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[BTS] Shadow Game Victoria

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by InovA, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. InovA

    InovA Immortal

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    I'm back after a hiatus from the game and still aspire to be able to beat Deity one day. Right now, I'm playing on Immortal, trying to make Deity-level decisions and take my time on my games (zero missed worker turns, very particular city tile swapping, planning city choices and worker choices ahead, etc).

    Here is how my current game has started: Immortal NHNE - Standard Map, Normal Speed, 7 civs - Victoria (Financial + Imperialistic)



    Start looks great, considered settling on the Marble, but who wants to give up wet corn? Scouted 1SE to check for any fish, found none, SIP.

    Tech Path: Agriculture → Bronze Working → Wheel → Pottery → Mysticism → Meditation → Priesthood → *Metal Casting* → Animal Husbandry → Sailing → Writing

    Early Capital City Info: Built farm on corn, farm on banana, mine on marble, eventual farm on cows (due to late AH). Built Worker 1st → 3 Warriors (bringing up to 4 pop) → 2nd Worker → 2x Settlers (chopped 3 or 4 forests)

    Agriculture was an easy pick, I wanted to go for faster Pottery, but with all the forests surrounding my city, BW was pretty obviously needed.

    T13: Meet Charlemagne scout from the East.
    T25: (3000 BC) BW finished, tough tech choice now. With all these forests, I know I want a wonder. Considered AH → Sailing → Masonry → GLH, many of my cities will be coastal. Few good city spots with enough forests to chop to build it at, though. Decide to go for Wheel → Pottery → Mys+Med+PH for Oracle → Metal Casting.

    Would want to Oracle something like CoL, but I don't know that I could get Writing quick enough.

    Spoiler Turn 25 Map :


    T56: Meet Washington (his boat from East); Switch to Slavery.
    T62: (1560BC) Finish Oracle → Metal Casting. Now planning to do the Forge in 2nd city → set Engineer → rush Mids with Great Engineer strategy. -- Is 1560 too late to hope to get Oracle on Deity?

    Spoiler Turn 75 Map :


    Took 2nd city by the Fish to the west, 3rd city near the clams (chopped Monument, should've whipped Monument), 4th to east, sharing Banana farm and river cottages.

    There's a nice GP farm to the south (Rice, Fish, Clams). Trying to decide if I should put Moai statues there or with a later city that has the plains Wheat to the north.

    I fog busted so that only barbs from the east could be a problem. I think I should've prepped a few more warriors since I didn't have time to get AH or Archery before Priesthood and found no copper. I also invested in Writing up to 70% to completion (yes I used binary teching) before realizing I'm not going to use it at all since I won't have connections to civs yet and won't be building Libraries while I'm pushing for Forges at the time.

    Maybe I still should've gotten Writing faster, but switched to AH → Sailing so I could make the pasture, find horses, and 2x whip lighthouses.

    I have plenty of space for 7+ cities, worry that my first GS will come pretty late with this opening, but it's been a while since I've built the Pyramids myself, so I'm looking forward to this strategy. Haven't scouted nearly as much of the map as I want, focused more on fogbusting and pre chopping.

    The game is at 1000 BC, I'm happy with where I am and planning between Math → Currency now or after Masonry. I am certainly not against restarting it for other ideas or misplays you noticed. All thoughts and advice are welcome!
     

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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  2. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    Yes. A T50 (2000 BC) oracle is not necessarily safe but is a more reasonable risk to take. Yet at that point constructing the oracle crowds out needed builds like workers & settlers, and the religious tech line has little value otherwise, so I would probably skip oracle entirely on this map. Also, using a GE to build the mids takes way too long. You'll get them about T100, right? Likely will be taken by an AI.

    The lack of scouting is a problem here. We can't say for certain how many more AI are on this continent, and likely should have gone for alphabet and traded for AH, sailing, IW, etc. instead of researching all of these things ourselves. Micro is of course important, but macro ideas like effective tech trading, research paths, and city builds will do more to improve your game.

    As compared to a more traditional gameplan, you have metal casting (of limited use right now), but suffer from reduced development and a slower economy, especially considering victoria's awesome trait combination. You've also probably build too much infrastructre: london doesn't need a forge just yet, and york is getting very little use out of its lighthouse with the amount of cottages you've put down.

