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The Immortal Challenge 1: Apocalypto

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by aelf, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    The First Immortal Challenge has ended. Click on the links below to view the rounds played:

    Round1: 4000BC - 2360BC
    Round2: 2360BC - 0875BC
    Round3: 0875BC - 0200BC
    Round4: 0200BC - 0780AD
    Round5: 0780AD - 1140AD
    Round6: 1140AD - 1370AD
    Round7: 1370AD - 1600AD
    Round8: 1600AD - 1740AD
    Round9: 1740AD - 1912AD (Part 1)
    Round9: 1740AD - 1912AD (Part 2)
    Round9: 1740AD - 1912AD (Part 3)

    Overall Game Analysis


    That day I was alone
    and put myself
    in a stranger's hand.
    Ay ay, my lord!
    Evil, much evil passes here
    on earth. Perhaps
    I will never stop crying.


    - from the Songs of Dzitbalché

    This is a new beginning for us, my brothers. We have fought together in the Emperor's Challenges and won glorious victories, even under adverse conditions. We have enjoyed the spoils of war, the fruits of our labour. Now the time has come for an even greater test - the Immortal Challenge! Immortality awaits us at the end of the road. But how will we get there? It is a question that we must resolve on our own. There will be no aid from the gods, from whom this test comes. We will have to prove our worth in order to join the their ranks. And this is but the first of the challenges that we must surmount, one that will already take us to the brink of destruction and, possibly, the end of the world through strife:

    Apocalypto



    In this game, we will be continuing the tradition of the Emperor Masters' Challenge, where we 'showcased' high-level play by starting games on Emperor level with stated aims and discussing strategies until our aims were achieved and the games were won. Now, we are playing one difficulty up, and the main aim of this game is to survive, and win, Immortal level with the Aztecs.

    The Aztecs only have one leader in Civ4, Montezuma, who has the Aggressive and Spiritual traits. These are two of the most powerful traits in the game. Aggressive gives better melee/gunpowder units, which are crucial during the expansion phases. Spiritual gives an empire unrivalled flexibility, allowing it to switch from economic civics to war civics in the blink of an eye. The combination of these traits lends itself very well to a warmongering game: Aggressive units conquer new territories, empire switches to economic civics to build up infrastructure and economy and then switches again to war civics to build more units to conquer more territories.

    The Aztec UB sounds equally impressive. The Sacrificial Altar is a courthouse that reduces the duration of unhappiness from whipping by half. This potentially means an increase in the Aztec capability of turning food into production, which is what Slavery is notorious for. Imagine whipping all those units out within a few turns from the same cities and then decimating an unprepared enemy with them... :devil: Sounds fun. We'll be focusing quite extensively on the UB and exploiting it as much as possible. This also has the added benefit of giving our game some flavour. What are Aztecs without sacrifical altars? ;)

    The Aztec UU, though, is nothing to be too excited about. The Jaguar is a swordsman that does not require metals to be built and receives free Woodsman I promotion. However, it only has 5 strength, compared to the swordsman's 6, making it less useful in most situations and extremely vulnerable to axemen. What can save it is the free Woodsman promotion, which gives it a natural advantage when defending in forests/jungles. With barracks, you can promote Jaguars to Woodsman II straightaway, which grants them two moves and even more defensive bonuses when in forest/jungles. Hypothetically, you can rapidly rush a neighbour with Woodsman II Jaguars (since you don't need to worry about hooking up metals) through the foliage (somewhat like the Germans racing through the Ardennes), but I wouldn't gamble this game on the slim chance that such a rush may work.

    Montezuma's starting techs are also quite unimpressive. While Hunting gives you a free scout to explore the map with initially, you get it at the cost of a warrior, who is potentially able to defend your first few cities against barbs later on. And there is almost no useful improvement you can build with Hunting (as compared to Agriculture or Mining). Mysticism means you get a shot at founding either Buddhism or Hinduism, but I wouldn't count on it on Immortal, which means this starting tech is almost a waste. The only other thing it gives you is the ability to build monuments from the start. It is, however, on the way to Priesthood, which we might want to get early to build the Oracle to grab CoL for the Aztec UB.

