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Science Issues with Tradition

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by yogiebere, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. yogiebere

    yogiebere Civilization City Planner

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    Normally I play Emperor Standard size on Pangaea and go Progress (and Wisdom) and usually feel only a little behind in tech with the AI

    I tried Egypt and thought I'd do a Tradition Artistry Cultural game on Emperor. I started off strong, Thebes had 3 jungle citrus which allowed me to pump out 5 settlers by turn 70 and went goddess of fertility. I then switched to military, building lots of chariots and spears to counter a small offensive from Alexander, not a direct neighbor. After defeating his force of 3 hoplites and 2 archers with 4 chariots and 4 spears, my direct neighbor Songhai declares war. I keep pumping out units but his (triple upgraded) force of swords and Mandekalus absolutely wrecked me! fortified spearmen in jungle would die to a multi pronged attack of melee units and barely knick them, even with a 20% warmonger bonus. Ended up losing 2 border cities with his full force of 15 units barrelling in on my capital so I quit.

    I was struggling to get above 20 science on turn 85 even with 4 councils and just couldn't get to swords to defend myself (granted I was -10 happiness)

    Do I need to get wisdom every game? Was 6 cities right out the gate a bad idea for tradition?
     
  2. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Were you working on the scientist slot?

    I'd say that you were settling too many cities. I prefer to settle 3-4 cities and then conquer the nearest cities. But it depends on many things. The key here is that you're going to produce science mostly in your capital so unless new cities can really provide something special, it is better to not settle anymore.

    That said, facing mandelakus is no joke and maybe you should have chosen Authority instead and made an early rush on Songhai.
     
  3. Moi Magnus

    Moi Magnus Emperor

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    6 cities is too much for tradition in early game.
     
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  4. documental

    documental Chieftain

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    Your empire is guaranteed to be unhappy when rushing cities as tradition. Between more cities and being unhappy science will suffer, and everything else will suffer on top of it.

    You can get away with it if you are playing China as they don't have very many worries except for crime.
     
  5. peterw1987

    peterw1987 Prince

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    Tradition 6 cities is overkill. 4 cities is more than enough for tradition.
    Science for tradition is usually good enough, given that +1 science on council and herbalist , and the scientist slot on 3rd policy. You need to manage your unhappiness and gold.
     
  6. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    Early science is slow for Tradition. 20 science on Turn 85 is probably alright, it often kicks off very soon, partly because Barracks/Forge. I wouldn't say work the scientist slot yet, you should grow your capital and work it after you finish Tradition and nag Majesty.

    You're playing Egypt, Burial Tombs/Artistry will really kick off your science.

    And yeah, 6 cities is kind of overkill as Tradition. As Egypt, 5 cities seems like a happy medium. Unless that extra city is really strategically important, don't settle it.

    And being attacked by Mandekalus is a nightmare. Playing Authority was probably the better option.
     
  7. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    Just to try to add on a bit to what people are saying about that being too many cities:

    when you're playing Tradition, it really pays to think of your capital as your only "real" city in a lot of ways. That is where your yields will come from. All of your other cities combined will frequently(almost always?) not be yielding as much as your capital. The only reason to settle them at all is essentially strategic reasons; you need somewhere to produce units, you need defensive positions, you need resources, etc. Your non-capital cities literally only exist to support and defend your capital while it's busy winning the game.
     
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  8. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    And puppets. Now, even the most peaceful cultural game requires a hard fight in the end, and you'll need veteran units.
     
  9. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    How are you supposed to defend against Mandekalus anyway? They demolish literally everything, kill your cities, and you can't hit/run them due to their movement. Do you just try to cut off their horse supply and overwhelm them with numbers?
     
  10. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Spearsmen. Always in couples. If you know Askia is your neighbour, forget about archers, rush spearsmen, and build a lot of them.

    Other than that. If you know where the horses are, try to block them when you still have warriors. Don't let them settle near horses. Even if this means not building anything for a long time, you'll save it later.
     
  11. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    Yeah, fair enough. I believe Mandekalus can still flank you even when your spears are in couples. I'm wondering if Walls built reasonably soon in key places could help (though in this particular scenario it probably wouldn't have).
     
  12. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    You may also consider using shock over drill to give you that little bit extra advantage, it hurts you on the city attack but it can be very helpful to hold out against the horses
     
  13. burleigh

    burleigh Chieftain

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    This is just embarrassing.
    Currently playing Askia with his fabled Mandekalus. Did OK in early fighting, capturing one city (that later revolted back). And that's on prince.(which probably explains WHY I'm just on Prince now I think about it
     
  14. grmagne

    grmagne Warlord

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    I play Tectonics map, Standard size (which is actually Large-size for some reason), Emperor, 10 civs/20 CS, and there's usually enough space to expand wide for Progress or Authority. But if I play tradition then I usually restrain myself from my expansionist urges and keep small in the early game to allow my capital to churn out high amounts of culture/science with high happiness. Then I expand usually through warfare around Renaissance, or earlier if a neighbouring country is ripe for the taking.

    I play strictly defensively with a small empire in the Tradition early game. I keep my cities further apart, maybe 5 tiles instead of 4 tiles apart. It's a little harder to defend when cities are far apart but I build a lot of Forts is on Tradition (but rarely any with Authority). It helps protect against aggressive Authority civs and it's OK to build many, many Forts since your cities will never work all 36 tiles anyway. If you have road connections parallel to the border of an aggressive civ it's a good idea to build villages along the roads and then forts between the villages. You need to keep your road connections secured during times of war. If you expand later then you can use a Great Merchant to change village-fort-village into village-town-village. Both get benefits from being on roads.

