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The Earth 18 Project

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Nighthawk419, May 10, 2012.

  1. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    Hello and welcome to the tracking thread for a fun little Civ IV project I’m getting ready to do involving the always popular “Earth 18” scenario.

    I’ve always loved playing this map, however I struggle to actually finish games that I start in single player. I’m generally a PBEM guy, which involves taking 1 turn at a time over many years to finish games, so the fast pace of single player tends to leave me making constant bad decisions. Even when I start winning it quickly get to the point of “well I can finish this game easily” and I give up. My longest game on this map involved Immortal rushing with Persia (my favorite obviously) and taking the Arabs, India and half of China before my economy stalled. I also ran out of time on that session once I started repairing the economy. Going back to a single player game where I had a massive empire but forgot what my master plan was other than “attack everyone” bored me. And frankly after dealing with humans, AI diplomacy is the definition of boring.

    However I’ve been wanting to play out a game on this map and see the whole thing; I haven’t cheated yet and opened up worldbuilder. Plus worldbuilder isn’t as fun as actually playing out the game and seeing what the land can really do for you. But I wanted to do it in a way that’s a slower pace and documenting my adventures in a thread should spark some interesting discussion. Here’s the plan:

    I will be playing as *all* 18 civs! That’s right, a single player hot-seat game playing against myself with all of the 18 civs to do a very detailed comparison of their positions and gameplay. Of course with such a situation there have to be some rules, some to be able to play against myself and not cheat, and some just for fun. Here they are:

    1) Settle in place: This is one of the “fun” rules. I am going to attempt to be slightly historically accurate, at least to the best of my knowledge, so each capital will be in place, for good or for bad. No moving Inca to the coast or the Mali out of the desert.

    2) No first warrior rushes: This is talked about as a strategy mainly in Europe where all the civs are squeezed and you can easily take a capital or two without even fighting. But if I do that, in theory I’d do that with multiple civs and I’d end up with the Roman empire having Berlin, the German empire having Paris and the French empire having Rome. I’m going to pretend like I’m playing other humans who might do this against me (rather than the AI) and keep any initial warriors in my capital for defense.

    3) Other early rushes are acceptable, however I will be generally playing more of a conservative style and loading up on defense as well, so it will have to be well executed and on specific targets and with good reason.

    4) Wonders and Religion: All world wonders will be built where they were built in real life and religions will be founded by the civs around where the actual religions were founded. This is an added “fun” rule for no reason other than to give myself some pre-set decisions and not “race” myself even when I know I would lose the wonder or lose founding the relision. Plus it gives a little feel of historical context to the game. Also having some of these things forced will cause me to re-think strategies and possible think outside the box.

    5) Cities: to the best of my abilities I will name cities to their closest real-life counterparts in the area.

    6) Alliances: Generally the theme is “every civ for themselves” and assumed warring as a FFA. However in certain situations I will attempt to simulate some realistic alliances if necessary. For example, if Germany is starting to take over Europe and France has just 1 city and looking dead in the water, I will probably be willing to have them team up with other smaller civs to fight the big bad neighbor. Eventually due to some tight spaces in the map though, I imagine some civs will probably die off quicker than others… the point is that I am attempting to simulate multiplayer play… against myself!

    7) I will play on normal speed, short 5 turn bursts, with a summary for each civ after each block of turns. I’m doing this simply to slow down the game for myself and force me to write in big detail what decisions I’m making and why I’m making them, down to the micro level. This will be good for my own knowledge (testing new/not often used strategies!) as well as for the novice or even experienced players. A lot of the things talked about will apply to any map or game and be good to better your experience with civ in general, due to the last rule…

    8) Victory Conditions/Plan: Each leader I will play towards a certain victory condition and plan that the leader would choose for themselves. The general outline is below:

    America: Space Race – The plan is to expand throughout current North America, try to hold off warring Monty (see below) and eventually tech up and build the space ship. Generally they will follow an isolationist international policy, but won’t be afraid to get involved in international issues if it looks like another civ threatens their victory condition. Locally, I imagine they will always be involved in a war with Monty, therefore can’t be afraid to go south and take him out in order to win. These guys will go with the standard cottage economy.

