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The Indians

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Ision, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. Ision

    Ision Master

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    I have decided to do a review on each CIV. My intention is to encourage debate and hopefully to help others (and myself) in their game play.

    The Indians

    Known for their rich religious and cultural achievements, India to this very day lives up to its centuries old fame. Perhaps no other modern day nation is so intimately associated with the personality of a single man, in C3C it is the image of that man that stands as its leader-head. It is that image of peacefulness and deep religious heritage, which the game attempts to capture – and to a great degree, it succeeds.

    Religious and Commercial, the Indian traits do not lend themselves as easily as others to a flexibility in approach. The very first thing that will strike you in the trait combo is its apparent ‘made to order’ synergy for a peaceful builder, with that combination of extra cash and half-priced happiness culture. In this respect the trait synergy more than lives up to its potential. The half- priced temples and cathedrals of Religious are produced that much faster with the extra commerce from Commercials lower corruption. While Commercial is a trait that usually does not fully impose itself until the later game, in combination with Religious even its smaller early game contribution will exert itself significantly, bearing fruit incrementally with some of the oldest temples and cathedrals in the entire game. Unfortunately, the Indian traits make them among the weakest civs for early expansion and they do not catch-up as well as many other civs. This in turn, often delays them from being able to exert their inherent advantages as a builder as early as they would like to.

    If ever there was a civ ideally suited to make the most of representative governments – India is it. Following a Republic to Democracy beeline, with as few wars as possible and a genuine effort to keep good relations with the AI civs - India will often be poised to play the worlds peaceful banker all the while funneling that extra cash into its science research and its ever growing cultural dominance. A solid mid-sized democratic India can often walk through the game from the late Middle Ages on - towards their Culture, Space Race or UN victory. Naturally, from time to time resource scarcity or the evil intentions of some neighbors will force the Indians hand. In this case the Indian should try his utmost to have limited objectives that he can achieve as quickly as possible, exerting the full power of his good relations with others to ensure that his wars are wars of a coalition of allies (with his own contribution being as modest as possible) against an isolated and overwhelmed AI opponent. The peaceful India player that finds no other alternative to a long protracted war, will find his Religious short anarchy advantage gives him the luxury of a long Fascist/Communist stint with a quick return to Democracy when its finally over. Lastly, the Indian player should keep himself in the thick of international affairs, being as charitable as possible to the weak, denying or limiting his trade with the stronger AIs, and being ever ready to wage a coalition war against any AI civ whose growing strength may upset the worlds balance of power.

    As a warmonger civ India leaves much to be desired. While it is true that one can conquer the world with any civ in the game (India included), some lend themselves to this far better than others. Their slower early expansion, lack of a trait that accentuates early warmongering, non-military starting techs, and average UU all combine to make a warmongering Indian one that must have greater patience and more limited early objectives. That said, the inherent power of the mid-game Indian infrastructure often leads to a fearsome late game warmonger. On water maps India is among the weakest of the civ choices you can make, outmatched by most of the others.

    The Indian UU is the often under-rated War Elephant. The WE is a 4-3-2, knight class, 70-sheild UU available with Chivalry and requiring no resources to build. When discussing this UU players often confine themselves to focusing on how wonderful it is if you lack horses or iron, and how terribly average it is if you do not. At face value this is true, the unit having the exact identical stats as the standard Knight - however there is an overlooked element here. The unit was changed slightly from PTW to C3C, and that ‘slight’ change makes this a far more viable unit. In C3C the WE has 1 extra hit point. Your regulars’ fight like veterans, your veterans like elites, your elites like super-elites! Basically the extra hit-point correctly mirrors the actual durability of an elephant by making it at least 1 combat round harder to kill while giving it at least 1 more combat round of attack as well. This makes for quite a durable UU that will survive many a battle and provide a greater defensive value than its stats imply. The bonuses of this UU seem to compliment the more peaceful builder; smaller military approach to the Indian civ and thus provides an excellent compliment to them - overall, a nice solid middle of the pack UU.

    Summary: Play with India can often be quite rewarding for the more peaceful builder and trader type players. Certainly among the better peaceful builder civs and an excellent balance of power civ for those that like to war more often in the mid to late game. Nevertheless, in comparison to many other civs their shortcomings are there and obvious (mediocre water-map performance, slower early expansion, lack of early military prowess, lack of dominant UU). Even in that area in which it genuinely excels at, peaceful builder, it will consistently be outperformed by a third of the other civs. India ranks as an overall 3rd tier civ.

    Below is the link to all the other civ reviews:

    link to all other civ reviews
     
  2. SolarKnight

    SolarKnight Guardian of the Balance

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    Nice review Ision, keep up the good work :goodjob:
     
  3. biggamer132

    biggamer132 King

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    I was waiting on the next one Ision :) Great job. I remember that the Indians were always a third-world country in my Vanilla Civ III games...
     
  4. smallmoskito

    smallmoskito Chieftain

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    now that reminds me why i hate defending my cities from elephants....
     
  5. Longasc

    Longasc Deity

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    I just wiped my continent of the Indians, yeah.

    You should built in some flaws in your reviews, Ision, otherwise I can only comment with "YES" everytime... ;)
     
  6. Kaboth

    Kaboth Prince

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    Thanks for the Review Ision; the Indians have been my favourite since Civ2; I always loved having Ghandi as an ally he was such a peaceful/cooperative guy and today I just love playing as him.

    Anyone seen the movie Ghandi?

    Half way now 16/31 civ reviews complete :D
     
  7. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    ...plus Austria

    EDIT: Deleted a space :D
     
  8. Kaboth

    Kaboth Prince

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    I suppose you could do Austria it was meant to be in the game at least.
     
