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Returning to Civ after a long hiatus, tips?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Mike Hussey, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Mike Hussey

    Mike Hussey Cricketer

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    OK I get it now. Republic is a petite warring government whilst Monarchy is all out war. To be honest I like to build up a huge army and conquer the world before the industrial age but I will persist with this new strategy and I do see the benefits I guess. It'll just take more planning and management on my part.

    WRT this game however, is there any way to save it? I mean I could disband about 80 of my trebuchets and that will give me some gold back and then use deficit research to tech to Military Tradition crank out the cavalry and upgrade to cannons whilst making peace with Korea and fighting off the Byzantine - Spain alliance. What would you guys do?
     
  2. Bucephalus

    Bucephalus Shooting from the lip....

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    @Spoons & Snarkhunter:

    I think differences of opinion about what to build and how many are just a reflection of different playing styles - I don't think there is an inherent right or wrong.

    In my case, I almost exclusively play SS games; they are what I find most fun. I prefer not to play the 'conquer everybody first, then research your way to space unopposed' strategy, though I'm perfectly capable of doing so; I just don't find it fun to do it that way.

    I will go to war, initially to acquire enough land for an optimum sized empire, and later to acquire any necessary resources, but I largely play the game by thoughtful research, canny trading, and careful manipulation of the AI through diplomacy. For me, that keeps the game interesting right to the end. To this end I will always be a Republic, to keep my empire in a robust economic state, and my military will be lean and mean - just big enough to do what's required of it.
     
  3. Bucephalus

    Bucephalus Shooting from the lip....

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    Oh yeah, this game is easily redeemable; as to what I'd do - well, that depends on what you want to achieve. Whatever your aim is, though, you are going to have to get your house in order, and yes, that means disbanding a considerable number of those trebs. How many is for you to decide - previous posts will show you that there are differences of opinion on that subject. :)

    Personally, I think making peace with Korea is a no-brainer; it will end your WW at a stroke and allow you to get all those clowns back to work. I played on one turn in order to bring CAII up to date so I could show you those screenshots after peace with Korea. You will find that Spain and Byzantines are ready to talk peace too, something I would suggest you take to give yourself some breathing space while you rearrange your economy. Hook up those dyes that Spoonwood mentioned, as a priority. Since it's your intention to bee-line to MT, I would use the shields from disbanded trebs to build libraries and even unis in your core cities, though others may disagree. Certainly don't waste them, though, by disbanding piecemeal in random cities; you have a lot of shields invested in them, so use them where you will gain most advantage.
     
  4. Snarkhunter

    Snarkhunter Chieftain

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    Yes, although I think a stack needs a few more treb in it to attack more efficiently, or at least with less loss. I play few SS games, but a thread in General D. led me to try something I invented on the spot, a 10CC SS game, where each city had to produce one and only one SS part. I did that precisely because I play so few non-Dom games & wanted to investigate buildering & research-oriented games. Don't think I built any trebs for that game; started no wars at all. It was interesting & relatively fast; I'll probably try it again at something tougher than regent.

    kk
     
  5. Bucephalus

    Bucephalus Shooting from the lip....

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    Not in my experience; even at Emperor - which is what Mike is playing - I would not expect to see more than two defensive units per city, and usually regulars at that. At Regent I probably wouldn't bother with them at all, to be frank; AI research is so slow I would expect to be meeting spears with my MDIs/knights.
     
  6. Ceoladir

    Ceoladir Come Fly With Me

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    i haven't looked at any of your saves but it sounds to me like you are fighting like a monarchy in a republic (probably already said, i didn't read it) :D
     
  7. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Ok, here's another opinion on trebuchets (or artillery type units in general):
    I think, most of the time you can get by without them. I've done fast Conquest and Domination games on Emperor/Demigod without building a single bombardment unit. This is true especially for a war under Republic.
    If you are using 2-movement attackers (horsemen, knights, cavaly) the losses are lower than when using 1-movement attackers (swordsmen, MI). Therefore it is not as important to "soften up" the defense. It is better to loose a Knight once in a while and having to replace it, than to keep a huge stack of trebuchets ready, which will only seldomly be useful. A stack of 7 Knights (490 shields) will be much more effective than a stack of 7 MI + 7 trebuchets (490 shields), simply because it moves twice as fast and takes only half the unit upkeep. A dead knight can be replaced quickly, if you have roads to the front line.
    Also, slow-moving stacks will spent a significant amount of time travelling instead of fighting, and this is where they eat your money without giving any benefit.

