# Quick Answers / 'Newbie' Questions

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Civrules, Oct 29, 2005.

1. ### Roland JohansenDeity

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I guess it is designed that way. It would allow massive amounts of multiplayer cheating when it were possible to open the map with the World Builder.

2. ### Charlie_BWarlord

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I've (finally!) got to Robotics in my game, and this isn't quite right. Madrid and Rome can build it, as well as any cities created south of them.

3. ### deerhaunterChieftain

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i know this is changing topic but what does WHEOOHN mean
??? thanks to all who answer this

4. ### Lord Parkinaka emperor

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"We Have Enough On Our Hands (Right) Now" - refers to what the AI leaders will say if they're preparing for a war or involved in a war when you mouse over the "declare war on..." options in diplomacy.

5. ### johncccChieftain

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Noobie question.

Can anyone tell me what the equation is for city growth.

i.e. how much food to grow to next size?

John

6. ### Roland JohansenDeity

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At normal speed: 20 + pop * 2 (where pop denotes the present population of the city). (22, 24, 26, 28, 30, etc.)

This is multiplied by the game speed modifier which is 0.67 for quick speed, 1.5 for epic speed and 3 for marathon speed.

A granary stores half the food from the previous growth phase to the next growth phase. If you grow from size 10 to size 11, then you'll get 0.5 * (20 + 10 *2) = 20 food for free when you start at size 11 and had a granary in the city. This free food will begin to be stored from the moment that the granary has been constructed which means that the granary will not be completely filled when you complete the granary just before the city grows. If the granary has been around for a while then it will be completely filled by the time that you grow (can provide the detailed rules if you wish).

Food can overflow from one size to the next. Assume a size one city which has stored 21 food and needs 22 food to grow to size 2. If this city gains 4 food, then it will grow to size 2 the next turn with 3 food already stored in the food box.

7. ### johncccChieftain

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Roland,

Thanks for that. Just could not find it (must be having a senior moment) !

John

8. ### deerhaunterChieftain

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thanks for that

9. ### GooglyBooglyFreakamongus

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Maybe the screenshot is going striaght to clipboard? In that case just open up some picture editing software (windows compatible, Paint if you have to) and try a paste

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I play BTS, my brother has a mac and as far as I know BTS has not been released for mac yet, so he plays warlords. I presume it's not possible for us to play multiplayer?

11. ### Lord Parkinaka emperor

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It might be possible for you to play if you load up Warlords to try to play with your brother. (It obviously won't work if you load up BTS since you'll have a different game version.)

However, I've heard a lot from people about how they can't play multiplayer with Macs and PC's, so I'm not sure how much luck you'll have. It may be worth trying though - who knows, you might have some luck.

12. ### deerhaunterChieftain

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changing topic again ...
What does BTW mean ??
thanks peeps who answer this... again

13. ### GooglyBooglyFreakamongus

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BTW = By The Way

14. ### Lord Parkinaka emperor

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"By the way", in its usual context. That's assuming you haven't confused a letter. (BTS = Beyond The Sword and PTW = Play The World, expansion packs for Civ4 and Civ3 respectively.)

15. ### InconceivableChieftain

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This is definitely where I belong, seeing as how I play on Chieftain (and get stalled/destroyed on Warlord). Yes, I realize how embarrassing that is. Here's a few questions that I hope, if resolved, could let me move up the ranks a little.

General Information - I usually play as Willem (Cre/Fin), no particular map though I like "Medium&Small" and "Lakes." I have started using HephMod Beyond recently, and I also have the 2 expansion packs. I have only ever tried for a warmonger-type victory (i.e. destroying everyone else...eventually). Usually I turn off vassal states, espionage, random events, and sometimes barbarians (when I don't have barbs off I usually build the Great Wall wonder so I don't have to spend time building warriors/archers/etc). I don't use Slavery because uh...I'm morally opposed (I don't feel like doing population math), but in very very late game I will usually opt for the Universal Suffrage so I can build with my scads of money. I play on the Epic timescale.

