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Stepping up from CIV 4 to CIV 6

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by Ben Gayda, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Ben Gayda

    Ben Gayda Chieftain

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    Hi all. New to the forum after buying Civ 6 last week. I'm a long time Civ player though, getting interested in the game in the early 90s before I even had a PC, then starting on the SNES in the mid 90s, and playing CIV 2, 3 and 4 extensively from about 1997-present. I never got CIV 5 due to hardware and internet connection issues.

    So, I'm figuring a lot out as I go, and reading guides and help that I've found online. The step up from playing Civ 4 Warlords/Beyond the Sword the past decade to Civ 6 is obviously a big jump. There are more differences that I can easily list. I have a few questions though, for anyone who is or was in my boat, or otherwise can offer some helpful advice.

    1) My general method of play, through any number of scenarios, is to run a non-aggressive civilization, that builds a large army to defend myself, but doesn't typically invade other civs. I focus on science and culture, building wonders, and diplomacy with my neighbors. I frequently trade techs and do a luxury for food swap when possible in an effort to out-tech most of the rest of the world.

    This type of play seems very difficult in the new game. Are there any tips or suggestions for going about this?

    2) Since you can only build one unit per tile, what is the best way to defend your cities? Where do you put your other units? How do you build enough units to have a real military without forgoing everything else, since they're manufactured so slowly now (20+ turns often instead of 3-5 in past games).

    3) After starting on a medium difficulty setting, I've worked my way down to the second lowest one, and am planning on working my way back up as I learn. Even then, I'm barely holding my own as an equal to the other civs.

    Everything seems to move so slowly as far as progression. Units take forever to build, same with buildings and improvements. By the time I get past 1000 AD, I'm generally hundreds of years behind the curve with my tech, when I was often way ahead of it on Civ 4. In my most recent civ, for example. I discovered musketmen around 1940.

    Is there a trick to speeding up your science, other than building the districts and buildings? I've made it my main focus and still flopped so far.

    4) Money seems to grow much more slowly in this one. In past games, if you play it smart with what you do, aren't wasteful and don't go to war, money is generally never an issue after the earliest stages of the game. But in Civ 6, I've been hovering around 500 gold or less almost all of the time.

    5) Are World Wonders as useful or as powerful as they were in past games? They were often my focus, and I would use the benefits as foundation points for how I played the game. Now, they take so long to build (50-150 turns), and the benefits (from reading the descriptions) seem to be less than they were.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    I wouldn't say Civ 6 is a step up -- the most generous I could say is that it's a step sideways.

    Nonaggression is definitely viable, even on Deity. I didn't find it difficult, but I am an analytical type and was already immortal-level in Civ 4.

    With 1UPT and smaller maps, armies are correspondingly smaller. Your difficulty in getting a "real" military may simply be that you are overestimating how big such a thing needs to be. Furthermore, the Civ 6 AI gets panned for being particularly bad at warfare; just having a ranged unit in the city is often enough to (slowly) fend off assaults. Having walls to get another ranged attack and another couple ranged behind the city works fine.

    Yes, the game moves slowly. This is partly because the game interface itself slows you down, and partly due to the changes in the high level game design. With units especially, build times were deliberately lengthened in Civ 5 (and Civ 6 kept this up) because armies needed to be smaller.

    As for technology, you don't have to be the fastest, just faster than the other guys. But Civ 5 completely changed how the economy works, and Civ 6 took it even further. One aspect of this is that building strong cities with good tile yields and good buildings is not the way to get good research. You get research by having citizens and by the campus buildings -- both are things you do best by having many small cities.

    But really, it's hard to give advice if you don't post sample games to show us what you're doing wrong.

    ---

    On a balance note, it's rather contradictory to expect to have a large army and be able to keep ahead economically, unless you find yourself in a position where you have way more resources available to you (i.e. much more land) than your opponents.

    You're trying to do too much in that regard, which means you need to lower the difficulty level to it. (a lot, since as I mention above, I speculate you're overdoing it on the army side)
     
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  3. rschissler

    rschissler King

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    I was a huge Civ IV player too, and only played about 3 Civ V games, so I know where you are coming from.