    Arabia: Domination/Conquest – The plan is to control the middle east and then dominate the globe in whatever path is the most feasible. I will also attempt to run a “spy economy” with these guys (to simulate terrorism). If I can find a way to win domination with the Arabs and a spy economy this will truly be an epic guide!

    Aztecs: Domination/Conquest – Similar to Arabia, they will control central America, expand anywhere there is land and try to control the continent, taking out the U.S. Their focus will be on controlling central America first though. They will run a “specialist economy” focused on farming, which is relatively historically accurate based on the civilopedia. If they can get the entire western hemisphere then they will take to the seas and find the weakest entrance point into the old world and begin the invasion…

    China: Space Race – Probably America’s biggest space race challenge in the long term, the plan is to control eastern Asia, possibly take out the Mongols if they threaten Chinese dominance, then tech up for the space win. Having a large empire is part of the plan, so some wars are likely. They will go with a traditional cottage economy.

    Egypt: Cultural – Based on the civilopedia entry, Egyptian culture was its strength, so that’s why the victory condition. They will be forced to get the early Pyramids, so that’s a good start. Otherwise they need to get 3 cities and turtle up for culture. They will go for the ultimate Pyramids-specialist economy.

    England: Space Race – Generally they will turtle up on their island and tech for space, but similar to the real life English empire, they will expand wherever possible to have a global presence and probably colonies. A large empire is key for the tech/space race and building the spaceship anyway. They will go for a cottage economy.

    French: Cultural – This one seems obvious with the industrious leader, but culturally flipping all of Europe is a little tougher when you can’t build every wonder. The European nations will need to fight to gain an advantage and get some land, so that will probably happen, but generally the French will be content staying small and going for culture. They will go with a hybrid specialist/cottage economy if possible.

    Germany: Conquest/Domination – Probably the biggest threat to Europe with the victory condition. Plan is simple: control Europe, then go for England and eventually east into Russia… They will run a mix cottage/specialist economy.

    Greece: Cultural – This is a combo of warring and cultural wins. The goal is to own an empire through the classical era but stop when it’s a decent size and go for a cultural victory. They will run a specialist economy.

    Inca: Domination/Conquest – With their start this will be tough (or so I hear, I’ve never actually played with their start yet) but still… expand into South America, head north and see what happens. They will run a hybrid specialist/cottage economy.

    India: Space – This would be a good civ to go for the peaceful diplo victory, but since I can’t vote independently for a diplo win when I am all the civs, they will go for an eventual space win instead. They will try to control the current day Indian peninsula, then turtle up and go for space. They will run a specialist economy.

    Japan: Domination/Conquest – Same as all the other domination civs... control the current Japanese island then invade the mainland (either American or Asian) wherever there is weakness! They will run a hybrid specialist/cottage economy.

    Mali: Space/Cultural – I couldn’t really decide between space or culture for these guys, so I went with both. Based on what I read about the terrible Mali starting point, I expect it will be a moot point, but you never know… They will run whatever economy I can get to work :p

    Mongolia: Conquest/Domination – the same story here. Expand wherever possible and send Keshiks to the weakest points I see to dominate Asia… They will run a specialist economy.

    Persia: Domination/Conquest/Cultural – Generally the first goal is to try and dominate the middle east towards Greece, then find the weakest link to attack. However I won’t be afraid to stop the warring with these guys and just enjoy a big empire and go for culture if necessary… They will run a specialist economy.

    Rome: Domination/Conquest – the same goal, except I will try to be historically accurate and control the Mediterranean coasts first, rather than zip straight north into Europe. But once the historical Roman Empire is set up… anything is a target! They will run a specialist economy.

    Russia: Space – Their ultimate goal will be space, however they will also want to control all of current day Russia in Asia and will not be afraid to get involved in international conflicts. I will also go classic cold war communism with these guys when it comes to civics. They will run a cottage economy.

    Spain: Cultural – Another civ I would have gone for the AP victory with under Isabella, but instead we will look to found Christianity and use that power to turtle up for a cultural victory. They will run a hybrid cottage/specialist economy.



    And until I think of more rules for myself, that’s it! I will update this as often as I can, however it may only be once a week initially, since I’ll be writing about 18 (!!!) different starts and plans. It will be slow moving, but I hope interesting to both myself and any readers/followers!