And now, questions!

1. I used to think the Creative trait was awesome based on its border popping value, but more recently I've noticed that I don't usually have enough workers to make use of the early pop. I still think it's a little useful for captured cities as well, but is there another trait that I should consider? I have read that Aggressive/etc. don't really have benefits even for warmongers because they don't do anything good for the whole civilization...or something along those lines. With HephMod's changes to civics I have also been considering Spiritual.

2. My cities are constantly unhappy. I can build every single culture/happiness building, have a food bar between 50 and 75% and no starvation, and no civics that would poorly affect happiness to my knowledge, and my cities will still be unhappy. Do I need to promote religions? Convert to a new religion whenever I get the opportunity? What else affects happiness? (Note: This was a particularly interesting disaster the first time I played HephMod Beyond and didn't turn the "Revolution" aspect off. It's been off in all subsequent games though.)

3a. There are some issues with plots I still don't understand. If a plot is listed as 1 coin, 1 food, it will give those 2 benefits even without an improvement right? I notice a lot of water tiles have coins on them, but I can only ever do anything to the ones with fish/crabs. Am I missing some method of developing these aquatic coin tiles?

3b. Food production is something I have trouble with as well. I've read in some places that farms are all you should be building unless the tile resources absolutely point to a cottage, mine, etc. In other places I read you should build no more than 2 farms per city, esp. for a Financial civ. I try to balance my food bar and my cottages, but my cities have food production that varies wildly. One turn they can have a 75% food bar, the next turn 25% and starving (this is a slight exaggeration, I think). It can happen without border expansion, but my cities most often become unhappy/starving right after a border pop. Suffice to say I don't really know what's going on, or how I should pool my resources to combat the food problem.

4. Specialists are another thing I don't understand, nor do I specialize cities. I'd never seen a city that had a majority of production resources (i.e. mountains) until my last game. But when I founded that city it quickly began to starve since there were no food resources and windmills weren't cutting it. I sometimes specialize 1 or 2 cities to military unit production, but that usually only culminates in the Modern or Future age when I have all the appropriate wonders. As far as specializing in commerce or research...I don't understand why it's preferable to having an evenly formed city that can do both, and can still build worth a damn.

5a. I say I like wars, but I apparently don't understand the military too well. I've read about people "rushing" opponents either with that one (Maya?) civ's UUs or simply with Swordsmen or Warriors. By the time my cities are strong enough to crank out something like a Warrior or Swordsman at a reasonable rate, all the other civs have cities full of Archers that pretty much destroy anything I throw at them. Can someone explain how soon you "rush" opponent cities (start building Warriors on Turn 1?) or any tips for later rushes with Swords/Axemen?

5b. War question two: most of the time I wait until the Modern age to start warring. It seems like by the time I start building some other age's units, they are obsoleted within a few turns. And this is on Epic! However, more recently I decided to try an early war with my first gunpowder unit, the Musketman.

I was a middling civ in the ranks (around 917 pts in that bar on the right side of the screen) and my opponent was Cyrus, who was at the bottom with 547 pts. I loaded 2 East Indiamen full of Catapaults, and 2 full of Musketmen and sent them to Cyrus' lone island (by this time I had 8 or 9 islands colonized, 1 or 2 with multiple cities). After crushing his Galleys, I unloaded the Catapaults and Musketmen and let the latter pulverize the countryside while the Catapaults started lowering the defenses of my first target city. Cyrus' city was populated by 4 or 5 soldiers, a mix of Spearmen and Macemen. With city defenses at 0, my Catapaults didn't have very good odds so I sent them on to work at the next city. However, my 8 Musketmen had 13.85 v 8.50-10.00 odds against Cyrus' soldiers so I sent them in. All of them died.

I've had other incidents like that where Gunships or Modern Armors were taken down by things like Musketmen or War Elephants. Does teching up your armies not matter? Should I just be producing as many units as I can before attacking?

