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Ratio of Civs to City States?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Abraxis, May 25, 2014.

  1. Abraxis

    Abraxis Emperor

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    I'm just curious what everyone usually goes with here. I've been playing 1:1, usually 15, 15 on a large Perfectworld map (which is somewhere between large and huge for other map scripts).

    I noticed in another thread, 1:2, or 8 and 16 on a large map was considered standard? This seems like a lot of city states to me, not only would this heavily discourage wide empires, but it would provide very little competition among tall empires for CS favour.

    Admittedly I've been playing 1:1 for years, so maybe I need to re-assess that? Is 1:2 really what the game was balanced around?

    What does everyone else usually go with?
     
  2. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    I like CS. I'm normally at about 3:1. I guess it's that CS quests make things interesting.
     
  3. Mr_PeaCH

    Mr_PeaCH Chieftain

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    I like CSes too but at default 2:1 it does seem to greatly favor the human. AIs just don't seem to be able to take advantage of them like I can anyway and I always rely on this.

    I believe I'll start a few games with 1:1 and see how that feels.

    But I agree with tetley - I like CS quests in general the more the merrier.
     
  4. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Default ratio is 2 city states per major AI

    In my own games, I always trim that down to 1 city state per major AI. This gives a bit more space for expansion while maintaining the importance of city states. It's still plenty for Austria or Venice. The interesting thing here is your games will be a bit more varied at 1:1 due to randomness of city state type selection. (In some games you may that half are Merchicle while in another none at all were.)
     
  5. Marshall Thomas

    Marshall Thomas King

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    I'm thinking about using this 1:1 ratio for my next game. Is there any downside to doing so that I should consider? Thanks in advance.
     
  6. jango76

    jango76 Chieftain

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    The downside is that (in theory at least) the game has been balanced for a 2:1 ratio, so you'll be disadvantaging opponents with a CS-related UA relative to those without, and dumb AIs who take patronage without realizing it's less valuable with fewer CSes.

    The main thing that makes me feel tempted to cut the number of CSes is the chronic effect they have on late-game turn times. It's never felt satisfying when I've tried that, though - even if you just lower the ratio, it always feels like you're sacrificing depth in the game. You really need a critical mass of CSes to force yourself to make strategic choices about which ones to cultivate influence with (at the expense of not doing so with others), based on their resources, location on the map, type of CS, what quests come up, who else is trying to ally with them etc.
     
  7. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Patronage is just fine with a 1:1 ratio. Consulates was super-over powered at default ratio until the Fall patch and merely over powered at 1:1 prior to the same patch.

    The trees aren't well balanced even now for any setting. There remains a sharp debate between Tradition & Liberty for first tree; everyone agrees Rationalism is the best second tree, and all other trees are just filler after the first tree while waiting to open Rationalism.
     
  8. Abraxis

    Abraxis Emperor

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    If anything there is more strategy in having fewer City States. When there are so many, you just auto complete quests without even knowing it all the time. Any given alliance really isn't that important, if you lose one you can pretty easily find another, assuming the several you have aren't enough to fall back on.
    With fewer city states, there is much more competition over them. It makes that whole side of the game much more deliberate.
     
  9. subtledoctor

    subtledoctor Chieftain

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    I dropped from the default ratio to 1:1 (17/17 on large PerfectWorld) and it's pretty darn good. Much-improved gameplay. Alex is in my recent game, and he's still a beast. If anything - and contrary to my expectations - it might be making him stronger. He's always going to have huge influence with a couple CS's that you can't really undo; now, there is a smaller pool of others, and more civs competing for them. Fun!
     
  10. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    I actually prefer a ~1:4 ratio. ^^ Huge maps with 10-12 Civs and maxed out city states makes fulfilling city state quests a real deal. You always have some quests to fulfill, even in times when there's really nothing going on in the world - they're kind of a "filler" for times that would be rather boring otherwise. But I agree that it makes things easier and less tactical.
     
