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That's it - Liberty is complete utter worthless trash

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by noto2, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    I can beat the game with my eyes closed on immortal by playing a 4 city Tradition empire, and simultaneously playing a game of table tennis against my brother.

    Then I sit down and try to play the game using a different strategy cuz, you know, replay value? I've tried and tried and tried to make Liberty work and it's complete trash every time. The thing that it is supposedly good at - rapid expansion - it fails to do in any meaningful way.

    I don't know what settings people play, but I play on standard sized maps with the standard number of civs, everything is standard standard standard, and even going Liberty and rushing settlers ASAP it's extremely unlikely that I have room for more than 4 good cities anyway. So if I'm study with 4 cities, why not just go Tradition? Or if I'm going to settle 4 myself and then go to war, why not just go Honour?

    To make matters worse, the second city you settle is always the most important. You always find good city spots halfway between you and an AI right at the beginning of the game. There is always this mad, mad rush to get out that first settler and grab that beautiful spot before the AI does. It literally happens every game. Does Liberty help you do this? No. I'm talking about that beautiful spot halfway between you and an AI, the ONLY way you have a hope in hell of getting it is to pump out a settler right away, like right after your scout. You can't afford to sit there and wait for the free settler from Liberty. So by the time you get your free Liberty settler, most of the great city spots are already gone.

    Maybe... just maybe, if you play on a large map with only 1/2 the standard number of civs, then MAYBE Liberty would be an option to consider, but on standard settings it's just complete and utter trash every single time. Game after game after game I try to make it work and it's always underwhelming crap.

    Hell, I even installed mods that make wide empires better, like Acken's mod, and Liberty is still garbage. Maybe it's just the maps, I don't know, but they are extremely crowded on standard settings.
     
  2. Chum

    Chum King

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    I build between 6-10 cities in Acken's mod every game, so it's probably not the SP tree, it's the player.

    And yes, I play standard size pangaeas or ovals.
     
  3. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    How are you doing this? By sailing around and grabbing island cities? I can do that too, but that's not what I'm talking about.

    Basically every game, by the time I have 4 cities down there is no point in expanding any further - there are no more lux's to grab so expansion at that point becomes too costly. It's always better to just go to war and take cities by force. This is true even if I rush like mad and go warrior-settler-settler-worker-warrior-settler.

    It's 100% always more effective to just build a military and stomp my neighbours than try to beat immortal+ AI's at peaceful expansion. Maybe this is slightly less true at King and lower. Or go tall, either one.
     
  4. komodowaran

    komodowaran Warlord

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    Vs the AI it work's since the AI sucks at war and expecialy at war later in to the game where u can fight 3 deity AI at the same time.
    As soon as u get in to higher lv multiplayer u will end up geting punished so hard if u try to do that because players wil put up a fight if u try to take over so your stratagy
    does ondly work vs the AI but not vs real players
     
  5. Chum

    Chum King

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    I always exploit my nearest neighbor for resources. It's entirely possible that there's no room to expand, but that's not the case in most of my games. You first need to scrap your ideas of what a good city means in tradition vs what it means in liberty. A liberty city that's going to end up being pop 15 at the end game doesn't need a lot of tiles. You can overlap tiles more, or just plain work worse city locations. It's not like Tradition where you're going to need almost all of a full 3 ring city to make use of the citizens. Liberty just isn't set up that way.

    I DoW my nearest neighbor in probably 95% of my games, no matter what my start is. I farm their settlers and workers for labor, and I pillage their caravans for gold. Almost all of my starting units go into this endeavor, and it's working out quite well. My scouts are on the far side of their city harassing workers my main force can't get to, and locating their trade routes for plunder. Yes, I don't meet as many civ's or CS's on this plan, but what I give up in early CS gold (ruins are negligible at that point), I gain in pillage and plunder gold. I also can take over the capital if I so desire without incurring heavy warmonger penalties because unless civs have met me, I haven't met gone out of my way to meet them.

    Meanwhile, my capital is doing basically liberty stuff. I buy either a couple archers (unmodded) or warriors/spears (acken) with cash, and then just settle until I've decided I've got enough cities. Tribute CS's along the way with the military you have anyway, make more money, etc.

