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Starting strategies/Openers

Discussion in 'Strategy Forum' started by Tomice, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Hi! I didn't find time for civ for several months, so I missed a lot thet was changed both in vanilla and TBM. Before I laid Civ aside, building the library national wonder in your capital first before expanding was just discovered as new strategy (or exploit?). That was long ago, however :lol: Please help me at regaining my gaming skills again.

    In the Juli version of TBM, which openings do you use? which techs do you research first?

    Personally, these are my first thoughts:

    1) I start by building a scout if my start is close to some "bad" territory, hoping to grab a few goody huts. if the start position is very fertile, other civs are probably close according to Thal, so no chance to get huts, no scout necessary.

    2) Then I build a worker and grab the techs I need to improve luxuries/strong tiles.

    3) unveiling horses and iron is also crucial to me, as I usually try to get the best spots before my neighbours do, avoiding war. While I often think that an early attack might be better, I'm rather hesitant. Don't know if it's my pacifistic nature or fear of losing the war ;) In general, I love the SPs that allow me to expand fast (Liberty).

    4) the next steps usually include trying to stay on reasonable happiness levels and maybe getting a wonder. Iron working might also be important if I fear to be attacked.


    So you see my strategy is very general/straightforward, I don't know much about effective beelines. Any tips/suggestions for improvement are very welcome! :)
     
  2. Catastrophe90

    Catastrophe90 Warlord

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    I usually go Scout -> Worker -> Warrior/Scout, where Scout is if I started in a forest/desert and Warrior if I start near another Civ or in the middle of 4 Barb camps (hey, it happened once). Also, I tend to slip in a Settler in whenever my capital hits 3 pop. After that, it really depends on the current situation.

    As for techs, I usually start with either Pottery -> Sailing if I have a good coastal position (read: Pearls, Fish or Whales) and Mining ->Masonry otherwise (if I beeline for the Pyramids, I don't need to stunt my growth early for a Settler). After that, it depends on the nearby terrain. A lot of Plantation luxuries means Calendar, lots of plains/grasslands means Animal Husbandry and Tenochtitlan ten tiles away means Archery.

    Note: I am not a particularly good player, as I mostly just screw around on King, so take all that with a grain of salt.
     
  3. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Good to see you back, Tomice!

    This thread probably belongs in the TBM Strategy subforum, which was started after you took your sabbatical.

    All things being equal or standard (which happens often enough) I go for an NC start with Scout-Worker-Monument-Library-NC. In doing this I research something useful for my Worker to do, then the Philosophy beeline.

    There is a variation on this now where you go for the GL first, and take its library en route to the NC. In this case the vanilla discussions on this tilt toward Pottery-Writing first, and a Scout-Monument-Worker start.

    PS - Thal could use your artistic skills in coming up with an icon for the Militia unit!
     
  4. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    As you pointed out it depends on the terrain. Desert/tundra or a lack of rivers usually means we have more space to expand, so there's likely more huts around.

    Poor terrain:

    1. Scout
    2. Scout
    3. Worker
    Good terrain:

    1. Scout
    2. Worker
    3. Warrior

    Scout first seems to always be good. It helps us locate potential sites for our 2nd city, and our scout + warrior can team up against barbarians. With any build order I purchase a monument as soon as I have enough gold to do so. After that I have a few basic strategies for what to beeline:

    Neighbors

    • If I discover a warlike AI very close (Napoleon, Montezuma, etc) I beeline Archery and get at least one archer right away, regardless of what else I'm going for. Ranged units are essential for defending against a rush.

    Conquest Game
    • I beeline barracks and Heroic Epic, then pump out archers+spears to conquer the nearest citystate (preferably) or AI.

    Peaceful Game
    • Coastal: Great Lighthouse if there's a valuable citystate nearby, otherwise Colossus.
    • Marble: Pyramids.
    • Landlocked and no marble: Great Library.


    ======================

    Copying some info here on my initial conquest game strategy. My classical-era army composition is usually something like:

    • 3 swordsmen
    • 2 catapults
    • 2 chariots
    • 1 horsemen
    • 3 archers
    • 2 spearmen
    • 2 scouts
    ~15 units total

    Any more units and the map usually gets overcrowded. Combined arms is the way to go - it's more powerful and strategically challenging than spamming one or two unit types. In a conquest game my initial build order is scout/scout/worker or scout/scout/warrior. Scouts are great Medics in this mod since they're stronger, cheap, and can upgrade to the useful Militia. I try to get at least one scout to the Medic promotion from fighting barbarians. I also have 1 scout garrisoned in every city for Military Caste and fending off barbarians.

