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RFC DoC - v.1.15 - Phoenicians

Discussion in 'Gameplay Guides' started by Enyavar, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. Enyavar

    Enyavar Chieftain

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    There is this old thread about a playthrough in 1.14, but I felt we need an entire new thread for an entirely new version.

    I can't figure out how this works now. I read the existing guides, there are two of them on earlier versions:

    Phoenicians (Carthage), DoC 1.15, Normal, Monarch

    We start without the following techs: Construction, Arithmetics, Calendar, Mathematics. Each of these techs needs, umm, let me check, between 10 and 14 turns to research. So, we are at least 40, but more probably 55 turns of research away of starting to build an elephant army. When I beelined, it were 51 turns, that means turn 117: Starting to build the first elephants.
    And we need to be done with Rome in turn 134. Can Carthage's elephants mop up the Romans in 10 turns?

    The same matter repeats itself: Horsemen? The dreaded Numidian cavalry of Maharbal that sent the Romans fleeing? Needs Riding, and also horses. Which we don't have at start, so either I delay the elephants some more, or I delay the cavalry.
    Swordsmen, spearmen, any men? Need copper, unless we are okay with archers and militiae. There is iron in Africa and Hispania, but not at convenient locations, these sources must first be reached and improved.

    When and where do we start again? Right, turn 66, there are at least five turns before our preset galley/settler can settle Carthage.

    What if I settle near Tyre - just 1N of Sur in "Gebal" so I get the wine, the dye, the wheat, the fish, the hill fortification bonus, some distance from native jerusalem and most important: the copper in Cyprus?
    To me, that looks like a good idea. The "Palace trick" doesn't work anymore, does it? So, the strategy that seems most beneficial to me, is to not migrate west immediately, but start in Gebal, where we build nothing but settlers... oh wait, stop, we first need some inhabitants. So, maybe a monument first, we need at least 3 inhabitants in that city to have the settlers on their way.
    Once in Carthage, we need another monument to get enough culture for a palace, and of course we need to improve all the resources (at least there are lots!) and of course we need to wait for the two settlers who finally arrive around t 96 (Iol and Nova Carthage are the best places, I guess?)
    There is still the teching/producing problem: Carthage has to produce Cothon+Palace (there is some margin for that at least, turn 121 is tight but not impossible), but four cities and full power teching for elephants means, that there is little or no money to rush the elephants once I can finally build them.

    My final guess is that even if I stop all teching after getting Currency (which I get by estimate in 150, probably earlier in 140?) there is no possibility of building glassmakers in all of my cities in time for turn 154 (!) to gather all the 5000 gold (!!!!!) for the third UHV. Even if I stop teching with arrival of the elefants, I need to have a net profit of 135 gold per turn, on average, WHILE rushing the elphants and other soldiers into the Punic war.

    Am I missing something or have I grasped the mission constraints correctly and it IS designed to be an extremely tough nut?

    I have noticed this with other civs as well: Am I misjudging the difficulty levels here, coming from RFC and assuming "Monarch=Monarch" ?! Currently, it looks more like Monarch-players of RFC are like Heir-players in this mod - in some scenarios at least, as I had no problems with Monarch Harappa and Regent Polynesia.

    I will try Carthage on a Heir level these days, but even with the cheaper techs I sincerely doubt it is possible.
     
  2. HighFunctioningAlcoholic

    HighFunctioningAlcoholic Chieftain

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    I actually got my highest normalized score with Carthage (something like 130,300). I still have all my save files so I'll write something up when I have the time later in the week.
    Unless there was a recent patch to v. 1.15, the Palace trick still works. I suggest settling Carthage, and on the same turn settling Kition (Cyprus). (The forests around Cyprus in the Levant and Anatola provide some solid production boosts.) After that, take out Greece as soon as you have the forces (Athens is a good city to have), and then prepare for Rome; you have to take them out in one attack, as their reinforcements may prove insurmountable. Jerusalem is also a good city to have with a Great Prophet. I wouldn't worry about settling Spain until the very end; I collapsed literally the turn I finished UHV 3.

    upload_2018-7-16_10-43-7.png
     
  3. Logoncal

    Logoncal Chieftain

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    Nope. Palace Trick still works! Just tested this at this very momment!



