1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Siam Strategy

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by crdvis16, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,072
    I'm making another civ-specific strategy post to see if I can spur some discussion about the next civ I have chosen to play. This time it's Siam! First, the kit:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Father Governs Children
    Yields from friendly and allied City-States increased by 75%. The Combat Strength of Allied City-State Capitals is increased by +25%. Influence when you meet a CS starts at 35 (I think in the current version of VP it's 40).

    Naresuan's Elephant, replaces Knight.

    +2 Combat, -1 Movement. +50% Combat Strength against other mounted units. Starts with the Feared Elephant promotion (Enemy units receive -10% CS when adjacent to any unit with this promotion).

    Wat, replaces Constabulary.

    4 Culture, 1 Faith, 2 Science. Reduces enemy spy stealing rate by 50%. +2 Science from Temples and Shrines in this City, and +1 Culture from Jungle and Forest tiles worked by the City. Reduces Crime. 1 Scientist Specialist slot. 2 Maintenance.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Victory condition

    The UA most definitely pushes us toward a diplomatic victory path as the benefit we get from friending/allying city states will perhaps be on par with the likes of Austria and Germany. The UB, on the other hand, pushes us toward a science victory with +6 science total (including shrine/temple bonus) as well as an extra scientist specialist slot. Between the two I'm going to lean toward diplomacy as the UB alone probably isn't enough to really warrant commiting to science while the UA seems much more sizeable in its benefits.

    One weakness that Siam has in pursuing a diplomatic victory is that there isn't much in his UA to help increase his vote count in the world congress (whereas civs like Austria and Germany get extra votes from their UA). His CS allies having stronger city strength will help them survive which can help him keep votes due to alliances and his 40 free influence when he first meets a CS can help him secure those votes more easily, too, but neither of those directly lead to more votes. However, benefiting more in terms of yields from his alliances is something we can leverage to make our empire strong overall and more easily able to do things like build wonders or spam diplomats.

    Wide vs. Tall? Aggressive vs. Defensive?

    There isn't much pushing Siam to be tall. The capital certainly benefits the most from yields from CSs but I'm not sure that alone will warrant playing tall. The diplomatic victory itself perhaps leans toward wide play somewhat as a wide empire tends to have more gold and hammers to help handle the load of diplomats we'll need to build.

    I also don't see much of anything pushing Siam to be an aggressor. The UU looks really interesting as a dominant unit, though. The knight is already widely accepted as the strongest unit of its era so a knight replacement UU that also has a bonus to damage against other knights seems like it could be really powerful. My default is that unless I am playing one of the many civs that really benefit from warfare I will probably play relatively peaceful so I will most likely follow that route for Siam. I *might* try to do a little conquering when I unlock Naresuans, though, especially if there is a nearby rival for CS alliances.

    So tall and relatively peaceful sounds like progress will be my default tree to open with. I will try to expand rapidly and claim as much territory as I feel comfortable. After that will certainly be statecraft followed by industry most likely, but possibly rationalism.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Early game goals

    I've done a few early game play-throughs with Siam to try to get a feel for them. One thing that I notice is that finding as many CSs as early on as possible is critical. The instant 40 influence means you get an automatic friendly status for 10 turns and along with the +75% yields bonus you can get some really nice yields going in your early cities just by scouting around. I think Siam is even a case where it might be a good idea to prioritize fishing relatively early on in order to allow your initial pathfinder the ability to cross coastal tiles to find other continents and island based CSs (depending on your map script of course). I also think it might be worth building a 2nd pathfinder relatively early on in order to expedite finding every CS you can. This might have the side effect of allowing you to find off-continent settling sites that may eventually be important in being nearer to far-off CSs.

    Siam is also a civ that might benefit from going after the early Roman Forum wonder. An extra great diplomat could either help with congress votes via an embassy or gain an early ally for bonus yields.

    Last, being wide means that religion could naturally be a strong suit for Siam. Religion also seems natural to Siam given that shrines/temples both have synergy with the Wat. There are founder, enhancement, and reformation beliefs that directly benefit a diplomatic victory which may be crucial for Siam so investing early in founding a religion is advisable.

    Later game goals

    Westminster palace is probably more crucial to Siam given that they have a limited means of generating world congress votes so finding a way to get that will probably be an important mid-game objective. Also, turning your cities into economic/production powerhouses in order to be able to pump out diplomats is probably the main objective throughout the game.

