Semi-iso with a psycho


May 14, 2021
We’ve all been there:

Turn 0: double wet corn - looks like a nice start.
Turn 6: oh hi Monty.
Turn 35: hmm Monty’s in slavery and still putting all his espionage points on me. Perhaps protective organised wouldn’t be so bad after all…

Are there any general tips for semi-iso with a psycho (acknowledging that every map is different)?

For these purposes psycho means plots at pleased and is highly likely to plot even at pleased (ie Ragnar not Mansa). Therefore, peaceful coexistence isn’t viable.

By this definition, city gifting doesn’t seem useful because you can never be safe even at pleased and gifting multiple cities is rarely likely to be possible (either in time or without slowing you down too much).

If it’s going to be war, I guess there are a few points which follow:
  • choking is a useful tactic but that’s only realistic if you have an early strategic resource and you’re able to tell it’s semi-iso early enough to commit.
  • you want a faeces magnet on a hill next to said psycho because you’ll possibly get Dowed and you may also want to let the psycho throw units into archers on a hill before you enter with your stack.
  • the risk-reward of scouting is different with info about your neighbour’s land and strategic resources more important.
I’m sure there’s plenty of other things to consider as you try to kill your neighbour while not tanking your economy because this seems the hardest scenario to deal with.
You might want to check out this thread which features a bunch of well documented immortal and deity attempts by high level players for semi-iso with Monty:
The key is to rush archery and DoW them yourself, as early as possible, ideally following a worker steal. Archers can stop everything pre-construction. The sooner you attack the more you slow their expansion, their construction time, and the more GGs you farm for your eventual counterattack.
Diplo irrelevant so fight multiple wars. Either milk them for all the techs they're worth, or if pre-Alpha, abuse cease fires while healing/regrouping.
Use it or lose it with EPs, so try to get some value before you eliminate them.
While it can be tempting to raise mediocre cities, I'll often keep them for fogbusting. An eco drain is better than an axe spawning behind your lines.
After astro these games are where the subsidizing GPT trick is most useful because your economy will be weak but you'll be rich in resources, some of which are likely unique to your island.
Monty isn't that bad though, if he founds a religion. You can play it "peacefully" too, assuming you can place a forward city on a hill. 3-4 archers behind walls gets you far and with the help of city gift and religion you can reach friendly in the BCs.
Spoiler :
I genuinely thought that I was isolated until around 30 turns into the game. Play like you didn't know. See how it goes.


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i.e. Catherine does not plot at friendly.
I think Henrik did a map recently as Churchill on his stream where he is semi iso with a Psycho. Its probably the one time that Protective saved his life
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