Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Mike Hussey, Nov 3, 2014.

1. ### tjs282Un(a)bashed immigrant

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First of all, I would point out that the situation in that screenshot only applies if you are running an Agri civ (i.e getting 3FPT from the city-tile), or if your farm has at least one +1f bonus-tile(s) (e.g. Wines, or Sugar) in its BFC. If neither of those points apply, then you can't actually keep a Pop6 or Pop12 farm running at 0FPT net, even on fully-irrigated grass -- you will have a deficit.
Before rails:
• Pop6, with 3 Scientists, food-output = (3*3 + 2) - 12 = -1FPT
• Pop12, with 5 Scientists, food-output = (7*3 + 2) - 24 = -1FPT
After rails (adds 1FPT to irrigation), you can run 3 or 6 Scientists, but with a food excess:
• Pop6, with 3 Scientists, food-output = (3*4 + 2) - 12 = +2FPT
• Pop12, with 6 Scientists, food-output = (6*4 + 2) - 24 = +2FPT
If you're running your farms at that level, you'll be wasting 2FPT per town, which could be feeding someone else. So you could run 1 more scientist in each size town at a deficit again, but the deficit will be higher (i.e. the food-box empties faster):
• Pop6, with 4 Scientists, food-output = (2*4 + 2) - 12 = -2FPT
• Pop12, with 7 Scientists, food-output (before rails) = (5*4 + 2) - 24 = -2FPT
Either way, getting the absolute maximum BPT out of any town would require careful MM: by sending a Scientist back out to work the fields when the town's food-box gets down to 1 or 2f, you can then refill it (at a rate of +1 or +2FPT, but 3BPT fewer per town). But if you accidentally allow the town to starve (because e.g. you forgot to check the 'Town-about-to-starve' option in CivAssist's Alert-screen), you will then need to regrow the town from Pop5 (or Pop11), and refill the box again at Pop6 (or Pop12), wasting 6-7 potential beaker-production turns.

In terms of BPT output, you're absolutely right that two Pop6 towns running at negative FPT (3 or 4 Scientists per town, i.e. 6 or 8 Scientists per 12 citizens) will give more BPT than one Pop12er (5 or 7 Scientists per 12 citizens). But in terms of MM, Pop12 towns are certainly better than Pop6ers -- because their food-boxes are twice as large, they'd only need reassignment every 39 turns before rails (every 19 afterwards), instead of every 19 turns (or 8 turns after rails).

But personally, I have never been interested in optimising my games to the nth degree and finishing in the absolute minimum number of turns, and frankly I can't be bothered with (read: am too lazy for) that level of MM. It's certainly not necessary for a win at Monarch, nor at Emp (and I suspect not often at DG either).

In the above Chinese game, where I didn't start farming in earnest until I'd got Steam/rails (i.e. early Industrial Age), I found it simplest to keep the grassland farms at max. Pop 5 or Pop11 with 3 and 6 Scientists, respectively, for 0 FPT and no further MM. While doing so sacrificed the potential extra BPT (while the food store is being used up), it also significantly reduced IBT processing time -- and tedium -- because I didn't need to fiddle with 10-20 farms per turn, every turn.

And my now-decided preference for 1 big farm rather than 2 small ones is aesthetic as much as anything. Having now produced a whole map of CxC cities (I can post a screenie if anyone's interested...), I confirmed my previous suspicion that I would find such a map extremely ugly.

2. ### Mike HusseyCricketer

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You're right actually, my bad - totally overlooked the extra food from agricultural civs.
So yeah to achieve an optimal science farm with a size 6 city, you basically need two irrigated grasslands and one food bonus for that one extra food. So I don't understand then, what is the solution for non-agricultural civs? Let's say we have a size 5 city then with irrigated grasslands available and no food bonus, we get:
Food produced: 2+5*3=17FPT
Food eaten: 2*5=10FPT
Net food: 17-10=7FPT
7 Food per turn excess can support 3 scientists with 1 food per turn excess

Hmm so this means that without the agricultural trait you never be able to get a no waste science farm at size 6 or below. This is quite depressing really, although it does highlight how bloody powerful that agricultural trait is! I just feel size 12 cities take too much effort initially with having to build aqueducts and possibly marketplaces which is so difficult with such a low shield output and lack of forests. I guess cash rushing is an option along with worker or settler feeding.

