Quick Answers / 'Newbie' Questions

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

  1. CivIVMonger

    CivIVMonger Emperor

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    Thanks bestbrain. What thread should I post in? Actually, I tried doing that. I've only had 1 reply to it since the 2 weeks ago it was posted. I'm guessing the same results will occur if I post another one. So could you point out a thread for that.

    Also, I don't always settle blue circles. But just to get some practice for manual city placement, how can I turn the Blue Circles off?
     
  2. ladsud

    ladsud Chieftain

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    When I go to make a custom game I set the difficulty to prince but all the AI teams still have noble listed. Am I playing vs noble UI?
     
  3. Lord Parkin

    Lord Parkin aka emperor

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    No, it's your difficulty level that controls the AI difficulty. I agree that it's confusing with the AI difficulties being displayed as "Noble". I think that column should probably have been removed for the AI, but ah well - it is what it is. :)
     
  4. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    You missed some questions, but still this is a good start.

    I guess, you're talking about an early rush here, not a late game war. There is a huge difference between the two.

    An early game war should just take a few cities while you only have 2-3 cities yourself. A late game war is very different. Your economy should be stable at that point and a war shouldn't hurt that much, except when you get a lot of war weariness.

    So if you start an early game war while you only have 2-3 cities yourself and then reduce one enemy from 3 cities to 1, then that's quite ok. Now you've got 4-5 cities and he's got 1. Improve your economy and finish the AI off a little later.

    While starting an early game war, you should set limited objectives and when you're starting to run out of troops, then you shouldn't try to take more cities. It will only make you lose your precious troops if you lack the force to do so.

    In the early game, your economy can't support a huge civilisation, so you don't want to start an early game war with 5 cities and then capture 3 more. If you've grown to 5 cities, then the enemy has had some time to build units and you won't hold that surprise advantage anymore. Furthermore, your economy can't sustain 5 cities plus 3 captured ones unless you've already developed the technology to do so. But then, we're not talking about an early war anymore.

    The enemy can see you and react to it when you do this. It can be a good idea to mass your attack force outside of the AI's range of vision and move it into range just before you declare. That way, it hasn't rearranged its units to counter yours and hasn't had time to build more units.

    In early game wars, you want to take the enemy by surprise. Attack it while it hasn't build the force to wage a war. Later in the game, the AI will have build an army. Surprising it while it hasn't build a lot of troops is thus not an option. In this case it's often better to give the first move to the AI.
    In your own territory, you have several advantages when fighting the AI:
    -You have faster movement due to your roads
    -You can heal your troops a lot faster in your own territory and your own cities
    -You don't get any war weariness when killing enemies in your territory or when losing some of your troops in your own territory
    Of course, you need the stack of troops with which to defeat the enemy stack ready.
    After defeating the enemy stack of units, you can relatively safely enter enemy territory.

    Early era again. So you still want information for the early rush. I did write something about it in reply to one of your posts in post no 12012.

    10-15 base hammers is quite ok for your early game size 5-6 cities. You can't expect a lot more from these tiny things. For an early game rush, you'd want to build such production cities first and go the way of a better economy just after the rush. You don't want to waste time building economy cities which produce a low number of hammers before you start a rush. Of course, high food areas can also be production centres due to slavery whipping.

    I haven't seen any blue circles in years, but I don't trust AI city placement skills. But I wasn't really talking about city placement but about city specialisation (although they are related).

    Later in the game when you want to start wars, you need quite a lot of units and you don't want to have to choose between building a library/courthouse/bank/marketplace or building a maceman. It's a good idea to have cities with a low commerce output and high hammer output dedicate themselves to unit production (long before the actual war). On the other hand, cities that have a good commerce output but fairly low hammer output could then focus on improving the economy. That way, you're focussing a few cities away from economic improvement but that won't hurt that much as they wouldn't contribute a lot anyway. It also reduces the number of buildings that some cities have to build as the military cities don't need some economic buildings and the other cities don't need the military buildings and won't have to produce units.
    City specialisation is mainly determined by the terrain around the city and how you improve it. There are many articles about it in the War Academy.