    Basically, if you don't have enough space, it's because you're not MAKING enough space. Of course you're going to have space issues if you let the AI settle what it wants. Don't let them do that, and you don't have any problems. The warmonger penalty for DoW'ing, farming them for workers and cash and never taking a city is literally nothing. They'll be back to trading you 7g for your luxes right afterwards.

    I played a game yesterday where my only neighbor was the Inca and I stayed at war with them until after I finished Education. I farmed 5 or 6 workers off them and it didn't change my core city gameplay one bit.
     
  6. Kriogen

    Kriogen Warlord

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    Civ5 hates rapid expansion. Nothing wrong with Liberty tree. Civ5 by default hates "rapid".

    You can go as wide as you want, just not "rapid". Your starting happines bonus is good for capitol plus 2 cities. So tipical 3 city start. You can go for more, but you need to improve luxuries, but this takes "time', build happy buildings, takes "time", trade for lux with others, takes "time" ... yes, buy the time you do this (improve dirt, build, trade), free land is gone.

    Can't do it "rapid". No go.

    By the way, I use Liberty so I can start building big army faster. Extra hammers at start, workers faster, so I need less, and I improve tiles faster (for more hammers) ... past 3 cities I go "wide" with pointy sticks :p Oh, that free Settler from Liberty is for "after I burn junk AI city, I resettle on a better spot".

    For me Tradition is "peaceful at start", Liberty is "rapid expasion with pointy sticks".
     
  7. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    None of what you said addresses this thread. This thread isn't about playing wide and aggressive expansion. I do all of that too. I'm very frequently farming settlers and workers and just pillaging tiles if I can't take cities. I often play wide games and have sprawling empires.

    I'm talking about Liberty specifically. I just don't see the point of going Liberty for any of this. I can be aggressive, shut down a neighbour, and create space for myself with Honour, and then later on when I go conquering Honour will give me a stronger military.

    Or, if I'm going to just sit on my land for a while and go to war later, like with cannons or something, Tradition would probably be better. Liberty just seems to suck in every way in every situation. The only way Liberty would outshine Honour or Tradition would be in a hypothetical magical fairlyand game where I magically have an enormous amount of land to settle at my leisure, and it's full of amazing great land with tons of fresh water and luxury resources, and I go and peacefully settle 10 cities by myself. In other words

    >things that never happen in a game of Civ5.

    To add insult to injury, Liberty has the worst wonder. The Statue of Zeus is at least marginally useful, I think I've built it a few times. The Hanging Gardens are awesome and I often build them in a Tradition game. The Pyramids? Pfft...
     
