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TAC mod strategy guides?

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - Strategy & Tips' started by MrBody, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. MrBody

    MrBody Chieftain

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    Browsing through and it seems like most of the guides cover the base game. Trying to get into the TAC mod now and looking for strategies.

    My approach so far:

    -Food is tighter. Inland colonies are almost impossible to run without food shipments. Docks + expert fishermen are pretty mandatory.

    -I usually try for a colony spam approach, where five size 1 colonies are better than one size 5 colony. My reasoning behind this is that you get one "free" tile harvested with each colony, so five size 1 colonies can harvest up to 10 tiles while one size 5 is only going to harvest 6. I only ever try building up colonies once all the free land is gone (don't have to pay natives) or the native payoff cost gets too high.

    -For leaders I usually go with the French guy who gives immigration AND native conversion bonuses. The huge population boost seems most helpful. I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, but you can turn converted natives into colonists by having them live amongst the natives to turn them into (colonist) experts. It's helpful gameplay wise but it seems bizarre that the natives don't start with the skills from their home village which they must live in longer in order to turn into full fledged paleskins o:crazyeye:

    -I usually play Civ games on a small map. I'm not too sure size scales well with this though. The expeditionary force on small only seems to be two-thirds the size of the one from a huge map, where you'll have many many more resources to fight it.
     
  2. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

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    Your strategy works well on lower difficulty levels but it's not competative at higher difficulty levels.

    There are several problems with this approach in my opinion:

    1. It's all about specialization. You can have 5 colonys with one person or one colony with 5. Lets compare. What are you using the one colonist for? Are you harvesting lumber then making him a carpenter? or just harvesting raw materials for sale? With only one colonist it will take alot longer to build a village hall and then a church (your strategy). Each colony will produce 0 liberty bells and 0 crosses. If you have 5 in one colony you will have one colonist producing food, one lumberjack, one carpenter, one statesman and one preacher. On a smaller map you wont be getting the treasures from the natives like you do on a larger map. So instead of buying colonists you'll have to "produce" them through the church initially.

    2. At higher difficulty your european rivals and natives are a much greater threat. I'ts alot more difficult to defend 5 colonys than just one.

    3. 5 colonys piss off the natives more than one bigger colony.

    To win the game you normally need to have more than one colony but I think your civilization will grow faster by starting with one or two colonys. Then you can slowly expand. Remember your religion strategy isn't based upon the number of colonys...it's based upon the number of missionaries and crosses you can produce. Getting a church ASAP should be a priority with you.

    Inland colonys are very doable...and actually prefered. The REF (Royal Expeditionary Force) will hit you at your port cities. So I limit the number of port cities I have so I can focus my defense and counter offensive (I hit them on the beaches as the land).

    When picking a spot for my initial city I prefer a place with 3 (or 4) resource squares one of which is food. Inland I try for 2 resource squares.

    A good starting plan for any colony is to use 4 squares for food, one or two squares for lumber and two or three squares for a resource. If you're experienced at building liberty you can get away with only 3 food squares. Or course, if the colony will be used to produce horses, you'll want more food squares.

    I actually want my rivals to have alot of colonys. Mid game I usually attack them and take them from them. And despite your best efforts, at times you will get attacked by natives. If they dare to attack me I use the excuse to wipe them out and move my colonys into the recently vacated land.

    I have a hard time using your strategy on a small map. There are diminishing returns on native production through missions and the chance to make a mission drops quickly as you get more missions. So, although I do get some colonists, it is very limited.

    Feel free to ask more questions. The more specific the better.

    my 2 cents,
    Windfoot
     
  3. MrBody

    MrBody Chieftain

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    Yeah I'm only playing Conquistador difficulty so far. I'll keep that stuff in mind.

    Other stuff:

    -I'm almost wondering if it's even worth setting up production for finished goods to sell. Buying military units quickly becomes prohibitive. The only things I usually buy are early tools and cloth (for wagon trains) and by mid game any specialist I haven't yet gotten via immigration so I can graduate more. Instead of bothering with cloth, cigars, or even silver I'm wondering if I should just concentrate on lumber/hammer and ore/tool/gun production.
     
  4. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

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    In TAC, when you build your second colony you get a choice of guns or the materials for a wagon. I always choose the materials for a wagon. Hence, I dont buy any cloth until later in the game. You can get by with one wagon for a long time.

