Ranking the new leaders.

Nilmerf

Warlord
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
181
A lot of cool leaders and civilizations were added to Warlords, and for some reason I want to share my thoughts on who is good and who's not. Obviously there is going to be some difference of opinion, so feel free to share your own views.

Ragnar of the Vikings
Ragnar is an awesome addition to the Civilization IV experience. Although dependent on water and coastal cities for maximum utility, used properly he is a powerhouse. If given the Great Lighthouse and Colossus wonders, which are fairly easy to get, he will easily be able to dominate the coasts and the oceans. Make sure he gets the circumnavigation bonus, and the Viking fleet of ships housing those Berserkers will be devastating. The Aggressive trait will nicely upgrade those Berserkers and allow fast barracks and drydocks, while the Financial trait will turn the already profitable coastal cities into cash farms.
Grade: A

Hannibal of Carthage
Hannibal is very similar to Ragnar in that he is dependant on coastal cities, but also a force to be reckoned with. He should also go for the strategy of the Great Lighthouse and Colossus, and seek to build a good navy. What's different about Hannibal is that he has even more potential for having a huge economy, rivaled only by Elizabeth and Mansa Musa. The extra trade routes from the Cothon will have a compound effect on these profitable coastal cities, along with the Financial trait of course. He also has a complimentary trait in Charismatic, which allows his cities to be bigger, which brings in more commerce, and the -25% XP needed certainly helps his military. The only disappointing thing about Hannibal is that he has the average Numidian Cavalry as a unique unit, instead of an upgraded War Elephant. What were you thinking, Firaxis? That's the first thing one thinks of with Hannibal.. THE ELEPHANTS!
Grade: A

Brennus of the Celts
Nothing against fans of the Celts, but Brennus is arguably the worst leader in the entire game. Their unique unit and unique building are so terrible, that if you don't build them at all during your game it probably wouldn't even make a difference. The only strategy I can really see with the Celts is to artificially give yourself an advantage by playing on a Highlands map. Thus we're forced to look at his traits alone in order to determine if there's any value to Brennus. Spirtual and Charismatic are decent traits, but combined together there isn't much synergy, except maybe being able to keep your people happy relatively easy. The only saving grace of Brennus is his good starting techs.. Mysticism for access to an early religion, and Hunting for the initial scout.
Grade: D

Wang Kon of Korea
Wang Kon is a good leader for those protecting their empire while teching for a space race. His Protective and Financial combination is self explanatory for this, and his unique building helps increase research too. The Hwacha unique unit is interesting, and can be used for both defense and offensive situations. He certainly isn't a powerhouse, but his design gives him a good edge against most civilizations in the space race.
Grade: B-

Mehmed II of the Ottomans
Mehmed is great for creating a large empire. Expansive and Organized allows for fast granaries, harbors, courthouses, and lighthouses, helping you grow your populations and keep your upkeep down and economy up. Slavery is very powerful under Mehmed, as your new cities should be equipped with fast granaries, allowing the whipping of courthouses. The Janissary is much more viable than the inept Musketeer, and the Hammam unique building allows for yet a larger population and larger empire. An excellent civilization in general, especially as the difficulty levels go up.
Grade: A

Shaka of the Zulu
Shaka is all about military domination. It all starts with the Ikhanda unique building, which is quickly built because of the Aggressive trait, and the maintenance reduction will greatly help keep your economy going while capturing cities during war. The Impi is a good pillaging unit, but obsolete quick for city taking when Axemen start showing up. They can be upgraded along the gunpowder tree in the future though, which makes for interesting Riflemen equipped with mobility. Shaka will tend to stall in the late game if you haven't taken advantage of a fast military start though.
Grade: B

Ramesses II of Egypt
The addition of Ramesses renders Hatshepsut obsolete in my opinion. Both have Spiritual, but the Industrious trait being one of the best far outweighs Creative, which is arguably the worst trait of all. Ironically, even for a cultural victory Ramesses is better, as building wonders will be more important to your success than a measly bonus to culture in each city. Players of Ramesses can adopt two strategies, one of a military nature, or a builder strategy in capturing wonders and religions. The unique unit of Egypt helps with the former, while the Obelisk building helps in the latter. Although he starts with The Wheel and not Mysticism, I believe the builder strategy is more effective with Ramesses.
Grade: B