  8. inthesomeday

    inthesomeday Immortan

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    Tradition really is overrated; with a side-by-side comparison, tradition has two or three good policies, while liberty has five or six. It's true that border expansion is easier with tradition, but culture production is better with liberty, which is probably more important considering you'll be buying plenty of tiles. Legalism is about one eighth as good as republic, because your first four cities will all be built on hills working hills for a couple of turns after they're built, giving you a 6 turn monument in each of them. And unlike legalism, republic has a use after the ancient era.
    Landed elite is tradition's iffiest good policy; it can be somewhat helpful getting your pop from around size 6 up to size 9, but beyond that it isn't a very relevant policy. The only difference is that it's not really a waste of a policy point, unlike aristocracy and oligarchy and, in my opinion, legalism. Isn't it interesting the only good tradition policies come at the very end of the tree?
    Tradition's opening border growth bonus can be nice but think about how often you really need to grab that flatland grassland tile with no fresh water? Only poor city placement needs you to manually expand to so many tiles that you need a border expansion bonus. The following is true for multiplayer and I'm pretty sure higher level SP, I've never played above immortal, though: if there are lots of tiles in an area you want, you'd better build two cities or lots of military to take the competing expand.
    There's another way liberty is better. Tradition cities are all about growth growth growth, and this encourages tradition settles to focus on this, meaning only the capital will usually have good production. This means one city with pretty good production against, with liberty, anywhere from 6-8 cities competitive in hammers, especially in the early game. This means, say the tradition player is, I guess, wonder spamming effectively (?), and a comp bow rush seems prudent on the side of the liberty player, then the liberty player will be building 6 comp bows rapidly while the tradition player will be building roughly one or two.
    The best two policies in tradition are monarchy and the finisher, considering trees in a seven policy model. With our model 6 city liberty, if every city is at 8 pop, which is usually the case on average by turn 115 or so, (48 pop) that's 3 or so happiness from meritocracy plus 6 from city connections, meaning 9 happiness from the one policy. This means if the tradition capital has a size of 20 on the same turn, monarchy is providing 10 happiness and aristocracy is providing 2, for a total of 12 from two policies; a 33% increase, definitely respectable. The gold is also definitely felt from monarchy; so, tradition has basically one policy that beats out liberty's comparable policy in a purely theoretical breakdown. Of course, this is looking away from abstract measurables like multi lux settles with liberty and higher outputs getting more city state quests. That's too hard to accurately measure so we'll say for now monarchy has one policy better than liberty.
    Oligarchy is utterly useless, because bonuses attacking or defending cities are rarely relevant considerable to the real course of most wars, wherein units are far more important to be killing. Aristocracy gives about 8-9 happiness in the atomic era, with 0-2 in the ancient, 2-4 in the classical and medieval, and other small numbers throughout the rest of the game. The wonder production is irrelevant, 15% is not very noticeable, being about 3 hammers in a 25 hammer city, not something that will make a difference with. However, its happiness helps tradition beat meritocracy, so we won't consider it completely worthless. Instead, we can look to the three policies of liberty that have not yet been used: citizenship, collective rule, and the one I can't remember, that gives a golden age.
    Three hammers off of aristocracy can be comparable to a variable number of hammers off of a settler discount, although this can be hard to measure so we won't try. Another hard thing they can be comparable to is the hammers off of faster improve speeds, which means a liberty player will be able to build 3 plantations and one mine in the time it takes tradition to build 3 plantations. That's just one hammer, but compound that across the entire early game and that's possibly dozens of hammers depending on the situation, far more than felt from aristocracy, even if you're spamming wonders. Meanwhile, the golden age policy can be strategically popped at a time when you need it for a wonder or something like that, any large nationwide hammer project, from markets to libraries to colosseums. It's a 20% production bonus from a golden age (as well as culture, and a gold bonus...) against the 15% from aristocracy. Sure, the wonder hammers will be across the whole game, but usually it'll only really be good for early wonders like Oracle or Library or something, and if liberty wants to build one of those they can faster by popping the right order of policies. A Great Library rush, though deeply suboptimal play, is easier with liberty, grabbing an early worker that chops 25% faster, not felt on quick but enormously felt on higher difficulties. Say you're going Library into Oracle, highly highly suboptimal, you could pop your golden age right then. Not a good way to go but easier with liberty.
    Now we come to tradition's finisher, by far the best bonus tradition offers. It gives four free acqueducts and a 15% bonus to growth in ALL cities. Definitely not something to disrespect. This can keep your pop growing in all four of your cities up to around pop 15-25, varying from city to city. In order to recognize liberty's actual superiority, we have to look at what growth is actually good for.
    Now, the tradition finisher doesn't equal bigger cities period; it just equals bigger cities faster. Almost every city will peak of in population around size 20, meaning across the board this is pretty much the case. Tradition does however help its cities get there faster, by a turn or two less on every unit of population, meaning a bit of science and production faster than cities of liberty. This means keeping a solid couple of beakers extra from population. However, the liberty finisher also does something neat: it gives a free great scientist.
    An academy provides 8 beakers on a tile. This means, without looking at the other bonuses available from tradition's growth, the beaker by beaker comparison actually does kind of even out, as much as people might like to pretend the 15% growth is so enormous. Then, if we do look at the other bonuses the growth provides, hammers and gold, we have to look at the huge advantages to both of these already available to liberty: liberty empires simply produce, quantitatively, MORE hammers and gold than tradition. Sure, the hammers will be more spread out, but this doesn't change the sheer amount of hammers liberty has in advantage. What's the one type of construction that raw hammers contribute to more than focused hammers? Units, of course. Meaning liberty has more units going into war with tradition. And when losing a tradition city is so much more detrimental to the empire to losing a liberty one, and when liberty hammers during war are able to more easily overwhelm tradition ones...
     
