a juggernaut of a military training city. Heroic Epic and Ironworks are the NWs you want here.

    3, 4 and 5 - Writer's Guild and Science Cities

    These cities I slot with Scientist, Merchant and Writer slots. The point of these is to keep your techs and policies coming in fast.

    How to Handle Aggressive Neighbors

    Credit goes to Krullehoofd.

    Conclusion

    That's the opener. Hope you guys enjoy it and find it useful!
     
  2. Gokudo01

    Gokudo01 Emperor

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    Don't you build any worker before your 5th city ?
     
  3. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Apparently not. OP is trying to cover the map ASAP, and will take care of tiles later. It seems that for him/her 5 cities is the maximum before producing extra workers (the first comes from Liberty).

    I'd add that thanks to equality you can settle your first cities in the farthest place you planned to settle and the lattest cities will be filling the gaps later.
     
  4. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    No because the idea is to deny your neighbors any possibility of grabbing the good real estate. The 25% bonus is more than enough to build the roads and once the settler spam is done I usually do three workers so I can start improving the tiles.

    It's pretty stunning how quickly everything falls into place after that.
     
  5. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Do you rush buy any units or buildings, or is gold usually pretty tight until after your cities are connected, etc?

    Also, delaying your scout and using the scout as a flanking buddy for barbarian hunting is probably contrary to the general consensus (I think). I believe most people go for a scout pretty early (I usually go scout->monument to start) and try to find as many ruins as possible with the scout. Even when going authority first my scout is usually looking for ruins rather than helping with camps unless there is a prime opportunity to snipe or something. Is there a reason you aren't prioritizing those ruins as much?
     
  6. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    Gold purchases depend on the luxury you get and what Civ you're using. Carthage, for example, is going to make a ton of cash from this opener that they can use for that purpose. Might even be able to skip producing the Archers entirely. I tend to save the money for investing in Wonders, like Great Wall and Great Lighthouse.

    By doing Monument and Shrine first you have a much better chance of getting Statue of Zeus and your religion comes up faster, giving you a better chance of getting the kind of Beliefs you want.

    Ruins are great, but they are RNG and I never bet on RNG. Also I value keeping the few non-garrison units I have throughout this opener alive so that the AI doesn't get any more aggressive than they're already going to be. Five cities is enough to secure a monopoly and eat into another civ's luxuries too. Someone's going to get salty about that.

    Besides, how much you actually have to use your Scout for that purpose depends on the situation. Sometimes you're isolated, surrounded by red, and need it. Sometimes you've got CS and two neighbors smashing the camps for you. Sometimes your Warrior finds a ruin, gets upgraded to Spearman, and then you can take camps alone.

    Also once Fishing is available you'll get to ruins that otherwise aren't available, like those on island chains.
     
  7. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Interesting points on the scout. I think I had been so used to always going scout first that I didn't ever contemplate if it was optimal. But I certainly see the need to go monument first if trying for an early wonder in order to satisfy policy requirements.
     
  8. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    Yeah, especially with Tradition civs. That 3 extra culture and culture GP in the capital are no joke.
     
  9. Krullehoofd

    Krullehoofd Chieftain

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    Tried this strategy with a couple of games on warlord difficulty level. It works for getting a large amount of land early, but i keep getting crushed by my neighbours because of a lack of military power. A couple of defensive wars against two neighbours at the same time or one after the other is what is happening.

    Anyone same experience or tips on how to avoid these early wars?
     
  10. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Might need more information to be able to figure out your problem-

    What civs are declaring war on you? If they are naturally aggressive civs then there might not be much of a way to avoid it.

    Are you actively trying to create good relations? Trade deals, embassy swaps, etc can all improve relations. Choosing city locations that don't create border tension can also help.

    Last, with the number of archers this build order lays out early on, you should really be able to fight off early attacks fairly easily. Did you place your cities in defendable locations? Terrain matters A TON when it comes to defending your territory. Cities on hills with rivers/mountains/lakes/forests on the side that an invader will approach from can be easily defended against a larger army. So even if the DoW is unavoidable you can still easily fight their army off.

    Are the wars happening much later after the initial 5 city setup the OP described? If so, maybe you neglected your military after those initial archers and so the AI sees you as easy prey. You can use the demographics screen to see your military ranking. Ideally, if you're in the ballpark of the global average then you likely won't be seen as easy pickings. If you're close to the bottom in ranking then you might find yourself getting invaded by opportunistic/aggressive AIs.
     
  11. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    Yeah crdivs16 is hitting it on the head.

    Expanding with those archers gives you just enough to defend your territory against an aggressive civ, but moving forward from that you'll need more. God of Commerce is a lot of cash, so with that kind of GPT you should be able to afford something like 3 spearmen and 3 catapults to set up a nasty trench.
     