    I then add archers and spears to capture the first city:

    • 3 archers
    • 2 spearmen
    • 2 scouts
    The 2nd city captured usually has walls:

    • 2 catapults
    • 3 archers
    • 2 spearmen
    • 2 scouts
    After that I add the strategic units for early-medieval warfare:

    • 3 swordsmen
    • 2 chariots
    • 1 horsemen
    • 2 catapults
    • 3 archers
    • 2 spearmen
    • 2 scouts
    Once ready to upgrade to medieval units at least three or four cities are conquered. I often stop a while at this point to let happiness catch up. As you can see, we can build lots of units in a combined-arms force, with strategic units as the core elite of our army. This army only requires 3 horses and 3 iron, which is a portion of the resources available in our territory (4 horses and 5 iron).
     
  5. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Could you elaborate on these?
     
  6. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Moderator Action: Moved to the strategies subforum (due to obvious reasons ^^).
     
  7. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    @Txurce
    I typically go for early wonders in peaceful games because it's best to do so with Monarchy's wonder boosters. Even so, getting more than one early wonder is a gamble, so I pick which one I want to beeline right away.

    • Pyramids are an obvious choice if we have Marble, since they're on the same tech. It lets us build a settler without halting Capital growth.
    • Colossus is a better alternative if we have Marble + coastal start. Marble and Colossus techs are close to one another. Colossus is also unique in that there's one rare situation I always get it: if our capital is coastal and has lakes! In this situation the Colossus + a lighthouse creates crazy 4:c5food:2:c5gold: tiles. :D
    • Great Lighthouse is very important if we happen to start on a coast, and plan on a citystate strategy. The Great Lighthouse's free Great Merchant can easily give us 2 citystate allies right away.
    • Stonehenge is a great choice if there's valuable tiles in our capital's outer rings.
    • Great Library is equally useful for any start location and any strategy. It's the most flexible of the early wonders - probably why it's considered so powerful. The only downside is it's on a tech that doesn't have good synergy if we start near marble or a coastline.
    With the classical wonders:

    • Oracle is a must-have for culture games since the policy it gives does not increase the cost of future policies. It can actually be quite nice on other games too, if we happen to get lots of early Declarations of Friendship (Philosophy unlocks both RA research and the Oracle).
    • Hanging Gardens is an obvious choice if one of our early cities has tons of hills but low food.
    • Great Wall is useful for any peaceful game. It gives us a Great General, which can be hard to acquire for peaceful empires (and is vital if attacked). The enemy movement penalty is deadly in combination with archers or chariots.
    The wonders I consider for conquest games are the Pyramids and Hanging Garden. If we have Marble and some decent :c5production: around the capital, the Pyramids are a very good way to build our first Settler. Hanging Gardens can be useful for a military production city to work tons of hills early on. Another advantage of Hanging Gardens is they're 1 of the only 2 early wonders unlocked by a military tech (the other being Colossus).
     
  8. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Oh sorry, I thought I DID actually post in the strategy subforum.

    Well, here's my classical mistake I now remember doing often before and which I just repeated:
    I was too fascinated by sweet city spots in my surroundings (like river+coast sites with both strategics and luxuries), so I did everything to grab those before my rivals did. I hoped the additional good cities would rocket-boost my economy, but I either got caught with my pants down (only 1-3 scattered warriors) by some AI offended by my landgrab, or I got stuck in unhappiness due to a lack of techs, or I hadn't enough workers. Well ok, I did win some Emperor games, so it worked from time to time, but it's a risky approach. The fourth city is usually too much (before having reasonable troops/iron working and before having a colloseum or two).

    I really have to try one of the NC strats you guys mentioned, although they are so much against my nature. I just hate when an AI grabs some nice spot I already have plans with (or worse, if they settle on the tile next to my sweet spot :cringe: )

    Interesting how you all love early monuments, I believed other stuff was more important until now. Thal, if I build a monument in the capital myself, do I only receive 3 free culture buildings from ceremonial rites?

    Also thanks for the comments on wonders, Thal, very useful! Especially cause I now know I can get the sweetest stuff from the liberty tree (fast workers/free settler) from the pyramids, too.

    BTW, I remember that harassing AIs with move-after-attack chariots was devastating back in the day if the terrain was right, considering how much less bang for the buck they are now, I guess this can be considered nerfed?

    PS: Is it still the case that all CS essentially hate you forever after you captured more than one of them? Because Thal said he prefers capturing CSs rather than attacking AIs.
     
  9. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I am amazed by how often I can build the NC and still grab all the luxuries in my approximate area. To do this I try to have the Liberty "settler" policy ready to go, then pump out 2 fast settlers. I will then build 1-3 more cities more slowly, in territory I have shielded with my borders.

    ACapture 2 and most - not all - will hate you forever. Thal was referring to conquest games, where he's not concerned about this.
     
  10. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    The usual strategy with the free-culture-buildings policy is to get 4 cities with monuments and Philosophy, then pick up the policy for 4 instant temples. This is especially useful if we have textile resources around (cotton, silk, fur, dye) for the temples' religious clothing.

    An early monument in the Capital is great because we only have one city at the time, so policy costs are lower and the monument's more valuable.

    Capturing citystates is only for conquest games where diplomatic opinions are less important.