    You can produce your own war materials. You'll also need a city producing food/horses and one producing food(for growing more colonists). Growing your own colonists is the only method that doesn't have diminishing returns...it always costs 200 food. The natives you get from missions has diminishing returns, the colonists you get from crosses has diminishing returns (though the number of crosses needed does reach a cap), buying specialists from europe has diminishing returns in the sense as your tax rate goes up it takes more and more goods to buy the same specialist and war units have huge diminishings return because not only do you have a rising tax rate but the actual cost increases with each unit you buy. Even with the diminishing returns I usually use a combination of the methods above depending on my overall strategy for that game.

    I think a key to any strategy is to build up key cities right from the start. It takes a long time to build all the structures in a city. So right from the start I use a lumberjack/carpenter. And you can't ignore building up the town hall and printing press/newspaper. A high level of liberty dramatically increases production in a colony.

    In all my games I try for a high liberty bell output. Having alot of founding fathers gives me a competative edge.

    Except for the most basic specialists, skilled colonists require money when they graduate. So you can't be completely an isolationist. Also, there are diminishing returns on teaching your colonists. So, it quickly takes way too long to train the more skilled specialists. I've tried to train all my units to soldiers but the time to train is so high it's not really effective. I try to train a cadre of heavy hitting and experienced dragoons/cursairs (sp?) but the majority of my force is untrained.

    my 2 cents,
    Windfoot
     
  5. MrBody

    MrBody Chieftain

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    What's the community's thoughts on balance in regards to map size? It seems like it doesn't scale the royal army down enough for playing on smaller maps.

    One thing that's kind of bumming out is how specialists take up the majority of the game, yet they're completely random in what you get. The guy who spawns an early lumberjack/carpenter is at a massive advantage to the guy who spawns an early gunsmith or, even worse, a whale oil cooker (seriously, it seems like a quarter of my spawned specialists are whale oil cookers, a specialist who's completely useless early game and of limited use beyond that). Then there's the poor guy who spawns seasoned scouts mid game.
     
  6. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

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    For me, huge maps are an advantage not a limitation. On huge maps I get ALOT more gold from exploration. In general I like huge maps better. On huge maps I usually play on marathon game speed. That way I can complete exploration in the early game. When I play a huge map on normal game speed my scouts don't come back until mid/late game.

    I will say my best scores are from small or tiny maps. On small maps I can kill my european competitors (and natives as needed) quicky. Then I can focus soley on winning as quickly as possible.

    I thought I read somewhere that the amount of religion you're producing affects the quality of troops on the docks....but I haven't notice any change. The whale oil guys to me are just filler colonists. You can clear their specialty and retrain him in a school or send him to a native village to make a better specialist. In mid/late game I give the scout some muskets and make a dragoon. In the latter part of the game I'm usually making more muskets than horses so the extra horses are nice.

    It looks like the forums are fairly dead....I don't know how much of a discussion you can get :(
     
  7. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

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    So I'm playing Civ4Col for the first time in a couple of years, and decided to give this TAC mod a spin. It's quite tough, and I'm only playing on Explorer.

    It's the second half of the 1600s, and I don't feel I'm doing all that well, particularly because I've barely managed to snatch any Founding Father. The other Europeans are busy killing each other, but what worried me the most was noticing the REF has over 200 units and 55 Men o' War already. I've dabbled a bit with bells, but I've given into most any of the King's demands.

    It's a foregone conclusion that I'll focus on beating the REF on land, but 200 units? That's 10 times my civilian population! Right now I have something like the starting cuirassier, an indian merc, a couple of scouts and musketmen, and three veterans, one of which I made dragoon. Not that I intend to rebel anytime soon, but that figure just frightens me when I picture several REF doomstacks mercilessly burning my cities unopposed.

    EDIT: I've read the TAC manual, and it seems the REF works considerably differently than in vanilla. It comes in several, increasingly large waves separated by five turns (I think it worked sort of like that in vanilla, but I can't recall). But while it starts large, the King doesn't expand it until you approach its size and he starts feeling threatened. It's not tied to bell production anymore. So that makes things somewhat more sensible and manageable.
     
  8. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

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    Welcome back to Colonization! Though you didn't ask for help let me give some unsolicited advice/comments.

