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[C3C] spaceship victory and general advice

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by DigitalSelf, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. DigitalSelf

    DigitalSelf Chieftain

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    Hey everyone,

    Newcomer here AND to the Civilization series altogether. I've been curious about the genre I started Civ3 2-3 weeks ago. So far, I'm having a blast, but I haven't been able to win a game, even on the chieftain level. I know, I'm bad (I'm usually more an RTS guy ;) ). I always end up by the turn limit, at which point I fail miserably. I tried winning by conquest with the Germans -- I read after that that they may be a bit tough early in the game -- and after that, I've tried with the Persians, for a spaceship victory.

    What I find frustrating is that even though I'm in the lead throughout the entire game, I'm lacking time to build all the spaceship components before the end. Heck, I'm also unable to finish researching all necessary techs, like synthetic fibers and sattellites. My problem seems to be that I cannot generate enough revenue -- perhaps? -- at that point, even though I'm able to keep the science slider at 80-90% until the first quarter of the industrious times.

    My territory is the largest of all the other civilizations and although I have almost all resources available without needing to trade, I'm starting to stall at some point. There is not a square that's unused in all my territory, but I cannot produce a lot of scientist in some cities, because they become too crowed and I'm getting city disorders more and more often.

    As far as government goes, I'm aiming for monarchy as soon as I can and later switch to feudalism. I switched to democracy during the industrious times (perhaps I should have switched earlier?) and It does help to finish city improvement faster, because of the gold.

    Throughout all my games I almost never got into combat -- when I tried with the Germans, I was squashed miserably -- so I'm not loosing money over it.

    So all in all, some tips regarding my approach and probably in the earlier stages of the game, would be GREATLY appreciated. If anyone is still playing this oldy, of course. I do have all other Civ games in my Steam library, but I really want to have a few victories under my belt, before I switch to the other entries. Thanks a bunch in advance for any reply!
     
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  2. tjs282

    tjs282 Halfhearted misanthrope

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    First of all, welcome to CivFanatics [party] :dance: :band: :dance:[party]
    Based on your description, this is likely a great part of the problem. Every time you switch goverments, you lose all productivity for up to 9 turns (at least, you do above Chieftain level -- can't remember if that's also true at Chieftain), so going Despotism —> Monarchy —> Feudalism —> Democracy, means you could lose as much as 27 turns of productivity/research out of the 540, and much more than that if your Democracy collapses at any point due to wars. Also, you will be running a low-commerce gov for a large part of the game, slowing your research to a crawl.

    Conversely, (like Monarchy) Republic can also be unlocked during the Ancient Age, and it gives you the same high commerce (= more beakers per turn) as Democracy, but with lower war-weariness than Demo (and it cannot collapse) — this makes Rep the best 'all-purpose' gov in the game, at least once your towns (Pop1-6) have grown to cities (Pop7-12).

    So the main 'trick' you need to learn is the 'Republic slingshot': research/buy Alphabet as your first Ancient Era tech, research [1] Writing, [2] Code of Laws and [3] Philosophy, and then take Republic as your freebie-tech for getting Philosophy first. Once you have Republic, revolt into it as soon as is practical, and stay in it for the rest of the game, using Luxury-resources (owned or imported) and LUX%-slider spending to keep order in your cities.
    Republic allows cash-rushing as well, but you shouldn't need to cash-rush much during the Industrial Era — if you've already properly improved the tiles around your towns, i.e. putting mines throughout your central 'core' area, rather than irrigation. This means first of all building enough Workers to do this, and then later on building rails (needs SteamPower: also needs Iron and Coal).
    In addition to Republic being the preferred government for high commerce, there are several other points to note here: first of all, being tech-leader is great, but you do not need to research everything (in the Ancient Age) yourself, and you do not need to research all the techs in each Age's tech-tree. (Admittedly, at Chieftain–Regent, you will probably have to research most if not all of the later techs yourself, but set your tech-priorities according to your game aim, and don't hesitate to trade for what you need).