    1) You can't trade techs. In Civ IV, I could always trade luxury resources 1 to 1. In Civ 6 it seems impossible. One thing I do a lot of is trade extra luxuries for gold.

    2) You will have a very small number of units in Civ 6, compared to IV.

    3) Gold is huge as it lets you buy stuff, like buildings. Establish Commercial Hubs ASAP in every city, and build traders whenever you can. Industrial Zones are next important district as it lets you build stuff faster. I'm surprised you are having such a problem with tech research, as I only build a few science districts. Your style of play is different than mine, as I prefer domination.

    4) See 1 and 3.

    5) I only build a couple wonders. Get your IZ's going and you can build them faster.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
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  4. Eliminator_Sr

    Eliminator_Sr Prince

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    1) Aggressive play is almost mandatory on high difficulty levels as the AI is typically close and barbarians can easily take you out. On medium difficulty it doesn't matter. The typical build order on immortal+ is to start with a bunch of slingers and beeline archery so you can upgrade them for defense. Once you do that then you can focus on building.

    2) Becoming suzerain of militaristic city states really helps with this. Add in an encampment and a military production policy (+50%/+100% of whatever unit type you want to build) and you can easily build lots of units quickly. As a general rule of thumb you will want to build units cheaply early on and upgrade them through the ages. The AI is terrible in the late game and they won't be able to touch your cities so you actually don't need that many units. Archers are awesome for defense early on because of the 2 range.

    3) Just expand a lot early and you'll catch up. The AI also is terrible at this and you can easily poach undefended settlers from them almost at will.

    4) Grab a govt with lots of economic policy slots and spam commercial districts. Trade routes are pretty key for ramping up income so pay attention to that - and I would suggest reading the trade route guide on here.

    5) No - in general they are pretty lousy (IMO). I tend to ignore most of them. Some are more useful than others but nothing nearly as powerful as Leonardo's workshop in previous iterations.

    I also moved straight to 6 from 4 and there is definitely a learning curve.
     
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  5. Ben Gayda

    Ben Gayda Chieftain

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    Thank you everyone for the advice, and I'm taking it all to heart and figuring things out. After playing around for a while on some easier difficulty settings, I'm getting the hang of the tricks for laying out the cities, how to put districts in the best spots and in the best order.

    In my most recent game, I played against 5 AI civs, with the idea to focus on tech first, then commercial areas, then industry. I had no war, and only fought against barbarians. By the time the early 20th century rolled around, I was several eras ahead of my competitors in progress, had a pretty big number of cities that were all developing nicely, and aside from a few scouts and ships that were exploring, had no more than one military unit per city. However, despite all of this, I was hemmoraging money and eventually went bankrupt. My military units began to get sold off, my cities rebelled, and it all fell apart.

    I had chosen both Communism (which was always my favorite in other civ games) and Democracy as governments, but neither really seemed to get me to a stable place where I could boost both tech and money. Do you guys have any tips or tricks for what you do if you're trying to build and grow peacefully late in game? It was actually pretty easy, almost auto pilot, in Civ 4 at that point except for war. Not the case for me yet in 6.

    Also, what do you do to prevent espionage? It doesn't seem like you can turn it off. Do I need to station a spy in each of my own cities? The other civs keep sabatoging my buildings relentlessly. Its like Whack-a-mole to keep needing to repair everything.
     
  6. DrCron

    DrCron Prince

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    First of all, going from CIV 4 to 6 is not a step up in difficulty, it's a step down, far down. You'll have to adapt because the game is completely different, but it's definitely way easier once you get the basics. I play on Deity (on CIV 6 I win every single game without any issues) and I have several disagreements with the previous answers, so I'll write my own:

    1) The CIV 6 AI is programmed to attack you in the early game, so be ready for it (and barbarians). Build a couple of slingers very early (your first build can be a slinger). Kill a barbarian with one of them to boost archery, and tech it. Then upgrade the slingers. With one warrior and 2 archers it's usually enough to deal with barbarians and/or some close neighbor aggression. If it's not, get another archer. If your neighbor is really close you might want to build maybe 1 more warrior and another archer, and use the excuse of this early aggression to go and take his capital very early in the game. You'll need 8-10 cities (though there's no harm in having more, you don't have the maintenance cost you had in CIV 4) to win the game comfortably, and this means you might have to conquer a few cities.

