The Emperor Masters' Challenge 4 (Warlords v.208)


Ashen One
Sep 16, 2005
Tir ná Lia
The fourth Emperor Challenge has ended. Click on the links below to look at the rounds played:

Round1: 4000BC - 2480BC
Round2: 2480BC - 1440BC
Round3: 1440BC - 0050BC
Round4: 0050BC - 0520AD
Round5: 0520AD - 1080AD
Round6: 1080AD - 1280AD
Round7: 1280AD - 1525AD
Round8: 1525AD - 1610AD
Round9: 1610AD - 1725AD
Round10: 1725AD - 1860AD
Round11: 1860AD - 1924AD

This is the fourth installment of the Emperor Challenge series. In the last installment, we played as Roosevelt on pre-patch Warlords and pursued a trade route strategy centred on the Temple of Artemis and the Great Lighthouse. In this one, we will be playing on Warlords v.208 as Wang Kon, the sole leader of Korea.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with The Emperor Masters' Challenge 4: The Pledge and the Prestige :hatsoff:

So what is the Pledge? With the improved AI on v.208, we won't be having an easy time. The AI's economic management is better now, resulting in faster teching. Naturally, warmongers have the advantage, since the AI's military skills have not really improved and that's the thing that is easy to exploit. However, we will not be playing extra aggressively in this game. We will be pursuing controlled expansion without putting war as our top priority. This is the Pledge, and it will be a challenge to fulfill. The Prestige would be our success at this approach despite the difficulties we would expect to face. Of course, success is not a given, and we may expect to make more than one attempt before it happens.

Wang Kon is Financial and Protective. The first trait will help us keep up in the new competitive world of Emperor. It really doesn't need more selling than has already been done since Civ4 was released. A cottage economy is the natural choice for this game. The second trait, however, is quite dubious. Widely seen as a weak trait, at first glance, Protective does seem to be a rather static defensive trait. Free Drill I and City Garrison I for archery and gunpowder units and half-priced walls and castles. The half-priced buildings are certainly nothing to be excited about, but let's see how we can make use of the free promotions in our game. This trait may actually turn out to be valuable if we face the wrath of a post-patch aggressive AI (eg. Monty or Alex). Our UU, the Hwacha (a catapult with 50% bonus vs. melee), meanwhile, looks promising and it would probably be good to get them as soon as possible and exploit the advantage. Our UB (the Seowon) is an improved University that would, together with the Financial trait, help us keep up in research in mid to late game.

One variant in our game that we may pursue, if circumstances permit, is lightbulbing Philosophy with a GS and building the Angkor Wat. The extra production from priests would be a good complement to the Financial trait and may make us a production powerhouse as well as a financial one.

The Rules

As always, anyone can give their opinion and advice regarding the game at any stage, but no spoilers, please. And please keep the discussion constructive (i.e. no flaming/trolling).

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 not enough advice to make decisions with, I will ask and wait for more. Those who are not playing on Emperor yet (especially on the new patch) can also offer their views and I will consider them equally.

The Settings

The game will be on standard settings (i.e. continents, 7 players, everything on default) and Normal speed.

And, finally, the game itself...

This is a screenshot of our start:

We have hills and forests around, so production shouldn't be a problem this time. There's fish but no other resources visible yet. The lake would give us the fresh water health bonus if we settle beside it, but the nearest river is to the north, so we won't be benefiting from 2C cottages (due to the Financial trait) right off the bat if we settle around here :( I guess we should move our warrior first this turn to get a better look around before deciding on where to settle. Should we move him 1W onto the hill?

Korea starts with Mysticism and Mining. The first gives us a leg up in the early race to found religion, but it also leaves us with somewhat conflicting research priorities. If we research Meditation or Polytheism first, we may found an early religion. However, we would want Fishing early to build a workboat and make use of the fish if it's in our fat cross. And we don't start with Agriculture (for farms) and the Wheel (for roads and Pottery), which are techs we might want to get as early as possible. Starting with Mining, meanwhile, is good news since it gives us ready access to Bronze Working and allows us to build mines right away. So what do you think? Which tech should we research first?

Let's go for it. The Prestige awaits us! :cool:
New to posting on these EMC threads, but read the rest and they are very helpful.

My $.02:
I say move the warrior 1W and take a look from there. With only one resource (fish), you are almost guarenteed copper/horses/iron in capital by map algorithms if you found in place. In terms of tech, if fish is in fat cross, go fishing then bronze-->IW or AH for the resource. If no fish, skip fishing.
Go fishing. :D The fish + lake will give you a nice food & commerce output at first since you're financial. You should then take advantage of the fact that you start with mining and go for BW. I hope you get a better site for the second city or copper in the capital since things don't look very pretty right now.

I'm not sure an early religion is of any use to you in this game. Your goal is to get as fast as possible to Philosophy (and for that you need scientists, not priests), so that might serve you to get one religion, and you'll probably "acquire" another one from an AI. :D

As a side-note, consider moving your capital later on. You might even want to put the palace in the capital of the first conquered AI. And don't forget to thank him for it. ;)
I'd say definitely move your war 1W, then maybe post another screenshot?

