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The Celts

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Ision, May 27, 2004.

  1. Ision

    Ision Master

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    I have decided to do a review on each CIV. My intention is to encourage debate and hopefully to help others (and myself) in their game play.

    The Celts

    The Roman historian Pliny wrote that after a 7-month siege of Rome itself, Brennus offered not to sack the city of Rome in exchange for 1000 pounds of gold. The Romans accepted these terms, but during the weighing of the gold accused Brennus of cheating with altered weights. It was then that Brennus uttered his famous response, “vae victis”. Playing as the Celts in Civ 3 will find you uttering the same words – and more than once!

    Agricultural and Religious, the Celts in C3C are a formidable foe indeed. Here is a trait combo that truly shines at giving the player the flexibility to play either peaceful builder and/or aggressive warmonger with equal power. The agricultural bonus of 1 extra food in every base city square (for cities next to rivers only) gives the Celts that slight edge in early growth that can be so pivotal in maintaining pace with the early expansion of the AIs – and at times, even out expanding them! Add to this the ability to produce extra food from irrigated deserts and half priced aqueducts, and one can easily see how this trait has instantly supplanted Industrious as the CIVers favorite choice. Along with Agri, the Celts are Religious, which gives half-priced Temples and Cathedrals – the Celts are often able to pursue both a hard REX and some culture building from very early on – as well as having the religious luxury of minimal anarchy times during government changes. Lastly, as a water Civ (arch maps) the Celts make a nice average CIV, with their cheaper aqueducts and the always-useful higher growth rate – they are however, far stronger on Conts and Pang.

    As a culture CIV the Celts can more than hold their own against the majority of the Civs in the game. From early on the synergy between the traits pay dividends to the culture player. Agri works on Religious by having faster city pop growth; in the early game this allows for the Celt player to rush build his half-priced temples a turn or two faster than usual. Conversely, these half-priced temples (and later cathedrals) allow the Celt to maximize his city shield production by adding happiness that lowers the number of necessary entertainers and/or military police while maintaining a decent science research rate. The net result over time is a series of culture buildings that are among the oldest and highest culture producing in the game. In combination with a minimal war strategy and a highly selective Wonder building program, the Celts can make for a strong Culture/Space Race Civ.

    Normally this section of the review covers the warmongering power of a CIV. With the Celts however, this is impossible without first making reference to one of the most efficient UUs in the game – the Gallic Warrior. A 3-2-2 swordsman class unit that requires iron, at 40 shields the GW is THE most expensive military unit of the Ancient Age – and for good reason! Any cheaper and this unit would put the Celts completely over the top in power. In essence the GW is merely a swordsman with 1 extra movement point. But of all the weapons in CIV 3, ‘speed’ is the single most deadly. The 2 movement points of a non-horse unit that hits as hard as a swordsman gives the Celts a terrific and long lasting (strong until the advent of Gunpowder units) UU that is outclassed by very few.

    While no slouch as a peaceful builder, it is at war that the Celt can be a truly magnificent CIV. The early game will often see the Celt player bee-lining to Iron Working and building warriors instead of spearman in preparation for an attempted mass upgrade to GWs in late Ancient Age. Yes do build as many warriors as possible – on average it simply is not as efficient to build 40-sheild GWs from scratch than to upgrade by commerce. Given a sufficient number of GWs, the Celt player can devour his closest neighbors in short order – thus sealing the games fate in the very first age! Unfortunately for the Celts, the 40-shield cost of the GW does not lend itself to easily amass a sizeable force of these beasts. This downside calls for meticulous planning by the Celt player along with a frugalness in gold spending that borders on the obsessive. With the Celts you need to save every single penny possible, consider lowering the research slider slightly (or even a ‘zero’ research gambit – buying and/or beating the techs out of your neighbors) and consider holding off on paying to open embassies with your neighbors – I cannot emphasize enough that if you want to get the most out of the GW you have to be a supreme TIGHTWAD in the early game. As a result the Celts often benefit from waiting until late in Ancient Age before going into full warmongering mode. That said, given a decent start and strong enough bank account, the Celts can propel themselves as an early warmonger and maintain that pace for the rest of the entire game. The despotic Golden Age for the warmongering Celts is not as bad as for most CIVs, the sheer power of the GW (like the Persian Immortal) mitigates the impact – nevertheless, it is preferable to be in Monarchy or Republic.

    Summary: a solid well-rounded CIV that is efficient irrespective of the map type or player style. A top flight warmonger CIV and an efficient culture CIV with the built-in traits and a UU that lend themselves to an ease of play, the Celts are an excellent choice for newer players and experts alike - Overall a 1st tier choice.

    below is the link to my other CIV reviews:

    Links to the Individual Civ Reviews - by Ision
     
  2. dgfred

    dgfred Sports Freak

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    Ision- The Celts have become my very favorite for many of the reasons
    you stated :goodjob: :D . I have noticed that the other AIs fear them
    as soon as iron is spotted and will not hesitate to blackmail before I have
    enough GWs ready :eek: , but I have usually been able to give in for awhile
    or beat them back ;) . Love your reviews, keep um coming :thanx: .
     
