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Reloading - how to kick the habit?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Game of the Month' started by Flek, May 19, 2006.

  1. socralynnek

    socralynnek Civ & Hattrick addict

    Sep 1, 2003
    Northern Germany
    The other thing is: if you reload, you are not cheating the game (which isn't cheating you, rules are rules), you are cheating all other players in the GOTM.
  2. Ruffin

    Ruffin Warlord

    Nov 1, 2001
    Va., US
    They may have the techs but not the resources to use them. In one case no AI showed anything but archers while barb axemen were everywhere. For that matter I had the techs, but not the metal to use them. Barbs don't need metal unless they're in cities.

    Large map, lots of space, and the barbs prefer player meat over AI. The game I'm in now I was using keshiks on hilltops (5 or 6 of them, depending) to watch a massive chunk of uninhabitable ice. I finally built a city in the middle of the tundra, sent a Great Artist, and cut the area down to where I could watch it with two keshiks. So now I have a nothing city in the middle of nothing I have to support. Eskimo Sausilito. And every keshik I'd built had been used to deal with barbs. The perfect early game offensive unit, wasted.

    Part of the problem is that I'm killing my nearest AI neighbors as quickly as possible. Lebenstraum turns into a barbarian breeding ground. Whether that's better than AI boxing me in is debatable.

    Part of it is, I think, that the frequency of barbarians doesn't decrease with longer games meaning I'm getting proportionally more than a regular game. I wish I'd done a screenshot of my current game; one of my scouts walked into the lion's den - four wild animals in the nine squares he could see. Thirty turns to build another scout.

    Reloading gives me a chance to concentrate my defenders. I do two units a city, roaded together. If I back up 8 turns I can rush build one more and move one from nearby. The alternative is to put four or five defenders per city. Then I'm supporting extra units and spending another 30-40 turns building the units. That means less workers (18-20 turns each), less settlers (30 turns), and no offensive against my infidel neighbors. All I'm doing is building defensive units and watching them die. What fun is that?

    There seem to be "waves" of barbarians at roughly around 2000BC, 500BC, 500AD, and 1200AD. That's when they really pile on. If I'm lucky I have ready copper or horses of my own, but half the time I'm stuck hanging out when the first wave hits. Hence the whining. I got caught out in the second wave with my keshik army away from home. So I started a new game, had no metal or horses, and got squished in the first wave before I even got to archers. If I have resources I can hold them off, maybe expand a little. With no resources the game turns into a long war of attrition just to hold my own. Again, what fun is that?

    Currently I'm trying to do a minimum of reloading... when I lost my first 2 keshiks on 80%+ odds against the same stupid axemen on the same turn, that sort of thing. I can't say restraint has improved my temperament much.

    Not playing GTOM, just trying to figure out how anyone can deal with the barb hordes without reloading every now and then. Not playing GOTM either, until I puzzle it out. The barbs are ridiculous. If the barb frequency doesn't slow down on marathon, the game is weighted much more heavily against the player than the difficulty level would indicate. Wish I knew where to look for that.
  3. Spoony

    Spoony Chieftain

    Sep 11, 2005
    Nottingham, England
    1200AD seems very late for barbs to be on the map. I was thinking that you might be playing a large map but with only few competitors. The HOF site has good guidance on the best numbers of competitors to use. I believe large map is around 6-10. Having fewer competitors will open the game for the barbs more and this is something that will rarely happen in a GOTM designed game.

    If i'm wrong then the only other thing I can think of is that you are destroying your opponents, as you stated, and not keeping the cities. This is good for economy but as a rule of thumb it's generally always worth keeping the opponents capital city. It will allow for more of the map to be in view and be a good staging ground for later wars.

    I assume you haven't got the raging barbs option on. If the barbarians are causing you so much grief then the best option would be to turn them off. This is a problem if you are trying to compete in the GOTM's as they are invariably turned on.

    It does sound like you might be having one of those games that no matter what you do, the computer just decides not to play fair :cry:. It's part of the civ make up but most of us remember civ3 when a tank was destroyed by a mighty spearman :lol:.

    Sometimes the layout of the map opens up areas the AI won't settle and the game ends up with many barbs. Those keshiks you've got spare might be good for taking the barb cities as they will only ever really be defended by two archers at most.

    My only other advice is to give the GOTM's a go. In the write ups and screenshots you will see how others played the early game compared to you and be able to see why you are having so much problem. Hopefully a player more qualified than myself might have some better answers :D.
  4. Slax

    Slax Prince

    Jan 3, 2002
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    One simple way I deal with the impulse to reload is to say to myself, "I can make up for that" when something goes poorly.
  5. Zhahz

    Zhahz PC Gamer

    Oct 18, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    I think the key to kicking the reloading habit is to realize that it's stunting your growth as a player. As long as you rely on reloading your gameplay will be sloppy. If you don't reload you have to develop better strategic thinking, better planning, and overall be more thoughtful, which will result in you becoming a better player.

