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The Immortal Challenge 2: For the Fatherland

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by aelf, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    The Second Immortal Challenge has ended in a defeat. Click on the links below to view the rounds played:

    Round1: 4000BC - 2240BC
    Round2: 2240BC - 0675BC
    Round3: 0675BC - 0325AD
    Round4: 0325AD - 0840AD
    Round5: 0840AD - 1270AD
    Round6: 1270AD - 1515AD
    Round7: 1515AD - 1685AD
    Endgame: 1685AD - 1896AD


    Germany, Germany above all,
    above all in the world,
    When it always, for protection and defense,
    Brotherly stands together.
    From the Meuse to the Neman,
    From the Adige to the Belt,
    Germany, Germany above all,
    Above anything in the world.

    - Das Lied der Deutschen (The Song of the Germans)


    Having succeeded in the First Immortal Challenge, we embark on the second one. In the previous game, we have seen the power of the cottage economy, where cottaging up and beelining to Democracy for Emancipation brought a complete economic turnaround that allowed us to jump from being the most backward civ to being the most advanced and win the space race. In this game, we are opting to use specialist economy instead, and one of the best candidates for this play style is Frederick of Germany.

    For the Fatherland!



    True to the tradition of the Emperor/Immortal Challenge series, this game aims to demonstrate skilled play. Immortal difficulty would not be overcome easily, and on top of that, we're also going to play with a specialist economy, which is less intuitive compared to the cottage economy. I shall not go into a detailed explanation of what a specialist economy is - there are plenty of threads around that can explain it. However, I would like to begin by clarifying that our pursuit of it would be tempered by in-game conditions. As such, we would likely end up with a hybrid economy, which some of you may consider as a different thing altogether. But I shall use the term specialist economy (SE) to indicate our heavy reliance on specialists for research, whether through their raw beaker output or through lightbulbing.

    As I mentioned, we are playing as Frederick of Germany. He is Philosophical and Organized. The first trait lends itself well to an SE because of the double GPP, which gives us a larger benefit from specialists in the form of more GPs earlier. Yes, it has been said that it is not necessary to be running an SE to benefit from Philosophical, as one GP farm is enough. However, running an SE probably means you get some GPs from cities that are not your GP farm as well. The second trait, meanwhile, halves our civic upkeep. This makes it cheaper to run expensive civics and maintain a large empire, giving us more flexibility in war and expansion. Just as importantly, Organized halves the production costs of courthouses and factories. The former means we can start saving more on upkeep earlier, while the latter, coupled with the fact that the German factory UB (Assembly Plant) builds faster with coal, means that we can get those Assembly Plants up very quickly.

    Apart from these potentially powerful traits, the German UU looks promising. But I shall not discuss the merits of the Panzer here. You can read about it in this thread. The German UB, meanwhile, while also coming late in the game, might prove to be very handy. Apart from being built very quickly, as I have mentioned earlier, it allows two more engineers than a normal factory. This could mean extra production in the late game, when we have large cities that have all their tiles worked and have to run specialists. It would be all the more useful if we build the Statue of Liberty or run Mercantilism or both, since we would then have more specialists to work with. Specialists and engineers to power the German economy and industry - what can be more apt than that? :thumbsup:

    Having Hunting and Mining as starting techs is a big plus for some people. It's not my favourite combination, but it is useful. Hunting means we start with scouts, which may mean an extra goodie hut or two. And while camps are generally nothing great to be able to build early, being able to build spearman once we hook up a metal resource means we can worry less about having to defend against a chariot rush. Mining, on the other hand, is simply great. It is a prerequisite of Bronze Working, the ever wonderful tech, and it allows us to build mines, which may mean an ultra-early gold mine should we be blessed with that resource in our capital's fat cross.

    Now, on to the technical stuff.

    The Rules

    As always, anyone can give their opinion and advice regarding the game at end of every round. But take note that spoilers are not acceptable. And please keep the discussion constructive (i.e. no flaming/trolling).

    Before I begin every round, I will decide which advice is most suitable and apply or adapt it to the game. 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 previous threads, so don't be shy. If you're a Deity player, I'm sure you have no qualms about coming forth with your wisdom ;)

    The Settings

    The game will be on standard settings (i.e. continents, 7 players, everything on default) and Normal speed. This is to keep variables at a minimum and focus on gameplay more than anything else.