Winston Churchill of England
No two traits better describe Churchill than Charismatic and Protective. However, in practice this makes for a leader playing not to lose rather than playing to win in Civilization IV. Had Redcoats not been nerfed, Churchill would be very scary indeed. He still better utilizes this unique unit than Elizabeth or Victoria, but unfortunately for him that's his only advantage over the other English leaders. Elizabeth is still the best choice here. But Churchill makes for a great ally and buffer between yourself and a powerful civilization.
Grade: C

Augustus Caesar of Rome
Augustus is one of my favourite people in history, so obviously him being burdoned with the awful Creative trait depresses me. However, it still allows for some synergy with Organized, allowing for a large empire carved out by your Praetorians to grow. His granduncle Julius is undoubtedly the better leader though, as Imperialistic better suits Rome's style of Praetorian conquest. Augustus is better suited for a cultural victory, given his Creative trait and faster great artists with the Forum. But if you're playing Rome for a cultural victory, you have your priorities wrong!
Grade: B-

Joseph Stalin of Russia
Uncle Joe is a puzzling leader to say the least! Nothing about him seems to match at all. His Aggressive trait doesn't help the Cossack, his Industrious trait is good, but not enough to warrant turning him into a builder, and the Research Institute doesn't compliment either of these strategies! Warmongering, wonder building, or scientific research, take your pick. Stalin truly is a jack of all trades and master of none. That can make for some good diversity in playing as him, but lack of specialization hurts him in the long run.
Grade: B
 

Crighton

Emperor
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
1,136
My thoughts:

I wholeheartedly concur about Hannibal (easily my favorite) and Brennus (no he just sux and the highlands map point is well taken).

I disagree on Augsutus though. I think that he has the flexibility to go cultural and still crank out an almost full warmongering strategy to much greater effect.
 

drkodos

Emperor
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
1,861
Location
Renting-a-tent
Nilmerf said:
A lot of cool leaders and civilizations were added to Warlords, and for some reason I want to share my thoughts on who is good and who's not. Obviously there is going to be some difference of opinion, so feel free to share your own views.


Brennus of the Celts
Nothing against fans of the Celts, but Brennus is arguably the worst leader in the entire game. Their unique unit and unique building are so terrible, that if you don't build them at all during your game it probably wouldn't even make a difference. The only strategy I can really see with the Celts is to artificially give yourself an advantage by playing on a Highlands map. Thus we're forced to look at his traits alone in order to determine if there's any value to Brennus. Spirtual and Charismatic are decent traits, but combined together there isn't much synergy, except maybe being able to keep your people happy relatively easy. The only saving grace of Brennus is his good starting techs.. Mysticism for access to an early religion, and Hunting for the initial scout.
Grade: D
[/B]

I disagree. Here is why.


There is amazing synergy between Charismatic and Spiritual trait. Individually, they are both a bit more than "decent" traits, they are powerful. Put together? This is one reason why Brennus must be given an emasculated UU and an impotent UB, elsewise he would clealry be a singly overpowering prescence in any game.

Celtic trait synergy is further compounded with the chartered Mysticism tech boost for religious tactics and strategies making Brennus a religious, warmongering machine. The higher the level, the more he comes into his own. The only victory type that fits him like him like an off-the-rack suit is Space Race.
 

blitzkrieg1980

Octobrist
Joined
Aug 29, 2006
Messages
4,899
Location
New Jersey, USA
Grade C for Churchill? Are you serious? The combined protective and charismatic traits are really unbeatable if the AI ever gets too bold. The stock exchange might not seem at first like a strong UB, but that extra 15% really gives a much needed boost at the right time (banking). Redcoats? How can you go wrong with redcoats? Extra bonus vs. gunpowder units combined with the Protective AND charismatic traits = a defensive force that no one will challenge. You can hunker down and be a builder, or form up a nice attack force (with nice promos thanks to Charismatic) and not have to worry about the homefront during your attacks!

