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Survey: Best Leaders

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Hesha, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Hesha

    Hesha Prince

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    Since the invitation to this survey probably got buried in the other thread, here it is again.

    I have designed a survey where you can rank order your favourite leaders. Only two people have voted so far - I know one of them is @sampsa , but I would like to know who the other person is!

    Also, if @Fippy could get around to nominating her bottom 32 (we have the top 20, even though there are a few ties!), that would be greatly appreciated.

    If anyone would like to add their voice to the poll as well, here you go:
    https://eSurv.org?s=MCLHKK_409fafa3
     
    sampsa likes this.
  2. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    A while ago I made a spreadsheet ranking all leaders. Everything assumes Deity, Fractal and Quick game speed (which are the settings I usually play with). On Normal speed the Inca would rank a little bit higher and India a little lower.
    Oh and obviously, every leader/civ has different synergies with different maps, so this list is almost never accurate. It's more of a reflexion of what the average should be from my experience playing the game. These rankings are fun to make though.

    I'll try to answer the survey tomorrow.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Hesha

    Hesha Prince

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    Great, thanks for making the effort. If you can, try and answer it for:
    Fractal, Standard, NHNE, Normal Speed. This seems to be what most use.
     
  4. drewisfat

    drewisfat Prince

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    It was me
     
  5. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    @Pedro78 Nice spreadsheet. Your evaluations are very close to mine, which makes me proud. ;) Is praet that bad on quick though? I understand that it's worse than on normal speed, but... Also, could you shed light on "traits table"?
     
  6. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    @sampsa
    Thanks. Praets are a solid UU in general, but get stronger the slower the game speed, since they tend to get promoted a lot. I rated them the same as Keshiks, Numidian Cavalry, Vulture & Hwachas (I overrated the latter btw, since the combat bonus doesn't apply to collateral damage). The unique HAs tend to benefit from quick speed, I'd probably rank them lower for Normal. Maybe that's what makes you feel like I undervalued the Praets, which are a strong but not game-changing unit.

    The traits table was something I started working on with the goal of making a Leader Ranking + Starting position cross-table (enter what your start is like as a few different variables, and the ranking adapts accordingly). Never got around to doing it though. The logic behind it is that some traits benefit more from high-commerce / low-hammers starts (EXP), while some tend to shine in low-commerce / high hammers locations. I.e. on a clams + gold start, Joao would be stronger than Hannibal.
     
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  7. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    This is so true. And the reson why I think it's rather hopeless (or at least extremly daunting) to try to rank the leaders.
    It depends entierly on the map, on the AIs and on all game specific paramters.
    This is also why I favour Agg/Cha/Imp more, because then seem to me to be helpfull in more tough situations.
     
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  8. Hesha

    Hesha Prince

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    I would see it a little differently... I see the question of the survey like this:
    All you know is
    - Fractal
    - Standard size
    - Normal Speed
    - NH/NE
    - everything else default

    Given that setup, which leader would you rather play as? Of course this factors in how versatile a leader is. And I would agree that this does favour traits that are universal over those that are situational. IND is nice, but quite weak if you have no resources. SPI always works.
     
  9. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    But what is the goal...? One pack of leaders might be great at guaranteeing victory (and a high score) in a whole slew of the maps.
    But some other leader might be good to help out with the really really tough maps.

    If we want a honest comparisson, we need to take into account all games that ends T40 after a shaka DoW and similar.
    And if we have a theoretical person playing out all games, perhaps this tilts the odds toward the PRO leaders more.
     
  10. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    I think it's utterly useless, but it's fun. Because you need to take everything into account. It's like making a neat summary of your years-long experience of playing Civ.
     
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  11. Hesha

    Hesha Prince

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    I think your approaching it a little too much as a perfectionistt @krikav

    I thought this Lain quote someone brought up quite interesting, where he said, if his life depended on beating a random deity game, he would play a leader like SB or Pacal, where you can automatically deal with barbs and early rushes, without being at the mercy of rNG providing you with copper, horses, iron or ivory.

    So basically, that is what I would like to see as well. If you don't know what map is going to come up, only know the variables listed above - who would you like to play as and who would you avoid? Sure, deciding on whether a certain leader is top 17 or top 18 is tricky (and nearly irrelevant), but you will be able to distinguish who would be great in such a scenario and who would be terrible!
     
