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The Basics?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Mano3, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Mano3

    Mano3 King

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    Well folks, I've scoured most of the good strategy articles, edited them, streamlined them, then compiled the most popular parrerns that kept coming up. Please give me your take or variations. This listing is not focused on any 'special strategy', but an attempt to create a 'basic protocol' when playing CIV IV:

    City builds:
    Warrior – Warrior – Worker – Settler or...
    Warrior – Worker – Warrior – Settler

    Techs:
    Bronze Working – improvement techs – Literature – Code of Laws or...

    Bronze Working – improvement techs – Alphabet – Currency - Code of Laws – Iron Working – Construction or...

    Bronze Working – Pottery – Writing – Priesthood -Code of Laws

    Emphasize chop rushing. Build no more than 3 – 5 cities (no lower than 60% research) before obtaining Code Of Laws. Then build Courthouses as you expand, to include the Forbidden Palace.

    City Types: at least 1 GP Farm, 2 Production Cities and 3 Commerce Cities

    GP Farm
    Build near food sources with a few production tiles
    Buildings/Wonders: anything to raise GP points

    Production/Military City
    Build in: productive area with high hammer yield (mines, watermills, etc)
    Buildings:
    ·Barracks
    ·Forge
    ·Factory
    ·Power source
    ·Granary
    ·Aqueduct
    National wonders: Heroic Epic, West Point, Red Cross, Ironworks

    Science City
    Build in: areas with abundant commerce and focus on cottages.
    Buildings:
    ·Academy
    ·Library
    ·Observatory
    ·University
    ·Laboratory
    ·Monastery?
    National wonder: Oxford University
    World Wonder: Great Library

    Commercial City
    Build in areas with abundant commerce (grassland/floodplains). Keep food at +3 and focus on cottages.
    Buildings:
    ·Market
    ·Grocer
    ·Bank
    ·Airport
    National Wonder: Wall Street

    Crucial Early Resources:
    Horses
    Bronze
    Iron
    Gold/Silver

    Crucial Wonders:
    Great Library
    Stonehenge
    Pyramids
    Oracle
    Kremlin

    Religion: Get Stonehenge if you want to found a religion or... ‘follow the leader’ in religion before Liberalism. Shoot for 3 religions in your realm.

    Early War: Axemen and Catapults. Try for Horses if possible.
     
  2. aaronflavor

    aaronflavor Warlord

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    Great summary! There's obvious tons of room for debate and optimization in nearly every point you've mentioned, but this is an excellent guide for a novice to make his Civs more productive. It's a short article like this that I wanted to see as a beginner, rather than all of the complicated stuff I didn't understand in the Strategy Articles forum. Maybe this should be moved there.

    One suggestion: Note that the production city also will need a food source. Food resources are ideal, but floodplanes could work in a pinch. Unlike commerce, food and production seem to be inversely related in my cities.
     
  3. Nestorius

    Nestorius Prince

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    It all depends, on Monarch at least. Most of the time I start with a worker instead of a warrior. I expand much beyond the 60% 3 to 5 cities before Code of Laws if I can. There are no crucial wonders, only opportunities which aren't worth it unless done quickly and convienently.

    Why divide wealth and science cities? If you don't have both economic and science improvements in a high commerce city, you are wasting it. What's the point of a city that is all cottaged grasslands, if you can't defend it or produce the improvements to make it good?

    Does a great person city need to be founded right away? Depending on the circumstances, great people generation don't have to be a priority, and it can be the waste of a good commerce city. A few early academies are nice, but not essential.

    I try to found good cities, defensible, with room for some cottages, some farms if growth is needed, some hills... balance is good.
     
  4. BigCMan

    BigCMan Chieftain

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    I think the 60% rule only applies to lower level difficulties. Although I'm no expert (getting my rear-end handed to me on monarch), people who seem to be successful expand as much as possible. It seems that expansion is more important than science% because a big empire will eventually pay itself off.
     
  5. automator

    automator King

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    Maybe I've always been missing something ...

    but what is the difference between a Commerce and a Science city?

    Maybe that's a dumb question, but I thought that commerce was converted to beakers through the magic of taxation, so that it'd be impossible to be a good science city without being a good commerce city.
     
  6. bobtheflob

    bobtheflob Chieftain

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    There really isn't much of a difference, only that one has Oxford and one has Wall Street. Sometimes for me it's the same city. I rarely get the Great Library built in a commerce city because they don't have enough production.
     
  7. Eshnunna

    Eshnunna Warlord

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    I agree, this article is a very good idea, and you made it pretty much accurate?
    I play at monarch, therefore I am no reference, but I'd like to add a few comments, and precisions (yes more strategy related than the original post, but in CIV, every action must be related to your ultimate goal in every game).

    City builds :
    Sometimes, it can be better to go directly worker -> settler, if you have a suitable 2nd city spot your initial warrior can defend ageinst animals.
    But at higher difficulties, unescorted units are always a bit of a gambit...

    Tech
    Depending on starting techs (if pottery is one tech away : eg. egyptians) and terrain, ultra early cottages can be worth it.

