Some Simple Tips for your First Games of Humankind.

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A bunch of gamers will be getting their hands on Humankind in less than 2 days (this is being written Sunday, 15 August) and many for the first time. Many will have experience in Civilization games.

Be advised: Humankind is NOT Civilization Any Number, and it won't play well the same way. So here are a few tips to keep you from Rage Quitting your first game of Humankind and attempting to toss your gaming machine out the window after your second game . . .

1. Neolithic Pre-Age. The first major difference is that you start Generic: that is, everybody starts as a tribe of 'hunter-gatherers' with stone tools and no ability to do anything but wander the map, kill animals, gather Food, eat and multiply. You have to learn, in-game, how to do even the simplest Civ things, like found a city, exploit resources, control territory other than the tile you have a unit standing on. You do all this by 'discovering' tiles with Resources on them. In the Neolithic there are only two of these: Food, which gives you 5 to 15 Food, and Science/Learning. It takes 20 Food to form another Tribal Unit, and you can also get Food by 'Ransacking' (destroying) an animal Sanctuary or Lair or killing adult animals in a Battle/Hunt.

Be advised, adult animals Fight Back, and Mammoths in particular are stronger one on one than your Tribesmen are. If you want to end your game as quickly as possible, take a single Tribal unit and attack a Mammoth - you'll probably lose the game in a single turn! Bears are also very dangerous one on one, but Deer you can usually take unless the horned varmints get to charge downhill at you, in which case you will also lose the game very quickly, and embarrass yourself to boot: Slaughtered By Bambi does not make a great inscription on your Monument . . .

You advance to the Ancient Age in one of three ways: get enough Tribes - the exact number depends on Map Size, but on the default 'normal' map it is 4. Get enough Science/Learning (10 Science Resources) or kill enough Animals in hunts. Each type of advance gives you a different Bonus. In fact, if you want to Linger in the Neolithic, you could get all three bonuses, including keep right on forming new Tribes until you swarm the map. The problem with this is that choosing your first Faction (Civilization) in the first Age is First Come, First Pick and no duplications. Stay in the Neolithic long enough, and you get only what's Left Over, which could be, say, Phoenicians in the very middle of a desert continent without enough water anywhere to float a twig, let alone a boat. This is what we call a Handicap.

One big important thing to keep in mind in the Neolithic: even your primitive little digital hominids can recognize the earliest Resources: Horses and Copper, the first 'strategic' resources, and the 'Luxury' resources. As in Civ, these are Important. Each different Luxury resource gives a basic bonus of extra Stability to your cities, plus another, varying Bonus: some give extra Food, some Money, some Production, some Science. Eventually you will be able (unless you fight everybody all the time) to trade with other Factions for these, but not necessarily the ones you want or need at any given moment in the game, so the more you can get 'at home' the Better: try to build your first outposts/cities in regions that have Resources whenever possible.

Especially Horses or Copper. Horses are required to build (obviously) Horsemen - and Scout Riders and Chariots. Copper is required for Spearmen and Chariots. Yes, a single Unit type in Humankind can take more than one Resource to build, and the resource requirements get higher the further up the Tech Tree you go, so start looking for Resources Immediately, because you will not only need them for most Units, but also for many Infrastructures you want to build in your cities. A Faction with inadequate Resources is going to have a steep Uphill Slope to climb in this game.

Sequestering Resources can start early, because you can place an Outpost to secure a region while still in the Neolithic. For this you need at least one of the Science resources first, and until you get into the Ancient Age you cannot actually 'exploit' any Resources like Obsidian, Gold, Sage, Papyrus, Copper or Horses (and the more advanced Strategic Resources like Iron, Oil, Coal, Aluminum, Saltpeter, Uranium, you can't see at all until later - those are the Question Marks you see scattered around the map from the start)

Since your first Outpost will probably be the one you immediately Upgrade into a City (the first City is Free) at the beginning of the Ancient Age, let's talk about city placement. In this game, that corresponds very well with Good Historical City Sites: on or next to a river, in a region with Resources to exploit as soon as possible, on High Ground if you are worried about defense. Places where very few early cities started are equally bad choices in the game: in the 'Wastelands' (Humankind's version of Tundra), in a riverless desert (there are Lakes in Humankind, but no Oasis, so don't bother looking), surrounded by towering mountains with no farmable terrain (no Terraced Mountain Farms, either - maybe in a DLC with the Inca)

But assuming you've gotten your 4 + Tribes and/or enough Science or slaughtered enough of the local critters, you get to advance to the Ancient Age and pick your first Faction.