    City specialisation is not a miracle thing, but it does help. Especially when you use the national wonders in well-specialised cities.

    Did you patch? I ask because the War Weariness formula has changed a bit in one of the patches. Still War Weariness is not really a problem in early game wars.

    Turn off unit recommendations in the options menu (I think, I haven't had it on for long and that was years ago).
     
  5. CivIVMonger

    CivIVMonger Emperor

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    Sorry, didn't mean to miss any questions. :( Anyway thak you very much for your time!:)

    Early game as in Cats/Swords (Pre medieval.) Really, any war type for that matter. I know it would be too hard to discuss all of them at once. At this point, everybody has close to about 5 to 7 cities. I am not talking about an early rush. I run the default 3.17 complete edition patch.
     
  6. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    Catapults and swords, huh. Hmm, that's probably not one of the best moments to attack.

    Do you have currency (offers 1 extra trade route per city and the ability to build markets) and do you have code of laws (offers the ability to build courthouses). The reason that I ask is because these technologies offer ways to lower the cost of your empire and ways to improve your creation of gold. When you expand beyond 5 to 7 cities, it is very useful to have these technologies. Not absolutely necessary when you are very good at creating a good economy, but very useful.

    Do you have foreign trade routes with other civilisations than the one you're planning to attack? You will lose the foreign trade routes with your intended target and if you don't have other foreign trade routes, then you will suffer a significant loss of commerce. You get foreign trade routes by discovering a river-road-coastal path from your capital to another civilisation's borders and having an open borders treaty. It's a very powerful way to increase your commerce output, especially after you've discovered currency.

    Don't attack the enemy with swordsmen and catapults when it has longbowmen. It can work, but in general it will be costly. You will lose many catapults and swordsmen. If you're very experienced in the war mechanics, then you could try it. But if you're very experienced in the war mechanics then you're probably smart enough to pick another time to attack.

    Do you suffer significant losses or do you kill many enemy troops outside of your borders? In both cases, you will start getting additional unhappiness due to war weariness in your cities. War weariness is related to the amount of killing (yours or the enemy) outside of your borders. This will mean that some citizens don't work the land and thus your economy will deteriorate fast. Sign a piece treaty when war weariness becomes too harsh for your cities. Have you noticed the effects of war weariness?
     
  7. CivIVMonger

    CivIVMonger Emperor

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    Just before Longbowmen, actually. But you are right, it's not a good time. As a matter of fact, I do not have Currency or Col at the time. That would help with the economy wondefully. Do you think it's important to get Courthouses/Markets/Banks/Grocers before the war? To save hammers so you do not have to stall your unit production for economy buildings? I always have coatal trade routes at this point. Sometimes through roads though. The bottleneck for this is that if I occupy a peninsula my opponent is blocking me off. Thus, I lose connection to everyone else. But in other cases, yes. I do have foreign trade routes the times it's optional. I suffer losses as if warriors are attacking archers on a walled and hilled city. I do not cross rivers when fighting. I am using top of the line units, and there is about thirty of them. I am using at least 40% siege in my army. And I make good strategies. There seems to be a major overlooked flaw in my play style. That's the only explaination. War Weariness Is not really a problem and barely hurts my happy cap. Thanks,
    Civmonger.
     
  8. Skreed

    Skreed Chieftain

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    Thanks... this is helpful.

    It being my first game I think it was helpful to see how things play out -- so the longer game was helpful. I dont expect to play such drawn out games once I have the hang of everything.

    Nailed down the space victory last night... Score wasnt that impressive, but starting out, a Win is a Win. Learned quite a bit, but have much more to master.
     