Probably the hardest part of this time is estimation of the quantity of military forces required to take out a an enemy civ and the process of consolidating conquered land. If one could do that then so much waste could be cut out in the sense of:
1) Only building sufficient quantities of military when needed to reduce maintenance costs
2) How to make a judgement call for choose to build city improvements or to build military

I just played an Emperor game on standard map and an losing badly because of this very reason I think. It's just a judgement call and so subjective that it's difficult to know for sure when to aim for what. It's almost a delicate triangle that you need to balance in Republic to not keep too large a standing army as it will eat into a your economy and research potential which can then affect your trading leverage and tech upkeep along with making the army technologically inferior to that of your enemies. But then on the other hand with a small standing army, the later you progress in the game, the harder it is to amass a sufficiently large army to take out enemy civs.

This game can be so frustrating sometimes.

3. ### tjs282Un(a)bashed immigrant

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Everything in Civ3 is a balancing act, and concentrating on one direction inevitably means that others will suffer. That's why it's important to decide what you intend to aim for, certainly over the near-term, and then pursue that aim accordingly until it's achieved.

Need more land/ productivity? Build Settler-/Worker-pumps. Need to conquer because there's nothing left to Settle and/or your neighbour's Culture is stronger than yours? Build Barracks/military and acquire strategic Resources (or vice versa). Want/need to learn more techs? Build Libs+Unis and/or rearrange your finances and/or switch to a gov that gives more commerce (but more unhappiness). Happiness problems? Hook up Luxes and build Markets and Courthouses (also improves productivity, and tax income/ research, depnding on slider-settings). Can't get Luxes because your opponents have grabbed them? Build Barracks and Military (or maybe Culture, depending on your Civ's strengths), and round we go again...

Reagarding deciding what/ how many mil-units to build is just one aspect of that. If you are going to use the 'free-unit' allowance as a base, then how much you can build depends both on what gov you're using and what your medium- to long-term aims are.

Under Monarchy, you get no WW, 2 free units per town (Pop1-6) or 4 units per city (Pop7-12), and can use up to 3 (shield-cheap!) units as MilPol -- but lower commerce (=> lower happiness for any given Lux%) may mean you need to keep more of your free units at home to maintain order in your larger cities -- or send them out to grab more Luxes! That said, the 'excess-unit charge' under Monarchy is only 1GPT, and you should be able to make much more than that per core city, if you can keep them from rioting.

Conversely, under Republic, excess-units cost 2 GPT, and you can't use MilPol-garrisons to keep your citizens content -- you need Luxes, happy-buildings, and/or Lux% to do that (but 10% Lux under Republic provides twice as much happiness as it would under Monarchy). You also only get 1 free unit per town and 3 per city under Republic, so there is no benefit (compared to e.g. Monarchy) in keeping units stationed in your core -- at least in your capital and first ring. You can therefore transfer almost the entire 'free-unit' allowance from all those core cities, out to the borders of your empire, which is where (1) the AI will (usually, in the early game, be forced to) attack first and/or (2) your further military conquests will be launched (depending on what short-term aim/ long-term VC you're aiming for).

Let's say you've managed to complete a 1st ring of 6-7 cities around your capital, and got them all to Pop 7+ (which really should have happened long before the end of the Middle Age), and you're (now) under a Republic gov -- that alone will give you 21-24 free units. If you've also managed to build a 2nd ring of, say 10-12 cities, half of which are at Pop7+, you'll get another 20-24 free units, giving you 41-48 units to play with before you have to start paying for them -- and once all your 2nd-ring cities have Pop7+, that's a whopping 51-60 free units (that's got to be worth building a few 'Duct's, yes?).

