RB1 - Let's get started

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Succession Games' started by darrelljs, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

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    No whacky variants this time, we're just going to play around and find out the good, the bad, and the ugly of this new game :cool:.

    Roster
    darrelljs
    regoarrarr
    sunrise089
    Sciz
    Sub: Aretii

    Settings
    Map: Continents
    Level: Emperor
    Size: Standard
    Speed: Normal
    Leader: Washington

    We'll go with a lax 24/48 (at 72 Aretii can claim it). I'll post the starting screenshot as soon as I acquire the technology to convert them to .jpg format :rolleyes:. Thanks a lot on that one Firaxis, I think we found our first thing for the "ugly" bucket :mad:.

    Darrell
     
  2. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

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    Washington:



    Our start:



    Settle in place? Hills and floodplains are good.

    Darrell
     
  3. Sciz

    Sciz Chieftain

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    Looks like a good spot. Floodplains will be great for the early food (food resources don't seem to give much of a bonus) and the hills are essential for later on. Too bad about the desert though, but nowhere we can move will make it much better, and settling on a river enables several buildings that we couldn't build otherwise.

    With Washington's ability we can expand cheaply to the marble and the... I have actually no idea what the resource on the hill above the settler is, haven't seen it in any of my demo games.

    One option would be to follow the river up closer to the grassland, which will remove much of the desert but still keep the flood plains, but then we'd lose the marble which will be helpful for some wonders (like the great library). I guess if we settle on the tile just NW of our warrior (on the other side of the river) we're only two tiles away from the marble, and with cheaper purchasing we'd still get relatively easy access to marble, and we'll avoid some desert. Maybe there are some resources up there in the fog too. Then again we'd lose a turn if we moved there right?
     
  4. Aretii

    Aretii Chieftain

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    Substitute, checking in.

    Two luxes is an awesome start, and silver and marble are both useful. I like the look of the sheep to our SW, too.

    My one concern is that we have no food resources. Flood plains are weaker than Civ 4 - just river grassland (2f1g), basically, but they count as a desert (which impacts Solar Plants). We're going to need to farm all that floodplain to support our mines and quarries, so this is not going to be a gold-pumping city. I don't like that desert, either.

    On the plus side, it'll be absolutely hilarious when Modern Age rolls around and we can build a solar plant AND a hydro plant :lol:.

    I vote move the warrior 2SE, if nothing special is seen, settle in place, build a Scout and research Mining. I've found Scout --> Worker --> Settler a good start, and both of the worker techs our start needs lie along the mining path.

    EDIT: If you want to move to pick up grassland, I think the only viable choice is 2W. Picks up second and third ring grassland, plus a first ring oasis and a second and third ring sheeps, without losing either lux. The problem is that you lose a TON of hills, and production is scarce in Civ V. I'd like to move the warrior 2SE (onto the desert hill due south of our settler), but there's not much that he could see that would make me think we'd be better off moving.
     
  5. Sciz

    Sciz Chieftain

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    South definitely doesn't seem like an option, looks like it's just more desert down there. If we find a maritime city state to ally we could work all the hills to the north/northeast much more easily, but I don't know how you guys feel about doing it, if it's too cheap or not using maritime city states.
     
  6. Sciz

    Sciz Chieftain

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    Also anything concerning our start that impacts our game after turn 100 i know nothing about, since i've only played the demo so far :p

    I'm 99% sure i'm getting the full game tomorrow, I hope so anyways.
     
  7. SevenSpirits

    SevenSpirits Immortal?

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    Being riverside is actually pretty useless - Watermills are expensive for what they do and anything else comes too late to matter. I'd rather be one away in most cases to leave room for an extra river farm, but in this case there are 87 flood plains so that's kind of a moot point. The main consideration on where to settle here is which resources/hills/oases can be acquired quickly.
     
  8. sunrise089

    sunrise089 Not that good

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    Checking in. What about moving to the tile between the settler and the marble? Would Civ5 borders let us work the sheep and silver? Are there enough hills?
     
  9. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

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    Great analysis guys, keep it up :goodjob:.

    How about 1W and we buy the Oasis tile to start with? I definitely don't want to move away from the hills, my experience is production is hard to come by. Keep in mind, it doesn't matter if the hill is grassland, plains or desert anymore :crazyeye:. I think 1W, buy the Oasis tile, start Mining for our Silver, go Scout->Worker and lay down Farms, then Mines. Its a production capital, I like it.

