Something other than 4 city tall with tradition

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by BasedGod, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. bison21

    bison21 Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    221
    I just don't understand why so many people think tradition 3/4 cities is optimal. I mean there are LPs on deity on youtube showing very fine liberty play, going very strong at the beginning as well. I think it's more of a myth to be honest. You just can't expect liberty to work out well if you don't adjust to the fact that aqueducts and monuments have to be hardbuilt.
     
  2. Liegence

    Liegence Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    153
    I think it's common for strategy players to feel like if they are playing subpar they're doing it wrong. However, assuming you are a master at the game then the next level would be playing out of your comfort zone and adapting to new strategies and making them succeed.

    Next time you start a new game just force yourself to try something different and see if you can make it work.

    How about try an Honor/Piety convert or die strategy and see how large you can build your no puppet empire :)
     
  3. Winston

    Winston Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Messages:
    203
    I think you can win without tradition on the higher settings but the games feel much much harder and it depends on things like picking up a religion and ideal areas to expand.
    I used liberty and honor alot in GnK but that approach is definitely much harder now due to less happiness. Also, if you're labelled as a warmonger the AI will now try to ban your luxuries, which makes the happiness issue even more challenging.
     
  4. muffinator

    muffinator Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Here's a weird challenge I set for myself that was really fun:

    1) no settlers
    2) first take honour, take liberty later if you've got spare culture hanging around
    3) only invade cities with a border touching one of your borders*
    4) never raze a city
    5) aim for conquest victory

    *if there's multiple islands/continents, one city per island is exempt from this rule

    Playing Zulus, I managed to win in the 18th century doing that. Heaps of fun hopping from enemy city to enemy city. Sort of mad fighting everybody at all times, but it'll teach you a lot about flanking and combined arms. You've got three big things to worry about: armies, science and happiness, all of which become increasingly more difficult to handle the wider your civ gets. It's not 'optimal' by a long shot but it was fun as hell.
     
  5. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Messages:
    657
    Do you (or anyone else) have any links to those deity liberty LPs?
     
  6. bison21

    bison21 Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    221
    Elcee Poland Deity LP, liberty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHyFBKRPtNM
    MadJinn Poland Deity LP Liberty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR0zxOO2T18
    -> it is a coincidence that they are both Poland, has more to do with boring youtubers always requesting the same civs, really. Note that MJ's one is Science victory.

    Moriarte Pacal Deity Liberty start: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GulOK9YbNKY
    -> that one is not finished though
     
  7. paralistalon

    paralistalon Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    88
    It sounds like if the topic creator is getting bored with 3/4 Tradition -> Rationalism openers, he/she should intentionally try other strategies and see if any are viable. Why not 2 city Tradition opener? 2 cities kind of like OCC but one city specializes in science and the other in production and military training? Or perhaps start with a crap-ton of cities all in very close formation so that you don't have a lot of land, but in that land, you have pretty much every tile and specialist worked and can defend it like Fort Knox. Or maybe go straight into Piety experiment with different religious combos. Are these strategies viable? I honestly don't know, lol.
     
  8. Ninakoru

    Ninakoru A deity on Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2002
    Messages:
    658
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain, Europe
    I've watched some time ago a Danish Deity LP in BNW with liberty. Was incredible. Still have to see a full honor start in deity with some success though...

    Liberty, while harder to manage can be near tradition in terms of effectiveness, I think the TC should try liberty instead and try to make it work. At least it should be more fun.

    Yeah, the policy thing is boring, just lower the difficulty and try honor/piety and have some fun, I guess...
     
  9. bonafide11

    bonafide11 Worker

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,185
    Location:
    STL
    It does get frustrating and takes some fun out of the game knowing that one strategy and playstyle is so superior to other strategies and playstyles that you are pretty much forced into taking them if you want to be competitive in a challenging game. That's why it really disappoints me that they didn't do more to buff Liberty, Honor, Piety, and some of the other social policies.
     
  10. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Messages:
    657
    @Bison21: Thanks for those links. :) As it happens, I've seen both the first two LP's and have been watching @Moriarte's.

    One of the things that crossed my mind when I posted was: I wonder what @Bison21 means by “very fine liberty play” and whether what I'm looking for in an LP reflects that description. In this case, I think the answer is that I'm looking for something a little different from what I've seen in those links. What's more, I think the OP might also be looking for something a little different too.

    To be precise, I'm looking for an LP which shows a gamer take liberty and REx as much as they can – certainly well beyond the standard four city tradition opening. Now, as good as those LPs are, (and they're terrific gamers of course), RExxing on that scale is actually not something that I saw in any of those LPs. Perhaps I've missed something?

    As I recall, @MadDjinn for instance talked about taking liberty and then RExing hard – but actually only settled four cities (plus his capital) before running into happiness issues. Going back to the topic of the thread, this is only one more city than the four city empire that tradition is designed for. Now to be fair, the deity AI managed to settle a couple cities which I'm sure Mad would love to have settled – which may have given a better illustration of the power of liberty (which is what Mad took as his opening social policy tree).