    Chariots are still good. Ranged units got a big hidden damage boost in a recent vanilla patch. They used to deal less damage per point of strength, but now it's the same ratio as melee attackers.
     
  11. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    There's a lot of options with this SP I'd like to know more about:

    - If I have 5 cities, two of them with monuments and I have philosophy, do I get 2 free temples and two free monuments?

    - If I don't have philosophy in the above scenario, do I get the two free monuments and the chance to get the temples is lost? or do they appear later when I have the tech?

    - If I have only three cities, does my fourth city get a monument from start if I chose this SP before the foundation?





    We haven't generally talked much about SPs yet. Thal mentioned monarchy for the wonders, while Txurce talked about liberty to get some extra settlers. Do you only use these branches alone or do you combine SP from various trees very early (especially liberty and tradition)?
    How many SPs do you expect to have when you hit your first medieval tech?
     
  12. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    1. Yes.

    2. The chance to get temples is lost.

    3. Yes.

    4. More people mix Tradition and Liberty than stick exclusively to one.

    5. No idea.
     
  13. Zaldron

    Zaldron King

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    I personally like small, tall empires (3-5 cities).

    In 8.6.1I always went liberty first, got the free settler and worker, and then went down into tradition for the garrison strength and happiness. I didn't finish either tree until much later in the game.

    In 8.7.x with the tradition finisher being so awesome, I've started completely finish tradition before going anywhere else (usually piety).

    I have no idea how many policies I have, but typically I have the second set of policies unlocked before I'm done with whatever I want in tradition and liberty.
     
  14. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I also get some policies from 2 of the first 3 trees in every game. Which trees depends on the game. I discuss this in depth in the Mongolia thread. That post is a little out of date, but still accurate overall, and the general concepts apply to any conquest game.
     
  15. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    I tried to build the national college ASAP in a new game, but I took the way over the great library wonder instead of a normal library.

    Have to say, the science boost is overwhelming. Wow. I can field militia/swordmen while the bulk of my enemy's army still consists of warriors.

    Details:
    BUILD QUEUE: scout, worker, great library, national college
    BOUGHT: monument, (archer, walls)
    TECH: pottery, writing, philosophy
    SPs: Tradition unlock, legalism, monarchy, liberty unlock, (oligarchy)

    Speaking of enemies, here's the catch: Many AI's see you as easy prey when you have only one city and few troops in the initial phase. I tried to get a settler from collective rule, but I could send him nowhere due to 3 AI swarming in! I had to take oligarchy instead to get a defensive boost, took the techs for archers and walls and bought them. I could fend them off, but it delayed my expansion a lot.

    Maybe I should have taken collective rule earlier, but the attacks started before the NC was finished. Maybe the great library was a mistake, too?

    Well, for now I'm still alive and kickin', so let's see if I can catch up with my expansion.
     
  16. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    That's the challenge of doing any one-city early wonder rush... we're very likely to get rushed by a neighbor. I'd recommend only trying it if you don't start out near a warlike AI. It's also best to try it when you start with a "poor terrain" situation where AIs are more likely to be further away.

    Oligarchy and an archer is definitely a must. Walls and Landed Elite would also be good. If you're going to have just one city early on, may as well go all-in for Tradition.
     
  17. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Wouldn't a tradition all-in aggravate the problem of only one build queue? the free settler/worker from liberty seems very appealing IMO.

    Maybe things will work out better now that I know those rushes WILL happen. Both my scout and my warrior were killed close to enemy territory because I didn't expect the attack.

    I'll also work on the timing, maybe the great library path to the NC is really too risky if I'm in an exposed position.
     
  18. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    If you go for an NC start, the odds are pretty good that by the time you build your first Settler, you'll have enough hammers to not make it take too long.
     
  19. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    As Txurce said a decently sized city won't take long to get a settler. Or you can build the Pyramids for a settler... with Monarchy speeding it up and +2:c5happy:.

    It's important to use a combination of archer, warrior, early scout, and possibly another archer or spearman to hold off the first attack. You'll probably lose these units so build replacements. Once you can, get the Great Wall and that will solve all your problems.
     
  20. Zaldron

    Zaldron King

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    I actually am in the middle of a game (on king) where I tried nearly the same approach. I missed the GL so I ended up with just a library and NC and I went straight down tradition and don't regret it at all. I was able to expand by hard-building the settler in plenty of time to take the two nearby spots I wanted and didn't feel too pressured by the AI expansion. The food bonuses in tradition are just great to help you stay with one city for a while. I played as Germany though, so I never had to build a single unit (except a scout) because my scout+war started a snowballing barbarian army to defend me (I've been over the supply limit a lot this game). I've found that getting the free settler from liberty and expanding earlier really ticks off the AIs and they start DoWing left and right. Instead in this current game Japan DoWed me rather later in the game and I had no trouble defending against everything he sent my way.

    Replying to another post, I missed the Pyramids too (One of the AIs just sucked up about every early wonder) and had to hard-build the settler
     

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