The thing is, I doubt very much that you're going to want to do anything other than settle in place; as a financial civ, the lake and the fish on the coast are going to be nice to start, and once you get a lighthouse even moreso.

The grassland hill 1W, 3N of you look like they could be nice, especially if it's coastal, and you could then still get best use of the fish, but that's 2 full turns of movement to get your settler there, and I doubt that it will be better anyway; as has been said, the starting BFC must be hiding something special if you only have the one resource visible in it right now...
As for tech, I'm a Prince level player with delusions of Monarch, but I think having the lake and the fish there would mean that you want to go fishing first: those two spots, even without a lighthouse are going to be very nice for you, both for growth/workers/settlers, and for commerce.
Based on the starting screenshot, I'd move the worker 1W onto the hill and unless he reveals anything amazing settle in place. You've got a nice mix of food commerce and production available which should give you a solid start to the game.

I'd avoid shooting for Bud/Hindu with Wang as it'll hamstring your early development. A better bet would be fishing followed by bronze and whichever worker techs seem relevant based on revealed resources. Working the lake and fish will get you great early commerce as a financial leader without seriously denting worker/settler production.

Archery isn't such a bad option with a protective leader either, as those free promotions make archers a valuable unit, so that path might be a good idea if bronze doesn't reveal anything useful.

Based on an offline game I've just played, you can keep pace with the new AI in terms of tech as a financial leader with 6 well cottaged cities on Monarch, so I'd say you're looking at 9 to be the tech leader on Emperor. That'll probably mean having to liberate the lands of (at least) one neighbour to secure sufficient space.
I would echo the advice above: Move the warrior onto the hill to the west, and unless you see something really, really nice, settle in place. Then research fishing, then bronze working would probably be your best bet. And if you don't have copper, grab Archery quickly - contrary to popular opinion, archers are nothing to sneeze at, especially when they're built in a city with a barracks, and with a protective leader. (You can have CD2 archers right off the bat, or archers with two first strikes, or....well, I like the protective trait, so this should be interesting)
As with everyone else..

Warrior 1W, pending a dramatic change, settle in place. Go fishing first while having your city build a warrior (no use for a worker at all yet). After fishing, it will depend on if the warrior reveals anyting special. If not, I say go Bronze Working to make use of those forests, and to reveal a probable copper source...

Archery early, in my opinion, will not be too vital. Especially with the city building a warrior right off the bat...
Concur with the general consensus to move the warrior west. Fishing then bronze.

half-priced walls and castles.
don't discount these too much too much as a financial civ. but you'll need to see how the game plays.
probably fishing --> bronze working

build a worker while researching fishing and build some mines whilst researching bronzeworking (city builds work boat of course), then chop a couple of settlers and go for an aggressive expansion since war isn't high on the list
build a worker while researching fishing and build some mines whilst researching bronzeworking

As far as we know there is only one mineable hill before bronzeworking...

I think a worker first is a bad idea, he will be sitting around for a good 6 or so turns...
My 2 cents

I suggest settling in place fresh water and coast, this city can be a production city with fish ,forests and hill, while you might settle a later city on a river cottage it and move your capital there for bureacracy bonus

I suggest not going for relegion . You don't have a commerce square and my experience post patch suggests relegion is too random . You could potentially lose lot of research .

You can research bronze working while making a warrior and then once you go to size 2 pop-rush a worker meanwhile going for fishing..the worker could chop the boat and mine the hill helping in faster settler production.. pop the settler get a good commerce location for second city and cottage spam there.

If you dont get copper in either of cities then consider either using protective archers or get a third city for copper.Once you get copper you can go on aggresive and go after some civilization hopefully getting a holy city as well.

If you want to build though since you start with mystism you can chop stonehenge and later oracle as you have lots of forest around, getting confusciasm instead of hin,bud gamble.. With gp points from wonders you can run 2 scientists as well and there is a good chance you get a scientist as one of your first 2,3 leaders .
This site has good potential for Wang Kon. As others have said fishing and BW are good first techs. Looking a bit further ahead consider metal working and building the Colossus as an intermediate target. It depends on other suitable city sites as well but it could make the capital very powerful commercially.

With the Colossus and Financial, working a lot of 2F4C coastal tiles, plus the lake and fish, will give a much faster tech start than developing grassland cottages for 70 turns (although long term cottages will win out). Monarchy will be another key tech to allow pop growth. Then the capital size will only be limited by health and keeping the forests will help until other health resources are acquired. You could have a size 12 capital by AD1 :) giving perhaps 50 commerce, add a library and academy and we would get 70 beakers at 80% science rate. That will be hard to beat.
Well aelf, thanks for taking my suggestion for the next leader in the EMC.

a tough start for my typical korean strat.. you don't have any nearby high commerce tile making it difficult to get buddhism or hinduism before the ai. whichever you choose it would be a crapshoot.. failure would result in having to start over given how bad you'd be from techs.

so given that start and based on where you are, I am going to suggest the following given my 30+ games of playing as korea.