    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 (usually) ask and wait for more. Non-Immortal players can also offer their advice. I've seen a lot of good ideas from lower level players that have contributed significantly to the Emperor games. So, don't be shy.

    The Settings

    7 civs, with mostly standard settings:



    A tropical map is for flavour and the possbility that Jaguars would be more useful.

    And, finally, the game itself...

    Our start:



    Doesn't look impressive, but I'm not sure we can expect much more on Immortal. Oasis gives us a chance at an early religion, but we can't improve it so it won't be amazing later on. Corn is good for growth (and whipping), but it doesn't look as if it's irrigated. And we don't start with Agriculture (and we won't be researching it immediately if we go for an early religion). I do suspect there will be horses in the fat cross as it is (copper or iron may be too much to expect on this level).

    Of course, the first thing we need to decide on is where to move our scout. What he reveals may determine where we settle our first city and capital.

    I hope we will learn much from this thread. Let us begin!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. dutchfire

    dutchfire Moderator Moderator

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    Scout NW - NE to see if there's anything usefull in your BFC?
     
  3. shyuhe

    shyuhe Chieftain

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    why not scout to the hill? It may be worth moving to the plains hill in some cases for the added extra hammer it produces.
     
  4. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    Does the map scale down the player starting position bonuses based on difficulty level - if so, that is news to me.
     
  5. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

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    I wouldn't move on the plains hill in this case because you can see jungle 2SE (not to mention you'd lose fresh water by settling on that spot). With Tropical settings you actually got a nice starting latitude, right in the temperate zone. I'd probably move the scout NW then NE like dutchfire suggests since you'll see all but three eastern tiles from the initial fat cross. The downside is it won't really give you any info on a move that preserves the Corn and a fresh water start.

    Darrell
     
  6. futurehermit

    futurehermit Chieftain

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    Can't wait for this game to play out :) Sounds like fun!!!

    Looks like desert hill and jungle if you move the settler onto the plains hill. I would suggest settle in place, but agree move scout NW-NE first to see what's in BFC.

    With the oasis there you should be able to take a shot at an early religion. That would allow you to avoid building monuments in your cities. Instead you could semi-beeline ironworking and prepare for your first jaguar invasion. I wouldn't worry so much about oracle. Instead just prioritize col. Possibly at this skill level you could sue for col at the end of your first war (the acidsatyr group did this in their deity game with hatty).

    Of course this depends on how many neighbours you have and how close they are to you.

    Opening: Poly/Medit-Ag sounds good. Probably not worker first cuz he'd have nothing to do. Instead warrior first and growth I guess.
     
  7. Elandal

    Elandal Chieftain

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    Yes, starting location is modified after settler is placed, and the amount of modification depends on the difficulty level. I haven't looked into this except noting the modifier in handicap file.
     
  8. shadow69034

    shadow69034 Chieftain

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    the northern land seems to be a little bit better maybe a good production or commerce city with the oasis
     
  9. uberfish

    uberfish Immortal

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    Having a look north with the scout won't hurt, but it's doubtful there's anything better than just settling in place and letting the oasis speed you to a religion.
     
  10. acidsatyr

    acidsatyr be water my friend...

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    I would suggest skipping religion on immortal, but do as you will
     
  11. futurehermit

    futurehermit Chieftain

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    The fact that the starting techs don't favour a worker at all really makes me think that skipping a religion might be a good idea as well. However, since there is an oasis and a farmable you can grow pretty nicely while going for a religion and then not having to worry about monuments/stonehenge would be a big plus imo. Not to mention the additional :) And whoever doesn't like our religion can be the first to die :lol:
     
  12. PMabey

    PMabey Chieftain

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    Dont go for an early religion, its much easier just to take someone else's holy city. Looks like jungle to the south east so move your scout NW and see whats there. Personally i only move my settler if im certain it will be advantageous - i normally trust the RNG. As for techs - well it depends whats in your BFC, bronzeworking and agriculture would seem apropriate at the moment.
     
