The early game: How-to

Gtdead

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
51
The most consistent opening for me is slinger->builder->settler->trader.
This opening will give me inspirations and eurekas for archery, craftsmanship and early empire, and even if I'm under attack, with Agoge and 2 cities, I can spam units like crazy. I also usually have enough gold to buy a couple of units if the need arises, since I don't use it for anything else that early.

Once my capital's pop is enough to work the best tiles, I pop the settler production policy and keep spamming them till turn 100, only stopping to place districts down.
If I want to go to war, I get 5-6 warriors and 4 archers first, and continue developing my cities. Very rarely I use other cities to build settlers. I will have to be delayed in some manner to do it.

My district priority is Commerce > Campus > Industrial > Harbor. Of the district buildings I prioritize science, and don't bother with the others for a while. I usually build workshops while teching industrialization. I also like to prioritize food and improvements that give housing in the beginning, making sure that every city can reach at least 7 pop before switching to production.

When settling locations, my criteria are to be in range of my capital's IZ, and their IZ to be able to cover 2 additional cities, and have 1 or 2 good food tiles. Food resources and marshes are the best early, because if you have lets say 2, you can reach pop 5 easily and then harvest them, reaching pop 7. Rainforest can work too.

The exception to that rule is if a city has lots of hills. In that case I'll try to settle it later and reroute as many trade routes as I can to develop it fast.

Last but not least, monuments aren't super important to get fast, but getting all possible culture boosts early is very important. Stuff like pantheons, meeting cultural cs etc.
 

seiyaryu666

Chieftain
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
6
The only one I can think of that's really worth hoarding for is Kandy if you're going reliquaries to fill up your temples faster. I think the small bonuses each one gives are otherwise too good to pass up.

I know one increases range of your IZ to 9 tiles instead of 6 (Toronto i think) and one gives 2 unique luxuries.... other than those I can't think of any that REALLY matters. I typically conquer the military ones just because they seem to be useless.

edit* link to all city state bonuses

So toronto and zanzibar are the ones i was talking about. mohenjo-daro and buenos aires are good to have. the rest is all situational or dependent on your victory type.
 
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Joined
Nov 8, 2016
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921
Wow, quite a ressurrection here. But it's good to see how our strategies kept evolving (or not)
 

juni_be_good

Black mage
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Messages
115
Location
Caen, France
Very nice guide, looks like I need to expand/kill faster than I usually do.

12.) Lastly, don't neglect envoys. Suzerain is pretty hard to get and I personally don't focus on it much unless I've already gotten the bonuses from all the other city states. You get bonuses at 1,3 and 6 envoys, and your biggest return is at 1 envoy. So, you should try to have at least 1 envoy in every state you meet.

I can see another good reason to go for the "one envoy everywhere" strategy : on deity, city-states tend to not live long. Investing 3+ envoys to become suzerain of a CS and have it conquered by an aggressive AI 10 turns later is not a really good move !
 

WiseGreen

Warlord
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
253
How do you weigh districts now, since a) unique districts aren't "free" anymore, and b) entertainment and industrial 6-tiles-wide bonuses don't stack anymore?
 
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How do you weigh districts now, since a) unique districts aren't "free" anymore, and b) entertainment and industrial 6-tiles-wide bonuses don't stack anymore?

Commercial Hubs are still king of districts due to trade route and +1 production to internal routes. Unique districts are still very good, but in my opinion the Bath and Mbemba were highlighted since they don't need population. IZs plunged to below the victory district for me, but some people still like them. Encampments are being viewed more favourably because they are earlier than IZ and also provide +1 production to trade routes.

At least, that's how I've been seeing (and interpreting) the recent posts in the community.
 

teks

Prince
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
330
Location
Florida
Kenji got it.

Nothing changed regarding commercial and harbor. Those are the bonified kings of districts. Below them are encampments because they provide defense, housing, production, trade production, corps discounts...and some crappy XP boost no one really cares about.

After those, we have IZ and entertainment districts, as they provide benefits to multiple cities.

The rest depends on what victory your going for.
 

joncnunn

Senior Java Wizard
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How do you weigh districts now, since a) unique districts aren't "free" anymore, and b) entertainment and industrial 6-tiles-wide bonuses don't stack anymore?