  12. Krullehoofd

    Krullehoofd Chieftain

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    More info, playing warlord on continents plus map with strategical balance. Standard size and standard speed. 8 civs and 16 cs. No tech brokering and no tech trading.

    For example, me playing Sweden. Pacal (Progress) and Hiawata (Tradition) other neighbors on the continent. Pacal DoWs me four times in a row. Really started to hate him with his Atlatlists. Hiawata was at the start the weakest civ but got completely neglected by Pacal and was the the leader after my four wars with Pacal.

    Other game was America and got DoWed by Ethiopia and France. Last game today was with Ottomans and got crushed by Arabia and Rome. Rome and Arabia DoWed me at the same time after 70 turns. Rome had 1 city and Arabia two cities.

    Sending caravans to get some gold, trading my luxuries. They DoW me before embassies. Looks like they beeline to Mathematics and DoW.

    Because of lack of workers there are many unimproved tiles, so many forests, jungle tiles in sight of the archers. I paid attention to create my cities on hills with a garissoned archer. Had to drag in archers from other cities to defend behind the city under siege which left other cities undefended. Guess what they go to your undefended cities :mad:

    In my last game i just finished the third city and was creating the archer/settler combo for the fourth city when both Arabia and Rome DoWed. Didnt even go for Statue of Zeus. Had to defend against two armies with three archers and two spearmen. Yes, easy prey for them.
     
  13. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    It takes a long time to siege a city with archer units, even Atlatlists. Good rough terrain, defensive play and making sure to upgrade your warrior to spearman helps a lot.

    The event that lets you conscript nomads is a very nice supplement too. I believe there's adding a population, adding land, telling them to leave, and conscripting them. I usually end up with a couple spearmen, which will defend your land effectively enough.

    All in all, it seems like you might have hit a buzzsaw with Maya. Keeping your archers in your city and playing defense will win the attrition fight because the vs. wounded units only devastate you if you're not in the city.
     
  14. Krullehoofd

    Krullehoofd Chieftain

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    How to deal with this? Even before settling the second city another civ is forward settling me. He has another settler which i know he is going to settle near the fountain of youth and cornering me.

    Spoiler :
     
  15. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    Hill coastal cities to the E of Sydney and S of Samarkand, a coastal city to the SE of Amsterdam, and a desert city to grab Fountain of Youth. Set up a front line of troops in front of your FoY city. I'd also pull back that Warrior so you can upgrade to Spearman.

    Once you get all that in place, then raise some Catapults and drop some freedom on Akkad xD

    Also, I highly recommend EUI.
     
  16. Krullehoofd

    Krullehoofd Chieftain

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    Thanks for the tips. This game is going much better. I got 5 cities up and running. Able to keep up military wise, and have started to build catapults to take those pesky forward settled cities. EUI makes my games CTD, without it i have no problems.

    A few remarks on this strategy. You have to build good relations with your neighbors right away from the start, if you have horses in your cap city, connect asap with your worker and trade them away. This gives you gold to buy your so much needed military while producing the settlers. With your worker start building your roads asap to connect your cities. Just keep the gold rolling. Buy military and workers, improve your tiles after the roads asap with other workers. First luxuries that generate gold, camps and pastures second, mines third, farms last. With the event system, conscripting of Nomads into military is a big help.

    If you dont have horses or mined luxuries in your cap city, you have a little problem, because you wont be able to trade your luxuries early with the followed tech order. By the time you get plantations, the AI neighbors are running minus gold because of their many early military units and you are already declared easy prey by them. You somehow have to find a way to take away their early gold, if you got that money the AI cant spend it on military units and keeps you safe.
     
  17. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    That's a great tip to keep rivals from being too aggressive with the strategic resources.

    It's funny to imagine - Atilla is yelling at his generals to train troops, who ask how they're going to pay and supply them xD.

    That's valuable information for protecting the cities, so I'll quote you and credit you in the OP =)
     
  18. Krullehoofd

    Krullehoofd Chieftain

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    Yeah, i restarted my Ottomans game, the one i got totally crushed by Rome and Arabia. After trapping i went immediately to fishing because my capital had no luxuries or horses, but had two coral and one whale tiles. Bought a worker boat, connected the coral, traded it to Rome, took his early gold and even a horse. Same with Arabia with the whales. Traded the horse away to China and took all their gold away. Rome ended up with -50 gold per turn, lacking in techs, to keep up his massive warrior army against my composite bows and longswords.
     
  19. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    I tend to favor Authority for Ottomans because the glorious Siege Foundry, but Progress can work too if you like the trade routes more.
     

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