    And, finally, the game itself...

    The customary starting screenshot:



    I think that's rather awesome. We have cows (a powerful food and production resource), clams (for more food), a river (health bonus and commerce) and marble (hammers and shiny wonders). And we start with the prerequisites for techs that allow pastures and quarries :lol: There are also plenty of trees around to chop, which is another aid for building wonders.

    With regards to these marvels, we have a few to choose from (marble-based ones, of course). We can opt to build a cheap Oracle and grab CoL to start building those cheap courthouses. We can also build the Great Library, which should be self-explanatory. Or we can build the Temple of Artemis, since our capital is at the coast and therefore stands to benefit greatly from it. We can probably get away with two, but not all.

    But, anyway, we have to discuss where to move our scout first, as usual. Who knows, what he reveals may influence our decision on where to settle our capital.

    Come, my brothers. Let us begin our quest for the glory of the Fatherland!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. 50_dollar_bag

    50_dollar_bag Imitation Louis Vuitton

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    Temple of Artemis sounds pretty good for Philosophical, that's 5 GPPs right there and you're first great person might be a prophet who can bulb Code of laws. Oracle for Code of laws is good too as it has pretty good trade value once the religion is taken because AIs will usually leave it. And the Great library speaks for itself.

    I'd say scout either N-NE or S-SE
     
  3. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    Nice start. I never get marble or stone in my capital's fat cross! :cry:

    Since you have marble and are Philosophical, targeting wonders to start producing GP as soon as possible makes sense. But don't neglect your military! Germany has a late UU and UB. You'll have to make the most of your starting techs and traits in the early game (fortunately Org & Phi are strongest in the early and mid-game).

    With that end in mind, I recommend researching the stand-by Bronze Working to leverage having Mining in hand. Do this while building another Scout. You just saw, in my Mongolia ALC thread, how handy a couple of Scouts can be in the early game. I popped a total of 7 huts within the first 25 turns, and I may get lucky and find more.

    I'd settle in place even though I don't see any hills. The Marble may be your only decent production tile, so be picky about chopping forests until workshops and/or watermills can provide more hammers.

    You didn't mention the Parthenon as a consideration. Combining it with Philosophical can make for out-of-this-world GPP production in the early game, and since you're talking specialist economy, I'd strongly consider it--certainly more than the mediocre T of A. The Oracle is also a distinct possibility, since Polytheism gets you within reach of Priesthood. The Great Library becomes available much later, so I wouldn't worry about having to choose it versus one of the other wonders.

    You may end up moving the capital to a better commerce city to take advantage of cottages and Bureaucracy.
     
  4. lilnev

    lilnev Chieftain

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    I would move the scout S-SE. I doubt you'll see anything to justify moving the settler; about thing I can think of would be Gold just out of reach to the SE.

    GL is a must. Not so sure about the others, though it seems a shame not to try. You need AH, Masonry, BW, and possibly Fishing and the Wheel before going up the religious path, and without seeing any commerce boosters, that'll take a while.

    peace,
    lilnev
     
  5. carl corey

    carl corey Chieftain

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    I've experimented lately with GL & early National Epic (pretty equivalent to GL and Parthenon) and I got way too many Great Artists in most of my games. So make sure you run additional Scientists consistently or build the Parthenon in a different city. Oh, and don't build GL & NE & Parthenon in the same city, that's just asking for it. I was just thinking: GL might not even go in the capital, as you don't have that much food (unless there's more in the shadows). We can talk more about that once you settle and reveal more.

    Also, Marble gives you access to a cheap Heroic Epic. So try to get a unit out there to constantly fight barbs and hopefully you can get it to 10XP before the first war, that would be awesome!

    Early research could be AH (cows), BW, Masonry. You might have to insert Mysticism in there somewhere to pop borders for copper/horses. The very good thing is you're going to get info on both early strategic resources probably before your first settler is out so that you can make the best decision about city planning.
     