2. The Ancient Age, First Faction, First City.

Very unlike Civ, in Humankind your initial choice of Faction/Civilization to play does not necessarily ruin your entire game. That's because in Humankind you pick, potentially, a new Faction every Age. That's a possible 6 different cultures/nations/Factions you will be playing. Each Faction is one of 7 different Types (Agrarian, Aesthete, Merchant, Militarist, Expansionist, Scientist, Builder) has 'Emblematics' (Civ's Uniques): an Emblematic Quarter or District for their cities, an Emblematic Unit, and Legacy Traits. Now, the Emblematic Quarter and Unit may be the flashy stuff (British Redcoats, Byzantine Hippodromes - yes, Civvies, some of them will be familiar) but fhe Legacy Traits last for the rest of the game, regardless of what Faction you pick later.

That's HUGE. The Myceneans in the Ancient Age give you 25% cheaper Units Forever. The Harappans give you more Food on every tile producing Food Forever. This stuff adds up, so, choose your first few Factions very carefully, because their Legacies will be with you for the longest time.

And don't be fooled by the Faction Types. Yes, an Agrarian Faction is oriented to produce more Food, and therefore have bigger cities, a Militant Faction is designed, generally, to want to go attack someone (successfully). But there are some tricky differences. Let me list a few among the Ancient Age choices:

Harappans are Agrarian, and they do, indeed, get a lot more Food - from rivers, from their Canal Network Emblematic Quarter, but their Emblematic Unit is the Runner, which is a Scout replacement. Now, all your Tribes automatically Upgrade to Scouts as soon as you pick your first Faction in the Ancient Age, and the Harappans' Scout/Runner is appreciably stronger than anybody else's Scout. And you cannot build any other Units without technologies (and, sometimes, Resources). That means if you have a next door neighbor (like, both your capitals are only 1 - 3 regions apart) and they choose Harappans, get ready to be attacked, because an Early Harappan Runner Rush is one of the earliest Dirty Tricks in the game. Likewise, if you want to thoroughly harass a neighbor (and get extra Food for the rest of the game - never forget the Legacy Traits) choose Harappans and start sending groups of 2 or more Runners sniffing into his territory . . .
Babylonians are Scientist. Their Legacy Trait gives you extra Science in your Capital Forever, their Emblematic Quarter, the Astronomy House, gives extra Researchers (Science 'Specialists') and extra Science per Researcher - but it also gives extra Food per Researcher, extra Science from any adjacent Farmer's Quarter, and counts as both a Research and a Farmer's Quarter. It's a Twofer, and a powerful one. In addition, the Babylonian Emblematic Unit, the Sabu Sha Qashi, is Spearman replacement, a very strong Ancient unit against every other kind of unit - if you have a Copper Resource, which is required to build them. Babylonians, in fact, can grow nicely with extra Food, get an early lead in Tech, and defend themselves. Not a bad combination in the Early Days.
Myceneans are Militarists. They get cheaper Units with more Experience for the rest of the game, their Emblematic Unit, the Promachoi, requires no resources, comes very early in the Tech Tree (potentially, the first tech you research) BUT their Emblematic Quarter, the Cyclopean Fortress, provides extra Industry (Civ's Production) to build things faster and extra Stability so you can add more Quarters to your city without making your little cyber-citizens Unhappy with you. So, the Myceneans might use their Promachoi for an early offensive war, but they can also sit back, defend their areas with Fortresses and incidentally crank up some very large and productive cities while they are at it.
Zhou (Chinese) are Aesthete, which should be all about Influence, but in fact, they are all about Stability and Science. Their Legacy trait gives extra Stability for every District in every City forever - and believe me, that is a Major advantage, because Stability is a big drag on your city building early in the game - almost every new District/Quarter costs Stability, and low Stability spawns Rebel Armies and other Nasty Things. But in addition, their Confucian School Emblematic Quarter provides Science, Stability, Researchers and has one of the best adjacency bonuses in the game: +5 Science per adjacent Mountain tile. Given that the first technologies cost 35 Science each, a single well-placed Confucian School can almost double the rate at which you pick up early Technologies, and they include the Techs that allow you to build Archers, Warriors, Irrigation infrastructure for more Food, and the first mounted unit, the Scout Rider (IF you have access to Horses). The words "Jump Start" spring to mind: if you have a mountainous region, think strongly about starting a first Zhou city there.