    Planning to play this one to T75 later today

    EDIT: Played, Save attached. Some spoilers.
    Spoiler To T75 :

    Researched Agriculture->BW->Wheel->Pottery->Writing->Alpha->Math->Masonry. Got AH, Sailing, Iron Working, Mysticism in trade. Met a bunch of people. Zara was generous enough to trade ivory (for corn + fish), so I'm headed towards construction and horseback riding for an Elepult attack on Charlemagne. Building some "mop-up" chariots soon in preparation. Capital will shortly birth a GS for academy. 6 Cities, going on 7, but a more limited infrastructure in favor of a larger economy.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  3. InovA

    InovA Immortal

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    @Swordnboard WOW. You have 2 more cities while having about double my :science: per turn :eek:

    Yeah, I thought Oracle seemed risky that late. I think I remember hearing that 2200 BC to 1800 BC was the Deity range you should normally aim for - and focus on getting it ASAP if there are leaders that like going fast Meditation in the game, like Isabella. Not sure about those numbers, but your T50/2000 BC idea seems right on. And I know GE for mids is a niche strategy, just thought it followed a decent, cohesive plan after Oracle → MC. I guess if it's this late, yeah, not a great pick.

    Some questions:
    • You teched Alphabet yourself?! Was this just because there wasn't a large, specific goal you were aiming for, so you chose a solid route? I thought that for anything above Monarch it's best to trade for Alpha, so I only ever tech it myself if I want to build Research and it'd take too long to get to Currency. I usually just go Math → Currency and hope someone techs Alpha soon.
    • You don't put a heavy emphasis on Granaries? I don't think anyone argues against them being the best building in the game, so I just usually stop everything I'm doing and build a Granary in every city ASAP. I couldn't imagine building a Barracks in the capital before a Granary.
    • Was Masonry just for backfilling and the quarry tile bonus? Or do you plan on selling the Marble to someone or getting failgold with it soon? Unless I wanted to focus on failgold, I probably would've thought to go Currency after Math or even after Alphabet.
    • Why did you pick the southern spot as your 2nd city? I knew I'd take it eventually, but with my late AH I didn't think sharing Cows and cottages was good enough and picked the west coast cities. Though plains hill + IMP is nice for getting some extra Settlers out quick..
    I think I've emphasized on infrastructure in the early game for my past few games, I just worry about early unit costs and want to make sure I'm getting 2x whips in as often as I can.

    I'll give it another go, your plan seems solid! I just couldn't think of doing anything other than focusing on a wonder when I saw all of those forests.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  4. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    Oracle is never safe on deity :)
    But more important, there are maps where it should not be considered..good example here imo.
    (focusing on deity tips, cos you mentioned you would like getting there)

    Many good food spots, and Vicky's traits favor fast expansion & cottage developing.
    While her starting techs are not helping for an Oracle try, and the map suggesting there's no need for an extra tech to do well.
    + on deity barbs are a problem ofc, i would argue that training for deity on Immortal lacks some important difficulties.

    Okay so we have FIN, giving rivers (and seafood early) priority.
    Hastings > Nottingham, nice river cottages possible, while Nott can be considered a filler city imo (and settled later).
    If Clams would be first ring okay, but here it's starting without food and "dry" cottages.

    Monarchy would be the highest priority tech i think, with no happy resis or Cha.
    Swordnboard already mentioned scouting, it's not so important for knowing more about the map (you can see all relevant settling areas imo),
    but with AIs always trading Monarchy and often getting early Alpha on deity, meeting them is super important :)
    They would probably meet you instead, with their many scouts and units..but sometimes they lose their scouts in one direction or are blocked by another AI.

    I would probably look at Aest more than at maths & currency, standard "trade circle" tech for deity,
    and with marble always good.
     
  5. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    Fippy gives some solid advice. To answer some of your questions about my save:

    Trading for alpha is great in commerce-poor situations and on deity, but I was teching pretty well, saw nobody had writing yet (AI didn't trade OB with each other) and figured I didn't want to wait for alpha to trade for AH and Mysticism (critical) and Sailing + IW (nice to have) or worse end up researching those things myself.

    Granaries are super awesome, you are of course correct. I haven't whipped much at all this game (not sure if that's good or bad, just true), since there are lots of hammer tiles around, I wanted to work cottages and scientists, etc. Cities will be whipped more heavily once I switch focus from research to military, and at that point granaries will be on top of my list.

    None of the above, actually. AI are super hesitant about trading masonry since it unlocks so many buildings and wonders, and I need it to research construction. Currency would give me roughly 10 research right now, but it costs 650 so would be a serious delay. I would go for currency first (or better yet, aesthetics or compass for trade-bait) if I planned to break out and attack at cuirassier or knights, but since I'd like to war with elephants time is of the essence, I will snag currency after construction + HBR.