No real change: Commercial & Harbor were already King due to increasing the number of trade routes and are even more so.
IZ have been relocated from the tiles overlapping the most cities to the tiles with the highest adjacency bonuses. Those that use the exploit of locking in all districts the moment the city has population for it can still lock in the IZ price cheap enough to build them everywhere and planting a workshop while only adding factories & power plants to ones benefiting cities. (Note that Germany is still King of this tactic; consequently even with the Hanse no longer being free from population limits, Germany wasn't hurt much in the rankings / England wasn't affected at all from their UD no longer free.)

As above Rome & Kongo's UD replace regular districts that don't need population and so weren't affected.

Entertainment Districts: Some players were building 1 (or none at all) : They weren't affected at all.
Others were building two: It's relocated where their second entertainment district goes.
Not many were building as many as three; but this is the point at which chances the change reduced the benefit of total number of cities benefiting from them all / relocated the 3rd EZ to a much worse production city.

Russia did take a hit with now needing population for their unique district, but they are perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the change increasing slots for writing. So a positive for them in culture while a negative for religion.
 
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Still, Lavras are powerful. Just because they aren't free anymore, don't mix them with the likes of Acropolis*!

* Acropolis were already somewhat inferior to the original Theatre District due to the hill requirement, now that they aren't free they are considered worse than the original.
 

joncnunn

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Still, Lavras are powerful. Just because they aren't free anymore, don't mix them with the likes of Acropolis*!

* Acropolis were already somewhat inferior to the original Theatre District due to the hill requirement, now that they aren't free they are considered worse than the original.

Yes, Greece appears to have been nerfed the most. The good news though is Greece still has the extra wildcard slot and early UU; so it's still a fine civ, it's just not super overpowered as before.

We still have the situation in which before Lavas were always worth building but now are probably only worth building when seeking religious victory & Acropolis only worth building if seeking a cultural victory while the other unique districts weren't impacted.
 
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Yes, Greece appears to have been nerfed the most. The good news though is Greece still has the extra wildcard slot and early UU; so it's still a fine civ, it's just not super overpowered as before.

We still have the situation in which before Lavas were always worth building but now are probably only worth building when seeking religious victory & Acropolis only worth building if seeking a cultural victory while the other unique districts weren't impacted.

Hmm, in my opinion the only thing Greece has are abilities. I don't like Hoplites because their bonus mostly closes the gap between Spearmen and Warriors/Swordsmen. Maybe they'd be good against Scythia or a cavalry-rusher.
 

teks

Prince
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
330
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Florida
Yeah, the Greek UU is good as a reaction to horse civs. Thats it. Spearman units are otherwise terrible. Espesially considering the upgrade path. Greece is hurting pretty bad. They get free culture and a free policy slot. Thats not very good.
 

HoboCop

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 27, 2016
Messages
22
I usually don't build scouts early either, I use my starting warrior to map out the nearest area. Once I see that I can build a scout in a turn somewhere, I usually crank out 6 or 8 of them in a row and send them out automated. Most of them will die, but who cares.. they'll reveal a lot of the map.
 

Victoria

Regina
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IMO (roughly playing prince 50%, emporer 40% and Deity 10%)
Builds are situational based on what level you are playing at and how the map looks whit a great emphasis on sllngers sooner/faster on higher levels.
Improving that land at some stage soonigh has some pretty damn good benefits for using a builder.
Exploring using a free maintenance scout so optimize goody huts and 3 city states has its benefits. (BTW the double XP for scouts does not include combat, just goody huts.... pmsl)
Having something unique thrown into the equation can just make it a more difficult choice sometimes.

To me its gotta be good for the game there is not one right way to do this in everyones opinion.
Most games I am not 100% convinced I made the right choice (apart from after restarting coz I got whalloped on a good map I want to play again)
 

Forster

Prince
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Dec 24, 2005
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521
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Columbus, GA
I notice everybody keeps talking about spamming settlers but I never here about sending escorts with them. Is that the case?
 
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I notice everybody keeps talking about spamming settlers but I never here about sending escorts with them. Is that the case?

Depends on the case. I'll do it if lots of barbarians are going rampant, else I mostly keep them close by (usually they're on fog-busting duty near good settling spots anyway)
 

joncnunn

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I notice everybody keeps talking about spamming settlers but I never here about sending escorts with them. Is that the case?

I recommend fog busting in advance of planned settlers. I ensure I have visibility of the route the settler is going to take, including having a unit on or next to the planned city location before I finish constructing the settler; in most cases the fog busting unit has been there for quite some time before then.

If barbarians are rampant in that area, I'd either pick another already planned city spot where they aren't a problem or have delayed the settler for an additional military unit.
 
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