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Strategy Library on fastmoves.de

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by real_jobe, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. real_jobe

    real_jobe Chieftain

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    Hey Civ Fans!

    Fastmoves has now been up for three months and we´re hitting 50 articles. I´d like to use the opportunity to provide anyone interested in in-depth analysis of all sorts of strategies, game mechanics and other civ related aspects with an overview of the work done so far.

    Work on the site´s relaunch containing lots of new features is currently underway...

    Introductions into Civilization Multiplayer
    Introductionary articles for players that are new to Civilization Multiplayer. They contain information on concepts of civilization that are not used in singleplayer but in multiplayer and introduce the common game formats in the multiplayer community.

    A summary of the ways civ4 is played in multiplayer

    Civilization Multiplayer: city elimination, simultaneous turns and timer

    Useful Tools: Civ4Fans, Teamspeak and Hamachi


    General Articles on Civilization Multiplayer
    The Art of Attacking in Civilization Multiplayer
    Extensive Article on how to attack best in Civ Multiplayer explaining underlying principles, the effects of terrain and culture. Shows and explains several strong ways of attacking, like direct hit, fork and culture bomb.

    Defending in Civ MP
    Counterpart of the article on attacking. Explains the importance of sentry network and culture, gives advice on how to plant your cities to provide good defense, block enemy moves and how to best counter approaching stacks.

    Anti-Choke: Dealing with Warriors and Archers in Ancient
    Guide on how to defend against units attacking you early in game. Gives detailed information on how to anticipate units coming for you and how to best protect your buildup.

    Vision range and its role for offense and defense in civilization multiplayer
    Describes the rules of vision range for units, which is very important for building up a sentry network for defense on the one hand and plan sneaky attacks on the other hand.

    How to read the Power Graph in Demographics
    Lists of power values of important units, average unit values in each era and guide on how to device the amount of enemy army from the demography screen.

    Tricks #1: The Culture Bug
    Explains the use of the so called culture bug, that allows you to build culture and a unit/building in the same turn. This is a common (and important) part of later era games.

    The Art of Boating
    Article on efficieny and different ways of attacks via sea (commonly called boating). Gives advice on when boating makes sense and how to do so best.

    Putting a Great General to good use
    Explains the diffent ways a Great Geneal can be used.

    *NEW*The Happiness Cap*NEW*
    Explanations of the concept of the "happiness cap" and its impact on the game and possible strategy.


    Ironman/ffa/cton
    Traits in ffa and Ironman
    About the individual usefulness of traits for ffa and Ironman type games and how you have to adopt your game style to those traits in order to put them to full use.

    Maps, Difficulty, Settings – how to adapt
    Description of what impact different maps and other options like difficulty have on the game, how you need to adopt your game style to that and what influence that has on how good the different traits and civs are, with a special focus on choice of civ.

    Interaction of traits and choice of leader
    Article explaining how the traits interact with each other, why certain combinations aren´t good and two good traits dont make a good leader and what combinations can be useful in which situation.

    When to attack and NOT attack
    Guidelines on what circumstances are necessary for a war to make sense in a Ironman/cton/ffa game with special distinction from duels and teamers.


    Introductions into later Eras (non ancient start)
    Most players only know Civilization games starting in ancient era. However in multiplayer every era is used as starting era, to enjoy all parts civ while keeping games within a reasonable timeframe.
    The buildup principles and strategies for later era starts are obviously very different from ancient (especially Renaissance and later). The articles of this category explain the basic buildup principles for their specific era and give an overview of common strategies in order to introduce players into those eras, that are new to them.

    Renaissance Start, especially in Multiplayer Teamer

    Modern and Future Start, especially in Multiplayer Teamers

    *NEW*Introduction into Industrial*NEW*

    *NEW*Introduction into Medieval*NEW*


    Other Strategy Articles
    About the Expansive Trait
    Math behind and use of the strongest trait in ancient start, noble difficulty.

    A Flop5 of Unique Units

    A Top7 of Unique Units


    National Wonders
    National Wonders #1: Flop3
    *NEW*National Wonders #2: Top3 *NEW*
    *NEW*National Wonders #3: Good. Basic. Not Game Breaking.*NEW*


    Series Civics in Focus
    Each part explains one branch of the Civics menu. The articles contain the effects and requirements of each Civic, explain in which game formats and in which situations they can be used and give short introductions into how they can be put to their best effect.

