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Questions from starting player

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Strategy & Tips' started by Twibs, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Twibs

    Twibs Chieftain

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    So I just recently found this mod and I have to say it feels much better than old CiV's.

    Anyways I just got my first win from Small Erebus prince with Svartalfar. Religious btw, and I was left with few questions. I'm a min-maxer and would love to know the details of few things so I can move up (or down in this case) in the difficulty slider.

    Erebus maps seem to create nice little pockets for the player, so only water acces is possible most of the time, this seems to make the AI less prone to war declarations. Am I correct?

    Do you prefer food, hammer or gold tiles for starting town? Food seemed to work pretty fine for Svarts for more pop to get more hammer and stuff. I built few warriors first, then when I was about 5 pop, built worker, few more wars and then setler.

    What mana is a must have? Fire seems obvious, esp with the non-siege races like the elves.

    How do you use the great people? Settling them seems good choice, if they don't have anything really good to offer in tech/building section. What about culture-bombing? Should this be used to quickly capture land area for fairly new cities, before the opponent can come there?

    Should I keep my workers on automated after the first 50-100 turns. The beginning goes fine with me guiding them, but after that it's just a pain. Do they do well when automated?

    Also the AI seems to build forts for some weird places. Tbh I'd rather have the option of automated orkers not building forts at all, since usually they just end up being in the way of my farm/gottages. I heard that forts give defence bonus to adjacent tiles too, is this correct?
     
  2. hbar

    hbar Constant

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    Welcome to FfH! A disclaimer - I play a lot of modmods, so some of this information might be inaccurate.

    Yeah, Erebus is kind of odd in that way. The AI currently is extremely bad at water-borne invasions (bad is too kind of a word). You can go into the Erebus.py file (in a word editor, I recommend notepad++) and mess with the settings - the variable SoftenPeakPercent can be adjusted to perforate the valleys. Alternatively, the ErebusContinent mapscript is a perrenial favorite - all the flavor, half the issues!
    I'm no expert, but I do know food is the most important resource. For the elves, though, you want lots of forests, because eventually you'll want to adopt the Fellowship of Leaves religion to spawn Ancient Forests (+1 :food: and :commerce: IIRC), leaving a grassland AF tile with a base yield of 3:food: 2:hammers: 1:commerce:. Since forests provide a nice health bonus as well, you can cottage all of your tiles and still grow, and you won't have too many hammer issues.

    As the elves, I do like to have a few hill-heavy cities for production - even mines and farms can be built in forests, and you can grow these cities faster and bigger then the usual hammertowns.

    It depends on your style of play. The Svarts start with Nature, Shadow, and ... Air? Nature II is your best friend - free +1 poison strength on your recon units, which already gain +1 strength from your civ trait, sinister. Nature I is also very handy on defense, since your entire territory should be forest. Shadow has some moderately useful spells, if a bit situational. Since you don't have catapults to slow your stacks, body is very useful for Haste, and later Regeneration. Fireballs are the obvious choice for the elves due to their lack of siege, but don't overlook spells like Blur (immune to first strikes - shadow I) and Shadowalk (ignores city defense - shadow II) for city attacking. Enchantment gives a happy face and keeps your warriors useful longer, and the tier 2 spell is a good archer buff, if you are using archers. Pretty much everything else is situational.

    Since your arcane units are Illusions, your summons can't kill on offense (90% damage cap). This may seem like a disadvantage until you get assassins. Then the injured units are free xp for either the mages (single units) or the assassins. Also, summons can kill on defense, and they heal after every battle - the AI doesn't understand this, so it is not uncommon to see a Stack of Doom destroy itself against a single summon. If you want to do the summon thing, the quickest route is to stockpile death mana. Death II's summon has +1 death mana affinity, which means it gains 1 strength for each death mana you control. This can get very powerful, very quick depending on your local mana situation. Beware though - death mana has a diplomatic penalty, so don't hook it up if you aren't ready to use it.