    You do have to be well prepared to fight the REF. A formidable army requires materials...people, muskets, and horses. There are three ways to get these materials...buy them, grow them (food=people), or get them from others. Buying them and growing them are self explanitory so lets discuss getting materials from others. You can get people and raw materials from the natives (through missions)...though you can't get enough raw materials to make any significant difference...but the people can. Remember, you can train the native at their village so when they arrive at you colonies they can be equiped with horses and muskets.
    In my opinion, the fastest way to increase your population is to get them from other europeans. It's even better if your king tells you to attack them and he gives you an artillery and a Hessian. The Hessian is a mediocre unit but the artillery is the best seige unit in the game (just don't leave it by itself undefended). The enemy will come at you with a stack of units so you need to be able to destroy his attacking stack. Once you kill that stack it's easy to defeat the rest of the civilization. Take over the cities and once the unrest has subsided remove all the colonists except one. Move your wagons into the conquered towns and remove all the goods. Unless the colonies are really close don't try to occupy them. After they are cleaned out of goods and people, turn them back over to the original european player. If you're lucky your king will ask you to go to war with that same european player and give you another artillery/Hessian. Conquering the other players will prevent them from declaring independance. If you're in the mid 1600s with that force I think the other players will probably declare independance before you (unless the natives are attacking them very hard or they are really hurting each other in their wars). To gain additional people (and tools) be sure to ride your dragoons across the enemy controlled area and pick off the pioneers and wagons.
    You can also use privateers to get the supplies other nations are sending to/receiving from Europe. Don't get too greedy! Make sure your privateer is fully healed and the odds are in your favor before attacking. They are very expensive. Also, if you kill too many ships from one player, that player's king will send a frigate to protect that players trade lanes.
    Overall, you can't get enough supplies from the natives or other players. So you'll have to sell finished goods in europe or grow your own. The need is so high you need a very robust economy.
    When writting your constitution, "All men are free" gives you 2 people. So, you can stockpile horses and muskets in all towns to make instant dragoon upon declaring independence.

    To me, bell production is the most important part of the game. I prefer to be ahead of all the other players in bell production. But, at a minimum, you need to get your fair share of founding fathers. To declare independance you need to have a fairly high bell production to get to 50% rebel setiment. Also, Founding Fathers (FF) are so important I start the bell race almost from the beginning. The first building for me is a town hall. I think it's more important to have a person in the town hall than to start the second town. Each new FF costs more than the last. So you can effectively shut out the other players if your bell production is high enough. But, even if you can't shut them out, if your bell production is more than the other players YOU get to choose which FFs to get and which to let the others get. The value of bell production is so high I think you need to be continuing to increase the number of bells you produce each turn...by upgrading the town hall, bulding printing presses/newspapers, building new towns and some FFs increase your bell production. You should note that a high rebel sentiment increases the combat capabilities of all you units.
     
  9. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

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    Thanks for the advice. I needed it, but forgot to explicitly ask for it.

    My current game is as good as lost, though. It's the turn of the 18th century, my military hasn't expanded significantly, and I believe I started focusing on liberty bells way too late. Only managed to snatch 5 or 6 founding fathers.

    I only settled five cities, which might've been a mistake, but at this point I don't have much of a choice. By the late 17th century I was sandwiched between the Portuguese and the Dutch, with barren mountains and hills to the west and the ocean to the east.

    - Jamestown is the biggest one, focused on high-level education with its university and liberty bell generation, thanks to its City Hall (Palace under construction) and its three Elder Statesmen. It's also a construction hub with a Shipyard, and produces rum from local and imported sugar. It borders the Portuguese colonies to the north.
    - Plymouth produces tools and it's the central trade hub, where wagon trains drop goods brought from the other colonies, and ships carry them off to be sold in Europe. Its tool production is often insufficient to supply construction in the other towns.
    - Boston produces horses, and muskets at a quick pace thanks to its Arsenal and two Master Gunsmiths. However, Plymouth's tools are seldom enough.
    - Philadelphia is the only inland settlement, a food city that periodically spawns new colonists. It also extracts silver and produces small amounts of cloth from the town square's cotton.
    - Salem is a small town that focuses on cigar production. It borders the Dutch colonies to the south.

    As for the naval aspect, I've lost a bunch of Caravels, a couple of Privateers and even a Frigate to enemy Privateers. Building ships is frankly a big pain in the ass in Civ4Col and even more so in TAC, thanks to the additional requirement of cloth to the usual cost. I understand it's 'realistic', but all it adds for the most part is more micromanagement headaches. Especially given the game's inherently imperfect trade route automation system.

