The Glory that is Rome

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Sisiutil, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    I've seen other folks posting paeans to their favourite Civ IV civs and leaders--Catherine, usually, and one memorable one about Washington. I thought I'd give voice to mine.

    I love playing as Rome/Caesar. Partly because I've always been a Romaphile; the history of the ancient empire has always fascinated me. And, yes, the Praetorian is an awesome (though misnamed) UU, as it should be, to reflect how dominant the Roman Legions were. But what I really like about Caesar are his traits: Organized and Expansive.

    These are, I find, two of the most undervalued traits available. Financial is the perennial favourite; Organized and Expansive tend to get a shrug at best. But in combination with Rome's UU, they're perfect.

    The best thing to do with such an awesome early UU is, of course, to use it. If you play as Caesar, you're a fool if you don't use the "Praetorian Rush". I find that if I play as another civ and do an "Axeman rush", I can take out one nearby competitor in an early war. With Praetorians, I can usually take out two rivals before Longbowmen and Macemen appear and make the unit obsolete.

    So, the Praetorian Rush gives you a huge empire and less competition early in the game. You retire your veterans to ceremonial guard duty in your isolated core cities. This is where Caesar's traits kick in big-time.

    We all know maintenance can kill you in Civ IV, which curtails the "expand 'til you drop" approach of previous Civ games. But Caesar can get around it. Organized allows you to build courthouses FAST in all those conquered cities to drop your costs quickly. (It also means you get the opportunity to build the cost-reducing Forbidden Palace sooner.) Plus your civics are half-price. In a big empire, these quickly-available cost savings in and of themselves often compensate for not having the Financial trait, especially since they're available sooner than waiting for a cottage to mature to a town. (You still have to cottage spam, of course--doesn't everybody?) In addition, with a big empire, even on a pangaea map, you probably have several cities on the coast, and with Organized you can build cheap lighthouses to get them growing quickly. (Frankly, it makes sense, as Rome, to found and/or capture several coastal cities to take advantage of the cheap lighthouses, harbours, and the free fishing tech.)

    Expansive is often even more undervalued than Organized, from what I've seen. But it allows Caesar to build more cities on lucrative but unhealthy floodplains. You can build cheap granaries, which, like the cheap lighthouses, further encourage city growth, and because they're cheaper, the cities can start growing at a faster rate far earlier. Caesar's cities can also, with that +2 health, better handle the sickness problems created by this rapid growth. And those cheap harbours also add to your bottom line and grant another health bonus, provided you're taking advantage of that free fishing tech, as I mentioned.

    Long story short, after the Praetorian Rush, I usually slingshot ahead of the other Civs thanks to Caesar's traits, giving me a big lead by mid-game. I've been able to build some of Civ IV's most valuable buildings quickly and health does not become a significant issue in my cities for some time.

    Ave, Caesar. Ave, Roma.
     
  2. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    I still think Caesar deserves to be Aggresive and Organised.
    However preatorians with a free upgrade would just be crazy so thats never gonna happen.
     
  3. Albatoonoe

    Albatoonoe Warlord

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    I've always played as Genghis, but I'm going to try to play as Rome next time. It sounds like my type of civ.
     
  4. Malarkey

    Malarkey Chieftain

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    You don't have to convince me Sisiutil. Caesar is perhaps the best leader to use on the more difficult levels, since other leaders will tend to grab a lot more land than you initially. The Praetorian rush is really the only way to counter these civs from gobbling up all of the land before you. However, if you're missing iron, you're pretty much screwed. :cry:

    Leaders like Catherine become pretty useless on levels much beyond prince. Her UU comes too late in the game to really be effective when you really need it early on.
     
  5. Pantastic

    Pantastic King

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    Longbows don't obsolete praetorians IMO, against longbows Praetorians are as good as Macement (both strength eight, +50% melee is irrelevant). It's really macemen that stop Praetorians from marauding.
     
  6. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    I see your point, but you may be thinking of Macemen countering pillaging Praetorians; I'm thinking of Longbowmen countering city-raiding Praetorieans.

    When you ensconce Longbowmen in a city with a city garrison promotion or two thanks to barracks/Vassalage/Theocracy, AND several turns while fortified for the +25% defense bonus, they can give Praetorians trying to take that city a really good a**-kicking. And for some reason, the city I really want to capture at that point is always on a FREAKIN' HILL. :mad: The only solution is the sacrifice of a lot of catapults for collateral damage.

    Longbowmen just make the cities harder to take, severely slowing down Rome's up-to-that-point rapid rate of conquest. Defensive Longbowmen as I describe above can hold their own against their contemporary offensive units, Macemen, Crossbowmen, and even Knights, never mind increasingly-anachronistic Praetorians. You get into wars of attrition at that point, which just aren't as much fun. So instead, I lick my wounds, count my blessings (er, captured cities), and turn all peaceful-like.

    Well, until I discover rifling, that is...
     
  7. floppymoose

    floppymoose Warlord

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    As a Civ III player playing my first Civ IV game last night, I read through the decriptions of the traits and "guessed" that expansive and organized might be a good combo. Of course, you can smell a heavy Civ III bias there where growth (Aggricultural) is clearly a strong trait, and where corruption is a challenge (hence half priced courthouse and half priced civics sounds very attractive).

    Today I visit here and find that these traits are not regarded as cream of the crop, which is no big surprise, since I'm totally new to Civ IV. But it's interesting to see that at least one other person think my choice of Rome wasn't awful.
     