    I. Government
    II. Legal
    III. Labor
    *NEW*IV. Economy*NEW*


    Series Good UB - Bad UB
    Series on Unique Buildings. Each Part evalutates two to 4 unique buildings, explaining in what situations they can be used and why they are useful there - or otherwise why they are not.

    Introductory post of each Part:
    There are no just good or just bad buildings
    Even though the title suggests different, there are basically no just good or just bad unique buildings (and units). Every UB and UU has to be evaluated in the context of the game settings and overall strategy it´s supposed to be used in. A (fictional) unique unit archer that gets +100% against melee units is useless in an game played on Islands, where you have no (military) contact with your opponents until Astronomy is researched and archers are long obsolete. A unique building is good if it significantly supports a (playable) strategy.

    #1 Research Institute, Terrace
    #2 Salon, Hippodrome
    #3 Mint, Ger
    #4 Forum, Baray
    #5 Pavilion, Stele, Rathaus, Ikhanda
    #6 Assembly Plant, Mausoleum, Hammam, Ball Court
    #7 Obelisk, Odeon
    #8 Dun, Citadel, Totem Pole
    #9 Apothecary, Garden, Dike
    *NEW*#10 Cothon, Trading Post, Feitoria *NEW*
    *NEW*#11 Madrassa, Sacrificial Altar, Stock Exchange, Seowon, Mall, Ziggurat
    *NEW*


    The Fastmoves Challenge
    Fastmoves multiplayer related edition of the game of the month, with video analysis on the best possible approach afterwards.

    #1 Robinson Crusoe´s thirst for knowledge
    #2 Montezuma´s Revenge
    *NEW*#3 Smart Ragnar*NEW*


    Concept Ideas
    Articles on conceptional ideas for Civilization, like new functions for building or guidelines for mapskripting.

    #1 Building: Assembly Line

    #2 City Commerce and Specialization

    #3 Mapdesign for Multiplayer Civ


    Fun and co
    Single Player Funkiness

    4 city Ancient buildup with Shaka

    *NEW*Report on CCC Playoff Match between clans [RUS] and [PPP]*NEW*


    Not Gameplay related Stuff
    Civilization Network – a commentary

    *NEW* New Mapscript: fm_Mirror_Inland_Sea1*NEW*
    Inland_Sea version with mirrored resources and starting positions.


    Echoes from the Civ World
    Echos from the Civ World #1

    *NEW* Announcement of Civilization 5*NEW*

    *NEW* Civilization 5: First info and screenshots *NEW*

    *NEW* Civilization 5: "1-unt-per-tile" concept *NEW

    *NEW* Civilization 5: trailer by 2k.Games *NEW*
     
  2. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Thanks for the compreeensive list ;) Not that I agree with all of what appears in that ( but I'm also not exactly a FFA pro or anything close :p )
     
  3. real_jobe

    real_jobe Chieftain

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    Glad you like it.

    Always happy about constructive criticism and participation in discussion via comments.
    What exactly are you refering to? Btw, the writers play single player - if we play single player (more focus on multi) - on immortal/deity ;)
     
  4. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    I have disagreements regarding some of the "Good UB, bad UB" area, but again most of the arguments there are settings-specific ( well, that heavy dislike for GA points is a little off the roof as well, but I understand it :D ). Same for the 3 flops in terms of nat wonders: for a example Red cross units are 2 XP away from March, that, in spite of not being a promo you want in all units, is a promo that can be well worth the price for a core of units that has the sole propose of defending the stack...well, this before nukes and planes that is :D. Rushmore, as said there, is definitely a useful wonder except in the AW setting and probably didn't deserved the flop label ( IMHO Hermitage is far more worthy of that honor ;) )...

    Oh, and I also play Immortal/deity in SP when not trying crazy variants in SGs :p
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    One minor correction: A sword attacking an archer does not have its strength reduced to 3 in the combat calculations. Every modifier other than combat is applied to the defender, so in reality the archer is defending at ~6 str in the example. Usually this has minimal relevance but in some situations this fact makes combat I a better promotion against an archer than city raider.
     
  6. real_jobe

    real_jobe Chieftain

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    Sure, I know ;). Where does it say otherwise? Might have been used in a simplified way somewhere I guess. Which article is it so I can check and correct it potentialy.

    Thanks for the imput!.
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    It's in "the art of attacking" as follows:

    "The Archer has good chances of killing a strength 6 Swordsman then (the defense bonuses get subtracted from the attacker’s strength, resulting in a strength 3 Swordsman attacking)."
     