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  12. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Hesha
    Well... Just when I started to think that I knew anything about this game, I was completely blown away by a player who seemed to just fool around on a BOTM map that I struggled with and ultimatly lost on.


    This is what he said when I inquired abit of what he thought about protective:
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/botm-186-justinian-final-spoiler-game-submitted.652266/
     
  13. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    I think protective gets better as your skill advantage over AI increases. I can't beat tough deity starts, no matter what leader. For someone really strong, protective might be the trait that keeps the game alive and the player can outplay AI later. Not sure I understand why EXP is so good in tough games (I understand that it is a good trait though;)). Mao might be one of the better PRO leaders in tough environment, but not sure why he is better than say SB.

    edit: therefore I was a bit surprised when a monster like Pedro, who wins +90% of deity games, assessed PRO as clearly the weakest trait, tho quick certainly makes it worse!
     
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  14. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    @Pedro78 can I send you a private message (your settings seem to not allow them)? I want to ask you something, but it's not hugely important if you don't want to be bothered. ;)
     
  15. drewisfat

    drewisfat Prince

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    Even with the conditions of closing in on 100% win rate on fractal, I not only think PRO isn't the best trait. I think it's the worst. There is an assumption here that theoretically if you're closing in on that 100% win rate and that's the goal that the primary thing stopping you from hitting 100% is hyper early Shaka DOWs + bad RNG. In my experience that is not the case (even if I never won 99% of my games and certainly don't now).

    - Pro isn't great against barbs, where the threat isn't about flat out losing cities, hopefully, but more about defending tile improvements and valuable early worker turns.
    - Early Dows will still probably result in loss of improvements if you're relying on PRO archers. On KMOD where the AI will just pillage, PRO is truly terrible. On BTS we're blessed with a pretty suicidal AI.
    - Unit cost a big issue on Deity. Sure archers are significantly more efficient defensively vs whatever they're up against. But they're inefficient when it comes to upkeep. And you either need them in mass or other units once they bring siege.
    - My issue with the wall bonus is by their very nature I'm usually building walls at the last second due to a sudden DOW where the enemy brought siege and I can buy several turns to move defenders in while the AI barrages a city it could just take. Typically building at the last second means whipping. PRO knocks it down to a 1 pop whip, which is a pretty -meh- bonus to me, even if it's conceivably a difference maker.
    - But the main issue is Fractal is an unfair map script. If we're theorycrafting high % victories, on Fractal they can just simply be map losses. You're supposed to get a somewhat fair amount of land. On fractal there's a real chance "your land" is
    1. across the sea
    2. blocked off by an AI's 2nd/3rd city
    3. snowball
    4. isolated riverless trash
    The big 3 eco traits that often get labeled as "win more" are still what I'd want in these situations to make the map playable.
    1. A guaranteed slow start due to needing workboats/galleys to expand, and perhaps more galleys to stop barb galleys. IND -> GLH can catch me up completely. FIN makes water tiles much more viable. PHI decent when there's not a lot of land, just seafood + specialist. ORG ok for faster lighthouses. PRO?????
    2. Probably want to break out of this asap. AGG obviously help with that. If fast copper, agg axe choke a great response. Otherwise probably rushing construction. PHI/CRE might let me bulb math. IND seems weak, but consider that the opportunity cost of building a wonder is virtually nothing if you can't expand.... so perhaps something like oracle MC for fast forges. FIN going to hit construction at least somewhat faster, depending on tiles available. ORG might help if I just want to settle half the world away instead. PRO?????
    3. snowball is kinda similar to 1. in that you don't have many good tiles so specialists (PHI) and ocean tiles (FIN) are super important. GLH still makes cities with nothing still profitable (IND). Or the issue is the barb invasion it causes, so go TGW (IND). ORG gives lighthouses and decreases costs. PRO????
    4. Astro bulbing gna be key. That means PHI for more specialists and/or IND for mids. FIN will help you get the most out of what you're given by working the ocean. PRO????