  11. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Primary tool dealing with Alex: Spies.
    Have first one stay in your capital until it becomes a secret agent.

    All other raw recruits go to defending your existing allies mostly via rigging but also by coup when AI uses bare minimum gift to take it over; but that secret agent gets used to take over at 85% down even a city you are about 50 points away from.
     
  12. LukeHro

    LukeHro Chieftain

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    I play now with an increased number of city states on king, large, continents and I agree it favors the player. Even if I never gave a money gift all CS on my continent are my allies and when one escapes a spy will bring them back in 4 turns. Yet, the ones on the other continent are not that trivial to ally with (Greece is there)
    It may depend on the other civs in game but I like it this way and would increase difficulty rather then reduce their number for my next play.
     
  13. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    I disagree about lots of CS being less tactical. I plan my tactics around CS all the time. If the civ I want to invade has an ally next door, I might buy out that ally first. If I'm invading from the east and one of my allies is on the west, I stay back and let him duke it with the CS first. If I'm invading a turtle (aka Great Wall), I'll take out his ally first and sell the city to someone else, who might liberate it. Lots of tactics. I don't know if it makes the game easier (when NOT playing a patronage civ), but just raise the difficulty to compensate.
     
  14. Loucypher

    Loucypher King

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    I personally play 22 civs 28 CS's on huge maps as my prefered settings. Just a few more CS's then there are civs, enabling for some wiggling room for the CS-based civs without making them completely overwhelm the map and make CS Quest spam easy. I can recommend this kind of spread to everyone, if of course trimmed down to appropriate map sizes. 8 civs 10/11 cs's sounds like a good idea for example, though I'd personally go with 10 vs 13/14 on maps where 8 vs 16 is the norm.
     
  15. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Map density has a bigger impact on your games than the civ:cs ratio. If you are just reducing CS without increasing the number of AIs, you will not be able to separate out the confounding effects. Is the game different because of fewer CS? Or is the game different because there was more space? So given that, yes, the game is initially balanced at the 2:1 ratio, when starting this experiment, you should have been adding in an AI for every two CS deleted. You have already gotten used to a relatively sparse map, so IMHO that is what you asking about.
     
  16. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    That affect was actually intentional in my case; I found the default somewhat too crowded for my tastes.

    Also note that changing number of major AIs up or down impact the race to Religion. The max value for these are actually set by map size.
     
  17. subtledoctor

    subtledoctor Chieftain

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    I disagree that simply bumping the difficulty slider is an answer to balancing the game's difficulty. That slider is actually a very dumb way to handicap the player. I prefer to play at a lower difficulty level (mostly King or Emperor these days) but to increase the challenge from map conditions. I'm not into speedruns, I like the build powerful empires from humble, even disadvantaged, beginnings. One of the ways to increase the challenge is to reduce the number of CS's I can exploit; another way is to increase the number of AIs competing for religions, wonders, CS allies, etc.

    But to each his own - you paid for the game, play it your way!

    Well yeah, but you usually can't peel off every single one of his allies. At least, it's usually not worth it. In my last game, 17/17 playing as the Celts, Alex had numerous CS's at 150+ influence by the time I had my economy up and running, and 3 spies, in the Industrial. Every one in double digits was in play; but he had 3 or 4 I didn't even bother with. And that was fine: by the modern era there were a dozen-plus being courted by non-Greeks, and I snagged 5 or 6. I could have taken more, but I wasn't going for Diplo Victory and 5-6 was all I really needed to get things done in the WC.
     
  18. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    I didn't mean to take ALL of his allies with spies, just using them to secure enough city states for yourself to deny him diplomatic victory as the primary goal.
    One trick here is you really only need 1 secret agent for this; after you've taken a city state via coup from secret agent a raw recruit will normally suffice to keep it. (AI tends to pay bare minimum gold ... )
     
  19. NKVD

    NKVD Cossack

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    1:1

    minimum text
     
  20. klaskeren

    klaskeren Prince

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    Agree, 1:1 is more fun than 2:1
     

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