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Quick Domination Strategy (for water-based maps)

Discussion in 'CivBE - Strategy & Tips' started by Valessa, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    =========================================
    -- Introduction
    =========================================

    I have been playing around with domination lately and I have to say it's quite a lot of fun. This strategy guarantees combat throughout all game and ignores Explorer- and Trade-Route-Spam completely, as well as most of the Empire-Management you'd normally be doing. I can win the game by turn ~110 on Apollo with All-Standard Settings as long as all Capitals can be shot at by water and it's probably possible to win a lot faster with more refined timings and better judgement calls or with all-water starts settings.

    It is not optimal if you don't want to conquer your opponents quickly, as you'll run out of steam pretty easily later on if you don't manage to take out all opponents while they're still on t2 units - in that case strategies that Utilize tons of Scouts in the early game (and probably also spy-based strategies) are a lot more efficient, as they allow you to reach Level 7 in 2 Affinities (= t3 Ships) fairly easy while it takes a little longer with this particular strategy.

    =========================================
    -- Setup
    =========================================

    Sponsor - NSA. Perks are completely irrelevant throughout this type of game, none of the sponsors grants a real combat bonus. NSA has a water start, that's what's important, because we want to blast out a basic navy fleet very early - and additional City Strength which is a nice bonus in the later part of the game. The "invisible" extra bonus is of course that you won't get the NSA as an opponent spamming their water city strongholds.

    If you're okay with using the "All water based starts"-option then I'd actually say PAC is the strongest option here - and that's only because of the Benthic Auger, an extremely strong option if you get it for free.

    Loadout - Engineers (Not artists because we won't need much culture during the game, will get enough early game culture from Pods), Reveal Coasts (Tectonic Scanner is an option if you use Strategic Balance), Free Soldier (= Patrol Boat)

    Planet - Primordial is a good Planet as it gives a ton of extra Production but all of them are fine. I'm still not decided if Lush is a good one - you get more science from the "Science Per Kill"-Diplomatic Trait but less Science from the Alien-Farm Virtue and will often overkill Aliens. Removes the (already very low) danger of Kraken taking your cities though.

    =========================================
    -- Economic Strategy
    =========================================

    Tech Path: Pioneering -> Physics -> Whatever gives you Affinity (preferably Purity because of the flat Combat Bonus when Attacking)

    Virtues: Free Settler -> Free Worker (probably the only one you'll have until you conquer some from the AI) -> Science from Aliens -> Bonus Affinity

    Build Order: Patrol Boat (2x) -> Monument -> Trade Depot + Unit once available -> Gunboats

    Diplomacy: Science from Kills (Military, to max) -> Reduced Cost to buy Units (Political)

    Overall there's really not much to say here. You don't want to waste your time constructing Buildings, the Relic and the Depot in your capital and a Relic in your Expansion is all you need until the Drydocks are available. Rush-buy the Docks if possible.

    You will drop into heavy negative health later on, and you shouldn't care about it. That's why you use generators instead of farms - without an exception (well, maybe one farm in the capital if there's no good growth tile). Energy is not effected by Health, so while it's a very inefficient Resource it's the one that you'll actually be able to use - and quite a lot, too, it's not uncommon to end up in +100 EPT depending on how many useful Cities you conquer. (Of course, if you're playing as PAC you should instead use farms in your capital to get the population up to work as many tiles as possible).

    Also, once you have your first 3-4 Ranged Boats on the Field you have time for ~2 Explorers. Focus on Alien Remains and progenitor ruins, what you're looking for is the Effect that gives +100% Ranged Defense for Boats as well as the 30% tech reduction wonder. Both aren't needed (one of the great things about this strategy is the fact that you can ignore the early explorer Spam), but if you can get them - great.

    =========================================
    -- Military Strategy
    =========================================

    Now that's the important part. What you'll want to do during the early stages of the game is farm aliens. Hydracoral to be precise. Once you have your Ranged Boats on the Field you should start picking away Health of Hydracorals, but you'll probably not yet have the Alien Farm Virtue. Make sure not to kill them - ideally you'll have like 4-5 big Cores ready to kill once the last virtue kicks in. (Don't forget you can use Culture Focus to speed it up if you were unlucky with Culture from Ruins) The Science you get from these things is insane.

