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The Dutch

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Zardnaar, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    With the release of Conquests to the veteran Civ 3 player the Dutch offer a unique trait combo- agricultural and seafaring. Although hardly alone in this regard both of these traits were new when conquests was released. Over the last year or so the agricultural trait has become to be widely regarded as one of the most powerful traits in the game. It gives you an extra food resource in your cities centre tile if your city is beside a river or once you change to a non despotic form of government. In addition it gives you half priced aquaducts, hydro plants and solar plants. You can also irrigate desert tiles and they will produce 2 food and 1 shield for your cities. And finally you get to start with pottery for the all important granary to help with settler factories. Although you can usually trade for pottery sometimes the AI civs closest to you don't have it. Its all about speed- expand fast and you will have an easier game.

    The Seafaring trait is an interesting. Naval units gain +1 movement and have a reduced chance of sinking when away from land. Also seafaring civs gain half priced harbors and commercial docks and get extra commerce for coastal cities. In general seafaring civs make excellent tech traders and scouting civs and are often early importers/exporters of resources. They also start with alphabet which lets you research a neglected tech tree and gives you a head start on the race to philosophy.
    On island maps it seems overpowered however. The AI civs don't understand the suicide curragh strategy and on higher difficulty levels lets the human player negate alot of the AI advantages- faster research and rapid production. Cheap military units don't do the AI much good when they are obsolete and isolated on islands. While not quite an exploit it can be a good way to dip your toe in the water so to speak when you move up a difficulty level. It is slightly more balanced on continent maps and weak on pangea athough I would rather be a seafaring civ on a pangea map than an expansionistic civ on an island.

    Added togather there isn't alot of synergy between them compared to some other civs and the agriculture trait will probably be the most dominant one in most games. However unlike most seafaring civs the Netherlands cope reasonably well on pangea maps due to the agricultural trait and Swiss Mercenary unique unit (UU). The Dutch are one of the best civs to take for a random map setting with random climate. It doesn't matter as much what map you take or if its wet or arid- more rivers for the agricultural trait or desert tiles to irrigate.

    The Dutch UU is the Swiss Mercenary. A unit with ADM of 1/4/1 it costs 30 shields and requires iron to build. It is one of the best defence units in the game along with the mighty Greek Hoplite. With a defence of 4 it equals the attack value of knights and medievil infantry- in a game where the attack value of units is always higher than the defence units of its era. It is in effect a half price musketman that doesn't become obsolete until the discovery of nationalism in the industrial age. It allows the Dutch to dominate the middle ages and is cheap enough to be built in quantity. It is also versatile, if you want to sit there in a republc government and fight of AI attacks its great. For a defensive unit its also nasty on the attack in a stack of doom- alot of these and some artillery units and a few attacking units can steadily reduce an AI empire to ruin. Another use is a naval assault force if you want to invade a nearby island/continent. Land them on a hill or mountain and watch the AIs clever tactics (mindless charge) to try and dislodge them. The only drawback is its a defensive unit and you require iron.

    Overall the Dutch are a powerful and versatile civ to play. They are hands down the best seafaring civ in the game and tend to expand rapidly. Often the AI can also play this civ reasonably well with large rich empires which are well defended due to the quantity and quality of its UU. Overall I would rate them as a 1st tier civ.
     
  2. WackenOpenAir

    WackenOpenAir Deity

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    You might add, we the Dutch have a special place at the highest difficulty levels.

    The higher the difficulty, the more important it is to get your oversea contacts early for tech trading. On low difficulties, even on archipellago you could go contact everyone by the time you have republic and the trade all AA techs from the AI. On sid, it is important that you find them asap. Sid also is prefered to be played on pangea for safety against invasions and to use the seafaring trade to be trader middle man. The most important aspect of seafaring here is having a boat without having to research map making.

    The UU also is better on high difficulties. On low difficulty, you don't need to defend, only need to conquer. On mid difficulties, defendig is still rather insigificant. On the highest levels, you are pretty forced to go for bombardment units. There the defence units defending your bombardment units are vital.

    This makes us, the Netherlands the best civ to beat Sid. And i'm proud of it :D
     
  3. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    SEA also gives half-priced Coastal Fortresses (useless, sure), and half-priced Offshore Platforms. The later in combination with the cheap Commercial Docks and the commerce bonus (to help with Research/Trades) makes any SEA Civ a good choice for a Space Victory.
    One oddity worth mentioning is that the Dutch can build Muskets when they lack Iron, so having a UU that requires a resource doesn't hurt them.
     
  4. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    Hmm. . . brought up some excellent points I'd never thought of before, but I'm still not convinced the Dutch are all that much better than the French.
     
  5. punkbass2000

    punkbass2000 Des An artiste

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    I am. That bonus on coastal cities can be huge in that AA. You can always build plenty of cities along the coast to fully take advantage. That one extra gold in your capital is usually a 25-33% increase from normal, which is huge. This is often 2-4 fewer turns to pottery or 1 extra gpt, both of which are huge boons at 3500BC.
     
