Struggling to keep up in science


May 2, 2013
I just started playing vox civ again after a years long hiatus and I'm struggling a bit, especially with science. Back in the day I was an Immortal/Deity player and I'm playing Immortal now, standard size/speed, continents++, no ruins/events/tech trading. I've gotten to roughly mid game 4 times now before the games have fallen apart.

First game was with Indonesia going for diplo. Was wide and controlled CSs and the world congress pretty well but managed to tick too many neighbors off at once and carelessly neglected the bottom of the tech tree at a critical moment and got into a hopeless military situation. I think this game was just me being greedy and careless, though, so no major question here and mostly just glad to see the AI being aggressive and more effective than ever.

Next game was Aztec. Authority->Fealty. Hunted barbarians pretty well, got a religion super early. But again, by mid game fell pretty far behind in tech. It seemed like killing a lot of units and taking cities wasn't really enough science to keep up. This seemed to get exacerbated by the fact that you need to reach for important bottom military techs in order to effectively wage war which delays top techs that are important for science.

Next game was with America. Managed to grab 5 of the Ancient wonders (Henge, Pyramids, Petra, Halicarnassus, and HG) so had a nice start. But by mid game one or two of the AI jumps out to a tech lead and manage to start gobbling wonders going forward before I can get there which is a big problem for me going tall into a culture victory. It becomes clear that I can't find a way to catch up in tech in order to get more of the critical wonders and even a military solution is probably not viable anymore without any military policy bonuses and lagging in tech. In this game I was a bit puzzled how Tradition->Artistry->Rationalism and working science specialists like crazy could do much more to keep up. I was trying to tech steal with spies but not sure what else to do.

Current game is Rome (love their new kit! The conquered CS gives ally bonuses is a cool perk). Authority->Fealty->Imperialism. I've vassalized my continent (Shoshone and Persia) and conquered 7/16 CSs (though only 2 of those were earlier in the game where those bonuses are bigger). But on the other continent the Inca are like 15 techs ahead and fielding units with 1 or 2 upgrades over me. I'm building up a navy to take more CSs and eventually invade his continent but if the tech disparity continues it might not matter. Maybe Autocracy bonuses can even things out? Interestingly, France on that continent vassalized Polynesia and America but the Inca turned around and liberated both and then vassalized Napolean. I feel like Napoleon is in the same struggle as me- you can reach for military techs and vassalize a few civs but eventually you fall too far behind in tech to keep it going and you hit a wall.

Am I missing something important in the science game to keep up? Are others having similar struggles?
Cant offer much, other to say the game has gotten harder and have akso been feeling the struggle on immortal. We may need to go down a level.

Two things. You are right. War seems inevitable and we do need to pruoritize lower military techs to the neglect of science techs.

Also. The game balance has changed whereby ai gets a bigger bonus at midgame and lower bonus at start. So you may be feeling that midgame buff.
My current game as Germany is going a bit better. I went tall/Tradition and I'm only a few techs behind others (including Korea) in the Modern era. I'm a handful of policies behind too, though, which is probably more concerning despite working all culture specialists in my capital all game. But I think this game could be a win if I can defend my small territory from a very scary Denmark who has wiped out half the world- I very easily control all CSs and have commanding control of the WC.
My advice is don't actually worry about the AI being ahead of you in basically anything. Technology, Culture and even army size. Don't try to match their army size. You either can't, or it simply isn't beneficial unless you are actively using them to invade.

Just keep practicing. You are better than the AI. Or are at least capable with more practice haha. On Deity you have to accept that nearly half if not all of the civilizations will be way ahead of you on everything. You have to win by Superior Tactics and Military strategy. While the AI is far superior to vanilla in terms of battle mechanics, they still aren't capable of being as intelligent as you. Your goal is to never lose a unit at least for the first half of the game. You'll have to practice this and literally reload a turn if you made a mistake and lost a unit.

Also the policies and even religious choices are there for you to make the game adjust to your play style. Your title says you're struggling with science. Then try a game choosing everything that is skewed towards science growth. Adopt progress, choose rationalism. See if there are some religious choices you can make that will boost science output.
Another thing I could suggest if you're still struggling is to increase the standard playtime to Epic. Marathon can be a real slog, but epic is still a decent pace and doesn't over stay it's welcome.

Increasing the play time actually lowers the difficulty in a sense. The way to think of it is, the more turns you have the more chances you have to be smarter than the AI. Also when you're attempting to conduct Wars and not lose any units, it can sometimes develop into a war of attrition where you may have not made much progress. You may need to recuperate with some peace time and then start the invasion again.
Top Bottom