    In the Ancient Age, the Philosophy-branch is the most important (to get Republic), with Construction (for Aqueducts, which allow non-freshwater towns to grow past Pop6) and Currency (for Marketplaces, which magnify Luxury-happiness, once you have 3 or more Luxury-resources) running close second. You can pretty much count on the AI-Civs doing WarriorCode and IronWorking for you, so by playing as the Greeks, Germans or Persians, and handing the AI-Civs BronzeWorking in return for their starting techs, you can pretty much guarantee that at least one of them will have IronWorking by the time you've got Writing/CoL, allowing you to trade for it. And once you have Republic, you can use it to buy just about everything else in the Ancient Age, and possibly also 1st-tier Middle Age techs like Feudalism or Engineering.

    For a Science-focussed game, you will also need to get Literature (=Libraries, but if you're the tech-leader, don't bother building the GreatLib), and at the beginning of the Middle Ages you will need Education (=Universities) as soon as practical. If you can also engineer a Golden Age at this point (using your unique unit, or by building/ capturing the Great Wonders matching your Civ's traits), then you can get 'Ducts and Unis built very quickly, helping you through the rest of the Middle Age.

    And in each Age, you only need to research/buy the 'obligatory' techs in order to advance to the next Age. All techs marked with crossed red circles are 'optional', and can therefore be traded for, or just plain skipped. The optional techs generally unlock Great Wonders or new governments: most of the terminal-twig Middle Age techs are optional (including all 3 techs leading to Democracy), and in the Industrial Age the Nationalism branch is also unnecessary — but the AI-Civs will almost always go for those techs first, before the really important ones like SteamPower —> Electricity —> ReplaceableParts (=Infantry [with Rubber]; doubles Worker-speed).

    Also, you do not need to build every building in every town: paying maintence on buildings that aren't helping you towards your intended victory-condition, represents a needless drain on your economy. In the Ancient Age you should certainly not be putting up more than 1-2 buildings per town, at most, and in the outer towns, at least one of those buildings will probably need to be a Courthouse. The building(s) you do put up should be dedicated to the town's intended purpose(s): e.g. a town with a high food-harvest (food-bonus tiles, or Floodplains) could produce Settlers/Workers, and therefore might need a Granary to allow it to regrow quickly; a town with a high shield-harvest could build military units, and would therefore 'need' a Barracks; and a town with high commerce might build a Library (if you're focussing on Science) or a Market (if you want to magnify your TAX%, and/or your Lux-happiness — if you have ≥3 Lux-types hooked).

    [Red text added during later edit]

    As a Scientific Civ, you shouldn't need to build Temples for most of the game — Libs give you cheaper Cultural expansion, and if unhappiness is becoming problematic (i.e. when you have more unhappy than happy citizens in a town), it makes better economic sense to turn those frownies into a Settler (or Worker), for 30 (or 10) shields, than build a Temple for 60 shields. And later on, for a science-focussed game, where you're running a high science-slider rate (and by extension are collecting zero or low tax-income), Banks are rarely if ever worth building, because they only amplify the 'TAX%'-slice of your commerce (TAX% = 100% – SCI% – LUX%).

    In the Industrial Age, Hospitals are not a high priority either: not only is Sanitation another 'optional' tech, but two Pop12 cities are easier/cheaper to keep happy than one Pop24 Metro — so if you want to work more tiles, build more cities (and build them closer together)!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  3. DigitalSelf

    DigitalSelf Chieftain

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    Warm welcome, thanks! And thanks a bunch for taking the time for such a detailed reply.

    Wow, that makes a lot of sense. Precious turns lost indeed. I wasn't sure about efficiency, because workers efficiency is at 150% with democracy, if I'm not mistaken. It's still 50% more than with republic, but is it worth it?

    That's one thing I'm always wondering, when there's the possibility to mine instead of irrigating, I'm sometimes hesitant if I should always mine. I'm always afraid that if I don't irrigate enough, my city won't grow anymore at some point. There's also another thing, that I'm not sure about. I just noticed than if I click on a tile while in the city view, it changes the shield/gold/bread output, thus affecting the time to grow, number of turn for unit production, or tax income for the city. I'm not sure I can also move more than one citizen...

    Already aware of that, thanks. ;)

    Interesting strategy. I'll surely try that!

