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Strategy guide

Discussion in 'Civ1 - General Discussions' started by DukeNukem, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. DukeNukem

    DukeNukem Chieftain

    Oct 26, 2005
    Can anyone recommend a good free strategy guide?

    I already have Rome in 640k but it's packed away at my parents and I won't have access to it. Having said that I've never read it!

    Although I've been playing civ on and off for years I far from being a expert. I've never really read tips and strategies just played my own style. So I'm looking for a guide with an emphasis on strategy and not a simple reprint of the manual.
  2. Mize

    Mize Chieftain

    Jun 17, 2011
    I'm pretty sure this very forum is the best resource you could find on the web for Civ I strategies, exploits and detailed info on game mechanics. We have very good players and very good hackers here, the latter having basically deciphered most of what's hidden under the game's hood, including many things left unexplained by 640k.

    That being said, we come to the hard part. Almost none of this knowledge is really properly sorted, so you really have to dig through 15+ years of posts. The default setting for the forum is to only show posts made within the last year, so make sure you set that drop-box to 'beginning' and have a nice read!
  3. Volcanon

    Volcanon Chieftain

    Jun 12, 2006
    1. Find a good place for a capital. Build as many cities as you can
    2. Always trade techs with the AI if offered
    3. Avoid dead-end techs. Unlike later Civs, you never need to research stuff like Chivalry
    4. Get as many goody huts as you can even if sometimes they spawn barbarians
    5. Don't use 2 unit armies even if you've got tech advantage because tanks get killed by cavemen with clubs far too often
    6. Republic and Democracy have bad penalties but are the best governments
    7. Kill Ghandi
  4. Verrucosus

    Verrucosus Chieftain

    Mar 25, 2002
    The most basic strategy guide can be seen in the six pages of Player's Notes at the end of the manual. Obviously, they were written before the game's publication. They don't include strategies to exploit loopholes in the game mechanics ("beat the game"), but they give an excellent insight into how the designers meant the game to be played and enjoyed.

    Both this site and the Apolyton site have resources with lots of information about both game mechanics beyond the manual and strategy advice.

    The second page includes a link to a strategy guide (under Civ1 Tips)

    Long ago I used these resources to write down some recommendations for peaceful expansion for a player who had only just started playing. I think I still have them somewhere, but they reflect also reflect my own style of play at the time and won't be useful to someone looking to become an expert.
  5. Osvaldo Manso

    Osvaldo Manso Chieftain

    Jul 28, 2006
    Lisbon, Portugal, Europe
    One of the most amazing things about Sid Meier's Civilization is that there are countless number of strategies and tactics and most of them can be quite successful. So, there is no universal strategy - each one should play by trial and find his own style of playing.

    When I look at Volcanon tips, I disagree with most of them. However, this does not mean that I'm playing right and he's playing wrong.

    Here's what I think:

    1. Finding good spots for cities is always important - not only for your capital. Building as many cities as you can is not necessary - for me, most enjoyable games are those in which I manage from 5 to 10 cities. More than 10 or 12 cities gets too much time consuming and the game turns monotonous.

    2. If you are ahead in the science race, trading technologies is often a mistake - for example, you will give them "The Wheel" or "Automobile" and in return you'll end up with pretty useless techs like "Pottery", "Horseback Riding", "Feudalism" or "Chivalry". Besides, learning another tech by trade with other civ, will also contribute for slowing down the discovery of the technology your scientists are engaged with.

    3. I agree with the general tip for avoiding dead-end techs. However, some can be useful/important (Religion is a good example).

    4. Be careful with huts when they are in your homeland - wait until your cities are well defended before exploring them or you may lose a city or two to barbarians, thus slowing down significantly your development.

    5. I don't understand what is meant by "2 unit armies" (stacked units?). However, on a side note, I would like to point out that the game mimes real life - in real life many times the powerful countries with powerful military units are defeated by weaker nations using less powerful weapons. This happens by a number of reasons. Real life examples range from Vietnam to Korea.

    6. Yes, this is true but not at all stages in the game. In fact, despotism (if well used) can be quite successful.

    7. :) I think Genghis Khan and Shaka Zulu are far more dangerous than Ghandi...
  6. Mize

    Mize Chieftain

    Jun 17, 2011
    Apolyton's Civ I section is good too, good call. But it also contains a lot of misleading information and some of it is just plain wrong. So take it with a grain of salt, there's a lot of 'I believe...' and 'I think...' there, and many wrong numbers.
  7. Posidonius

    Posidonius Civherder

    Jun 28, 2015
    US of gawldarn A
    I don't have 640K-A-Day either, and would love to read it. Your post brings up an excellent point. The FAQ here is great, but not comprehensive and not recent. I find myself often hunting through it for something i read once, only to not find what i was looking for, and go back to slogging through messages here in the forum to find whatever it is i need to re-know. And, the FAQ was written before several quirks and questions were answered by darkpanda's decompilative delving. And believe it or not, this game still has secrets; even today new ploys and strategies are being discovered. This week, another thread here talks about disappearing boats, which i've never seen nor heard of before now.

