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Strategies for island start with 1 neighbor

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by stuckatnoble, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. stuckatnoble

    stuckatnoble Chieftain

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    I've had my second noble game in a row (Fractal, Continents) where I start on a large-ish island with just one other civ. The other 4 civs are on another continent.

    It seems like it'd be a great position to be in, but I'm not efficiently handling it. I suspect that the general idea is that in exchange for being isolated (after conquering the other civ), I have larger land mass and can turn that into higher late-game research velocity.

    What are general strategies early / mid / late when you are in this position? Thanks!

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Some notes:

    In both cases I am able to take out the other civ on my island in the BC's (i.e., with axeman/swordsman/maybe-catapult, especially when I have a strong early-game UU) but I end up in a backwards position:

    - 20-40% tech rate due to city maintenance (2-3 of my cities + 2-3 conquered cities)
    - exacerbated by production-centric cities (used to conquer other civ) with poorly developed cottages
    - happiness cap at 5 to 7 (especially when there are no handy Mining/Hunting resources)
    - behind in tech (presumably)
    - no AI contact so no trading
    - may not have a coastal city yet

    I've had cases where it takes me till early AD to finally finish my war against the other civ, at which point I'm even more behind.

    Also, tech-tree wise I haven't figured out the right balance/order yet. Generally I've done this:
    1. Getting to Calendar / Monarchy to increase happiness cap
    2. Getting to Optics to meet trading partners
    3. Getting to Currency / Code of Laws to start to counterbalance city maintenance once cottages are more mature
     
  2. nate45

    nate45 Warlord

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    This is very similar to a completely isolated start and you need to work on your eco play.

    A big beginner mistake is not building enough workers, you need to pump out those cottages asap. with 4-6 cities, You want like, 5 workers or so, some people recommend even more than this--depends how many forests there are to chop though or how much there actually is to improve. Just completely improve every city you have, if you can't do this quickly you need more workers. When a new city appears you should mob it with workers to get those cottages up asap.

    Build a lot of libraries and pump out scientist specialists, and get lots of great scientists.

    Build coastal cities and have them work the sea, these are good for commerce and don't require as much worker time to develop, although chopping a lighthouse for them would be a good idea. Fill your whole island with cities, just make sure you have enough workers first to support them.

    It's noble also, so you shouldn't have any trouble building wonders. If you fail them at least you get a stack of gold. Try building things like the great library and the parthenon, esp if you have marble. If you have stone try to build pyramids, and then you can switch to representation to make all of your scientist specialists better. Build the great lighthouse if you can get it.

    As for tech order, after you've finished beating your opponent and find yourself totally isolated, IMO:

    1) first get Aesthetics --> Literature and get great library asap. (for noble this should be easy to get)
    2) currency.
    3) calendar (workers should have plenty to do building cottages until you get this tech, no hurry to get the special resources up)

    If you're not organized, code of laws is not a huge priority although get it eventually and start building courthouses.
     
  3. Gaires

    Gaires Chieftain

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    You don't need to take the other AI out so quickly, unless he's some jerk AI like Montezuma, so you can trade with him for a while and he blocks barbs out and settle cities for you, just make sure he doesn't get too hard to handle.
    No need to over expand either, which is hard not to do when you have all that land in your expose.
    You might want to build some wonders because you probably don't need as much military as the AI's in other continent(s).
    Also, think what techs you really need, because you can't trade techs effectively so it's probably waste of beakers to research the ones you don't need. You want to take astronomy as soon as possible either from liberalism or by bulbing it.
    You want a lot of cottages early on because you don't probably need a large army nor whip a lot so why not get economy rolling? And if you're going for SE, you want a lot of scientists, but either way get your economy rolling early on.
     
  4. Nothingontv

    Nothingontv Warlord

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    Location:
    The Netherlands
    AI's don't trade most techs when they only have one trading partner (you) until they are at friendly i think.
    You could create a vassal from the cities you have taken. Your vassal will have no problem trading with you and you can make him research the techs you want.
     
  5. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    Mansa will always trade. Other guys will trade if you get them to friendly, but that's probably only possible with a religious AI that you can share a religion with and/or one that has an easy favorite civic like HR to share. Having just one AI is fairly similar to a true ISO situation, but it does open up the possibility of taking them out for capture gold, maybe getting some techs with a peace deal, etc.