3. Victory Conditions.

It's never too early to think about them, because in Humankind, again very Unlike Civ, there is only One: Fame.
Fame is not really as generic as it sounds: you get it for accomplishing things in the same categories as the Factions: Aesthete, Merchant, Militarist, etc. You advance in the Ages by getting 7 Fame Stars, and you can only get a maximum of 3 in any category. This automatically means that concentrating entirely on one thing (like, picking only Aesthete Factions for 6 Ages in a row) will probably not win the game for you - or even come close. Victory is achieved in several ways, but they boil down to having a higher Fame score than anyone else, and that's where it gets a bit subtle: as a general rule, you get more Fame points from Fame Stars in your Faction's category. So, if you are planning to kill a lot of enemy units (your Conquering Phase), pick a Militant Faction, because those 'kills' will give you a higher score than if you beat them up as Aesthetes - although, the Aesthete Siamese in the Industrial Age have the Gatling Elephant emblematic units, so you certainly could go stomp somebody, but you'd get more Fame 'bang for your buck' in the Industrial Age by doing it as Germans or Zulus (the Age's Militant Factions).

I hope this little collection of my experiences from the game development helps. I haven't even touched on some other early things you will encounter, like Diplomacy and Trade (they are very closely related) and Minor Factions, which can be almost as aggravating as Civ's Barbarians!

More later.
 
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8housesofelixir

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I'll insert a small comment here:

As for war, especially on higher difficulties, never bring the war to the AI unless you have an overwhelming combat strength, number, or technological advantage.
Always fight defensive wars (unless artillery and aircraft are a thing), pick the favorable terrains for Tactical Map, hold choke points, utilize defensive bonuses, and minimize the loss.

The combat AI are very decent and have a not-small chance to doom you, if you are not holding a favorable terrain.
In addition, once a battle begins, all the armies in the Tactical Map cannot leave the battle - you can only leave the battle if your opponent is being completely destroyed, and vice versa*; every battle will likely end in annihilation. Therefore, always try to pick a terrain or battle that you can win.

*Yes, there is another way to end a battle: Take the flag. However, the flag can be in very unfavorable terrain, making taking-and-holding the flag rather costly for the attacker - another reason why you'd better fight a defensive battle.
 

Siptah

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To add some small points as loose guides for a first start:
  • it's not civ (can't be overstated)
  • just because you can change cultures and advance in the eras doesn't mean that it is wise to do so immediately
  • finishing the game "early" (mars project or researching all techs) doesn't mean that you win - that's still the player with the most fame
  • you can raze your own cities just like you plunder foreign outposts with your units if you feel that you want to get rid of one, in the middle ages you can merge cities which is easier but costs influence
  • the effects of multiple copies of the same resource stack
  • the specialist/worker minigame is extremely potent - while you might ignore it in your first game to reduce complexity, you really should use it long-term
  • skirmishes can happen during peace time, be prepared for that and do some small scale fighting as well in order to get some military stars
  • take some time to grasp the diplomacy system whenever something is happening there. It's not very complicated but rather complex and if you just click through, it's easy to misunderstand how different things tie together
  • and similar, also in the diplo screen: check the unique benefits and character of the opponent when you meet her or him. The information can be vital.
  • raise an eyebrow whenever a neighbor chooses the Huns while you play at higher difficulties than Metropolis. Really, don't forget.
 
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NombreyApellido

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some neolithic tips for a strong start

-you die hunting with your only one tribe? you re-spawn. embarrassing , but not the end of the game

-to cover more ground, split your first hunting parties ASAP. that means right after collecting the food necessary to spawn a new unit for your army. if this is achieved through a curiosity, it can be done INSTANTLY without waiting for the next turn which is the case if the last bit of food comes from a hunt

-you can join hunting parties to add up to the food necessary to spawn a new unit. a remaining slot available is necessary though so there's no point in joining 4 units, a fifth isn't going to happen and you'll loose your food

-food travels with the last, leftmost unit of your army, so keep it in mind when splitting/joining

