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The Emperor Masters' Challenge 2 (on Warlords)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by aelf, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    The 2nd Emperor Challenge has ended. Click on the links below to view the rounds played:

    Round1: 4000BC - 3430BC
    Round2: 3430BC - 2290BC
    Round3: 2290BC - 0970BC
    Round4: 0970BC - 0595BC
    Round5: 0595BC - 0170AD
    Round6: 0170AD - 0500AD
    Round7: 0500AD - 0800AD
    Round8: 0800AD - 1130AD
    Round9: 1130AD - 1268AD
    Round10: 1268AD - 1352AD
    Round11: 1352AD - 1454AD
    Round12: 1454AD - 1556AD
    Round13: 1556AD - 1649AD
    Round14: 1649AD - 1732AD
    Round15: 1732AD - 1810AD
    Round16: 1810AD - 1880AD

    Final Round: 1878AD - 1925AD


    This is the sequel to the first Emperor Challenge. In the previous episode, we played a random leader so as to focus the game on skill, and not a particular leader or strategy. We ended up with Mansa Musa and, eventually, a diplomatic win after a spectacular comeback from being the poorest of the poor. In this episode, we will focus on a specific and challenging strategy with a leader born to such a path, the path of the faithful. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Emperor Challenge 2: Ramesses, High Priest and Pharaoh :egypt:

    Maybe I should begin by apologizing to vanilla players. It's not my intention to exclude you from the fun, but I think most of you will move on to Warlords eventually anyway, a move that I was rather impatient to make (a good thing too - the price of Warlords seems to have gone up over here since the day I bought it). In any case, we are using a new leader but with existing traits and under an existing civ, which means apart from certain nuances in the game (like UB, the vassal system and new AI leaders to contend with), it shouldn't be that far off from the vanilla experience. Of course the exact strategy cannot be applied to the original version, but I hope that vanilla players can still provide some advice and learn some universal Civ4 skills from others in this thread. I'm sure there are many situations that do not differ whether it's vanilla or Warlords.

    Anyway, back to the game. Why Ramesses? And what is the strategy I am talking about? Ramesses is Spiritual and Industrious and has a UB that allows two priests and is available with Mysticism. Certainly, he is geared towards wonder-building, temple-building and prophet generation. With him, we can build the Oracle and pull off a CS slingshot quite safely, using his UB to help generate a prophet, aiming to get Paper and Divine Right as early as possible. These two techs will allow us to build the Sankore University and Spiral Minaret, which, combined with monasteries, cheap temples and shrine income, should give us a good advantage at mid to late game research. In addition, Ramesses also has War Chariots, which have awesome potential in the early game and are a good opening for our side quest of securing enough land for our strategy.

    Does the emphasis on a specific strategy mean we are not looking at skill anymore? No. I believe the Emperor Challenge must always demonstrate skills that are necessary when playing on Emperor difficulty. In this case, builder skills and the ability to balance aggressive expansion and development will certainly come into play. Warmongering skills might also turn out to be necessary, and the game is open to a militaristic victory if the situation calls for it. Having said those, I cannot promise a victory and I cannot promise that every decision will be perfect. However, with your help, I am confident we will give this forum a game that is worth its attention.

    The Rules

    Anyone can give their opinion and advice regarding the game at any stage, but no spoilers, please. And please keep the discussion constructive. I don't think we want a flame war to break out in this thread.

    Before I begin every round, I will judge which advice is most suitable in a particular situation and apply it. If I feel that there is too little advice to base a decision on, I will ask/wait for more. Those who are not playing on Emperor yet can also offer their views and I will consider them. I am sure some of them will be very sound.

    The Settings

    The leader is picked this time, but everything else is similar to the previous episode. This basically means continents, standard opponents and default options (for Warlords). The game speed remains as Epic, which I think is a good compromise between Normal and Marathon, giving us a chance to war (for the benefit of those warmongers out there) while not dragging the game out.

    And, finally, the game itself...