    I think the FAQ should be re-written with updated information incorporated from the start, and in a structure where new information can be slipped seamlessly inline with the existing body of work. The most obvious structure is a "wiki" which allows both collaboration and distributed contribution. Nobody gets overwhelmed with their (volunteer!) workload, and for each piece of a wiki, multiple eyes and brains can quickly make it both accurate and comprehensive.

    Mize in this thread has it spot-on. The group in this forum is just about the only one in the world who even could create a truly complete guide to Civ1, or at least the only ones who could do it without hiring a paid staff! The common knock on a wiki is that it's a pitiful and hobbled thing if nobody adds to it. But in this instance, i believe it's truly a case of "build it and they will come." We are fans of a ridiculously obsolete game, so clearly we already have the requisite enthusiasm to make it a labor of love. Nobody else in the world, no one but us, would actually Enjoy making a new Civ1 guide.

    Start simple, with general categories:

    * Units
    * Terrains
    * Cities
    * Buildings
    * Wonders
    * Civilizations
    * Combat
    * Trade
    * Governments
    * Ways To Lose
    * Ways To Win
    * Ways To Cheat
    * Bugs

    For example, "Terrains -> Arctic" might list the standard statistics: 0-food 0-trade 0-shields, then the effects of developing a road/RR there, then how an Arctic square's stats change under different governments, and when you play at different difficulty levels. These are all nil for an Arctic. But even a humdrum Arctic square has special uses. An enemy Settler will never found a city on an Arctic square. If you want to bribe it to your side, and your boat carrying a Diplomat is 2 turns away, you know an AI Settler on an Arctic square will still be a Settler next turn (and not a new enemy city). And there's a difference between Arctics on the tip of a continent and Arctics on the North Pole. Heck, last year i founded a city on an Arctic square. There is a very narrow circumstance where anyone would ever do that, but that event's probability is non-zero. I got the city up to 7 citizens plus a University, a fine addition to my civilization.

    Most of this Arctic info exists in the manual + 640K + the FAQ + this forum. But not all of it. Different sources stress varying aspects of an Arctic square, so finding everything there is to know about an Arctic can mean re-reading all four documents and even then you might have to post a new Q in the forum. A wiki page, as a living and evolving thing, can answer forum Q's better than a cumbersome FAQ. And a wiki can incorporate new info much faster than any printed manual or published guidebook can come out with new editions.

    A new Civ1 wiki is such a good idea that someone should talk to the moderators here about it. Whatever CMS they use, i'm sure it comes with a wiki module which could be activated with minimal effort. Even if there are only 7 - 10 enthusiastic contributors to begin with, which expectedly dwindles to 3 - 4 active contribs after a few months, i believe it could be fully fleshed by the end of 2016.
  8. Verrucosus

    Verrucosus Chieftain

    Mar 25, 2002
    Just for fun, here are the "recommendations for peaceful expansion" written down for a new player more than 12 years ago. Much of it is based on the material available on this and Apolyton's site. While not a comprehensive guide, it shows quite a bit of passion for a game already more than a decade old at the time of writing. Experienced players might find the detail a little boring and will certainly be able to offer critical comments.

    Building the First City
    Once the game has started, your first task is to find a suitable location for your tribe to settle. You should not try to find a perfect spot. Every turn you spend wandering in search of a location other civilizations are collecting taxes and building items. Still, it is worthwhile to look at the visible terrain and find out whether there is a better spot in the immediate vicinity.
    Now, what exactly are you looking for? The priority should be food, because the faster the population of the new city grows the sooner it can work additional squares or send out new settlers to improve nearby terrain and found additional cities. A second concern is resource output which you need to build both settlers and some military units for exploration and defense. Trade is nice, but relatively unimportant at the start of the game.
    When looking for fertile land, remember that, if possible, the city square is automatically irrigated when the city is founded. However, grasslands and rivers do not benefit from irrigation at the beginning of the game because of Despotism’s production penalty. For this reason, the most fertile squares are oasis squares, grasslands, rivers, plains, hills and forests with game. An oasis produces three food units per turn, the other squares produce each two units per turn.
    Among the fertile terrain squares, forests with game, plains with horses and hills with coal have the best resource output. In the absence of these squares, oases, dimpled grasslands and ordinary plains are the best spots for founding the city, as they all produce one resource in addition to the food. Some river squares also produce a resource. However, settling on a river is risky since there is no way to tell beforehand whether the square will have any resources. Without resources from the city square early production will be slow.
    While the city square’s productivity is crucial for a city’s early development – if it is low you cannot send workers somewhere else instead – the nearby terrain is also important. Special resources are always useful, but they should not necessarily affect your decision where to settle. This is because most special resources can only be harvested at the expense of food or resource production. Early on, they are temptations to be resisted. This applies to gold, oil, gems, fish, and, to a lesser extent, coal and horses. In the absence of a forest with game, a river is the perfect terrain to have near your city. At least some of the river squares will have resources, and the river will allow you to irrigate adjacent squares later. If there is no river nearby, dimpled grasslands are the best squares you can hope for. Ordinary grasslands produce food, but they’re empty calories, since they don’t produce any resources. Plains squares are acceptable in the long run, but you will need to irrigate them before they can feed the city. If your settler is located in a dimpled grassland square, but there is a lack of other such squares nearby, consider moving to a plains square and settle there. The plains square gets irrigated as the city is built and the grassland square can be worked by your citizens. This is preferable to settling on the grassland square and having slow population growth until a first settler is built and has irrigated the plains.
    When you have found an acceptable city square and two more decent squares for your citizens to work, you can usually ignore the rest of the terrain. There will be time enough to improve it when it is needed. The only exception to this is an inordinate number of infertile squares (arctic, tundra, mountains, hills and ocean squares without fish). In that case, it might be helpful to move a square or two away from this area in order to give your first city a perspective of growth in the long term. There is no reason to be deterred by jungles and swamps; in the long run, they can be turned into fertile grasslands.
    On rare occasions, you will have two settlers at the beginning of the game. It is not normally a good idea to have the second settler improve terrain near the city founded by his colleague. Of course, it is helpful to have such terrain improvements early and, more generally, to have a settler that does not require support. However, these benefits can hardly compensate for the lost opportunity of having a second city producing food, resources and trade within a few turns after the start of the game. For that reason, it is much better to look for a second city site a few squares away from your capital.

