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Rule Britannia. England Strategy Guide.

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Zardnaar, May 14, 2004.

  1. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    England is perhaps one of the most underrated civs in the game. I suspect that in a world of Immortals, Mounted Warriors and Hoplites and a suspect trait combo in vanilla Civ 3 and PTW England would have limited appeal. However conquests introduces the seafaring trait and a vastly powered up UU- the Man O War. England is one of my personal favourite civs and can be very powerful. Its also alot of fun to play. Some civs excel at certain aspects of the game, Babylon for culture, Maya for rapid growth, Greece for scientific research etc. England does have its own lttle niche it can carve out though- commerce. Few if any civs can match Englands gold per turn. One big bonus for me though is it gets to start with alphabet and pottery techs- instant granaries and a head start on a tech tree the AI tends to neglect. You can easily get philosophy 1st most of the time and get a head start on any Great Library prebuilds should you choose to build it.

    Show Me the Money.

    England has the commercial and seafaring traits which have a synergy between them. Each coastal city of Englands generates an extra 2gpt due to both traits effects stacking. Although it doesn't sound like much it can add up to thousands of gold during the game. The Seafaring trait can bring in additional gold on island and continental maps. You should be the 1st civ to discover isolated AI civs which often have several hundred gold to buy techs with. England can easily become the tech trader of any game. Due to all the excess gold you get England can easily afford to rush build marketplaces- which leads to even more money. Throw in cheap harbours and early contacts you can import luxury resources before the AI civs make contact with each other. Englands best form of government is republic followed by a switch to democracy once it is discovered. With lowered corruption from the commercial trait, a democratic government, trait synergy and well developed infrastructure the money just rolls in. Its a vicious vicious cycle of gold pouring in but someone has to do it.

    Englands Golden Age.
    You generally trigger Englands golden age in one of 3 ways. Building the Colossus, Magellan's Voyage, or by the Man O War. I don't recommend the Colossus as you don't start with bronze working, the AI will probably beat you to it and theres better things to do with the shields at that point of the game. Most likely you will trigger a late middle ages GA as a republic or a democracy. Either way you will be laughing all the way to the bank. Also theres a few wonders worth building and expensive city improvements (cathedrals, university, banks) or units (cavalry, cannons) to build around this time period. Your GA should be a big catapult to vault England into the industrial age with well developed cities, a huge bank balance and probably the tech lead as well (except on deity/sid levels of the game). Toward the end of the middle ages/early industrial England gets to build its UU......

    The Man O War.
    Possably one of the most powerful UU's in the game in conquests the Man O War is just to versatile. Naval supremacy, city bombardment, strip coastal improvements, port defence, enslavement. With enslavement you can build a huge fleet that requires very little upkeep. Rather than thinking of the Man O War as a naval UU start thinking of it as a highly mobile catapult more or less in infinate supply. Your fleet will out class any AI navy and will only get bigger the more ships the AI builds. Use bombardment to redline any ships you attack and try to enslave them. Personally my redlined Man O Wars are used for bombardment while my full strength ones make the kill. Your fleet never needs to return home to repair. I tend to stack my ships in a big fleet of doom or make wolfpacks of 3-6 ships to encounter and sink as many AI ships I can find or to rapidly strip all improvements off an AI civs coast and bombard their ports. Often I'll end up with "colony" cities scattered around the maps. Such "colonies" usually have a luxury or strategic resource I want or a wonder the AI have built. Treat the world as your cherry tree picking whatever coastal city you want. The Man O War also doesn't become obsolete- they can easily sink and enslave ironclads and during the age of battleships and carriers they can still bombard AI cities ans strip improvements. If they're enslaved they don't even require upkeep.

    The Downsides.
    I like England but it does have numerous negatives. Its a slow starting civ. Agricultural, expansionistic and industrial civs will probably outgrow you. England is punished perhaps more than any other civ with a bad start. No early UU or militaristic trait to help out if the AI manages to box you in. Also you don't get much in the way of cheaper buildings- harbors and then nothing until commercial docks. Its a power comes later in the game- generally during the middle ages as you can rush build improvements in key cities which can then concentrate on churning out military units. Since you will likely use republic at some point of the game with the high unit upkeep you will probably need a smaller army than the AI civs. In fact you will probably be weak militarily until the late middle ages- a more aggressive civ can end the game by then. Also while a top tier civ on island and continent maps its 2nd tier on pangea maps- although to be fair it is the best seafaring civ to have on a pangea map as Englands main strength is its traits effects stacking for gpt. Its not really a buider civ or a warmongering civ. Englands strength is its economic performance and plays very differently to most of the other civs.
     