    Militarily, I could see some emphasis on a navy being a good idea for Siam. I will probably focus my military efforts to liberating/protecting any CSs that get into trouble and as CSs are often 1) far away and 2) on coasts, a navy could be the ideal way to project military power.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
    phantomaxl1207 and chicorbeef like this.
  2. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    6,158
    A key aspect of Naresuan's Elephant....at the time it comes out it literally has no counter. There is no unit (unique or otherwise) in the game that is good against it, it truly tramples everything. So I think a good Siam strat should make use of that, its not as flashy as a conquistador, but when it comes to consistent unstoppable strength you can't beat it.
     
    phantomaxl1207, CrazyG and CppMaster like this.
  3. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,072
    Yeah, at first glance I didn't notice the +50% damage to mounted units and just assumed it was a slightly stronger knight. That bonus against other mounted units really changes the dynamic though.
     
  4. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,072
    Got a chance to play up through the Medieval era and wanted to add some additional thoughts:

    First, the Wat is a pretty strong UB. Aside from the base stats you can also benefit from the statecraft->shadow network policy (culture from spies, Wat gets +3 science, +1 science from specialist slots). Usually I don't pay a ton of attention to constabularys but the Wat as a replacement along with the above policy bonus turns it into a bit of a power house. You end up with 9 science after the policy and if you have shrine/temples in the city as well, not to mention the culture on forest/jungle (it shows up on the actual tile, meaning it will later be buffed by hotels/etc).

    Next, finding some religious CSs during the rush to get a pantheon is super helpful- over 10 turns you'll get 50 faith for free, halfway to the pantheon. If you manage to ally a religious CS (perhaps using your free great diplomat from the Roman Forum) you'll be practically guaranteed a religion.

    Speaking of religion- I think the goal should be to get the enhancer/reform combo of Prophecy (cheaper/stronger prophets, +3 from holy site yields, reduction from rival prophets/inquisitors halved ) and Holy Land (1 delegate per 2 holy sites or 2 landmarks, +50% yields from friendly/allied CSs following your religion). This just fits Siam so well- it helps solve their lack of bonus delegates, it further buffs yields they get from CSs if they can convert them, and it makes their holy sites extra powerful. I think your pantheon, founder, and follower beliefs can be pretty flexible with whatever makes sense but that enhancer/reform combo is right up Siam's alley.

    Last, the Naresuan's Elephant is a beast. It just tramples over pretty much anything around in the time that it appears. Russia made the grave mistake of DoWing me right when I unlocked them and I am on my way to punishing her badly even though she is the current runaway in my game and is ahead of me by a decent margin in both tech and policy count as well as having a big lead in wonder count. She has a few pikemen and longswordsmen left which are probably her best hope because her ranged and mounted units are getting 1 and 2 shot.
     
  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    6,158
    A new believer has joined our ranks:) I actually think a key play with Siam is to save up gold for a big Elephant upgrade round when their UU comes online. It is dominant, but the window is small. For example, while Conquistadors or Cataphracts still do decently well against Tercios, Elephants do not.

    So you want to surge with them as fast as possible and wreck your enemy during that window of complete dominance.
     
  6. Gokudo01

    Gokudo01 Emperor

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,043
    Location:
    Toulouse(France)
    siam is one of the only civs which I always queue a second pathfinder first with
    (unless continent plus but this map is not really balanced )
     
  7. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,356
    Gender:
    Male
    One thing I would like to try as Siam is spamming/gifting warriors to reap the rewards of +75% yields from CS'es and prolonging the +40 influence headstart.
     
  8. CrabHelmet

    CrabHelmet Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Messages:
    594
    I've always thought of Siam as an Authority Civ. Firstly because his UU is frankly one of the best in the game, utterly terrifying; secondly, because Authority is weirdly one of the best trees for winning Diplomatic since it is easier for you to pump out Dipo units; thirdly because Authority means you can maintain the military needed to guarantee City-States more easily and make use of your starting Influence. I think he is best played Authority -> Statecraft -> Imperialism. Much like Greece. Greece can go more aggressive very early, whereas Siam wants to do stuff like get a Religion etc, but they're very, very similar Civs otherwise.
     
  9. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,072
    Yeah- the UA is kinda funky in that respect. If you meet a CS and get that initial 40 influence bump for 10 turns of friendly but then you don't complete any other quest in the next 40 turns then all that free influence from 29 to 0 is pretty much wasted. So Siam REALLY wants to complete a quest early for the CSs he meets to extend the benefit.