  9. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    The buildings are not the biggest benefits of Currency and CoL early on, both buildings are very expensive, and offer limited return early on.
    City maintenance is relatively low making Courthouses less cost effective.
    :commerce: production will be low and will preferably be spent on :science: anyway making Markets, something to not immediately spam (especially if you want to crack heads!).

    If I do decide to build any Markets that early, it will probably be one in the Capital, which is nearly always the best :commerce: city at this stage of the game (Likely biggest, many cottages, with +8:commerce: from Palace). ORG does make Courthouses a bit of a higher priority.

    For a classical war especially, the big benefits of Currency are the extra Trade Route, and the ability to build Wealth, these are both fantastic boosts to your economy before you even bother building a Market.

    With CoL, good use of Caste System can help dramatically too. Merchants without expensive Markets, as many Scientists as you can feed and Artists for border popping new cities can work very well when combined with good GP use, but this is undoubtedly the more awkward and micro heavy tech of the two.

    If I intend to war early on, I will choose to delay either Currency or CoL in favour of Construction, and maybe trade something for Iron Working or just use axes with the cats or better yet, if I have Ivory forget about IW and go Elephants :mischief:.
    Usually the tech I delay is CoL as I hate losing Slavery that early, and it doesn't offer a great boost at this point otherwise.
     
  10. CivIVMonger

    CivIVMonger Emperor

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    True, but you don't have to switch to caste system. It also enables the courthouse and unlocks civil service. Thanks, GHPstage.
     
  11. patkingpin

    patkingpin Chieftain

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    If someone refers to the map they play as "techtonics randomized actual earth", what do they mean? I can find techtonics and have the landmass be 70% (earth like), but the map never looks like earth
     
  12. ladsud

    ladsud Chieftain

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    Can you settle cities on resources and still have access to that resource?
     
  13. LordValuna

    LordValuna High Lord

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    the short answer is yes. :p
    but you still have to get the goods back to the capital. Perhaps you have a road or a river out to the new city or perhaps there is a route over the sea(where you can trace a path depends on your tech)

    the bad news is you cant work the square, ie. no mine or farm etc :king:
     
  14. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    As I mentioned, Courthouses won't be useful until you have either captured cities, or grown them (probably both!), as such I tend to prefer Currency first as it helps in small empires, growing empires and grants immediate benefits!

    If your waging war you will be straining your economy too much to research an expensive tech like CS manually (indeed your question was based around economic problems!).
    So, in order to make use of being able to research CS early you are going to have to use Caste System, as a Great Merchant can be used to bulb most of it, as well as MC and most if not all, of Machinery :mischief:

    Its rarely wise to wait for both before a war so one first then war and research the other later is the preferable method. Currency helps faster, and in more ways so unless you have a special plan (bulbs for example) or you have (or expect to shortly :groucho:) the Pyramids!

    In short, unless you plan on Caste System and GP abuse then Currency offers more.

    Typically this tech line: Currency->War techs->DoW->Monarchy->CoL
    Is what I find effectivel for Cat wars, as after the war leftover units can work as HR :) police and Courthouses will prove more effective, Currency alone can carry your economy through all kinds of abuse.


    While joining it to your whole network is the eventual goal (in most cases anyway) it isn't necessary to join it to your capital to use it. It can first of all, be used in the city sitting on it, even if you don't have the Wheel! It can also be used by any connected city, even if that doesn't include the capital. Though in most cases it should or at least, will eventually :lol:
     
  15. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    I agree with Ghpstage that currency is more easy to quickly improve the economy. It adds 2 commerce for every foreign trade route and even 3 commerce for every oversees foreign trade route (or 2 for every domestic oversees trade route and 1 for a normal domestic trade route). That doesn't seem that much maybe, but when 40 out of a total of 80 commerce goes to all kinds of upkeep and the newly acquired cities increase your maintenance to 60, then another 20 commerce from various trade routes is doubling your net leftover commerce.

