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Sufficient expansion on all levels

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by TheMeInTeam, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. kivanc

    kivanc King

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    Good thread TMIT! I just noticed it.
    I agree with 90% of what you've written in your 1st post.IMO, 3 most critical issues you've specified were:
    1) starting tech path: Hereditary Rule before Writing makes a lot of sense. libraries aren't urgent when pop is less any way. Growing cities is priority #1.

    2) less infra: having only the worthy city improvements is useful. i prefer building research or training units. with a rightful view of city specialization and civics, you need less infra.
    * workers and settlers are required anyway
    * with warring units, you either kill your enemy or pillage land or steal workers or at least have new GGs or or or... it is never a waste unless you're isolated.

    yet, after mid game i build more infra.

    3) bulbing techs: it helps well in high levels. in my early days of BTS, i used to underestimate it.
     
  2. CBPE

    CBPE Warlord

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    This is the BEST post I've ever read on this forum (why didn't you posted in 'Strategy and tips' session?!? I've run the risk to miss it!! :D).

    I'm a mediocre player that after winning several games on Monarch, had supposed to be able to beat Emperor, but without have success (a couple of wins but several losses).

    In fact, I'd thought to come back on Monarch 'cause I didn't really understood enough the 'core' of the game mechanic....

    This guide opened my mind.... probably, finally I DO

    I've tried to apply this in Saladin's game of the MS series, Monarch level, Normal speed
    (I'll keep on spoiler 'cause maybe some player is still playing it).
    I've seen that you've played this game too, so you know the map and I'll try to give not too much boring details.

    I've marked some point with a bolded letter: each ones refers to a question at the end of the post:

    Spoiler :


    Well, if I have to build almost only units I won't fear no one, so, having the chance, I've stolen a Ragnar's worker:

    OTOH, I accomplished all Boudica's requestes, so she stayed pleased with me for the whole game, friendly at the end... maybe afford 2 aggressive leaders so close was too much :)
    Anyone else can go to hell (this was the diplomatic strategy for all the game ;))

    A - Despite good purposes, I couldn't defy to build the Oracle :blush::blush::blush:

    B -Also, I've thought it appropriate to build some walls in my border cities because:

    1- Spiritual trait+stone: very cheap
    2- two very aggressive neighbours and one civ that I've boxed leaving very little land in a pangea map.

    And a couple of additional Madrassa to take advantage of the cultural bonus to contrast the neighbours' border cities.

    As expected Ragnar at certain point declared on me.
    But I was much more than prepared! :)

    He couldn't hurt me anyway, instead, I've started a large counterattack:

    (Meanwhile I was very sorry but didn't resist to build this :blush::blush::blush:)

    Spoiler :


    Anyway it shows how I could manage the war easily.

    C - Despite of this, I've led the war very badly, so it took too much time and I founded me a bit behind, even with a great land advantage due to some beautiful cities captured from Ragnar that is dead
    Spoiler :





    D - to compete for lib race I've revolted to Caste sistem and Pacifism and I've run 4 scientists in 2 cities beside the capital as you suggested, and I've won it, picking nationalism:

    Spoiler :


    Well, after a bit of recovering, I revolted my attention to Mehmed and his 3 very rich cities:

    Spoiler :


    And he quicly died

    Spoiler :


    Meanwhile, in 1535 a GE popped in Nidaros that has becomed my GP farm.
    I didn't know I to use it: I didn't waste him to bulbe some tech but otherwise I had not the purpose to build a Corporation cause I wanted to run State property ASAP and for the rest of the game (I buld only 1 courthouse in the while game and in the end I had 35 cities!).
    So he sleeped for a while and I used this other guy to run my first GA (yes, it came a bit late but it shows how I could stay well tuned in tech without 1-2 or 3 chained of them):

    Spoiler :


    With this boost I was able to run more than 1000/bpt and I exploit it to research Communism....