    As it happened, @Elcee (known as @Light Cleric here on cfc) also took liberty – but then again settled just four cities for a five city (including the capital) empire. As I'm sure you noticed, @Elcee then went on and conquered a sixth city from Gandhi before T100 – which is more like what I was hoping to see. @Moriarte meanwhile also took liberty – but then only expanded out to four cities in total (for which tradition is designed) before running into happiness issues, and that on pangaea when all AI's can be met for trade pre-astronomy. In other words, whilst all those gamers took liberty, only @Elcee / @Light Cleric actually expanded significantly beyond the standard 4 city opening.

    The mention of pangaea in the last paragraph meanwhile takes me to another point. One thing that all these LPs have in common of course is that they're all being (or were) played on a pangaea, which provides access to all AI's for trading pre-astronomy. As such, it goes without saying of course that these maps each provided the ideal scenario to REx: all of the game's luxuries were available to settle and trade for on one continent. Despite that though, whilst each gamer took liberty, they actually only managed to settle (or conquer in @Elcee's game) an initial 4-6 cities before running into happiness issues, and / or running out of room, courtesy of the deity AI. This is why, as an aside, I've often wondered if there's an LP out there illustrating a REx on a standard continents (or continents plus) map, where maybe half of Civ 5's twenty luxuries won't be available to trade or settle pre-astronomy.

    Talking of happiness, I still think that remains the number one handicap facing the RExxer. You see the key point to note is that, as mentioned, there are only 20 luxuries in a game of Civ 5 (assuming we ignore mercantile CS and Indonesia's unique resources for a moment.) Now assuming a player settles roughly one city per luxury, that caps them at settling 20 pop one cities pre-ideologies. Each luxury they fail to secure (eg. in trade) is one city less that they can settle. Going back to my point re: maps, this might actually mean that on something like a continents map, as few as 10 luxuries – and therefore 10 pop 1 cities - might be available to settle before hitting happiness caps. And again, even this best case assumes that the player can settle or trade for each luxury. This of course is very unlikely (if not impossible), given both that other AI will settle land (and luxuries) and that the number of luxuries the human can trade for is capped by the number of surplus luxuries they have and / or the amount of gold they can offer in trade.

    Of course, there are other ways for the gamer to secure happiness (which they can, for instance, use to grow their cities), but the gamer can only secure four happiness from buildings (via a colosseum and a zoo) in each city before the renaissance finishes. Assuming that each city has been settled for a luxury, this caps each city settled at 5 pop until then. They can of course build wonders or use certain follower beliefs to boost happiness (and therefore population) further, but can of course get beaten to them too. Certain (pre-ideology) social policies can help a little too - see more re: liberty below. Befriending or allying Mercantile CS and constructing other buildings like circuses, stoneworks and UBs can also raise the happy cap further – if those CS have spawned on that landmass (which is another reason why pangaea helps) and the gamer is playing a Civ such as Egypt. Absent those things though, it would seem to me that the gamer playing a standard continents (or continents plus) map is currently capped at settling something like 10 cities at 5 population (or perhaps 6, given the spare happiness they start with), at least until astronomy allows contact with unmet AI (or until ideologies make more happiness available). And doing even this requires building a zoo (and colosseum) in each city. Of course, it also assumes once again that a gamer can trade for each luxury that spawns on their landmass...each luxury they cannot at least secure in trade means that one less city can be settled. Have I missed something? Assuming I haven't it's why I agree wholeheartedly with gamers who've been asking for another luxury or two (such as tea and / or coffee) to be added to Civ 5.

    There is of course one other thing that gamer can do to boost early game happiness: take the liberty social policy. As advertised, this social policy adds one happiness for each city connected to the capital (from meritocracy). Now this sounds fine in theory, but it competes with monarchy in tradition as a happiness booster, which provides one happiness (or technically one less unhappiness) for each two citizens in the capital. As a result, unless I'm missing something, liberty is only going to provide more happiness for the RExxer when the number of cities they connect to the capital exceeds half the population of the capital. If the gamer for instance has a pop 10 capital – which all the youtubers mentioned in this long post do quite early to boost research – then liberty (specifically meritocracy) requires connecting six cities to the capital to provide more happiness for the RExxer than the 5 happy cap boost the gamer who goes tradition will get from monarchy. Now given that the gamer might only be able to settle at most 10 pop 1 cities on a continents (plus) map without happiness penalty (depending on how resources have spawned), that's actually quite a task. This is precisely why I also agree completely with those suggesting that Firaxis needs at the very least to boost the amount of happiness coming from meritocracy (and / or lower the happiness boost from monarchy) to change that break even and at least allow the gamer trying to play wide sufficient happiness to do so. As it stands, tradition is a far stronger social policy and can actually provide more early-mid game happiness than liberty, assuming the gamer attempts to grow their capital to boost research.



    TL, DR: Thanks for the links but, @Elcee's apart, all the gamers actually take liberty and then simply sit on four or five cities. Some very simple maths meanwhile shows that happiness remains a huge obstacle to the RExxer, especially if they play on maps where meeting AI requires astronomy. Firaxis really need to offer the gamer additional sources of happiness, whether via more luxuries, boosting meritocracy or perhaps taking other steps, if going wide is to be considered a genuine alternative to simply settling four cities and growing them.
     
