Shadow Game: Immortal w/ Sitting Bull

Hey guys, just asking a question about economics with protective civilizations... Do you think its worth building castles everywhere before economics? or just bulb economics like whatever? Is the ep bonus +25% really worth it to lag off the economics a bit? Sorry for interrupting and thanks... Just a thought that has come into mind.
Hey guys, just asking a question about economics with protective civilizations... Do you think its worth building castles everywhere before economics? or just bulb economics like whatever? Is the ep bonus +25% really worth it to lag off the economics a bit? Sorry for interrupting and thanks... Just a thought that has come into mind.
There was a brief castle discussion by resident god-tier Civ players here:
Trade routes can vary hugely in value, between games and even between cities. A small city on a pangea continent with limited foriegn cities to trade with might get just 1 commerce. A massive Temple of Artemis + harbour capital city on a different continent from many foreign civs might get upwards of 15 commerce commerce or more. Most likely is probably 2-4 commerce in a decent sized city as long as you have some foreign trade partners.

Then you must consider the commerce multipliers - is this a city with a library and university? Does it have Oxford? Bank and market, and you are running low science slider? This is one of the few multiplicative modifer situations in Civ IV - good trade routes multiply directly with beuracracy bonus, and then with science/market bonus.

Relevant factors:
- hammer cost (with/without stone; protective; have walls already)
- ETA to economics
- Capital in Beuracracy?
- Trade route modifiers (look at the city before building castle - what are the value of trade routes there currently? A new route would be worth the same or 1 less than the worst one currently there)
- science / money modifiers
- Other build options (don't simply compare to building wealth; is a resource-assisted wonder available for fail gold? Are you gearing for war and would otherwise build units? Any other special consideration?)

First let's assume a city getting 2 commerce trade routes, with just a library, economics estimated in 20 turns, no wonders available for failgold, and some mild potential to build units instead.

Result: 150 hammers (walls + castle) / 3 for protective = 50 hammers for 2.5 beakers exactly "pays off" compared to building research in the 20 turns until economics arrives.

You should be aware, that this actually doesnt make the building worth it, for 2 reasons: (1) building research now instead of a castle, gets you those beakers sooner. A handful of cities building research might easily get you a key tech 1 or 2 turns sooner, vs a delayed 'same' benefit from castle (2) 50 hammers into a unit (or focussing food before whipping an army after a new military tech arrives) will likely pay off a lot more than either building wealth or other 'economic' building like a castle. Imagine 5 cities building 5 catapults instead of research - could easily accelerate a city's capture, or a whole war, by a turn or more.

Next let's assume a healthy but realistic case where the castle might work out: a capital with beauracracy and at plenty of extra foreign, intercontinental trade routes, and a library and academy. Assume also that wonders are available in stone to build instead, and that that a friendly AI is 15 turns away from economics, which you would be able to trade for.

Result: 150 total wall + castle hammers, divided by 350% for stone, protective, and beuracracy bonus = 43 hammer, which gets you, say, 4 base commerce * 1.5 beuracracy bonus * 175% science rate = 10.5 beakers per turn * 15 turns until econ = 157 beakers at a cost of 43 hammers. Compare that with 64 research, (50% beuracracy bonus), and it looks almost reasonable (though not guaranteed!). Compare it with a stone wonder for fail gold, and you get 43 * 250% = 107 gold, and it gets very questionable again, even before considering building units instead.

Lastly, let's assume a behemoth capital on the coast with harbour, as well as library, university, academy, and Oxford.

You might be looking at 9 coin base trade route, * 1.5 beureau bonus * 300% science rate = 41 science per turn, wow! Even 3 turns until econ would earn you 123 beakers, compared with the 43 hammer cost, (which we know from above is about the same as the 107 gold you could get from a resource-doubled wonder, instead).

But... at that point, with a capital like that, how far away from econ could you really be? Would it even take 5 turns for you to research it on your own (which would be quite tempting if the great merchant is in reach!)? Maybe you say you rushed engineering for a treb rush... but then dont you need to be pumping trebs and maces, instead?

