Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Ision, Dec 7, 2003.
*erroneous post; sorry*
I have to say that you are indeed correct about the entire strategy. However, perhaps you overexaggerating how difficult it is move on to higher difficulties not keeping this strategy in mind. You only need a little common sense here.
I, for instance, build every wonder I can. In chieftain that's every wonder. Period. In monarch, that's every wonder past a certain point, maybe miss the first five or six. In deity, it's only one or two in the end.
Why so? Well, I doubt there is anyone foolish enough to think that it's a good idea to try to build any wonders on deity in the beginning. The computers build faster, get free cities, and never forget wonders. Your chances are next to nothing.
So what's my point? Wonders are cool, so they're fun to try to get if there's any hope. Really.
Can someone ansewer me this? What type of player am I? I started playing on Regent an am still there. I just about never build the great librtary as I'm usually number 1 in tech anyway. My 1st win was diplomatic victory and my next is heading for a cultural one. I've played 10+ gams of civ 3 but have only finished 1 so far. Each time I play I change map types and usually a new civilisation.
When I was the Sumerians I went into wonder addiction. I am heading for a cultural win and had finished expanding 1st though. I usually keep my number of cities low (around 10-20) and dislike war alot. The Sumerian win was interesting as I had to beat back 2 Celtic Gallic Swordsman offensives with a smaller army. I had to strip my empire of units to defend 3 cities while my units were dying and his retreated while avoiding a GA with my Enkindu Warriors.
I figure once I can get 3-4 wins with a variety of Civs and win conditions I'll step up to the next difficulty level. I believe I have learned there is no best Civ traits although I really enjoyed playing as Greece and Sumerians. The "worst" Civ traits are prob ably Expansionist, Seafaring, and Militaristic but even then they are good dependinmg on what type of map or play style you prefer.
Have a strange feeling to play a Religeous/Commercial civ or Scientific/Religeous civ next.
What you seem to be assuming is that Diety level is the true game, so you want to get new players to that level, in the end, and so you prepare them for the restrictions Deity is setting.
I don't agree with that assumption. Emperor level comes, IMHO, closest to how the game is intended. It offers the most variety in available tactics and strategies. In other words: it's the most entertaining level. I think new players should be guided to learn to play at Emperor level. Anything above is an extra / a new challenge to the ones that have mastered Emperor, but doesn't offer a richer game.
Now from that assumption, it is important to realize that building more than a single wonder, even of the ancient ones, is still a viable strategy on Emperor. Restricting oneself to just one (ancient) wonder at lower levels therefore doesn't quite prepare one for all the possibilities that the game is offering.
Instead, I think new players should try all kinds of different playing styles and improve their skills from level to level with all of them. In fact, more experienced players will also keep learning if they do that, instead of repeating the exact same strategy (can you say 'mass upgrade'?) in each and every game.
"What you seem to be assuming is that Diety level is the true game, so you want to get new players to that level, in the end, and so you prepare them for the restrictions Deity is setting."
I make no such assumption. The intent of my post is to point out 2 facts: firstly, that your learning curve to move up to any level - even chieftan to warlord - will be vastly improved if you can do so without having to rely on a wonder strategy. Secondly, that an over fixation with wonders hinders a players ability to play at the higher levels.
As to how the game is intended. The developers created this games standard setting as 'Regent - standard maps'. How many varieties of tactics and strategies a player has is not dependant on the level he is playing on but on his skill level at that level. An early archer rush by a newbie at warlord level is approximate to one by an expert player at emperor. Both players are percieving about the same amount of challenge from the game.
That Diety level changes the game dynamics to a point were the game play itself is changed - I AGREE - however, a player must have been able to reach diety level in the first place to know this. As far as an average regent player is concerned, the dynamics of Emperor level is no more than an extra challenge that does'nt offer a richer game.
According to every poll I have ever seen the VAST majority of players are Regent/Monarch players, followed by Cheiftain/Warlord players. Emp/Diety players are THE smallest minority of CIV players. My post is for those that would like to to take a crack at that smallest of minorities. Those that are happy to play Chieftan forever - hey, great - I consider any CIVer at any level a valued member of the CIV community.
I was hoping you would say that (hence my use of the word 'seem').