-mammoths should be your priority because of both food and influence they provide. a single unit will need terrain bonuses to be able to take one out, though. usually the best strategy is to forfeit the first strike and take advantage of +1 defense and +4 from higher ground when engaging one on one. mammoths and wildlife in general don't get higher ground bonuses. they do suffer from crossing rivers though. they seem to get "smarter" later on, for instance they will remain on a safe location if the player doesn't go after them... sometimes, they will provide less food than nominal

-ransacking sanctuaries are the easiest way of gaining food, but consider leaving some of them up since to continue spawning more wildlife for profits even in the next eras

-after the few first turns, hunting parties work best as armies of 2 or more to take advantage of rear attack and adjacent friendlies. remember: you can do more than one action after moving so if you find two deers on tile apart you can attack them both in the same turn. the jackpot is 2 mammoths, the second one you'll get to engage with a fresh unit if everything goes well

-find and claim a prime location for your capital. as early as possible- a combined 25+ food and industry is desirable, these are usually located near rivers with wooded areas and waterfalls

-aim to claim a natural wonder, for money and influence

-aim to claim a third, prime tile of +25 food/industry for your second city, preferably far away from your capital. doing so before funding your first city is cheaper since there's no distance cost. this will also drop the cost to claim territories in the vicinity later on

-get a legacy trait preferable one that has synergy the main trait of your preferred culture

-some events "travel" with your units, so trigger them after your exhausted your movements points: if the prize is a new unit, you'll be able to cover more ground

-map a river, a lake or a forest preferably from a vantage point. it may help gain a bunch of points later on thanks to a world deed

-exert strategic "sticky" area control and retreats to prevent enemy unit to move into desirable, valuable land

-jump eras preferably when your future capital outpost is done building itself, you have collected enough influence to attach/claim a couple of territories later on, and you have grown your unit numbers sufficiently to disband to city to jumpstart it if available
 
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some neolithic tips for a strong start

-you die hunting with your only one tribe? you re-spawn. embarrassing , but not the end of the game

The other side of this is that if you manage to 'gang up' on an opposing Tribe and kill them, they are not eliminated - they will also re-spawn. You can slow them down, but you can't eliminate anyone in the Neolithic.

-to cover more ground, split your first hunting parties ASAP. that means right after collecting the food necessary to spawn a new unit for your army. if this is achieved through a curiosity, it can be done INSTANTLY without waiting for the next turn which is the case if the last bit of food comes from a hunt

-you can join hunting parties to add up to the food necessary to spawn a new unit. a remaining slot available is necessary though so there's no point in joining 4 units, a fifth isn't going to happen and you'll loose your food

-food travels with the last, leftmost unit of your army, so keep it in mind when splitting/joining

-mammoths should be your priority because of both food and influence they provide. a single unit will need terrain bonuses to be able to take one out, though. usually the best strategy is to forfeit the first strike and take advantage of +1 defense and +4 from higher ground when engaging one on one. mammoths and wildlife in general don't get higher ground bonuses. they do suffer from crossing rivers though. they seem to get "smarter" later on, for instance they will remain on a safe location if the player doesn't go after them... sometimes, they will provide less food than nominal

Splitting your Tribes early is one of the first things the Beta Testers learned to do, because the Neolithic is all about covering the maximum amount of territory as fast as possible, looking for targets of Curiousities, prey animals, Sancturaies or Lairs to Ransack, Resources for later, and good city/outpost sites. The AI seems to know this also, which is why (see above) it is possible to catch them as single units quite often and kill them if you have terrain advantage or two tribes to their one.

-ransacking sanctuaries are the easiest way of gaining food, but consider leaving some of them up since to continue spawning more wildlife for profits even in the next eras

-after the few first turns, hunting parties work best as armies of 2 or more to take advantage of rear attack and adjacent friendlies. remember: you can do more than one action after moving so if you find two deers on tile apart you can attack them both in the same turn. the jackpot is 2 mammoths, the second one you'll get to engage with a fresh unit if everything goes well

This is a judgement call: if you picked a Pangaea map, or on a Normal sized map with the 'normal' 6 Factions, you will be running into other Tribes pretty early. On larger maps that usually is delayed, so you can stay spread out and cover more territory for a longer time. There are no hard and fast rules, though - I've spent the entire Neolithic without finding any other tribes, and then started a game on a map in which everybody seems to have started on the same corner of the continent, and we were all over each other by the third turn!