    But my game is close to lost because the Dutch, who have more or less gobbled up the French, have declared independence. I declared war on them, to maybe try and help their former King beat them. But my average-sized stack of experienced-ish troops was met by a bigger stack of free Dutch forces and wiped out. So now I'm in danger of losing my colonies, if they don't win their war of independence sooner...

    It's a bit of a shame that I've only seen the AI use Cuirassiers and Cannon, as if they can't quite grasp Colonization's unorthodox way of "producing" military units. Or maybe it's just their increased aggressiveness that has them prefer such offensive-minded units. They do have Cannon Garrisons and sometimes Musketmen defending their towns, so perhaps I'm mistaken. Haven't really seen Dragoons, though.
     
  10. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

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    Yeah, sounds like you need to start another game. Let me adds some tips to help you in the early game. Alot of my strategy depends on the map size and my leader. I'll assume you are using a large (huge preferred) map. I also like to play on marathon speed so I can move my units 3 times a year.

    The beginning game is all about exploration and starting bell production. In my first city I have one colonist (the expert) in the town harvesting wood then switching to hammers making a village hall. The other colonist drops off his muskets and starts exploring as a scout. And I immediately send my ship back to Europe.

    If there is an expert scout on the docks I buy him. If not my ship waits until either I have the money to both buy a colonist and equip him with horses or a colonist appears. I bring the colonist(s)/scout back to my starting city. On a huge map my goal is 8-10 scouts (usually 6 minimum). The scout rush serves two purposes first it gets me gold...both gold directly to my bank and treasures which I move to my starting city. The money that goes directly to my bank allows me to purchases the horses I need to get my exploration really underway. Once I find a native village that teaches scouts, all my scouts go there to become expert scout before going exploring. The second purpose for the scout rush (and the most important) is for the experience. When the scouts have explored the entire map they make there way back to your territory. I try to make sure I have enough muskets in my city(s) to turn all of them into dragoons. This will be the core of your military. With that many dragoons you can make short work of any other European player's army (remember the European players will have alot of cannon which dragoons kill easily).

    Back in the starting city, as soon as I make the village hall I put the colonist in the village hall to start producing bells. The goal here is to get Jacques Marquette who gives a scout, +1 scout movement and twice the chance of getting a treasure. (for added benefit chose a leader who has the "explorer trait") My next building is either a landing stage/dock or a church. You'd be amazed at how fast you get units in the beginning with a church and a couple of preachers. I then go for a town hall for even more bell production. After I get my scouts/horses paid for I start saving for a Galleon (you'll need it to move treasures). I sometimes even refuse the King tribute if I think that by paying his tribute it will delay me too much getting a Galleon.

    I noticed Privateers generally wont attack Galleons because they don't have much of a chance to kill them. I also get a privateer or two for myself which I keep at full health and attack only at favorable odds.

    Hint: try to be the first player to get three towns not on the coast. My core civilization usually consists of two colonies on the coast and three inland.

    Let me know what map and leader you chose and I can provide more specific adive if needed.

    my 2cp,
    Windfoot
     
  11. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

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    I started a second game, but it didn't end well for different reasons.

    From my post in the mod's main thread...

    So I've dropped the game for the time being. I tried nerfing the native units (-1 strength), but given they're professions, I'd have to restart for the change to apply to all braves. Can't be bothered to do that right now.
     
  12. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

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    Yeah, until you get the hang of dealing with the natives it can be a real pain. Take a break, cool off, re-read my previous post and this one and try again :)

    The map you choose can make a huge difference. For instance, the "TAC East Coast v1.02" is very difficult if you don't know how to deal with the natives. That map is a huge map but is coded as a small one so it only has 4 tribes. Consequently, those 4 tribes have tons of villages and if you go to war with them they will steam roll you on almost any difficulty.

    Natives 101
    At the beginning of the game the natives are fairly forgiving. As time goes on they are less tolerant especially if you are perceived as weak...and in 1625 only having 3 musketmen is extremely weak. They will always welcome your first colony. The second one they expect you to pay for. Usually, there are no adverse effects to "stealing" the land for the second one if done early in the game. I recommend paying the natives for all later colonies. Also, if you take over a European player's town and they stole the land that native "threat" is now transferred to you.

