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Stuck - any advice/input/criticisms much appreciated

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by ForGreatJustice, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. ForGreatJustice

    ForGreatJustice Master of the Grump

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hi everyone. I just picked up Civ4 after having a 5 year hiatus from Civ3. I realized that my civ3 emperor skills were no match for civ4 mechanics so I'm in the middle of learning a lot by starting out on Prince and moving on to Monarch.

    The map details:
    BTS 3.19 BUG 4.3
    Monarch/Normal
    Continents/Standard/5 random AIs
    Aggressive AI/No Huts/No Random Events/Barbs On

    I'm a bit stuck at the moment. I initially picked Catherine to try out how effectively her traits would work together. I figured she would make a good warmongering leader. That was until I wiped out the only AI (Khmer) on the small continent in the BCs.

    I switched gears and decided to improve econ (trying out SE and CE and seeing how they work out) while teching to optics. I took a detour and built GL so I have 8 scientists in my cap. I've turned the Khmer old cap initially into SE, but now I'm transitioning it to a hammer city.

    I met the other 4 AIs (Frederick, Hammy, Shaka, and Sitting Bull) in the 1300s and also managed to trade world maps to get circumnavigation. I realized that I was more or less at tech parity with the leaders Frederick and Hammurabi, and that's probably due to some constant warring (saw a lot of GG notifications up to that point). I still hold optics as a monopoly though, so something to be had there perhaps.

    Right now I'm at a crossroads of sorts. Conquest seems out of the question, domination unlikely, and definitely not cultural (I only have the GL, a stolen Stonehenge, and the Taoist shrine :lol:). What's left are UN, AP (yes it's still unbuilt, again must be lots of warring), and space victories as possibilities. What seems for sure though is that I need to be very diplomatic from now on (something I'm learning how to do in civ4) :(

    Posted are some screens as well as both my original save and current 1430AD save. If you guys have time, I would appreciate thoughts and opinions on not just how I should proceed, but also critiques on everything i.e. city management, city placement. I want to at least get back to emperor level so I need to relearn the hard way :crazyeye:

    My empire 1430AD
    View attachment 245167

    Moscow Cap (with GL, my attempt at a SSC)
    View attachment 245168

    Kiev (hammers or SE or CE?)
    View attachment 245169

    St. Petersburg (hammers?)
    View attachment 245170

    Northern Half of other continent (Sitting Bull and Shaka at war)
    View attachment 245171

    Other half (mostly Frederick, Hammy has a swath to the right)
    View attachment 245172

    Tech trades
    View attachment 245173

    Relations
    View attachment 245174

    Diplo
    View attachment 245175

    And the save
    View attachment 245166

    Again thanks in advance for having a look at these. :mischief:
     
  2. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    4,056
    Location:
    Cantaloupe Island
    I can't help you with regards to what victory you should try to achieve, but I think you lack a number of cities :)

    Your continent could support 3-6 more cities, which would give a boost in production & commerce. It's hard to tell without Ctrl+R toggled on (shows resources) to spot the food.

    1- You have unworked floodplains between Kiev and St Pet. Settling a city in the area would do the job (either 2N of the rice, either 3N+1W)
    2- There's a lot of grassland East and N-E of Moscow, + cows and an oasis. There's room for 1 or 2 cities, there. 1W of the oasis looks like a fine spot for only 1 city, but seeing that you have civil service to irrigate farms, I would rather settle 2 cities. Maybe on the western plains hill and 1N-E of the cows.
    3- Far east, there looks like there is seafood, am I right ? A city could work both the seafood and the copper.
    4- Some ok land N-W of Kiev. You could settle 1E of the Iron, to grab the Fur sources soon (+1 happy, +1 again with a market, I believe).
    5- You may want to fill the gap between Visigoth and Rostov. 3N from Visigoth looks fair to me.

    --> Granary, Courthouses would be priorities in these cities.
    Kiev could build the Forbidden Palace instead of the Sistin Chapel to further reduce maintenance costs.