    Many people don't know it - I didn't either until a week ago or so - but Aliens will not get Angry if they're bombarded from 2 tiles away. So just stay out of range, don't attack with your Melee Boats and you'll basically get tons of science for free. During all of this you should be filling your fleet (with Melee and Ranged Boats only, Subs are really bad at quick offensive action) and spreading the new Boats to more sources of Hydracoral, then try to clear some nearby nests for a few more shots at getting the +100% Ranged Defense if you haven't already gotten it. If you still don't get it -> Whatever. It's nice but not mandatory.

    Once you have a sizable fleet of around 3 Melee and ~7 Ranged Boats you gather your units in front of the borders of a Civ and once all your boats are ready you declare war. You kill what's there (careful with Submarines). You take the capital. You leave 1-2 Ships to make sure the city doesn't just get retaken by 1-2 enemy units and continue to the next enemy. If you can snap a few other big cities on your way early on -> Good, that will heavily increase your income. Don't forget to replace their farms with Generators.

    Yes, this wasn't much of an in-depth strategy on taking the cities, but there really isn't much to say. The fact that you can gather your army at of their borders and then get the first strike just makes it trivial. The AI wil complain, but there's no "Declare war or get a global diplo hit" anymore, the AI won't declare war to stop you from setting up a perfect concave and it won't even try to reposiition it's units so you can't wipe them out.

    Anyway. At this point you shouldn't send the boats that you're producing at home to the front, instead you will want to use them to start farming Hydracoral again. If there is none, then farm nests. (Of course, if you lose units at the front, replacing them has priority) You will want to reach Affinity 6+7 as soon as you can, for t2 boats. If the AI reaches them before you do things can become tricky, but if you don't neglect farming Aliens at this point you should even be able to reach it quite a while before they do. Try not to take non-capital cities at this point as they won't really pay out anymore and will just drag your health down even further.

    The AI may try to retake their cities and in case they do send up sizable armies make sure to send back a few additional units to defend. But overall you'll probably roll over 3-4 AIs before you reach t6 and the moment you do you should gather your Alien Farming Boats as a second Army and start attacking at two fronts at once -> don't forget that you'll not have to hold the last capital, you just have to take it and you've won. So while you're taking out AI 5+6 you can be rather reckless and lose some units if it speeds up your progress. Bring your remaining units to the last players capital, roll in, win. GG.

    (In case you didn't win at this point and find that you're not making progress you should aim to get level 6 in a second Affinity. If you had 2 explorers running around you might very well already have level 2-3 in an off-affinity, the rest is really easy to gather with cheap techs while - you guessed it - you are farming Aliens. 6/6 gives you t3 units way before the AI should have any of them, which once again allows you to roll over their armies.)
     
  2. CaptMikeP

    CaptMikeP Purity's Finest Warrior

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    nice work
     
  3. MAMoob

    MAMoob Chieftain

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    I've been toying around with similar strategies and it works pretty well. My times are a lot worse though, but I guess that's mainly because I can't bring myself to leave unconquered cities behind so I pretty much clear the whole map, so it usually takes about 150 turns.

    I've played some games with straight up might and little/no cities of your own at all, It seems even faster but is riskier because you end up in a bad position if no AI lands reasonably nearby (and reasonably soon) If it does however you can even make great use of liberation army might perk and essentially get a few free colonists before finishing off the AI (they naturally love to spam them when they land). Might also allows you to get cruisers very early reliably with a free affinity level so you can siege cities on t30 or so.

    Prosperity into might start feels safer though.