  13. Storminator

    Storminator Chieftain

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    If we trust the RNG and settle in place, shouldn't we do that before deciding where to move the scout? Settling will reveal another ring, making a NW-NE move wasted.

    Of course if we want to move the settler, the scout needs to help decide placement.

    PS
     
  14. Dirk1302

    Dirk1302 Chieftain

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    This game will not be a walk in the park... But i like the starting position, Not only it's not on the coast so you can expand in 4 directions but it also seems there are lots of grasslands around.

    Seems to me Monty is not a great leader for this challenge,his traits and UB are good but Mysticism and hunting are IMO the worst starting techs you could have and Jaguars seem to be worthless compared to Swords more so because there always seems to be plenty of iron on the map as opposed to copper and horses.

    I fiddled around with immortal yesterday, biggest difference with emperor i saw before 1 AD is the very short time you have too rush them with ancient units. On emperor you have time to build a pretty good army and attack. on immortal longbows are there between 400-200 bc, so you have to have your stack ready +/- 800 BC and take a significant number of cities in 400-600 years time.



    Since mysticism is totally useless otherwise i'd try to go for hinduism. On the other hand it's extremely risky on this level since direct researching of AH,BW or IW for early barb portection is often neccessary. Even on emperor if i went for hinduism i usually had to build lots of warriors to fend of barbarian archers since early hinduism means connecting essential resources late. It's worse on immortal.

    I stopped playing Ghandi who has great traits and a very good UU on emperor because of the mysticism starting tech.

    I'd settle in place and move the scout southwards.

    Good luck!
     
  15. acidsatyr

    acidsatyr be water my friend...

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    Can somebody explain me why so much emphasis put on starting techs? It doesn’t matter if you start with hunting and mysticism as you will have to obtain them anyway, hunting for spears, in case you have bronze, and scouts for extra exploring, and is step away from archers, if in the very last case you still need to build them. Mysticism is fantastic since you need to build monuments. The trait is not wasted if you don’t beeline to religion, that’s ridiculous.
     
  16. futurehermit

    futurehermit Chieftain

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    I agree with you for the most part, but the thing is that if you start with certain techs and don't start off researching tech which your starting techs are prereqs for then really those starting techs do feel like a waste! However, if you want to play a leader for traits and UU/UB then you just suck it up about the techs :lol:
     
  17. Dirk1302

    Dirk1302 Chieftain

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    @Acidsatyr, you're right about the monuments, i forgot about them because i played too much with Egypt lately.
     
  18. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

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    You might not need Hunting for quite some time, but you definitely need Agriculture right away (and both open up Animal Husbandry). So, those however many turns spent on Agriculture could be used working towards Writing or Bronze Working (which in turn would be easier to get to if you had Mining instead of Mysticism). But yeah, with a non Creative leader you will always need Mysticism early so that tech is probably no worse than Mining given the equivalent beaker cost.

    With the Oasis and not using Better AI you have a good shot at getting Polytheism if you go for it, but I'd probably start with Agriculture and a Worker.

    Darrell
     
  19. uberfish

    uberfish Immortal

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    The first two religions are really useful because there's a pretty good chance of them dominating their starting continent especially with a shrine. And it's very early +happiness which is hard to come by
     
  20. Tyrant Roger

    Tyrant Roger Chieftain

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    Thanks, aelf, for starting this thread. This will be great. I am especially curious to follow your use of the spritual trait and whether you can exploit the tropical setting.

    I recommend against early religions. At this high level, not having a state religion gives you considerable diplomatic fliexibility which you will likely need.

    I recommend Ag/Mining/Bronze and warrior/worker to get going.
     

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