    Yep! Already doing that. ;)

    Once again, a big thanks for all your very useful tips!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  4. tjs282

    tjs282 Halfhearted misanthrope

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    That is true, but the faster-Worker effect isn't hugely significant for the 'easy' jobs like roading, mining and irrigating flatland (and Hills), which is what you'll primarily be doing in the early game, and/or while still expanding: it might be useful for the tougher jobs, like chopping Jungle or mining Mountains in the later stages. But in the meantime, just to get there, you've languished in a low-commerce government for nearly 2 whole Ages ('beelining' straight to Democracy requires 7 techs, and the last 3 of those are optionals — wouldn't you rather have got Engineering, Feudalism, and [Invention —>] Gunpowder first?).
    During the first half of a space-race game, you should be aiming to get all your core towns to the hardcoded Pop12-cap (which requires a Hospital to exceed) as early as possible, in order to maximise the yields of your minimally corrupted tiles, for the maximum number of game-turns. So you'll want to concentrate your (initially scarce) Workers' efforts first on those tile(s) which will keep your town(s) growing (net positive food-output), learn to recognise the (next) most powerful tile(s) around each town, and ideally get that 'next' tile improved, just before the town grows big enough to use it. And don't forget, every tile should be roaded before a Worker leaves it — even if he's just passing through that tile on his way to a more important job.

    So in the early game, especially while still under Despotism (i.e. the first 100 turns or so), yes, you should generally follow the rule of thumb of 'mine green, irrigate brown'. This is because of the 'despotism penalty', which subtracts 1 unit from every tile-yield greater than 2 — meaning that irrigating ordinary Grassland will not improve the food-output (irrigation brings it from 2 to 3 food, but the penalty knocks it back to 2 food), whereas mining it will improve the shield-output (to either 1 or 2 shields); exceptions are Grassland with Wheat or Cattle, which are generally still worth irrigating. By the same rule, Plains should almost always be irrigated (and so should Desert, though this should not be a priority); exceptions here are Plains (and Desert) near Floodplain-towns, where you may/will need mines to make up for the Floodplains' lack of shields.

    As long as your town is making at least 1 net food-unit net, it will grow (slowly, admittedly, but it will grow) — but once you've moved to a non-penalised government (did I mention how good Republic is?), there's nothing stopping you from converting some of those flatland-mines to irrigation (preferably on the bonusGrassland, so you still get at least 1 shield out of it) for faster growth. Alternatively, once a (non-Granary) town has topped Pop7 and become a city, you can often increase the population of a town much faster by adding Workers to it, than by growing it naturally: you can spin off those Workers from your Granary-town(s), or your soon-to-become-unhappy towns. And once a town has reached Pop12, you need only 24 food harvested per turn to prevent starvation, so there's no reason why those irrigated tiles shouldn't be converted back to mines (so long as you have the Workers to do it).

    That said, Hills should generally not be mined under Despotism, since it takes a long time, but you'll still only get 2 shields out of it (i.e. no better than a [roaded] Forest, or a [roaded and] mined bonusGrass), and even once you switch govs, you might want to put off mining your Hills until you have 2-3 spare Workers to do it quickly. 'Difficult' terrain such as Mountains, Marshes, and Jungles should generally be ignored until the late Medieval/ early Industrial era if possible, by which time you should have the excess Worker-power available (and/or the RepParts Worker-boost) to improve it quickly (without also needing the Democracy-boost!)...
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  5. DigitalSelf

    DigitalSelf Chieftain

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    Awesome advice, once again, thanks!! I'll put all of it into good use. Hopefully, may next game should lead me to victory, even if it's at level chieftain. :lol: I guess I'll just need to restart my last game. One last question (perhaps!)... Will bringing roads to tiles containing resources, like shields and large gold amount -- the ones with an icon -- bring those resources to my town, even if they are not mined?
     
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  6. tjs282

    tjs282 Halfhearted misanthrope

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    Broadly speaking, yes, but there is also a distinction to be made here between 'Strategic/Luxury resources' (e.g. Iron, Horses, Spices, Furs, etc.) and 'Bonus resources' (e.g. Wheat, Fish, Gold, Oases, etc.). While all 3 types boost the various yields from worked tiles, whether or not the tile is roaded (or mined) is irrelevant to the yield-boost provided by the resource itself. (Although as I said above -- all worked tiles should be roaded for the commerce-boost!).