    You should use a great sage to get an Academy in your best science city (and then try to get the Great Library there too). If you happen to get an early Engineer, rush Pact of the Nilhorn - three Hill Giants that can bombard city defenses and be hasted (and they hold their own in a fight, too). I usually settle early great bards ( the gold helps keep the economy going) and culture bomb the later ones. Fun trick - if you get a GB at the right point in the tech tree, you can bulb drama and get your bard back (assuming you are the first to drama - always check first!)

    NO NO NO! Never automate workers, especially as the elves! Their AI is borked and they will happily chop down your ancient forests and spam forts everywhere! If you have to, put them all in a big stack so you only have to give one work order per turn.

    There used to be an "AI no forts" option (believe me, the fort spam problem used to be much worse!), but I think it is gone. You might be right with the adjacent tile thing, but I don't think so. I generally don't use forts unless there is a 1-tile pass anyway, so no real advice here.

    I hope this helps, and I hope it is at least reasonably accurate :) Keep experimenting and crank up that slider - Losing is Fun! (and you learn more that way)
     
  3. Twibs

    Twibs Chieftain

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    There were 2 options in the options screen that I put mark on. "Do not build over existing improvement" and "Do not chop down forest" so I think that takes care of the worst problems of the automated workers, I think. I can then just come back later and manually build something usefull on the forts.

    And yes, I read the "top 10 tips for your fac civ" thread to learn the basic strats. Multiple times I might add, to figure wich civs try. So far played with Calabim and Svartalfar. While I can see the OPnes of feasting XP, I just didn't quite like the feel of the civ. I'll have to see in another game if the Svarts can hold their ground in open war.

    In my last game I was holed up in between 2 mountain ranges, 2 AI's were destroyed by barbarians, 1 continent was barb-only place. I did activate the guardina of Pristine pass, but I only found 1 gargoyle later when I came to investigate it further with a hunter that had gotten hero promotion via event, and later came to Aeron's chosen assassin. That was a good unit. I think the other's spawned on the different side of the mountains. Oh dear *grin*. By the time I had gotten all of that to me, I had Orthus axe, Acheron hoard and 76% religous control with FoL. After that it was easy to negotiate open borders with other AI's and spam some missionaries. Mind you the map was small. Odd to call it "small", I think the "normal" map is pretty huge, but then again, it IS world dominion we're talking about.

    I've read about the 200+ Stack of Dooms on harder difficulties. How do you stop those? With your own stack?
     
  4. a_civilian

    a_civilian Warlord

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    Commerce (almost) always. Some food is good to hit happy cap faster but due to painfully high early tech costs, I consider commerce most important early on.
     
  5. hbar

    hbar Constant

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    Hmm, good point. If its a choice between gold and corn, take the gold.

    Cotton and corn, though? I'd get the corn.

    I have a bad habit of never ever moving my capital, so I always plan ahead for a pop 20+ city, hence the food pushing.

    re: SoD's: You never need as many units to defend (unless you get caught in the field), and you are smarter then the AI. First strikes, hills forests and cities, and proactive defense (i.e. horsemen and catapults) are your friends here. Sun II (blinding light) can stop a stack in its tracks and hold it there while you pick them off one by one. Assassins take out anything that survives, as well as the adepts that are casting rust and blur. Sometimes you can trick a stack into chasing the first unit it sees while you prepare defenses. If all else fails, build Chalid (Empyrian hero) and press the 'win' button :)
     
  6. SurahAhriman

    SurahAhriman Chieftain

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    Svartlfar's third mana is mind, not air. Personally, I love getting three mind nodes with them. This gives you +9% research, and means all your illusionists get Mind II, Charm Person for free. This is AMAZING for holding off enemy SoD's while your assassins and Shadows slowly eat their stack for breakfast.

    Edit: Sorry, meant 2 nodes for 3 Mind Mana total.
     
  7. DaveGold

    DaveGold Emperor

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    I would recommend playing on Pangea maps if you're playing patch 'm' (current patch). The naval AI isn't as good now as it has been in the past and you'll be playing with little or no threat on island maps.

    The starting techs and development can be absolutely crucial in FFH and it'll take you a while to learn the differences from plain Civ. I'd in fact suggest playing a spiritual leader in your next game so that you can change civics repeatedly and see the difference they make. Food generally makes agriculture the best starting tech.