MY GRADE: B+ (not a big fan of the hammer bonus for walls / castle... wooptie doo)
 

Kain3

Chieftain
Joined
Jan 7, 2006
Messages
18
Nilmerf said:
Joseph Stalin of Russia
Uncle Joe is a puzzling leader to say the least! Nothing about him seems to match at all. His Aggressive trait doesn't help the Cossack, his Industrious trait is good, but not enough to warrant turning him into a builder, and the Research Institute doesn't compliment either of these strategies! Warmongering, wonder building, or scientific research, take your pick. Stalin truly is a jack of all trades and master of none. That can make for some good diversity in playing as him, but lack of specialization hurts him in the long run.
Grade: B

I agree with the grade for Stalin, however there are synergies between Aggressive and Industrious. For example there's the Forge which builds up faster with Industrious, and it can speed up your military unit production significantly. About wonders, you don't have to be peaceful to be wonder builder and most wonders do help warmongering directly or indirectly. I really like the Stonehenge or the Great Wall for early wars. (For Culture in conquered cities and the Great General production.) Or if you get the Pyramids with Stalin you can simly switch to Police State very early on.

Of course you won't use Stalin to be a true wonder builder, but you can easily use him to get all the military wonders you want. The Research Institute is a bit puzzling, I would use it only when it's nearing the end of the game and I can't stop the others in the space race, so I start it too.
 

phungus420

Deity
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
6,296
drkodos said:
The higher the level, the more he comes into his own. The only victory type that fits him like him like an off-the-rack suit is Space Race.

I think this is really the crux here. Brenus's power isn't realized until you get into monarch difficulty, before that other traits seem to be better. But at monarch, you'll really notice how awesome his traits are.
 

marioflag

History Addict
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
1,902
Location
Napoli, Italy
Ragnar of the Vikings: A-
Wonderful traits, good UU, good UB but Vikings are too much reliant on water, so they wouldn't be the best choice in maps where sea has a minor role.

Hannibal A
Best traits in the game, useful UB, great UU.Probaly the second powerful civ after the romans

Brennus of the Celts E
I find celts the worst civ in the game after warlords also worst than Aztecs
Traits are good, but UU and UB are just too bad, Gallic Warriors are a bit better than Aztecs but the Dun is just crap.The only advantage is the fact that you can found one of the early religion, but if you don't do it other civs are surely better

Wang Kon A-
Great traits,good UB and useful UU.Good for a builder player

Mehmed II of Ottomans C+
Exp-Org is a good combination but Exp remais in my opinion the worst trait.
Hammam remains one of the best UB but Janissary can be useful only against backwarded civ, you can't take advantage of him with more advanced civs which are often your best opponents

Shaka of Zulu C
Good warmongering traits, good UB, UU is good for pillaging but i don't find them the best unit to wage war.

Ramesses of Egypt A-
Ramesses is in my opinion one if not the best bulder.Traits are some of the best for a builder, UB grants a big advantage if you grab a religion early while UU with changes done in warlords to chariot grants you an easy life against barbs

Churchill B
Great combination of traits, good UB, good UU although it has been nerfed in Warlords

Augustus Caesar A
The traits are a good combination, the UB is good, he has PRETORIANS.Probably not so good as Caesar but surely the Praetorians make a game really easy

Joseph Stalin B
Traits are not synergic but makes this leader a good choice if you want to play both as a builder or as a warmonger (while i think he is best suit as builder, UB can be crap or decisive depends on the situation; it is decisive if you are going for a space race or if you are in an head to head game; while the nerfed Cossacks are now a good unit but not so powerful
 

paleman

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 8, 2002
Messages
21
Oh man, Brennus is going to PISSED when he gets his grade.

I'm with drkodos - you don't need some imaginary synergy with those traits. They go with everything. I think sometimes too much stock is put in UUs and UBs. They're frankly just gravy. The traits are the bread and butter. Who cares if the Celtic gravy is bland? You don't even need it when the bread and butter are so delicious.

I give Brennus an A. But I give his annoying music an F.
 