    The starting screenshot:



    We have corn, for which improvement we have the necessary tech already. This gives us more leeway to pursue the religious techs first. In fact, with the lake(s), we might possibly be able to found Hinduism. [EDIT: My bad. I forgot that Fishing is needed to work water tiles. I don't recall ever wanting to work water tiles before having the tech.]

    We have marble, ironically, which is not going to be of much use as a resource except when building the National and Heroic Epics. The Oracle is the only marble world wonder we want to build and we can't research Masonry by then if we want to do a CS slingshot. We also have silk, which will not be particularly useful till about the early mid-game.

    We have a lot of forests around us, which makes chopping very tempting. Should we settle on the spot? We could move the warrior first to explore a bit on this turn, but he's not going to reveal much more. Our settler can only move N or NE one step if we want to be able to settle on the original spot on the second turn. If we settle on the spot, we have both the marble and the silk in the fat cross and a +1 health bonus from the lake but lose 1 forest.

    I'm for settling on the spot now. I don't think it's likely that anywhere north can give us a good alternative and we might as well not waste any time. What do you think?


    Edit**: I've no clue why my initial attempt at uploading the zip file as an attachment failed, but now I've managed to do it.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    That's a pretty nice start in several respects (in fact, I can't help but think that poor JesusOnEez is looking at it and screaming in frustration). Forests, grasslands beneath most of them, a fresh water bonus, and a food resource.

    My only concern is production. Once the forests are gone, this location has but one hill visible and no production resources unless copper or iron appear in the fat cross, and I wouldn't stake my game on that. Still, one hill is better than nothing. Since you're trying to grab an early religion, I vote for settling in place and getting that pursuit underway ASAP.

    Taking a step back for a moment: I would caution against founding all the religions based upon what happened in the last game. I can't remember the exact sequence of who founded which faith, but my point is that by allowing the AI civs to found some of the religions, you reduce the chances of encountering the big, happy, and depressingly-advanced continent of the "one true faith" later in the game.

    Back to a question you raised in the pre-game thread on the War Chariots: while Flanking promotions only work when attacking, they do nothing to increase the unit's chances of winning the attack, only surviving it. The ALC Egypt game illustrated that the best promotions for the WCs are the aggressive ones: Combat, Shock, Cover, and so on. I didn't use a single Flanking promotion on a WC in that game and conquered most of the continent with them. You don't want WCs to retreat, you want them to kill, kill, kill. If they die, build more; they're cheap. Overwhelm your enemy with numbers, not just strength.

    My other cautionary note based upon that game is that like Hatty, Ramses doesn't have any traits that help your economy in a substantial way (unlike, say, Organized or especially Financial). You were slow to cottage spam with Mansa; his Financial trait helped out when you eventually got the cottage economy going. You will not have that luxury in this game. Prioritize Pottery after the religious techs and get the cottages going soon.
     
  3. Eqqman

    Eqqman Walrus

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    One cautionary bit of advice: since there are jungles right there, these may be the only forests you get. I've discovered that the cIV map generators are 'nice' and convert any jungle to forest that lie in the fat cross you would get from settling in place. It looks to me like the unrevealed vegetation poking out from the blackness is also jungle, so those could be the only trees you get and you'd have to be a little more particular in how you chop them down.
     
  4. Phrederick

    Phrederick Chieftain

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    It looks like settling in place may be the best option. First, I would move the warrior SE, just to see what's in that square. If it's no good and you'd rather not settle in place, you could move the settler NE to the forested hill. That would give you some idea of what's around, and the following turn, if it looks better, you could move E and settle N of the silks. That would keep the fresh water, the three visible resources, and access to both lakes.

    I'd still probably settle in place, though.
     
  5. Murky

    Murky Chieftain

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    I'm looking forward to following this game. Still have to learning to do to win on Emperor with Warlords with a standard setup.
     
  6. RobertTheBruce

    RobertTheBruce Chieftain

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    I think there is a second hill NE of the founding site (3 hammer forest) so production won't be so terrible.