  8. real_jobe

    real_jobe Chieftain

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    Ah, thank you. Different author ;)
     
  9. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    http://fastmoves.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/city-elimination-simultaenous-turns-and-timer/
    I think it's interesting this aspect of gameplay inspired the name of the site. Is this because most of the content is focused toward multiplayer?

    For those who don't enjoy multiplayer I would have thought fastmoves is one of the main reasons. One of your authors says it's only inexperienced players who resort to likening the game to an RTS (never mind that of course they're going to be inexperienced if they don't enjoy the game in that way - they won't be playing it!). Call me inexperienced if you will but it's true the game is a bit more RTS-ish in the sense you need to be reasonably quick in your decision making. In single player this is not necessary to play at high levels though it appears that many high level players are pretty quick with their turns anyway. I think you might just alienate a bit of the single player crowd by making simplifications such as:
    The whole double moving thing is something you have to learn to use/avoid (whatever the situation) for multiplayer but it's completely possible to be ignorant of it yet play high level single player.

    EDIT
    By the way, the site looks to be quite a good collection of information.:goodjob: I'll do my best to read through some of it and provide any other feedback I can.
     
  10. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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  11. real_jobe

    real_jobe Chieftain

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    You are totally right about that. As a matter of fact my clan just took a great SP dude in who has to get used to exactly those mechanics.

    Don´t get me wrong on this. It´s just that some people are not honest to themselves regarding this aspect. I´ve seen noobs (no matter whether single or multi player) resort to blaming fastmoves or so-called double moves for their loss, claiming they are actually incredibly skillful. (If you ever played counterstrike, the analogy would be noobs blaming "awp noobs", but not making any sense in their statements). Of course this is an RTSish component, but once you know what it´s about, it really doesn´t play any big role anymore. In the end you have to make quick decisions, yes - but you learn to do that. And this way you can play civilization against humans, not ai, which is much more interesting, at least for many. If I play single player, wihch I rarely do nowadays, I fly to Alpha Centauri on immortal in around 5 hours with 8 or so opponents on 3 continents. I´m not advocating speed civving, but there are aspects where taking your time is appropriate and those where you can figure out something once and then apply it forever not having to think about it every time.

    All I´m trying to say is that those aspect that are necessary in order to play a mp game in a reasonable amount of time in the end don´t make the game any different, playing against humans does though - that´s the real difference. Your facing an intelligent being, not AI who can only beat you with vast discounts on everything and additional starting settlers/workers etc.
     
  12. real_jobe

    real_jobe Chieftain

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    Always glad for that :) Use the coment function, participate and be prepared for the relaunch of the site very soon - we´re half way through with coding it, more features, sectiond and general goodies ;)
     
  13. Indiansmoke

    Indiansmoke Deity

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    @ Piece of Mind.

    Obviously fastmoves is made mostly for multiplayer. The quick thinking and fast moving is an important aspect of multiplayer but is not what seperates the best from the rest. Knowledge of the game and what works when and where is what seperates players.

    There are tournaments in multiplayer that use seperate turns and slow timer, so all the fast moving and fast thinking does not even apply there....nevertheless the same people win these tournaments...because fastmoving and thinking is an aspect you adapt to easilly and is not what counts at the end.

    Single player logic is tottaly different from multiplayer. you can be beating deity regularly and yet be a total noob when facing humans. That is because single player is based around the ai, exploiting the ai and beating up the ai, in multiplayer this does not exist, so different things work online than in single player...it is a whole new game!

    Playing free for all random games in the lobby does not give you an idea unfortunatelly of what it is like to play competitive multiplayer games. League games as well as other closed community games are the only ones that will give you what multiplayer is about. That is because first people don't quit second because they are much better players and third and most important because they will use everything to the extreme not only to win but to even survive for 1 more turn.

    Playing as extremely as you can to survive one more turn or to gain one turn/the minimal of advantage from opponent is what makes players improve and get better. That spirit is not to be found in ffa games unfortunatelly.

    Players that say that multiplayer is like RTS and I don't like it..fine...however 99% of them they don't lose because they are slow on fast moving, but simply because they are worst players..and how can they not be...it is like taking someone who has survived multiple death tournaments killing all his opponents by his hands and putting him in a ring with a guy who has been casually training in the gym! That is how big the gap is.

    So to conclude...the advice on fastmoves is written by the best on competitive multiplayer, anyone who wants to experience competitive multiplayer, now has a source to learn.
     
  14. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    The banner at the top of the site says:
    I don't see any mention of multiplayer specifically.