    How to gain rep with the natives:
    1. Give them tribute-yes bribe them! This only works before they are really mad. If they are already mad then they'll take your money and still attack. You can give them tribute by bringing goods to a village or give gold by talking to their chief. For instance, if you're going to war with a European player, you might want to bribe the local natives to ensure they don't attack you while your forces are out of your area.
    2. Trade with them-trading increases your rep and can be profitable. Be real careful trading muskets or horses. Those are the goods they really want but you can really get steam rolled if they use them against you.
    3. Support their actions-if your local natives go to war with someone you can join in. They might only want you to stop your open border agreement which is a small price to pay for rep with the locals.
    4. Missions-teach those heathens your religion!
    5. FF- some founding fathers dramatically increase your faction with the natives.
    6. Start with a leader who is an "explorer"

    How to expand without pissing off the natives:
    If you follow my strategy in my previous post growing is very easy and doesn't anger the natives. A large number of bell production increases your borders dramatically. If you're not weak and of good standing with the locals they will actually abandon their villages close to you. This frees up the land around your starting city. You might have to still pay for their land but without a village next door they won't get as angry. At the start I don't have troops in my city nor defenses. As time progresses you need to have cannon garrisons and stockades. My later cities I bring a garrison cannon along with my colonist that starts the city. Until you're powerful avoid the temptation of building several cities at once...you won't be able to defend them. In the mid-game you need a mobile force to defend/attack.

    Defending against the natives:
    All squares around your cities need to have roads. If you followed my strategy in the last post you should have a small stack of dragoons. You need this force to sally forth from your towns to destroy the heathens attacking your town. The roads allow you to attack and then move back into the town in the same turn. Usually one town is closest to the native enemies and that's where you need to focus the majority of your troops. I try to clear the land on the west side of my towns which removes the native advantage. Remember those scouts turned into dragoons should be experienced and should be very powerful. During the mid game each city should have 2 cannon garrison and a stockade at a minimum. When deploying your cannon garrison, the towns closest to the natives should have more defenders. If you weather several assaults you may be able to negotiate a peace with the native leader.

    Based upon your last post I think your biggest problem is your economy. Until you get familiar with TAC buying your muskets/horses from Europe may be an easier strategy. Build your starting city next to a resource square...one that produces goods you can sell (tobacco, sugar, hides, silver...though silver has steep diminishing returns). And build the corresponding production building (cigar, rum, coats) fairly early. I try to have 2 expert producers and 3 manufacturers in each city. In the 1600s, 2,000 gold should be fairly easy to get.

    Take a break, try again and let me know how things go :)

    my 2cp,
    Windfoot
     
  13. domino25

    domino25 Chieftain

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    I've been going around looking for Tips in general and keep resurrecting threads from a month or two ago, so sorry if this is dead.

    1) I would recommend Religion & Revolution mod which is a modmod of TAC. One thing you get in there (and maybe TAC too?) is offers to hire native mercenaries who come with decent bonuses in the wilds. They are really helpful and fairly cheap for building early military power. It also has occasional events early on that can help quell the natives anger.

    2) I lost a game or two to natives wiping me out, mostly because I was doing well and focused so much on Economy. Now I try to work from what I call my Hierarchy of needs where defense against Natives is right after purchasing a Galleon to send the first contact gold to Europe. I play on Huge map/ Marathon which that works well with.

    3) With a fortification & a 3 str unit fortified for 6 turns you have a pretty strong native defense, Optionally try to place cities on hills for extra defense and the Natives will have a harder time cracking that unless they get guns. Till you get there though you should probably play defensively.

    4) The only way I attack natives in the wilds is with a Ranger I or II unit attacking in the woods (again, the native mercs help even more). I like the Ranger upgrades because they quickly give you a mobile fortress to escort your cannons to the Natives town. Natives cities are sitting ducks to Cannon Regiments, and if you fortify one or two ranger 2 unit on a forested hill next to their town they have a hard time attacking.

    That's my method of dealing with natives, but a lot of it may be particular to Religions and Revolutions as well as gamespeed/mapsize. Hopefully it helps and you keep playing & posting because I'm enjoying the game and want more people to discuss with!
     
  14. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    If you are having problems with Natives going at war with you, try to create Missions in Native Villages.
    (Useful already in TAC but even more so in RaR.)
     

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