Even if you were to garrison 1 decent defender and 1 (Fast-)Attacker in each 2nd-ring city (i.e. 20-24 units), that still leaves 20-36 available free-unit slots to do with what you will. In the early game, some of that stack will necessarily be Settlers+Workers -- later on, the vast majority should be mil-units (I refer the Honourable Gentleman to my earlier response re. using zero-maintenance Slaves from previous city-/ unit-captures -- or purchases -- to improve his territory). What mil-units you build will depend on your objectives:
• If you decide that you've already expanded as far as you need to, and/ or if playing for a 'peaceful' VC such as Culture, Space or (especially) Diplo, your stack can be a roughly even mix of Defenders+Bombardiers to reinforce borders/ endangered cities, and (Fast-)Attackers (including obsolete Armies) to 'firefight' AI incursions
• If you're still expanding/ farming, or if going for Dom/ Conquest VC anyway, most of your stack should be (Fast-)Attackers and Bombardiers (ideally all covered by a defensive Army) to go out and capture more cities/ territory (you can send a lone Defender in later to guard the city, if you think it's necessary)
In the latter case, every additional city you conquer (or build as a farm) will also add to your free-unit support.

Going back to the question of science-farming, the 1 vs. 3 free-unit support under Republic may actually be another argument for building Pop12 rather than Pop6 farms -- because 12 citizens can then support 3 free units instead of only 2. (For all other govs, more small farms would be better -- because they are easier to keep happy, and/or give equal/ higher free-unit support).

Leaving core cities unguarded becomes somewhat more risky once your closest rivals have got MilTrad (Cavs), MotorTransp (Tanks), and/or AdvFlight (Helicopters, Paratroopers) and can penetrate your 'Maginot line' of garrisoned border cities within a single IBT. BUT... the AICivs will preferentially target unguarded cities over guarded ones, and may well therefore ignore garrisoned border cities (even if only farms) in favour of marching on to your ungarrisoned inner-ring cities. This can be fatal (for them) if you have:
• A thoroughly roaded/ railed core
• A Fortified border:
• If border cities are placed at CxxC, each of those cities should be either Walled or at Pop7+ (+50% defence-bonus)
• If at CxxxC, build a Fortress on the middle tile, i.e. CxFxC
• A sufficient stack of Bombardiers and (Fast-)Attackers within your borders
• At least one decent Defender and perhaps one Bombardier unit stationed in all border cities (and Fortresses, if built)
In this situation, the AI-units will run a 'ZoC gauntlet' as they march past your border-cities, taking bombardment/ZoC damage on the way in. Your Bombardiers and Fast-Attackers can then move in to injure/ kill the already-weakened AI-stack on your territory (which will not activate any MPPs against you, even if you have to DoW the offender). And when injured AI-units try to retreat, they will have to run (or limp!) through the same ZoC gauntlet on the way out. This can be an effective way of levelling the playing field in the first stages of a war, when you will most likely be outnumbered (especially at higher difficulties), and possibly also outgunned (if you lack a tech or Strat-Res needed to build units equal to or better than the AI's).

As far as building 'Ducts or Markets in Pop12 farms goes, well yes, management can be a pain -- but that's again a (gameplay) choice/compromise...

You already mentioned forest-chopping -- assuming that none of those tiles have been chopped once already,this can give you up to 200 shields per BFC, enough for both a 'Duct and a Market (also assuming that you can arrange for all those shields to go to the city where you want them -- which is admittedly unlikely, and probably not desirable anyway). Even if you can only chop 1 tile into the production-box of a newly-founded city, that 'starter for 10 (shields)' would mean that you could immediately rush the rest for 'only' 4g per shield instead of 8g per shield (or whip fewer citizens to death, if you're that way inclined). But forest-chops are not the only way to build things in farms, in the late game.

If you have RepParts, then while a would-be farm is still growing to Pop6 (or later Pop12), it can use Civil-Engineers instead of Scientists, to add 2SPT (albeit losing 3 BPT) per CivEng to the 1SPT from the city-tile, to build an improvement. In a desert-/ tundra-farm which is unlikely to reach Pop7+, you could simply leave it at Pop1 (i.e. use the city-tile to feed 1 Specialist), first making a CivEng to build Walls (20s for non-Mil Civs, 0GPT) for the +50% defence-boost (to the 1 farm-provided free unit you can station there!), then converting him to a Scientist; or if there's a fish, you might build a Harbour (40s to non-Mil/Sea Civs, 1GPT) to allow 2 Scientists in a Pop3 city.