    A wonder like the GLH can be very strong when starting on an island in an ISO or semi-ISO situation. Early Optics and Astronomy are good, etc.
     
  6. nate45

    nate45 Warlord

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    I honestly don't see the point of even researching alphabet if you only have one neighbor you've discovered. Just take their good cities and then build up your econ, then take the rest of their cities.
     
  7. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    You wouldn't really want it until you could actually use it. Math > Currency would be the better path there early.
     
  8. Lennier

    Lennier Emperor

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    You can only create a colony on another land mass. In this case, the OP said he had one other civ on his land mass. If he waited until Feudalism to finish his war, he could capitulate (vassalize) the other civ and give its cities back. But if he's eliminated it before he's discovered Feudalism, he's stuck with the cities and needs to mitigate the maintenance. Razing some/most of the cities during the conquest phase might be another option.
     
  9. MegaLurker

    MegaLurker King

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    Peace for techs if they don't go for Alpha themselves.
     
  10. nate45

    nate45 Warlord

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    I don't think this is a good idea. I figure if you're going to raze the city, why attack it at all? a civ with a bunch of crappy cities isn't really a threat.
     
  11. Quechua

    Quechua Unique Unit

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    It may be a better idea on noble but I wouldn't be so quick to take out the other leader unless you are boxed in or they are the type of leader to declare at pleased.

    You are getting a passive research bonus for techs that they know even if they won't trade with you. They will trade a few techs like Alpha and Monarchy (so no need to research this yourself). Alphabet is still useful since it blocks useful bulbs for your great scientists and lets you steal a tech or two with your EP.

    Most importantly though it is simply better to invest in your economy rather than military so you are solidly in the trading game when you meet the other civs.
     
  12. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera King

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    Assuming you are not co-inhabiting with Montezuma, Shaka, Ragnar, Napoleon or Tokugawa (am I missing somebody?):

    1. GLH - very good in this situation, you have a trading partner for international trade routes.

    2. Currency - Add more trade routes and the ability to build wealth.

    3. Settle like crazy, emphasize coastal cities and build wealth if tech starts lagging.

    4. Generate GP. Consider bulbing to early Astronomy to maximize your trade economy.
     
  13. Amao

    Amao King

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    For me, the list is pretty long. Anyway who has higher than 50% tech secrecy ratio is on this list. Basically, they won't trade any tech until they are friendly. On lower levels like noble, it's a waste to hoax an AI into friendly.
     
  14. Mizar

    Mizar IM

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    Alex :ninja: and of course the great Khan!
     
  15. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera King

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    You just need Open Borders for the trade route bonus, any tech trading is icing at that point.

    How could I forget Alex and G-Man Khan? Old "friends" at that. Definitely dark alley avoiders to be sure.
     
  16. BlackArc

    BlackArc Chieftain

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    If they're close enough, a horse archer rush/axe rush is advised. Leave them with one city with no strategic resources if possible and take a bunch of their techs in exchange for a cease fire, then invade and kill them off once you can invade them again.

    That's a pretty effective tactic all the way up to Monarch at least. As long as you rush towards currency you can recover pretty quickly.
    ---
     
  17. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Toku is actually not that bad in semi-iso. Either get Alpha and gift it to him or gift him a free crap city. Trade him resources, even single copies early if not needed...like if you are EXP. Granted he could go fist mode before all that, but as long as you get him to pleased he should not be much of a problem. He's not near the psycho as Rags, Nappy and Co.
     
  18. Tatran

    Tatran Deity

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    Because there's a lot to do for workers early in the game, I recommend for your first 5 cities 10 workers.
    When you have 10-15 cities the worker ratio can go down to 1.5 worker per city.
    If you run Serfdom or own the Hagia Sophia you can do with less workers.
    In my marathon games, having 25-30 cities 24 workers isn't enough, 32 workers seems to be ok.

    If your economy can't handle more cities make sure you grab more territory with culture.
    Creative leaders, Great Artists and the Greek odeon are great to gain more territory this way.
     
  19. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera King

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    Good tips on how to please Toku. I had him on my list mainly because he keeps borders closed preventing you from getting lucrative international trade routes. With your tips that may be solvable.
     

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