    The Flanking issue is something, I don't think many people notice until into a game as Egypt. The strength 5 of a war chariot vs 4 for a vanilla chariot makes a very big difference when attacking archers. Str 4 (Flanking chariot) iis only slightly worse that 4.4 (Power chariot) against a fortified archer. But Str 5.5 (Power war chariot) is almost as likely to survive a combat as a flanking war chariot. The war chariot can cross one of the jump points in combat odds with power 1 which adds about 8% to win IIRC vs 10% better chance to withdraw.
     
  7. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    There is also a Hill in N of the 3 hammer Forest Hill

    So basically you have a Desert, Plains and Grassland Hill... not good, but not Terrible, at least with that Corn,
    2 Food, 14 hammers on the 3 Hills and the Marble (6 food deficit)
    Corn gives 4 excess food
    City gives 2 excess food, 1 Hammer
    Enough for some decent production when you need it (not an IronWorks city, but thats OK).
     
  8. Hey Joni

    Hey Joni Chieftain

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    Hi all! aelf, I really enjoyed your last thread. My Emperor experience is a few casual domination victories, making a building strategy really interesting! I guess I might post from time to time to share opinion, though for now, I prefer to watch.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    Oops, I missed that second hill. Good catch, everyone.

    I think that just adds to my inclination to settle in place. It's not an awesome start, but a decent, workable one.
     
  10. malekithe

    malekithe Chieftain

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    I say move onto the hill to your northeast, see what's there to be seen, and then possibly settle on the hill.

    As to flanking war chariots. Generally, flanking is less helpful to the war chariot than a standard chariot. However, when fighting spears or heavily entrenched archers, flanking can actually have a better effect than combat I. Generally, if, even with a combat promotion, my war chariots have less than 50% odds of victory, I give them a flanking promotion, otherwise, they get combat. The most important part, though, is to delay promotion until you know exactly what would benefit them the most.
     
  11. NaZdReG

    NaZdReG Warmonger

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    do not move, you would be sacrificing your ability to actually found hinduism. a one turn delay WILL stop you from getting that religion!!! use the lake as your #1 tile, focus on research rather than production while your city grows.

    because forest chops dont get magnified by the industrious trait (in warlords), I would strongly consider saving them for settler production or for the health bonus.

    with the corn tile you will grow VERY quickly, and have the food nessessary to work that 3 hammer hill/forest tile w/o improving it. (this is where the health bonus from the forests will help!!)

    an early worker will have some stuff to do, but because of the chopping limitations and the fact that you will be producing chariots first.. I'd wait on researching BW until after you have the other early techs that fit with the discussed strat.

    very interesting start location, looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

    **if you dont mind, please show or explain your citizen distribution during the first 10 turns.. those decisions are often critical, and if you micro it the info will be incredibly useful**

    NaZ
     
  12. malekithe

    malekithe Chieftain

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    He doesn't even start with mysticism. I'd say a one turn delay only slightly reduces the already small chances. It definitely, in most cases, does not eliminate the possibility. But, in my opinion, unless you can work an oasis from the get go, it's not worth attempting to get hinduism without already possessing mysticism.

    This is untrue. Hammers from chops get modified by all applicable modifiers in the city as normal.
     
  13. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    The confusion is from the fact that the Forest chop is modified in the city as opposed to at the time of the chop.
     
  14. PeteJ

    PeteJ Chieftain

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    If you are going for hinduism, then by all means stay put.... But if not then by all means move onto the plains hill to the NE. That extra hammer for your city tile will help you out a lot. Especially if you want a worker first.

    If you ask me, I'd say move onto the hill and forget about hinduism. You never know what kind of religious nuts are roaming the earth, and even if they are not in this game, it is still a gamble. And farming the corn 5(?) turns earlier will be huge.

    Edit: Of course if the warrior spots another food resource when he moves SE then definitely stay put.
     