    I'm not so interested in building wealth though as it doesn't permanently improve my economy, it's more of a temporary fix. But even a temporary fix has its uses if it can get you to a valuable new technology.

    It's a bit harder to use code of laws effectively. However, I do like the ability to pop rush a courthouse in a distant and huge city that I just captured. If it can instantly reduce upkeep from 10 to 5 in such a city, then it is often worth it. City upkeep is very dependant on the difficulty level though, so this is less valuable at lower difficulty levels and more valuable at higher difficulty levels.
    Rushing a courthouse costs exactly 4 pop points which is rather expensive and you'd need a size 8 city. But when you're using the organized religion civic, then it is reduced to just over 3 pop meaning that if you spent a few hammers on a courthouse, then you can rush it for 3 pop which is far more attainable.

    I typically use the following strategy against the AI.

    Stage 1: Estimate the forces that I will engage and make the army needed to destroy those.
    Stage 2: Declare war and wait until a large stack of enemy troops has entered my territory and destroy it there with low losses. Heal my troops.
    These kills didn't cause me any war weariness because they were in my territory.
    Stage 3: Move into enemy territory with a sizeable stack. It depends on the enemy and map size and difficulty level what is sizeable, but I would want enough siege units to bomb away the city defences in 1 turn and capture the city that same turn. With swordsman and catapults and typical 40% cultural defence bonuses, I'd want 10 catapults and various units to protect the stack: 5 swordsmen, 4 axemen, 2 spearmen, 2 mounted units, something like that. Have archers ready to defend the newly acquired cit(y)(ies). Have 1 healer in the stack. This is a bit a minimal stack, more is better.
    Why 10 catapults. see stage 5.
    Stage 4: Move next to the city over defensive terrain. The mounted units could be used to kill lone enemy units, (especially dangerous enemy siege units), and move back into the protection of the stack that same turn. That's the advantage of 2 moves. The other units will protect the stack.
    Stage 5: 5 catapults remove the city defences in 1 turn (5 times 8% bombardment damage is 40% bombardment damage). The other 5 catapults attack the city. I will lose 1 or 2 or if unlucky even more catapults in this attack. The swordsmen and other units can clean up the heavily wounded defenders. I don't expect to lose any of these units. They're mainly there to protect the stack and clean up the city defenders.
    When you encounter a tougher city with more city defences (walls, higher cultural defence), then you first bomb away the city defences and then attack on the second turn with the catapults. You don't want to attack with say 1 catapult after using 9 to remove the city defences and then have to use the normal units against barely wounded defenders.
    So the enemy has a low reaction time to rush in additional defenders or pop rush new defenders because I will remove its defences and attack all in 1 turn or maybe 2 turns when the defences are more formidable.
    Stage 6: heal up and join new freshly build catapults to the stack (to replace the lost ones) and move on to the next city. Units that take too long to heal can be left behind in the conquered city to join the stack later when fully healed. Don't walk them through enemy territory alone though as they'll be picked off.
    The bigger your stack, the faster you can move on as you don't have to wait for heavily wounded units too long. They can be left behind in the conquered city to heal while the stack will be strong enough even when you don't move it with all of its units.
    Try to never get a shortage of siege units while moving from city to city. That's poor planning. Have the reinforcements ready when needed.
    Move the archers into the conquered city.

    Promotions: City raider for the catapults: it will make them survive more, it will improve their odds and their damage to the strongest defender. Don't use your best promoted units at low odds. When the odds are appalling, use a lowly promoted catapult. It will improve the odds for its more experienced fellow catapults which come next. However, when your city raider II catapult is at 80% odds and your city raider I at 40% odds, then it's time to use the higher promoted ones. You might lose them, but they're here for these types of fights and no-one lives forever. Some catapults should slowly get higher promoted and improve your odds later in the war against the city defenders.
    The axemen could get anti-melee and combat promotions, the mounted units flanking or combat promotions, the spearmen anti-horse or combat, the swordsmen city raider for tough defenders or combat for general purpose. If the defenders are seriously banged up after the siege units (which should be the case), then any unit can finish them.
    You can choose promotions before you move into enemy territory and not when you've just constructed the units so that you'll know what you'll need. The catapults should be promoted just before use as they don't need their promotions earlier. Promotion healing is a useful thing.