  3. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

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    I love the Celts, too -> they are fun and easy to play, and your idea of a mass warrior upgrade is a thing that I will consider in further games. Unfortunately I am still playing on the same game that I started months ago... :(

    Great Review, should be added ot Ision's History of Civilizations in the Great Library that you funnily do not recommend to built in another article. ;)
     
  4. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

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    BTW, I found the high aggressiviness of the Celt-AI to be boon or bust for them, they might become a dominant force early on or get the shaft by their likeliness for early wars.
     
  5. Moss

    Moss CFC Scribe Retired Moderator

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    Another good review...keep them comming.
     
  6. Ision

    Ision Master

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    I would like to thank one and all for all the positive comments.

    Longasc - I have had similar expiereces from the Celt AI, I rarely encounter an 'average' late game Celt empire. It's either among the most powerful, or pathetically small or eliminated.

    dgfred - your not the only Celt fan, trust me. Prior to C3C when new players would ask me to reccomend a so-called 'easier' CIV to ease their way into the game I would consistantly reccomend Egypt and Persia - and I still do. Since C3C however, I now include the Celts and the Sumerians as well.

    Next up to bat : The HITTITES ..................

    Ision
     
  7. Gogf

    Gogf Indescribable

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    As always, great review.

    However, you got a few things wrong with agricultural, I'm afraid:

    It is only one extra food if the city is on a river.
    It is one extra food from an irrigated desert. It was originally one. With agricultural, it is two.
     
  8. Ision

    Ision Master

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    Gogf,

    The first part was not a mistake but an omission on my part.

    Your second comment IS an error on my part.

    I stand corrected, and will edit the review to reflect your observations.

    Many thanks.

    Ision
     
  9. Kaboth

    Kaboth Chieftain

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    I'm sure this review will get quite a few comments as the Celts seems to be so popular at civfanatics, though I'm yet to try them myself. Good review as always Ision.

    It is important to state those exact rules for Agriculture food bonuses as most people don't know them. If the founding area for your civ doesn't have rivers or desert squares Agricultural is a fairly useless trait. Cheaper aqueducts alone is no substitute for any other trait in most situations. Except maybe expansionist on archipeligo or seafaring on pangea.
     
  10. fret

    fret Chieftain

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    I value this quite highly. Growth is power. I'd much rather have this than, say, the barracks you get with militaristic civs.

    I havent played with the Celts yet, but Ive only just moved onto Conquests. They sound fun :mischief:

    Good review, thanks!
     
  11. Somnolent

    Somnolent Chieftain

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    Hey Ision,

    I've been lurking on these boards for a while, but I just wanted to post to say that I really enjoy reading your reviews. Your advice, in the civ reviews and in your other essays, has helped me make the "great leap" to Emporer difficulty. I'm looking forward to seeing this series completed... err, not that I'm impatient or anything.... ;)

    Thanks for all the work you put into these,
    Somnolent
     
  12. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Never really played a full epic game with the Celts. Should really try it out one day time permitting. Thanks Ision.
     
  13. Ision

    Ision Master

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    Somnolent,

    It is comments like yours that keep me writing these things - many thanks. When I first got the idea of doing these reviews, I did not fully realize what an enormous undertaking I had taken. Whether or not I will ever finish all 31 CIVs remains in doubt - furthermore, at my current pace it would probably be done about the time CIV 4 comes out -lol- ! Well, as long as the response is good and these forums are fairly busy I will probably continue to write them. Once again many thanks.

    same to you Zaard -

    Ision
     
  14. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

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    I am looking forward to the Hittites review!

    I think they are a crappy civ with a wheeled UU -> I leave it to Ision's writing skills to put it in a more thoughtful and elaborate report. :)

    Hm... I wonder if you finally found something of value in them... again, looking forward to your review! :)
     
  15. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    Ision - as one might expect, another great civ review... but drawing a lurker out of his shell to make his first post... another positive accomplishment! :thumbsup:

    @Solomnet: Welcome to CFC! :wavey:

    I'm sure you enjoy hearing others talking about 'making the great leap'. Your "wonder addiction" and "great leap" pieces were instrumental in helping me make vast improvements in my gameplay. Not having played Celts (yet) I will certainly remember your "tightwad" advice when the time comes.

    Best regards,
    -scoutsout
     
  16. Ision

    Ision Master

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    scout,

    semper fi -

    hope that is acceptable from a US Army GI!

    Ision
     
  17. Sparta

    Sparta Chieftain

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    Another great review, Ision - many thanks! I've enjoyed all of your civ reviews, but I love playing the Celts, so I took particular interest in this one. Very well-written, and thanks for the vae victus anecdote in the intro. And btw, I also took a lot from your wonder addiction article; thanks.

    A very minor point:
    I believe the agricultural trait actually gives every city a bonus food in the center square - it is just that the despotism penalty is waived for this bonus in cities founded on a river (net result being that while in despotism, only the river cities get those food boni). So once you get out of despotism, it doesn't really matter anymore, but in the early stages of the game those river cities are priceless.

    Anyway, thanks again for all your efforts! Much appreciated! :goodjob:
     
  18. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    another great review ision!!

    just one thing, you always say you going do Hittites next but never do? anyway your reviews are always well written and help players very much.

    Y
     
  19. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

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    The pathetic Hittites piss off even Ision. I am looking forward to see if he found a positive aspect of their civilization. :)
     
  20. Ision

    Ision Master

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    Yankee,

    thanks for the comment and - yes it is true that I always promise to do the Hitts next and never do - I doubt that will change now, lol.

    Ision
     

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