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Science Help for a King Player

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by Stalker0, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I made my own thread so not to get confused with the immortal thread.

    I play on King and I have a lot of problems keeping up with the AI on science. By industrial I am commonly 6-8 techs behind, often at the bottom of the pack. Even when I build lots of science buildings, use science specialists, go rationalism....even use a science based religion, I still find myself behind.

    I keep hearing about players who are able to get tech parity and even bypass the AI on even higher difficulties, and I would love to know how you do it! Also, I am wondering if I am not playing out the games long enough to catch up, so if people could indicate generally when they are able to catch up that would be wonderful.
     
  2. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    I don't know if it's really that different playing king or immortal regarding science. Never played immortal. I think that the key to keep up in science is to not lag behind in culture. You will want some wonders, and some policies are really good to yield more science, so the sooner you get the policy the better. If you have to choose between one beaker and one culture, choose culture. There are bonuses for being behind in techs and there are bonuses for being ahead in culture (when picking ideologies). That means that if your culture is strong you may recover in science, but not the opposite. Actually, you could expend some writers, but that's a one go card.

    Also, it's an error to disregard CS alliances. You may not push for a diplo victory, but you certainly don't want the WC to enact anything harmful. So 2-3 CS may do.

    It depends which civ you pick. If you take China, for example, you may be very advanced just by those 'love the king days', just use some painters to keep the joy going. If you pick a civ with easier border expanding, there are some synergies with that that can help science too. If your civ rewards expending GP you're lucky, you'll get the best by bulbing Great Scientists. Choose a religion accordingly (to your civ strength, not to science by itself).

    If you plan to be just some techs behind, trade is very useful. Make one or two cities so valuable for trading that almost every civ will send traders to you, and be sure to send yours to the tech leader. (This usually leads to a rather pacific and diplomatic game).

    The rest I think you already know: set to a small empire because any new city, controlled or puppet, will increase tech costs (but not so small that you cannot deploy units). Try to never have budget deficit. Try to be at +10 happiness. Pick the right social tree for your play style (all of them give science, it's just a matter to exploit it -for example, rationalism is good if you plan to build plenty of villages with trade routes over them, but imperialism might be better if you have lots of coastal cities, authority is wonderful if you get to fight often). Use spies.

    And if nothing works, go for a raiding war.
     
  3. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I'm interested in this as well, but my guess is stalker0 wants more specifics about the early game, which is where he starts to fall behind. What you advise doesn't particularly apply to a lot until the mid game. Specifically:

    • Go for culture: how, especially in the very early game? Also, culture may help get wonders, but there aren't enough early-game science wonders to make a difference.
    • CS alliances are very rare in the early game.
    • So is making one of your cities a prime trade hub.
    • Small empires work, but ultimately fail as science producers -- so what's a good expansion schedule?
    Again, these questions come from trying to generate culture, but seemingly not having much access to it until Drama; population, where at best I stay in the middle despite doing the obvious; and science (same thing). I have a sense that players who outdo the AI on higher levels have a very specific approach to balanced, efficient growth -- something like micro-managing. I'd love to hear more on this.
     
  4. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Specifics:
    If going tradition, there's a policy that gives culture spot and another that gives scientist spot, what will you choose? In every social tree there is a policy that grants more culture, so pick it ASAP. You'll get the scientific policy eventually, probably faster than if you just pushed for science, and your culture will stay strong.
    When founding a pantheon, you can try to get the best from the resources you can work, but if in doubt, it's usually better to pick the pantheon that will give more culture.
    To befriend CS early you need: to find them, to have a little army ready with horses if possible, then wait for the barbs attacking your CS neighbours and defend them.
    Some luxuries grant culture, so go and reach and connect them. The same applies to Natural Wonders.
    Build wonders. Most of them gives extra culture. The exception is if you're going full domination.
    Some uniques give culture too, see the moais for polynesians, that you can build really early.