    I've also found a job for our Messieur Eiffel :p:D

    Spoiler :


    E - Well, It was Hannibal turn:

    Spoiler :


    I'd be satisfied if he'd give me some tech like democracy that I haven't yet, but the stupid didn't never accepted, so I had to kill him too

    Spoiler :




    The game seems largely won. Probably the quickest way is to beeline for UN but I wanted to keep alive the spirit of the game, so I went to greet WK

    Spoiler :


    And then Hatty that I vassalized:

    Spoiler :


    Unfortunely, I'd want to say goodbye to Boudica with a gift in the name of our great friendship (an ICBM is ready in Mecca) but I was a turn late :rolleyes::lol:
    Spoiler :





    The score is poor, about 62.000 but it doesn't mind

    And now the questions:

    A - Beeling Monarchy after Pottery allow to unlock the Oracle very early: what about to do this digression? What in case is better to pick up regarding this kind of approach?

    B - What about do some buildings regarding UB, cheapness due to traits and/or resources, the specific kind of map or some other factor?

    C - It seems me that using this kind of approach lead to warring often, and so allow to improve this aspect of the game (that is, really, maybe the funniest!:)): the ones, like me, which use to build a lot of buildings and lacks of units, avoid warring, and when it becomes unavoidable aren't able to handle it enough cleverly. Do you agree?

    D - I've found very expensive and then problematic to run pacifism owning so much units. I was able to do it only for a very short period, then I revolted very much more glad to slavery+OR. Is it normal or have I miss something?

    E - Of course this is only Monarch, but it seems me that building all this units, allow to make war without the need to do a lot of calculation (which kind of units to use, how many siege, how many stacks, etc..): to annihilite Ragnar, Mehmed and Hannibal, I've simply moved my troops close to theirs borders and I overwhelmed them simply with what I had. Only against WK and Hatty I've managed to attack with tanks 'cause I wanted to finish quickly. Does it happen also at higher levels?

    and to finish:

    F - what about lighthouses? You wrote to build only granaries, units and some barracks until having tech such Communism and Democracy, but I've found useful to build some of them and, most of all, some harbors to contrast the unhealtiness and let cities continue to grow.

    G - Not having courthouses and could build things such jails, security bueareu etc., only in the late game (but I didn't need to build anyone) in my game the ESPIONAGE part was totally lacking. I've only placed a couple of GS that popped here and there in enemy land and then used the point to support cities revolt (but only with WK and Hatty, so in the late game). Is it normal?

    H - The city that I've build in the beginning were about unspecialized (no buildings and ALL the grassland tile cottaged as you suggested). So, I found that I've specialized cities only after I start conquer, and only in the captured city: a city that the AI had farmed became a GP farm, a city where the AI had build a barracks, a stable, a forge, and improved some tiles with worskshops became a production center. Have I miss something?


    I'm very sorry cause the post is too long, but now I'm convinced that this is really crucial to me to deep understand these mechanisms to step up in the game!

    Thank you anyway in advance
     
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I do apologize for being slow on games/posts but I've been sick lately so it's hampering me all around.

    A) If oracle seems viable MC (if you have BW and pottery), CoL (to found a religion on a continent w/o one), or monarchy (you are commerce poor and need the lift) are options. It might be worth a go if it doesn't cost you city sites or get you killed.

    B) You have to think for yourself ;). Some UBs drastically improve the value over base (such as the hammam). Others, like Ethiopia's or China's are very situational.

    C) Yes, underbuilding military is a common way to lose. Balancing this on high levels can be pretty challenging.

    D) It depends on the unit count you need for HR :) and defense. Nevertheless early GPP is nigh-unmatched. As with everything else some judgment is involved. I've had the odd game where I wound up farming a great merchant and blowing the gold on a mace upgrade, which proceeded to rampage all over an AI that didn't even have metal casting yet. Other times that would be a terrible idea.

    E) No. Stack composition will matter at high levels. Even the ability to attack can be blocked, since the AI techs quickly. Immortal AIs frequently have iron hooked up < 1500 BC and feudalism barely after 1 AD. Attacking longbows with swords needs catapult support, but if walls, the AI ability to produce 1 longbow/turn while you bombard, and the AI teching maces or knights shows up, you're going to lose.

    F) Lighthouses are appropriate in coastal cities. Build them after the granary.

    G) You can play tech catchup by spamming the EP buildings (which give base EP before any commerce!). This is very effective if you have a strong hammer setup with limited commerce. Without that, jails might be worth it for anti-WW and the ability to drop city defenses or possibly kill a space part or two later w/ focus. Generally by that point in the game you have most of the civics available and can set up a full-fledged economy of some kind (democracy for cottages, rep + bio for specs, communism + caste/guilds/chem for workshops). Depending on how your land was early and the amount you've expanding, you might already be lead in one direction.