-find and claim a prime location for your capital. as early as possible- a combined 25+ food and industry is desirable, these are usually located near rivers with wooded areas and waterfalls

-aim to claim a natural wonder, for money and influence

-aim to claim a third, prime tile of +25 food/industry for your second city, preferably far away from your capital. doing so before funding your first city is cheaper since there's no distance cost. this will also drop the cost to claim territories in the vicinity later on

Look for a 'starting region' that has neighboring regions with Strategic Resources (Copper, Horses) and Luxury Resources, because the Luxuries will give you a Stability boost and all the benefits of Trade Routes: usually everybody is pretty friendly at the start, so they are all willing to Trade if you have something to Trade, and Trade = Money throughout the game, as well as bonuses to Production, Science, Influence or Food. It is dirt cheap to start an Outpost in regions adjacent to your first City, much more expensive the further out you get, so check the neighboring regions to your selected Start, because you can exploit those fastest and easiest - and later attach them for more Fame and bigger, more productive Cities.

-get a legacy trait preferable one that has synergy the main trait of your preferred culture

-some events "travel" with your units, so trigger them after your exhausted your movements points: if the prize is a new unit, you'll be able to cover more ground

-map a river, a lake or a forest preferably from a vantage point. it may help gain a bunch of points later on thanks to a world deed

-exert strategic "sticky" area control and retreats to prevent enemy unit to move into desirable, valuable land

-jump eras preferably when your future capital outpost is done building itself, you have collected enough influence to attach/claim a couple of territories later on, and you have grown your unit numbers sufficiently to disband to city to jumpstart it if available

For a while testers were talking about the Scout Rush, in which you stayed in the Neolithic long enough to accumulate a mass (10 - 15) of Tribes which automatically Upgraded to Scouts when you started the Ancient Age. Hordes of Scouts were a feature of a lot of early test games. The problem with that is that if you don't manage to cripple your neighbors/opponents right away, with the earliest technologies they research they will get access to Warriors and Archers, and if they have Horse resources, Scout Riders, and those will all eat your Scouts for lunch. The better strategy is to regard the Scouts as "Fodder" for jump-starting your Cities, by disbanding them in the City after they've scouted everything in sight.
Unless. You have access to 2 Horse Resources, because then, as soon as you research Mounted Warfare in the Classical Age, you can Upgrade all your Scouts to Horsemen, going from a unit with Combat Factor = 13, Movement = 4 (but with terrain advantages) to one of Combat Factor = 26 and Movement = 6, a very decent combat unit in the Classical Age as long as you stay away from Spearmen. Keep that in mind before you disband all of your Scouts in the Ancient Age to build up your early Cities.
 

NombreyApellido

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yes i remember the proposed harappan runner rush being a thing... never saw the appeal, there were stronger and faster openings some of which i posted at other forums but so much as changed and i've last played so far back that i keep mixing up the details

i do remember a TRUE rush though: having your 2nd city up and running by turn 17 using population buyout for a horse stable on your outpost and immediately after paying 160 inf to start the city build up: there was enough run off to get say THEBES on the next turn

scouts made for great support units once reinforcements were allowed: friendly adjacency to weak arrows, could be placed to deny enemy movement and of course set them up as a meat shields
 

Victoria

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you can only leave the battle if your opponent is being completely destroyed, and vice versa*
To clarify, the combat has a certain set of rounds. Any units that survive all of those rounds survive.
I have had the AI attack me, I jump onto my camp, out of visibility of the AI and win the battle with neither side taking losses.

the real rush in this game is a Neolithic rush and is very simple to do. Gather troops and don’t fight animals and try and find your neighbour. One you have found them, they are likely warlike and will attack you, even 50/50 but going uphill. If you do not auto resolve such battles but instead defend, they throw themselves at you for 3 rounds and in the last round you can finish them off if they have not already done so. Very soon they have no troops and you just pillage their zones and convert them… or if they have become a civ, they have no defences.
This needs to be fixed and the best way is to stop the AI being stupid agressive, I am sure that’s why we win this game so easily, the other continent has them fighting like mad.
To eliminate a civ, let them go to Ancient and kill all their troops and pillage their posts. My current game, I wiped out 2 civs on my continent and am now playing a peaceful builder trader game with the other continent while I work out how influence works… properly. For example trade routes also make a zone count as adjacent.
 