Conclusion - the better the economic impact of the castle, the shorter window of time to payoff, with payoff from trade routes alone being... probably (almost) always questionable.
Aaaaannnd... we're back

Spoiler T77 :

T75 cont - adjusted city workers as recommended, switched Cahokia to Barracks, Poverty to DS, sending Warrior to Mound for garrison, pulling units back into borders to save costs, Workers1&2 roading to Mansa, teching Archery for 3 turns til GS

T76 - WB finished in Mound, now building DS (currently 4, aiming for ~10), Worker3 heading towards Mound to connect 2nd fur and begin prechopping

pausing on T77, as a lot of tech trades are now possible - diplomacy in general is one of my weakest areas, so interested in input here. Should I be tech trading, or, any other diplomacy considerations?

Also a good time to check my understanding of the plan, after time away on holiday: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking the plan is to attack Mansa (Spain also a potential target, but I've been defaulting to Mansa) with cats and dogs, about 10 each. I'm roading south in any case to hook up trade routes; I'm allowing my cities to grow and pre-chopping forests (hoping to chop another worker after Math), so that the cats can be assembled very quickly; I'm looking for a convenient, low-cost turn to switch to Hinduism for the happiness.

Anything else?

T77 - SB Immortal0000.JPG



  • MrBungler BC-0950_SB_immortal_T77.CivBeyondSwordSave
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yes sir, GS next turn with the plan to bulb Math en route to Construction - not sure how the trades affect that though
That is a solid plan. It was probably said in a past post and I forgot about it :blush:.

In terms of trading, I find that right after I bulb something, it can be used as a brokering chip in trade agreements, giving more options, although I mostly use it when I can’t get a decent trade without using monopoly techs.

(Trading is also a bit of a weakness I have. Curious what the pros have to say about it)
You could of begged archery for free from Mansa. Bit tired to think too much on this. Construction is plan I guess. Do you whip builds where you are running unimproved tiles? Generally i put 3-4 hammers into a DS and whip for max OF.

I think you are just waiting for construction here. Maybe pre chop forest ready for pults.

You need more workers if you plan to pre chop and road the forests.
I would think Math for IW is a fine trade (wait for Qin or someone else to offer that.)
Normally Math has a high "monopoly value" for AIs but Mansa does not care about this concept and might have given it to Willem.

Then maybe Construction for Alpha and Monarchy (self research up to priesthood). Ideally grab Calendar as well (need sailing)

Speaking of Mansa, you should be wary of his eventual longbows. Keep an eye on his research. Once he get Monarchy, maybe pull up the espionage slider just enough to see his research (current cost ~40 gold)

Regarding Diplomacy, there is a high probability Mansa will try to bribe someone against you in the very first turns of your attack
So you should ask yourself questions like :
- Who likes him ? (fortunately in your game the answer is nobody :) )
- Who can he afford to bribe ? (slow teching dudes, so not Willem)

The finesses of bribing thresholds (minimum level of "friendliness" required by a civ to be bribed) can be found in Civ Illustrated. It depends on the leader (but I think the crowd in your game ain't too crazy)

What can you do about that ?
- Get pleased with those who risk getting bribed against you, and beg a little gold before declaring.
- Deliberately give techs around to avoid your war target using them on bribes.
- Bribe first. (just after you have dowed to get a discount : the AI aks much less for a 2V1 than for a 1V1)
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If you can trade for IW and find iron i would not be building more DS. I would switch to swords. So much stronger against chariots and much better attack odds vs skirmishers. Maybe a spear too. You have quite a few DS already. 1-2 barracks is not a bad idea.

Whipping 2 workers might not be bad here as you have a lot of forest and all these hammers in DS may not be needed. 30H chops are very nice.
Maths for IW is a no brainier if you can get it. As Gumbolt says swords are loads better than dogs. Dogs are actually pretty poor for a construction attack because of lower base strength relative to axes. They’re a great unit because - being resourceless - they make avoiding dying to barbs or an early DOW a lot more reliable and the first step to winning a game is not dying. However, they’re less good for rushing.

Without swords I suspect the war with Mansa will be a grind and, if it weren’t for the opportunity to try a maths bulb, I’d have gone HAs every time here.

The other advantage of iron would be that you could pre-build units. The trouble now is that if you keep building dogs - because you can’t build anything else - you have to pay for them which slows your teching down. Even getting archery would have helped with this issue because it would have given you something else to build.