It is easy to forget that only the dedicated few will reach the highest levels, and many don't even aspire to and enjoy the game nonetheless.
For a part, yes. But the lower levels do not provide strategies that bank on the strengths of the AI rather than their weaknesses (and the human player's strengths).
My point remains that players should practice many strategies if they want to get to a higher level, that building a good number of wonders is one such strategy, and that while it shouldn't become a fixation it shouldn't be neglected either.
The trouble arises when you begin to follow a course of action that you don't even realize is a strategy -- in this case, we're talking about a mechanical obsession with the construction of wonders.
Sure, many people understand strategically how to use wonders and what wonders to build and when to build them. These people are not Ision's target audience. If you've already figured out that you don't need any particular wonder to win a game, to quote Johnny Truant, "This is not for you."
The whole thrust of this article is that there are other strategies out there. Honestly, who plays this game for 6 months on Warlord and then suddenly thinks to himself, "Oh my gosh! I just realized there are all these fantastically expensive buildings I can make that unleash a wealth of new strategic options if only I can build them before my opponent! Wow! I can finally take my game to the next level!"
This article is about taking a step backward so you can take two forward. It's aimed at a very specific sort of player (the novice) with a very specific goal (get better at the game). While you're technically correct to claim that abstention from wonders is unnecessary, you're making the point in exactly the wrong place. Anyone who needs Ision's advice and then follows Ision's advice will come to your conclusion at his/her own pace. Isn't it better to find strategy on your own than to be spoon-fed it every step of the way?
Thanks for saving me the trouble of another long post. Your assessment of my article's intent, target audience, and goals - are wholly accurate.
Obviously the intended audience is not trying to do a 20k culture victory under this advice but then I guess that is hard to do on the higher difficulties anyway I suppose.
The idea of going to the opposite extreme as a remedy, in order to unlearn one extreme, is often proposed in strategy games (and in RL situations as well).
The intent of Ision's well-meant advice is clear enough, it's just that I've seen it fail so many times. Instead of teaching the player something, it only gets her more confused and her game more unbalanced.
I think the main Tactic newbies need to follow is to be very aggresive and militarilistic in the highier difficulties.
I remember my first games i played when i first started. I would build my first military units in the late ancient age because i had "improvement symdrome" where i would only build military units when i built every single city improvement avilable.
Ofcourse this is impossible to do above monarch difficulty unless you like giving into the AIs demands making you even more weak.
i think They need to learn that they can't keep up in tech againist the computer and they shouldnt sit there and moan how powerful the ai is getting but instead rush with dozens of archers at the beginning(which are quite effective in teh beginning) and if your successful in your attack the Ai will beg in to your demands and you have all those techs for free. If you do this often you will stay with the flow(just make sure not to kill the ai but leave them a little bit of terrority so when you need tech again you just take 1 or 2 cities.)
I dont understand why you say building wonders make you weak. I had no problem in building 2 wonders at the begining because i was still capable in expanding while the 3 ai next to me were getting smaller (hoho).
the game im currently playing i was stuck on a island with 3 other AI. i now have the whole island with only 6 out of my 30 or so cities orgininally being mine.
I think newbies should focus more on building a big military and improving terrain with workers instead of building city improvements (discluding barracks and temples, which i think are the main buildings you will only need in the beginning.barracks= vetern troops, temples=no angry labourers at 3 pop).
Once you get quicker and more effective with this tactic you can start a game where you can sacifice your capital to build wonders at the start (20-40 turns after the beginning)
For me its best to have a militarilistic,religious civ to maximise this strategy. A really good choice is to be the celts as they have a ancient age UU. My personal favirote is viking(militarilistic and with a nice offensive UU which can take out any defender untill the industral age) and inca (a UU with EVIL pillage and scouting capablilties that can ambush workers and settlers/ if your lucky you can even take their undefended citys at the beginning).
Xether, I'm guessing that you are currently playing at Regent or Monarch level. The approach you describe should usually work at those levels. (And those are the levels which can maintain happiness at 3 citizens with a temple as you mentioned.)
But, I disagree with the parts of your note which I've quoted above.
Although your approach will work at many difficulty levels, relying on it will unnecessarily limit playstyle - many other approaches will also work. Worse, this limitation of playstyle will probably make it very hard to master higher difficulty levels, particularly Deity.