    I also like the idea of a Civil Service slingshot via The Great Library, but that's getting ahead of myself :).

    Darrell
     
  10. SevenSpirits

    SevenSpirits Immortal?

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    1SE also puts the city 1 away from an oasis and doesn't cost a turn to move like crossing the river does.
     
  11. Krill

    Krill Deity

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    Can I sign up to discuss but not play due to time constraints?
     
  12. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

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    Of course!

    @SevenSpirits - I didn't see that Oasis :blush:. It pulls in even more hills and gives a pretty clear way to scout for our second city site, I like this move the best so far.

    Darrell
     
  13. Krill

    Krill Deity

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    Well, I suggest you move the warrior 79 (using the 9-6-3-1-4-7 notation, going clockwise from the top right hex) to see if the third ring is mountainous terrain. if it is, you can move down a hex row and still get all of the good tiles. That would let you settle 1 of the settler currently and buy the oasis (might even be the first culture expansion). And as you can't improve the oasis, you don't massively need a worker, and can try the nice monument first strategy to get the social policies moving :cute:
     
  14. SevenSpirits

    SevenSpirits Immortal?

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    @Krill crossing rivers uses up all movement so the warrior would only get one move. Going just 7 would still be useful with America's free Sentry promotion, but I might rather just go west for maximum distance to find huts.
     
  15. Aretii

    Aretii Chieftain

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    Mountainous terrain is pretty good. I like the idea of picking up the S oasis fast, but the grassland hills silver is way better than a desert marble, and it looks like we lose hills. That's why I'd recommend moving the warrior to the desert hills 33 of his position, to see what the hill situation is. If we do go for the southern oasis, I'd recommend 3 over 1 as then we don't lose a turn to river crossing.

    4 is not bad, but the problem is that then our first ring is entirely flood plains/desert, with nary a hammer in sight. If you're going to cross the river I think 44 is the best option so you can get the plains sheep easily. But as I said, I think settling in place is the best option - the first culture buy will probably be the silver, so we'll have a number of tiles to improve for free when the worker comes out.

    Is that coast under the fog at the edge of 366?
     
  16. timski

    timski Chieftain

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    Can I make a contribution to the discussion? I'm utterly clueless about the late game, but I've got a fair bit of experience of the first 100 turns ;) .

    Scout First vs Worker First:

    I want to rationalise why Scout->Worker makes sense, especially on harder difficulties. In a typical game, a Scout costs 5-10 turns, vs 15-20 for a Worker. So:

    1. Worker second (rather than first) typically puts your economy approximately 10 points (eg a food or production) behind. Approximately because not all improvements are equal. But at the very start, we're probably looking at mines and farms, which are initially +1 improvements.

    2. Scout first (rather than second) means puts your Natural Wonder happiness 15-20 points ahead. Scout first greatly increases the chance of finding ruins, which tend to get uncovered by the AI quickly on harder difficulties - ruins are random, but some are exceptionally powerful (for example 30 free culture is enough to immediately take the first Social Policy). Scout first places you 15-20 turns ahead in finding more distant City States - short term that's a huge discovery bonus (25+ gold each), slightly longer term it opens up missions. And finally there's the traditional reason for scouting: Knowledge of terrain and other AIs.

    2a. America's +1 visibility arguably makes an early Scout especially powerful, making it much easier to find ruins, natural wonders and other cities. 2 Scouts (before the Worker) may be overkill, but is perhaps worth considering, especially if it looks like your continent is large.

    3. Harder difficulties make Barbarians more of a threat early. It will take your city's initial ranged defense 3-4 turns to destroy a Barbarian that's in range. Those are turns when you may not be able to use the best tile, when your Worker will have to immediately retreat to safety, when (if unlucky on positioning) you may even lose an initial improvement to pillaging. On easier difficulties Barbarians will not enter your territory early, so this isn't a consideration. I'm unsure about Emperor, but on demo Deity I've had Barbarians in my city's borders after 20 turns.

    4. Given (3), your starting Warrior must remain near your city once your first Worker has been completed. In practice, that makes the Warrior good for a quick circular recon mission, picking up easy ruins and meeting any very close neighbours. So long-distant scouting needs a second unit - a Scout, because Scouts move faster (unless the territory is entirely flat/open), are cheap, and generally surive Barbarians (unless the positioning is really bad).