  6. Godel

    Godel Chieftain

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    Great Scientists are the most powerful GPs. I wouldn't pollute the gene pool too much. Parthenon gives a mere +50% ggps - only a 25% increase to gpps fopr a Phil leader. Not worth the 200h (at double production spead) in my opninion, particular since it is obsolete with Chemistry. Chemistry is a good tech on the Scientist lightbulb route.

    Great Library is a must.

    With Germany, one strategy is to delay building Nat Epic and build it in the ironworks city. Ironworks can run lots of engineering specialists, and you get 4 engineer specialist slots from the UB as well. You can plan to churn out GEs for late game wonders.
     
  7. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Chieftain

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    As an aside, have any of these "Immortal Challenge" or "All Leader Challenge" style walk through games ever resulted in a heavy defeat? I only ever seem to see resounding victories. Surely when playing at this sort of difficulty there must be the odd defeat now and again?

    Anyway, move the scout east. But without hills or easy terrain, you won't see much quickly.
     
  8. Mutineer

    Mutineer Chieftain

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    I do not see mach reason not to settle in place.
    I useally consider to settle on Marble or stone, but in this case it would left very little shield source, so, it would be contrproductive.

    I probably would try to build cheap oracle and take Monarchy from it, but it is unclear yet. We do not have enogth information about what is around yet.
     
  9. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    i dont get whats the big deal with moving the start settler. move your other unit to make sure your arnt going a tile away from the coast, then settle. you are almost gaurenteed either ivory, bronze, iron, or horses unles the capital is super good.
     
  10. carl corey

    carl corey Chieftain

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    IIRC there was an Emperor Challenge that ended in defeat following a quick DoW from happy psycho Monty. There was another game started in the same thread after that.

    Edit: EMC3, and it had Aggressive AIs turned on in the first installment. Aggressive Monty. Heh, pleonasm.
     
  11. coconuts

    coconuts Chieftain

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    Harbourboy,

    If you look at one of the EMCs (I believe 3), the first attempt was a doomed start, and abandoned to a restart. Other than that, it seems to me that aelf and Sisiutil just do rock that much. :)
     
  12. NaZdReG

    NaZdReG Warmonger

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    tough call on the wonders. on immortal w/o mysticism do you even have a shot at the oracle?? if you want it I suppose you would have to beeline for it.. forever polluting the capitol's gp pool but that's not the end of the world if you find a better food spot to drop the great library in. rather than picking COL i'd consider alphabet, unlocking tech trades from early scientist lightbulbs and beelining to lit for the great library is always a plus.

    you proved the power of ToA.. and it would make up a lot of $$ midgame when your econ takes the biggest hit from running a SE. but you'd also need the great lighthouse to really make it shine.. thats 2 wonders too many IMO.

    couple of good philo gambits to suggest

    best: oracle sling w/ marble to metal casting, have forests pre-chopped and do a combo of that and whip to get an early forge. you have only 7 turns from building the oracle to get that engineer running intime to have a good shot at getting an engineer instead. but then you get free pyramids :D

    next would be the great wall and either priests or scientists gambit. not being creative or spiritual I doubt you could get a temple or library up in time to get the engineer before 1000bc.

    keep running that engineer, and its points will outweigh the oracle. you can turn him off if you REALLY want a prophet for a shrine, but otherwise you stand a REALLY good chance of your first 2 GP's being engineers. free great library in your GP farm w/ representation would be devestating to the ai :D

    I think if you pull off the oracle w/ that marble you stand a good shot of getting the 1st one done in time to get the pyramids. the boost from either police state or representation is huge but you already know that.

    thats my .02

    NaZ
     
  13. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    I moved the scout S and SE, as recommended:



    There's corn right there in our fat cross :eek: This is looking like an awesome start now. But here's wishing for Agriculture instead of Hunting as a starting tech.

    Yes, as the others have pointed out. Anyway, in most of the threads so far, there were always doubts as to whether we could pull off a win. It hasn't been a walk in the park.

    I like this idea. I haven't actually tried this gambit before, and this may be a good time to do so. The only problem, like lilnev said, is that we have other techs to research before going for Priesthood (especially now that we need Agriculture as well), which may delay building the Oracle for too long. I'm considering either this path or building the ToA, which is actually a much better wonder than the Parthenon in this situation, IMO. Either way, we'd probably build the Great Library later.