    I've also been using Chungsu, with scavenging you can get the spy agency very fast. They're kinda mediocre at best if you don't manage to get the agreement from ARC and require you to invest diplo caital in subtle, but they still give a fair amount of science in the 2nd part of the game. Usually much more than scavenging at that point. With all water starts I feel like ARC is going to be a great sponsor for this strategy as you can rush spy agency with scavenging and then get a ton of free science that does not depend on your health and city infrastructure. Precision and scavenging do that as well, but they start to perform poorly once you get to researching ~900 science techs. And getting 7/7 or 8/8 in affinities early pretty much guarantees a win. In the games I've played I didn't pick an all coastal start option, so I had to take some land capitals as well in the end. With 8/8 and hovertanks that's usually trivial. You can probably even get phasal transporter if you recruit enough spies, although to be fair it's mostly just for fun at that point.
     
  4. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    Prosperity Opener is mainly to guarantee the production capacity to be able to get the fleet to attack your neighbors and still being able to somewhat passively farm aliens. It just fits very well together - although I don't doubt that it's very possible to go conquering stuff immediately, but it'll probably be a lot harder to manage correctly.

    ARC and Chungsu would probably be good choices if the games were a little longer, but I couldn't really make them work in quick matches, as the goal is pretty much to win with 7/0/0, which works perfectly fine with Scavenging + the Science I get from killing opponents. So investing into spies at all just delayed my goals.
     
  5. hevans900

    hevans900 Chieftain

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    I've been messing with a similar strategy that revolves around rushing 6/6 for t3 boats.

    I literally just spam about 7-8 explorers (using Pioneers ofc) and rush the extra expeditions virtue - get EVERY SINGLE affinity point possible from expeditions.

    I also rush the + % vs aliens in the Might Tree, and try to pickup early purity if I can for even more +%, that way my explorers never ever die to aliens. As a result the science farming virtue in the Might Tree is also accessible, and I usually use it to get the last couple of affinity levels required.

    Then just build a few t3 boats -> roll AIs
     
  6. MAMoob

    MAMoob Chieftain

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    Yeah, Chungsu might not pay off in a ~100 turns game, but ARC definitely will. You can get t50 or even t40 spy agency which means 12+ steal science attempts per agent. That's a lot of free techs, and you need some even for 7/0/0 unless you get lucky with explorers (which are penaltized with the water start).

    As for prosperity opening and expanding - well, it takes a lot of production to expand in the first place, for colonists at the very least, which you can use to make a functional army much faster. You'll need extra cities later on anyway though, so the question is whether you build them or you take them. The risk of going for military first is that there will be no one convenient to conquer nearby, but it can be mitigated by opting for no delayed starts. I still think founding 1 extra city is worth it in any case since it gives you a free boat, which covers some of the colonist's cost.
     
  7. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    If may very well pay off but it's not required as through farming you already get the science you need. I'd say it's probably a valid alternative that I'll try out later.

    But not sure why you think I'd be producing colonists. ^^ I'm just picking up one from Prosperity and constructing the depot + Trade Route. As you correctly say, that's rewarded with a free boat that makes up for a lot of the investment already and the trade route does then pay back in around 10 turns (depending on the output of the trade route). On top of that you get a worker from virtues early on and then should still get everything you need (which isn't much) in Might about when you need it.

    I find that one of the best things about this strategy is that it completely skips the mass-explorer part that, frankly, I'm getting really tired of and replaces it with real combat action. ...partly against things that don't move, but oh well. :p
     
  8. MAMoob

    MAMoob Chieftain

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    Yeah, I somehow thought you're building more than 1 extra city. With only 1 extra investments in expansion are not that significant, although you should be somewhat behind on tech as you start farming bit later. I think both openings are valid, might opening can give something like free colonsits too with liberation army and I'd possibly still build a colonist yourself for a free boat even though it puts you behind in fleet production a bit.

    And yeah, to me it's definitely more fun than the peaceful eco boom strategies, shame there seems to be no way to do it on land. I think in general land units are kinda underpowered in RT. The only thing good about land city military are air units and maxed out rovers.

    If you think you have enough science you can always steal energy or recruit defectors with your spies. Energy gains depend on the turn # so they are not that great earlygame, but they would still significally improve your income. Even a level 1 agent at turn 50 is worth like 7 EPT. Level 3 agent at turn 100 - probably about 50 EPT. Recruit defectors is likely going to give you trash units, never tried to use it much, but it's worth a shot.
     