  9. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    standard sized maps imo are a gamble on a standard sized map. There is no guarantee there will be enough room to make it fully work. If you go Liberty and find you are short on room, focus on military and switch to Honor and go domination.
     
  10. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    I can't even count how many times this has happened. I've started so many games hoping to do an old Civ4 style REX with Liberty and ended up running into a wall of AI forward-built cities, then I switch to a military game and abandon Liberty. I've done it so many times that now I just think, what's the point in going Liberty at all? If I'm going to be spending the entire game at war, I might as well go Honour.
     
  11. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    Or maybe the problem is that I play hemispheres. I have stayed away from pangea because I wanted navies to play a role, but what people are saying - that they have room for 6+ cities just does not exist on hemispheres maps, it's extremely rare on continents as well.

    I've been rolling and starting maps all morning, and 10/10 hemispheres, standard size, standard civs, there is absolutely no way I have room for more than 4 cities, no way at all. Every civ is about 10-12 hexes away from me, in every direction, or there is water, not to mention I'm surrounded by CS on all sides. Hell, I have to get creative to even find room for 4 cities.
     
  12. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    Standard sized map is not what you want to play if you want to have fun with wide. Play large or huge maps. These maps will also make for a more challenging game as the AI that do manage to get big as well do very well on immortal. You should still easily be able to beat them but they will look a lot better than on standard-sized maps where they are limited in expansion and war each other early. I know as I play this scenario a lot. Not only are the extra city penalties smaller on these sizes (allowing you to make a few more cities more easily) the AI runs out of steam and has a hard time filling it in giving you extra time to keep settling for a while. Also, playing on Large/Huge maps, due to the way the science/culture/happiness penalties per city changes, allows you to settle crappier spots. I think on huge it's only 1.8 base unhappiness per extra city, almost half of standard.

    Also, I agree with a few other posters that liberty has more long-lasting benefits and is in-fact better than tradition. You mistake that liberty is for immediate and rapid expansion. It's not, a lot of the policies are for supporting large empires and building them faster, but only after yout take a few policies. Tradition is just better in the first 80 turns of the game or so, whereas liberty takes a bit of time to gain steam and how easy it is to expand early depends a lot on how fast you can get your culture running. Some people mix tradition and liberty as well and expand past 4 cities later after they start working on liberty. Republic is really good enabling brand-new cities, esp. ones on hills to build quite quickly and become useful. Meritocracy is very nice, esp. on huge as it is NOT a local happiness and thus directly combats the #cities penalty I think, which a lot of things don't. That puts you at only 0.8 base unhappiness per city so as long as you keep on top of happiness buildings, quite easy to expand on huge/liberty. The 50% discount on settlers is nice, but you should never wait for it solely. If you are this is your problem. You want to crank out 2 settlers ideally before that policy. It's not wasted hammers because you are competing with the AI early game for the best spots! Likewise the 50% reduction in tile improvement costs is amazing. with just a handful of workers I usually end up completely improving all my cities very quickly early game after a quick pyramids, allowing them to catch up quicker and getting the meritocracy bonus. The 33% reduction in policy cost is downright awesome. It directly combats about 4 cities worth of the culture penalty for founding, and more on larger maps. The main thing liberty suffers from is gold problems, however, getting those city connections up quickly and selling all the extra luxes/resources you inevitably have in your larger borders usually gives me enough to get by till markets and banks.

    Try a huge map, with a bit of investment into a religion with happiness perks and you'll see liberty shine. Most of it's tenets are good all game whereas tradition doesn't have the same longevity or usefulness. Tradition is for fast, early benefits. Liberty is for the long game. You can tell this just looking at the policies.
     
  13. Mesodius

    Mesodius Warmonger

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    Last two maps I played were Huge random maps with all other settings standard and for some reason it seems I had plenty of room to build 6 or more cities before the AI gobbles up all the useful clay. On standard maps I agree with you that you only get 4 or so good cities before the AI gets the rest. So try a huge map.
     
  14. Chum

    Chum King

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    Okay, I'm gonna go ahead and stop talking to you right now.
     
  15. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    lol, pyramids are trash huh? Two free instant workers plus 25% reduced work costs forever (totaling 50%)? Sounds like it plays out BETTER than hanging gardens to me. It's perfect for me given how rapidly you expand with a REX liberty strategy.