    In my opinion, building artillery type units is necessary/useful only in the following situations (basically the same situations that call for a "combined arms" approach instead of the "single unit type" stack approach):
    • You are technologically backward, e.g in a Demigod/Deity game. (If your Knights are meeting Musketmen, you definitely want artillery support...)
    • You don't have horses. (And no fast UU like the Gallic Swordsman.) Or you don't have iron and need to rely on Longbows.
    • The AI has many towns on hills or with city walls. (Even spearmen in a wall-protected hilltown is a very tough nut for Knights...) In this case, two separate armies might be a good idea: one consisting of lets say 10 trebs, 2 pikes and 6 MI to crack open the tough nuts, and another Knight-only stack to rush forward and take the lightly defended grassland towns.)

    Things become slightly different, once railroads are available. Artillery proper (or cannons, if you don't have rubber) combined with railroads are deadly, when it comes to throw back an enemy SOD that has broken into your territory... And even in the offensive they are often useful, because they can use railway to keep up with the advancing Cav/tanks and they can shoot from the distance. (So they don't need to loose much time for advancing all the way up to the enemy town. If the enemy town didn't culture-expand yet, Artillery can hit right on the first turn, and then the tanks capture it. If the enemy town got it's first expansion (and you can't use a combat settler), tanks and artillery move one tile into enemy territory during the first turn, and in the second turn the town can be taken.)
     
  8. Snarkhunter

    Snarkhunter Chieftain

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    And there's where it differs: in emperor, at anything beyond the very early MA, I see 3 defenders, not 2, & they are often vets. And I've lost more cav to unsoftened spears, much less knights, than I like to contemplate. In Republic, losing units isn't as bad as losing cities for WW, but it doesn't help one bit. I find I usually have to "break the back" of the AI before I can unleash the horsies full tilt. So the initial turns are moderately slow but steady. If I have multiple stacks, they aren't even all that slow.

    Things move considerably faster with rails/arty, no doubt about it, Lanzelot. If the towns lie right, I can blitz a considerable distance that way, especially if I have a few armies in the field & enough workers to keep extending the rail line.

    kk
     
  9. Bucephalus

    Bucephalus Shooting from the lip....

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    Are you meaning defenders or defensive units? There is a clear difference.

    The AI is very rigid about how many defensive units it stations in it's cities - it is so rigid that it must be hardcoded - and it is only at DG and above that it will habitually have three or more defensive units per city; on those occasions that you encounter more, the extra will have just arrived from elsewhere or will have been rushed. These occasions are the exception rather than the rule, and IMO don't justify the upkeep of several more trebs.

    I accept that there may be other defenders such as LBs, but they hardly require softening up with arty, and for the purpose of this discussion they can be ignored; they are just leader-bait.
     
  10. Snarkhunter

    Snarkhunter Chieftain

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    I get your drift. I'd say 3 defensive units, with increasing probability of this the later in the MA you get. (It's common in the IA, if that makes any difference.) Also, it's more likely close to the border than away from the front. Which is why I find it a lot easier to unleash the cav after the border falls; they don't face as many defenders in the back cities. Perhaps it is simply a function of time: the later in the game, the more likely to accumulate extra defenders along the border.

    kk
     
  11. Bucephalus

    Bucephalus Shooting from the lip....

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    It's probably a factor of having rails - any spare defenders they have can be more easily transferred from one city to another. It's this rigidty of having to have x number of defensive units in every city that makes the game winnable at higher levels; faced with a threat to one of it's cities, a human player would move the required number of defenders (or reduce the stack with arty, then annihilate with offensive units, but for the sake of arguement let's pretend we have none) into that city, not caring that other cities, out of reach, were undefended. The AI will not do that.
     