    Great generals can be added to your best production city (which will get the Heroic Epic and West Point later) as great instructors. That way, you'll be able to produce city raider II and later city raider III units for future wars which will mean less losses.

    So is there anything new in this city capture tactic? It's probably the tactic that is used the most although not everyone does stage 2 and some might use spies in stage 5 to remove the city defences. The hard parts are probably estimating how many troops you need and getting new catapults to join the stack just in time. Planning and letting everything come together just in time can be a hidden difficulty.
     
  16. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    Another Currency based thing of great importance which I forgot, was gold trading.
    Begging for gold or GPT and selling techs or resources can really help keep you up in the Classical-Medieval era in particular. Plus giving gold when asked and selling resources helps diplo ;)

    I think of it as the permanent ability to get away with biting off more than I can chew :lol:.

    :blush: Oops, forgot to mention I would hit Monotheism on the way to Monarchy, but yeah I would do this basically.

    I have A few questions on Courthouses though,
    -Do many cities you take already have 8 pop?
    -Or do you need to wait for the shock of capture to wear off and regrow?
    -Would it be wise to build temporary excess farms to grow to the whip pop more quickly while allowing me to grow through more :mad:?
    (Maybe using overflow to reduce required whippop to 6?)
     
  17. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    I agree with the strengths of begging and selling obsolete resources. Begging is especially useful early in the game as it doesn't scale with the size of the economies. The specific mechanics can be read here: begging for gold. The post gives one an idea how much you can beg for.

    Trading away unused resources for gpt does scale with the size of the economy somewhat and it's something that remains useful to the end of the game. In the early medieval age, it might just be something like 10-15 gpt from the various civilisations combined as you might not own a lot of surplus resources and the other civilisations don't have a lot of gpt to offer. But in my present huge map, modern age, I'm making 138 gpt from 5 civilisations and I could be making 40-50 gpt more if I were willing to sell some other resources but those resources help my corporation Mining Inc.

    Trading away obsolete resources could help you in the range of 0-10% of your economy, but since your economy has relatively high costs in the late classical to early medieval period, this could amount to a much larger effect on your net beakers (science) per turn. If 70% of your 100 commerce goes to upkeep and 30% to science, then another 10-15gpt helps a lot.

    Not every idea goes exactly as planned so this can be useful. :D

    No, at the time period of the game that we're talking about, I will not capture many cities at 8 pop, cities at 6 pop is fairly normal though so organized religion will help then.

    I rush courthouses in those cities that won't earn me a lot of money, that have a negative balance and will have a negative balance for some time. I'll pick cities that will give me a better net revenue through time after whipping when I draw a virtual graph of their net revenue in my head before and after whipping the courthouse.
    This is mostly the case for large but weakly developed cities that are far from my capital. City maintenance is quite dependant on city size.
    Sometimes the citizens would starve anyway due to the enemy culture occupying the food tiles or the unhappiness of the just captured population who feel culturally identified with the enemy.

    Building farms for whipping can always be useful to increase the productivity of your early game slavery cities. I do that a lot. I switch to caste system workshops around the invention of guilds though. My cities are quite large at that point and 1 food 3 hammer tiles (grassland workshop) is at that point more efficient for most of my cities than whipping.
     
  18. CivIVMonger

    CivIVMonger Emperor

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    The game appears to say that i have "Paused" it. Could someone please tell me how to un pause the game?
     
  19. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    There should be a button on your keyboard with the word Pause on it... :p
     
  20. CivIVMonger

    CivIVMonger Emperor

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    Wow, I'm dumb!:blush: Thanks!
     

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