    Early Defense and Exploration
    After the first city has been founded and its citizens have been assigned to harvest as much food and resources as possible, it needs to be garrisoned. You cannot know whether there is an immediate threat looming in the darkness that surrounds the city, but, if you fail to prepare for that eventuality, the city could soon be conquered by rivals or barbarians, its ruins left for archeology. A minimum of defense is therefore necessary.
    Early in the game land barbarians attack with cavalry units, while sea raiders tend to arrive with legions. Against this background, a single fortified phalanx (modified defense strength of 3 in the absence of terrain bonuses) should be regarded as minimum defense for a city. Before the discovery of Bronze Working, militia will have to do, but you should not feel terribly secure with these amateurs guarding your city.
    Your city should build such a garrison unit immediately. When completed it should, without moving away more than a single square from the city, reveal any part of the city radius still covered in darkness – this may allow you to reassign your citizens to a more productive square – and then fortify inside the city.
    Once the city is secure, it is time to send out an explorer. The more you know about the continent’s geography, the better you will be able to plan ahead. Beyond the city’s immediate surroundings, there might be attractive sites for settlement, minor tribes to visit and even rival civilizations to meet.
    The perfect unit for exploration is cavalry. It can move swiftly through open terrain, and its attack value can be helpful when it encounters trouble. It is likely, however, that you have no idea about Horseback Riding at this point, and in that case a militia unit will have to do. While it is not a natural explorer, it is cheaper to build and will be finished earlier than cavalry.
    The explorer’s task is to uncover hidden territory and visit minor tribes as quickly as possible. If the unit is destroyed in the process, it should be replaced as soon as convenient. If the continent turns out to be really large, a second explorer should be sent out later.

    Population Growth
    Around the time of your explorer leaving town, the city’s population increases for the first time. A new citizen appears on the city display and starts to gather output from a third square. The question to ponder now is whether to let the population grow further or to put a few people on a wagon train.
    In order to increase the city’s population by one increment, you have to fill the food storage box by arranging the city’s production in a way that results in a food surplus every turn. As long as your government is Despotism – and it’s likely to stay that for some time –, you can have a maximum food surplus of two food units. This is because, under Despotism, any square which would normally produce three or more units of an item (food, trade, or resources) produces one unit less than normal. This is a minor effect for trade and resources, but for food the results are far-reaching. In effect, the penalty cancels the benefit of irrigating fertile grassland and river squares. Therefore, with the rare exception of irrigated oases, squares produce at most two food units. This means that working a square is at most a break-even proposition for food, because every citizen in a city requires two food units per turn. The only source of extra food to be stored away is the city square, which is worked for free and will give you at most two extra food. Working a square that produces just one food, such as ocean or forests, costs you one of your extra food, slowing population growth. Working two such squares would halt growth.
    The importance of this limit to surplus food becomes clear when it is combined with the fact that the amount of food required to grow the population depends on the size of the city. Every new citizens “costs” ten food units plus ten more units for each citizen already in the city; this amount is halved if the city had a granary before the last population increase. A size ten city spends 110 food to make a new citizen, or 55 if it has a granary. A size one city spends 20 food to make a new citizen, or 10 food if it has a granary. Since the amount of surplus food is fixed under Despotism, it takes increasingly longer to grow the city’s population.
    The mathematics of population growth under Despotism provide a strong incentive for building any settlers you might want to send out as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the larger the city will be and the longer it will take to replace lost population, so there is a strong case for beginning to produce settlers as soon as the explorer has left town.
    When arranging the production of settler units, it is important to take account of the fact that the settler’s completion will cause the city’s population to drop. Since smaller cities have smaller food storage boxes, any food stored beyond the maximum amount for the city size after the population decrease is lost. It is inefficient to produce surplus food beyond that amount. The consequence to draw from this is to assign the citizens so that the required amount of food (20 for a size two city) is reached exactly when the settler is completed. When that happens, the city will immediately regain the lost citizen and the process is repeated. Effectively, the city will stay at the same size until it has built all the settlers it needs.

