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The 4 rules of Wonder addiction

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Ision, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. Enkidu_Warrior

    Enkidu_Warrior Shaman

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    actually, i find this article quite ironic given that most high-level (ie diety/sid/beyond) solos and SGs have an opening strategy of starting with COM or SEA so that you get alphabet and make a bee-line for GL.

    of course, that irony is only at the expense of the article's main message - which isnt "dont build wonders", but rather, learn the game without wonders so that you can better understand their value when deciding whether to build any.
     
  2. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Is this true? In a lot of high scoring, high difficulty GOTMs it seems to me that the Great Library is captured, not built. 400 shields will build lots of horses or swords and any research in the Ancient Age at Deity - even at minimum rate - tends to be a waste of good gold. If it's within reach by land or galley, and you avoid Education and capture it late, it can also provide a great slingshot into the Industrial Era.
     
  3. Enkidu_Warrior

    Enkidu_Warrior Shaman

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    the tactics i've seen many times now look something like: start com/sea to get alphabet, research at lowest tech on your way to libraries, and trade for masonry so you can start a pre-build with palace. typically, this involves two core cities, one as a settler farm, the other as the GL pre-build. the AI civs will get well out ahead in tech, but dont go for libraries, since they're not required for era advancement, keeping GL safe until you get there.

    i've seen it employed more often than not in the solo and SG games i've read on these forums, but i cant say i've read them all! perhaps i've just stumbled across it too often out of luck.
     
  4. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    I guess if players are choosing their own civs and starts they can get into a formula/rut. Playing and watching GOTMs as I do, you don't get to choose who you play as or against, so you have to adapt to different traits - much more interesting in my book, but each to his own :hmm:
     
  5. bed_head7

    bed_head7 Deity

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    I would agree with what Enkidu_Warrior is saying if we eliminate the word Deity. It is by no means necessary on Deity to have the Great Library to keep up. But even the masters seem unable to keep up on Sid without the Great Library, or at least in most situations. Take for instance SirPleb's HoF attempt as the Iroquios (COM) or the current attempt in the SG forum by "Sid Virgins," Bugs3, playing as France (COM). Of course Arathorn also had to build the Great Library in his SAW, but the Great Library is generally necessary in AW games even at lower levels. Since GOTM does not go to Sid, perhaps you have not observed this, AlanH?
     
  6. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    That could be part of it, plus the fact that GOTM doesn't always hand out Alphabet as a starting tech, plus I don't play C3C, so I have no first hand experience above Deity. If you didn't have Alphabet on Sid, what would your strategy be? I assume Sid is playable with other civs?

    BTW I'm not saying the Library isn't necessary or desirable, just that I prefer to take it rather than build it, if the conditions are right.
     
  7. Desertsnow

    Desertsnow πr²

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    I tend to pile up wonders if I'm going for a cultural win. I don't know if this is the best idea, but it seemed obvious enough, though this might be just an excuse to be dependent on them. Maybe I am, I don't like the idea of playing without any wonders at all, but if I'm actually striving to be less dependent on them I'll still at least build them to trigger a peaceful GA. Opinions?
    ---DS
     
  8. bouncelot

    bouncelot Chieftain

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    For a 20K (single city) cultural victory, they're essential no matter what level you're playing on. For a 100K (whole civ) cultural victory you get more culture out of building lots of cities with temples, libraries etc. than by diverting resources into building wonders.
     
  9. Desertsnow

    Desertsnow πr²

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    I usually go for a large empire anyway. Maybe I'm just unsubtle. :p
     
  10. MSTK

    MSTK Deity

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    Thanks, Ision. I have been following this article as Law for the past half year, and it has really improved my abilities.
     
  11. duranliam

    duranliam Chieftain

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    while wonders are difficult to build, especially in early times, they can be the difference between defeat and victory in the last two era's.
    i design cities for different things. for example, science cities will have the library and university. production cities will have terrain mined as opposed to irrigated. all cities have marketplace ( of course) and only money cities will have banks.But lets face it, even if you have lots of cities the computers have a distinct edge if they build hoover dam, united nations, or the internet.try winning diplomatically without un, or space race without hd. producing the one wonder that will help you win the victory you want (ie hd for space race) will help a lot. I have won on deity by using hd to build my space ship faster!
    i think wonders should be included in your planning as a way of increasing your advantage and decreasing the ai advantage. i don't mean EVERY wonder, and i don't mean as the core of your strategy. don't go after wonders that don't benefit what you are doing. Manage your cities and terrain. research along a path so you can trade techs. Gang up on ai's with other ai's, and build a wonder that can help you.
     
