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Teching past the mid game

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Opies, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Opies

    Opies Chieftain

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    I find myself time and time again in games where, the first say, 200 turns are easy, and make sense to me, but once I've hit Cuirs, or maybe all the way to cavs, the tech tree becomes a big jumbled mess I can't make any sense of.

    I understand the typical early beelines and tech path options, but have no damn idea too far past liberalism. Do I beeling to cavs once I have cuirs? Beeline to medicine for sushi? Go for economics for the merchant? I'm sure there are other tech paths but those are kind of the only 3 I focus on. Should I go straight to tanks if warring, or would it be better to build up my economy since I've conquered so much land.

    I guess it's really dependent on your game state, more blurry than the early game plan, but can anyone offer some advice and kind of the "right paths" to go on in the "common" situations.

    Also, I find my research drops badly to 10-20% or even 0% (without much of an SE) after capturing significant land in wars, so much that civs with only 4-8 cities start to blast past me in tech rate. Any advice on how to mitigate that if possible. I understand it would kind of be either continue warring, or peace-build for a while and rebuild your economy, but is there more to it than that? Also is there anything useful to do with peacevassals? besides hope that once in a while they will give you a second rate tech for free?
     
  2. Marcvs Avrelivs

    Marcvs Avrelivs Warmongering Fool

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    After Cuirs, I usually find myself beelining to Communism, for State Property. Seriously, if you have a huge amount of land and have trouble keeping its cost down (which seems to be your problem), State Property WILL get you out of it. I would say it is the best civic for domination; it certainly is for me :D

    Following that, it's Assembly Line & Artillery for me: I don't look forward to tanks as much as I do to infantry+artillery, but that's just me :lol:
     
  3. Opies

    Opies Chieftain

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    Yea communism beeline is another I forgot to mention.

    I guess It just seems like in the early game, all the techs in a beeline and most techs in general seem to have some tangible benefit that greatly impacts the game, whereas later their benefits aren't as clear or don't seem to feel as powerful. Yea, an extra hammer from type x tile is actually a big deal but when you have 20 cities and a good army it maybe doesn't feel like it? I guess maybe I just need to play more games, and maybe play a bit more peacefully to understand the later game better.

    Would it be recommended by people to play space victory to better familiarize yourself with late game tech paths and the value of various techs?

    It also seems like late game, tech trading nosedives and becomes near useless with techs being so expensive and not having cheap techs to make the difference.
     
  4. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Hater

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    Rifle/State Property tend to be the most useful. After that I like physics to support my cav and maybe go artillery afterwards.
     
  5. Kjotleik

    Kjotleik Kjotleik of Norway

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    As mentioned above, State Property is a very good thing for large empires. But more important! in my view is having enough production-cities building Wealth! Commerce-cities should focus on Research, not Gold, in my humble opinion.

    A ratio of 2 P-cities to 1 C-city should do the trick, in most cases. 100% Research on the Commerce-slider. For each 3-city group; 1 P-city for units, 1 P-city building Wealth and 1 C-city focusing on science is a rough estimate that should get you through most cases.


    Yours Sincerely

    Kjotleik of Norway:)
     
  6. 2metraninja

    2metraninja Defender of Nabaxica

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    Sometimes I do consider building wealth to get to crucial military or economic tech few turns faster or get out of a hole. But isnt it a bit counter-productive using well-established production centers to primarily build wealth? The best ration you can achieve for converting hammers in gold is 1:1, where the best way to convert gold to hammers is 2:1 with Kremlin and otherwise for all practical needs it is 3:1 - either for rush-buying of upgrading of old units. Not to mention that an average empire will usually be able to make 3 times more gold than hammers, so hammers are even more valuable, as they are rarer and harder to get than gold.
     
  7. Woreczko

    Woreczko Chieftain

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    But, however worthy hammers may be, there are times, when you cannot put them into anything useful (no war expected, no space to settle, needed infra in place). And they can`t be stored for the future use.
     