    Random things :
    Being creative, Catherine doesn't need the Stonehenge.
    You should adopt Hereditary Rule and Organised Religion. HR to solve your happiness issues and let your cities grow further. OR to build infrastructure more quicklyy. Be sure to spread your state religion to newer cities.
    Getting Astronomy (via Liberalism or the fair way) will give you foreign trade routes.

    :)
     
  3. OJimiJam

    OJimiJam Warlord

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Taiwan
    First off, turn the resource bubbles on for wide screenshots it makes life easier :) My first comment is there is quite a lot of unclaimed land on your island, i know some of it looks junk but a city up by the beavers middle north, the cows/grassland east of Novgorod and for the left over floodpains 1w of kiev would pay for themselves and be good additions. Also some of your cities seemed to be placed strangely, why is Kiev where it is? and for that matter st petersburg? Gotta g oto uni but will try to have a detailed look later.
     
  4. ForGreatJustice

    ForGreatJustice Master of the Grump

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Kiev was the old cap of AI that I just took. It is awkwardly placed indeed but I decided to keep it. St. Petersburg was placed where it was because the AI had another city two NE of where it is now and in order to claim copper, ivory, and cows in it's initial box.

    I knew I should have built a few more cities but I still don't understand how maintenance works in civ4. Buildings don't cost anything, only distance matters? Then you guys are completely right I can easily have put a few more on the island.

    Also is it worth trying to build missionary after missionary to send to the other continent at this point? Or should I allow the AIs to spread to me? The reason I suggest the AIs spreading Hindu is because Sitting Bull and Hammy both have it.

    The Sistine chapel was just random idea. I though about building it to get some future GAs for culture bombing my top 3 cities, but then afterwards I realized cultural was probably too far-fetched by now.

    Stonehenge came along with the AI cap, I wouldn't have built it of my own free will :)
     
  5. Hyperion96

    Hyperion96 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Shanghai
    - Maintenance is affected by distance from the palace and population (the more pop. in a city the more maintenance)
    - Tech rate is too low for 1430 : consider building cottages in your unused BFC spaces
    - As BornInCantaloup mentioned, you should build more cities (even if your continent has crappy land :p) to backfill it
    - You have too few improvements/mature cottages from what I see in the screenies. Lack of workers ???
    - The AI is quite slow at teching in this game (Monarch/1430 and no lib ???) so a space race victory is still possible (UN is always possible but I don't like it)
    - Aggressive AI is not recommended when moving up a level (I remember this 2000-BC DoW by Alex on Prince with 6 phalanxes while I had 4 archers and 1 axeman...)
    - You should have a virgin continent at your south which you could settle

    Good luck with your game :goodjob:
     
  6. Wreck

    Wreck Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    331
    As others have said above: the first thing that jumps out at me when I look at those screens is you've got too few cities. You have many half-decent city sites idle (although admittedly no good or great ones). Get them up and running.

    And do look south of your continent. My experience w/ continents tells me there's good odds of finding a small continent and some small islands there. Probably enough for 3-4 more cities, and quite possibly containing resources you don't have yet. (In fact, you can see that there is land 3S/3E of Yaroslav.)

    Adding another 4-5 cities on your continent, and maybe another 3-4 offshore.... you can easily out-tech the nicely-divided AIs. Or out-produce them. So no -- you don't actually need much diplomacy.

    As for your goals, you could certainly win a military victory if you choose to, because you can out-tech and out-produce the AIs. But it would be much easier to turtle and win a space race. That's what I'd go for at this point.
     
  7. Wreck

    Wreck Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    331
    About your economy... why oh why are you not in Monarchy? In Civ4, Monarchy is a civic that does one thing: it gives you happiness. You have lots of good :health: resources, but few :) resources. You are happiness limited; revolt to monarchy and build up. And get up aqueducts and then grow some more! You should have inland cities like Kiev at pop 13 or more, while your coastal cities can have up to 16 with fresh water.

    I would also probably go with Organized Religion over Pacifism, but that's more a judgment call. If you want to play with the SE, then stick with pacifism. But in my opinion, the SE is more about short-term goals while the CE is for longer-term, if you can afford it. Once you've got a tech lead, then bulbing becomes much less important, because the power of bulbing is in giving you things to tech-trade; it is the trading that multiplies the effect. Since you've go nobody to trade with, you don't want a SE any more.