    A single Strat./Lux.-resource can unlock build-options/increase happiness in every one of your towns connected to your 'Trade Network' (either by a continuous road, or between 2 Harbours with 'navigable' waters between them; NB navigability is defined by techs, not ship-movement rates); or be used as trade-goods (if you have a continuous trade route to an AI-Capital); but only after that resource is also connected to your Trade Network. Inside your borders, connection requires only a road; beyond your borders, a road-plus-Colony. NB once connected, all Strategic resources except Horses (EDIT: and Rubber — thanks, Justanick!) are subject to random 'exhaustion' — they disappear from that tile, and re-spawn again somewhere else in the world.

    Spoiler Pros and Cons of Colonies :
    To build a Colony uses up one Worker (or Slave), but also puts an immediate road on the Colonised tile, which will stay in place after the Colony disappears (after absorption by a border-expansion, or if the Colony is overrun by an enemy). So if producing another Worker will take significantly fewer turns than roading a Strat.-/Lux.-resource-tile would, then Colonising a Strat./Lux.-resource may be a reasonable short-term solution in some cases. Colonies are not usually viable long-term solutions, though — so even if you do build one, you should probably also aim to plant (or capture!) a town beyond that Colony later, to secure the resource permanently within your borders.

    e.g. if there is Iron or Gems on a Mountain just outside your current borders, roading it would take 1+9 turns if non-Industrious, but building a Colony would take 1+1 turns; a properly set up 'Worker-pump' town can produce a new Worker in 2 turns. Later on — provided the resource-Colony is still on neutral territory — the Settler (or military units!) intended to secure the border expansion, could pass through the Colony for faster travel to its final destination.
    Conversely, Bonus resources benefit only the town which works that tile, and thus can only provide that yield-boost if the resource is within the town's 'Fat Cross', and also within your borders. Bonus resource benefits are non-transferable between non-adjacent towns within your empire, but if a (Bonus) resource falls within 2 (or more) overlapping FatCrosses, the yield-boost can be alternated between adjacent towns, by 'micromanaging' citizen tile-assignments in those towns (if you have the patience to do that).

    One other thing to note: since all town-tiles give a default 2 food (if not Agricultural), you should always aim to Settle adjacent to food-boosting resources (especially Cattle, Wheat, and Oases) where feasible, rather than directly on top of them; the latter will eliminate the food-bonus, and thus reduce that town's potential growth rate and/or final sustainable size (the AI, of course, ignores this consideration!). Settling on shield-boosting resources is generally OK in the sense that you won't lose the shield-yield, but you can't increase it either. Settling on commerce-boosting resources has no major drawbacks that I know of; Gold-Hills (adjacent to flatland) are actually great for Settling on, since you get both the Commerce-boost and the terrain defensive bonus, while leaving the flat tiles available for irrigation/ growth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  7. justanick

    justanick Chieftain

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    While i agree with most of what you wrote i like to disagree on this. As corruption grows with the amount of cities closer to the capital utilizing a given a amount of tiles with less cities is almost alway preferable. This is more relevant at higher difficulty settings. More importantly is that this way total maintenance for buildungs will be lower and starting in the industrial age this maintenance can become quite significant. Using a given amount of tiles with less cities will benefit net commerce. Net commerce is beakers per turn + gold per turn. So if you produce 1200 beakers per turn at -400 gold per turn your net commerce is 800 per turn. Optimizing for net commerce is a mid to long term priority.

    First you build up the first sector, agricultural production in order to have a proper amount of citizens and workers. Second you build up the second sector, industrial production in order to construct buildings that serve as amplifiers such as universities. The third sector is trade, services and science, it is to be optimized long term.

    Below Sid and especially below Demigod one often encounters the lower boundery of 4 turns per tech. If you donnot encounter it on a regular basis this an indication that your playstyle leaves much to be desired. Getting required cheap techs done first is one move to wiggle around that boundry. In the industrial age techs start to become quite expensive. If you are still maintaining 4 turns per tech then or even in the modern age this is an indication that you are doing something right.