On the subject of Specialists, sorry, but this is wrong:
... because for every citizen you take off the land to make into a Specialist, you'll lose 3FPT -- so Pop5 with no food-bonus will need 3 of its citizens (3*3 + 2 = 11 FPT, excess is only +1FPT) to support only 2 Specialists, not vice versa. After rails, then it will work, with net 0FPT: 2 citizens on railed irrigated Grass will provide 5*4 + 2 = 10 FPT, supporting 3 Specialists.

If you want to get a dry town to Pop7+, you won't need Walls for a defence bonus, but you will need a 'Duct (100s, 1GPT), so it would probably make sense to start one very soon after founding -- and as the town gets bigger, the number of Civ Engs that could be assigned will also increase. I wanted to work the numbers out for myself, and this is what I came up with, on irrigated Grass for a non-Agri Civ (Excess FPT assumes all Pop is farming, subtract 3FPT per Specialist, in this case a CivEng(s), Net SPT also includes the 1 SPT from the city-tile, Shields collected is for that Pop level -- assuming no disorder!):
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5 Column 6 Column 7 Column 8
Pop Excess Citizen Net Turns Net Shields Cumul.
level FPT ->Spec. FPT to grow SPT collected shields
1 +3 0 +3 7 1 7 7
2 +4 1 +1 20 3 60 67
3 +5 1 +2 10 3 30 97
4 +6 1 +3 7 3 21 118
5 +7 2 +1 20 5 100 218
6 +8 2 +2 10 5 50 268

...therefore if you started building as soon as the town was founded, both the 'Duct and the Market could be finished (and costing GPT) ~4T before the town grew from Pop5 to Pop6. At that point it would make sense to convert your 2 CivEngs into 1 Taxman (to pay the Market-maintenance) and 1 Scientist, and then convert all additional excess citizens from Pop6 onwards into more Scientists/BPT.

4. ### Mike HusseyCricketer

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I think I get the jist of what you are saying in the beginning part of your post now. I think it's about oscillating between various facets of the game from military, to economy and then to expansion (speaking for a Republican government).

Basically you are starting off with little or no units, no economy but a high level of expansion. Then as you expand, your economy suffers as you have too many settler pumps. You also hit a wall with lacking in space. So then you build units and capture more land. Your military therefore grows and grows and so does your city count. But then as this happens your cities are small in size and therefore the ratio of units to units supported is in favour of units and therefore you start to run into high unit upkeep whilst not being able to capture cities at a high and sustainable rate. At the same time you start to get technologically behind because other AI states are not warring and able to devote more to economy. They gain a tech lead which starts to produce a defensive advantage. This means you are left with a large but technologically inferior (read: useless) army, with a large number of size 1-2 cities which have been produces settlers and workers all game long and literally no economy (due to all the core cities being needed to produce units all game long). When this happens you declare peace and start to focus on economy, don't have the heart to disband all the units thinking that I will upgrade them when the appropriate tech comes along. However in doing this, the large standing army chokes out the GPT incoming and therefore you tech slower. Added to this is the fact that you need to continue building workers due to the large city count. Eventually you make your way to a 'beacon' tech such as Military Tradition or Replaceable Parts which provides you a large enough advantage militarily to try and claaw your way back using stacks of artillery as they can overcome technological deficit.

The thing about what you've written regarding free unit support, I don't feel that the levels provided are sufficient. Considering that by the middle ages you have 20-30 cities or more, you would already have 50ish workers and plus at least another 30-40 units of military. I'm trying to find a save file which exhibits this.

In relation to the government choice, when I started playing at levels higher than Regent I always thought that Monarchy would be the best considering that there is no war weariness and you can use military police, but I distinctively remember all the high level players on the forum using Republic so I've stuck with it since. Upon reflection, I think it ultimately comes down to skill of unit control and war planning to be able to control your army like a surgeon controls a knife, to take down enemies with the first strike before they even have a chance to respond. That way your units will not get attacked, you won't lose cities and you won't have units in their territory for long - thereby almost eliminating war weariness.