  9. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    Well, scrap this strategy, Post-Patch you don't need it anymore thanks to Affinity-Technologies from peace treaties. Turn 98 Domination Victory:

    Spoiler :


    That was my very first go at it and I accidentally started the game on a Terran Map (=much greater distances for boats), messed up the attack order and had to move for ~10 turns when I could have moved part of my army there a lot earlier. I assume low-80 victories are probably easily possible once the whole thing is refined (again with the requirement of all cities being attackable from sea and otherwise all-standard settings).

    Strategy:
    - Go Full Might
    - Build Boats
    - Roll over stuff
    - Manually make peace deals that include Affinity-Points and Energy to buy stuff
    - Win.
     
  10. CaptMikeP

    CaptMikeP Purity's Finest Warrior

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    I'm trying a domination victory on a terran map too. 200-some turns later, I'm stuck at the middle of the scoreboard fighting against AI naval spam....
     
  11. sugerdady87

    sugerdady87 Chieftain

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    When are you going to do let's plays on YouTube, Ryika?
     
  12. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    Probably never. ;) Though I can record a (non-commented) run-through of the (new) strategy sometime next week if people are interested. Not that there's really much to see other than perma-fighting. :D
     
  13. EpicWestern

    EpicWestern Chieftain

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    With the power of fast boats, it kind of makes me wonder if it isn't an optimal opening even if you are teching. My last game was with NSA (I random all starting conditions) and I had an enemy capital accessible by water nearby. My initial attack of 2 gunboats and one patrol boat failed (teir 2), but after taking a smaller city and regrouping, a 3 gunboat and two patrol boat attack worked. After that I just teched up ridiculously hard and had a comfortable turn ~175ish supremacy win. Not the fastest win, but its random everything, missing some quests and basically making up a random strat on the fly. I feel like if you start right away with a fast boat build take 1 or 2 capitals then switch to tech at the right time you should give pure tech a run for its money. I mean why invest in expanding when you can just take capitals?
     
  14. sugerdady87

    sugerdady87 Chieftain

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    Water combat is significantly easier than land, so you may be right.
     
  15. EpicWestern

    EpicWestern Chieftain

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    OOPS. Apparently I was bugged and was able to take over enemy cities without any sort of penalty. So even though the actual combat would be the same the above strategy is probably obsolete due to the health penalty.
     
  16. MAMoob

    MAMoob Chieftain

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    Must say the speed mostly depends on map layout (even if you go with all coastal starts). Managed to pull off a couple of t90-100 wins, but I feel like once mastered it's mostly determined by how fast everyone can be reach and how easy it is to assault their cities. Going 100% might seems to give the best results (I'm still considering picking up a free worker for t1 synergy or a free colonist, but not both). I still build 1 colonist for the free boat anyway though.

    Also, Brasilia seems viable now with all water starts.
     
  17. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    Yeah, unfortunately it's very terrain-dependent. Managed to get a turn 86 Victory when I had an AI land almost next door for a very easy first extra city, it could easily have been a few turns faster had the last 2 Capitals not been surrounded by tons of land and only been accessible by fighting my way through the territory of a few extra cities.

    On the other hand, if nobody lands near you then the midgame production capacity is staggered quite a bit because you just won't get that extra capital early enough, which always leads to "slow" turn ~95 victories.

    But I guess that's to be expected. Whenever you have a game with many random factors and you try to min-max what is possible, the randomness becomes a big factor in the overall success. I don't really see a way around that, design-wise.
     
  18. Olodune

    Olodune Chieftain GOTM Staff

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    On a water map in BERT anyone can be the Huns. sub t90 is still a nice result, I think.

    I'd say that Patrol Boats should get a city attack penalty, but then the AI would be toothless.
     
  19. milk steak

    milk steak Chieftain

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    All you really need are 2 subs and a cutter. The AI has no idea how to deal with naval units, let alone stealth naval ones. I crushed Apollo domination with just a handful of subs.
     
  20. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    Submarines are safe, but soooo slow. Takes ages for them to get from A to B.
     

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