    There's also the possibility that Fractal gives you a Continents-esque map, and the biggest fear on Continents maps imo isn't getting killed early or having a bad start, but halfway through the game discovering a hugbox or a runaway AI and being too far behind to do much about it. Not much of a solution, besides just do everything better. Conquer your continent faster, more efficiently, get to lib faster, have more towns, etc. All things that every other trait is better at than PRO.


    On Pangaea I could see a case being made that PRO is decent for closing the gap to 100% winrate. Geography is a lot fairer and there are more variables under control, while simultaneously early DOWs are more likely. I've always thought ORG is a worse trait than PRO given Pangaea.

    Personally my favorite PRO character for consistent wins is Wang Kon. I forget how highly I rated him, but I should probably rate him even higher if the metric is consistent fractal wins. If you need to defend from the super early DOWs you have PRO. If you need an early breakout attack but you have no strategic resources, WK is about the only leader you've got a shot with because archers and Hwachas are resourceless, and if you've just got archers that +50% against melee bonus is actually important. FIN good for a faster Liberalism and obviously just a good trait in general. Seowons good for a game where late eco still matters (Continents). So while not the best for HoF runs, he covers all the major pitfalls and can play any map.
     
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  16. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @drewisfat
    Not arguing with your analysis, I agree with most of what you are saying.

    But one thing that is really starting to dawn upon me, is how important espionage can be if you want to catch up if you are hopelessly behind.
    Walls&Castles add 25% to your economy due to the bonus for espionage, possibly at a time when it is needed.
    When you are really fighting it out, you don't have paper/education/etc, you are a loong way from economics, and the extra traderoute is something as well.
    So there is that too, which I don't see you mentioning. So in a roundabout way, PRO is a economic trait too.

    Unlikely that this aspect effects the outcome of your analysis, but I want it to be added to the discussion at least. ;)
     
  17. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    PRO suffers from offering very little that we really want to use.
    We always like to avoid teching Archery, and much prefer Axes + Spear(s) on defense.
    Walls? If an AI sends units that we can easily beat inside our attacked city, we actually want them to attack so they are not stacking up.
    Why add more defense that might discourage them.

    Sure there are situations where stronger Archers or Walls help, but drill adds 1 first strike chance only, so even that bonus only really gets 25% city defense (for Archers). If we need walls, paying 25h more is probably our smallest problem ;)

    Castles are similar to walls, at Engineering cities should be good enuf already to afford paying some more hammers.
    Also not a small chance that stone makes them cheap anyways.

    Even when boxed in by Shaka and Monty, we would rather have another trait that helps with creating an empire, and add some more regular Archers or other units on defense. Or build walls for 25h more, and save them on other builds.
    It's funny that PRO actually shines most on offense, when buffing up x-bows (or better Chokos).
    An easy & logical way to make this trait better would be buffing internal traderoutes by 100%, with protective fitting an isolated theme.

    ORG has similar issues, CHs are not something we really want if avoidable, Factories are so late that cities can usually get them easily already,
    LHs are what saves this one from falling close to PRO badness.
     
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  18. ArchGhost

    ArchGhost Prince

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    @Hesha
    Is there a way to view the poll results? I just get kicked out to a generic page on the site after submitting, I don't know where to see your poll. Or do I need an account to submit anything?

    I found this a lot more difficult than I thought. Clearly picking out the best and worse are simpler than the middling choices....but there are A LOT of middling choices. And some leaders aren't necessarily great or terrible, but just blander than others, like Church compared to his female counterparts.

    Difficulties would also skew this, HARD. Deity in particular seems to remove so much of the option element from gameplay and really forces one to play meta, and also greatly changes the value of certain aspects like having a good resourceless unit, the strength of traits especially PHI, and changes the difficulty of map/start types. I try to think of rankings more in the idea of what a civ can do internally, without necessarily adapting to the AI quirks of one difficulty or another. It's impossible to escape the influence of map layout though and the AIs will play the map just as you do, it's always there in some form.