  8. ahcos

    ahcos Chieftain

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    Given you've just reached everything you need for Cavalery, there are several options:

    Communism

    Everything regarding that tech that has to be said was mentioned already. If you've conquered great amounts of land, it's one of the best beelines, especially if you managed to not trade Liberalism away and have a shot at the free great spy.

    Physics

    Usually not my tech of choice, but it offers one option, namely airships. IF you already conquered great amounts of land and want to beat down another small empire with your Cavalery that has Rifles, this might work. Needless to say that you'll need great numbers and your losses will still be high. If you're not aiming for airships, i'd rather try to trade for the tech (unless you're aiming for artillery).

    Biology

    Usually my favourite beeline tech once i've conquered alot of land - with that much food, you can make almost EVERY city productive, and with Representation, your techrate is great even without any cottages. Also the "mid/lategame Aesthetics" regarding tradevalue, as the AI often does not pursue it. If you have Biology, even whipping Infantry and Artillery becomes reasonable - not to mention if you already have Factories+Plants and maybe even Kremlin, which makes whipping ridiculously efficient (up to the point where you can whip massive armies consisting of tanks). Clearly one of the best beelines, unless you're playing mainly waterbased maps - but even then, it opens up Medicine - which, with Sid's Sushi, is maybe the best choice for Archipelago or alike.

    Assembly Line

    Unless something odd happens, it's usually the #1 tech to beeline for me. The production bonus is just too strong to pass by, and Infantry often are a superior military unit. There is almost nothing to do wrong with that tech, maybe if you're aiming for Diplo you're better off straight beelining Mass Media, but that's about it - every other VC will most likely demand AL sooner or later, especially the military VCs where you need a large navy to conquer other continents. Destroyers and Transports are just too expensive otherwise.

    Astronomy

    As it's not on the Cuir/Cav beeline, i thought i'd mention it. Pretty obvious tech, but i'd be careful with it: given you've conquered your continent, opening borders with small oversea empires will give your enemy great amounts of traderoute commerce, while you won't profitate that greatly whatsoever. Other way round, for example when you're pursuing Diplo and are small yourself, it's definitely a great tech to go for.

    Steel

    Pretty obvious: either you need cannons for a military VC, or you need Ironworks for Space. Also a good tradechip with high beaker value, although you rather wouldn't want AIs to have cannons - even when they're terrible on massing siege.

    Combustion

    You need a navy? You need combustion. One of the main beeline techs on waterbased maps, and if you have it soon enough it will net you the victory there. There's nothing (i repeat: nothing!) an enemy civ can do against oil based ships with everything that sails. You can starve them to death by blockading their cities, pillage them back to the stoneage, make quick surprise attacks on poorly defended cities and so on. Ofc also a very valuable beeline as Mining Inc. is on the way, a great choice for waterbased maps overall.
    On more landbased maps, it's usually not too much of importance, although it opens up tanks and bombers. If that's what you're aiming for, well, go figure.. this combo is surprisingly effective also vs. bigger and technological even enemies, as the AI can handle 2-movement-units with air support very badly.

    Mass Media

    When you've conquered your continent, and the other continent loves you, why bother to conquer all of it? Just vote yourself to victory. Other than that, this beeline has little value, unless you're aiming for a lategame culture win (which actually is surprisingly effective, but is endangered by large, sprawling empires that have a lust for blood - and in the lategame, the technological disadvantage will kick in even more. Not to forget some AIs love to beeline those techs, and you'll need at least some of the wonders in order to make up for some of the culture you'll lose from researching Sci. Methods).

    Democracy

    Thought i mention that one too - NOT worth beelining, unless you're already very far ahead and really want that freakin' Statue of Liberty for some odd reason. Maybe you're even so far ahead that you HAVE to research it in order to progress in the tech tree, dunno ... other than that, just ignore it and trade for it later.