    The plains hill + IMP thing. I took the mined marble tile from the capital and pumped out a couple settlers at 1 population, a workboat for hastings, then shifted to working cottages. IMP is such an awesome trait because it makes cities like that actually alright.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  6. Snowbird

    Snowbird Chieftain

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    Just my local 2 eurocents, but putting off let's say settler for granary typically feels wrong for me. Sure granary gives food, but a new city gives extra city food bin (and hopefully extra food specials). Now... settler typically is more expensive than granary (and spends some turn in unit mode), but not so for imperialistic leader.
     
  7. InovA

    InovA Immortal

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    I went through again, then compared to your save Swordnboard. City-wise, I think I kept up. Was a bit later on 3rd - 6th cities, but Alpha and Writing were around the same time. My :science: per turn is behind a bit, though I'm currently focusing on Settlers for 7th and 8th cities, so I could be right with you if a civ would trade me Sailing so I'd get foreign trade bonus. Scouting was much better this game, traded for AH, IW and Poly. My 1st GS should be out at the same time as yours.

    I notice you didn't chop nearly as much as I did, most of my forests are gone now. And I did build 3 Libraries, working on 4th (I should've built a monument in the northern Fish city). I thought I remembered hearing that you should build multiple libraries ASAP after Granaries and Writing, I guess I still do focus too much on infrastructure. I was lucky to get the Iron city near Holy Rome, I've got room for at least 10 cities and would probably go for a cuir breakout from here. I kinda want to give this another go, this time same tech path as I did here (Agriculture→BW→Wheel→Pottery→Writing→Alpha→Masonry→Aesthetics) but a Settler @2Pop so that the 2nd city can focus on all the early Settlers and the capital can ramp up. I won't make the mistake at my northern Fish city going for Library before Monument and would try delaying whips and additional Libraries.

    I like how much I chopped, though. Chopping for wonders later is lovely, but... like... my buildings won't build themselves.

    How exactly do you guys do your backfilling? I try not to trade for too many small techs if I've met this many civs early on, I don't want that ugly "We Fear You Are Becoming Too Advanced." to come up - and IIRC the counter for this starts for each tech you receive through trade after you've met a civ, so all 4 I see on this continent may not trade with me in mid-late game if I get too many techs early here and I'll be forced to trade with the currently unknown civs. Or do you guys just ignore this on some games because you're confident you'll break out and be in a winning position before WFYABTA would come up? I also try to focus on min-maxing the x1.0 to x1.4 multipliers on early techs (like set research slider so that you juuuust finish Hunting - a x1.0 tech, then go up to 99% of teching Masonry - a x1.4 tech if you have both Mining and Mysticism - with a full 100% slider on the next turn) so backfilling doesn't seem so bad when I get the boosts right.

    Also ever since I got to Immortal level, I tend to go for Conq/Dom Victory in 100% of my games. On Deity should I be prepared to make other goals? I've never put high planning into a Space Race victory like I've seen some players who get these incredible grass workshop cities making parts in no time. I don't go for Diplo wins because they feel cheap. I don't go for Culture wins because I don't usually pick techs that favor Culture bonuses until I'm certain I can't win Conq/Dom - and by then it's too late.
     

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  8. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    This definitely depends on the type of game you are playing. Without creative, 90:hammers: is quite the investment early on. I build libraries if the city is especially strong in research, or will produce one of my first couple great scientists. For this game I was more judicious since I don't plan on researching past the early renaissance.

    It's definitely a balancing act between the group of leaders you are with and your plans for the game. Consult the "know your enemy" article to figure out how many techs you can reasonably trade for, be sure to factor in the 5% chance of AI "forgetting" trades each turn, and make your best guess as to when the game will end. If you will win in the early renaissance or before, researching anything yourself can be a mistake. On the other hand, when WFYABTA locks you out of trading for Democracy, Chemistry, and Scientific Method, trading for mysticism 50 turns back looks kinda silly. Also, vassals and friendly relations are ways around WFYABTA, so keep those options in mind as well.

    This actually doesn't really matter. As with production, beaker overflow gets scaled up and down when your multiplier changes.

    Strictly speaking, knowledge of military victories is all you'll need to win almost any deity start. Diplo (UN or AP) is generally easier, and Space Race usually means you could have won by domination many years before. Cultural is a different animal that I haven't done on deity before, but I do think it requires a lot of planning early on to achieve quickly.
     