    2) Forget about the huge armies of CIV 4. As I said before, with only 1 warrior and 2 archers you can deal with some early aggression. Put the warrior ahead and the archers behind. Archers weaken enemies, warrior usually finished the job. Remember your cities have health points, so even if they are empty of units they can't be taken until the health points are down. The AI is terrible at taking cities, they usually suicide their melee units into your city's health points so use this to your advantage. If you hare having many barbarian problems in one of your border cities (or are afraid of getting attacked by a close AI), build ancient walls. These walls give the city a bombardment (you can use it once per turn against enemy units), even if there's no defending unit inside.

    3) Learn about adjacency bonus. You only really need 2-3 campus districts, but try to place them next to mountains to get the adjacency. And try to build their buildings, they are good for great scientist generation too. Production is very slow in this game so you need to get Industrial zones in, ideally, every city (though only build factories in some of them, check the description for the area of effect). Build those Industrial zones close to mines or quarries, for adjacency bonus. Before you get the industrial zones, do some chopping when needed. Keep the forest only next to rivers (river lumber mills give a lot of production). Prioritize production in the city menu, lock manually only a few tiles for food (the ones that have the food resources). And the main thing: trade routes are the key to win the game. Get commercial hubs and harbors ASAP and use your trade routes. When you build a new city, make an internal trade route starting from that city, to boost the early generation of food and production, so the city grows faster. Later on, get external trade routes for money and other things (some civics give you extra science and culture for external trade routes, get them, and the civics that give you more gold for trade routes too). You want to b-line the governments that give you more economic civics, because they are the best ones. If production is annoyingly low (tends to happen), get the civic that duplicates the adjacency bonus of the industrial zone. Oh, and focus your envoys on city states that give you science or production.

    4) Spend your gold to speed up production. For example, early game the moment I get above 200 gold I use them to buy a monument. That will speed up your early culture (and leave production free for some archers and builders). With enough foreign trade routes gold should never be a problem.

    5) Some of them are very good, some suck completely (by the way, I'd say the same about wonders in CIV 4). The wonders that give you 1 extra policy card are always great. Especially Forbidden City (wildcard can be used for anything) and Big Ben (economic civics are the best ones). Early game, Pyramids and Colosseum are excellent wonders, but in high difficulty levels the AI will get them before you have a chance. Venetian Arsenal is pretty good and the AI never goes for it, same with Great Zimbawe. Others can be good or useless depending on your geography (Huey Tocaelli, Chichen Itza), and others are only good for specific victory types (Oxford University for space race, Eiffel Tower + Cristo Redentor for cultural victory). But in general you don't need to build many of them.
     
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  7. Ben Gayda

    Ben Gayda Chieftain

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    Even if the barbarians aren't going to actually take my cities, though, they are a major nuisance for a long time. They burn my farms, trash my other improvements, and steal/kill my workers. And that's with me actively chasing them around and fighting them. Is there a better method for dealing with all of their attacks? And this is on just Chieftan level, lol.
     
  8. rschissler

    rschissler King

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    Barbarians: I admit I have them turned off in the options. I've never liked them from Civ III on.

    Gold which seems to be an issue for you: Build Commercial Hubs and their buildings in every city ASAP. CH's and Harbors let you build traders, so build traders whenever you can. Once your traders create trading posts on their routes, you will get more gold per turn from them. Traders on a trade route will also increase city food and production, so traders are very important.

    Try to become suzerain of commercial city-states. You can get +8 gold for each CH you have!