I have used some of these strategies you described in your post in my previously losing Ottoman game which I managed to win. I was at the exact point at which your advice was applicable, basically was at Steam Power whilst all other major civs were at Computers! I had about 100 artillery pieces at the time, about 80odd Sipahi and probably 15-20 Infantry. My economy was in shambles, collecting 150GPT at 0% science and 30% lux. 2 Luxuries for the whole game up to that point and having to use specialists in my more cities even with a marketplace. I did have the largest empire, though not by much.
I fortified my 10 city border (which was quite long - and everyone had ROP and railroads with each other) with Infantry, sat back, attacked one civ and watch the other AI dogpile me with Mech Infantry, Cavalry and Tanks. I only had one Siphai army at the time but every turn managed to kill their whole attacking force consisting of 10-15 units or more. Eventually the trickle of units slowed and that was my signal to retaliate. I was pretty much down to about 30 Sipahi but in that first round went to take out strategic cities containing luxuries which really helped my economy to ramp up, reduce my luxury slider, increase my self research and create another section of grassland science farms. The rest is histroy as they say.

During this game tj I discovered that you were right with railroads you can make a 5 city science farm with no food bonuses (non agricultural civ). Basically you have

5 population
5 * 2 = 10 food per turn required
3 tiles worked (including city centre)
1) city centre produces 2 food
2) irrigated rail-roaded grassland produces 4 food
3) irrigated rail-roaded grassland produces 4 food
Therefore you can basically have one city with 3 scientists per 3 tiles (two of which are grasslands).

I need some more time to understand the table you have posted, as you can see I'm not very good with maths,

BTW I'm not sure if this is mentioned in any article regarding combat settlers, but I 'discovered; this nifty trick where you can conquer enemy rail roaded empires (given enough settlers) in 1 turn. Basically you capture an enemy city and then take 3 or more of your own settlers and place them in your own cultural border right next to the newly conquered city. You then abandon your conquered city and the 3 or more settlers can then build 3 more cities in enemy territory to give you more paths into their territory which you can then access this same turn. Then you use those paths to conquer more cities and rinse/repeat until their whole empire is gone.

5. ### tjs282Un(a)bashed immigrant

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Yes -- but this applies whatever gov you're using. The thing about Republic is that wars need to be short(er) and/or started by the other guy (because then you get 'War Happiness', so long as you don't start losing lots of units/ cities!). As you say, you need to wield your troops like a scalpel, not a bludgeon -- using your more limited unit numbers to take out strategic objectives (Resource-cities, chokepoints, harbours etc.) so you can get big enough to mop up the rest.
But there's little point improving your towns' BFC-tiles faster than those towns are growing -- doing so represents 'wasted' Worker-turns. And in Despotism, while you still have so few units to play with, it's rarely worth using Worker-turns to improve the 'difficult' terrain (Hills, Marsh, Jungle, and esp. Mountains) before the 'easy' (i. e. flat) terrain, partly because of the extra time that it will take, but also because of the Despot-penalty which will limit the return on (time-)investment at that early stage.

When towns are still below Pop6, and growing at 2FPT (without Grans), they will produce a new citizen every 10T (or 7T for an Agri-civ, or if there's a +2 food bonus tile in the BFC, giving 3FPT). The most expensive job that is still worth doing in the Despotic stage of the game is mining a flatland tile (6T). Moving a Worker into an unroaded tile costs 1T, mining it costs 6T, and roading it costs 3T (for a single, non-Industrious Worker), making exactly 10T, so if your Worker starts the improvements when the town has an empty food-box, he will finish the job(s) on the same IBT as the new citizen is born. Worker jobs are calculated before city food/growth, which is calculated before production, so all in a single IBT, you could finish a mine, grow the city, and get 1-2 extra IBT-shields from that new mine. (In a 7T-growth city, you might build the mine before the road, and then do an irrigation job on another tile for the remaining 4T of the next growth cycle).

Point is, in the early stages of the game, if you manage your Worker(s) carefully, 1 Worker per town might be sufficient, at least to start with -- which leaves you 3 free slots per town (under Despotism) for mil-units/Settlers. Yes, you will need more Workers per town as your towns get bigger/ grow faster, but once all the 'easy' (flat) tiles have been roaded/ improved, you could/ should / would also start stacking the Workers you already built to finish jobs quicker (e.g. 1 Worker needs 1T to climb and then 6T to road a Hill, but 3 Workers only need 1+2T; once the road is finished, then all 3 Workers can mine it in 4T, or 2 Workers can mine it in 6T, while the third moves to improve another tile -- or all 3 can move onto 3 adjacent, unroaded flat tiles and road them in 4T each, subsequently pooling their efforts again to mine/ irrigate those newly roaded tiles in 2-3T).