     
  4. Enyavar

    Enyavar Chieftain

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    @Logoncal, I mis-wrote: Yes, the palace trick still works (technically), but it seemed to me that it's a bad move strategically. With regards to needing the copper on Cyprus to make war.
    @HighFunctioningAlcoholic also mentions that founding Kition was necessary to do anything, if you found with the palace in Carthage. I had been trying to do Carthage / Carthago Nova (in hispania) with my two settlers: that was recommended in 1.14 but would never work out in 1.15; due to the lack of elephants.

    Taking out Greece first is a solid advice, thanks. Of course, this approach is quite un-historical, so I really wonder why Leoreth set the goals that way.

    I think I will try the following strategy:
    - Settle Gebal (it IS a great spot!), quickly improve the land there, then ship workers to the beelined Carthage so that they improve the good plots there.
    - Buy a copper-based army in Gebal, conquer Athens and any good Greek city (Byzantion, please!) that happens to be around - that way, I should hopefully have the 4 cities necessary for Palace.
    - In Carthage, build monument, Cothon and Palace asap. The armies come from the other cities.
    - Tech-wise, beeline the Glassblowers so that markets and wealth-building are available asap
    - Conquer Rome when it appears, without elephants, as was suggested
    - To improve territorial stability, I think two cities need to be placed in southern Hispania on historical spots, and at least one in the core - I like Iol at the coast, but Rusadir also looks good because of the wine. Perhaps another core city, 2SE from Carthage, next to the Wheat?

    As China outtechs my Babylon on HEIR, I'm very cautious about trying anything on higher difficulty levels, so my first attempt will be on heir. Alcoholic has shown that he cracked Carthage on Normal Speed, too.
    By the way, Alcoholic, where did the 5000 Gold come from? Your large empire produces what, ~10 Gold per 10% economy? That would mean only 100 gold per turn if you go for full wealth, and you first need to tech that far. Was the sacking of Athens/Rome that bountiful?
     
  5. TsarAndreas

    TsarAndreas Chieftain

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    What's the Palace Trick?
     
  6. Logoncal

    Logoncal Chieftain

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    @Envyavar You really dont need the copper to war Rome since you have FREAKING SHOCK PROMOTED ELEPHANTS.

    @TsarAndreas Basically, instead of settling your capital on Tyre/Sur, you settle Carthage immediately. It even unlocks the Cothon right away since you wont need the Culture level requirement
     
    Autumn Leaf likes this.
  7. Orbii

    Orbii Chieftain

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    Pretty sure the palace trick is founding Carthage as your capital on like the 4th turn after spawn.
     
  8. HighFunctioningAlcoholic

    HighFunctioningAlcoholic Chieftain

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    Short answer: 2 Great Merchants in India that I used at the end of the game, each netting me 2000 gold. This required some micromanaging of merchants but basically made the gold requirement a non-issue.

    I think I can write something up this weekend (I still have most the save files). I definitely ran 100% gold for a little while, switching at the end to maximize my score. I also utilized a lot of trades, I think.

    The reason I had for settling Kition the same turn as Carthage was the ability to chop the forests in Anatola and the Levant (and build a Wonder or 2?), and with the initial workers busy in Carthage at the beginning of the game, it seemed like the best use of a settler. Byzantion may have been a better choice due to the water resources nearby, but it worked for me and my 130,300 score.

    I disagree with not using the elephants; they basically assure you victory over Rome and their Praetorians while protecting you from any Barbarian axeman. But yes on the Rusadir to cover the wheat, horses, and wine; I definitely should have built it earlier. I wouldn't worry about Spain until the end.

    On a different note, for those curious, I finished Atlantis, and while a semi-interesting concept, it is very meh. It basically just requires taking out Egypt and Greece immediately, followed by Rome before they get their invaders. Then just march to India and take out their biggest city. Wouldn't particularly recommend over other Scenarios. (Also, the coding is off for the 1st UHV in terms of completion year; in-game says 10 BC, coding says 250 BC.)
     