Olleus

Deity
Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Messages
6,478
Location
Beyond the Veil
Cyrus of Persia
Probably the best leader in the game. Hugely synergetic trait, more great generals, who then help units get to the next level even faster. No one will have more promoted units than you. The UU is also amazing; fast, cheap and with boni against archers AND axeman. The only units you might have problem with are either chariots, in which case you can just hide in woods, or spearman, but the Immortal is so cheap you can sacrifice a few to pillage bronze. If cities are to well protected simply pillage everything and besiege until cats come along. The UB is inconsequential, but still usefull. The starting techs are acceptable as they allow the UU to be built by only reaserching 2 techs.
grade A*
 

MrCynical

Deity
Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Messages
4,817
Location
The Dreaming Spires
My 2 cents on the new leaders:

Ragnar (Vikings):
A good trait combo (any set with Financial makes for a good leader), with plenty of scope for early to mid game warmongering. The UU/UB combo does have possibilites for launching amphibious attacks, but this is rather a niche bonus, and heavily map dependent. Still, the good traits make up for this.
Grade: A-

Hannibal (Carthage):
At the higher difficulty levels (particularly at Immortal and Deity), Hannibal really shines as a leader. Financial is as always the trait of choice, and Charismatic's happiness boost makes a huge difference when the happiness cap is normally stuck at about 3 or 4. The lower experience requirements are also invaluable at these levels, where early warfare is ubiquitous. The UU isn't bad if you have horses, but no metals, but otherwise isn't great. The Cothon's not bad on archipelago maps, but again is nothing to write home about. Thanks to the trait combo though, at emperor+ I regard Hannibal as the strongest leader, on almost any map.
Grade: A+

Brennus (Celts):
Brennus does have Charismatic as a trait, which counts for quite a lot, and Spiritual is a decent trait to pair it up with. Not bad for building highly promoted units, and boosted happiness caps. The UU and UB are unfortunately awful (guerilla I is really not a good trait, especially on a city attacking unit). Traits are more important though, so this is still a reasonable leader.
Grade: B-

Wang Kon (Korea):
Financial...I guess you're getting the idea; this alone makes a good leader. Protective I admit I'm not overly fond of though. It's better in the hands of an AI turtled up in cities than for a human player who's trying to win. Not the worst companion to Financial, but not great either. The UU's not bad though, and is decent in the field against melee stacks as well as as a siege weapon. The UB is solid, as extra research is always good and pairs neatly with Financial.
Grade: B+

Shaka (Zulus)
One mediocre trait, and the worst one in the book. Not a good start in the leader stakes. Aggresive is reasonable, especially for early warfare, but I've yet to see any map where Expansive shines. The cheap granaries are worth having, but for the vast majority of the game the health bonus is useless. The UB sounds nice for early warfare by lowering city maintenance, but in practice the saving is unimpressively small. The UU can be strong when defending against chariot happy AIs, but isn't going to turn the course of a game, and is not much help in the early attacks that this leader needs to make use of the traits.
Grade: C-

Mehmed II (Ottomans):
Again, one very mediocre trait, and one near useless one. Organised helps a bit in early warfare, but I'm frequently disappointed by how much it's actually saving. Truly pathetic compared to Financial, you have to make the best of the cheap buildings by wedging in coastal cities. The UU's quite a decent late middle ages unit, for all that it replaces a completely useless one, and the UB is excellent at the higher levels, which helps compensate for the weak traits.
Grade:C+

Ramesses II (Egpyt)
Industrious is a strong trait at low to mid difficulty levels, though it weakens rather at the high levels where wonder shots are few and far between. Cheap forges are always excellent though. Spiritual is a decent trait and goes well with most things. The UB is not very impressive; priest specialists aren't the ones you want if you're going to run specialists at all at this stage, though it might be OK in combo with the Pyramids, which are easier for this industrious civ. The UU's not bad either, but will only shine on a map with horses and no metal.
Grade: B+

Churchill (England):
Well Charismatic's a strong trait, but Protective is a fairly lousy companion to it. Great for defending cities from direct attack, but that's not something a human player should end up doing much unless something goes wrong, and it does little for attack. The UB's not too bad, though gold boosters are of much lower value than science. The UU is quite strong, if a little late.
Grade: B