    On easier difficulties, Worker first only makes sense for those that like certainty! The Scout's benefits leave a lot to chance, but the Scout opens many chances for so little trade-off. On harder difficulties the Barbarian threat biases Scout-first even more, because without Warrior protection near your city, a Worker-first advantage will be qucikly lost.

    Settlement Location needs to consider Tech Path:

    You have water north and east, and mountains north-east, so even if there is land to the north-east, there's a pinch-point there. And you may yet be in a corner. The south-west is clearly exposed, but remember that settling on the current side of the river slows (most) attacks from that direction by a turn. Consider the added protection the river brings (based on what we know of the north/east) before crossing it with your Settler!

    It's worth highlighting at this point that positioning isn't as absolutely critical as (say) Civ 4, because of the way borders expand. Consider city location in terms of possibilities and options within 3 hexes of the site, rather than a fixed dot-map.

    Silver is a strong opening resource, because they can be worked with 1 tech (Mining). Settling in place would also give Marble quickly, for +10 Happiness. Although I'm not certain how the first tile will be decided in this case - is choice influenced by techs - an auto-pick of Marble first could be frustrating? Sure, you can buy, but that feels like a terrible waste of gold at this stage. I don't have experience of desert floodplains, but the vast amount of desert alone is already pushing that Settler 1 North-North-West, where I see plenty of green and hills, at the cost of (basically) useless desert. The real trade-off is a delay in connecting the Marble, and the risk of a lot of unseen nastiness in the distant north-east fog.

    But don't forget tech. Playing America (with late unique units), with a vague (game) objective of playing into the later stages, you're probably going for quite a research and economy-heavy start, rather than a military rush. That probably means Great Library->Civil Service, so you won't want to deviate from that side of the tree much. While you can (and given the Silver, certainly should) delay for Mining (probably even as your very first tech), diverting onto Masonry feels risky.

    Take those last 2 paragraphs together, and we might have a strong case for de-prioritising the Marble. Not abandoning it completely, merely accepting that it will be gained later, not early.

    Now, the counter-argument here is that since you have Silver and Marble, Mining->Masonry is totally logical. And having made that jump, an early [*cough* I wrote Stonehenge here, but I think I meant] Pyramids is may be too powerful to pass on.

    My gut feeling, is not to be distracted by the Marble. Move up (NNE) 1 towards the Silver, so that you are guaranteed that on turn 1, aren't wasting time of defensive advantage by crossing the river. Even unimproved, working that Silver should push your Scout and Worker out sooner, and the sooner those units are done, the sooner the game will really start to take off.

    [Added a bit:]

    Low Initial Growth:

    Above I mentionned the possibility of working a Silver-ed hill immediately, or almost immediately. I should explain the logic:

    Based on documentation, unimproved Floodplains+River gives 2F 0H 1G. Unimproved Silver+Hill gives 0F 2H 1G. So the pre-Worker initial trade-off is between food and production. The food slows the first builds, but creates net population. Population adds 1 to research, and here also 1 gold (we have plenty of unimproved floodplains). The production (in this case) stagnates population growth completely, but builds faster.

    While immediately stagnating population growth is probably too extreme, there is logic to switching to hill production, and stagnating population growth early - perhaps the second population:

    * Food and population has a diminishing return: Each subsequent population growth appears to take longer/more food. Single point research gains contribute a declining percentage increase to research. Population also eats into Happiness, so delays the next Golden Age. In contrast, production is more linear in benefit.

    * Production is rare in the early game while food is plentiful. This isn't just due to plentiful food from Maritime City States. Rush-buying production in the early game is (hammer-wise) more expensive that later. So for early advantage, we should surely focus on what is scarce.

    I'm not clear exactly what the optimum strategy is. But it's perhaps worth considering capping population at 2 to get the Worker out 4 or 5 turns quicker, to take maximum advantage of scarce production.

    [And some more, since nobody else has posted yet and I'm enjoying the distraction:]

    Defenses:

    I'll also try and explain why I'm rating defense so highly:

    Consider the early mounted units, which get 4 moves, until they hit hills or rivers or trees or anything that isn't open. Now consider your starting terrain:

    * The north-east is not only easy to defend with its mountain passes, but full of hills. Nothing is going to take you by surprise there.
    * At either end of the NW/SE river appears to be water (coast or lake), so anyone trying to crossings there shouldn't take you by surprise either.
    * In contrast you are very vulnerable from the south-west, which has no trees and no blocking hill ranges: An entire army can advance 3 hexes from the fog, and attack, and they'll be nothing you can do to stop it in the early-game.