  9. Enyavar

    Enyavar Chieftain

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    So far, I managed to conquer Athens (on heir) by turn 92, and that required sacrificing a veritable army of my most powerful unit, the light swordsmen. Btw, how can Athens as the single Greek city, build whole new Swordsmen when I'm standing on top of their Iron? Did they still have access until I actively pillage their mine?

    Oh, have I ?

    No, I haven't, not until I researched freaking Mathematics, for which I need freaking 50+ turns wherever I settle first. A few turns less, of course, when I play on Heir, but the difficulty drop doesn't reduce the research costs that much.

    Turn 71 (settling Carthage) + 50 turns = turn 121. Assuming I settled three or four cities including barracks and stables at that point, and rush elephants in each of them, I have 3-4 elephants by turn 123. Assuming I have enough galleys sitting at the ports, my 3-4 elephants are standing in front of Rome in turn 126, with several more on their way.

    I haven't played that far, yet, but I can't imagine that the Punic War is that much of a curbstomb, especially with the Romans settling in at least four more cities by that time. Sure, said elefants have +1 movement, but it will be awfully close.

    If I get this right, you propose to first build up the infrastructure (libraries to reduce teching time, additional cities?) and to beat Greece after Rome - or not at all?
     
  10. Enyavar

    Enyavar Chieftain

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    Aaaaand here I come with a successful playthrough on Heir. Note that I had incredible luck (and did lots of Saveloading). I publish a detailed account of what I did and when.

    @Logoncal, I sincerely apologize for doubting the freakingly freaky powers of the Phoenician Atlas Elephant.
    I did NOT take the copper, and played with the "Palace Trick", which really makes more sense if you want to win. The copper was really unnecessary, and the tech discount on Heir was actually SUBSTANTIAL.

    Spoiler At the dawn of time :

    - turn 66: Receive starting units: 2 Archers, 1 Spear, 2 Settler, 2 Galleys, 2 Workboats, 1 War Galley. (i.e. no extras from spawn area), and a large sum of starting gold (200? didn't write that up)
    - turn 71: Settle Carthage (Qart Hadashrt - um, I renamed it immediately. Build order: Harbor, Cothon)
    - turn 72: Settle Carthago Nova (same name but with a hypen, renamed it as well. Build order: Monument, Harbor.)
    - placed one bowman as garrisons, and then went to fetch the spearman, while one bowman was sent to explore Northern Europe (via Galley)
    - reveive 91 Gold from Ionian Hut
    - receive Tech Calendar from Ireland Hut (this saved me ~7 turns of research, I had already researched it for 2 turns )
    - receive Tech Riding from Dover Hut (didn't do me much good: No starting horses, and I never built stables)
    - receive 67 Gold from Uppsala Hut
    - receive Worker from Hanover Hut
    - reveive 103 Gold from Hispanian Hut
    --> 2 techs, 1 additional Worker, 260 Gold from 6 Huts. This is either extraordinary luck or just the low difficulty. I did reload a bit, but three of the huts delivered what they did on the first try, two on the second try, and the one in Sweden I danced around for three turns before they spillled gold instead of maps or warriors.
    - finish Great Cothon in t 97 (First Goal done. Also, Hispania is already checked as controlled)
    - have improved resources in t 99, partially already connected: 2 sheep, clam, fish, silver, stone, elefants, wheat.
    - Rome is already spawned, of course...
    Carthage_01_preWar.JPG

    Spoiler First Punic War (yes, there were two) :