    In FFH there are a number of incentives to move your first settler. Initial development is very slow so a bad city site can put you back many turns. Special features such as Yggdrasil can be priceless. Some nations start with bad a civic so if you're you're going into immediate revolution you can use that turn to look around. Your settler can also move quite far each turn and no barbarians show for about 6 turns.

    There isn't any 'best' mana and it'll take you a while to appreciate all the types. There are three levels of spellcasting and most mana types are better at some levels than others, and sometimes you need a lot of a mana type to make it worthwhile (through affinity). Fire is a pretty common choice for elves as they can't build catapults but can use fireballs to reduce defences. Spellcasting is the typical way to defeat big stacks, especially since some spells can affect every unit in the stack.

    Religion is sometimes as important as your nation. You can certainly go to war just using your religious units, ignoring your racial units altogether. This also affects your choice of mana types, typically when you have non-living units that will not be affected by some spells.

    I usually automate workers when a war starts and I have more important things to think about. You do have to keep an eye on what they're doing though, or rather not doing as they sometimes laze around in cities when there's work to be done.
     
  8. Twibs

    Twibs Chieftain

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    Well I guess I don't have to unlearn my CiV tendencies, because I never actually got with it far enough. *grin*

    About the upkeep. Every city has upkeep depending on the distance to capitol and number of cities, am I correct? And with enough troops they too begin to have upkeep. At what kind of numbers do the troops get up keep? 50 units? 100 units?

    And for the patch version, 0.41 version. The latest, I think. From what I've read I understand that it's pretty much the final release, ofc the modmods will mod it further, but I sticking with this for now. Thanks for all the replies.
     
  9. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

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    Upload an endgame save with your automated worker setup if you could, I'm curious to see how they act.

    Magic that effects entire stacks, whether it's direct damage (ring of fire, pillar of fire, crown of brilliance, tsunami, maelstrom, crush) or disabling magic (entangle, blinding light, charm, slow)
     
  10. Twibs

    Twibs Chieftain

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    Well I can't say for certain that the result would be that accurate, since in my last game it was turn 250 or so that put them on automated, plus I will occasionally check the landscape to see if there are any major flaws and manually work the land. With "Do not build over existing improvements" the AI won't even try to screw me second time. *grin*
     
  11. Twibs

    Twibs Chieftain

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    There you go. I hope that's "end game" enough.

    Pangaea - Standard - Prince

    with me controlling about half the known world.

    My other biggest competetitor just vassalized his current rival and I can't help but feel that I should've attacked him bit ealier, as I am now just amassing my own force to attack him. Two front war would've certainly put some pressure on him.

    Can vassal states break free of their masters and stab them to the back?

    Also please do say how would you have controlled the workers differently? Are there any major flaws?
     
  12. DaveGold

    DaveGold Emperor

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    If a vassal is conquered there are some set conditions when it can break free : loses half it's land, gets over half as big as it's master, etc. These are shown if you mouse over some nation details.

    If a vassal voluntarily joins you then it can break free under a variety of conditions. There's even a "You've grown too powerful for us" which typically means "waste half an hour wiping us out please".
     
  13. Buckwild

    Buckwild Chieftain

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    Hmmm... then how do you deal with a vassal state that has too much culture in its bordering cities? I have problems in which I conquer a civs cities, get them to vassalize and then spend all game telling the newly conquered cities that no, I will not let them rejoin their motherland. I guess one strat is to conquer more than I need to vassalize, then give back a few bordering "broken" cities so they don't out culture me.

    Any tips on dealing with this?
     
  14. Emptiness

    Emptiness []

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    The direct approach it to build culture buildings in those cities quickly, keeping large numbers of units garrisoned until the cities have enough culture to resist revolt. Disciples (built in other cities) can also be used to boost the culture of threatened cities, provided you have the production to spare.