    Every time I go with that route it feels like those are the only games I can keep ahead of my cities' growth with improvements. Some games I end up improving every hex in the empire by T120 or so due to those massive work cost savings. It's basically like having double the number of workers, only better because they have half the maintenance costs and build improvements faster meaning your cities can work them quicker. Think about it this way: you found a new city. Two Liberty/Pyramids workers can move in and improve 2 squares in 4-6 turns. Other playstyles those improvements would take 8-12 turns meaning the liberty city has the edge for four or more turns. Since you can no longer stack workers making them faster is the only way to jump-start a city quicker--that and buying buildings, but those cost maintenance. And 2-turn roads is godsend for getting those city connections up and generating the extra happiness and gold.
     
  16. Chum

    Chum King

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    Yep, I've been told I can't accuse people of being trolls, but that's basically means that if you're saying something like that, and you're not a troll, that you just don't understand core concepts of the game. If that's the case, then I assume you're going to have trouble with things such as liberty, and will probably call it "complete utter worthless trash," which couldn't possibly be further from the truth and more reflecting of your own ability at the game than anything.
     
  17. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    yeah, but he seems willing to learn at least based on his tone. :)

    noto2 man, here's why pyramids is one of the BEST early wonders in the game:

    Sure, I guess you could skip the pyramids but why would you?

    1. AI always neglects it meaning there is no risk to building (unlike every other one you'll always get it on immortal and probably on Deity too and it's dirt cheap. Usually <10 turns)
    2. 2 free workers dude! at the most critical time of your empire! That hammer savings basically pays for the cost of the pyramids so the wonder is essentially free. You needed those workers anyway usually if you are truly REXing.
    3. Even bigger: you get 25% boost to speed improvements and they are improving/connecting your empire fast! Another hidden bonus of this besides the meritocracy happiness and city connection gold is it makes your liberty empire defensible. You WILL get attacked if you expand too rapidly and having a solid road network early means it's easy to defend that empire. I can't imagine quickly improving all my wide-liberty cities if I didn't have pyramids and those free early workers. With it I can basically improve/connect every working hex in my empire by before T100 and keep on top of expansion.
    4. A bit of culture and a GE point is nothing to scoff at. Getting through liberty a tad quicker is nice and that'll be another free wonder later when you cash in on the GE. If you get the wonder early enough that could be a free Sistine Chapel, Religious wonder, Machu-Pichu, or Notre Dame!

    So, to recap: not only is it cheap, you are guaranteed to get it and it's essentially free given the hammer savings on the workers and their improvements. It gets your empire off the ground FAST, gets new cities up and running a few turns earlier, and results in another free wonder later, one you may like better. :)
     
  18. inthesomeday

    inthesomeday Immortan

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    It's the difference between building roads in one turn and two turns
     
  19. Chum

    Chum King

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    Only on quick.
     
  20. Wild_Woojsha

    Wild_Woojsha Scourge_Of_G0d

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    Liberty un-modded isn't trash, it's just a pain in the butt to do right. However, as its name implies, the freedom it provides compared to tradition is substantial. Going Liberty, you have two very large choices with many sub-choices, with the others you really only have 1. If taking tradition, honor, or piety first (And finishing the darn tree, not just opening it!!!!!), You build 3-4 settlers by turn 40 and plant them by turn 50, steal or build some workers, and then can get cracking on that wonderful great library. With Liberty, you can build a huge army by turn 40, get a free settler, build another settler in half the time, steal workers, get another free worker, go to war with a golden age, and then take a free great person as a present for loving the idea of liberty. Or you can build 7 settlers between turn 30-60, steal workers, plant all of those cities and build/buy libraries by turn 80 and use the liberty finisher on a Great Engineer to build national college in your capital. If you can stuff pyramids in there anywhere, that is icing on the cake, or you can just go conquer it from someone.

    Choice one is easy, as its the best way to get started clearing a continent before navigation, and not a pain in the butt. Choice two is the pain in the butt, because managing 8-9 cities and keeping happiness in line is a giant PITA. But it can be done, and then once those 9 cities grow to pop 20 and you have freedom and full specialist slots in all buildings things become magical.
     

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