    H) Even with limited infra, it is still OK to specialize cities based on tile improvement focus. You do need food to run specs in a GPP site. You want hammers to run heroic epic (via whips or base :hammers:). Once you get a feel for it you can split what cities do more easily just by making improvements.

    The point of this exercise is not to create a uniform setup, but rather to force people to realize that they are building too much infrastructure and not enough units/expansion. Note the example for a CH taking 50+ turns to pay off. Would you really want it if the critical part of the game ends before that? If it costs you liberalism or earlier astronomy? The tradeoffs aren't always obvious, but they exist. Building infrastructure willy-nilly can easily slow your tech down rather than help it, even as it leaves you defenseless. Building sensible infra in cities based on a set purpose can be very effective.
     
  4. AlphaShard

    AlphaShard Emperor

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    I was wondering TMIT, do you ever chain irrigate for Corn, Rice, Wheat resources?

    I find it really hard not to want to irrigate grasslands for cities with slow grow and no special food resources.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Chain irrigating to make a stronger food tile is normal!

    Cities without food resources are of limited use before civil service unless they have a ton of freshwater, and really won't shine until biology. If food is an issue (and on some maps it certainly is, right tectonics?) then bio gets a big + in priority (it trades well anyway too).
     
  6. dorkynorky

    dorkynorky Warlord

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    Earlier Monarchy, hmmm.

    I'm going to go this way my next game. I've kind of gotten stuck working the upper part of the tech tree early on. I guess it seems like AI work the lower part more and that you can get Monarchy in trade fairly easily. Still, I'd like to see how it works to pursue it more myself and get into vertical growth sooner.

    I wonder if there aren't situations, particularly two corn or multiple seafood starts where it might pay to take Writing first, whip the libraries and work some scientists. With the right food in your two library cities it might get you to Monarchy in about the same time as well as getting those GPP earlier.
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    No canned guide is going to be right 100% of the time. I could map out my decision tree, but it would probably take longer than some doctoral thesis, assuming it didn't change halfway through its construction.

    The more AIs there are to trade and the more that favor HR as a favorite civic you meet, the more likely you are to be able to trade aesthetics or alphabet for monarchy w/o trouble.

    A high food surplus, creative, or philosophical, or resources like marble that lead you toward aesthetics can push one to consider writing earlier.

    Dynamically reading maps and making the proper 1) tech 2) city build and 3) strategic decisions is the realm of high level play, not something for people learning the tradeoffs on growth + tile improvements vs infra or the basic concept of "how fast will building this return its investment?".
     
  8. dorkynorky

    dorkynorky Warlord

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    Hey, TMIT, I think your initial suggestions were great to help people moving up in difficulty concentrate on getting what they need built.

    I was making my foray into Emperor land at the same time you were and I remember your 'Birth of an Emperor' thread. However, while I can win some of the time on Immortal, I'm not up with you. Some of the reason for that is probably because you can play 10 games in the time it takes me to play one.

    Just wanted you to know that my previous post wasn't a statement on whether your original suggestions were broad enough, but an actual game play question.
     
  9. kivanc

    kivanc King

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    yes reading the map is important.
    yesterday i was playing gandhi on deity/large/marathon. in the middle of a large landmass, riverside, starting BFC and some plots for new cities close to it had some floodplains. so i moved on with a different tech path.

    free: mysticism+mining
    goodie huts bring: 1map (useless) and 2 techs (great!): hunting, the wheel

    polytheism-->BR working-->masonry-->irrigation-->animal husbandry-->priesthood
    after priesthood, i will go thru monarchy, or 1st monotheism then monarchy

    weird, right?
    well, in fact now i think i should do something even more weird, that i should research irrigation and animal husbandry even later than priesthood and monarchy!

    why worker techs so late? because of floodplains. my happy cap only allowed me for pop6 and pop6 was easily achieved fastly by non-irrigated 4floodplains and even without granaries.
    once masonry was in, i completed the great wall in 20turns maybe (chop)
    i founded hinduism and it has auto-spreaded to many AI cities already. I have 2 cities and 2 barracks right now on 2000BC and paused the game there. as i settled 2nd city near copper, just 4tiles close to capitol, i didn't research archery. I will decide
    i) attack Pericles who is very close
    ii) expand, build 2 more cities
     
  10. AlphaShard

    AlphaShard Emperor

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    With Floodplains you should have made sure to get Pottery ASAP so you could get Cottages up.
     