    Lastly, if anyone has any further suggestions feel free to let me know. I’m hoping this will be interesting, a bit of a history lesson, definitely a civving lesson for all of us, and overall – FUN!
     
  2. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Moderator Action: This looks good , but this is not in the best place for it ...

    Moved to Strategy & Tips
     
  3. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    This should be fun in the vein of Neal's KotW series. Are you going to use the changes that he usually makes (i.e., opening up South America to the Incas and moving Huayna and Isabella to the coast--that is, when you're not playing as them)? From my experience, both of these can help even the playing field a bit, and it can make Spain in particular a real factor when usually they just sit in Madrid and rot with whatever shrine she builds.

    I've been playing Earth maps a lot lately at the expense of just about everything else (in a variety of scenarios, including an Age of Exploration scenario and others with a non-standard 18), and it's a really fun map. I played a Mali game out a few days ago with a capital move to Tangier up along the Strait of Gibraltar (founding Timbuktu as my third city), and I started a game this morning as a military-minded Asoka, which is how I like to play him. So I'll be following along with this if you get going. My advice, though? Baby steps--don't spend so much time talking about the game that you burn yourself out before you start. :p

    But I'll be watching!

    EDIT: OH WAIT, I see what you're doing now. Yeah, a lot of my questions are irrelevant. This is going to be good.
     
  4. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    Be interesting to see what you make of it. Do you plan to play as if you were playing multiplayer? Negotiate deals with yourself, arrange dogpiles and coordinate surprise attacks... my brain would hurt from trying to compartmentalize that much.
     
  5. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    Subscribed, I have to see this :lol:

    Good idea to have a more or less fixed strategy for each civ. It would be silly trying to pretend you didn't know that you were planning to backstab yourself.
     
  6. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    I am going to attempt to play like I'm playing multi-player with myself, yes... however with a fixed game-plan for each civ and I won't deviate from that plan. Trading will be tricky... I turned tech trading off, so it would only be resource trading, if anything. I expect it will be minimal though, "every man for themself" type of deal. And dogpiles probably won't happen, if anything only a reverse dogpile where if the big bad bully is dominating, I might let the smaller civs work together to stop him.

    It will be tough, but thats why I made rules for myself, to make it easier to play through!
     
  7. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    Yeah exactly... no backstabs since there generally won't be any alliances or peace and generally its every man/woman for himself. I will probably be ahead of my posts by anywhere from 1-3 rounds (5-15 turns) so if anyone feels the need to chime in about something being unfair let me know and I will attempt to correct it!
     
  8. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    Egypt - Turn 5

    Ok here we go to start, Egypt. 5 turns in and we can see that Thebes is a GREAT Pyramids-specialist economy spot. There is some useless desert, but once we farm those flood plains, we will have tons of room for +3 beaker bonus specialists. The flood plain-stone and marble tiles are pretty sweet for a starting location, +3 F, +1 H, +1 C. However the fact that Thebes starts unhealthy as a level 1 city (!!!) is a bit of a downer… that’s basically never going to go away. Building a warrior for now because we can’t build a scout and need to start with something. Generally I like to try and wait until at least pop 2 to build a worker, so I need to fill in the space with something. Also a warrior can’t hurt being relatively near what could be a crazy Europe and middle east. I went for Mysticism because they will need to found Judaism (Monotheism) so I’m hoping to drag them behind the Indians with the religious techs. Ideally I’d like to found a second city near where real-life Jerusalem is to found Judaism, but that may not happen in time without a delay across the board.

    Edit: This was a test run uploading the screenshots... more to come in a few hours I hope!
     
  9. Ormur

    Ormur Prince

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    How are you going to conduct wars with yourself?
     
  10. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    It's not all that hard to switch hats and move from civ to civ when it comes to invasions. and I will just need to pretend a little bit. You'll see!
     
  11. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    India - Turn 5

    Here’s India. Lots of good resources in Delhi. I’m teching Meditation because they need to found Buddhism, followed by Polytheism to found Hinduism. Building a warrior again to wait out pop 2 for a worker, also useful as a scout and extra defense from what should be early-rush worthy Persians to my west. Ideally I’d like to get a settler out quick and throw a city down towards Persia to block off the Indian sub-continent from them. Knowing what I am capable of with Persia, I’m also going to need some defenses fast once I get these religions out of the way.
     