  12. Snarkhunter

    Snarkhunter Chieftain

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    True, I don't see them moving many defenders around. A few, but perhaps those are "surplus". Good to know about the higher levels, if I ever get past emperor.

    kk
     
  13. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Snarkhunter, that sounds like either you are attacking too late, or you are attacking while the AI is still in Despotism, or both. Perhaps the following will "help" you:
    (Note that I'm not talking about limited tactical wars, whose aim it is to gain an important resource or other small objective. For these kind of wars the slow stack approach might be ok. No, I'm talking about the "all-out war" that aims to take over a certain civ completely!)
    • You should try to become a Repbulic before 800BC. (Republic slingshot should be possible on Emperor, if you have a decent start position.)
    • You should single out your victim quite early and make preparations that you can start the major attack before 500BC. By that time the AI can't have built that many defenders yet, so an army of 8-10 horsemen should be sufficient.
    • If you can get a Military Alliance with one of their neighbors, it will also help. Wait 2-3 turns to allow their archers/swordsmen move towards your MA partner...
    • And the most important point: gift the Republic to your victim, if they are still in Despotism!! There are two different ways of how to do this:

      a) either rigth away, when you get Republic. The AI is not as good in handling Republic as the human player is (inefficient worker management/road network), so the unit upkeep will really hurt them and they won't build that many units. Or...

      b) gift it to them 5 turns before the attack. Then they will just have gone through a painful phase of anarchy, when your attack hits them...

      Either way: a despotic AI will pop-rush lots of spearmen when being attacked. This is most probably the reason why you see so many defenders. By giving them Republic, you put an end to their pop-rushing, and they won't have enough gold for cash-rushing spears... :D
     
  14. Mike Hussey

    Mike Hussey Cricketer

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    Alrighty.

    So I persisted with the Mayan game and took your precious advice about ending the wars. I did so, and put all my specialists back to work, whilst constructing marketplaces, libraries, universities and banks in all my core cities. I did not however disband my trebuchets as they were so dear to accumulated over hundreds and thousands of years and the aforementioned buildings allowed me to keep them for the rest of the game with an immediate +50gpt increase in treasury funds.

    I moved to destroy the Byzantines and did so quite swiftly establishing a western border with the technologically advanced Portuguese. Thereafter I once again reinvaded the Koreans (my hand was forced after recently captured wonder cities had flipped) and ended their existence. All of this time accumulating even more units and cities. Whilst I was behind in technology, I roared back into the lead using mainly self research (4 turns per tech) and bits of trading here and there.

    The final coup de grace was a cavalry invasion of the western continent, obliterating the once feared Portuguese and absorbing half of the Roman lands to achieve another domination. My first win with Republic.

    The biggest thing I took from this game was probably the commerce bonus of Republic. Now I understand it all, because if you have +1 commerce on every single worked tile, that's a bonus of +12 commerce per city for the whole game subject to multiplier buildings which is massive. This was probably the key difference in previous games where I hadn't built a single science building and had to rely purely on trading to get myself through. In this game I had my rep unwittingly broken quite after I had posted my previous update there were no gpt trades for the rest of the game. So yes, now I can truly say that Republic is a better government than Monarchy unless you are playing a variant game.

    Just have one question about specialist farms though. Do building multipliers affect the beaker/coin output of scientists or taxmen respectively? Say I have 6 taxmen in a farm producing 12 coins each and I build a marketplace, will the end result be 12 + 6 commerce output from the city or would it be unaffected and stay at 12?
     
  15. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    First of all, congratulations on the win!

    As for specialists and multipliers, the answer is no. Specialist output is unaffected by either multipliers or corruption. A scientist contributes 3 beakers per turn, regardless of whether he's in the capital with a library and university, or a 90% corrupt boondocks with no improvements whatsoever.
     
  16. Mike Hussey

    Mike Hussey Cricketer

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    Thanks!

    That means specialist farms need only marketplaces (and maybe harbours for coastal cities) and only when there are a reasonable amount of luxuries.
     
  17. dalgo

    dalgo Chieftain

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    Even markets aren't needed if you keep them small. A pop 5 city on grassland will produce 9 science (2 farmers on railed/irrigated grass and 3 scientists) and is unlikely to need the additional happiness boost from a marketplace.
     
  18. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    dalgo called it on markets, so I'll just add this about harbors: Not usually. Off the top of my head, I don't know if harbors add a food to a fish tile, but as far as sea tiles to, a harbor just changes them from 1 food to 2 food. That doesn't let you hire an extra specialist, so it isn't usually worth the cost. The only tiles that get you any closer to hiring extra specialists are those with 3+ food. A 2-food tile only feeds the citizen working it & no more.
     
  19. Bucephalus

    Bucephalus Shooting from the lip....

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    They do.
     
  20. Mike Hussey

    Mike Hussey Cricketer

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    Does anybody want to help me win this game?

    Seemingly lost :(
     

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