    Flight

    Controlling the air will give you an decent advantage for a loooong time, BUT the AI loves to beeline it aswell, so make sure you go for Bombers (Radio) soon enough to fully leverage your advantage. With Bombers, you can roflstomp over Rifles and even Infantry with your Cavalery - if played out right, they're tied to #1 siege unit with cannons from what i've seen, and they're a save bet up to Immortal difficulty.

    Rocketry+Fission

    Now you've conquered your whole continent, but the enemy seems to annoy you with keeping up in tech and production? Just sweep them away with the famous nukes! All you need is some production to set up some nukes fast enough, and some units to conquer nuked cities. If you happen to have a monopoly on those techs, it's the easiest and most cost efficient way to win Domination/Conquest. Also a good choice if you're desperate and want to turn a otherwise lost game around by any means. Submarines are kinda essential when you want to conquer another continent here.

    Late-late-lategame:

    - Plastics->Computers: You're behind and still want to go for space? The Internet!
    - Genetics: You're far ahead and just want to play it to an end? Genetics for the
    - Computers->Robotics: Mech. Infantry are extremely powerful and rather easy to beeline, and they come soon after the Internet, so they might be a good choice. Still, they'll need siege, so either you have bombers or you'll need mobile artillery, which is another huge detour.
    - Computers + Composites: Well, there's not too much to say about the single strongest land unit in the game, Modern Armor ... they'll mop up your enemies with raw firepower. But usually your enemies will have some really tough defenders, so unless you mix them with Mobile Artillery, it's nothing worth beelining for.
    -Stealth: Pretty much the same problem as with Modern Armor - Stealth units are very strong, but they come too late to simply beeline them for an military advantage. But otoh they're fun to use and make modern era warfare a breeze if you happen to have them soon enough.
     
  9. 2metraninja

    2metraninja Defender of Nabaxica

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    If there are times, when you cant put your hammers in anything useful (no war expected, no space to settle, needed infra in place) then you must be doing something wrong. Having built all the buildings you may want means you are small. If you are small, you must prepare to become big - thus prepare for war. Staying in one place is not good.

    As one guy once have told me about one game - If you are not fighting or preparing to fight, you are doing something wrong :D

    Joking aside, I have read already at few places about using a lot of production building wealth to keep your slider at 100% all the time as main strategy. Why would you do that and what advantage you get? Is it about saving yourself building money multiplying buildings? Can someone show some screenshots or post some guidelines how good this fares compared to a normal binary research?
     
  10. Lazani

    Lazani Chieftain

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    Great post ahcos! I've also been wondering where to go after cuirs as I almost all the time play pangaea and my games ends with cuirs. Now I might try to go further down the tech three!
     
  11. WelshGandalf

    WelshGandalf Chieftain

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    Great post achos, one issue though...
    There is no loss of culture once you get to sci meth. You lose the beaker bonus from monastaries and the great library, and the GPP bonus from the Great Library scientist and the parthenon, but there's no direct culture loss. Obsoleted building still produce culture.
     
  12. sossos

    sossos Chieftain

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    I like this judgment. Fighting is the way to show the difference between human and AI, and human can exploit a lot from battles. Comparatively AI can tech as well as human---though sometimes their target/path is not aligned----but the war is more complicated to them, which requires more algorithm and pathfinding embedded by the programmers.

    However, this does not mean that buiding wealth is doing something wrong. By building weath, you can invest 100% on your beakers or espionage points. With this trick, you don't need to build banks/markets/groceries, in short term. There's also the time period when war is not allowed by the diplomatic stands, or you just need an important tech to gain combat strenth. The most important thing is: by building wealth, you can leave the decision till the whipping time. To whip libarary or settler or barrack? Before you get enough information, the best choice is to build wealth and to make decision later.

    There is no conclusion in this game which can be applied in any situations. This is charming, isn't it? When your tech is advanced, you must find a way to slow, either by building more cities or by conquering more cities; When you rex too much, you needs to focus more on infra with more pop and GP. The balance in civ 4 is configured very well: you can enjoy the benefits from tech exchange, you can also enjoy the benefis from more territory, but you cannot have both all the time. The player needs to always tune between the two conflicting strategies. It is more interesting when it is mixed with diplomacy and gaming theory. With endless scouting and information analysis, you know when is the weakest time of each AI and when is the best timing to attack. Then you need to align your strategy with the timing.