    I'm not sure gifting warriors is the most efficient way to do that, though, especially when those warriors could be used to kill barbarians invading the CS lands or take out barbarian camps for quests.

    Though even if all of the CSs you meet early on just give you those 10 turns of friendship it's still a decent early game bump.
     
  10. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,072
    Having played them now, I could see arguments for all 3 ancient era policy trees.

    Tradition would benefit a lot from maritime allies who would pump the capital up with tons of food and therefore be able to work those extra specialist slots pretty easily. This seems to be especially true in my game where maritime CSs seem to be abundant.

    Authority more easily completes the barbarian based CS quests which are often a big part of early game CS influence. The thing I don't like about authority Siam is that I would never want to demand tribute and destroy my influence level with a CS, and tribute demands are a big part of authority culture early on. The other thing that might worry me about a warmonger Siam is that being at war makes it more difficult to maintain trade routes to CSs, send diplomats to CSs, and makes it more likely that your CSs get conquered.

    I still really like progress, though. The production/gold you have helps with either producing or just outright buying diplomats and being relatively peaceful makes it easier to maintain those alliances.
     
  11. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,356
    Gender:
    Male
    I wouldn't go that far. Warring in the small window of Naresuan's Elephants is better suited to Tradition or Progress, Siam is not a game long warmonger like Greece.
     
  12. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,356
    Gender:
    Male
    Why not both? Do a barb quest and gift them away after?
     
  13. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Messages:
    4,781
    Location:
    Beijing
    Siam gets such a good start with tradition. I've ended up ahead of the AI in both culture and science from how strong the start is. A food and culture CS into tradition is just amazing.

    Gifting a warrior to a culture CS is a move worth considering. It takes 3 turns for the warrior to get there, the other idea is to march him across a continent and hopefully find a barbarian at the right time? You can get a free warrior if you meet a military CS too.
     
    chicorbeef likes this.
  14. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,072
    I can't remember how much influence gifting a unit gets you- it's something small like 5 or 10 (unless they have that 'diplomatic gifts are more effective' quest going on). A warrior is 40 production I think? So you are likely buying 5 or 10 turns of friendly status for 40 production.

    I believe cultural CSs give Siam 2 culture per turn at friendly so you're trading 40 production for 10-20 culture in that case. That might be worth it in some situations but I don't know that I would go out of my way to do it- culture is more important than production but I would think there are better things to produce early on. I don't think I would mass produce warriors with the intention of donating them all.

    I'd be more inclined to donate early warriors to a religious CS as they give 5 faith at friendly which is huge early on in the time sensitive pantheon/founder race. As soon as you unlock writing, though, producing diplomats is of course more efficient.

    I'd probably also donate my military if:

    1. They are obsolete and I don't want to spend the $ to upgrade
    2. I'm up near the unit limit
    3. There's a special situation with the CS- allying it will give me a chain of influence through completed quests, it's strategically important for an upcoming war, I need its lux for a bunch of WLTKD.

    Those situations apply to civs other than Siam typically.
     
  15. CrabHelmet

    CrabHelmet Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Messages:
    594
    I've never worked out how the influence for gifting is calculated. You say it is only small, but I have gifted Warriors in the past to receive 16 Influence, and then on other occasions about 5. It is just one of those mysteries of the game to me.
     
  16. CppMaster

    CppMaster King

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2018
    Messages:
    852
    Location:
    Poland
  17. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,072
    I think there might be a few ways that the influence from gifting gets increased. One is the quest where "diplomatic missions are more effective". The other is the autocracy tenet (united front in the wiki, not sure if that's up to date though). I thought it was a flat 5 or 10 influence other than that, though.
     
  18. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    6,916
    Location:
    Malaga (Spain)
    It depends on the military size of the city state. If it already has all the units it wants, then you get like 5 influence, if they don't have any unit you may score 16 influence. Most times it is 10-12 influence.
     
    CrabHelmet likes this.
  19. CrabHelmet

    CrabHelmet Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Messages:
    594
    Huh. TIL.
     
  20. ColonelCarter

    ColonelCarter Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    Messages:
    96
    I thought "Diplomatic missions are more effective" affected expending diplomatic units in their territory (Emissary line), because there's a separate quest that is "Unit gifts are more effective" when they are at not-peaceblocked war with a major civ (usually seen briefly when a third party takes allyship).
     

Share This Page