6. Speaking of techs, at what rate do most people research? I get antsy if I go below 80% research rate, and I rarely if ever touch the other sliders. I usually research military/economics related stuff and leave the religion and culture to trading when I feel I need it. If I ever build up some gold, I up the research rate to 100% and keep it there till it is forcibly lowered. Once I hit Future Tech I usually turn research off and put commerce all the way up so I can produce my armies with Universal Suffrage.

7. I once founded a religion in one game because I read that it brings in lots of money through "shrines." I sent out missionaries and spread my religion to almost every other city, and I got a couple of Great Prophets, but I never saw an option for any kind of shrine. Is there a point to researching religion aside from some of the useful Wonders (i.e. Oracle)?

I think that's it for now. If you can answer any of these questions I would really appreciate it.

16. ### MrCynicalDeity

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1)Creative is handy in the early stages - it gets borders popped quickly, which is a great help in getting resources in the second ring in use quickly. Other civs have to waste time with obelisks and similar. It is rather weak later on once culture is more abundant. Aggressive is quite a good trait for a warmonger - it gives you access to promotions like cover and shock with just a barracks - a major help in an early rush. Again, deteriorates as the game goes on. Charismatic is another good trait for a warmonger. Financial and Organized are good traits for coping with the economic side of waging war - you can support all the captured cities easier.

2)Religion does help - it'll give +1 happiness in a city that has your state religion. You also need it to build the temples/cathedrals that give further happiness. Civics are also important - but I don't know anything about the mod you're using.

3a)If it shows 1 food 1 commerce without an improvement, that's what it'll give. Plain water tiles can't be improved by work boats (they only improve seafood/oil). THey can however be made a bit better with buildings in the city. A lighthouse will give +1 food from all water tiles (and is a must for coastal cities). The Dutch unique building gives +1 hammer on all water tiles, as does the national wonder Moai Statues. The Colossus gives +1 commerce. With some combination of these and a financial civ ordinary water tiles can be well worth using.

3b)This sounds strange - like the automatic governor is messing something up. You shouldn't see that kind of change in food output unless your city ha been blockaded or pillaged or something. Generally I aim to have a 3 or 4 food surplus until most of the usable tiles are in use.

4)It would take a lot of time to cover this topic in detail. Basically a production city wants a lot of hills to mine, and just enough food from farms to work them all. There are alternatives like a city with lots of riverside tiles and watermills/workshops. A GP farm just gets farms everywhere, and windmills on hills. Commerce cities get cottages - and just enough farms to work them all. They aren't supposed to be able to build worth a damn - that's not what they're specialised for. They only need the science/gold/espionage modifying buildings (which set depends exactly what approach you're taking), plus granary and courthouse.

5a)Warrior rushes are rather risky - I certainly wouldn't recommend building warrior from turn 1 - you want workers. Building swords or axes to rush against archers is more standard. You just have to accept some losses in an early rush - probably you need 2 axes for every enemy archer, and more against protective civ or those with good defenses. Later on you get catapults to make your job rather easier.

5b)Musketmen are one of the worst units (for the time period it appears in) in the game. Maces are far more effective at attacking cities since they can get the city raider promotions, which muskets can't. Also in medieval warfare you usually need to use suicide catapults to soften up the cities before in the attack. Accept they'll probably be lost (hence low odds).

As to losing troops to much older units - it happens, but not that often. In the modern age you should be able to soften cities up with aircraft so you should hardly ever lose more advanced units.

6)Particularly when you're expanding I'd let your research rate drop below 80%. I'd certainly go as low a 50-60%, and often lower. There's not much point in keeping the research rate high if you end up with far fewer cities than you should

7)If you move a great prophet to the holy city of the religion you should see the option to build the shrine of the religion. This will give one gold for every city with that religion, which can add up to quite a lot.

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Welcome to CFC! You are indeed in the right place.
To each their own, however, I would urge you to consider playing as some of the many different leaders provided and trying out some of those features you've turned off. I find they all add to the game and make it more fun.