    - thanks to the gifted Calendar: Finished first Elephant in t 100. Rome did deploy its troops very foolishly, sending a lone Legion to explore Hispania, and protecting its home region with Archers.
    - Trade in t 101 with Caesar: Roman Bloomery vs. Carthagian Contracts.
    - There were also two unprotected workers, that got caught in t 101, when I directly declared war: Carthage_02_punicWar.JPG
    - Next thing was capturing rome in t 102 already: Carthage_03_gettingRome.JPG Carthage_04_gotRome.JPG
    - I rush-built six or seven elephants in total, one of them already in Rome, and the second wave landed in Italy to capture Vibo Valentina and Mediolanum both, in t 106: Carthage_06_second_wave_landing.JPG
    - Rome had by now Rush-settled a new little town and were willing to vassalize as "Protectorate of Rome". I first thought it's good to agreed to that but it is a rather bad deal: Carthage_17_dont_do_that!.JPG
    -- ... because they don't hesitate to stab you in the back just 10 turns later, and they do get a bonus for that: Carthage_19_because_of_that.JPG
    -- ... and because with THAT particular city, you are not marked to control Italy, even thuough Rome has vassalized. I guess the reason is that the backstab is inevitable.
    - Ceterum Censeo Romam esse delendam, but they offer a very sweet deal: So I load the savegame of t 106, and make peace to extort Cement and Literature from them.

    Spoiler Second Punic War :

    - When the Peace Agreement has run its course, bullrush the single roman city in t 116 with four elephants that were stationed in Mediolanum. One captive worker, raze the surplus city. Finis.

    Nothing of the above would have been possible even remotely this early without the gold and tech from the European Huts. On Heir, however, I think the margin is large enough that it's possible to beat the szenario even without the huts, but you really need to know what you are doing then.
    Spoiler Postwar: getting 5000 Gold as ransom for Leoreth :

    - Oh, I forgot to mention that, while the elephants were already unleashed, I already prepared for the postwar period. I would have to deal with a horrible stability, having 1 core city, 1 historical one, but 3 foreign core cities.
    - Switch to Deification and Merchant trade immediately in t 106 (revolution during captured-city anarchy: Saves valuable turns)
    - Build 2 Settlers, then Glassmakers (only in the two Carthages and Rome. Elsewhere either Harbors, Lighthouses or just Wealth). In Carthage, I started the Colossus, because I could.
    - Stop all research as soon as possible if you want to make the gold goal. All the workers I captured (2 from start, 1 from huts, 3 from Rome, 1 from Jerusalem at some point) were completing infrastructure, but that was mostly superfluous at some point.
    - On foreign news: Make Peace with Persia (they DoWed at spawn). I think I got a non-relevant tech from them+60 Gold, and gave them Currency. In other news: Babylon has collapsed in t 108.
    - Also on foreign news: Greece is ancious to conquer something. First, they DoWed me+Egypt instead of Persia+Egypt, which was major bad news. Thanks to reload and RNG, they managed to do things properly the next run.
    - Settle Iol (western-most core city, north of Rusadir) in t 111. (build-order: Monument, Wealth)
    - Settle Onuba (western-most historical city) in t 113, even past the Straits of Gibraltar. They get Fish, Crabs and Horses, but most importantly trade. (build order: Monument, Wealth)
    - Finish Colossus in t 121, in Carthage, then finally finish the Glassmaker. This was actually a bad building order, because the GMerchant points from Colossus are negligible, compared to 2 Merchant specialists. The other way around would have been a lot more profitable. Also, without copper, it needed valuable turns. Greece only traded its copper when I finished the wonder...
    - Settle Oea (eastern-most core city, east of Carthage's wheat) in t 127. Build order the same again, they are just a stability anchor. With the Colossus in Carthage, the capital works only the water tiles, so Wheat and Elephants go to Oea.
    - Golden Age in t 135. Make the most of it.
    - First Great Merchant that pops, is sent on the long voyage through the war-torn Persian Empire (horrible road conditions) to Indraprashta, largest city of India: Carthage_23_MerchantUnderway.JPG
    - After the Glassmakers, I also built the Parthenon in Carthage and the Temple of Artemis in Rome (both wealth orientated, bonus build resources available, and Glassmaker was already working... just went for it. Afterwards, boring Wealth.
    - First GM reaches Indraprashta in t 140 and cashes in 1110 Gold. Second GM is a bit too late to go all that way and can earn 900 Gold in Athenai in t 146, just as well. Carthage_26_AthenaiNotIndraprash.JPG
    - Turn 154: Victory with 8543 Gold in the Treasury. I had left the gold slider at 100% ever since starting to tech Engineering, thus earning ~230 Gold per turn
    - In other news, the empire is stable, despite the Expansion. Well, not that big of an achievement on lowest difficulty... Carthage_27_Stability.JPG


    To sum it up, the Gold goal is far from impossible. You are destined to have two Great Merchants if you play your cards right, and I guess this also holds true on Regent/Monarch. However, the war goal (#2, vanquish Rome) also sets a tech goal (get these Atlas 'Fants), and I'm sceptical if this is possible in time. It seems that a Fant is beating a Legion 75% of the time, but with less Fants and more Legions and roman colonies, plus a less benevolent RNG outcome and a smarter AI, it will require more than pure skills.