  11. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    I saw this so I take the opportunity to ask: When bulbing a tech, how is it decided which tech will be bulbed? For the example, the other day, I have a GS and could have bulbed Compass. Say I sit on the GS, research Compass, what tech is next in line? Is there a way to see/know what techs a GS will bulb?

    Also, do other Great People bulb techs? I must say I never noticed since I usually use a GM for a trade mission and a GE (which I get rarely) to bulb buildings/wonders.

    Finally, in my city screen when I am selecting specialists, what does it mean when there is a yellow ring around a specialist? How do we get the yellow ring?
     
  12. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    The entire list of Great People bulbing preferences can be found here in the War Academy. Personally I like the tool that comes with BUG showing you what each GP would bulb at that point in time, and after the current research path is complete on the Science Advisor screen.

    Yes they can bulb techs. Engineers can bulb Machinery for example, and using a Prophet to bulb Theology for a run on the AP can win the game outright :lol:

    Not sure what this is right now.
     
  13. AlphaShard

    AlphaShard Emperor

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    I think the yellow ring is the free specialist.
     
  14. kivanc

    kivanc King

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    @ yanner. i think your question is already answered.

    no. i will farm them soon. i plan to build no cottages in the game.
    not only cottages but also granaries and even irrigation wasn't so essential at that moment. what i don't like is that, i will have my 1st great person in 20 turns and it will be a great spy. i was just late in priesthood.
    anyway, my second great person should probably be a great prophet so i will build a shrine. and it will bring good money. multi-AIs have it already.
     
  15. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Well, if you have so much of food surplus that you don't need worker techs, transforming that food in hammers ( Slavery ) is definitely a viable idea ;) Far better IMHO than avoiding the worker techs and stagnating at happy cap.
     
  16. kivanc

    kivanc King

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    yes. that also came to my mind. still, i feel i need urgent great prophet. that would enforce my expansion.
    pericles and victoria is very close to me and especially pericles grabbed much land already. i need to expand. either by axes or whip/chop settlers.
     
  17. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    I I finally managed to finish my current game last night and it was my faster finish ever: Domination win at 1895AD.

    The only "problem" is that I was actually going for a Conquest Victory. 2 continents, 7 civs. All 4 civs on the other continent became vassals though force. On my continent, I killed Peter. Much earlier in the game, Mansa Musa offered to become my vassal and I accepted.

    I thought that you could win by conquest by vassalizing all the AIs on the map? IS this wrong? Or is it just because Mansa Musa voluntarily became my vassal?

    All and all, TMIT's guidelines were very effective. I think I could have won much earlier, but I neglected a few things that I always use to do. For example, I delayed Optics for some reason :confused: so I was lacking :health: resources to grow more. Even when I switch out of HR, I could have used more happiness, although I could have build temples.

    One last question: When you declare war on someone, are all the deals for resources canceled? I haven't really noticed but it would make sense that they are. So going to war could affect my health and happy caps.
     
  18. 3 EMS

    3 EMS King

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    yanner39:
    I'm pretty sure all your trades with that AI disappear. Something you should consider when picking a sparring partner.

    Except for this one (jk): Open borders.

    What level did you win on yanner39? Prince? Anyway, Good job!

    Isabella got me in my Monarch try. I dropped down to Prince to give that a try and I'm tearing it up. This kind of a start does get a fast enough start to overcome AI bonuses.
     
  19. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    Actually, only Noble. :blush: Still working on some kinks in my game. As I said, sometimes I make the weirdest mistakes. I could probably move up to Prince, I'm sure.
     
  20. 3 EMS

    3 EMS King

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    yanner39:
    You did very well. Noble is a challenging level. Following TMiT's advice I'm sure Prince would be easy enough for you to conquer. The first 4 times I tried it I got crushed. Really bad. So bad that all 4 tries came in the same afternoon. Following TMiT's guide I was in the game until the mid to late portion of the game in my first Monarch try. What a difference.
     

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