All the traits have their uses, though some are generally more powerful than others. Creative is a very good trait because you avoid having to spend precious early hammers and turns on monuments or Stonehenge. You also have more flexibility with your early city placements. And if there's another civ close by, you'll probably win any border tussles. The cheap libraries are very nice as well.

Aggressive can be very good for warmongering, are you kidding? Free Combat I, cheap barracks and drydocks... and of course the troops contribute something back to your civ as a whole: war booty, captured territory, resources, cities and wonders... Don't believe everything you read. The trait is what you make of it. Aggressive doesn't have a direct economic advantage the way that Financial or Organized do, but you always have to nurture your economy anyway, regardless of the traits.
Hoo boy. This is one of the most common newbie questions. Here are a few quick tips and a link:

Spreading your state religions gives you +1 in each city where it's present; changing religions probably won't help, quite the opposite, because you probably have fewer cities with the new religion.

Every city has a "happy cap"--a maximum number of citizens it can accommodate before they become unhappy because the city is "too crowded". Some of the best ways to make more citizens happy and thereby raise the cap are: (a) some resources, such as ivory, gold, gems, sugar, and so on; (b) civics, especially Hereditary Rule in the early game; and (c), buildings, which you've been using.

Early in the game, try to keep your city from growing beyond its happiness cap. If it does, use the Slavery civic to swap the unhappy citizens for hammers.

No, the aquatic tiles cannot be improved unless they contain seafood, with two exceptions. A lighthouse will give you +1 food on every water tile (but you can only build it in coastal cities); and the Moai Statues national wonder will give you +1 hammer on every water tile, but only in the city where it's built.
As a beginner, you should be running a cottage economy--trying to place and work cottages on as many tiles as possible. I generally prefer to put cottages on grassland and floodplain tiles and farms on plains tiles. However, you also need to work some hammer tiles that usually are low on food. For the city to support its population and grow, you need a food surplus. Ideally, you should ensure that at least one food resource (grains, seafood, livestock) is within the city's fat cross of workable tiles. Even so, some cities will require extra farms in order to both grow and work all the available tiles.

There are ways to calculate this, but for a beginner, just look at each tile you want to work and realize that the citizen working that tile needs 2 food to sustain him. And you'll need additional food beyond that for the city to grow. So if a citizen is working a 1 food or no food tile, you need to compensate for that--either with a high food tile or with a farm. If you want to work a plains hill mine, for example (no food, 4 hammers), you'll need to have at least a 3 food surplus from other tiles (2 food to support the citizen working the mine and at least 1 food, preferably more, to grow). Keep this in mind as you examine the city, decide which tiles to work, and how to improve the other ones.
First off, mountains (called peaks in the game), can't be worked; I suspect you're referring to hills. As I mentioned above, food is crucial. Try to have at least one food resource in the fat cross, more if possible. Production cities, because its citizens work a lot of high-hammer/low-food tiles, need additional food. So no cottages; farm everything you can. You may need to use some windmills. Remember that once you have researched Civil Service you can chain irrigate, meaning you can have irrigation spread from a distant water source via tiles that are adjacent to one another horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

City specialization is another big topic. The idea is priorities. You don't want to wait until the modern age for the city to become productive. Specialization helps you decide what to build first in each city, and it allows you to maximize that city's contributions to your civ as early as possible. So for example, in your best commerce city, you'll want to build a market, grocer, and bank, as well as a library, university, and observatory (because commerce gets converted into both gold and research based upon the science slider). Those builds take precedence over other buildings such as barracks and drydocks in that city. On the other hand, in a production city, you'll want to prioritize a forge and military buildings and you may never build commerce or science multipliers, focusing on units instead.
I've written a whole article on this, but generally, you (a) build only two, maybe three cities--your capital and a city to claim a strategic resource (usually copper); (b) you adopt the Slavery civic; (c) you build, chop, and whip as many units in as short a time as you can, then (d) you attack your nearest opponent when their cities are only defended by Archers, and by a very small number of them at that, and when their cities' cultural defenses are quite low since you have no way of lowering them until Construction and Catapults. This works best on the slower game speeds like Epic and Marathon, but you can make it work on Normal speed too.
You're only using half the potential of Catapults.