    Look at your policies to increase gold per turn. Here are some that help:

    Economic: 100% gold yield from CH buildings
    100% CH adjacency bonus
    +4 gold from all trade routes. If you have 15 trade routes running, that's 60 gold per turn!

    Military: Unit maintenance reduced by 1 gold per unit, per turn

    Diplomatic: +1 gold for each envoy at city-states
     
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  9. EthelredTheUnready

    EthelredTheUnready Chieftain

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    Going from 4 to 6, I would say that early aggression, city maintenance/specialization and diplomacy are the largest differences. They all favor a wide empire in 6. I can't imagine how you would implement the equivalent of a one city civilization in 6.

    Early aggression:
    I usually play aggressively and this is almost required in 6. The AI will rush early so early military builds are almost required. This pushes early aggression since a force that can repel a neighbors attack is usually strong enough to take their cities. This is amplified by the city specialization/maintenance differences.

    City maintenance/specialization:
    In Civ 4, most of your science, production and great people (culture if you were going cultural as well) were produced in a few specialized cities. A wide (many, smaller cities) empire had advantages using slavery or conscription for production but it was very feasible to win non-military victories with a tall (few, well developed cities) empire. In Civ 6, a large portion of your science, culture and production are proportional to population. Other than the Ruhr Valley wonder which boosts production (could be forgetting something else), there isn't any equivalent to the single build buildings for great person farms, science centers or unit factories from Civ 4. The amenity/housing rules favor small cities as well - there is a maintenance cost to develop entertainment districts/sewers for large cities.

    City maintenance is a large change as well. Early aggression was limited in Civ 4 by the escalating maintenance costs for cities. An early push would end with science tanking due to maintenance costs more than the AI stopping you. This would be followed by courthouses, commerce buildings and either merchants or villages to stabilize the economy. Controlling a slider to convert commerce to gold, science, and culture made a trade-off between science and city maintenance possible but that doesn't happen in Civ 6.

    In Civ 6, the additional maintenance costs per city are so small that every additional city adds to your gold, science, and culture production. Civ 6 city maintenance is proportional to the number of buildings built. Every city can have one set of commercial buildings (two with harbor) and one trade route. There really aren't a lot of other ways to produce gold and well developed cities with campuses, IZes, theater districts, entertainment districts etc use a lot for maintenance. A tall city has production, science, and culture but drains gold from the treasury and there is no slider to play science against gold. So, an empire needs to have half its cities minimally developed - only commercial and harbor districts - to produce net gold. This really hurts the tall city play style.

    City states favor a wide empire as well. The CS bonuses scale with the number of districts (effectively cities). The commercial CS's are especially game breaking with a large empire filled with commercial hubs. Its possible to switch to using gold to buy most required buildings/units with a couple of commercial CS's and a wide empire.

    Diplomacy:
    Diplomacy is the third big difference. It was possible to manage relationships with your neighbors and play peacefully in Civ 4. Civ 6 diplomacy is broken - everyone denounces and declares war on everyone. There is going to be war so you need an army and you need cities to support an army.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  10. Leyrann

    Leyrann Deity

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    As you have gold issues, just do the following: Instant commercial hub and harbor in every city, build a trader whenever you have a free slot. Prioritize any and all policies that earn money (remember, you can go Classical Republic and then put the unit maintenance cost reduction from military in wildcard to get the most money). Send your traders to the cities that grant them the most gold (typically commercial city states or AI cities with commercial hubs). Bulid Commercial Hub improvements whenever you can.

    You should now be making tons of money (compare: I had 500 surplus in a game a while back in early industrial era, while maintaining an army strong enough to fight on three fronts at the same time and while spamming districts (with their maintenance costs) as fast as I could. Maybe some 100 surplus could be due to new policies from mods, but most of it was just honest earnings through trade routes, which isn't touched in the mods I use). From this point, scale down your gold focus until you've hit a sweet spot. First, you build less commercial hub tier 2-3 improvements. Next, you send some inland trade routes for the road building (tip: relocate the trader so you can get a road between your cities while having an international trade route whenever possible), after that, you don't build harbors in 1-tile lakes anymore (or 3 harbors in a 4-tile lake, as I did in aforementioned game), then you only build the harbors you need, then you don't build markets anymore, then you build less commercial hubs. Somewhere along the line (I suspect after you only build the harbors you need) you'll come across the sweet spot where you have a nice but not too crazy surplus. From that point on, you start tinkering with some hubs less, but some more improvements, etc.