    To someone who frequents the arena of Civ4 multiplayer it might be obvious but wandering into that site and reading the main description did not make that obvious at all. If the site is intended to help newer players get into the competitive scene then I think it should be made more obvious that that's what it's about.

    Of course, I agree with everything else you said Indiansmoke.
     
  15. real_jobe

    real_jobe Chieftain

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    I´d claim that almost every article can be applied to a vast portion to single player, some entirely, some only to a smaller extent ;). Micromanagement is the same, so are many, many other aspects.

    Taking that aside, I´m in the process of drafting SP specific authors ;). In the end it´s supposed to become a place for all civ fans, bringing all aspects together and allowing for more "traffic" between SP/MP. Play both, enjoy both!
     
  16. Indiansmoke

    Indiansmoke Deity

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    Well that is because Jobe as good as he is in multiplayer, still has illusions that some or most of the same things can work in single player :D

    I used to have same illusions, until I started trying things like GOTM :lol:
     
  17. real_jobe

    real_jobe Chieftain

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    Hey - I played like 5 or 10 sp games and I beat immo always and deity once out of two games :p. But I´m very aware that understanding AI behaviour and being able to manipulate it is an art in itself which I know nothing about :D

    And yes, you´re right about Gotm games - though you should add that those are mostly played on normal speed, while mp is almost always quick. I think that´s the main difference or in other words biggest obstacle for "us" mp geeks, when it comes to outmicroing the best of the best :crazyeye: Don´t get me wrong, I have big respect for many SP dudes and what they are able to accomplish for example in the mentioned GotM - that´s why I drafted Zulan from the German community into [PPP] for example ;)
     
  18. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    Hope I'm not dragging you guys off topic with this, but from what I've read, at least 90% of the material seems geared mainly to multiplayer. For example, your Flop 3 national wonders are described in the context of multiplayer almost exclusively (you keep mentioning ffa and ironman, the latter of which an inexperienced player will not know of) yet the title of the article does not mention whether the advice is SP or MP. The wonders are probably the worst 3 in single player as well but for slightly different reasons (some reasons are the same).

    By the way, I wouldn't attribute too many of the differences between MP and SP play to exploiting the AI. It's true that to compete at high levels in SP you pretty much have to learn about the limitations of the AI and exploit those limitations but it's not the only thing that makes it a different experience. For example, in SP you can spend a lot of time looking at the little things like the combat odds for several different units during an attack (something I admit to doing because I micromanage how much XP I can win from battles - it's more efficient to send in a 8/10 XP Protective Drill 3 longbow with 98.5% odds to earn 2xp than it is to send in a 7/10 XP CR2 mace at 99% odds to earn 1xp IMO, for example! :)). Little things like that, probably trivial in the eyes of most speed civvers, are impractical in pretty much all MP except pitboss and PBEM games.
    I haven't even mentioned yet that there are many SP players who play the game as if they're playing other people and try to forget that they are playing AIs. Such players might prefer not to learn about such things as weehorn mode (borrowing Silu's terminology there :p), WFYABTA, hidden attitude modifiers including warmonger respect, leaders that declare at pleased, etc. I try (perhaps in vain most of the time) to play the single player game without exploiting AI weaknesses but that is probably where the dissatisfaction with single player eventually comes from; there are just too many AI failings that ignoring them becomes impossible.

    I think it'll be a tricky balancing act to generalise articles to being both for MP and SP. I think it's safer to just assume that everything is for MP and then advise that much of it will work in SP too. However, there will be SP strategies and tactics that are not necessarily dependent on the failings of AI that aren't practical for MP. I assume these things will mostly be left out as they would have no relevance to MP gameplay.
     
  19. real_jobe

    real_jobe Chieftain

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    Yes!

    That´s where - hopefully - our future SP contributors come in ;)
     
  20. Indiansmoke

    Indiansmoke Deity

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    I strongly disagree with that. The reason things like that are more efficient it is again because of the ai. Because the ai will not use HA's much that are immune to first strikes, because the ai will not use flanking units first to improve the odds on the rest, because the ai will not use 2 workers to road and kill your units before they fortify on a hill, generally because the ai just sucks at combat.

    All the difference in things that work and don't work is because of the ai. Everything, from combat to how you settle your cities, to how you use great people, to how you expand because of tech trading, to what techs you tech, to how many units you build knowing what the ai will do, to what wonders you build....

    Now regarding the odds you mentioned again I refer you what I said earlier...you are dealing with maniacs here...they know the odds by heart, they don't need to take their time to calculate, they calculate instantly what units should attack first.
     

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