    Expansion :
    3-5 cities, OK, but if you have a good (militaristic) opportunity of atking the edge early, as well as crippling your neighbor, taking lightly defended good city spots pays off in the long time. Even if your science rate drops below 60% for a while (dont forget to cottage spam ASAP to recover).

    City types
    I'd say 1 (and only 1) GP farm. I agree w. Nestorius, with the GP farm not having to be founded right away in your first few core cities.
    And commerce/prod ratio depends on strategy (more prod cities if aiming for conquest obviously)

    And beware of the commerce Vs gold confusion : commerce :commerce: is converted into money :)gold: for the treasury) and research :science:.
    In my games, specialized gold cities are holy cities w/ shrine.
    You can specialize gold Vs beakers cities using specialists, but it is arguable that it will yield better than cottages, even if only one type of buildings have to be built in each specialized commerce city. You still waste potential beakers or gold in this case.

    Wonders
    There are no crucial wonders, though those you quoted are some of the most useful. Depends of strategy, and how early you got the tech (being beaten for 2 turns hurt, despite the $ compensation)

    Religion
    I don't get your point about stonehenge... sorry

    Early wars
    Waiting for catapults means not that early at all...
    Axeman rush, or even ultra early chariot rush can give you a dominant position for the game (you only keep capitals, and raze everyting else, unless the cities are in really good spots : maintenance will soon kill you otherwise if you try to expand more).

    Thats it. Hope you didn't mind the criticism, I tried to remain constructive.
     
  8. VirtualM

    VirtualM Chieftain

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    Great thread! I think it will help a lot of new players getting to improve their game.
    Nevertheless, I'm still going to comment on several points. :mischief: This is in the hope that you keep it up to date and create a 'one-stop-shop' for our new civ addicts. (feel free to disagree and not take my comments into account)
    All my comments are based on Emperor level as I consider it the level every regular player should aim for.

    I would add "Worker - Warrior - Settler". The reasoning is that wild animals don't enter the cultural borders and barbarians don't show up just yet.

    Your fellow forum members have commented already on it twice, and I'm going to do the same.
    First of all, I believe you've turned things around. It seems it would be better to write the rule as "Build cities until research reaches 60% (3 - 5 cities)".
    Secondly, I think the '60% rule' is flaw. (I realise that you made a compilation and that this rule shows up all over the CFC forum). On the higher levels (emperor and immortal) it's critical to expand rapidly if you want to survive midgame. Therefore, I would make the rule something like "Keep expanding, but ensure that you develop Code of Laws before research reaches 30%. Then increase your science rate back up to 60% (by building courthouses). Do not expand any further unless your science rate is 60% or higher." This rule is still not perfect, but it will do (actually the 30% can be 0%, but I'm chicken :( )

    I agree with you here. Nevertheless, you should make it clear that these buildings are the focus of the city; not that e.g. a science city may never build a bank.

    I would also add the Pentagon.

    :confused: huh? :confused: I never had to build Stonehenge to get a religion!

    I would remove the catapults in this phrase. Catapults come much later than axemen and you therefore loose the effect of 'chop rush armies'. Catapults are usually used in my second war. (And I'm not a warmonger! I prefer to expand in peace.:mischief:)


    You may want to say something on the important techs as well. New players often have problems with the tech tree and choose them more or less randomly. important techs would be: Pottery, Bronze Working, Code of Laws, Alphabet, Assembly Line, etc.
     
  9. Mîtiu Ioan

    Mîtiu Ioan Deity

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    Probably for building the shrine is more usefull GP points from Stonghenge - not for founding a religion ... :)
     
  10. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    I think he meant "Get Stonehenge if you plan on founding a religion, as it will help get you a great prophet and so a holy shrine",

    not

    "Get stonehenge to give you a religion"

    although it could be read that way.

    EDIT lol. Mitiu Ioan beat me to it!

    As for the tips
    • I'd say it's more important for beginners to avoid wonder addiction, and realising no wonders are really crucial at all.
    • As many noted already, commerce cities generally should build beaker and gold enhancing improvements. (Note I use the term commerce city for one which has high commerce, not the Wall Street city specifically. People really should start calling the shrine/wallstreet city a Merchant or Gold city or something different to avoid confusing the concept of commerce and gold, even if only for people reading their posts.) In other words cities should not be divided into separate functions of gold or beaker production - commerce cities should tackle both. Heck I even build a library in my Wall Street city and an airport in my Science city - I think in most situations this is perfectly logical.
    • By the way, it's copper - not bronze.
    • As for sites for commerce cities, I don't really think saying areas with abundant commerce makes much sense. You need a decent food source and plenty of flat (preferably green) land. I assume by abundant commerce you meant luxury resources, rivers and coast. Often these are not necessary for a commerce city. I do recognise the difficulty though in simplifying city placement stratgies and explaining them so that they're graspable for a beginner.;)

    But anyway, as a general learner's guide I think it's pretty good.:goodjob:
     
  11. aaronflavor

    aaronflavor Warlord

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    Speaking of Stonehenge and religion, some people often only want a single great prophet, but want to continue using the same city to generate great people. You can "switch off" Stonehenge's GPPs by researching Calender. People going for strict control over what sorts of GPPs they generate may want to take this into consideration when planning the technolegy path.
     