1st of all.. protective is a MEAN ASS TRAIT and not to be taken lightly. not only are your archers nigh invincible when entrenched.. even against axes.. but are sufficient escort for hwachas for your first round of conquest.. they also happen to be the best defender for holding your newly pwnd cities.

later.. when you get barracks up and nationhood.. with theocracy you can draft riflemen that have cg1, drill 1, plus 5 exp.. as you head into midgame prep for this because its devestating and can end the game very quickly if you decide to go for domination at that stage of the game.

as far as the early tech path, based on current location,
I would research the following:
fishing, polytheism, priesthood, hunting, archery, animal husbandry, writing, bronze working while oracle builds.
we'll discuss midgame tech once you get there i'm sure others will have their own opionions of the following:

build the oracle.. pop ALPHABET as your tech on your way to literature as your tech priority

use your dominance of tech trade to catch up and sell off whatever techs you can.

at this point in the game.. you should predominately have archers as defenders. hopefully you will have settled atleast 3 other cities and be at approx 1000bc.

if you happen to find nearby stone.. it MIGHT be worth it to go for pyramids, but you could also fit sailing in there and shoot for the great lighthouse to suppliment your commerce.

be careful where you want to land the great library not to pollute its gp points. for that reason I'd advocate putting the oracle and colossus in the capitol.

in this case coastal cities might be really good.. you have to build 6 saewoon anyway so high commerce cities are always nice.

since you're likely to miss an early religion by position, I would adopt if either of the early ones are nearby.. then make them your hwacha victim.

once you have that tech lead.. you are 2 techs away from getting hwachas.. also right on top of literature. once you get the great library up you WILL be outteching them.. or atleast keeping up on emperor.

I'm sure others have input, but I'd again advocate settling where you are, following that tech path... perhaps integrating the colossus and?? the great lighthouse with a couple more coastal based cities.

looking forward to seeing you do way better with this than I normally do!!


just a bit of afterthought. Korea's current leader sees diplomacy much the way they always have.. peace is just another state of war and diplomacy is often as good as a sword for dealing with the enemy.. its really too bad about the loss of early religion as it lets you force whos on your side through diplomacy and religion spread.
Not all the suggestions so far have taken the same direction. But we still have time to discuss. I'll move the warrior 1W tonight and post a screenshot. We'll leave the decision to settle till after that.

Regarding techs, everyone has pretty much agreed that Fishing should come first. The majority have called for BW after that, which does make sense. Our first build would then be a warrior, followed by a workboat and then a worker, after which it's probably time for a settler. I'm inclined towards this direction. And I don't think we should go wonder happy in this game (not being Industrious, especially). Oracle? Meh. However, as a few of you have pointed out, Colossus may be worth our time here, so maybe we should build the Oracle to grab MC for it. But it would pollute our GP pool and prevent us from ensuring that we get early GS's. What do you say?
i go back to if you want to build the oracle.. yea it will pollute the gp pool but picking alphabet would get you much closer to the great library earlier than you're supposed to get it. or sling for metal casting and get the colossus up. but you'd want the library in a different city. the capitol will be polluted with prophets and merchants from that endevor.

but once you get the GL up.. with the library and saewoon running like 4 more scientists that city should be over the 100 beaker mark. the capitol being high commerce with a library and saewoon might also be close to 100 beakers.. and hopefully another coastal city in the same boat.. I think if you settle along the coast you might be able to get to 400+bpt before 0ad

I can't imagine the AI keeping up with that

The computer's usually slow to build the colossus, so if you're worried about polluting the pool, I still think we can safely grab MC and the colossus w/out it. GE's also can 'bulb MC.
I like the grasslands around the proposed capital site. This means that you'll be able to cottage the city fairly well.

Now since I've dropped from Prince to Warlord since getting the patch (embarrassing, I know), most of my copmments will be phrased as questions, and I'd like to hear what other players think of them.

The first is about leveraging the protective trait. Could a move to Archery early on be a good move? If so, where would it fit with Fishing, Pottery and Bronze Working on the priority scale?

Also, Since City Walls deal with bombardment differently after the patch, could city walls in military target cities be justified?
Warrior 1W. South isn't interesting yet, since you would want to grab the fishing no matter what. 1NW only reveals a sea tile with possible a resource, but I don't think so.

Fishing to start with, that's obvious.

But then. I haven;t played with protective, but obvious it strenght is for a big part in the super-archer. Although I don't like it, one would think taking the save path of archery garantees survival and gives opportunity's to pursue other research goals. Delay bronzeworking for example, not suggesting yet, but openly thinking. On the other hand the forest and possiblity of a early axe rush speaks against it. The combo with a late rush supported by the UU, speaks in favor.

I am thinking pursuing a few key wonders, Oracle and GL, would advocate the archery path. Meaning no early war, since you need hammers for the wonders and are protected by archers.

Forgetting about the wonders would support more the early war-strategy. Of course you need opponents for that...

My main point is I think the protective trait gives you a option to go the archery path (one I normaly never take) and adopt a strategy focussing on a more defensive starting strat. I am not saying this is the way to go, but I think it should be considered.

Either way, writing should be high on the list, since you want a GS for Philosophy.
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