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The English

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Zardnaar, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    It was said the sun never set on the English empire. How could an such a small island kingdom rule most of the world? From Maori tribes to the Zulu and the American War of Independence no other country has influenced the modern world as much as England. Its imperial legacy lingers in many countries in the form of their language, law, and political system. While a detailed history lesson is beyond the scope of this review my theory is the English had a secret weapon- the English channel. Also the industrial revolution began in England. War canoes are no match for Frigates and Ironclads.

    In the game the English have the seafaring and commercial traits. While initially puzzling as I thought they should be seafaring and industrial this is the England of Elizabeth 1st and Drake not the industrial revolution era. Individually they are some of the best traits in the game and they have great synergy between them. The extra gold both traits get are cumulative with each other. Also the English get perhaps the two best techs to start the game with- alphabet and pottery. So far so good however......

    At first things look positive for the English player. Great traits, great synergy but theres several flaws that bring the grim reality that is civ 3. In this game speed equals power and England is one of the slowest expanding civs in the game. It has no early UU to offer you an early golden age or military expansion. This is compounded by having few discounted buildings either. Only the seafaring trait offers half priced harbors reasonably early in the game. While not a fatal flaw most other civs are cranking out cheap temples, library's, barracks etc and the ones that don't usually have an early UU or a civ trait that allows for rapid expansion. In the early game England is militarily weak, slow at expansion compared to other civs and has weak culture as well. On the plus side on island maps you can use curraghs and set yourself up as an excellent tech trader and theres a good chance you can be the 1st to research philosophy and get a free tech- usually the republic or literature.

    In the middle ages things start to look better for England. An initial change to Republic tends to net you alot gold due to you civi traits. Gold that can be used to rush marketplaces for example which earn you more gold. Later on a switch to democracy usually allows and English player to milk the proverbial cash cow. For the wargamer the traits can help offset the cost of a large army under a monarchy government. In either scenario the late middle ages are where England starts to bloom as the trait effects kick in. Englands golden age usually happens here via completing Magellans Voyage or sinking any enemy ship with the Man O War -Englands UU. A republic or democratic government with Englands traits provide a massive vault to send you into the industrial age. Also that UU needs a little attention.

    The Man O War is a great unit. It has an A/D/M value of 4/2/5 (effectively 6 with seafaring) for 70 shields that requires iron and saltpeter. It also has a bombard value of 4 and enslavement- a 33% chance to convert any defeated enemy naval unit into another Man O War. In practice you build half a dozen MoW and use bombard to redline AI ships and you try and enslave them. Enslaved units don't count for unit support and it is easy to get a free fleet. Given enough MoW they are useful for redlining defending units in port cities, stripping away all improvements on the coast, and breaking up counter attacks by putting them inside captured portcities and bombarding any slow AI units that move nearby. Best of all they never become obsolete as theres always a use for them, require no upkeep if enslaved and a stcak of 20-30+ are capable of redlining units well into the modern era. However due to the game engine and AI stupidity naval encounters are largely optional. You really only need transports and a big enough fleet to ensure they can sail from A to B. As good as the MoW is it is rarely decisive in a world of immortals and mounted warriors. Treat them as highly mobile artillery and you can't go to far wrong.

    Overall England is a 3rd tier civ. Its to slow and weak during the early game compared to other civs to rate any higher. On the right island map they are a 1st tier civ. Englands main advantage is it economy and makes an excellent tech trader civ. It is also an interesting civ for an advanced player to use. A great choice for the manipulative/balance of power type player as opposed to a warmonger or builder. England requires a different style of play compared to most other civs.
     
  2. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    I'll be the 1st to reply to my thread. BTW England is also one of my favourite civs:)
     
  3. bathsheba666

    bathsheba666 Fast 'n Bulbous

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    It was also said, that this was because God could not trust an Englishman in the dark.. ;)

    This was mirrored by a famous Times headline at the turn of the (19/20) century:

    "Fog in the channel - continent isolated"
    :D
     
  4. eldar

    eldar ChiefTank

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    Looking at it from a purely number point of view... 3rd tier seems about right.

    However, to play, England don't feel 3rd-tier, especially if they get momentum going. I guess the main problem is getting that momentum going.

    England are the ultimate mid-to-late-game, large-empire power - as they should be. The trouble is getting that empire in the first place.
     
  5. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    3rd tier IMHO doesn't mean complete rubbish. Several 3rd tiers civs IMHO are great civs in the right scenario.
     
  6. eldar

    eldar ChiefTank

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    Indeed. Put England on a small island/corner with limited growth potential and an agressive neighbour, and it's going to be painful.

    Any civ can be a winner with a cow and fresh water, or an isolated but workable start.

    England rely on that more than others, though, hence the ranking.
     