  6. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    Of course, 2 of the 3 best Civs for that kind of game (Dutch and England, with Byzantium the 3rd one) as well as Portugal already start with Pottery anyway :)
    But sure, it still helps to accumulate gp while researching Writing.
     
  7. punkbass2000

    punkbass2000 Des An artiste

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    Yet another reason to pick the Dutch. Though the Portuguese, Hittites and Iroquois also start with Alphabet and Pottery, the Iroquois are the only highly regarded civ of those. In fact, the other two are considered to be the worst civ by many.
     
  8. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    To tell the truth, I consider Portugal the only 4th tier Civ (maybe with Zulus); Hittites are saved by having a Horse-based UU.
     
  9. punkbass2000

    punkbass2000 Des An artiste

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    That could even out the tiers! :D
    10 1st, 10 2nd, 10 3rd, 1 4th
     
  10. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    Perhaps I've underestimated that initial boost. I like that the Commercial trait gives a commerce bonus to all big cities in your empire, and that bonus increases with city size. The SEA bonus seems static and loses much of its attraction over time ( as far as commerce goes), but I suppose, like EXP, it assumes a more explosive start will compensate for a slow devaluing.
     
  11. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    Several reasons.
    1. Better on 2/3 maps. About equal on pangea
    2. Better UU by far. 2 for every 1 French musketeers.
    3. Cheap buildings- aquaducts, harbors, commercial docks etc.
    4. Starts with pottery.
    5. Better GA timeline. An early medievil GA is usually better than a mid medievil GA. More options/versatility.

    These are the main ones- I'm sure theres a few more.
     
  12. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    It seemed redundent to say the Dutch are one of the best civs to play on Sid. I already said they were 1st tier. That and I'm not a Sid player so I'm careful about talking out my ass.
     
  13. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    I do readily agree with the GA timing. The Dutch have probably the best-timed GA, in my opinion. I started a game as the Dutch a few days ago. I suppose I'm coming around. Still like the French, though, but its just bias by now.
     
  14. Sukenis

    Sukenis the J'BOOtian Warlord

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    What does this mean? From what I have read by others, the Swiss Mercenary means that you try not to get nationalism until after replaceable parts because the cost of a riflemen is so much more than the cost of a Swiss Mercenary. Unless unit support is a big issue, having 3 Swiss Mercenary is better than 1 rifleman. Nationalism prevents you from buildings Swiss Mercenary so if does in fact make them obsolete, but it does not make a hands down better unit.

    For me this is very similar to how Feudalism works for the Celts.

    On a side note, this is the third time I have made a post like this in your write-ups. I am not trying to say I know more than you. I would say in 99% of all situations you by far surpass my skills. I am just trying to add in other "non traditional" strategies I have picked up.

    edited for spelling/grammer
     
  15. Longasc

    Longasc Deity

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    They are agricultural. Even if we might tend to overemphasize this trait, it is inherently strong. Add in seafaring and the early contact making, and you got the idea of Wacken.

    BTW, on normal maps, not archipelago, I would still go with Sumeria. If you wait for a lucky start on an island fortress, seafaring will give you great trading opportunities on, especially useful to make higher difficulties a lot easier! :)
     
  16. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    When I say a unit becomes obsolete basically I mean when something comes along that is better than the existing unit. True you may be able to build 2-3 SM for every rifleman but if you're in a republican government you may prefer to have the stonger unit instead of lots of weaker one. A Greek hoplite is a good example. IMHO this unit lasts form the Bronze age through to nationalism- I would rather have 3 of these than 1 musket man for example (most of the time)since the musket man isn't efficent enough for its price.

    Once nationalism rolls around though the average attack unit has a value of 6 which can make the SM obsolete or at the very least weak vs contemporary units- even if you have lots of them.
     
  17. Richard Cribb

    Richard Cribb He does monologues

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    Now this is confusing, considering that you recently wrote in another thread:

    Since I regard you as the Botvinnik of Civ3 (I presume that you are a chessplayer, if not I can assure you that it is a great compliment!), and this seems contradictory to me, I would be happy if you could find time to sort this out.
    Edit: My apologies for deviating from the topic of the thread.
     
  18. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    Personnally, I like the Hittites. But hands down, they're 3rd tiers. Their trait combo complements nicely, but the UU is among the worst; the 3MC is crap - but at least, it upgrades to useful units.
    Hittites are one of those Civs doing best with the Monarchy/MilTrad/ Capture GLib strategy. Since you have a chance to pop at least Poly from a hut, maybe even the best choice of all (with Mongols) for this.
    So it's not really contradictionary: The 3MC is horrible, but at least it can be upgraded to the key units for warfare.
    The Carrack....:lol:.
     
  19. Richard Cribb

    Richard Cribb He does monologues

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    Thanks a lot for your reply. :) I see what you mean, and I have come to the same conclusions myself. Perhaps I will give it another shot later. And with this, back to the land of the tulips. Zardnaar: great review :goodjob: surely the Dutch has a lot going for them!
     
  20. Mr. Hyperbole

    Mr. Hyperbole understated cynic

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    I too, like the French. I would advocate the swapping of the Dutch and French in their respective tier postitions if only the French had a good UU; that, IMHO, is what really nudges the Dutch past the French.
     

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