  2. Turner

    Turner Chieftain Retired Moderator

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    Nice article. :thumbsup:

    Moderator Action: Moving to Strategy Articles.
     
  3. Nad

    Nad Known Troublemaker

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    An excellent article :thumbsup:

    Couple points that I would perhaps refine:

    1) You say that England is one of the weakest civs at the start of the game ("a slow starting civ"). I respectfully disagree :). IMO seafaring civs have the greatest early-game advantage - they can control contacts and establish an early brokering position. The first builds for seafaring civs will most likely be 2 curraghs to gain fast contacts. This will help establish a tremendous early game tech lead. This blends nicely with commercial, which provides later boosts. The combination of immediate advantages from seafaring and the developing advantage of commercial is extremely nice.

    2) Men-O-War are without doubt much improved, and their new enslavement abilities are very nice. But in most games naval combat is still nowehere near as important as land combat. Naval combat will not decide many games. No ship can ever take a city. You can bombard and make continental crossings a pain for other civs, but it is very rare that a navy will ever win or lose a game on its own.
     
  4. Turner

    Turner Chieftain Retired Moderator

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    I think his point (which I agree with) is that you don't get the starting bonus' of faster workers or more food. Since these bonus' are missing, it takes longer to build that first settler, and to set up your trade network.

    But you're right about the tech trading (which he did go into). I've found when playing the Dutch that I can get an early and strong lead thanks to the ability to get those ships out there farther and faster.

    I haven't played England yet in C3C, but this definately has me interested in it now.
     
  5. Ision

    Ision Master

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    excellent article Zaard!

    Well thought out and reasoned. My only disagreement is on your listing them as '2nd tier' on Pang maps - NO WAY. Of the 31 CIVs I do not think England makes the top 20 for this type of map. This is however, a very minor point.

    Demo's Min corruption + Commercials gold bonus & lower corruption + seafarings gold bonus & early diplo contacts, does indeed result in a true Commerce monster!

    The article was great, AND it may save me some time! -LOL-

    Ision
     
  6. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Ision. Each to their own on how they rate the civs I suppose. I like Rome although others hate them. I rated them 2nd tier as theres still a few civs I personaly think are worse.

    As for the slow start comparing them to other seafaring civs Carthage and the Dutch for example tend to expand faster. Even Portugal(one of my least favourite civs) can beat them off the start line at times. Carthage for example has an early UU that can trigger a GA if you need to fight to expand and can keep you alive as its effectively a super pikeman. Speed is not one of Englands strong points.
     
  7. Lord Jimbob

    Lord Jimbob Lord of the flies

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    Way to articulate the strong points of England, Z! On an archipelago map, I think the English could out-research any scientific civ with its large gpt bonuses, and the MOW is great for protecting English islands from any AI aggression and for bombing coastal towns and improvements- with lots of horses/knights it would make for a not-too-shabby armed potential IMHO.
     
  8. geonnyboy

    geonnyboy Building type Guy

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    Hello all. I've been visiting this site for a while, but I only recently decided to join in. I'm still a rookie at this game (I only recently jumped up from chieftain) so I was hesitant to join in (didn't want to sound too much like a noob.)

    I do have to say this review of jolly ol' England is dead on. I recently decided to play a Monarch game on an 80% water pangea with seven random AIs as the old chaps and I have to say everything in the review is true.

    I thought it was over when I discovered I was dead center on the continent in between America and Russia (I have a bad habit of starting over if the situation isn't absolutely perfect) but I toughed it out. I went though an early war with America, which I would have lost easily if it weren't for that iron that appeared to my West (lucky break on my part), took the whole "Great Library Siphon" route while building my bank and infrastructure, switched to Republic when I could, and pretty much chilled through the rest of the Ancient Age and through mid-Mid ages.