    WindowsXP is exceptionally stable but there are a lot of factors outside of your OS that can affect your stability, such as crappy hardware, out-of-date drivers, poor system maintenance, background processes or other apps running, virii, malware, etc.
  6. TheBoatman

    TheBoatman Warlord

    Nov 6, 2005
    I personally stopped reloading when I found out that things can also get much worse (e.g. settled one square away from where I wanted to, reloaded, got to the right place and AI had settled in the area already) and when I taught people how to play... And the game is REALLY more satisfying now.
  7. Army Hooah

    Army Hooah Chieftain

    Dec 24, 2005
    I have learned not to go back and do a reload but it took a lot of patience. You have to learn from your mistakes which will allow you to play a better game. The last time that I messed up and did a reload i used that game to try out different things to see what several different outcomes I could come up with.
  8. Alraun

    Alraun Warlord

    May 27, 2006
    If you are able to back up and do that, then could you not have done it in the first place? The problem here is that you need to reevaluate your opening strategy and build more military sooner. Getting one of your early cities up to where it's putting out military units nonstop is pretty essential for the early stages vs. barbarians.
  9. Jeff1787

    Jeff1787 Sarge

    Jun 4, 2003
    The Dog House
    This game is about the history of YOUR civilization. If barbarians capture one of your cities, then that is YOUR history. Capture it back. Don't concentrate on score, concentrate on creating your own history. It makes it more fun. Just think, you are creating history....there are many ups and downs....you may look back on a game and realize how you overcame some major setback.....:goodjob:

    It is just a game...no matter how good of a score you get, somebody will always outdo you.....I play my GOTM to the best of my ability and hopefully each month I will improve....if I reload when something bad happens, I will never improve.
  10. drkodos

    drkodos Emperor

    Dec 26, 2005
    I disagree.

    Reloading can be a good way to test alternate strategies in many circumstances. In can be a very useful tool. Sometimes, it pays to reload much earlier to see what alternate actions could have been used to avoid the mishap.

    This is very helpful in learning what to do NEXT TIME.

    Of course, it can also be abused.

    Nothing is an absolute. Depending on the rason I am playing, I may or may not use reload. Everything is situational, for me.
  11. civ_steve

    civ_steve Deity Retired Moderator GOTM Staff

    Mar 25, 2002
    formerly Santa Clarita, California
    How not to reload?

    1.) Fight the urge

    2.) Play slower (easier to fight the urge); you've got a whole month to complete the game - there's no reason to finish it in the first 2 days

    3.) Play with a plan - short, medium and long term

    4.) Overcoming mistakes prepares you for the higher levels when the AI has advantages that have to be overcome; reloading doesn't prepare you for this so you're just handicapping yourself

    5.) Play with the intention to learn 3 things each game; take note of those 3 things (5 is even better) and incorporate them in your next game. Good spoilers (from the better players) will help in this.

    Hope this helps :)
  12. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

    Apr 29, 2006
    berkshire, england
    Most useful tip I've found to avoid reloading is stop playing immediately after I've goofed, go off and do something else then come back to it and review situation- most goofs are recoverable.
  13. Demartus

    Demartus Chieftain

    Nov 17, 2005
    I use reloads to try out alternates. Like I could research Liberalism now and get a free tech, or try researching another tech first, but I'm not sure I'll beat the AI. So I'll save, and give it a go. A way to try risky moves. Obviously only in personal games. I don't find much need to reload often, especially since most combat has the same results.

    As for barbs...fog busting is a must, but I've noticed most barbs do make beelines for my units, often passing up AI cities and units. Best was when I had a city on a curved bay, and barbs were spawning at the far end of the bay, marching along the coast (about 15 tiles), passing a Chinese city on the way, to suicide on defenders.
  14. CliftonBazaar

    CliftonBazaar Prince

    Nov 12, 2005
    Adelaide, Australia
    Sorry to bring up this old subject (5 months old conversation) but I thought I would share my experiance on how I stopped this habit.

    When I started I reloaded often (and on my fast machine a reload took all of 3 seconds), I was playing Warlord level.
    If a fight didn't go how I liked then reload; if someone declared war then a quick reload and give them gifts or get them to declare on someone else (or at least set up my defenders!); if I forgot to change my science rate or civic then reload.