Augustus Caesar (Rome)
I look at this trait combo and think...ugh. Imperialistic is a feeble trait with only a marginal boost to settle production, and great generals aren't that stunning. Creative is another weak one, with next to no bonus beyond the first couple of ages. The UU is excellent, which helps counterbalance, and the UB isn't bad either. All in all this leader has early warfare written all over it. A strong early UU, earlier great generals, a slight boost to settling capability, and a rapid first cultural expansion in captured cities. Unfortunately, once the early wars are over, the traits and UU are practially worthless.
Grade:C+

Stalin (Russia):
Two decent traits here, but curiously at odds with each other. Aggressive favours warfare, Industrious favours building styles, try to do both and you'll be good at neither. A good UU, if a little late. The UB might be decent if you run a specialist economy, but is so late that it rarely has any impact on the game. An odd leader this one; can do warfare or builder reasonably well, but excels at neither, and in a game which rewards specialisation a jack of all trades comes off badly.
Grade: B-
 

sooooo

Emperor
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Messages
1,982
Well, modern warfare is only bareable if you are spiritual. Switching between the Police State/Nationhood/Theocracy combination when at war and the Representation/Free Speech/Organised Religion combo when at peace is just too painful when you have 5 turns of anarchy. And if you cannot do this civics switch, then you are at a massive disadvantage in a modern war. Therefore, for any map with water (continents/archi etc) at a difficulty level that you have to disrupt an AI's spaceship, then Brennus is the best new leader in Warlords. Who cares about UBs or UUs? OK, if you are Rome, or Russia in vanilla then your UU can determine how good your civ is. But other than that it's the traits that completely outway any difference in UBs or UUs.

My favourite all-purpose warlords leaders are Brennus, Ragnar and Hannibal.

EDIT: Augustus is organised and creative. Both are fine traits. He's the new Catherine, but being organised instead of financial he's better on archipelago maps but worse on pangaea maps. There is no Cre/Fin combo in Warlords, so Augustus is the closest fit we will get.

Rameses is good for a culture win, or a normal win on an archi map when you want to build TGL and the Colossus. On another map, I find the industrious trait pretty pointless so he is 100% spiritual. Which is fine as that is the best trait.

Mehmed is probably awesome with the nationhood civic, to draft his UU. But I've never played with him before. This is one isolated case where the UU is important in warlords.

Shaka and Stalin each have two opposing traits. Expansive is best for a small empire because you have few health resources. Yet Shaka is aggressive. Not so good. I rarely build wonders when warmongering, so Stalin's traits are opposing too (IMO).

And I've yet to find a good use for protective, so Churchill is basically 100% charismatic and Wang Kon 100% financial. Both are decent traits, so these leaders are OK. They just only have one trait.
 

blitzkrieg1980

Octobrist
Joined
Aug 29, 2006
Messages
4,899
Location
New Jersey, USA
sooooo said:
On another map, I find the industrious trait pretty pointless so he is 100% spiritual. Which is fine as that is the best trait.
I guess it really all boils down to gameplay. I can't possibly see why industrious is pointless on any map but archi... That just seems a little strange. GrLighthouse and Colossus are good Wonders, but pale in comparison to Pyramids, GrLibrary, Parthenon, and even StoneHenge (I find shrine gold to be more lucrative than a boost in ocean-tile-commerce). None of those require ocean tiles.

Spiritual is a very helpful trait to have during modern times for warring, but I'd say less valuable than Charismatic. Charismatic will allow you to have multiple cities producing units with 3 promos, and 2 military cities with 4 promos. You might even be able to grab a 5 promo city if you've managed your generals well. Imagine an opponent trying to invade with tanks only to meet the match of your 4 COMBAT promo and 1 VS ARMOR promo gunships (STR 24 + 125% vs armor + 40% COMBAT = STR 63.6!) Just an example ;)
 

sooooo

Emperor
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Messages
1,982
Oh yeah, the charismatic trait is great. You're correct all the way there. But so is spiritual, because I like to change civics every 10 or so turns in post-renaissance times. Regarding industrious, I like the Great Library but that is gettable without the trait because the AI ignores alphabet for so long. Not a huge fan of the other wonders on a non-archi map, but yes it's all down to playstyles.
 

drkodos

Emperor
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
1,861
Location
Renting-a-tent
sooooo said:
And I've yet to find a good use for protective, so Churchill is basically 100% charismatic and Wang Kon 100% financial. Both are decent traits, so these leaders are OK. They just only have one trait.