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sherbz

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What are peeps thoughts on NOT advancing to a new era? I have not got far at all, but had a few starts in neolithic and ancient just as i got the hang of it. And i felt "better" delaying moving up an era. Reason was twofold really. Food is quite easy to come by, which means you can increase your population, which means more scouts when you DO advance to a new era (which you can then disband into your cities). Also, its not too difficult to farm a few animals for influence which can nab you an extra outpost. I had 3 outposts when i did advance. And all the era stars. I suppose if you REALLY want a certain civ then you should not delay. But i cant really believe its THAT crucial to get a certain one. More of a nice to have than a must have.
 

Siptah

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Depends a bit on the terrain. But yes, delaying the advancement in neolithic is often a viable strategy. I also like to go for the 10 curiosities to get that neolithic legacy trait. But depending on where you start, this might be hard to pull off (animals, curiosities, and food spawn more often depending on the biome).
 

NombreyApellido

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in my only completed run so far, it was the hunter era star the one that took me forever to get. first AI into Ancient made the jump in turn 7, i only got through in turn 16... it didn't seem to hurt me though
 

Krajzen

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I played the first 50 turns on medium difficulty and I was doing so awful that I'll just restart from scratch tomorrow. What are the most important things to do and avoid in the early game? Is food the most important yield? Is early war good? Should you get out of neolith as fast as possible? Should I spam as many outposts as possible? What are the most important techs and constructions?
 

NombreyApellido

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early game should be about exploration. spread as fast and as far as you can while gathering as much food as you can. i try to place 3 outposts on neo, 1 for the main plaza of the capital one to attach on turn one right next to it, ideally one of these should have a natural wonder. the third one for the second city, far away from other two...

tiles next to rivers, mountains and wooded areas are to be prioritized

i wouldn't go ouf of neo without the legacy trait

i don't think early war is good, i tend to wait for the AI to build something i can take from them instead of rushing for an empty "win"

early outposts should be balanced, ie 12 food 13 production is a good one. 2 food 23 production is not

extractors are now built with influence when the territory is not attached. there are some very powerful, like salt and marble

go after a wonder in ancient and place it on prime location since it exploits 7 hexes

i did use the civic that nets you 50% off outposts cost to go after most valuable territories in my landmass and later switched over to the attach 20% discount

at the risk of being captain obvious, i'd say the map should define your tech path. domestication for food and science and calendar for extractors and granary are probably the safest choice
 
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Situational. Situational. Situational.
As @NombreyApellido 's post should make obvious, a lot of the specific actions you take have to consider the In-Game Situation you are in, including Terrain and Neighbors.

And seconding some of his comments (which are all good):

Early War is only rarely a good idea: first of all, it distracts from getting a solid basis for growth, and second, you may not get much out of an early Faction to make it worth while. Worst Case Scenario, you destroy your neighbor and have 4 - 5 Minor Factions spawn in the open spaces left around his starting position, all of which are Violent and proceed to Ransack everything in sight - and yes, Been There, Done That. It was not a good Ancient/Classical Age game . . .

Outposts need Balance: I try to have Food-Industry points within 2 of each other and no lower than 5 - 6 or 6 - 8 and then only in regions that have Essential Resources. Double digits everywhere else. The only reason to pick a spot with, say, 20 Food and 2 Production is if you plan to attach the Outpost to a City right away - the extra Food helps feed the entire City, which can be really handy early in the game.

Influence builds everything in regions held by Outposts. If you are fat in Influence, think about delaying attaching Outposts until you have placed every Extractor you can in that region: it will save time and Industry later on, because you will eventually want to extract every Luxury and Strategic Resource you can find.

Wonders take a lot of Industry to build: be advised that a single City trying to build one will be 'tied up' for 50 turns or more and building nothing else. On the other hand, as soon as you have accumulated 250 Influence you can sequester a first/early Wonder for yourself and build it at your leisure - no one else can even start it once you have paid the Influence to get it, so there's no rush and you can wait until you can dedicate 3 - 4 Cities to it and whip it out in a dozen turns or less.
 