    Even before caravansaries, you can improve your trade power just by building roads. They may seem expensive, but keep in mind that some routes are not possible if you don't set the roads. If your cities have roads and the other civs cities haven't, chances are that most of the land trade goes to your cities, bringing gold and knowledge, and spreading your religion if you have any. Not that this helps to be the tech leader, but it isn't a mid-game strategy. EDIT: You don't need to finish most roads, only the ones that serve to connect your cities to your capital, but this kind of roads I'm talking about are meant only to reach farther, so they are good if they just help to travel faster over rough terrain.

    For expansion schedules, I'd say that it depends strongly on your neighbours, and your chosen starter policy tree. With Tradition you can keep just 5 cities and call it a day (you'll need plenty of wonders in this case), Progress allows more cities, and Authority is perfect if you are always pushing borders. Fighting isn't usually good for your tech progress, unless you're an authority follower, and expanding provokes wars. If you manage to develop your latter cities, they will be worth the extra science cost, but if you have to fight to settle there, it may not be worthy. If early game you get too behind in science, probably you expanded too fast. I try to be near 10 happiness before attempting a new city. To work with this, I may refrain my cities from growing too much if I have space to settle, so my happiness doesn't fall. EDIT: Again, try to be always at +10 happiness, for it gives more bonuses to production (check the happiness guide). Try to be always at positive GPT, for it stops your science production when negative.

    When you are overrun by another civ, you need to see what their strengths are. Maybe they have uniques that helped. Some civs perform very well early game, only to fall in the hands of a warmonger. Others expand too strongly and fall behind in science the next age. Others seems unstoppable until you realize their strength is in trade and you can pass a trade embargo on them. Playing scientifically is, as for now, playing a time victory, so your main strategy should be to watch others, and put stones under their wheels.
     
  5. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Thanks a lot for the effort you put into this -- there's a lot of good advice here. I only just realized that quickly taking the culture policy in any tree makes a big difference (trying the Blobs opening, actually).

    Expanding too fast or too slow is a key component, and using 10 happiness as a basic trigger is interesting. I assume very early on you expand faster than that, but keeping size down to balance things is also interesting.
     
  6. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Yes, I usually set 2nd and 3rd cities to secure some resources, even if they are not yet worthy. But I'm beginning to think that this is not the best path. Obviously, so early you haven't access to many happiness bonuses. But later this is key, for there's a global bonus up to 10 happiness. And if an enemy city stands in the way you planned to settle, chances are that you are better developed than the other, so the city can easily change from hands.
     
  7. MasterElements

    MasterElements Chieftain

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    So since culture is needed to win on a lot of the non-aggressive victory conditions, how do you produce base culture? I keep wanting to build the mausoleum of harcissus(The one with the walls/quarry tech) that gives a bonus base culture when you use a GP. I never get it, I don't even get the required number of policies to even start building it before it gets built.

    I play on prince and I am having the same problems as you guys playing as Babylon.
     
  8. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Go with Tradition and Sovereignty, employ a specialist in the slot it gives, beeline for Construction while staying on food to grow, build a worker to mine, then switch to production and chop if need be. Sometimes you'll get Justice in time as well, which then leads to a GE. But often enough, you'll get it on your own efforts.

    I do less than that, and get it roughly half the time when I go for it, on Emperor.
     
  9. MasterElements

    MasterElements Chieftain

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    Any advice for pantheon beliefs?
     
  10. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I wouldn't base Pantheon beliefs on getting Halicarnassus, but if you want to... go for whatever gives you hammers or really quick growth.
     
  11. MasterElements

    MasterElements Chieftain

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  12. tompliss

    tompliss Warlord

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    When I go tradition, I usually get ahead in Science/Culture because of the specialists in the Capital, and with Great Engineers, I get many early wonders. So the bonus faith+Culture for wonders is good, especially with the bonus to "normal"-build the wonders you won't rush.
    Also, when going this way, trying to get the Statue of Zeus is cool, because of the free forge (for extra great engineers without researching the Forge Tech).
     

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