    Horizontal Growth
    While population growth inside the city (vertical growth) is difficult in the early game for the reasons given in the preceding section, there are enormous advantages to growing your population horizontally, i. e. by founding additional cities. The most obvious one is, of course, the strategic advantage of taking control of the territory before someone else does. However, there is also an economic advantage to horizontal growth: the free use of the city square. While it is true that by building a settler and founding a new city you take one citizen away from the home city and make him reappear as the first citizen of the new city, the rule that the city square does not need a citizen to be worked means that by giving up production from a single square in the home city you gain, in the end, production from two squares in the new city. The total output of your empire rises, so spreading your population is a very profitable operation.
    When looking for new city sites, you can generally rely on the principles discussed earlier with regard to the location of your first city. The main difference is that now you need to take other cities both exisiting and planned into account. While your cities are small at the moment, you do not plan to keep them small forever. With that in mind, you should found cities roughly 3 or 4 squares apart so that their radii do not overlap too much. Also take care that any special resource squares are included in some city’s radius. You might not be able to work these squares right now, but it would be a shame to leave them inaccessible. Finally, while ensuring that each new city has a minimum of food and resources, you should try to occupy sites that you may later need for specialist cities. For example, coastal sites within reach of several fishing grounds might eventually become large trade centres. Locations with a good mixture of fertile terrain and hills can be turned into production centres for wonders and military units. A few port cities at opposite coasts can also be useful in the long run, as they allow you to spread the unhappiness, which ships at sea will cause under representative governments, making it easier to cope with. (Your tribesmen, who probably have no clue about Mapmaking, let alone Navigation, might talk a bit about your obsession with coastal sites, but after all, you are supposed to be the guy with a vision.) If the continent’s geography permits, build a city on an isthmus. Such a city operates like a canal, with ships entering from one side, leave to the other, and can be extremely helpful in naval warfare later in the game.
    It is an interesting question when and where garrisons for any additional cities should be produced. There are basically two methods to do it, and you either have to buy safety at the expense of speed or vice versa.
    Safe Expansion: You build the garrison in the city sending out the settler that will found the city to be garrisoned after building the settler itself. The settler can spend the period of the garrison’s construction improving terrain near the home city and constructing roads toward the prospective city site. The disadvantage of this approach is that it delays the founding of the new city. Also, the home city’s production will be slowed down by support costs during of the settler’s journey.
    Fast Expansion: The garrison is built by the city that needs it. This approach avoids the delays involved in the safe method, but leaves new city unguarded for a few turns. Also, there is no time for terrain improvement around the settler’s home city.
    Of course, these two approaches can be combined in various ways, for example by doing fast expansion from the home city (which, after all, also supports the explorer) and then switching to safe expansion.
    A city should send out settlers until it is surrounded by friendly cities. Once it is no longer on the frontier, it is more efficient to leave expansion to the other cities. The city has now become a core city (see below). It should build one more settler (which it will permanently support) and then begin to concentrate on its own growth.
    Managing the process of peaceful expansion described in this section is your most important task during the early game. Other things are going on at the same time, but they have a supportive role or can be considered preparation for later stages of the game.

    Harnessing the Power of the Land
    The last settler built in a city that has acquired the status of a core city will have the permanent job to improve terrain. As the city will now be allowed to grow, the settler’s first task will be the preparation of additional squares to be worked by new citizens.
    It’s likely that you will need to irrigate some squares now unless the city has many river or grassland squares with resources inside its radius. Though it’s not spelled out in the manual, you can only irrigate a square that has a source of water. Initially, this means squares adjacent to an ocean or river square. However, irrigated squares also count as a source of water, so you can steadily irrigate inland. The “free” irrigation you get in a city square doesn’t count for this purpose. It is not necessary to maintain the chain of irrigated squares. If, for example, you irrigate a hill, irrigate an adjacent plains square, and then change the hill into a mine, you will not lose the irrigation in the plains square. Irrigation adds one to the food in a square. However, under Despotism this has no effect on actual production in grassland and river squares; only plains, deserts and hills benefit from irrigation, but deserts are extremely infertile even when irrigated and irrigating a hill is useless because such a square only produces the food it costs to work it.
    While the movement benefits of roads are nice, the economic benefits are more important. Roads add one trade to a grassland, plains or desert square. Roads and rivers are the primary sources of trade for most cities.
    The ideal square under Despotism produces 2 food, 1 resource and 1 trade. To achieve this, a dimpled grassland needs a road, and a plains square needs irrigation and a road. Some river squares start this way, but you cannot improve those that do not.
    Normally, terrain improvement will proceed faster than the city can grow; at this stage it has just one surplus food because it supports the settler, and before a granary is in place, growth will be very slow indeed. Since it is inefficient to boost the output of squares that will not be worked for many years to come, the settler should now help building a road network connecting your cities. This has the immediate effect of speeding up the movement of garrisons and settlers and will be invaluable in wartime. While building roads, the settler will probably move to other parts of the empire. When you see a nearby square that can be improved to the immediate benefit of another city that works it, do not hesitate to put the settler to work. The settler is no longer just its home city’s engineer, but part of your empire’s civilian army that can quickly be sent whereever urgent work needs to be done.
    When the road network is in place and the squares currently used are optimized for production under Despotism, there is still no reason for your settlers to rest idle. Their next task is to prepare squares for an eventual change of government. This means irrigating grasslands and rivers, but also mining some hills that you will be able to work given the increased food surplus. It is a reasonable goal to have about ten squares ready for each city. Priority should be given to frontier cities who will necessarily lag behind the cities in the interior in respect to population and infrastructure.