    Going back to the tech selection after liberalism, don't you think it's more interesting when more options are provided? Don't neglect any tech that you think it sucks. Even for democracy, in some combination (leader, map, diplomacy), it can be the best choice. I remembered I had a game with Asoka + espionage/GP economy before. I beelined constitution for the ub and then democracy, then I made a very smooth transition from representation + conscript + emancipaton+ GP economy to democracy + espionage economy+assembly line. I don't need to build any university/observatory, instead I build aqueduct/harbor/grocery/ to help quick industrilization (factory + coal plant). My pop can be also higher than the combination of cast system+ state property. As you know, democracy + free religion + free speech + environmental+ emancipation is the most powerful combination in the modern era, but the transition from cast system + stateproperty is always a nightmare------Isn't that also true in the reality?
     
  13. Woreczko

    Woreczko Chieftain

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    Preparing for war sometimes means teching the right units for the job. Building obsolete stuff will only slow you down because of unit maintenance. Why not use your hammers to speed up research now and build units later? Especially if techs along the way will boost your production and/or science output?

    I do not advocate full "hammer economy". Just, when you care more about your research speed, than the build in a particular city, let it build wealth (or research - whatever is more profitable at the moment).
     
  14. InferiorWang

    InferiorWang Chieftain

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    Do you mean building research or focusing on research buildings? Research/gold built from hammer do not get bonuses that the rest of your commerce gets.

    I build science boosting buildings, then build gold. That way, I can afford to run my science slider as high as possible and get the more beakers because the bonuses from improvements apply to commerce.
     
  15. ahcos

    ahcos Chieftain

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    Hm, from what i remember they just disappear. Just like Monuments disappear with Astro. But i might be wrong here.
     
  16. Htadus

    Htadus A and L's dad

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    Welsh is correct, you do not loose culture generation, just the other benefits.

    But You are right, the free monuments from Stonehenge disappear. Since there are no monuments in the cities, no culture. But will continue to build culture from the individually built Monuments.
     
  17. Htadus

    Htadus A and L's dad

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    2metra, go to GOTM page, locate results sheet. Select any BOTM game and download the save of the space colony winner. You will see that he/she got to build the fastest AlphaCentari Rocket by having many cities building wealth. The same can be done in other types of games to get that single crucial tech. Like liberating MT for currases if there is a race to liberalism.

    As for binary research, after you build a few Libs, binary is just a waste of time and turns. The comparison would be for deficit researching with capture, failed wonder or tech sales gold. The diference is that the gold actually come from converting hammers to currency. So if you have a forge, Factory and power in a city. The 4 hammers you get from a PH mine become 8 hammers. You can generate 8 gpt to help keep the science rate at 100%.
     
  18. 2metraninja

    2metraninja Defender of Nabaxica

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    :) Not to sound too over-confident, but send any of those GOTM players who build spaceships with building wealth, put us in a comparable starts in a multi-player game and put your money on them winning the game by launching a spaceship :D
     
  19. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    Don't wanna be mean, but any PvP vs PvE or PvE vs PvP arguments are usually not suitable, because the two modes are too different. Really no offense, always enjoy to read the perspective from someone doing PvP as I did that for 1/3 of my life. It's just that Civ is mostly played in single player, that doesn't mean that one cannot learn from others.
     
  20. Htadus

    Htadus A and L's dad

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    FYI, those space ship winning games ususally have 1 thing in common. They own about 50 to 60% of the land too. IE early wars. So if you are thinking about just builder players, think again. So those same players if they play MP, will likely claim most of the land first before going for space. :)

    But if you want to, come join us in during the next BOTM and throw out a gauntlet. I am quite certain many will pick it up. Chose the VC. It would be fun.
     

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