A basic principle of warfare in Civ IV is the "suicide cat". Catapults, like aquarium fish, are born to die. Yes, they get lousy odds. But they increase the odds for later units and, furthermore, when they attack, they cause collateral damage, which means they damage other units beside the one they're attacking directly. So yes, your Cats will get lousy odds and you'll lose several. Build more. Divide their duties; give a half-dozen or so Cats Barrage and Accuracy promotions and use them to remove cultural defenses, and give all the others City Raider. Never use the former for collateral damage attacks unless you're desperate; use the CR Cats for suicide attacks.

By the way, I'd also say you're using the wrong units. Macemen are better city attackers than Musketmen because they can receive City Raider promotions. Muskets are better for city and stack defense, and for attacking enemy units in the open field rather than in cities. And by the time you have Muskets, you should have Trebuchets, which are also much better city attackers than Catapults (they have a built-in +100% city attack bonus).

As for the long odds battles of older units versus newer, those are rare and usually only happen if you sacrifice many, many similar units first. The AI is notorious for this. A small number of Infantry can hold out against and eventually defeat a large number of Horse Archers or Knights. However, make sure you have enough, so yes, don't rely on just one or two modern units.
Let me put it this way: 12 to 20 cities researching at 50% on the slider is much better than 4 to 6 cities researching at 80%. In other words, build your empire early and don't worry so much about maxing out the slider. For beginners, I usually recommend the "60% rule": expand or conquer until the slider has to be at 60% or thereabouts to produce a gold-per-turn surplus. Then stop and focus on the economy (cottages, commerce multipliers, courthouses, etc.). Once the slider can go above 60%, it's time to expand again.
Send the Great Prophet to the holy city, the city where the religion was founded (it has a star on the religion's emblem in the city bar; the Religion Advisor will also list the holy city for each religion). When the GP is in the holy city, the option to found a shrine will appear.

I usually prefer to let the AIs found religions and build shrines. Then I take the holy cities from their cold, dead hands.

18. ### dutchfireDeityRetired Moderator

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Dikes, the Dutch unique building also give +1 hammer to each water tile.

19. ### Roland JohansenDeity

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Welcome to civfanatics!

I must say, that this is a whole list of questions. I'm totally unfamiliar with the Heph mod and the changes that it makes to the normal game (as will most in this thread) so my answers will just assume the standard game rules.

Reading between the lines, I get the idea that you might think that every (improved) tile that you use contributes to your city. This is not true. Only the tiles that are being used by citizens contribute. So if there is a nice cow tile in the available at distance 2 from your city, then you can't use it or even improve it until your culture is on that tile. The creative trait is useful for that purpose, using the good tiles that are not directly next to your city quicker.

Civilisations without the creative trait will get that first border expansion by
- building a monument in the city
- spreading their state religion to the city
- using the build culture option when it has been invented
- building other culture buildings, using the culture slider and other less efficient ways to get the first border expansion.

So the creative trait gives your cities a quicker start when you want to use some great tiles which are only available after the first border expansion. Other traits help in very different ways. It's hard to compare them. It depends very much on your playing style which traits you'll prefer.

Cities become unhappier when they grow (each citizen adds 1 unhappiness to the city). You're supposed to add luxury resources and buildings and other things that help increase the happiness of the city to combat this unhappiness. When you can't do that then you shouldn't grow the cities that big. An unhappy citizen eats 2 food and does nothing to improve the city. Many players will use the slavery civic to remove the 'dead weight' of the unhappy citizens and turn it into production.

Here's a useful article from the war academy:
Ways into Happiness

A tile will give these benefits when you have a citizen working on that tile. Since each citizen also eats 2 food, 1 food tiles usually aren't that attractive unless they provide lots of commerce or production.

Water tiles without food resources can only be improved by building a lighthouse in the city. You can only build a lighthouse when your city is bordering the ocean (not when it's bordering a lake).