    I actually had notes for myself explaining my personal first 14 ranks (and leaders of the same civ largely got lumped with only internal rankings between them, like Egypt and France). Things such as: economy types the leader excels at (in the vein of is this leader good at teching through commerce? through Great People generation? through capturing/going to war?), adaptability to the map (safety against barbs or aggressors a definite plus), starting techs and development speed, and finally specifics that the leader can pull off or general options they have, which includes UUs and UBs -- for instance, Pacal is a great choker with his Holkan and warrior start, but he also starts with Mining/Myst that opens quick slavery/chopping or early wonders, is FIN/EXP that can support either passive teching or heavy whipping and either way is fast developing, and his Holkan is very handy for barb safety. His total package is amazing, frankly, and doesn't crutch on just one aspect. Even his UB is nice, being early/cheap/providing decent benefit.

    Spoiler :

    Huayna Capac/Incan (FIN, IND), Agri/Myst; Quechua, Terrace

    Gandhi/Indian (PHI, SPI), Mining/Myst; Fast Worker, Mausoleum
    Asoka/Indian (ORG, SPI), Mining/Myst; Fast Worker, Mausoleum

    Elizabeth/English (FIN, PHI), Fish/Mining; Redcoat, Stock Exchange
    Darius I/Persian (FIN, ORG), Agri/Hunt; Immortal, Apothecary
    Mansa Musa/Malian (FIN, SPI), Mining/Wheel; Skirmisher, Mint
    Pacal II/Mayan (EXP, FIN), Mining/Myst; Holkan, Ball Court
    Sitting Bull/Native American (PHI, PRO), Agri/Fish; Dog Soldier, Totem Pole
    Willem van Oranje/Dutch (CRE, FIN), Agri/Fish; East Indiaman, Dike
    Hannibal/Carthaginian (FIN, CHA), Fish/Mining; Numidian Cavalry, Cothon
    Victoria/English (FIN, IMP), Fish/Mining; Redcoat, Stock Exchange
    Wang Kon/Korean (FIN, PRO), Mining/Myst; Hwacha, Seowon

    Louis XIV/French (CRE, IND), Agri/Wheel; Musketeer, Salon
    De Gaulle/French (IND, CHA), Agri/Wheel; Musketeer, Salon
    Napoleon/French (ORG, CHA), Agri/Wheel; Musketeer, Salon
    Suleiman/Ottoman (PHI, IMP), Agri/Wheel; Janissary, Hammam
    Mehmed II/Ottoman (EXP, ORG), Agri/Wheel; Janissary, Hammam

    Hatshepsut/Egyptian (CRE, SPI), Agri/Wheel; War Chariot, Obelisk
    Ramesses II/Egyptian (IND, SPI), Agri/Wheel; War Chariot, Obelisk
    Julius Caesar/Roman (ORG, IMP), Fish/Mining; Praetorian, Forum
    Augustus Caesar/Roman (IND, IMP), Fish/Mining; Praetorian, Forum

    Lincoln/American (PHI, CHA), Agri/Fish; Navy SEAL, Mall
    Washington/American (EXP, CHA), Agri/Fish; Navy SEAL, Mall
    Roosevelt/American (IND, ORG), Agri/Fish; Navy SEAL, Mall

    Isabella/Spanish (EXP, SPI), Fish/Myst; Conquistador, Citadel

    Gilgamesh/Sumerian (CRE, PRO), Agri/Wheel; Vulture, Ziggurat
    Catherine/Russian (CRE, IMP), Hunt/Mining; Cossack, Research Institute
    Zara Yaqob/Ethiopian (CRE, ORG), Hunt/Mining; Oromo Warrior, Stele
    Kublai Khan/Mongolian (AGG, CRE), Hunt/Wheel; Keshik, Ger
    Suryavarman II/Khmer (CRE, EXP), Hunt/Mining; Ballista Elephant, Baray
    Pericles/Greek (CRE, PHI), Fish/Hunt; Phalanx, Odeon
    Joao II/Portuguese (EXP, IMP), Fish/Mining; Carrack, Feitoria
    Cyrus/Persian (IMP, CHA), Agri/Hunt; Immortal, Apothecary