    Core City Management
    Cities that no longer send out settlers to new city sites have been described as core cities. This classification has no geographical or military implications; it merely indicates that such cities are free to concentrate on their own growth and infrastructure.
    Since core cities no longer build settlers, they will eventually grow beyond size two. On the other hand, they have to support a settler, so they normally have a surplus of just one food unit. As a compensation for low food surplus, a granary is an ideal improvement for core cities.
    A problem linked to city growth is that of unhappiness. There are various methods of dealing with this problem, and choosing between them requires a thorough understanding of the issue. At this point, a detailed discussion of the mechanics of citizen unhappiness is in order.
    Depending on the difficulty level, the first few citizens of a city are automatically content. At Chieftain this is 6, at Warlord 5, at Prince 4, at King 3, and at Emperor 2. After that every new citizen will be unhappy.
    Also, under versions 3 to 5 of the game, additional unhappy citizens will appear in random cities for cities founded after a certain limit of cities has been reached. When you have a number of cities twice the limit, each will have one more unhappy citizen than they would have if you had not exceeded the limit. For each new set of cities, unhappy citizens are added to all cities. Eventually, unhappy citizens even get turned into "very unhappy" citizens who need to be subdued into "simple" unhappiness before they can be contented. Needless to say, at some point, building or conquering additional cities just is not worth the trouble.
    The city limit beyond which additional unhappiness occurs depends on the difficulty level and the form of government. At Emperor level, the limit is 6 cities for Despotism. Things start to get critical once you exceed a number of 12 cities which is the limit beyond which even the founding citizens are made unhappy by additional cities. This is another reason not to put your cities too close together because covering space with less cities means that it will take longer for you to reach the limit. If you do get beyond 12 cities during your early expansion phase, it is highly advisable to build the Hanging Gardens which turn the first unhappy citizen back into a content one and should keep you comfortable up to 18 cities.
    As you can see, the need to suppress citizen unhappiness depends on the size of your empire, the government and the difficulty level. We know that you govern by Despotism during your early expansion, and we'll assume for the following discussion that you play at Emperor level and that you are planning to have either up to twelve cities or up to eighteen cities and the Hanging Gardens. That means that all citizens of a city but the first start out unhappy.
    In this scenario, the second citizen (who is the first unhappy one) is easily dealt with. Under Despotism (as under Monarchy and Communism), you can suppress up to three unhappy citizens simply by having a corresponding number of military units in the city. Since you have a garrison unit in the city anyway, this is exactly what happens to the first unhappy citizen.
    It is tempting to deal with the next two unhappy citizens in the same manner. In some cases, that is your only choice, but it has a drawback. Martial law works only under repressive forms of government and by depending on it you reduce your flexibility to change governments at your convenience. For this reason, it is preferable to build a nice temple. If you have Mysticism, it will make two citizens content and let your city grow up to size four.
    As the city begins to grow towards size five, the ideal, but unlikely scenario is that you have already discovered Religion. In that case, you should attempt to build J. S. Bach’s Cathedral. Otherwise, you have two choices. You could build the Oracle which doubles the temple's efficiency. The problem about the Oracle is that its effects are cancelled by the discovery of Religion which is an extremely valuable advance for maintaining civic peace. Therefore, the Oracle may have a rather short shelf-life. If you build it anyway, do not allow yourself to be reluctant about researching Religion. If you are the one to discover it first, you have at least a good chance of replacing the obsolete Oracle with J. S. Bach’s Cathedral. The other choice is to resort to martial law. To a lesser extent (because you already have the temple and are therefore not relying exclusively on the military) the drawbacks mentioned earlier still apply; the difference is simply that you have now run out of attractive alternatives. When you use military police, remember that you are not building these for defensive purposes, so non-veteran militia units will be quite sufficient. Two of these permit you to let the city grow up to size six. (Remember that this limit is higher if you play on a lower difficulty level or are aiming for a smaller number of cities.)
    This is about it for the early expansion phase. Theoretically, there are other options to increase the population limit even more, but they are not recommended. Colosseums are too expensive to maintain at this stage, and luxuries are inefficient under Despotism because, with a standard trade income of one arrow per square, you need to turn the trade income of two squares into luxuries to afford one more citizen. More importantly, the luxury rate is a very crude tool anyway, because you cannot limit its effects to the cities where luxuries are actually needed. Creating entertainers is a local measure that can be useful in an emergency, but they are extremely inefficient, because on top of their absence from the fields (which cancels out the benefit of having an additional citizen), they cannot feed themselves, so they cut into your food surplus.
    From the discussion of unhappiness the following recommended build-order emerges for core cities: First, build the granary to facilitate growth. Then build a temple to keep the growing city under control. Finally and unless you decide to use a wonder, build additional garrisons.
    An important aspect here is the timing. While you are probably unable to speed up the production of granaries and temples, you can slow down population growth by reassigning citizens. Before the city grows to size three, the granary should be in place, so it can save you half the surplus food required to grow to size four – with a food surplus of one food unit per turn that means twenty turns. The necessity of a temple before allowing the city to grow to size three depends on whether the city already suffers from unhappiness. You can check the happiness display to find out whether your garrison alone is keeping the city from falling into disorder. If that is the case, there is no point in allowing the city to grow without a temple.

