Discussion in 'Gameplay Guides' started by black213, Aug 28, 2018.
Long time Regent player here feeling like I want to spice up the difficulty.
I don't play monarch (I play paragon), but here's some advice that should help.
Be very careful about leaving your core and historical areas. The moment your population outside your core becomes too large, you're dead. A crappy city in your historical area is much better than a great city in a foreign area, since the other city will probably kill you.
Micromanage. Always pay attention to what tiles or specialists your cities are working, what they're building, what the workers are doing and what you'll do in the future. Most of the time, these goals are too difficult not to be paying attention to everything, they demand close to optimal gameplay (even then, I think luck is involved on a lot of them, some being, I think, impossible on higher difficulties).
For tech specific goals, run scientists. Cottages take awhile to scale to produce the same number of beakers as a scientist and a great scientist can bulb techs for you, which keeps you in the race. Since most of these tech related goals aren't long term, focus primarily on scientists. However, you'll still probably want to build cottages as well (especially on a river). Also, trade strategically. For example, if you're England, avoid trading with France, or Byzantine they'll be your main competition technologically (and China, but you have no chance with England if Mongolia doesn't wipe them out). The reason being that you pretty much always are overpaying, so it would make no sense to do so, since you're basically giving them an advantage. However, you should gladly trade with Poland and Russia, which will be backwards, so it's worth overpaying them for techs (since they're not threat to your tech race anyways). Remember there's no tech brokering, so take advantage of that when possible.
On that note, negotiating people into war and having them stop trading with someone is useful. In the above example, it may useful to send Poland to war against the Holy Rome Empire, since Holy Rome could challenge you on tech. In addition, you might be able to push a rival civ into collapsing, by bribing someone into war (either the attacker or attackee). Also, bribing wars is useful if you want someone to be too busy to deal with you.
More on stability, keep your cities happy and try to avoid too many heathens (unless there's toleration). Again, become too unhappy and you'll collapse. Another thing would be to try and make nice with whoever you meet and then open borders with them. Actually, anything which boosts stability is probably worth doing, since it's so easy to collapse in this mod. Also economic growth is not at all reliable in the long term, since you'll eventually hit the upper limit on how much commerce your empire can produce (unless you're constantly expanding).
Be selective on what buildings to build. Even though it'd be nice to have every building, you need to focus on your goals (which are all really tight). Every turn counts and a lot of buildings aren't worth the investment (when considering what you lost either directly or indirectly by building them).
(General civ advice) a large enough stack can make up for any technological deficiencies in battle.
Teching isn't always needed. With Canada, I researched 0 techs and for Indonesia I had the science slider at 0 for almost the entire game and I don't think I ever hit the Renaissance (Indonesia starts in the 600s and ends in 1940). The larger idea here is that you don't necessarily need to play how you would in a normal civ game, since these goals are quite specific usually. Although, those two are the easiest I've done so far, once you figure out the tricks involved.
That's all that comes off the top of my head, let me know if you have any specific questions.
I'd love to hear more about no-teching; how do you make that work?
Also, my specific problem with the jump from Regent to Monarch is that I'm just way behind the AI. Is the solution to just run scientists, cottage the rivers? I'm used to being behind the AI early on from the newest two Civ games, but for Civ 4 I never really played any higher than Noble-Prince.
For no teching it'll only work for some civs, obviously. With Canada, the goals just require you to create culture, horde gold (to end wars), and pump out a lot of settlers and workers. Given that, there's no need to research techs (just stay on America's good side). For Indonesia, the goals only require you to have a large population and some happiness resources. No need to conquer, no need for any wonders, no need to reach any tech milestones. The Spanish will invade the Philippines, but stacking archers and catapults can wipe out their tiny stack. You'll later have to deal with the Dutch attacking three of your cities, so I researched Machinery, to upgrade to crossbows (the Dutch will have more advanced units than the Spanish did). Other than that and chain irrigation, there was little reason to tech. Actually, in that example, it's also better to avoid techs, because then you can avoid stability checks (let's you grow cities in Australia without your empire collapsing). There are probably others where the goals would see the commerce better directed towards culture or wealth, but those are the two I've done so far (quickly looking at it, Argentina looks like one where it might be unnecessary to tech).
Noble difficulty is where, I think, everything is on par with the AI. Higher difficulties will require you to trade and use other tactics to ever get a tech lead, since you tech so much slower. The scientists are useful because they normally produce 3 beakers. This would be the equivalent of a village (prior to printing, not on a river) with science at 100%. Since goals for certain technologies are relatively short in time frame, it wouldn't make sense to invest in a cottage when you could run a specialist. A river tile is a bit more sensible to run, since a hamlet will be the equivalent to a scientist. However, main benefit of specialists would be great scientists. Bulbing techs can you place ahead in science (long term, an academy would probably yield more beakers, but it's usually not a good investment in this mod) and this is where the key is. As long as you have techs which others don't, you can work out deals. This is one of the nice things about being in Europe, you have a bunch of civs to trade techs with. So, for instance, as England I can get great scientists out really quickly, so I can bulb a lot of techs along a specific line and then fill in the gaps by trading with Poland, Russia, Italy, and Portugal (which will compensate for France, Germany, and even Spain's tech rate). If you fall too far behind though, you'll never have any leverage over anyone. For example, if you're in Asia for a 3000 BC start, you'll never get any tech before China does (Korea and probably Japan are both impossible on a 3000 BC start on Paragon, unless everything goes to **** in the simming). Even on 600 AD, Mongolia needs to be the great equalizer, since they should force China into collapse or at least capitulation (similar to real life, actually). Now, a lot of areas on this map have a lot of food (you'll never have this many good city spots on a normal game of Civ IV), so you'll probably have no issue running both cottages and scientists (in England, I cottaged every river tile for Norwich [NE of London] and Chester, while running 2-3 scientists). You'll just need to manage each cities' tiles to work with what would produce the greatest research output.
I will admit though, I've only recently begun playing this mod and a lot of civs I haven't tried yet. Japan and France in particular look extremely hard, since you need to stay in a technologically strong position (France for wonders, Japan to be a leader in the Global and Digital eras), produce an exorbitantly high amount of culture, and perform a lot of conquering. Anything which requires a combination of gold, science, and culture is infuriatingly difficult, since they share a commerce slider and it forces you to build more buildings than you normally would (culture buildings especially are almost always useless normally).
Along with Argentina, Canada, and Indonesia, the following civs all have goals that are tech independent (i.e. can be completed entirely using only starting tech situation):
Mexico (? Can't remember all three UHV's off memory.)
Mughals (? Can't remember all three UHV's off memory. Remember the Mosque one and the Culture one).
Ottomans (depending on how many wonders were stacked in Constantinople).
However, for the really conquest heavy goals (Mongolia particularly due to the tight timeline), at high difficulties you may find the conquest targets infeasibly difficult to amass sufficient units to overcome the tech disparity, so they become impossible anyways.
France may be possible by just conquering all of your European competitors (it does not matter for France's goals that an Asian civ is advanced), which is possible due to France's good land and early starting date. However, Japan is impossible; balancing military buildup for UHV2 with tech/infrastructure for UHV3 is already tough enough on Monarch. In addition, with the 600AD start, UHV1 disqualifies any early conquest strategy, which is the usual way to circumvent difficulty modifiers.
Chiming in about the no-teching: After rushing five start techs to create the Elephant Army, Carthage actually needs to hoard gold and can stop teching right after having researched Markets (Glass blowers). As I have discovered, it is possible to do Carthage on Monarch in 1.15, by following the exact right strategy.
Separate names with a comma.