  12. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    China - Turn 5

    I’m surprised at how close the Mongols are to China off the bat, to be honest. But I guess that’s historically accurate. Similar story here with the warrior to start, however I’m teching hunting right away here, hoping to get to archers ASAP. I always like to get archers early. Warriors are useless as fighters and archers hold up for a surprisingly long time in the game. Chinese land is meh… the rivers will help offset the plains problems. Getting to build the Great Wall will be helpful in that those pesky barbs will now be harassing the Mongols in heavy force, hopefully keeping them off my back for the time being.
     
  13. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    Greece - Turn 5

    I’m very happy with my planning with the Greeks. I managed to time completing my work boat (to get the beautiful fish that you can’t see here) with the completion of archery, so I can quickly switch over to building an archer for defense without missing a beat. I’m taking a huge risk not growing and not building a warrior for defense being in Europe… but I’m hoping the forced non-initial warrior rush will bide me some time. Our scout went directly north to find the Russians and Germans. Athens will be a very culturally powerful city with all those ancient wonders down the line…
     
  14. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    Rome - Turn 5

    Ah glorious Rome. I expect this will be the capital of a mediterranean empire in short notice. Typical so far, going for hunting-archery for defense. Building a work boat for get the fish-you-cant-see and get the population growing. My initial warrior will hold down the fort for now. Everyone is close in Europe, its just a matter of deciding whether to go west for Spain or east for Greece… when the time comes.
     
  15. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    Persia - Turn 5

    I still think Persia has the best production capital in this scenario. The plains-deer is a nice 2F, 2H tile off the bat. I’m not as concerned with getting archery quickly here, with peaceful India to my east, relatively weak Arabia to the west and lots of land (relative to Europe anyway) to expand in. The scout is headed west into Europe and that’s where I’ll be expanding – into that Tigris-Euphrates flood plain area for a great person farm. I went warrior off the bat to defend my capital and now a Barracks. I still have some time before I get to pop 2 for the worker, but don’t feel the need for warrior spam, now’s a good time to start on the barracks. I will stop the barracks when I get to pop 2 to get the worker, then let the barracks finish…
     
  16. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    Japan - Turn 5

    Oh Tokugawa with your odd trait combo. Knowing I am on an island, I don’t need to worry about archery so quickly, so I went with agriculture to start farming that rice. A work boat off the bat for fish while we grow to pop 2, I’ll switch to heavier production once I get pop 2, then go worker. I should be able to fit 2 more cities in Japan, so this screenshot will get familiar.
     
  17. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    Germany - Turn 5

    And the fireworks truly begin in Europe! Berlin is already being pushed by the French culture. I made a small mistake building a scout off the bat, then realized my starting unit was a scout and switched to a warrior in the second turn. Same strategies as the other turns, except I went for the biggest production I could get to have that defending warrior.
     
  18. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    Mongolia - Turn 5

    The war-like Mongols and their nice production capital. Same as usual – scout went northwest, building a warrior, working the plains-sheep. I went animal husbandry to be able to work those sheep when the worker pops out eventually. Not consistent with the “early archery” theory from above, but in this case I am surrounded by peaceful neighbors going for Space, so there’s not really a need. Just get me a defensive unit and then to level 2 so we can start rexing!
     
  19. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    France - Turn 5

    Personally I think France has the WORST start of all of them, simply because there is literally no room for another city. Any peaceful French leader would have to get boats and try to get up to Norway to even get a second city. Going for a French cultural victory I need 3 cities, so depending on how quickly we can get some decent early units we may rush a neighbor or try settling Norway. Same early archery and warrior strategy. I honestly don’t even know what I’m going to do with these guys.
     
  20. Nighthawk419

    Nighthawk419 Deity

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    Arabia - Turn 5

    They definitely didn’t hold back on the massive deserts did they? The goal is a spy economy, but I need spies to be able to steal techs and cause mischief, so we will tech like normal for now. Going for archery, building the warrior to scout. We will need a workboat next or soon, but that Oasis is a nice starting tile all things considered. Going to scout south and try to settle a few more desert cities along the coast.
     

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