    Special Purpose Cities
    A core city that is properly garrisoned and possesses both a granary and a temple has about all the infrastructure it needs under Despotism. Such a city can be turned into a special purpose city.
    The Barracks Town is the most immediately useful of these. This city, ideally one with an exceptionally high resource output, builds a barracks and then takes over the production of garrison units for other cities. This can significantly speed up the production of settlers and, as a result, your expansion as a whole.
    The Wonder City starts building a wonder of the world. The most important wonders in the early game are those stabilizing the mood of your citizens, i. e. the Hanging Gardens and the Oracle. Needless to say, resource output is most important here.
    The Science City is destined to become your primary place of research. The plan is to build both the Colossus and Copernicus’s Observatory in the same city, creating a city which produces lightbulbs at a fantastic rate. Many players overlook these two Wonders because they only affect one city. Taken together, though, their effects multiply, making them twice as effective as two separate cities each with just one of these Wonders. Its full glory will only become obvious when a library and a university have been added, but at that time, the science city will produce as much research as about four other cities with such improvements. The city should have the long-term prospect of excellent trade income and, because you want to grow this city as large as possible, good food supply.
    Other core cities, after they are done with their infrastructure, should simply build caravans to help with any wonder that may be under construction, giving priority to wonders for the science city. Of course, be careful to send in the caravans just prior to the wonder’s completion, so their value is not lost if you are forced to switch to a less expensive project.
  9. Verrucosus

    Verrucosus Chieftain

    Mar 25, 2002
    Taxation and Research
    During the early game, there is a strong case for pushing the science rate as high as possible. This case rests on the research cost formula which is as follows:
    LightBulbs = PreviousAdvances * DifficultyModifier * TimeModifier
    LightBulbs = number of light bulbs required for next advance
    PreviousAdvances = number of advances known to your civilization
    DifficultyModifier = 6 for Chieftain, 8 for Warlord, 10 for Prince, 12 for King, 14 for Emperor level.
    TimeModifier = 1 until 1 AD, 2 after 1 AD
    (However, the first advance always requires at least 10 lightbulbs regardless of difficulty level.)
    The interesting bit here is the time modifier. In effect, you get a 50 % discount on all research done before 1 AD. If that is not a reason to spend as much on science as possible, I do not know what is. At the beginning of the game, you don’t have any expenses, so you don’t need to collect taxes, and your people are content without luxuries, so starting with a science rate of 100 % and lowering it later just enough to cover maintenance cost seems like a good idea.
    It isn’t. There is no point in having a technology lead if your cities have trouble producing even a fraction of the stuff you have researched. The prosperity and power of your civilization does not depend on what it could build, but on what it has built. Some selective rush-building at the right moment can be extremely useful in that regard. You will not do a lot of that during the early game. After all, you are busy building garrisons and settlers during the first few millennia, and rush-building is most efficient with city improvements (2 coins per resource if production has already started). A good example of effective rush-building are granary, temple and barracks in your prospective barracks town. If you want to have these in place just six turns after the city has built its last settler, this costs you a little less than 280 coins, but your other cities can stop building garrisons, speeding up your expansion tremendously. The important thing here is to plan a bit ahead and have the money available when it is needed. As long as you have enough money to pay maintenance and finance any specific rush-building projects you have in mind, there is nothing wrong with pushing your science rate as high as you can.
    Which path to take in research is a difficult question.
    Almost all of the advances are useful in some way. The only early advances that can be avoided without serious disadvantages are probably Horseback Riding, Monarchy, Feudalism and Chivalry. This is a self-contained group that does not lead anywhere else. Cavalry is somewhat useful for exploration, but only in open terrain. Knights are nice, but not essential, since their role can be performed by a combination of chariots and phalanxes whch are much easier to research. Because of the increased support costs for settlers and military units, Monarchy as a form of government is incompatible with your goals in the early game.
    Bronze Working should always be a priority. Afterwards, you should get the Wheel as an insurance against war. Although you are interested in peaceful expansion at this point, war may be forced on you, or an irresistible opportunity of conquest may present itself. In any event, you will sleep better when you know you can build chariots if needed.
    After basic military concerns are taken care of, research is mostly an excercise in anticipating needs. Pottery and Ceremonial Burial give you access to basic city infrastructure. Mysticism is useful because its mere discovery improves the efficiency of your temples.
    The most important medium term goal is Trade. That advance allows you to build caravans which you will need for the construction of wonders. If you want to have the option of switching to a representative government later, you need Religion to cope with unhappiness and, of course, either the Republic or Democracy.
    The obvious long term goal is Railroads. Railroads are an overwhelming advantage. They improve your defense options enormously, because you can shuttle units anywhere along your rail net in one turn. Also, any square with a railroad gets a 50 % bonus to all food, trade, and resource production.