  12. Bose

    Bose Antipodean

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    Simply: Thank you. I've been playing this bloody game for years and have been getting nowhere for about the same amount of time. I've learnt alot of painful lessons in the past 2 weeks thanx to you mate, but good ones.
     
  13. kaelas

    kaelas Chieftain

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    I used to play just Chieftain and Warlord because the two times I tried higher, I got squashed by the AI. Tried these tactics in a Regent game last night - Standard size, random everything - and now I'm sitting as the second most power civ with a real chance of winning. And hellfire, I'm having heaps more fun! :)
     
  14. Sukenis

    Sukenis the J'BOOtian Warlord

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    I am not that good of a player (Emporer), but I can win without any wonders. I have had to do it from time to time as well. I can not see how anyone can claim that any wonder makes a difference between victory and defeat. If one is that important for a specific game, build an army and go take the wonder. You still get the benefit, but do not have to build it yourself. If you cannot take and hold it, raze the city and stop everyone from having it. Both work for me.
     
  15. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    Köln, Cologne, Colonia. Finally.
    Luckily, I never suffered from that addiction myself.
    Just want to mention I'm currently in an Emperor level 'Barbaric' (no cultural buildings at all except small wonders) + 'Defiant' (no foreign citizens ever, in other words, no capturing; no cities in peace treaties) SG, and while it may hurt to burn all those wonder cities, it shows again how unneeded wonders are.
    Of course, we had to start with the Ivory monopoly :lol:.
     
  16. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    I think that as far as newbie tendencies are concerned, this "addiction" with wonders is more or less correct, but this is also true for automating workers, always irrigating or developing all sqaures around a city, always building Swordsmen or requiring Iron (or any resource, really) at the start of any age. Any of these can be considered newbish tendencies and the sooner you get wiser, the better for you.

    I, for one, never saw the point in creating Wonders to begin with. I mean, yeah, so you get this ultra great building in your city, but in exchange for what? Lots of units and/or other cities? It never seemed like a good deal to me and I was (and still am) quite loathe to build any wonder that I haven't considered and reconsidered from many points of view. Compared to what you can build, most Wonders are simply not worth it, especially when you consider that you can simply capture the Wonder that you enemy civ just so graciously built for you. To a limited extent, the same can be said of any city improvement. You should only build what is beneficial, and no more.

    Diplomacy is often the core of what separates good players from newbies IMO, and this is exemplified in many ways. Learning to always angle for the best possible deal, knowing how to estimate when to renegotiate an ongoing deal and so on. Small details make you faster and stronger.

    In the same fashion, newbies will often develop 4 or 5 squares in the capital even when they will eventually 3 Settlers from it anyway, and follow the same pattern with other cities. Even though it is beneficial to develop a spare food square or an emergency produciton square for altenatives during emergencies, using Worker turns in this fashion is just as wasteful and just as newbish as building Wonders ever was, and arguably even more detrimental. If I had any advice to give to newbies, I would say that the following rules will alert newbies to the possibilities much better and more directly than simply "not building Wonders."

    1. Never develop a square you don't plan on using.

    This immediately alerts newbies to the reality that cities are only as good as the squares they're actually using and also secondarily alerts them to city placement values and specialist usages, as well as tile values and various trait impacts.

    2. Never build an improvement that you can't see significant use of in some fashion within the 10 turns after completion.

    This tells newbies that improvements are only useful if they're in the right city. If he isn't planning on building units in that city, then he shouldn't be building a Barracks in it, even if he's Militaristic. This also underscores the real value and build priority of things like Libraries and Temples and Marketplaces in different situations. This also teaches newbies to plan improvement completions to the turn and learn to plan for various production change contigencies. If a newbie thinks in 10 turn increments, he will soon learn to coordinate military movement and building timing to a nicety.

    2b. Never build a unit you will not use in the 10 turns following its completion. Always consider the viability of 2 or 3 other unit build alternatives.