  12. Stangler

    Stangler Chieftain

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    I use a different strat then the OP for better or worse I don't know. I tend to go as follows.

    BW > Wheel > IW or other relevant improvement > other worker improvements > writing >alpha

    One of the problems I run into is that by the time I get alpha, others have writing so the only thing I can really trade is alphabet. Meanwhile I have to get a lot of religous techs, Mysticim, Med, Poly, priesthood, Mono, etc. and usually end up with no religion unless I conquer for it.

    Now if I have a good early expansion I may have a nice stack of swordmen and axemen and I can usually establish a strong early empire but my tech is either ahead or way behind that I have problems finding good trade deals.

    I am also always tempted to get high investment techs like metal casting which are hard to trade because they cost me a lot and the AI is rarely going to give me a good deal. For example if I need polytheism I have no tech that is really close to poly in value. They are either way above, or below.

    As far as GP go, I am not sure you only want one GP farm early in the game. Yes, later in the game you really only want one, but early on you can produce GP pretty easily in various cities without a substantial cost in any of those cities IMO, especially if you are philosophical. I find myself hitting the pop cap early in the game so turning a couple citizens into scientists can mean enough GPP for a GP. By limiting yourself to just one GPP factory you are really limiting the potential GP production early on because you are essentially reducing the number of turns you have to make a GP.

    Now once you need a high number of GPP to make a GP the mini GPP producing cities can not keep up but if you use a variety of cities early to make GP you can spend time early on making your late game GP farm more productive.
     
  13. Jarrod32

    Jarrod32 Warlord

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    Plenty of good debate going on. I would just add a couple notes...

    You identify your science city, and it includes the Oxford National Wonder. I make sure my science city can support lots of scientist specialists, and add the National Epic to this city...my science city IS my GP farm...lots and lots of Great Scientists.

    I have a specific 'military production' city with Heroic Epic and West Point; another high-production city (often my capitol) gets Ironworks. This city can churn out military units or wonders. If it is my capitol, and I want a wonder, I may run bureaucracy to get it built.

    If I have a shrine city I will add Wall Street and try to complement that with a few merchant specialists if I can.
     
  14. Mordraken

    Mordraken Chieftain

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    Are great scientists > using them to research a tech? Has anyone done the math on that (i.e. at what year/tech they break even?) For example, a great scientist in 1900 that will give 3000 beakers to some tech is worth a lot more discovering the tech than he is at adding another 3 beakers for 150 turns.. right?
     
  15. pholkhero

    pholkhero Deviant Mind

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    With Stonehenge re: Religion; you can, if you had no access to the early religions, use the Great Prophet from this wonder to found a religion
     
  16. Jarrod32

    Jarrod32 Warlord

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    Modraken...

    Haven't actually done the math, but when you do, make sure you get the multipliers included...a great scientist added as a super-specialist gives 6 beakers per turn...make that 9 with Representation...with the city improvements (Oxford, academy, library, university, observatory) you can get over 200% increase...a super-specialist can generate 27+ beakers per turn in this city. :goodjob:

    The first Great Scientist builds the academy here...the next several join up as super-specialists...later in the game, I do use them to directly discover (or help to discover) a tech. Again, I haven't done the math...just kind of go by feel when to make that switch...usually sometime in or around the mid-industrial age...

    My science city has all the science improvements, plenty of commerce (cottages), a handful (usually get to five or six) super-specialist-scientists, and at least a few regular scientists. Great Library is nice, but not necessary. 400 beakers per turn from this city is pretty common in the mid-to-late game, and 500 is not uncommon...:eek:

    Here's a screenshot of a particularly good one from a recent game (note that I am 'producing' research).

     
  17. jeejeep

    jeejeep qwertyuiop

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    I deny that the only reasonable strategies for technology begin with Bronze Working and end with Code of Laws
     
  18. Mano3

    Mano3 King

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    Thanks for the great comments folks! :) I'm very glad that you all realize that these ideas aren't mine, just ones I keep seeing in again and again. I was curious to see the ideas and debate regarding them.

    Right now, I play totally random games on Noble. I've tried the higher levels, but I can't seem to come out the winner (yet). One flaw I know I have is to try to play a 'balanced game', attempting to build, gain culture and maintian a military at the same time. I usually win by Space Race or Time.

    As for me, I really haven't found a 'true formula' to starting my game. I tend to go Warrior-Worker-Warior-Worker-Settler (when city is size 3). I like having a spare warrior to escort the new settler to the new city site.

    As for techs, I tend to get Archery (defense), then beeline for Alphabet to trade techs. By the time I have Alphabet, I usually manage to gain quite a bundle of techs through trading. I then get Literature and try to build the Great Library.

    I try to build my cities in the 'cheesy circle', if possible (capital in the center, encircled by a ring of 8 cities).

    Anyhoo... that's where I'm at now with CIV IV. I must say that I feel like I did when I was struggling with CIV III... then I found this Forum!:D
     

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