    Oh, and build Great Zimbabwe if you have the chance. A good Great Zimbabwe location can eliminate the need for international trade routes (a huge plus when going for a domination victory, as everyone's going to hate your guts and trade routes don't like it if there's a war going on).

    Additionally, you can plunder trade routes and commercial districts (and maybe more stuff, I don't know it by heart but it's all in the Pillage tab of the civilopedia) for more gold. A trade route, for example, gives you 100 gold while every building in a Commercial Hub as well as the district itself gives (if I remember correctly) 50 gold. And if it's got three buildings in it, that means you can plunder four times: Once for each building and one for the district itself.
     
  11. Eliminator_Sr

    Eliminator_Sr Prince

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    It sounds to me like you are building too many campus districts and not enough commercial and harbor districts. As another poster said you don't need all that many campuses to stay ahead of the AI but you do need lots of commercial districts to drive your economy (ideally build them next to rivers for adjacency bonuses). Step two is you have to build traders - each harbor and CD unlocks an additional trade route for you and those are what really drives your economy early. Keep pumping out those trade routes and collecting cash. Note that barbarians will raid your trade routes so make sure you are clearing them out at the same time. City states can really help with cash flow too - the yellow economic CS all provide additional gold and Carthage gives you extra trade routes for encampments. Adding markets, banks, and stock exchanges to you commercial districts will increase your gold even more. It's not difficult to be making gold in the the hundreds per turn range once you get to the later eras.

    I don't agree that you need all that many industrial districts. Factories provide a bonus to all cities within a six tile zone so just build enough of those to cover most of your cities.
     
  12. Japper007

    Japper007 Prince

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    There are several policies that give extra money on trade routes (like Triangular Trade +4g+1f on every route). Build a lot of Commercial and Harbor districts to get more trade routes, they should be the first thing built in every city, the Campus can easily wait, I've been era's ahead even on Diety with just one or two campuses in a 20+city empire. To save gold you should keep the policy that reduces army maint in your military slot.

    Also one unit per city is waaaay to many units (barring MP ofc), just go with a small force of ranged units (i.e. archers, don't get catapults they suck unless you're sieging the enemy) and level them up to elites, if you have enough roads you can usually get them to a front fast enough to counterattack pretty much anything really. A wall in every city can be a livesaver, buying enough turns to manouver your troops to the front, and also letting yo bomb the enemy as they swarm your battlements.
     
  13. ShinigamiKenji

    ShinigamiKenji King

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    No one apparently commented about the spying issues, so I'll add my 2 cents.

    If you advance quickly enough through the Civics tree (which you seem to be doing fine), go for Cold War after your 3rd tier government to unlock the Cryptography policy. It almost always solves your spying problems.

    If you still have issues, you might want to run Police State (unlocked by Ideology, before your 3rd tier government), but it might kill your amenities. Couple it with amenity-boosting policies, districts or wonders (Colosseum or Estádio do Maracanã) to mitigate that, though by that time you might be almost winning anyway. I almost never need Police State before Cryptography, too.
     
  14. DrCron

    DrCron Prince

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    Chase their initial scout. If he doesn't reach your city it won't call more units to come and pillage your land. Then follow him to find the camp, which at this point should have only 1-2 units (if the scout didn't find your city, no more units will spawn). Destroy them and take the camp. A slinger and a warrior should be enough for this.
     
  15. teks

    teks Prince

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    The most basic and simply difference is that in civ 4 you focused on research. In civ 6 you focus on production. Research can scale up production costs, so its not beneficial to race up it as your first priority.
    And you don't build big armies in civ 6.. You just build a few archers and ignore the AI for the rest of the game.
     

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