So if you're building more Workers than you need to keep up with city growth, then you're going to end up paying over the odds for unit-maintenance, especially once you switch govs. If you can aim to get Republic (or perhaps Monarchy) around the time your Capital and 1st-ring cities are hitting Pop7-12, then your free-unit limit will be unchanged or only slightly diminished -- but by that time, your core should be nearly fully improved, you should already be well on the way to building 2nd- or even 3rd ring cities, and either already warring for self-defence or additional territory, or seriously considering it.

And your early expansionist wars, likely under Despotism (almost inevitable, especially at higher levels) will almost certainly net you some AI-cities (if not, why were you fighting?). Rather than razing/ rebuilding them, or starving them out, you should be enslaving them by building (foreign) Workers (in cities extorted in peace negotiations, foreigners automatically convert to your nationality, so don't build Workers there, build military/ infrastructure, or start farming!). Under any government, even before all the resistors are quelled, you can forest-chop and build a Slave in 1T (using a stack of 3-4 native Workers, depending on whether or not you're Industrious). Under Monarchy or Republic, after the Resistance is quelled, rushing will cost you 2T (1T to put some shields in the box, 1T to rush the rest) and 36g at most (in a 1-shield town).

In the meantime, the remaining foreign citizens can be doing science or raising tax for you! Specialists are always content, so you only need enough Luxes or Lux% to keep the field-labourers happy. So in a Pop6 town with 3 Specialists, you'd only need 2 Luxes to stop the city rioting during peacetime -- although flipping is a different story. That said, the city will be losing -1FPT, so would starve in 20T from a full food-box -- you'd be able to build at least 2 Workers by hand in that time -- or build/rush all 5 (needs ~10T), if you have the cash. And once the city starts growing again from Pop1, and your own citizens outnumber the foreigners, and/or you've built a Courthouse and/or some Culture, and/or pushed your new borders well beyond the town, flip-risk should drop significantly.

So if you can capture 3 or 4 foreign towns per war, that's up to 15-20 maintenance-free Slaves, plus all that BPT/GPT while you're building them. And for every 2 Slaves you build, you can then join 1 native Worker back to a Pop7+ core city (that doesn't have a Granary) to grow it quickly to Pop12 and work more of the tiles in its BFC. Doing so is a win-win gambit -- your unit-maintence drops (by 2GPT per joined Worker), and your core cities start generating more commerce (at least +2CPT per joined Worker, assuming you're working roaded tiles, more if you're working riverbank/ coastal/ commerce-bonus tiles!), i.e. net income/ science increases, especially if those cities also have Courthouses (de-corrupts some CPT), Markets (2CPT --> 3GPT at 100% Tax), and/or Libs (2CPT --> 3BPT at 100% Sci). Which allows you to build more/ better military, and go after more AI-cities...
Yes. The primary advantage of Republic over Monarchy is the +1 commerce per tile, which allows you either to do faster research yourself or to raise cash to buy/trade techs/Luxes from the AICivs.

For 'Always War' games, especially using Rel-Civs which can switch govs relatively easily (only 2T of anarchy), going Despot --> Monarchy (when core cities are at around Pop6-7, for the faster growth to Pop12) --> Republic/Commie (at Pop10-12) may be advantageous. That said, in my Chinese (Monarch) Domination game, I went to Republic as soon as I'd got the slingshot, and stayed there. Even though I basically never stopped fighting at any point after my first invasion of England (oscillating war), it was only in the very late game that WW became problematic (I think mainly because I had so many units on Zulu soil by that point). Keeping order would probably have been harder at Emperor+, because of the lower base-happiness in all cities (only one citizen born content). But I don't think it would have made a hige difference in that game: I never DoW'd anyone while I had units on their turf, and actually suckered the Romans into DoWing me by making a MA/PT deal with them vs. the Americans. Caesar made peace with Lincoln 1T before that deal would have expired, so I could capture the last major American core cities and then go after the Romans with impunity -- with the WH from their DoW. And then the Zulus also DoW'd me, so I got more WH because of that.
Glad I could help! Well done -- but what difficulty level?