  9. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    Excellent review Ision! :thumbsup:

    I had not picked up on the subtle little hit-point upgrade to the War Elephant in C3C... nice attention to detail!

    One thing that perplexes me... and it seems a common thread in your reviews of Commercial civs when it comes to warmongering... I personally love warmongering with commercial civs. I don't si it as an advantage for warmongering per se, but with a commercial civ, there is a better chance that conquered cities will become productive cities once taken...

    Any thoughts on that?
     
  10. Ision

    Ision Master

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    scout,

    Just as one would correctly assume that the scientific trait is more suited for the builder. The 'x' factor here is two-fold; what is the other trait it is in combination with & what is the impact of the UU. Take Persia for example, the Immortals impact is so overwhelming that it nearly acts as a 3rd trait (the 'mini-militeristic' trait so-to-speak). In this respect it lifts what many consider to be a mediocre trait (scientific) and nearly compels the player in a certain direction (war). The Hoplite does the same except it compels the player towards a different direction (builder). Persia would make an excellent mid-sized peaceful builder civ, and the Hoplite is an outstanding compliment to any warmongering Greek. But given the 2 choices for either civ, on average, the more obvious choice will pay off better. When I review Korea, the lack of the mini-monster ultra-early Hoplite will lead to different conclusions and recommendations. Naturally I am speaking here in broad generalities, the Greeks will war at times, and the Persians will have peaceful stretches of building - its a question of which of the 2 have you chosen to dominate your game play and to what degree. There are wars of expansion & consolidiation and their are wars of total conquest and absorbtion. There is building for infrastructure and to maintain pace, and there is building for cultural and scientific dominance. Its simply a matter of degree. The conclusions I reach cannot be based by looking at a single trait as it stands alone - I must weigh that against the other trait, the synergy with that trait(or lack of), and the UUs level of impact.

    In the case of Commercial, it lends itself almost to any style albeit with a greater emphasis on the mid to late game. That said, IMHO, on average it lends itself better to powering the predominantly builder/trader than the full-time warmonger (there is 1 exception!). Its primary function being to enhance the inherent strength of the OTHER trait. In combination with Milteristic it finances large standing armies (corruption reduction) and makes larger empires more productive even at the far reaches. Read my Rome review and you see I advocate the warmongers path. Once again with the Hittites, I recommend the same path - the nature of the Expansionist trait along with an ultra early UU and a lack of builder bonusues leading me to this conclusion. The Greek science trait and a magnificent defensive UU lead me to a different conclusion. In every one of these cases, one could easily take the opposite position - my emphasis on one style over the other with any trait combo is soley based on my weighing the 2 options and attempting to answer as objectively as I can a single question - which one ON AVERAGE will it do better. The builder will consistantly find that the LARGER his empire the faster he achieves his culture/space race victory. The warmonger will consistantly find that the more in-depth his infrasatructure is BUILT, the faster he will conquer. This is the eternal balancing act that all players face in every game.

    Ision
     
  11. dze27

    dze27 Monarch

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    Nice review.

    While it's not terribly relevant to a human player playing the Indians, I find that the AI manages the Indians extremely poorly. If the Indians are next to me when I start, I immediately make plans to wipe them out and they never seem to offer much resistance. They lack one of the useful early-game traits like Industrious, Agricultural, Expansionist, Seafaring or even Militaristic, which makes them slow starters, as you say.
     
  12. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    another great one by ision!

    your comments to scout were very intersting.

    Y
     
  13. Global Nexus

    Global Nexus Terran Confederate

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    These civ reviews have helped my gameplay a lot, Ision. I cannot wait for your review of Carthage, my personal fave civ. ^_^
     
  14. dgfred

    dgfred Sports Freak

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    I have noticed the same thing-I try to knock them out before they can get
    Chivalry :eek: , those elephants can be very nasty.
     
  15. zerksees

    zerksees in remission

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    In one of my current PBEM games (3 other humans and 4 AI - emperor level), I chose India because I felt they were the weakest civ in PTW.

    I am not so sure they are the weakest right now. I have the fortune (or misfortune) of being placed with the AI Vikings to the west and AI Zulu to the east/south. I am a little behind in city count and tech, but once I get monrachy or republic I can see those culturally deficient Zulu cities flipping to me.

    In general, in C3C I think the war elephant is a bigger advantage since resources are more scarce - being able to build it without the iron is a big advantage.
     
  16. chancellor_dan

    chancellor_dan Prince

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    I've never found Ghandi to be anything other than a trouble making warmonger, a thorn in my side and an old foe, regardless of who i was.
     
  17. Reprisal

    Reprisal Warlord

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    I think India is Asian culture group, so if you're playing an Asian tribe, relations should be a bit better than if you were playing a tribe from another culture group like European or American. Still, I think I'm going to play a game with the Indians sooner or later... the War Elephant is one of the units that I've not seen in action yet.
     
  18. Shevek

    Shevek Prince

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    Ision,

    Excellent review as all the others were.

    There is hardly anything to add.
    One advantage I found when playing India is that one can trade an only source of iron or horses and still have access to a knight type unit.
    That saved my bacon in my last game as India.
     
  19. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

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    I'd agree with chancellor dan, the AI apparently doesn't know the Indians are a peace-loving people. In one recent game, after they had declared on me about 4 times, I'd finally had enough. One turn before I blasted off into outer space, I gladly traded Ghandi and his Persian/Greek allies their territory maps for my knowledge of nuclear power and then provided a more practical demonstation with 38 ICBMs. :devil2:
     
  20. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    Nice review Ision.Persoanlly I've found the indians as a slow starting civ with to few redeeming qualities to make up for it. Nice culture/builder type civ though.
     

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