NombreyApellido

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cultural wonders are expensive, true. but let's go over the details of say stonehenge

as said before, you get a 7 hex footprint exploitation once finished BUT its is able to extract all four FIMS, so it's value goes up if you have say science terrain features such as hot springs (+3 blue +3 orange) and geysers (+2 blue +4 orange)

on top of the footprint, you get at least 10 food out of it for the "co-religion", which is a good basic farm in terms of output

then, there's the faith and stability bonuses that get buffs from civics and tenets, i get that people doesn't seem to value STAB much but society in "settled" makes civic points rain copiously

and finally, 100 fame points by itself and 50 more if you're the first to the deed, all of which is the value of of say circumnavigation which takes HUGE amounts of turns

so if you already have a second city up (160 influence cost to evolve from outpost) and your outpost placement cost is already close to 200, then go for your first wonder

giza is good, halicarnassus is good, angkor is good

also, get creative with placement: the lighthouse can be placed inside a single tile lake and exploit all surrounding tiles for huge gains
 
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fortydayweekend

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I've only played one game up to the start of Medieval Era, but a few things seem obvious.. keen to hear from more experienced players if these sound right:

Rivers are extremely powerful - early game improvements add 2F and 2I to every river tile, as well as potential extra Food & Stability bonuses from cultures/religion. Also, the improvements that add those are built in the city center, so they apply to all attached territories and don't cost stability. Seems to me that these are the easily the best improvements to build early game and every city center/admin district should prioritise having 3+ river tiles and tech/production focus should be on river improvements.

Pottery workshop is also an obvious early build as influence is always a bottleneck, other improvements are situational.

Districts are underwhelming in the early game... attaching territories is a much better use of Stability (20-25 FI and no production cost vs. maybe 5-6 extra yield from a district).

This also applies to emblematic districts, they're often not the best thing to build compared to city center buildings, or the best use of Stability if you have territories to connect. So early culture choice should be mostly about the legacy advantage. Exception would be if they let you build a district that you need without having to research - e.g. Zhou Confucian School built next to 3 mountains will take care of research for a long time.

You can deliberately hold back in some areas to make getting era stars easier in the next - e.g. I put nothing into research in Ancient, then switched to Greeks in Classical and got all the backfill techs in 1 turn each for easy bonus-fame stars.

Ancient era rush seems easy enough on mid-level difficulty but underwhelming, unless they have a really good city spot. Taking their city uses up limited city cap and you might be better off settling somewhere else to claim better territories. However, constantly skirmishing with them, or declaring war and killing their units, seems like a great idea if you can win all the battles.. you get experience but more importantly are killing 1 pop each time so you can quickly cripple their growth and they'll be an easy target later once you have city cap to spare or can assimilate their cities.

Rush buying with gold is only slightly more expensive than using Industry (unlike Civ) so I imagine once you get an economy up and running you'd be doing a lot of rush buying especially in production poor cities.

At first I bought every Civic that came up but now that they're very expensive I'm wishing I had been more picky

Instead of spending influence to found your third city, wait for independent peoples to pop up and take over theirs (and then attach a couple of nearby outposts). If there are too many hostile indys, take their city and release it to become a peaceful indy to be assimilated later.

A couple of things I haven't worked out yet, what do people think?
- What's the optimum early/mid/late game number of territories per city?
- Has anyone worked out the food/industry ratio for whipping production?

Also, the snowball effect feels huge, especially if you aren't moving units around you can really rip through production and tech... are there any "catch-up" mechanics or speed limits on growth or is this a game that you really win or lose in the first 50 turns?
 

PSG

Warlord
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
102
Skipped the tutorial and figured things out. Got my ass handed to me then my third game I thought I was doing decent and I was holding my own against the one Ai I came across. I was running around with pike men and crossbows trying to get a second iron so I could upgrade my swordsmen and then the message about another culture performing the worlds first nuclear test.......

Switched a few tactics and came up with what I think is the optimized combination of what races to play. Start with the Zhou and build as many Confucian Schools next to mountains as possible. This is all the science you will need if you get like 7 or 8 built (you still want to build things like libraries, but you don't need to build many science districts if any at all). Try sticking with Zhou (Just transcend once or twice) until Khmer is available and then build Barays in every city and outpost. I am getting Barays with as much as 45 food and 72 production on the same single Baray. Usually it's half that, but still. You will need to build a bunch of stability buildings/wonders. After that if you are resource starved then chose the Japanese for the Naginata Samurai otherwise I have not experimented much after this. Don't switch out of Khmer until you are finished building new outposts/cities.
 

fortydayweekend

Warlord
Joined
Nov 20, 2009
Messages
239
Switched a few tactics and came up with what I think is the optimized combination of what races to play. Start with the Zhou and build as many Confucian Schools next to mountains as possible. This is all the science you will need if you get like 7 or 8 built (you still want to build things like libraries, but you don't need to build many science districts if any at all). Try sticking with Zhou (Just transcend once or twice) until Khmer is available and then build Barays in every city and outpost. I am getting Barays with as much as 45 food and 72 production on the same single Baray. Usually it's half that, but still. You will need to build a bunch of stability buildings/wonders. After that if you are resource starved then chose the Japanese for the Naginata Samurai otherwise I have not experimented much after this. Don't switch out of Khmer until you are finished building new outposts/cities.