  15. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    I like settling in place and getting on the path to animal husbandry. You have corn adjacent, and potentially horses or copper close by. Get the research started and the war chariots rolling!
     
  16. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    I agree with moving the warrior SE, as it will be most useful for us. However, whatever it reveals is unlikely to change my inclination to settle on the spot. Even if we are not going for Hinduism, there's the map generator's tendency to put at least one strategic resource in the original spot's fat cross. What if that turns out to be copper or horses? Moving away may cause us to lose it.

    Anyway, speaking about Hinduism, I think the decision of whether we should try to found it needs to be reviewed. On one hand we may benefit from being able to run an early self-founded religion as state religion as there's a higher chance other AIs will adopt it as their state religion too (as opposed to Confucianism). But this is by far only small possibility as we might not even be able to found Hinduism in the first place. On the other, we might not need good relations in the long run with our continental neighbours anyway, since we might opt to conquer them. There's also the risk of one AI religion (especially Buddhism) dominating most of the rest of the world as the AI is not allowed to found the competing sect of Hinduism. So what is the verdict?

    I agree with whatever is said about War Chariots so far. I would use malekithe's suggestion of not promoting them until they are going to be used, which seems sound considering Flanking would be better when attacking spearmen. I would, however, promote one or two War Chariots in a stack with Combat I first in case the stack comes under attack.

    I will put up another screenshot after moving the warrior SE to give time and opportunity for more consideration before choosing a spot to settle on.
     
  17. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    Here's the screenshot after moving the warrior SE:



    Two plains tile, nothing to be excited about. Eqqman is right about the jungle around us. That makes losing one forest tile from settling on the spot painful. But if we don't settle on the spot we might get a jungle tile or two settling somewhere around.

    I think we can afford to chop five forests if we settle on the spot. Two or three can go to the Oracle and two to the settler(s), or vice versa. Should we save a few of those forests for chopping in the future?
     
  18. Jet

    Jet No, no, please. Please.

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    But you don't have Fishing. :( It's 106 miles to Chicago. We've got no commerce tiles, no Mysticism, it's dark, and we're on Emperor. :cool: :cool: Hit it. Or not... There's the silk, but to get it you'd have to either move the settler or wait for culture expansion. I agree with malekithe that in this start it's not worth trying to found Hinduism. Confucianism is enough, and once you get yer priest on, the religions will come begging you to found them. That'll learn 'em. If you feel like great prophet farming immediately then you could do Mysticism first, but otherwise AH might help tell you where to put City #2.

    Aww... You're Industrious with marble and you don't want to try building marble wonders? Well, if you have trees left by then, you'd get a lot of hammers for chopping the Parthenon (more priests!) or the GL. Anyway with marble wonders in general, even if you didn't get them, you'd get a lot of wealth for trying.
     
  19. Jet

    Jet No, no, please. Please.

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    I might take a chance on settling one NE. Less chance of resources in the fat cross, but you're basically in a high-production spot already, and if you go one NE you'll have one plains mine, 2 grass mines, and one plains marble quarry, plus the plains hill bonus. Probably need farms to work all of it!
     
  20. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    You're right. I forgot about the need for Fishing. You make some compelling arguments there. Actually we don't need to found more than Confucianism (maybe Islam just to get to DR first for Spiral Minaret). I was just entertaining thoughts of being the High Priest of the continent. We wouldn't exactly die if we have to adopt somebody else's religion. But we do have to pick which one to adopt carefully so that we can plan to benefit fully from Sankore and Spiral Minaret. And we will, of course, spread Confucianism in any case to get more shrine income.

    The Great Library does tempt, but it would introduce the wild seed of the scientist to our GPP. Religion and science don't go hand in hand :mischief: I don't think the Parthenon is that feasible considering we are going for a CS slingshot. By the time we can research Masonry and hook up the marble, somone else would have had a very good chance at getting it before us. Maybe, like you said, we could give those marble wonders a try just for the money, but wouldn't we be busy building War Chariots? ;)
     

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