<Homer Voice> It's funny cause its true.<Homer Voice>
 

Samurai 2006

Chieftain
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
74
Location
Denmark
My grades!

Ragnar of the Vikings
Grade: A+
My favourite leader!

Hannibal of Carthage
Grade: A-
the minus is because he's in the top 5 but he's number 5 in the top 5 :mischief: Hmmm..

Brennus of the Celts
Grade: D-
Bad UU and UB. No one deserves an E but Brennus can take a D-

Wang Kon of Korea
Grade: B+
He gets B because he's a better than average leader and a + because the Hwatcha is SO COOL

Mehmed II of the Ottomans
Grade: C+
Never been a fan of the expansive trait and he one of the weakest leaders but the Janissary is good on Marathon so he gets C+ from me

Shaka of the Zulu
Grade: B-
Never seen the Ikhanda do anything so he gets a - for that. As with Mehmed I dont like expansive but Shaka is B- and Mehmed is C+ because I find the Shaka cooler and the UU more useful

Ramesses II of Egypt
Grade: B
A good leader! Nothing really to say about him. The obelisk can rock big time with the industrious trait and mystisicm. Get stonehenge quick and an obelisk in every city meaning GREAT PROPHETS

Winston Churchill of England
Grade: C+
The protective trait just isnt doint "it" for me. Wang Kon is fine but there is just something about Churchill that I dont like so I put him in C but he gets the + because I know Im being stupid

Augustus Caesar of Rome
Grade: C
hmm...not a fan of the creative trait either :cool: So C for me. Would get B but the praetorian is just too overpowered and it just isnt fun to play with them

Josef Stalin of Russia
Grade: A-
Aaa here is a trait I like - Aggressive :) Dont you just got to love Joey? The negative part is that the UB comes so damn late :mad:
 

swimrr

Chieftain
Joined
Nov 23, 2005
Messages
47
Well I just got warlords the other day so I can't comment on all of them, but I think Shaka is more along the lines of a B+. I am a warmonger and am playing a game on monarch atm, that UB helped me expand fast by sacking my neighbor (Alex) which is key un the higher levels. The umpi is great for slowing down an enemy civ's progress. They are cheap enough and fast enough they can cover ground fast and help to pillage any bronze/iron. Once that is taken care of you can quickly shot down the enemy civ's economy.

I'm looking forward to trying the vikings next.
 

Mad2rix

Warlord
Joined
Jun 14, 2004
Messages
287
Location
Japan
What if Brennus gets Aggresive and Charismatic traits? Will he get a better grade on his ranking leader class?

Will Ottoman Janissaries can be improved if they have first 2-strikes instead of bonus against backward civs?

If England and Russian's UU strength remained the same as they possessed in vanilla version, then the leaders, Churchill or Stalin might outrank other new leaders. IMO, there's no way the Cossack's rifle have a same firepower as SAM infantry's submachine gun as if they're cheap hi-tech weapons.
 

aelf

Ashen One
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
17,246
Location
Tir ná Lia
Nilmerf said:
The Janissary is much more viable than the inept Musketeer

Err... What?

I can see quite a few things wrong on the first glance. But they're your opinions, I guess, though you certainly can't say they are anything close to universally shared. I'll elaborate more when I have the time.
 

Nilmerf

Warlord
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
181
aelf said:
Err... What?

I can see quite a few things wrong on the first glance. But they're your opinions, I guess, though you certainly can't say they are anything close to universally shared. I'll elaborate more when I have the time.
How can you defend the Musketeer? It's just a Musketman with an extra movepoint, so basically you can build a Knight (which is earlier on the tech tree) and have 1 more strength to boot. Since Napoleon is no longer Aggressive, and you can build stables for your knights, the Musketeer is even weaker.
 
Top Bottom