Your city starts with 2 food from the city centre. Each citizen eats 2 food and produces a variable amount of food dependent on the tile it is working on. Specialists only eat food and don't produce any food. You need to produce enough food to feed your citizens and make the city grow (if you wish that the city grows)

A city of size 5, producing 14 food, will grow at a speed of 4 food per turn, 10 food will be used to feed the citizens.

This means that your city starts with a surplus of 2 food. When each citizen would work a tile that produces 2 food, then each citizen would feed itself and the city would grow with 2 food per turn. When one of the citizens produces 0 food and the rest 2, then the city will stagnate. When one citizen produces 3 food and another 1 and the rest 2, then the city will grow with 2 food per turn. What all of this means is that you can compensate a low food tile with a high food tile and you can switch between using various tiles in order to make the city grow faster or slower.

When improving the city with improvements, you should look at the food output of the various tiles and plan where you are going to need to build farms and windmills in the future so that the city can produce enough food to use all the tiles. If the city has access to various food resources in its workable area, then you'll typically don't need to build many farms and windmills to add more food. This means that you can focus on production and commerce, the real benefits of a city.

I might advice you to read some articles in the war academy on city specialisation. There are several.

Some basic ideas on city specialisation:
- It's good to specialise the cities with national wonders. You want that +100% science building in a city that is producing a huge amount of base commerce so that the bonus is applied to a large number.

- Each commerce city needs some hammers to produce its commerce buildings, but if you just give it some hammer producing tiles than the majority of the time the city will be producing these commerce buildings and nothing else. It won't help build your military or it will not be able to build the commerce buildings.
If you would build another city, completely focussed on getting as much production as possible, then this city wouldn't need all those commerce buildings as getting a +25% bonus on science isn't very useful when the city is producing 3 commerce and 50 hammers. This city could then produce the military units for the other cities. It could build the wonders far faster than normal non-specialised cities could. It could get the military instructors and produce more experienced units for your entire empire instead of spreading the instructors around over all the different generalised cities.

This is just the example of the production city and some of its benefits for your empire.

Note that the benefits of the unneeded buildings isn't as large as some posters will want you to believe. Many buildings are needed to keep cities healthy and happy and they are thus needed in every city. But other benefits of specialisation that I mentioned above can be very significant. It's mostly based on maximising the percentile bonus of things that you can only do in one city (national wonders, world wonders, military instructors, etc.)

I mostly play on maps that don't encourage rushing. Play at smaller maps, chop forests to get units, whip some units, do everything to maximise production and don't expand a lot by settlers and don't build wonders.

13.85 vs 8.5 - 10.00 should normally result in a win, but you can have bad luck. First strikes are also not considered. I wonder why you didn't just mention your combat odds? That tells a lot more than the strength values.

Musketmen can't normally get the city raider promotion and thus aren't very good at capturing cities while cities do give a good defence bonus and some promotions are very good for helping defend a city.

I can't tell a lot without seeing the actual situation in a save game.

At the start of the game when I'm expanding quickly, then I can get in the situation where I can barely pay the upkeep and thus the science slider can drop below 20%. This is living on the edge and maybe not advised for someone not very familiar with the game.

Just remember one very important thing: The science slider doesn't determine how fast you research. Really, it doesn't. It just determines what percentage of your commerce is transferred into science. If you get 20% of 1000 commerce (200), then you'll research quicker than when you get 80% of 50 commerce (40). It's the actual science output that counts.

The shrine can only be constructed with a great prophet in the city that founded the religion. The option will be available when you move the prophet there.

The shrine will give you 1 base gold per city with this religion (yours or foreign).

Heh, finished.

20. ### Al-IskanderWarlord

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I know this question has been asked a hojillion times, and I looked, but I couldn't find the answer (in 10minutes of searching).

How does one make the Civ4 icon on your desktop load a mod automatically?

Like, for example, if I wanted to go straight to RFC instead of going into Civ4, then loading the mod, and wasting a lot of time over months, what would I change the shortcut's "target" to?

Thanks!