    An alternative method is to raze any cities that are in a position to put cultural pressure on the cities you plan to keep, and only then accept the other civ's capitulation. This will increase the AC, and so will not always be practical. There are also diplomatic considerations as well; if you want a decent relationship with your vassal then the penalty for razing cities might not fit in with your plans. When it is an option, this method works best because it eliminates the problem and does not tie up other resources fighting a cultural war with your vassal.

    Capturing extra cities and then liberating them does not solve this problem. When a captured city is liberated (or revolts, or is recaptured by the original civ) all of the previous culture is still present. The result is that the cities you want to keep will still be in danger of revolt due to cultural pressure from your vassal. Of course, if culture-producing buildings were destroyed when you captured the city then the rate of new cultural production will be reduced - but investing time and potential unit losses to capture extra cities without actually eliminating the problem in question may not be worthwhile.
     
  15. Buckwild

    Buckwild Chieftain

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    Thanks for the advice! I have one question on it though:

    How does having large numbers of units in cities help? I do not see an increase in happiness besides the first unit, which negates the "We need protection" unhappiness debuff. Does having more units lower the chance for revolt?
     
  16. DaveGold

    DaveGold Emperor

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    Yes. I'm not sure that all units lower the chances but basic melee and archery units will help.

    When you go to war you need to know which cities you can conquer and hold and which you can't defend. This is true in CIV4 and FFH. It's true from a military, cultural, and political perspective. Sometimes you can push your military campaign deep into a cultural mire, safe in the knowledge that you'll be releasing some cities back your enemy as soon as they capitulate as your vassal. Your new vassal may be able to defend and utilise that city better than you can.
     
  17. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

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    Hell, that's not too bad. There are problems, though, namely:
    They will farm/cottage a resource tile if you don't have the tech to properly harvest them, then leave the improvement in place once you do discover a tech (I noticed a farmed marble due to that. There might be more.)
    They build workshops. Only a few, but unless you're running guilds, one is too many.
    Excessive roading's a bit of a pain if you fight a raider civ.

    First problem's pretty nasty if you leave it alone. Pay attention to resources you can't harvest yet when you switch to automation, and manually have your workers improve them with the right improvement as your tech level climbs. The other two are more nitpicks.

    Aside from that? It's pretty smart about what to build. It even adjusts for your civic choices - I noticed that you did an aristocracy switch at some point and your younger cities were carpeted in farms. It's a real option now.
     
  18. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

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    Try casting an indiscriminately damaging spell while standing near one of their stacks (maelstrom, tsunami, ring of fire are your options). That might lead to an automatic war declaration and a severance. I want to say some of the modmods blocked this, but FfH never got around to it.
     
  19. lordrune

    lordrune Prince

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    Regarding the workers, one thing I do is use them in stacks. e.g. I might have four stacks of four workers each, instead of fifteen workers running around doing their own thing. You might lose a little bit of efficiency that way, but it does make management easier, for me anyway, and that probably helps my game in the long run :)

    I haven't used automated workers in any mod of Civ 4 since God knows when - several hundred hours of game time ago I think :D

    I would highly recommend (as others have done) getting the ErebusContinent map script and familiarising yourself :) It just rules, once you've played it you won't go back to any of the standard Civ 4 maps or the old Erebus script.

    Re mana: Fire's handy for Fireball, but a really fun mana is Death mana. Channeling One (Adepts) can summon skeletons. Now, if you upgrade to Mages, you get spectres. What's cool about spectres? They have Death Affinity. That means +1 strength for every Death mana you have. So if you build multiple death nodes, you end up with some pretty damn powerful summoned units. The Death III spell turns your mages into Liches.
    Death's where the fun's at! Other types of mana are cool too though. Body gives you Haste, probably one of the most useful utility spells. Chaos mana gives you Dance of Blades (+1 First Strike), Shadow mana gives you Blur (immunity to First Strikes), Enchantment mana gives you enchanted blades (+20% strength). Those are all adept level spells, so you just need an adept, the mana, and you're set.
     
  20. a_civilian

    a_civilian Warlord

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    Turn off adviser popups.

    I agree that message is very annoying. Note that the adviser also says they are "rightfully" requesting to join their motherland. Where's the option to have him executed?
     

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