    Meeting other Civilizations
    Meeting another civilization while peacefully expanding forces you to make the strategic decision between peace and war. You have to make that decision on the basis of your knowledge about your rival’s strength both from the number of the ruler’s background advisors and from what you can see on the map. It is always useful to make peace at first and try to explore more of the opponent’s territory. Generally, it is a bad idea to start a war without any clue of where the enemy’s cities are located.
    It is important for you to acknowledge that a war at this point will seriously disrupt your peaceful expansion. Wars are notoriously difficult to plan and when you start one, you can never know exactly when and how it will end. If your enemy has any decent defenses at all, there is a serious risk that the war will drag on for some time, keeping quite a number of your cities occupied with military production and slowing down or even halting your peaceful expansion. As a result, your relative position towards unengaged rivals might be weakened. Still, there are cases when you can be confident to win the war quickly, and in such a situation you might decide to deal with the given opponent immediately. In some cases, it might be sufficient to weaken him by taking an important city. Anyway, once at war, your main concern is simply to end it as quickly as possible in your favour and get back to peaceful expansion.
    If you do not want to go to war, it will not normally be forced on you. Early on, almost all civilizations are willing to make peace, even if they make threats first. However, refusing a demand carries the risk of war. If you are willing to buy peace, but not absolutely certain that they are bluffing, it is safer to give in. On the other hand, demands for tribute on your part almost never get any response if you’ve already accepted a peace treaty. If you really wish to demand tribute, and don’t mind being at war, refuse the offer of peace. If the other civilization is truly afraid of you they will offer money, civilization advances, or both in exchange for peace.
    When you are asked to trade technology, it is important to know who you are dealing with. If you have followed the research priorities recommended earlier, you will probably have discovered Bronze Working and the Wheel first and then pursued the more brainy advances (Alphabet, Writing, Literacy etc.). If you meet up with militaristic civilizations like the Mongols, Zulus or Russians, they will take your military technologies and might well use them against you a few turns later. At the other end, civilized civilizations like the Babylonians, Egyptians, Americans, and to a lesser extent Romans and Chinese tend to take developmental technologies like Alphabet, Writing, Ceremonial Burial, Code of Laws before the Wheel, so trading with them is not as dangerous.
    The worst mistake you can make after concluding a peace treaty, is to ignore your opponent entirely. They may not attack you or occupy improved squares within the radius of one of your cities, but they will restrict your expansion and even hamper your movement by sending settlers and military units in your direction. In order to prevent this from happening, you should try to lock them into their corner of the continent. The plan is to put up a defensive line of units, preferably on rugged terrain, between the territory you have settled or plan to settle and the enemy ... er ... neighbour. Normally, it is sufficient to have a unit every other square so that their zones of control prevent the opponent from getting through. As your chance to keep the opponent away from your territory and perhaps to expand into his direction depends on the success of this containment strategy, do not hesitate to move existing garrisons towards the border and, above all, do not move the unit that made the contact out of the opponent’s way. This will disrupt your expansion because production slows down as garrisons and scouts sent to the border are replaced by additional unit requiring support, but not as much as rival units roaming through your territory would disrupt it. After the defensive line is established, you can sleep easier, but, when convenient, you should strengthen your border positions by connecting them to the road-network, replacing any militia and horsemen with phalanxes, constructing fortresses and, once those are in place, doubling the garrisons. It is also worthwhile to send a diplomat or caravan into the opponent’s territory to snoop around a bit before establishing an embassy or trade route.

    Ending Peaceful Expansion
    You might want to call a halt to your tribe’s peaceful expansion when you feel you have built enough (or even too many) cities. About a dozen cities should be sufficient to allow you to become a great power in terms of territory and population, and more than eighteen cities will be very difficult to manage under Despotism. The problem of halting expansion before you have settled all accessible territory on your home continent is that it allows other tribes to increase their share of the continent or (if they come from overseas) the opportunity to get a foothold. In the long run, this might cause serious trouble.
    If you do not abandon it early, peaceful expansion ends naturally when you have settled all areas of your home continent not occupied or blocked by your opponents. All of your cities can be regarded as core cities now and, unless you decide to expand overseas or start a war, it is now the time to turn from horizontal to vertical growth.
  10. tjs282

    tjs282 Un(a)bashed immigrant

    May 19, 2009
    ...just here for the job/ handouts/ woman
    Wow Verrucosus, that's a fantastic strat-guide! If only I'd read it 15 years ago, when I first started playing CivDOS... ;)

    Only 2 minor quibbles (as I'm sure you've since learned):
    Not true. Shield-Grassland (including River- and Jungle-tiles) is assigned in a completely predictable pattern -- it zigzags from bottom left to top right. Admittedly, on a very patchy map (e.g. 5 bn year worlds), this zigzag-pattern can be difficult to spot, because it's hidden under all the other terrain-types -- but it is there! This means that from any single 2x2 patch of grassland (or a 3x3 to 4x4 patch of mixed Grass+Plains) you can therefore extrapolate the pattern across the entire rest of the map.