    While the river doesn't protect terribly well against mounted ranged attacks, it pains close-combat units (when actually capturing a city) - either they attack across the river at a penalty, or they cross next to the city and are unable to attack until next turn.

    If you're initially playing more of a builder game, the defensive advantages of the capital may be important, depending on who your neighbors are. Whether that's enough to bias the start position away from western suggestions (which look slightly more promising for long-term economy), is unclear.
     
  17. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

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    Thanks to all the lurkers for the input!

    @Krill - I am thinking Stonehenge for sure. Its twice the cost of a Monument but four times the culture output. Of course, there is no reason I can't do both :mischief:. HOwever, I don't see a Monument as one of the first few builds.

    @timski - Nice post :). I definitely plan on going Scout -> Worker to start. The Marble and probalby even the Silver are going to get ignored early, I think.

    @Aretii - I ended up going 33 with the Warrior to see what we'd get if we went for the south Oasis (note the runis in the SE corner):



    So 3 then settle gives 6 floodplains and an Oasis for food, and 5 Hills for production. It also seems like the best spot to avoid pulling in those mountain tiles. Its a super weak food spot in reality, but early CS will change that around :). In fact, I think we want both Stonehenge and The Great Library. Note this means we won't start a Settler until much later in the game!

    The three tech path options I am thinking:

    Pottery -> Calendar -> Mining -> Writing -> Philosophy
    Pottery -> Calendar -> Writing -> Mining -> Philosophy
    Pottery -> Calendar -> Writing -> Philosophy -> Mining

    Tentative build path options:

    Scout -> Worker -> Stonehenge -> Warrior -> The Great Library -> Settler
    Scout -> Worker -> Stonehenge -> The Great Library -> Warrior -> Settler

    Worker focuses on Farms, and we time Mining to come when we are ready to start improving the hills. This path a) gets us going on Social Policies, and b) the Civil Service food boost is going to help quite a bit.

    I'm playing in about 8 hours based on the above plan unless I hear serious objections :mischief:.

    Darrell
     
  18. timski

    timski Chieftain

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    That Warrior move certainly changes the picture... And it's strange how mountains and water look so similar in the fog. Brief commentary, for what it's worth:

    Stonehenge *and* The Great Library is bold, because (demo game again) those are high priorities for the AI. However Stonehenge can't be beaten for rapid expansion of a single city's territory (as well as Social Policies). And a Civil Service slingshot with that starting position will be frightening.

    Risks are that that you are next to an aggressive neighbor (at this difficulty I guess someone like Alexander will not wait politely for you to build 2 wonders, while defended by 1 Warrior) and that Happiness becomes an issue (you're likely not going to have any luxury resources connected for a long time, nor anything other than Scout's luck to fund City State allies). On the plus side, this will make for an interesting game!

    Added: I assume you know this, but since it wasn't stated above, and the Great Library might not take so long to finish: Don't forget to pick up Animal Husbandry and Trapping before performing the Civil Service slingshot :) .
     
  19. Sciz

    Sciz Chieftain

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    Going 3 with the settler or settling on spot doesn't matter too much imo, as it's essentially a trade-off between easily obtainable oasis or silver. both spots have many hill tiles and flood plains, so either way is fine. We do need the silver later on though for its happiness, and it's going to be expensive buying the silver tile if we move 3, so we might need to settle a city there?

    Anyways, do you think we can get both stonehenge and the great library? I haven't played any emperor starts yet, but TGL is more useful than stonehenge imo, and starting on one makes it harder to get another. For the tech path I do believe we can wait with mining until later, as it's only a +1 hammer boost per tile, and if settler is moved 3 we won't hook up the silver any time soon anyways. And as timski said, animal husbandry and trapping leads to civil service, so we need those if we're going to sling civil service with TGL.
     
  20. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

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    Oh. I didn't realize those were AND pre-reqs, I thought we just needed Philosophy :blush:. Well, the alternative is to run two Scientists and focus a bit more on expansion, then use the GS. I think Stonehenge > The Great Library.

    Our start is really quite weak the more I think about it.

    Darrell
     

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