    Rubber is also immune to exhaustion.
     
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  8. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Chieftain

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    All great stuff -- to get to the spaceship victory before time runs out, you want to get your empire running as efficiently as you can, as soon as you can. A few comments about producing those spaceship parts ...

    How many to build?: After looking closely at the technologies required to build the various spaceship parts, you will notice that each tech unlocks one or two parts at a time. Even given that some parts will take many turns to build, you will probably only be building 2 or 3 parts at any one time. As you move through the late industrial age towards the modern age, you probably will have identified a few cities (3 or 4, probably including the capital) that have high production of shields per turn. These cities should build a factory, to further increase their shields per turn. As noted above, you don't need factories in every -- or even most -- cities.

    Pre-builds: A very useful technique involves setting a city to build the Palace or another Wonder before the unlocking tech has been researched. The city will build up a stash of shields, and you can then "change production" to the spaceship part once the tech has been unlocked. Depending on when you start the pre-build, you may only need a few turns to finish the part. You may then set another productive city to start a pre-build for when the next part becomes available.

    Great Wonders: Unless you're going for a cultural victory, you should carefully consider which Great Wonders you want to build. New players often enjoy the thrill of completing a wonder and try to get them all; resist the lure of shiny objects! Three wonders in particular are useful on the road to Spaceship victories: Copernicus' Observatory, Newton's University, and Theory of Evolution. Using a pre-build is an effective way to ensure that you get these wonders and their benefits.
     
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  9. DigitalSelf

    DigitalSelf Chieftain

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    Thanks. Fortunately, I had already figured this one out by myself, but thanks!. ;)

    I was under the impression that the Great Library could also be useful.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  10. justanick

    justanick Chieftain

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    It seems accurate to me that factories should exist in most cities so that the effect of the Hooverdam can be exploited. For manufacuring plants it is slightly more complicated. They cost 320 shields, 3 gtp and can cause pollution. With a base production of 12 after corruption they increase production by 6 and if put on wealth this creates the 3 gtp to sustain the manufacturing plant. The higher the base production after corruption, the more valueable the manufacturing plant becomes.

    It isn't. It runs out with education in the early middle ages, so how does that help with space victory more than 2 ages later?
     
  11. tjs282

    tjs282 Halfhearted misanthrope

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    By definition, using the GLib for tech-acquisition means that you will always be behind the curve — which is not where you want to be, if you want to win a Space-Race. And anyway, it expires with Education, so as soon as 2 known Civs have that, you lose the benefit*.

    It can be useful if you intend to pursue an aggressive early war strategy, because you get the techs based on how many Civs you know that have them, regardless of whether or not you're on good terms with those Civs. So you can zero your SCI%-slider, put all your gold into military, and still keep up reasonably closely with the 2-3 tech leaders; by the time the GLib expires, you should have acquired enough territory that you will be able to do your own research at a reasonably fast pace.

    *
    Spoiler Sneaky exploit :
    Unless you use the 'lending library' trick, which is most effective at higher difficulty levels (Emperor+).

    Basically, you watch the tech-leaders carefully in the F4 screen (or use CivAssist) and immediately following the interturn when Education is learned by the second tech-leader, you hand the GLib-town (which should ideally be landlocked) off to a [weak] AI-Civ, who doesn't have an RoP with you. That weak Civ gets rushed up to Edu on their next interturn, but then obtains no further benefit from the GLib. In the meantime, you should be pursuing the MilTrad branch of the Middle Age tree, ignoring Education for now. Once you have Cavs, feel free to storm across the world, until you feel the tech leaders are running away too far ahead of you again (e.g. they've got Nationalism, or Steam, or even Industrialisation). You then DoW the weak Civ and take back the GLib-town (which should be relatively easy — especially if it has no Iron/Saltpeter in its own FatCross — since the 'owner' probably won't have been able to build [m]any decent defenders in it), and immediately get a massive tech-boost: every tech learned by both the current tech-leaders, from Education up to and/or including their latest acquisitions, all at once.