    Peter/Russian (EXP, PHI), Hunt/Mining; Cossack, Research Institute
    Frederick/German (ORG, PHI), Hunt/Mining; Panzer, Assembly Plant
    Bismarck/German (EXP, IND), Hunt/Mining; Panzer, Assembly Plant
    Qin Shi Huang/Chinese (IND, PRO), Agri/Mining; Cho-Ko-Nu, Pavilion
    Mao Zedong/Chinese (EXP, PRO), Agri/Mining; Cho-Ko-Nu, Pavilion
    Hammurabi/Babylonian (AGG, ORG), Agri/Wheel; Bowman, Garden
    Stalin/Russian (AGG, IND), Hunt/Mining; Cossack, Research Institute
    Churchill/English (PRO, CHA), Fish/Mining; Redcoat, Stock Exchange
    Justinian I/Byzantine (SPI, IMP), Myst/Wheel; Cataphract, Hippodrome

    Shaka/Zulu (AGG, EXP), Agri/Hunt; Impi, Ikhanda
    Alexander/Greek (AGG, PHI), Fish/Hunt; Phalanx, Odeon
    Ragnar/Viking (AGG, FIN), Fish/Hunt; Berserker, Trading Post
    Tokugawa/Japanese (AGG, PRO), Fish/Wheel; Samurai, Shale Plant
    Genghis Khan/Mongolian (AGG, IMP), Hunt/Wheel; Keshik, Ger
    Montezuma/Aztec (AGG, SPI), Hunt/Myst; Jaguar, Sacrificial Altar
    Saladin/Arabian (SPI, PRO), Myst/Wheel; Camel Archer, Madrassa
    Boudica/Celtic (AGG, CHA), Hunt/Myst; Gallic Warrior, Dun
    Brennus/Celtic (SPI, CHA), Hunt/Myst; Gallic Warrior, Dun
    Charlemagne/Holy Roman Empire (IMP, PRO), Hunt/Myst; Landsknecht, Rathaus

    somewhat of an overview look at it:
    Spoiler :
    -HC. Duh. There are things he isn't the best at but to say he isn't strongest is pushing it

    -Gandhi. Asoka is here be because I couldn't be bothered to evaluate ORG India vs.
    everybody else, compared to PHI India vs. anybody. Suffice it say, PHI is better.

    -A financial bloc with Sitting Bull thrown in there for good measure and excluding Ragnar because he sucks worse than them all. PHI/Agri/Dogs is too good to rank lower

    -The French and Ottomans. Great overall, all 5 of them. I never feel bad playing one of them and would argue the 2 civs are interchangeable as French tend to have better traits but the Ottoman Uniques are better.

    -Egypt and Rome. Solid civs by themselves, tend to crutch on their uniques, a fact that can elevate them or lower them. Egypt without horses or Rome without someone to attack is notably worse than having those things instead...

    -America is generally solid with 2 great leaders (Lincoln deserves higher for sure, Washington is great at development or early war) and decent techs, though their Uniques don't factor. Egypt and Rome are still better though.

    -Izzy tier. She has garbage techs, middling traits, and amazing uniques. As such she can shift a bit; I'd place her much lower in isolation, for instance.

    - a bloc of land grabbers, topped by Giggles and ending with Cyrus who unfortunately isn't CRE or given Mining to go along with IMP. It's really hard to place Pericles in here for me because his techs are so bad and sucky uniques mean that he's basically being carried by PHI alone along with CRE.

    -a bloc of ??? that I really don't know how to rate or feel very strongly about one way or another and are in no particualar order. Peter and Freddie are definitely stronger than the rest of this pack with PHI and Mining though. China is in here with their perfect tech combo and the Cho-ko potential. Hammi is solid on paper but doesn't really stand out. Stalin doesn't belong higher. Mr. white bread himself, Churchill is here. Justin is in here because honestly I don't how to rate him, and I never play him. Don't use knights much, but SPI + Wheel isn't exactly monumental by itself.

    -the warfaring bloc, topped by Shaka who is actually really good at development or early aggression; I'd actually argue he doesn't belong this low. And ending with Charlie who is....Charlie. Saladin thrown in for good measure. There's a common theme of poor techs in here that even something like Ragnar's FIN trait can't remedy.


     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  19. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    I gave up too, any list that i would put together for "bottom 30" would be mostly based on..mood?
    Nothing new that most of us will place PRO downwards, and then we all have traits we like a bit more :)

    But i will say one thingy, Alex usually gets underrated.
     
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  20. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Yes, I think it depends quite abit on playstyle and experience.
    Agg/Imp/Cha leaders is likely higher on my list than the average for example. ^_^
     
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