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Rhythm

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Burning Stone, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Burning Stone

    Burning Stone Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    I’ve been playing Civ on and off for a long time, but now I’m trying to learn to play it well. I’m currently on Monarch. I’ve found the game has a definite rhythm, but too often I seem to be out of step. Let me explain.
    Your civ can basically be doing one of three things: expanding into unclaimed land, warring, or building infrastructure. You start out expanding, of course, but usually at some point you’ll have to switch to building up for a war, then fight the war, then recover by building. Rinse and repeat until you can reach your victory condition.
    I’m terrible at timing my switch between expansion, war, and building. I start a war and find my army out of date before I can finish it. Or I’ve got the most up to date military, but not enough of them. I have a successful war, but before I can claim the land I just razed a different civ settles it.
    Do people have any advice for when to switch between the different phases? What tells you it’s time to start building up for a war, or when you need to stop a war?
     
  2. Dr.Null

    Dr.Null forIhavetastedthesushi

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    594
    Specialize your cities.

    Have one city which does nothing but pump out units. The infrastructure it needs is a granary and a barracks, plus settled Great Generals, plus eventually a military academy.

    Mid to late game version of this: have another city which has 2-3 excellent food resources and not much else. Build the Globe Theater in this city and switch to Nationalism. When you are going to war, Draft this city's population down to 6, and then keep Drafting from it as it grows again. When the war is over, you can let this city grow again.

    Don't build every improvement in every city. Figure out which cities need to have any particular improvement, and only build those. All other production can be turned to units.
     
  3. Burning Stone

    Burning Stone Chieftain

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    You misunderstand. I do those things. My problems are on the macro level, where I try to decide if it's time for a war, or I have enough units to go to war, or should I stop a war before completely wiping out my enemy.
     
  4. Puhi

    Puhi Warlord

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
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    Location:
    Kingdom of Atooi
    What speed do you play on? Epic, and especially marathon, are much easier for warring than normal or faster speeds.
     
  5. Burning Stone

    Burning Stone Chieftain

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    Normal. A game takes long enough as it is :)
     
  6. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Oct 8, 2002
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    6,489
    1. When you run out of good city sites
    2. When you get a military tech that your neighbor doesn't have

    When you don't see any way to capture more cities in the next 10 turns.
     
  7. Burning Stone

    Burning Stone Chieftain

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    Ah, the laconic reply :)

    I've noticed not all military techs are created equal. Axemen will roll right through people, but Macemen usually come out the same time as Longbows, and so have a harder time. I've had the best luck with Axemen, Riflemen and Tanks - it seems they don't have counters close by on the tech tree.

    In other words, when a peace treaty won't last long enough to slow you down?
     
  8. drlake

    drlake Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
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    Location:
    Plattsburgh, NY
    There's definitely a timing issue here I don't have down, but what I'm trying to do is:

    Start wars when I have the forces available to take 2-3 cities in the first 2-3 turns. What that means depends on technology and foe, of course, but also on my build planning. I don't always wait until I have no opportunities to build cities, since IMO it is better to grab a good site from a foe than settle a lesser site on my own. My problem here is figuring out when to stop developing my infrastructure and start conquering.

    End wars when my invasion/counterstrike (if attacked first) runs out of steam, such that I need to build significant numbers of troops to take any more cities. The 10 turns guideline Dave suggested might be a good one.
     
  9. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    It's more about avoiding a long slogging war where your tech rate plummets, and you actually fall behind even while taking more cities.
    By accepting peace for 10 turns you are creating a window where you can build up your strength without the hindering effects of war weariness.
     
  10. gfm

    gfm Refuses to Talk!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
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    120
    Location:
    Paris Area
    I used to have these kinds of problems too. Now I have at least some kind of a plan :
    • Is someone rushable early on ? - Chop chop goes the axe - I'll keep the capital and the holy cities, but probaby raze the rest
    • Am I going to be boxed in ? - I'll try to capture some of the premium real estate to establish larger borders, but I'm not trying at all costs to eliminate my target
    • Have I got a prosperous but hated/unsuspecting neighbour ? - Prepare for war if your neighbour is hated : one of his/her tormentors will probably ask you to join the fray, which you'll do both to gain diplo points and gain shinies
    • Can I get such a tech lead that conquering/vassalizing my continent is feasible ? - Here you build momentum and try to keep it going. Perparing for a massive Renaissance campaign is pretty standard : Rifles (especially drafted), Cannons (masive collateral) or Cavalry (the AI doesn't fare well against 2-move units) are all good choices

    I try to aim for 8-10 cities by 1 AD. If I can't because my neighbours are on a settling spree, I know I have to prepare for war. By then I have ample time to read the diplomatic game and select a juicy target.

    If I go to war, though, then I try to commit to it decisively so that by turn 2-3 of the war, I'll have captured at least 2-3 cities. That means rushing towards military techs, being in Theocracy/Vassalage DURING the war preparations, having built the Heroic Epic BEFORE the war preparations, building a horde of units and accumulating :gold: to upgrade them, all of which must be done a good 20-30 turns before the actual Declaration of War. During the war, I'll continue building units to replenish my numbers, and if the war has been short enough, my power will have risen enough that I can afford another war... :devil:
     
  11. Dr.Null

    Dr.Null forIhavetastedthesushi

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    Ah, gotcha. My problem was always forgetting to build more units after my initial rush, so I figured that might be yours, too.

    I almost always rush someone. Having two capital-class cities is my key to victory. If some foolish AI goes through the trouble to get two religions in its capital, that's like painting a giant target on the city's walls. Please, AIs, waste your beakers chasing a religion!

    My military production city keeps pumping out units after the rush, mostly just so that when an AI looks at the power graph to see who to invade, it doesn't pick me. Later, when I have a better view of my opponents and their tech & power levels, I'll decide if one of them can be taken out quickly, or if it's worth earning some enmity to injure one of them permanently (i.e. raze capital) in order to slow it down. If there's a religious split, I'll pick a side, and not care about the enmity of the other side. (Those of my own religion are targets too, but I will tend to conquer & vassalize them if possible -- not raze their cities.)
     

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