And by pre-build I mean get the unit a turn from completion and then start building something else. The hammers in the prebuilt unit are kept for ten turns before they start to decay. Buffy tells you when they’re about to start decaying. In the perfect construction rush, you’ll have lots of swords, axes, spears etc, one turn from completion when you approach construction so they can all pop out in the two or three turns before you can start building catapults. In addition to saving maintenance by not finishing the units, you can make better use of the whip timer by whipping and then - instead of allowing the unit to finish - start building something else.

None of this is criticism of you. It’s not your fault there’s no copper and IW isn’t yet available in trade! I’m just trying to explain that this is an awkward situation to construction rush in.

Regarding workers, you really want to have prechopped and roaded everything you need to by the time construction is teched. A quick way to work out if you have enough workers is to divide the number of worker turns by the number of turns to construction. That’ll tell you roughly how many workers you need and if you have enough - eg each forest is three worker turns - two of chopping and one of movement - and each road is two unless a turn of movement would be lost too. From other’s comments it sounds like more workers might be needed and whipping away unimproved tiles to get workers sounds good to me. Construction rushes are worker heavy. I sometimes have seven or eight by the time I get to construction if there are enough forests.

Finally, on bribing, this is definitely something to be aware of. Generally, I wouldn’t be super worried about it with an early rush. Even on deity the AI tends not to have enough units to do very much when it’s bribed in this early; it’s still expanding. If you’ve got iron you’ll have the combination of units to deal with whatever gets sent your way.

However, if you don’t have iron, even a few chariots could be super annoying because the catapults in your stack would be defending given the chariots bonus against DS. Where’s Qin? I think he can be bribed on you even if he’s pleased with you if he likes Mansa. Agreed with soundjata that this is worth looking at Civ illustrated to check.

Also agree that converting to Hinduism soon to start building shared faith bonus with Qin and WvO so you can beg before declaring on Mansa if you’re worried about Mansa bribing them on you. Izzy and Saladin won’t like it but they’re fairly peaceful, will hate everybody and not just you and won’t get bribed by Mansa.
According to the map information, Mansa Musa is rather weak...
Does not posses metal, power ratio of 0.8 (he now has 6~7 skirmishers moving around according to a rough interpretation of the power graph)
He has 3 cities only. Timbuktu and Djenne have poor production and can't be whipped too much.
This is GOOD.

Now Mr. Bungler I think you want to strike as soon as possible. Maybe reconsider the possibility of rushing HBR. (I agree with Mr Trotsky)
You can get it in 8 turns and it offers the advantage of striking Timbuktu on turn 2 of the war (instead of turn 4 with catapults)
If you can DOW with a dozen horse archers, Mansa will not be able to defend all his cities at once. Capturing Timbuktu will become a matter of luring his stack out of it.

We can also expect him to be expanding in the meantime (he has space to do so) and spread his army thin...
Please scout him now :o

In terms of production tactics, I would suggest : slow-building 3 workers in cities 1, 2 and 3 (now), in order to compliment the chopping crew.
While your are researching HBR, citizens could focus on commerce tiles to try and shave a turn.
Try and whip barracks with max overflow in cities 1 and 3. Maybe do it right now in Chakoia (but dont complete it, switch to worker and bank on the overflow while recovering from the whip anger)
Maybe whip a stable in City 2 as it will receive 4 chops and has good natural hammers.

Construction can work too for sure. Just a little more painful I would think :lol:
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Think HA was always going to be strongest option as immune to first strike. However OP was keen on construction and maths bulb.

I tried a game against Mansa with just axes vs skirmishers. On a hill with no catapults it was pretty much good luck. So DS would do very badly on their own. Catapults have to reduce defenders to at least 50% as the DS would still not have great odds.

You need to trade for IW and see if you have iron. If not i think this will be a struggle. Could still attack Spanish. Mansa is not overly strong. He just has a very strong UU with a capital on a hill. Albeit no city walls.

Work out how many workers you. needs. 5 turns for a pre chopped forest x 10 forest=50 turns. (2 turn road. 1 turn move. 2 turns pre chop.)
One worker on roads.
One worker on iron if you have it.
Leaves 1 worker over next 6 turns to pre chop.

If you whip 2 more workers.
Then you have 3 spare workers. One pre chopped forest is 5 turns. Over 10 turns that is 6 forest. 7 if the Iron worker chops too. Then a further turn to chop each forest. (2 turn delay for the new whipped workers)
Remember it will take time to whip 8-10 catapults and a few swords. So this whole process can last 5-6 turns once you have construction. Aiming to chop or whip every other turn pending on OF. Ideally you want to whip/chop so it completes the next build. Ideally whipping 2 pop on each whip.So use overflows if too high to go into swords. Focus whipping on catapults.