    Again, thanks to Logoncal and Alcoholic for showing me the right way!
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  11. HighFunctioningAlcoholic

    HighFunctioningAlcoholic Chieftain

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    Well, I was about to start mine, but looks like there's no need; good job. For future reference, how do you do the spoilers? I have dual monitors now, so I am starting the very late-game civs (with their super long time between turns), and I feel it's the best way to include pictures.
     
  12. Enyavar

    Enyavar Chieftain

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    This is very cool. I started a Monarch game with the Phoenicians and it looks like I'm successful!

    So, I got one thing wrong in my description of the successful run on Heir: Riding is necessary to build War Elephants, and I didn't recognize it because I got it for free from a hut. So, in total there are five techs to research for WE, not four.

    The good thing is, huts played a role in my game here, but because of Babylonian scouts in Europe, I only got the two British ones and the Scandinavian one, and that was for a total of only 107 gold plus one scout. It seems that Techs are not handed out on Monarch, and there is definitely less money in them.

    But the Romans themselves gave me the key to their downfall, without them I would have needed several turns more:
    Spoiler :

    Civ4ScreenShot0003.JPG

    And just sixteen turns later (I still had to research Riding): Civ4ScreenShot0004.JPG
    That was the only tech trade I managed. One thing I did different in this run was to settle not in the historical tile of Carthago Nova (south of the silver), but instead in the disputed spot of Qart-Gadir (Cordoba). That spot has crab, wine and sheep in the first ring, and horses in the second one - that makes growing that city a lot quicker. After improving stone and sheep, one worker got ferried there, while the other one stayed behind and did wheat, elephants, and roads.
    Also, I went for despotism for a few turns: Despotism+Deification before founding Qart-Hadasht. Whip barracks, harbors and temples, before returning to Republic+Redistribution and hurrying the elephants (you can see all six of them in the image). The invasion of Rome followed exactly the scheme that I presented in the Heir walkthrough, landing on the pigs. And again, the Legions were busy elsewhere. So far, my ellies only fought archers.

    Which means, I need to apologize again for my rants that winning Carthage on Monarch needs incredible luck. Sure, I needed 15 more turns than on Heir, but I'm well inside the time limit...
     
  13. jorissimo

    jorissimo Chieftain

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    Just finished a Phoenicia game on Regent, latest development version 1.16 (I said 1.81 before but that was wrong) using a very minimalist approach. In this version, the palace trick does NOT work anymore, one city is required in the Levantine core for the core to switch to the area around Carthage later on (which is crucial for stability). SIP, switched to Despotism and some other civic that I forgot about but that made sense to switch to. Sent the second settler to Carthage. Beelined Generalship (while not forgetting about Riding).

    Eastern Mediterranean Theater
    Sur built barracks, which I whipped upon reaching size two. The workers went onto the galley to hook up the copper on Cyprus first. The three chariots were sent north to get to Greece via the Caucasus, the Ukraine and the Balkans. As soon as the barracks were done and the copper hooked up, I bought four sacred bands in succession and loaded them onto the galleys, which coincided with the chariots arriving in Greece. Greece had built in southern Italy, just inside Rome's spawn area. Took Athens, upon which Greece collapsed. Athens turned out to have the Ishtar gates (kind of cheating as it yielded me a great merchant with negative odds, a great artist had been more likely. But hey, Rome AI also cheats). Two chariots had been sacrificed, allowing all of my sacred bands to survive. The latter healed in Athens, while one of the galleys went to Sur to pick up an archer I had just built or bought to defend Athens. The other galley picked up the workers in Sur, which had by then improved the wheat. I sent those workers to Carthage. During the invasion of Greece, Sur had been building a settler and an archer which were then sent to Spain.