  7. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    With enough coastal cities, the English are kicka$$ researchers. in my experience, they are always tech leader or close to. This is without cheap libs/unis. :eek:
    Even on pangeas they are great with money, although not quite to the same extent. personally i would rate them 2nd teir, but yes thier early expansion is lacking. they can sometimes be completly useless.
     
  8. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    England is just about 2nd tier but often they can have a difficult start.
     
  9. eldar

    eldar ChiefTank

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    Any seafaring civ can really get an early research rush with a load of coastal cities. The Dutch are a prime example, because the Agri trait allows them to get those cities faster. England's strength is in allowing all that gold to work harder later and longer, with the corruption-fighting effects of the Comm trait.
     
  10. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    I've had some crazy games as England including my 1st domination win under a democracy:) From memory I think my gold was 2000gpt or something like that not counting AI gpt deals.
     
  11. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    Nothing I really disagree about. The English traits are for sure not impressive on levels where contacts gain you nothing but some starting techs. Even on archipelgo maps I'd rate byzantium definitely the top Civ, and England #2.
    England clearly is one of the Civs that really shine on the highest levels only.

    However, there's one minor thing I beg to disagree:
    Yes, sure; no half priced Libraries and Aquaducts. Still, the SEA boni (Harbors and Commercial Docks) are more useful IMHO than Temples and Barracks. Simply because Temples are often optional, and Barracks - you want them in high-shield cities, since you want to build units after all. And here, the 20sp discount hardly matters.
    But ComDocks need to be build in low shield fishing towns.
    This, of course, won't help at all in the early and midgame. But, it makes England even on Pangea a top Civ for SS victories.
     
  12. Ansar

    Ansar Détente avec l'été

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    Same here, for me its because of the orange. ;)
     
  13. Himalia

    Himalia Overlord of Eternity.

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    I dont think that England is at a major disadvantage in this game. Yes prehaps they should of had different traits and in many countries i feel that having more than 2 would be fine. On a mod i play all the countries used on it have between 2-4 traits which does make some countries better. Thats not an issue as such because all that play are aware of this. We found it allows greater dominance of certain forces in the game and can be fun takeing them on. We hav played many games in which the AI is given one of these nations with a pile of goodies to get them going jsut for us to gang up them.

    Opps going of topic.. Anyway i dont feel any country has a significant advantage over another as you can simply pick a country that has to traits that suit your style of play.
     
  14. Ansar

    Ansar Détente avec l'été

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    I still dont get it. Shouldnt England be abe to expand fast like the Dutch because they start with Granary building?
     
  15. bloodofages

    bloodofages Prince

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    Good old England...and those MAN O WAR ships they have :( They just kicked my Dutch Empire right out of India, now The English Empire rules India.
     
  16. Tman65

    Tman65 Warlord

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    After reading Zardnaar's 1st review, I decided to make England my first C3C Civ in my first Regent level game....can't say I was disappointed or that I disagree with his assessment. Painfully slow start...and I mean painfully...but by the time I got to the Modern Era I could research at 70-80% and still make several hundred gpt. I had my pick of victory choices...UN, Conquest, Dominatioin, SS, Culture...I was going to wait for a culture vic but with the game so far out of hand and ~ 80 turns left I just went ahead and launched the 'ole spaceship. I say this not to brag, because I'm not that good, but to attest to the power of England at the end of the game. Good review Zardnaar....and thanks, it was a fun game as Elizabeth.
     
  17. Himalia

    Himalia Overlord of Eternity.

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    The truth of the matter is every nation has a slight advantage over another. They all hav difrent combinations of traits and som traits suit some more than others. Thats great it means there is no absolute correct choice just ones that players lean towards. Yes prehaps England should have different traits but there ok.
     
  18. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    England is alot of fun and different to play. One of my favourite civs despite being crap:)
     
  19. Hunter Noventa

    Hunter Noventa Overlord

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    I got England as a random civ in my latest Warlord game. It's turning out to be my first warlord victory, as I'll get 100k culture about 20 turns before the end, and I couldn't be happier.

    Defintiely a great civ in the right circumstances, but then, aren't they all?
     
  20. GeneralMatt

    GeneralMatt Emperor

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    Right now, I am playing a game on Vanilla (they are commercial and expansionist no Seafaring), on warlord. In the early Modern age, I am researchin at 90% Lux at 10%, and am a democracy. I am getting between 300-500 gold a turn, from selling tech (I love doing that). I just changed from a monarchy wich I was till the mid indus.
    It is fun, but I wish you could choose between male or female as in Civ2.
    I have used a few new unit, as in the downloadable musket inf.

    I like England because for me she holds alot of history. I have for a while been interested in men-o-war, and when I saw they were in civ 3...
     

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