10x30=300 hammers. 2 pop whip can give up to 30 hammers OF. So timing is key. Make sure the chops go to the cities that need them. 500H for catapults and 5-6 swords? DS mop up badly wounded units. Catapults do 99% of attacking. Cr1 catapults would be more ideal.

Assuming you pre chop them all. Reality is you will probably pre chop 4-5 of them. There will be a point where you just chop without a road once you have construction. You could build some swords before construction but your unit cost is already at 4. You could even delete some warriors exploring.
LOTS of great replies! Thanks all!

I'm gonna digest this advice, make a plan, post the plan, get corrected, revise the plan, march on Mansa, crush my enemies, see them driven before me, hear the lamentations, etc.

Should find more time this weekend. Happy Friday, all!
I'm gonna digest this advice, make a plan, post the plan, get corrected, revise the plan, march on Mansa, crush my enemies, see them driven before me, hear the lamentations, etc.

Should find more time this weekend. Happy Friday, all!
It is so cool to see such patience! More than a month for 80 turns. Really impressive. Good luck to you, sir!
What I’m hearing from the comments:

  • HA rush was always a stronger option than bulbing towards construction
  • Was worth a try for the experience - can even still work - but a lot of factors didn’t fire, finding iron is no guarantee, and without iron, will be at best a slog
  • So, here is a big decision point - either keep pushing towards Construction, or pivot towards HA
  • Not married to the Construction strategy - flexibility in the face of the map and RNG is also a learned skill
  • Both strats have converting to Hinduism soon, and refering to Civ Illustrated for info on bribing thresholds
  • So, here are the paths as I understand them - feel free to correct me:


  • finish bulbing Math
  • trade Math for IW (prefereably when someone else initiates the offer)
  • calculate number of workers necessary, as outlined by @Mr_Trotsky and @Gumbolt , then whip them
  • road towards enemy and pre-chop forests
  • aim to have roads and forests pre-chopped as Construction techs
  • finding iron will make this all much easier - build swords before Construction, whip Cats, overflowing when necessary into Swords as described by Gumbolt
  • not finding iron will probably be a slog


  • switch tech to HBR
  • scout Mansa
  • slow build 3 workers in first 3 cities immediately
  • commerce focus to try to gain a turn
  • whip barracks in cities 1 & 3 (Consider immediate barracks in Chokoia, switching as described by @soundjata )
  • consider whipping stable in city 2

Sounds to me like HA strat has less risk. What say the pros?
If you can't trade for IW then HA seems much better option. Beg archery and switch. I would still bulb maths as 30H chops so worth it.
Agreed, efficient chops are important in all cases. Begging archery also solid, as is trying to trade for iron working. Those sound like great first steps before choosing the strategy direction. I'll give others a day or so to chime in as well before moving forward
It’s under discussed that the most problematic neighbour in civ is not Shaka but the five year old sat next to you asking what you’re doing.

I think the route you go down depends on what you want to get out of the game.

It’s clear that HAs are better but I understood the decision to go construction to be based on a desire to do something different from your last shadow game. Absent that, HAs were always likely to be the better option; they almost always are because they allow you to attack earlier and more cities earlier is better. They’re are also specific problems here with construction due to your and Moussa’s uniques. I guess my feeling is that switching to HAs now wouldn’t really be changing plans in response to unexpected events which, as you say is a good thing to learn, because the factors pushing you towards HAs were pretty much all known at the point the decision to go construction was taken. Also, if HAs were the plan, you’d have done quite a few things differently. You wouldn’t have teched masonry, settled the crab city or waited so long to tech HBR. You’d have built chariots instead of dogs.

I still think construction should work and I think getting IW and finding iron is fairly likely - which almost guarantees that it’ll work. I might be wrong. It’s been a while since I did a construction attack on immortal but I think I generally traded for IW a lot. I remain suspicious about the plains tile in the capital’s BFC too. Good chance it’s a strat resource and we know it’s not copper or horses.

Even if it’s a grind you’ll end up with a good base to go on to win the game, even if it’s not the most efficient way.

If you go HAs, definitely agree with gumbolt that a maths bulb would still be nice. If you go construction your plan looks good.
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