    I stayed pretty much neck and neck with America. They were pretty much my only challenger (all of the other civs had 5 cities at the most, except Egypt, but for some odd reason they couldn't keep up tech wise.) Then I built Magellan's, suddenly my cash skyrocketed, and it went from literally 50 gpt to 500, at 50% research! I could easily put research up to 90% and still have a profit. And this was before the Corporation! So I built, built, built! The kicker came after my GA ended, my profit only went down by 10 gpt!

    So definitely, if you love the joys of cold hard cash, go British! By far one of the most fun games I've played.

    Oooh, that was longer than I expected, sorry about talkin' your ears off guys.
     
  9. jkp1187

    jkp1187 Unindicted Co-Conspirator

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    England can be a fun civilization to play if you're interested in, well, re-creating the British Empire: a Maritime commercial empire with scattered outposts, and interested in maintaining the balance of power. There's better civs if you want to conquer everyone...but if Space Races, Diplomacy, and Cultural victories are you cup of tea, this can be a fun -- but challenging -- one to play.
     
  10. bayanne

    bayanne Chieftain

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    Sorry to sound a bit dim, but why would Magellan's cause this huge increas in gpt?
     
  11. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Triggered a GA for England. England can roll in the money in a Democratic/Republic goverment.
     
  12. thetrooper

    thetrooper Schweinhund

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    Good article Zardnaar!

    I never considered playing as England until I read your article. As you said - this is a slow starting civ. I had a run for Philosophy (Republic as free tech) and switched immediately. Stayed in Republic for the rest of the game. And yes - my economy was strong!
     
  13. Keirador

    Keirador Chieftain

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    Can this article be moved to Ision's civ reviews for ease of reference? And perhaps its name changed to match all the other ones? Or maybe give all the other ones cooler names? Thatd be cool.
     
  14. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    I was going to rewrite it as a review eventually.
     
  15. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    Completely agree with the article.
    One nitpick:
    There are two more ways to trigger a GA:
    1) Smith's is SEA+COM in c3c. Very stylish, and pretty common.
    2) MoM and UN...admittedly, won't happen that often.
     
  16. Micky Onimusha

    Micky Onimusha Chieftain

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    I know this is a dead thread but I can't really think of anywhere better to post this question, since I've been trying to use Britain lately and it's all been going ass up.

    If you started on an Island with 1 or 2 opposing Civs sharing it, should you go for Warrior Code and try to get them off with Archers or just leave them aloneand hope they don't attack your Warrior Defended Cities? I've been having major problems with attacks (especially from the Americans which I'm sick of seeing in Civ games, how does that bug work?), they see my Cities defended by 2-3 measely warriors and just assault me all out with Archers. Since I always shoot for Writing > Philosphy > Map Making [will change that to Lit] I have practically no defense (and short of getting and early contact and trading techs for Bronze Working/Warrior Code I have nothing but the Warrior). So yeah, what's the starting tactic for the Brits if I'm stuck sharing an Island with another Civ? (Keep in mind this is for a newb on regent level)

    [On another note, is it impossible to get an Island to myself, 'cos out of 10 dif starts I was always sharing with the yanks]
     
  17. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    Turn off Culturally linked starts its bugged. If you are on an island then you should get rid of everyone else on the island. Use a few curraghs to find othe civs and trade for warrior code or bronze, then you can build up an army for attack or defense. Establish your civ first, get libraires etc before you worry too much about a navy. England was an industrial age power so you wont come into your own until later on in the game. Use the early game to build contacts, trade for tech, and build your infastructure for later on, expand militarily in limited amounts as you are able..
     
  18. laxboy

    laxboy Chieftain

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    your right on them being underated. i think of them as the (not that there is) "worst" civ in the game
     
  19. killerkid

    killerkid Chieftain

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    England is fine on Monarch and below, but on Emperor they just can't get off to a good enough start. I guess on Archipelago they would be OK, since everyone gets off to a bad start if they are alone. I think that they are a 3rd tier civ. The Man-O-War is no help in wars; most likely your opponent will come by land.
     
  20. Baldie

    Baldie Chieftain

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    Another thought with England could be trying to get your Privateers early on, if the other Civs have not advanced beyond Galleys, Caravels or Galleons then you have a cheap way of building up a nasty little fleet as well as stopping other Civs from grabbing those islands that you want. Of course the downside is no-one likes seeing Privateers (read Pirates) hanging around outside their ports, but while they are concentrating on removing that menace you are free to expand in other ways.
     

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