    This happens because your research progress (and tech(s) learned) is calculated at the beginning of the interturn, before the AI's, but the Wonder-expiration check is run later on. So you don't get Education from the GLib on the same interturn as it becomes common knowledge, and by waiting until a whole bunch of post-Education techs are also commonly known before retaking the GLib, you get all of them as well.
    Cross-posting with Justanick, but never mind...
     
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  12. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Chieftain

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    I'd like to explore that idea a bit. Many of the cities outside my core have only 5 or 8 shields per turn, base production. It takes them many turns to produce a marketplace (for the happiness multiplier) and an aqueduct (to get to size 12). Is it really worth the investment in shields and turns to build a factory?

    For a city with more than 8 spt production, yes, I could see that a factory could be worthwhile.
     
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  13. DigitalSelf

    DigitalSelf Chieftain

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    Oh. So I've made yet another mistake, but so far, my current game is looking a bit better. I'm entering industrious times, at 1000 AD. Surely not the best, but my personal best, to date. :) Thanks for confirming this though!
     
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  14. justanick

    justanick Chieftain

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    Even 8 shields after corruption seems awefully low. If a metropolis uses 16 tiles averaging at 2.5 shields per tile than before corruption it has 40 shields and at 70% corruption 12 shields after corruption. With factory and Hooverdam it would be 24 shields.

    In the core and in the semicore factories should be standard. Also for a communist empire they should be standard. But for the true periphery, where corruption prior the upper limit exceeds 70%, factories will not pay off in any short timespan if at all.
     
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  15. r16

    r16 not deity

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    ı always play at Monarch and always beeline for the Great Library or its equivalent . Especially in the epic game where ı pointblank refuse to research Polytheism , it either gives me many techs "free" , with a possible science leader in the beeline (because everyone goes for Iron Working) or denies goverments to AI . Not every time it works , but one has to fight time to time anyhow . Knock out an AI in the first era , take as many of its cities , saves you from building settlers . Yes , they will eventually discover Education , but that's another free tech for you . Just build up cities for the second round of competition , and keep army ready , for there will be one or two wars to keep you from the wonders and the like .
     
  16. DigitalSelf

    DigitalSelf Chieftain

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    Finally won my first game. Thanks for all the advice! Learning to be patient in this kind of game was a bit hard for me, being mainly into RTS games. What I found unfortunate is that I exhausted my uranium supply at some point -- as mentioned, the AI was SO behind, at chieftain level, that I could not trade for it -- and I had to get it by force from one small American town. Then, everything started falling apart and I lost several towns by being atb war with them. It was what I could consider, a "clean" win, in terms of my town hapiness management. :lol:
     
  17. tjs282

    tjs282 Halfhearted misanthrope

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    Awesome! Well done! :goodjob: :pat:

    Next one at Regent, then...? ;)

    (Population-happiness becomes a bit harder, because fewer citizens are born content, and the AI-Civs get no production/ growth/ research handicaps per se -- but will still irrigate half their (Grass)land under Despotism, so will tend to harvest fewer shields per turn than you can.)
     
  18. DigitalSelf

    DigitalSelf Chieftain

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    Hehe thanks. My last comment was a bit erroneous, as it was NOT a clean win, since chaos arose, because I had to invade the US to get uranium. However, before that, my citizens were generally quite happy. I even reloaded an earlier save and managed to win a political victory.

    However, I restarted from scratch many times, when I realized that I wasn't going to make it -- I played one where NONE of the resources were inside my territory -- thus, I've played for several dozens of hours, before getting these two victories. Overall, close to a hundred hours of gameplay. Now I feel that I'm ready to move on to the other Civ entries. Already started the tutorial in Civ4, to familiarize myself with the new mechanics. ;)
     
  19. Theov

    Theov Chieftain

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    Posting a savegame will give insight on your gameplay. And I'm always interested in how others play. :D
    The town happiness management is one of my hardest things to keep track off. I added some indicators to the popheads:

    Popheads with nationality, happiness and specialty indicators:
    Download the popheads: View attachment 403609
    Spoiler :


    I find myself clicking through all my towns every turn, just to prevent riots from happening. Especially when you have many towns, it can be a pain to keep track of it. CivAssist can help, but I've not tried it that much though.
     

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