    Anybody else want to chip in?
     
  14. CivSetä

    CivSetä Chieftain

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    I prefer totally different approach. You have 10+ forests, which means lots of chopped hammers. Use those for pyramids, on immortal I wouldn't take any gamble like trying to get GE instead. And you have corn, clams and cows, which means you can grow enough to whip at least three pop in the end just to make sure you get it. I definitely would not build either ToA or Oracle in capital, they only spoil your GP pool. If you are playing SE then all you want is GEs and GSs, they are useful through the game. I suggest that you found another GP city, and keep pumping GPs in both cities later. I have found that arrangement very useful.

    edit: Another reason for not going towards Poly/Priesthood is that you need worker techs first. At least agri, AH, fishing, BW and wheel are needed ASAP. If you go for Pyramids, you can get all the basic techs and build two settlers, and still have enough time to chop it, with Oracle you need to forget some basic techs to be fast enough on immortal level.
    Or if you disagree, I am very curious too see how you manage to do it! :)
     
  15. Killroyan

    Killroyan Chieftain

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    I am not going to give you advice on emperor level since I only play Monarch but that is a damn nice starting site for a philosophical leader. Little low on hammers but damn high on food. Grassland cows, corn and clams. Yummie. Will be following this closely.
     
  16. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    First, wonders isn't the name of the game.
    True, you have marble.
    And this makes me think that the great library is doable, which for a philo leader is the single best wonder.
    If you want pyramids too, the gambit isn't to build the forge in the same city as the oracle. You'd have less than 50% odds for the GE.
    So you need another city to build the oracle or to build the forge.
    This city will need chopped hammers (be it for oracle or forge). So you need workers (2 at least).

    Those basic things aren't sure at immortal level.
    So let's focus on the immediate needs :
    - agri>AH while building a worker
    - fishing while building a warrior (you start with a scout, put him to good use)
    - mining>BW while building a boat.
    At this point, you still don't have masonry nor priesthood. It may be a good idea to put myst >masonry in after mining. But I'm not convinced yet. I'd start writing straight after BW, then alpha.
     
  17. Glouglou

    Glouglou Chieftain

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    Just a small remark :
    If you choose to settle in place, I wouldn't pop the hut with the scoot. you'll loose one move as the hut is on a forest and the odds are better with the cultural border pop (only 15 turns EDIT : forgot its normal speed ...). Instead I would move the scout SE and E on the hill.
     
  18. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

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    My first reaction was exactly this...however with Corn (even non-irrigated) and Grassland Cows I don't know that you need the Clams right away to hit the happiness cap. I'd probably go Agriculture -> Animal Husbandry and see if there are Horses around. There won't be any in the capital, but maybe in a nearby second city. If not then you probably have to go after Bronze Working before the first Settler is ready (and on a bad day Archery). However, with Horses I would go Mysticisim -> Masonry -> The Wheel -> Polytheism -> Priesthood and go after The Oracle. I think it is way too early to say Monarchy is the tech to take, let's see what resources are in the vicinity. My inclination is that Code of Laws is the right tech unless there are no happiness resources around. Of course, with a nearby neighbor that changes things, and you probably want to go Bronze Working right away to get access to slavery and chopping, then go after them.

    Darrell
     
  19. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

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    Hmm...I'm not sure on this. First, Metal Casting is a great free tech if you are Industrious, but not so much with these traits. If you are Industrious you can whip it out almost immediately, but you'll need some Hammers in it first, and as a Philo leader you'll be accumulating GPPs at a decent clip from The Oracle. The odds of the first GP being a GE are going to be fairly low, not my kind of gamble. Also, while an Engineer will give you 3 GPPs vs. only 2 for The Oracle, they are both equal weight sources when determining the type of GP generated, so you will still only be 50/50 with the second GP (and that assumes the Pyramids are still around). Doing something like building the Great Wall to get the odds closer to 2:1 is probably not the best investment of Hammers, either.

    Darrell
     
  20. sylvanllewelyn

    sylvanllewelyn Perma-newb

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    There's no such thing as a deity player. Deity is just immortal with a lot of luck.

    Marble, forests... as much as I dislike it, would a Parthenon work?
     

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