    (All this is to note that you can have good science in Tradition without worrying about large, aggressive neighbours too much). You do need money to keep your army upgraded & modern because they'll attack you if you're too weak.

    I remember someone once said that any of the 43 VP civs will seem over-powered if you play them right. That's definitely the case for Songhai. Sometimes they struggle if you don't get the right terrain/resources but when you have swarms of Mandekalu overrunning your enemies they are an unstoppable steamroller and it's a lot of fun to crush people with them. Try them again sometime and maybe you'll get better results the 2nd time. If you're defending against Songhai you really need good terrain, forts/citadels, and as mentioned above, multiple units together to negate some of their flanking advantages.

    Off topic: I recently started using the 3rd & 4th Unique Components mod and it's very highly recommended. The game is so much more fun with this mod. For Songhai they've moved Mandekalu back to the Chivalry tech which makes them a bit easier to deal with in Classical but then they get Medic ranged units and Mandekalu at the same time. I haven't tried this civ yet but I'm sure they're fun to play.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  15. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    Yes, Assyria has replaced Songhai as the "civ with a unique Horseman", but the Assyrian Iron Chariot has quite a few weaknesses (it has the "rough terrain penalty", for example) and its strengths require a bit more planning to be of use (since its a unit that counters enemy flanking bonus, instead of having bigger flanking bonus ; plus, it is weaker than the Horseman if you have no strategic resources). The main reason why we moved the Mandekalu cavalry back to Chivalry is that its unique promotion is too powerful in the very early game (during the medieval era, it has worthy contenders, but the other Songhai unique unit is also unlocked at Chivalry, and is specialized in supporting mounted units).

    There will be a big update coming (to deal with all the modifications the next version of Vox Populi will bring to units), but you can still try it out here. Don't hesitate to give a feedback ! :)

    Let's return to the topic. I just played a game with Morocco. I had a Progress Shaka and an Authority Harald as neighbours (so not the most peaceful start), but I decided to pick Tradition anyway, to train myself a bit in defensive strategy. I succeeded in forming my protective ring of four cities (all well protected thanks to rivers, jungles or hills), and to defend against the Danes. I was quite successful... until I was attacked by both Shaka and Harald (both with Horsemen)... I simply didn't have enough units to cycle my defenders on all fronts, and so I began losing ground, then cities, and I know the game enough to know how it would have gone, so I stopped here... Better luck next time.

    During this game, I didn't have much problem with science : I focused on production more than on growth in the non-capital cities, so that I don't have too much unhappiness while still producing units. Investing in key buildings like Walls is very important, so that your garrison don't get killed too quickly.

    One thing to keep in mind in VP is that there are several ways to not be too behind in techs : trade routes can bring you more science than all your buildings combined, so try to be friendly with the tech leader, or to ally a CState if you fear losing your TRoutes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  16. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    I have had this as well, with Zulu the first time I tried it. I tried the Impi and got utterly destroyed, couldn't even capture a single city. Considering how people portrayed the civ as winning domination by default simply through playing it, I felt like I didn't know anything about how to play the game.

    I have also lost Tradition games as Korea because of early aggression and an inability to ever recover. Korea is portrayed as winning a Science Victory by default, but this is only true if other factors go smoothly.

    Sometimes you just screw up. If it were possible to always win 100% with every civ on every start then each civ would be overpowered. You could have lacked horses, had distant enemies, had a crappy start with no yields, had really bad terrain to fight in, messed up the timing, etc. Sometimes you're just tired and you make dumb mistakes and you lose.
     
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  17. John.B.C

    John.B.C Warlord

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    I have found that keeping your neighbours happy and friendly through "gifts" has been the best strategy against warmonger civs. I can then keep a very tiny army and avoid pretty much all wars until late game, when I have gotten too powerful, to be ignored. This means that I am giving away tons of luxuries and gold to potential threats early on. I strive to get the trade number up to it's maximum "35" to have it overriding a negative "territorial dispute" etc. (when I can afford it) . Songhai, zulus, denmark, all of them become very pleasant to deal with when one can pay them to stay happy. :)
     
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  18. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    Give them what they want, even before they ask for it. You have the spirit of a true entrepreneur ! :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  19. peterw1987

    peterw1987 Prince

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    Giving tribute voluntarily? I never do that. Is it really effective? I always trade with value closest to 0 if possible.
     
  20. grmagne

    grmagne Warlord

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    Yes it works but you don't have to play like that if you enjoy warfare. (I like option 1, but I've tested option 2 and it definitely works on Emperor level as well).

    1. Build a strong defensive wall with melee in forts on hills and ranged behind them for support. When you beat off an attack you'll often get enough GG points for a citadel. Now you'll be even more well-prepared for future invasions. Eventually I like to take down aggressive neighbours when they show signs of weakness, but not too early.

    OR

    2. Do everything to make them happy. See who they're friends with, who they denounce and copy them. Give gifts and always cave in to tribute demands. Never take their CS allies or buy tiles adjacent to their territory. Send at least one caravan or cargo ship to their cities. If you don't found a religion, make theirs your majority religion, etc. You can play a peaceful game for a long time this way by being buddies with Attila/Genghis/Shaka. This works too, but it's a preference thing that I go with option #1.

    Whichever option you pick, it's still important to keep a decent military. A weak military is always a red flag for an Authority civ to attack you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018

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