    Second, build more cottages. And grow 'em. Once you get your next Scientist from Moscow, make a GP farm somewhere else. (Is that a fish offshore 3S of Moscow? If so, build a new city on that desert point 3S/2W of Moscow and grow GPs there.) By running specialists in your capital, you are wasting much of the +50% commerce/production from Bureaucracy. Get those scientists in the cottages, build more cottages, and build Oxford here in due time.

    With 6 production tiles (3 hills, elephants, cows, and stone) Kiev does want to be a production city, so do that. But it doesn't need all that land for production -- it needs only the 6 tiles with hammers, and enough food to run those. Irrigate the plains, and maybe make a workshop to eat up any remaining food. The floodplains on the west can be given over to a new commerce city.

    St. Petes was a kind of strange place to put Moai, but I guess I can see why you did it. Anyway, what's done is done. It is and is going to be a hybrid city. Irrigate the plains as needed to support pop, but it is mostly done. (Do take back the one coast tile from Yaroslav.)
     
  8. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    So you renamed conquered cities for flavour ? Nice !
    I fear you won't convert anybody by spreading your religion to the other continent. You may make some money if you have a holy shrine, but I doubt it would be worth the investment.

    This, as well as total number of cities, i.e. the more cities you have, the greater the average maintenance cost.
    Thus, you should watch how maintenance evolves as you build new cities, to be sure you can manage it. Being alone means that settling is not too much of a hurry, even though you will benefit greatly from working more tiles :)
     
  9. ForGreatJustice

    ForGreatJustice Master of the Grump

    Joined:
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    Brooklyn, NY
    I was thinking the same after I made this thread, and while at work right now (amazing how watching your students work can sometimes inspire you to do things i civ :D). I went heavy SE just to keep up in tech and to get to optics fast, because I was worried I was too worried about being too far behind before I made contact. Right now, CE is definitely needs to be set up. Guess I need more workers.

    Yeah I'm Soviet Russia, in mother Russia, we name you! And yes I do have the Tao holy shrine up (used a GP to build it that only had 14% chance popping, :mad:) And for income I was gambling on popping GMs to get some extra cash from the other continent (already happened once). True not a reliable source but the quick boost in cash can help me not tech badly while I redesign my tiles and make new cities.

    Funny I thought I had already selected HR when I was revolting to CS. Whoops :rolleyes: But yeah the aqueducts I skipped because I was so concerned with getting optics ASAP. Now I have time to rethink and get that going finally.

    Very true about OR over pacifism. My time for SE is up I feel, time for CE.

    This was something I was not expecting. The continents games I've played before made me expect just two land masses. I had no clue about a third landmass below me. But now that actually makes some more sense, oops :rolleyes:

    This point I'm learning the hard way with this game. :(

    My game plan is space. Though I love warring and warmonger thick and thin, my only fear is the naval invasion necessary to perform on the other continent would fizzle out fairly quickly because I'm playing on normal (never tried marathon and epic so my sense of timing is just based on normal speed).

    I have yet to attempt space for civ4, and I have yet to play a game in the modern age. This one seems like I will be though. Any suggested tech paths I should pursue? :confused: Again Lib's free tech is still available.

    As far as diplomacy I'm guessing I need to start a world war on the continent. Maybe convince someone to attack Frederick since he's leading right now.

    Thanks again for the input. I can't wait to get off work and apply it all of this.:)
     
  10. ForGreatJustice

    ForGreatJustice Master of the Grump

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    Also another question, should I consider Free Religion once my infrastructure and securing more happiness are established? Unlikely Hindu would ever spread to me and hard to foresee if spreading tao all over the other continent would be even be successful in the end. I'm thinking this only to get rid of the "heathen religion" diplo modifier.
     
  11. Woodreaux

    Woodreaux Prince

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    Switching to Free Religion will help secure more happiness. While FR gets rid of heathen penalty, it also removes "We care for \brothers of the faith". So the diplomacy calculus must weight the lost positives against lost gains. Once that is determined, the 10% :science: gain weighs against Organized Religion's 25% building :hammers: bonus.
     

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