    This is a rule even relatively experienced players can take to heart. This rules teaches the player to always have a justification for building any unit. Even if he intentionally violates the rule because he's planning on a war 20 turns ahead, the rule has still served its purpose as he will always consider which unit to build first and for what specifically. Too many players are locked into the Archer rush or Settler Factory mode or Warrior-Swordsman mode. The ability to use and switch modes to capitalize on a situation is a valuable asset, whatever the age.

    3. Always access at least 3 dfferent luxury resources and 2 stratgegic resources in the Ancient Ageas fast as possible.

    This teaches newbies the value of these reources. In addition, since looking for these resources often involves roads, exploration and meeting other civs, this teaches newbies the value of contact with other civs and tech trading. Invariably, they will fail to locate an Iron resource within easy reach and this segues into the next guideline.

    4. Always visit each embassy twice a turn (once at the start and once at the end) and consider every deal available and possible. Always renegotiate (tinker the offer) for a better deal.

    In tandem with guideline 3, this teaches newbies the power of tech trading perforce and will invariably drive them from building the GL, ever. As a new player, I was obsessed with the effect of luxury resources such that I always searched for more and traded for more at the best price. Early use of exploration and diplomacy taught me the questionable value of the GL early on. At the Chieftain to Regent level, as long as you trade techs, the GL is really quite worthless.

    In addition, this rule opens players to the often surprising reality that the AI will often accept a deal far inferior to what it initially offers. Even tinkering a gpt deal from 3 gpt to 6 gpt yields you 60 gold, which can be used to upgrade or hurry an improvement. Visiting the Embassy from turn to turn also alerts newbies to the possibilities of forcing a better deal by changing the situation. You can often milk an allied AI for lots more money for a key defensive resource - like Iron or Rubber - if you declare war (and drag them into it) on a civ next to them.

    Finally, the negotiating table is often a surprising form of intelligence that will offer itself quite naturally, to experienced and inexperienced players alike. If you're planning war with the Dutch and follow this rule, you will never be surprised by sudden Mercenaries, as the presence of Iron on their City Resource immediately removes that trading offer from your part of the negotiating table.

    5. Expose the entire map ASAP.

    This opens newbies to the idea that exploration and scouting extend far beyond the simple need to expose all maps. More than the contact and the military info, exposing enemy civ maps tells you what resources they have in what quantity and visiting the Diplomacy and Trade screen often will tell you who's trading what to whom. Keeping tabs on these civs (a natural if you already have RoPs and units in their areas) tells newbies that cities can occasionally cover resources not seen on the map. This is immediately apparent when a newbie sees a Pikeman on a civ that doesn't seem to have Iron, (or any reasonable trading partner for it). Even experienced players are sometimes surprised to find Rail where they don't expect it.

    Finally,

    6. Never quit a game until you're absolutely, absolutely forced to.

    This rule has taught me many amazing things and has accompained me thorugh many incredible turns of fortune. This teaches players how to compensate for not building a favorite Wonder, not having Iron, even not having Coal in the Industrial Age or Rubber or Oil in the Modern Age. It teaches players how to cope when their circumstances invalidate the use of their UU completely, or when all hope seems lost. It is entirely possible to claw your way up from 7th place in the power scale to top tier even in Monarch and Emperior games, from as late as the Industrial Age. You can even survive the loss of your capital and core cities and live on to win the game.

    Most of all, this last rule teaches players to fight to the very last Spearman and village, to learn how to fight the Long Defeat, a lesson that has many practical applications in real life.
     
  17. Rubruk

    Rubruk Chieftain

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    Roxlimn: I'll print out your article and use it when I play.

    And: I'll apply point 6 to the old GOTM with England. I didn't really quit just postphoned it.

    However, the important point in Isions article is: a wonder should be the result of a concious decision. I think, one shouldnt completely abandon them. Computer games are not only solving optimization problems but (sometimes) also fun.
    :goodjob: :D :devil:

    True. and sometimes :spear:

    P.S. this is the third time in two days that I find a reason to post this icon.
     
  18. thx1138

    thx1138 F.F.U.K

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    Well, I just read through it all. :)
     
  19. Adjust

    Adjust Chieftain

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    Thanks for the well-thought-out piece. I should be committed to rehab immediately. In my last game I took every wonder either by conquest, trade or purchase. It was fun but it's time to make the jump and I'm going cold-turkey. :goodjob:
     
  20. Arklain

    Arklain Chieftain

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    Why build them when you can take them!
     

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