    Western Mediterranean Theater
    The moment Carthage was founded, I put the culture slider to 100% for two turns, just enough to have the border expand and allow Carthage to start on the Great Cothon. Of course the city at this point was unimproved and so production was super slow. By the time I had ferried the workers over and they had improved the resources (stone first, then ivory, then sheep) Carthage's production greatly improved and readily churned out the Great Cothon as well as the Palace comfortably before the deadline. Iberia was settled, on the hill right below the silver (amazing spot, clams, silver, double sheep, wine). This city whipped a temple first, followed by a hard-built workboat, to grow, and a worker. Remember that Greek city in southern Italy, independent by now? I took it with my healed sacred bands and razed it so that it would not flip to Rome. I was just in time for their spawn.

    Empire-wide preparation for the Punic wars
    My war-prep consisted of building two galleys, to get to a total of four, and an 8-unit mixed army consisting of some remaining sacred bands and the rest city-raider one swordsmen. When the army was done, Carthage built the Colossus which had double speed with copper. Super powerful combination with the Great Cothon, water tiles that turn into 2 prod, 5 commerce tiles during golden ages. I promptly took Rome (landing my troops first) and then marched on their southern Italian city, which I also took. After the swordsmen were done, which coincided with my reaching Generalship, all cities started war elephants, which went to Italy overland from Greece (I was smart enough not to cross the Alps hehe). The thing about control over an area in regular RFC meant having more cities than any other civ in a given area. In DoC it means that no other civ is allowed to have any cities in the area. I did a two-pronged, simultaneous attack on a Roman city that was built in Yugoslavia (modern-day Slovenia more or less), as well as on Mediolanum. I took both, razing the Slovenian city, but the Romans took it back right the next turn, cancelling the razing. Also, some of their free cheat armies had landed in Carthage as well as in Athens, and they actually took Athens. I don't get Roman stability btw. With no cities in their core, basically relegated to the Byzantium empire, they were "stable", or shaky at worst. And they had armies spawning all over the place, Egypt, Jerusalem, etc. Also the AI seems to be super smart these days. They landed right on my iron in Greece and between Carthage and the elephants, basically cutting me off from strategics for a few turns, before I took Rome. When I took out their armies in Carthage, they finally accepted peace.

    Gold hogging
    After Generalship, I was just two techs away from Currency, which I beelined. Upon reaching the tech, I put science on zero. I whipped a glass blower right away in Carthage and hired two merchants. Due to the Great Cothon merchant points, the GM spawned quickly. I had sent the first one, from Athens (I know, this was lucky) to India, painstakingly avoiding the barbs. It's really hard to move around a GM in India with so little vision and so many barbs, so this took some reloading. Taking a huge detour through Tamil lands to avoid barbs, I managed to get it to Pataliputra one turn before the deadline, yielding 2000 gold. The GM from Carthage only had time to get to Shiraz (or whatever the name of the Persian capital is), yielding 1800. The other 1200 bucks were generated by my empire. In the meantime a second Punic war had happened but it was kind of a phony war. Rome collapsed to their capital of Lljubljana or thereabouts. After watching the replay, I clicked "one more turn" and collapsed right away, with Rome re-spawning.

    Final thoughts
    This was UHV was quite the emotional roller-coaster ride. Conquering stuff, getting conquered, dodging barbs with the GM, and winning in the end. Civs collapsing and re-spawning. I got lucky with Greece having built the Ishtar gate for me, that's for sure. An alternative might have been to whip the galss blowers in two cities but I'm not sure if it would have given me enough time to generate both GMs. Perhaps another option could be postponing the Punic wars a little by going Currency first, but then Rome might have been stronger. Well at least I hope this guide provides some pointers to people who want to try Carthage on the new version without the palace trick. Be minimalist: build few cities and few buildings, and preferably few units but this is not always possible as Rome is a really tough nut to crack, they just won't die. Like some kind of immortal alien laying eggs all over the place. Ceterum censeo Romam esse delendam.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

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