    Then I started playing GOTM's and couldn't reload, and I was being beaten badly. So I read all the post game discussions to see how they did it and I also downloaded their games to see what they did (my jaw hit the ground when I realised that some of the best players build cities and build nothing but Military units from day 1).

    But even then I still reloaded sometimes (Not gotm's though) - until I started playing games for HOF (Hall of Fame)!!
    The HOF is very brutal when it comes to reloads - you can't; I've even had one game DQ'd because it crashed, and when I reloaded the game I saved it straight away (to show when it crashed) but the game was not accepted as it looked like a reload.
    Note that the rules state that I have to email first if a crash happens, I can't email after it is rejected (a rule which I agree with even though it worked against me this time).

    Since then I have NEVER reloaded during a game, not for any reason.
    I sometimes do save games in order to replay them later (the replay is never submitted btw); an example would be GOTM11 (I think) as it was a highlands map and very difficult to take cities, with 100 turns to go I had to work out wether to go for a domination win or conquest, after much deliberation I choose a domination as I believe the last 2 AI's would be too much to handle (they had a pact) - but i saved the game and came back after I submitted in order to see if I could have won by Conquest (I couldn't do it in the time allotted, I had too many borders and the AI simply attacked me where my units weren't).

    The bottom line is that playing HOF completely stopped me from reloading. This has turned me from a Warlords player into a Emporer player in 2 months. Now I'm looking at Immortal :D

    Moderator Action: Last paragraph and screenshot re. WOTM 2 deleted. Please don't post details of active games outside the spoilers.

    EDIT : Warning noted - the irony is that my post in the WOTM 02 first spoiler thread
    is what I was trying to say :) It just shows how I went about a game with raging barbs.

    Moderator Action: We prefer people don't link to spoiler thread posts directly, because they can then be 'spoiled' with a single click, without realising it.

    If people want to go read it, then they can confirm that they meet the requirements, then go find it themselves.
  15. BCLG100

    BCLG100 Music Master

    Apr 11, 2002
    One way to kick the habit is to get a really crap computer like me where it takes 10 minutes to load even the smallest of saves-that way you'll never bother wasting your time again :D
  16. Murky

    Murky Deity

    Mar 21, 2006
    The Milky Way Galaxy
    I think it's a good idea to get in some practice games before actually playing a GoTM. This way you get to experiment as much as you want before the real game begins.
  17. Narsilion

    Narsilion Chieftain

    Jan 26, 2006
    Wellington, NZ
    On a personal level, I used to reload a great deal back when I played Civ I and II years ago. In retrospect, playing at the (then) highest setting was way beyond my level of competency.

    Although it doesn't relate to GotM directly (as the difficulty levels are pre set) I'd advise learning/ playing at a level where you are challenged, but where an error doesn't effectively mean game over. That way the incentivisation is still there to play out the situation and try to recover. Learning experiences are good.

    The only time I still cheat/ reload is if I'm trying to play a game a level above my comfort zone - I allow myself to regenerate the starting map till I get a decent fat cross. I don't kid myself that really I'm up to, in my case Emporer level, if I happen to squeeze out a win however.
  18. bippukt

    bippukt Prince

    Jun 5, 2003
    If you really hate those barbarians and want to whip them ;) , just have raging barbarians with around 12 civs on a Terra standard size map. I did in my current Noble game. The barbarians didn't give me any trouble at all in the beginning because the other civs were expanding so fast. However when I got astronomy and landed on the New World and captured a few barb cities, they really came after me. I had macemen and war elephants and they were coming with swordsmen (later macemen) and horse archers. The horse archers, with their two moves, really gave me a headache by killing my workers and destroying my villages and towns. That is, until I got military tradition and had cavalry :lol: . The barbs still (around 1600 AD) keep coming and dying, but its very satisfying to see hordes of macemen and HAs commiting suicide and give me free experience. :lol:
    BTW, I noticed that barbs dont give you any experience after 10 XPs, no matter how many you kill. This is preventing me from getting the West Point. Any way to get around it, because I don't want to dedlare war on anyone.
  19. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

    Dec 23, 2005
    London, UK
    Nope, no way round it in vanilla Civ. 10xp from barbs is a documented limit. In Warlords you can get round it by attaching a great general to a single unit so that unit gets the entire 20 XP from the general to himself (A trick I've used a couple of times early in the game so I can build the heroic epic when I haven't done much warring).
  20. bippukt

    bippukt Prince

    Jun 5, 2003
    In that case, I will have to wait till my ally Mansa Musa declares war on someone. No chance of getting Warlords yet. Anyway I am not through with Civ4 vanilla itself :D. Thanks for your help, DynamicSpirit.

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