  8. zeeter

    zeeter Emperor

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    Aside from the traits, it really is the Praetorians that set the Romans apart. Any other civ you need to upgrade swordsmen before Feudalism comes around. Praes can just keep on fighting. Plus, usually by the time the Longbowmen come around my Praes have at least three upgrades, so I generally only lose a handful when attacking a neighbor.

    The biggest thing with Rome, though, is the starting point. Start with enough room to grow to five or six cities, but not so much room that it takes forever to get to your neighbors. I've played games where my neighbors were so far away that by the time I could get a sizable army near them (remember - distance means slower reinforcements) they were already at Longbowmen while my army had only one or two upgrades. Plus they had a sizable army, themselves. If you can't fight with the Praes it really puts you at a disadvantage. Especially if the neighboring civs have later UU's.

    Best bet is to see what they need in trade. If they need Copper and Iron then it's going to be a breeze.

    Another great civ to play is the Germans. The Panzers rock! They're probably the second most usable UU in the game. I can't stand those other civs that don't really give you an advantage. Navy Seals? Great...if all I'm doing is coastal invasions. Give me my tank over a seal anyday. Same with those horse units. They upgrade so fast that they're almost pointless.
     
  9. Pantastic

    Pantastic King

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    Sisiutil, that's what I'm talking about too. My usual offensive unit against longbows is city raider macemen (with suicide cats if it's on a hill), which are exactly identical to city raider praetorians when fighting longbows. You talk about Praetorians like they're behind macemen for the combat, but for attacking those city defender longbows they're both strength 8 units that can get city raider.

    Since I destroy far, far more units than I lose fighting with macemen against mostly-longbow defenders, I wouldn't exactly describe those as wars of attrition.
     
  10. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama See ya! It has been a fun decade!

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    Hah :lol: let me say it again Ha! :lol: I took out 4 (Spain, France, Germany, Greece)
     
  11. Legio X

    Legio X Chieftain

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    I can see your point with Rome. The few times I've tried to play as Caesar hasn't gone too well because of my constant goal to always achieve a non-bloody cultural victory. So my wars don't comes until late 1800th century. And then the praetorian seems pretty useless to me. And I never use to lay much weight either on what UU the civ I'm playing got.

    With this in mind, I'll be sure to try out Caesar and be a bit more aggressive. ;)
     
  12. zeeter

    zeeter Emperor

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    If you want to win culture and try to stay out of war, I'd suggest Ghandi. He's got very good traits. Sometimes you can get both Hinduism AND Buddhism, which gives you a GREAT start to the game. Usually you can get at least three religions with the Indians. Not only that, but the Fast Worker is a great UU. They never become obsolete. They're useful regardless of whether or not you're at war. They can build your cottages a lot faster, thus giving you more money.

    So, that said: Peaceful? Ghandi. Early war? Caesar. Late war? Germany.
     
  13. SkippyT

    SkippyT Who?

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    Very early war - Huayna [Quechua, Aggressive]
    Early war - Julius [Praetorian, Organized/Expansive]
    Middle age war - Napoleon [Musketeer (THEY ARE GOOD!), Aggressive/Industrious]
    Industrial war - Cathy [Cossack, Finincial]
    Modern war - Otto [Panzer, Expansive]
    Future war - George [Finincial/Organized (more money) and easier to make a big army]
    Peaceful builder - Mohi [Fast worker, Spiritual/Industrious]
    Your-enemy-declares-war-on-you-situation - Monty [Spiritual: switch to Theocracy, Police State and Vassalage in 0 turns and Aggressive]
     
  14. Legio X

    Legio X Chieftain

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    I tried to play a quick game as Caesar, and wow! Those Praetorians are amazing. I wiped Alexander off the continent in a few years, and all the sudden I was knocking on Mao's door. Unfortunately I didn't have time to play the whole game, though. But I saved it for future use when I feel like conquering the world.
     
  15. Older than Dirt

    Older than Dirt King

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    I think that playing as Rome is a very good way to learn how to be aggressive and expand early. It was one of the first civs I tried. Even if you don't destroy more than one or two other civs, you can cripple others, if you can get to them. Rome should be a good civ to use on the Terra Map or other crowded situations. If you don't have iron ..... that's another story.
     
  16. Crighton

    Crighton Emperor

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    Frankly I like the Praetorian upgraded with City Raider promotions then upgraded to Macemen to get a +50% melee. My big problem with Rome is my enemies are always so friggin far away, like they know I'm coming or something.
     
  17. CivMin

    CivMin Chieftain

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    I just finished a Noble game last night, first one using Rome. I was very interested in using the Praes to knock a few civs off the map but as some other posters remarked above, the closest neighbor was Alex and he was really far away.

    I was able to use Praes against him quite late when Cyrus attacked his Western border with Knights. I crushed his Eastern border and took two cities in three turns. 10 Turns later he was gone. :goodjob:

    Great unit, just wish I could of used it a little more...
     
  18. Syagrius

    Syagrius Warlord

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    Roma Aeterna Est - Imperium Aeternit
     
  19. gunkulator

    gunkulator Emperor

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    Praetorians are ideally timed for both peace and war lovers. Land=Power. I hate being boxed in by an overly expansive neighbor. Knock 'em out early with Praetorians, claim their cities and then play the rest of the game peaceful, but with a huge advantage of having more cities than everyone else and cheaper maintenance to boot. The worst you'll suffer is a "-1 you declared war on a friend" - and that will only be with the civs who once knew your victim.

    Praetorians are like getting 4 or 5 early free settlers - once you conquer those AI cities of course.
     
  20. Older than Dirt

    Older than Dirt King

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    I still found it useful to have a few axemen to defend stack of advancing Praetorians from AI axement. Three or four AI axemen can put some heavy wounds or even kill a Praetorian or two.
     

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