    The following image was cropped from the Central African portion of the CivDOS Earthmap:

    The arrows mark the zigzag-lines of Shield-Grassland, the black circles show River- and Jungle-tiles that will also give a shield when settled/cleared. The red circle marks a Grass-tile that should give a shield, but was presumably edited by hand in order to slow Shaka down a little bit... ;)
    Since enemy units can't move from one ZoC into another, on a 'straight' horizontal or vertical border, you can actually place your border-guards (G) every three tiles, i.e.

    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5 Column 6 Column 7
    - - - - - -
    c c c c c c
    c G c c G c
    c c c c c c
    - - - - - - -

    ...where 'c' indicates tiles under ZoC. You can even offset your guards by 1 tile, i.e. separated by a 'long knight's-move':

    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5 Column 6
    - - - c c c
    c c c c G c
    c G c c c c
    c c c - - -

    You should avoid 45° borders though, because then leaving a tile free between your units will also leave a 'passage' (p) that an enemy can slip through:

    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5
    - - c c c
    - - c G c
    c c p c c
    c G c - -
    c c c - -

    and the only way to prevent this is to place units directly adjacent to one another:

    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5
    - - c c G
    - c c G c
    c c G c c
    c G c c -
    G c c - -

    ...which will cost a lot of upkeep.

    Attached Files:

  11. Verrucosus

    Verrucosus Chieftain

    Mar 25, 2002
    Thanks! I had never noticed the pattern for resources in rivers and grasslands! That's very important information, not just for selecting a city site on a river, but also later for deciding which jungles and swamps to turn first into grasslands. While a part of me actually liked the idea of taking a gamble when making these decisions, another part (the one that got frustrated when it realises that river city just founded will have to do without a resource from its city square) is grateful to be let in on the secret.
  12. Osvaldo Manso

    Osvaldo Manso Chieftain

    Jul 28, 2006
    Lisbon, Portugal, Europe
    I'm totally into this idea of the Civ I Wiki. Unfortunately, I think your suggestion got unnoticed because of the two Verrucosus' extensive posts that followed yours.
  13. Verrucosus

    Verrucosus Chieftain

    Mar 25, 2002
    I noticed Posidonius' wiki suggestion. In fact, it prompted me to dig out those early expansion recommendations that I had mentioned earlier. I did not specifically comment on the wiki idea because I no longer have enough spare time to spend hours writing about Civ. (It's bad enough that I still spend hours playing it!) Anyway, if the effect of that posting was to bury Posidonius' proposal, I'm really sorry, because it's excellent.
  14. Posidonius

    Posidonius Civherder

    Jun 28, 2015
    US of gawldarn A
    No sorries, your strategy guides are great! I am with you on the game-board patterns in Civ1. Years playing the game, and just never noticed that zig-zag pattern on Grasslands. I mean, noticed it before but always thought it was a localized fluke. Since i found this forum last year, that one thing, that pattern, is the Single Most Useful Thing learned here.

    Now can plot out where my cities will go, centuries before invading France, and which current French cities will have to be starved back into farmland. This informs my whole military strategy, since i know beforehand which cities should be smashed and which ones should be bribed to my side. I look for what i now call "elbows", the lower-right corner of the shieldgrass pattern where there is (or would be) a shield 1N and a shield 1W. Then, moving to the SE two squares diagonally, i know that square will also be an "elbow". Since this pattern continues across open water, i'll know how many Settlers to bring to an uninhabited island, even though it might be 2,000 years between discovering the place with a Trireme and carrying units there on a Frigate.

    And there's another pattern too, involving fish on the water and "special" resources on land (gold, deer, gems, coal, swamps and horses). I just used that pattern for the first time, in my current game. There is an island and a line of fish runs up to the North coast and continues off the South coast. Right where a fish would have been if it was an ocean square, there was an empty Grassland. I railroaded the spot, then told the Settler to build a Forest. Sure enough, up popped a herd of deer! Certain that if i told the Settler to come back and make a Plains, it would have horses. But i'd rather have the deer (more food).

    This pattern is harder to use because the runs of fish are, at most, four occurrences long before the pattern breaks off and resumes a few squares later on a different diagonal. Because you can't terraform a new Mountain or Hill or Swamp, this one is only useful for creating horses and deer on current wetlands or flatlands. But a deer forest is a helluva lot more useful than a plain empty Grassland.
  15. Posidonius

    Posidonius Civherder

    Jun 28, 2015
    US of gawldarn A
    I have no idea who to ask about it. And, i'm not the one who should be doing any asking anyway, me being a complete newbie here :confused:
  16. Tristan_C

    Tristan_C Chieftain

    Aug 16, 2006
    There is a civ1 space inside the civ wikia site.

    Civilization Official Wikia

    I suggest contributing to that, since the coding, website design, and promotion is already taken care of.

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