Zhou is good, but you only need a couple of schools (ideally with 3 mountains). Try focusing on food and industry more than science, if you do growth properly then science comes without too much effort.

Barays are possibly the best quarter in the game but you should be able to build one in every territory at the start of the Era, it shouldn't hold you back from advancing unless you've earned lots of quick military/territory stars from conquest.

Industry is king in the early game (and food to get the pop to work in Industry) if you're falling behind on tech or not able to build Barays quickly it sounds like you might be not producing enough?
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
5,015
Location
East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Skipped the tutorial and figured things out. Got my ass handed to me then my third game I thought I was doing decent and I was holding my own against the one Ai I came across. I was running around with pike men and crossbows trying to get a second iron so I could upgrade my swordsmen and then the message about another culture performing the worlds first nuclear test.......

Switched a few tactics and came up with what I think is the optimized combination of what races to play. Start with the Zhou and build as many Confucian Schools next to mountains as possible. This is all the science you will need if you get like 7 or 8 built (you still want to build things like libraries, but you don't need to build many science districts if any at all). Try sticking with Zhou (Just transcend once or twice) until Khmer is available and then build Barays in every city and outpost. I am getting Barays with as much as 45 food and 72 production on the same single Baray. Usually it's half that, but still. You will need to build a bunch of stability buildings/wonders. After that if you are resource starved then chose the Japanese for the Naginata Samurai otherwise I have not experimented much after this. Don't switch out of Khmer until you are finished building new outposts/cities.

Starting with Zhou has the advantage that the AI seems to take them very rarely, so you can loiter in the Neolithic for almost as long as you want and still get them, and then start the Ancient Age with extra Scouts and other Boosts. The disadvantage is that you will spend a lot of the Neolithic looking for and grabbing Regions with good Mountain adjacencies for your Confucian Schools. IF your start happens to be on a flat continent or a continent where the only mountain ranges are in the Arctic (and both of those have happened to me) - lots of potential Science but 0 Food - the Babylonian Astronomy House Quarter is second only to a well-placed Confucian School for Science - it provides 3 Science for each adjacent Farmers Quarter, plus an extra Researchers Slot and extra Science and Food per Researcher, but doesn't require any particular terrain, so you can build your Farmers and Astronomy House Quarters wherever you like. It tends to make for both a good early Science foundation and also pretty good Food for growth.

So much in the game is Situational: No Mountains - No Zhou. No rivers - Khmer's Baray Quarter becomes a lot less desirable BUT The Medieval Teutons Faction get +1 Science and Money for every follower of their religion - if you have a strong Religion established, (which is not really that hard to do) that Legacy Trait can jump both Money and Science by 100 points or more per turn from the minute you enter the Medieval Age. Their Emblematic Quarter is the Kaiserdom, which counts as a Makers Quarter, so more Industry, and it adds Faith to get you more religious followers which immediately translates into more Science and Money. I find that what Faction I choose almost always changes in every game because the situation with regard to terrain, Resources available, and relationship with my Neighbors changes.
 

Ornen

Warlord
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Messages
272
I kinda regret taking Nubians on my current playthrough (difficulty 6, after two easy runs on tutorial difficulty & then difficulty 4). Food and stability seem like concerns #1 and #2 early on, so a unique district that A.) doesn't help with either, and B.) requires multiple districts to maximize adjacency bonuses – feels like it might not be what I was hoping for.

We'll see though! Maybe it'll kick in once I get things up and running. Harappans weren't available (ofc), I've tried Olmecs already (love em), and wanted to try something new. But I kinda wish I'd picked Myceneans instead (one district grants big gains to industry and stability on its own, allowing you to otherwise focus on farms)

As far as simple tips go, my biggest one is going over your city cap. The penalty for going one over is very minor (-10 influence), and even going one more over isn't that big a deal in the midgame. It's a really soft cap
 
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