  11. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Messages:
    657
    One last thing. I can't say I'm convinced that adjusting to having to hard build monuments and aqueducts is the real problem with liberty. Instead, as I've pointed out, the real issue facing liberty is that it simply doesn't provide the gamer with sufficient happiness to REx. Indeed, you can see this in @Elcee's game because meritocracy isn't what enables him to REx. Instead, given that he grows his capital to boost research, monarchy would've provided an almost identical happy cap boost. The real issue spurring @Elcee's REx is that he manages to secure plenty of happiness - via new luxuries - from the cities that he conquers (and then puppets). Absent those luxuries, @Elcee's REx would have stalled from unhappiness, even if he'd taken meritocracy.

    I'm also not convinced that adjusting to having to hard build monuments and aqueducts is hugely relevant here. Having to hard build monuments can often be adjusted for by altering the placement of cities, so they need fewer border pops to access the resources they were settled for. Aqueducts meanwhile are good buildings but the value of science and growth means they're in the wrong part of the tech tree. IMHO, you often want early access to philosophy, education and civil service for the NC, universities and extra food from riverside grassland instead. Small cities will tend to grow fast enough even without aqueducts.

    IMHO, the one time liberty shines is when you want fast settlers. If you absolutely have (or want) to get settlers out to settle luxuries to beat out an AI, then liberty can definitely help. If however, you've sufficient time to hard build settlers, tradition remains the social policy of choice IMHO.
     
  12. BroOfTheSun

    BroOfTheSun Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Chicago
    I think one of the problems here (more so than the 4 city tradition opener) is that everyone mostly plays Standard size maps. Standard sized maps only allow you to have so many cities, where teh 4 city tradition opener is king. Try playing larger maps. Liberty works better with larger maps and more space.
     
  13. NinjaGnat

    NinjaGnat Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    86
    That is definitely the case. I'm curious about the design decision (or maybe lack thereof) that made it so tradition's bonuses do not scale with map size.
     
  14. Uncle_Joe

    Uncle_Joe Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    481
    Quite possibly true, but most other decisions seem to be balanced based on a Standard size map (hence, 'Standard' ;) ). So it seems odd that there are 4 choices for opening policies but one is almost clearly superior to the others in that 'standard' game option.

    Maybe just 'un-nerfing' Liberty and switching the free Settler back with the production bonus would help but I think it would probably require a bit more than that to equal all of the fantastic benefits of the 4 city Tradition opening.
     
  15. Uncle_Joe

    Uncle_Joe Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    481
    Maybe a good 'quick fix' would be for Tradition to only affect the first THREE cities on a Standard map and it could scale from there?
     
  16. Winston

    Winston Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Messages:
    203
    I think it's strange that tradition has never been nerfed but so many of the other SP trees have.
     
  17. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Messages:
    657
    What liberty needs more of is happiness...and the game may still need another luxury or two to boot. As it stands, the simple reality is that there's often not enough happiness in game to go wide early, because there are only 20 universally available luxuries, which everyone's competing to settle and trade for. A standard map however is capable of containing far, far more than 20 cities. The result is that a gamer will often run out of happiness before they run out of very good land to settle, until happiness from ideologies arrives.
     
  18. Uncle_Joe

    Uncle_Joe Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    481
    And IMO, that's fine in general since it gives some opportunity for later game expansion and 'colonization'. But the problem seems to be that Tradition just nests too many good bonuses together and becomes an obvious choice over the other trees.

    I honestly don't think the other trees are 'bad', Tradition is just too good atm, given the other game conditions.
     
  19. Ninakoru

    Ninakoru A deity on Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2002
    Messages:
    658
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain, Europe
    Yeah, I see liberty quite good as it is, tradition clearly OP, piety bad, honor horrible.

    Heck, is stupid how the ancient policies are just now. It is supponed to give you four standalone ancient policies to either mix or follow to the end. Playing immortal/deity full honor is suicide, didn't tried with piety but I feel is near the same.

    The game concept is fine, but as it stand now, even on bigger maps i tend to go tradition over liberty only for the extra happiness... You can expand at will much better than with liberty, as stupid it may sound.
     
  20. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,179
    *shrug*

    On Emperor I can settle 8 cities by turn 100 reliably with no happiness problems. Immortal I can typically snag 5-6. Reliable if you count conquered cities, otherwise you get the occasional game where AI settles toward you and can only settle 3-4. Still easy enough to launch an attack and get up to 6 before turn 100.

    Expecting anything more than that is a bit ridiculous. Even the most aggressive AI's rarely have more than 8 cities by turn 100, and that is with cheats. You can expand even wider in the mid to late game, but of course that is generally done through conquering. Sometimes you can get the nice mid-game city spot that somehow went unnoticed by everyone.

    7 out of the 8 difficulties, it is fine. Deity is an exception since you are kind of forced to play smaller until mid-game. At which point a lot of players just continue to play small, but nothing is stopping you from conquering additional cities once you catch up in tech.

    At the risk of sounding like a jerk, if you are playing Immortal and below and struggle to play wide with Liberty, the problem is you.
     

Share This Page