6. ### Mike HusseyCricketer

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I definitely like your idea about rush building workers specifically with the purpose of netting slaves in captured towns, tend to build workers and rush settlers in border towns but never considered it in that much detail or the consequences. I always considered the negative aspects of slower production from slaves but never the fact that my 'original workers' where costing me a fortune.

It was emperor level, standard pangea. I never play archipelago games, I've never really been into naval stuff and I just like to see big sprawling empires go at it.

I was reading your other thread and recall also reading SG threads years and years ago where people really planned out towns, whole rings before even building a second city. I finally realised the need to do this. All these years I've been winging it planning maybe 1-2 cities in advance. The irony of this however is that when I started playing about 9 years ago now, I was able to comfortably win standard pangea games at by the time of cavalry, knights or even MWs/Immortals on smaller maps, but now am huffing and puffing to get a win by the time of tanks or modern armour. So I went and looked back at my old saves and one thing I realised was that I built less cities back then and spaced them further apart. Very weird I thought considering that the principles are CxxC or CxC in most cases. Then I realised that building settlers and workers in core cities actually take up a lot of resources as they also cost food as well as shields (even more shields than the actual unit cost due to the lack of shields caused by population loss). By only building military units in the core, this will allow the core to develop in order to bring in more income, support more units and build improvements at an earlier stage. The reduction in settlers can then be solved by back filling with settlers later on and then cash rushing workers in corrupt cities.

I think the higher difficulty level you go, the more academic the game becomes, particularly in the earlier stages. It becomes more an issue of almost scientific analysis. However the 'payoff' if you like is greater with a lot more epic wars and conquests involving armies of greater and greater scale. Would love to move up to Demi-god and did try one game once on my own but it was on archipelago and a total failure. The only other thing I've dabbled in is a demi-god space race SG but could not continue due to uni.

7. ### ElephantiumElephants think that people are cute, like puppies

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IMO, it depends on terrain. If you have a lot of hills or desert in the area but no rivers, go with two size 6 farms. If you have a broad expanse of grassland, it's better to have size 12 farms. A city square gives you 2 food; a railed, irrigated grassland gives you 4 food.

8. ### Mike HusseyCricketer

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I've made an interesting discovery guys. Size 5 and size 11 cities are really useful after rails with non agricultural civs to save some growth or adding one less worker in order to achieve 3 and 6 scientists per city respectively. I don't have the exact maths out yet but it means you only need 1 settler and 4 workers to achieve a fully functionally science farm after railroads.

I started and finished another pangea game which turned out exactly the same way that my Ottoman game did. Had an early attritional war using swordsmen and horsemen, then small skirmishes using my Chinese riders and finally finished off the rest of the other AI using Cavalry. I feel I am back to being comfortable on Emperor again, can keep pace with tech and warring.

I think my goal will be try to win standard pangea games by the time I get knights (instead of Cavalry) before I can move up to demigod. I find the most challenging part of this game to be empire control when conquering another civ, whether to keep cities or to raze them and how to manage settler and unit production during wars. I'm not sure if anyone can provide tips on this. I just think that in order to prevent culture flips and long drawn out wars, horsemen and knights are just too slow and do not have a sufficiently large power advantage over defenders, but reading succession games I know objectively that's not true, it's just the way I feel when I control them.

9. ### ThERatChieftain

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And when you get too comfortable, start to play AW games

10. ### Mike HusseyCricketer

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Yeah probably still a few games away from that unfortunately. Would like to know if there are any good articles on AW and it's subtleties?

11. ### ThERatChieftain

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Mike, there are many very nice old Succession games to be found. I started when I joined the old grump men, where we managed to beat an AW deity game, followed by some variations AW games under LKendter (combination of AW with 50k cultural victory)

12. ### ThERatChieftain

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13. ### Mike HusseyCricketer

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Thanks for those, I will definitely take a look. I can only imagine that an always war game will add about 1 level of difficulty to the existing difficulty is that right? Are there any quick and dirty tips for an always war game? I'd imagine a Great Library capture may be necessary at the higher levels? Although I'm also guessing that the tech pace would be slowed by the AI producing more units than usual?