  9. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    Some comments on your second attempt:
    • Lots of unworked but mature cottages are dragging your economy down. Nottingham desperately needs to grow (also should work cottage rather than banana) but is building a worker super slowly.
    • Expansion, scouting and tech path look better this time
    • I recommend trading for a happiness resource with Zara to facilitate growing your cities.
    • Overall, looks quite winnable.
     
  10. InovA

    InovA Immortal

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    I played through to 1000BC a total of 7 times, some trying unorthodox strategies to see how they stack up, some a bit overambitious. My 7th one seemed to hit just how I wanted it to. I think all 7 are in winnable positions, but the 7th goes like this:

    Back to my original start of 1st Worker making Corn Farm → Banana Farm → Chop → Marble Mine (most runs went Corn Farm → Marble Mine → Chop).

    @Size 3 I made 2x Settlers instead of my 2nd Worker first or trying to make a Settler at size 2 or 4.

    I settled the southern city (2760BC) to work the Marble Mine, then settled the eastern city (2640 BC) to work the Banana Farm and cottages, then settled the western Fish city (2240 BC) with a Work Boat from York (2nd city).

    I stayed on 4 cities for a while, then popped 3 settlers at once, settling 3 cities between 1360 BC and 1280 BC. My Great Scientist finished around T72 (1120BC).

    Tech Path stayed: Agriculture→BW→Wheel→Pottery→Writing→Alpha→Masonry→Aesthetics for all my runs other than 1st.
    Traded for IW, Myst, and AH. Waiting on Sailing to trade.

    I traded Marble + Fish for Gold (+:) w/ Forge) rather than Ivory, I'm not planning war anytime soon. My neighbors should be on good terms with me for giving tribute (Writing/Alpha) and when I switch to Buddhism.

    I scouted plenty, but did play with prior knowledge, haven't scouted some land nearby simply because I know what's there. Don't mean to do that, but wanted to keep trying until I had a start I can feel good about.

    I also waited until just now to switch to Slavery. Focused more on economy and expansion, I want Slavery now to whip a Monument in the south-most city.

    Any criticism or misplays for this one you guys notice?

    Spoiler Turn 75 Map :


    Spoiler Turn 75 Tech Situation :
     

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  11. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    Looks pretty good to me! Only micro thing that struck me was building another grass-cottage instead of pasturing the cow. I also don't necessarily understand aesthetics here, especially after alphabet (generally it is used to trade for alphabet, but you are researching super quickly so that would just slow you down). It's definitely just fine, eventually you will get some trade value for it and you can continue on to literature->music for the great library and free GA.
     
  12. InovA

    InovA Immortal

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    Yeah I noticed I was late to start a pasture for the cows and to set my EP on Charlemagne, darn. Aesthetics feels weird to get here, maybe better to wait another 3 techs and come back to it. Math + Currency feels right to me, but Fippy mentioned Monarchy's value and I can certainly feel the need for +happiness coming up. Want to trade for techs leading up to it, but maybe that's just me being stubborn. Getting the GLib with chopping will feel nice. Current tech plan:

    Aesthetics → Literature → Monarchy → Math → Currency → Music

    Or maybe I want Bureau sooner... hmm...

    Want to have a tech-focused midgame for once, so no Elepulting or Treb+Mace wars. Cuirs are always fun, but I love using UUs, so Redcoat + Cannon + Cavalry breakout feels more fun.

    I should get to at least 9 cities. I really want to put more focus on infrastructure here, whipping granaries, libraries, and eventual forges in most or all cities. Obviously river cottages should be worked non-stop if possible, but should I put emphasis on dry cottages over whips?

    Thinking a priority list would look like (in general):
    Super Food Tiles > River Cottage > Dry Hamlet+ > Whips > Dry Cottage > Pastures > Mines

    But ok! Good! I'm happy with this set and will continue from here!
     
  13. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    "Feels more fun" isn't usually the way to do things when you are planning to move up to deity soon. Unless you have a massive land edge, any tech lead on deity is ultimately pretty fleeting, so once you get one it's often best to seize the opportunity to war and expand rather than waiting for some later option. That being said, if you'd like to war with redcoats, you're going to need a lot of research and almost no production for a long time, so priorities have to shift to accomodate that:
    • Working any cottage is usually better than whipping.
    • Cities should be grown as large as possible to accomodate more cottages
    • Productive tiles (pasture, mine, etc.) are OK, just need to channel them into failgold or building research/wealth mostly.
    • Bulb as many techs as possible (Edu, PP, Lib). This might mean you want caste system + pacifism and/or a golden age from the Music GA
     

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