To keep moving up to higher levels I think you'd do better to follow Ision's four rules
What I don't understand is how anyone can play an exteme builder and survive at high lvls of difficulty I play Monarch atm and I find the need everynow and again to hurt neighboring Civs in order to gain more land/resources/cities and keep up with those Civs who kill some of their neighbours. I just feel that no matter how well you expand at the beginning you can't just sit there the whole game and never gain more territory through conquests. Civs like Persia will gain heaps of territory from AI civs and then beat you by some victory.
You should try and play OCC (One City Challenge) sometime, and a whole new world of strategies will open up.
Yes I've been thinking about doing a 5CC challenge, one sounds impossible though except maybe cheiftan. When you take enemy bases in 5cc or one cc what do you do with them. IF you raze them you lose rep but if you starve them and abandon them with one last foreign citizen you still take a rep hit right? So what do you do with captured cities.
My suggestion would be "don't capture enemy cities."
Pound them down to 1 population, pillage the tiles, but don't capture them. If you're playing 5CC and capture one before you've founded your fifth city, fine - keep it. After you have 5 cities, though, to keep within the "rules" of 5CC you have to either raze/abandon that city or abandon one of your own before the end of that turn.
This was a very helpful thread. I recently moved up to the Monarch level and would do well in expansion and leading score but would fall way behind in techs. I realized that I was building the Great Library every time. The AI didn't seem to go for this wonder and so I figured I could snatch it up every time. So I did! Then I would find myself horribly behind by the time I hit the beginning of the Industrial Age. And other civs would no longer trade with me because I had nothing to offer them. Didn't take long before their units were far more advanced than mine (due to Replaceable Parts...which was a pipe dream to me) and their armies were huge and intimidating.
This will really help me in building my diplomacy and trade skills for acquiring techs and staying with the AI.
I really cannot believe that this posting is meant to be taken seriously.
With the same argumentation I can suggest to avoid to build temples, to make use of luxuries or whatever the game offers me to make use of.
As from the context I got the impression that the intention was to suggest to avoid any extreme orientation, the advise given is extreme as well.
The only helpful advise I could find was the quoted one, to which I agree. And I would enhance it by "there is no best wonder". Some replies have stated how much the Great Library would be of help. This may be true for vanilla Civ or PTW, but no longer is for C3C. Pyramids may be of help, but don't necessarily are, and so on.
In plain words: the advise "don't make use of this or that" to me seems to help as much as "absolutely everytime go for this!".
Both is just wrong. What may be the right path on a standard map with 8 other civs around may not help you on a small map, or on a huge map with 16 other civs.
So, the only essence from this article should be: don't rely on any strategy to be the right one under all circumstances. Check with your playing style every time. If you fall behind, just check, what you've done and why it didn't pay off.
Generally you take the rep hit. 5 cities are also highly productive and you can stop expanding sooner and start producing units/building depending on what you want to do.
I posted a new topic in reference to Ision's idea of playing a game without building wonders.
Alot of people that have posted replies to this subject seem to have only served to muddy the water. I mean, regardless of what newbie players are meant to take from it or whether it will speed your progression from chieftain to deity or not... it doesn't matter.
Man.. I've been playing since Civ2 - my "progress" to Deity level on that game was helped enormously by my incessant reloading "technique". I never really tried anything new or interesting. For each game, the single purpose was to amass a new personal record score.
So now I'm playing C3C. It's a different game... a very different game in many respects.. and my old strategies don't work quite the same. I'm starting from Regent and moving up to Deity (or Sid) all over again.
My point: By not building wonders (and not reloading), I'm learning to become a more resilient player. To me, the civ without the wonders is the generic civ - no modifiers that cannot be obtained by your rivals, no special advantages or disadvantages apart from those bestowed on the civ itself.
It's not that I intend to keep on playing every game beyond this one in the same fashion... I LOVE wonders. But I've decided - as a result of Ision's well written post - to learn to adjust and become better with less, not more.
Thing is, as soon as I win a game without the wonders, the next game I play I'm going to bring down the Hammer of Thor and smite my enemies etc etc etc *with* wonders.
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