I'm not sure I will be confident to even face Demigod at this stage (see other thread), but would you also have some tips for me for the transition from Emperor to Demigod? Just from preliminary observations so far earlier wars are harder to fight already. Any tips on balancing REX and military production in the early phase of the game?

Thanks

14. ### ThERatChieftain

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I'd say 2 difficulty levels above. Start with a monarch difficulty, that's challenging enough. We always built the GL ourselves, else we will be behind by too much.

Hence, having a second city that can built the GL is very important.

15. ### Mike HusseyCricketer

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Just feeling a bit discouraged at the moment. Not sure how to improve gameplay and decision making. How did you guys get so good at this game besides the obvious "play more". Are there specific things you need to learn when moving up in difficulty level? For example what are the basic tenets of city placement and planning? What are the guiding principles used to determine what to build next in the first 50 turns of the game? What are the concepts behind choosing to research at 100% or 0%?

Edit: What also makes me sad is that Civ 3 will never be like what it once was back when I started in 2004 with all those greats like SirPleb, Moonsinger, WoA, MAS etc still floating around and posting. The reality is that we will probably never see or hear from them again. Don't get me wrong there are still some great players like vmxa and spoonwood, Lanzelot etc but their activity also seems to be in decline.

16. ### CKSChieftain

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What helped me a lot was playing the game of the month and reading the spoiler threads. Go and read through some of the old games, and it will be just like SirPleb is still here. The threads around the beginning of the COTM are especially helpful, as people discussed what to do differently in Conquests vs PTW.

Play a succession game. Having to justify your moves every 10 turns is a great way to force yourself to think about what you are doing.

Practice different victory conditions. Try playing variants, and not just always war. Diplomatic victory with no research to improve trading skills. Build no defenders. Accept all deals proposed by the AI. Build no buildings. Conquest on continents, but you can't build boats. Figure out what you do automatically, and make that something forbidden. (I love to build libraries, but it impedes my growth, so I'm playing some fast spaceship games where I can't build libraries until late in the game.)

17. ### Mike HusseyCricketer

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The problem with these older games is that screenshots are used very sparingly and the save games are not always available. Unfortunately Civ3's golden age was at a time when YouTube Let's Plays had not even been invented, hell YouTube itself was just starting up.

I watched one of hexstick's YouTube let's plays of the vanilla game on Emperor and still managed to learn a lot because you can analyse every single action a player makes in order to have a specific reason for performing every single action and then develop an overall understanding of the themes and principles, direction and vision that the best players have when starting out the game.

Often I find even turnlogs from SGs difficult and convoluted to follow as they don't have a blow by blow account of every action and furthermore an explanation for every action which obviously for the purposes of the SG would be completely unnecessary.

Regarding the missing SirPleb thing, I think it's more just a feeling of community that is lost. Almost like they are not there anymore and will never be, we will never get to know them anymore or have that connection there with them. I realise that most people will find this psychologically disturbing to read but unfortunately it's just the way I feel.

18. ### Wondering KidChieftain

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Heh. All of this fellas playing Pangaea games, and I come out as the Archipelago fanboy...

Don't look at me like that guys, Archipelago has its charm

19. ### dgfredSports Freak

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Experiment
-difficulty level- monarch is the most fun for me... because the AI doesn't get so many free units and their tech level learning is not out the roof.
-city placement- really need to have Rivers adjacent and plan for later expansion regarding luxs/etc.
-building- I like to build military (with barracks) and settlers (good city locations( at the same time. It depends on whether you like to build wonders, big cities and such whether you go for warfare early... or just expand both money and empire. I don't like to research much... mostly because I like to use war to get what I want from the AI.
They will trade techs to get out of you destroying their empire. Go to War Acadamy on this site.

Anyway... ask all the questions you want regarding Civ3.

Someone will try to help.

20. ### NoAnswerSee You Space Cowboy...

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Is the effect of Marketplaces scaled down on higher difficulty levels? Trying to figure out why I'm even building these now..

I look in the city and it's barely making a difference, even though I've got 5 luxuries connected.