the isolated start thread

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by sherbz, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    i think this is a weak area of the game. Im sure we all have various stories about how far we have been behind when we all started on an isolated island in the middle of no where and all the other AI's were an entire age ahead of us when we found them.

    Id like to discuss game mechanics. Whereas i agree that, if a real life civilzation comes into contact with another civilization, then they would learn stuff quicker if that civ knew something that they didnt. But from a gaming perspective, i think this sucks. Its already a massive disadvantage starting isolated, so why heap misery upon misery by penalising your tech further? A 4% discount on techs to research that have already been researched by AI's you have met isnt fair IMO. I think they ought to do away with this. I also think that if you are on an isolated continent and have not met anyone, then for every barb city you capture or destroy, you get gifted a tech that has the lowest beaker count on the tech tree. This bonus would vanish once you meet your first AI. thoughts?
     
  2. mechaerik

    mechaerik Tuturuu!

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    That's very easily exploitable, considering I have seen situations where a barb village keeps spawning in the exact same place a few turns after I destroy it.
     
  3. Berkobob

    Berkobob Warlord

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    I recommend a search for the Lonely Hearts club to find strategies to compete with an isolated start.

    Isolation does have some advantages, namely ability to skimp on military and settle a good chunk of land peacefully.

    The big killer is not being able to trade with the AI to keep up in tech and get hold of sufficient happy/healthy resources.
     
  4. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    I know how to win on an issolated start, its just that the strategy you are forced to take is so idiosyncratic it makes the game boring. you could obviously tweak the barb city spawning code so that they did not spawn cities all of the time. My personal preference would be for a new minor civ to spawn: one that would not capitulate and be at a constant state of war with you.
     
  5. Berkobob

    Berkobob Warlord

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    Forgive me if this sounds rude, but dont the barbarians function the same way as your proposed 'minor civ' ?

    Not sure I like the free tech idea, when you take a barb city you get gold which theoretically could be used to fund deficit research anyway.

    Maybe an alternative would be to have random events where the barbarians propose trades (EG offer to teach you something basic like Monotheism for 100G), or even offer themselves up to your civ (similar to flipping a city).
     
  6. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    No because the barb civ could still exist when you meet another AI, and then forge normal relationships with that new AI (eg bribe them into war, adopt their religion etc...you could even give them a unique attribute, which goes something along the lines of war bribes cost 75% less than what they normall do). The new civ could then act like the romans: sucking up to one particular group within that territory, then obliterating all of the rest. This would be problematic, however, if another AI landed on your territory (would the barbs attack them?). Id probably say no they would only attack on your continent, and against you.

    point 2: a tech would be more valuable (in 90% of cases than gold)

    point 3: i agree. Tades could indeed become part of the random event cycle linked to barbs. Come to think of it. Its weird that there arent random events linked to isolated starts.
     
  7. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Hall Monitor Super Moderator

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    I'm not sure I would call this a weak area. I actually find isolated starts rather interesting because you have to step outside the box, and use a different set of tactics. Doing this, at least at Prince, I have no trouble being at or above the AI's tech level by the time they get Astronomy, and I usually have a more than adequate army as well, should they choose to invade.

    It's all in what you beeline, really. Pick up the Oracle for Metal Casting, prioritize a couple of techs that will allow some commerce and science buildings, cottage like crazy, build a GP farm, research the military ones: mounted units, siege, and something you can promote with the CR or Drill line. Then head for Lib, grab Astronomy, and build a navy while you get Gunpowder, Guilds, and Chemistry...

    Then go forth, search and destroy, trade for Feudalism, kill everyone, or make them your vassal -> win the game -> sit back with a cold root beer, and check CFC for PMs.

    Works for me. ;)
     
  8. Kawalimus

    Kawalimus Warlord

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    On emperor I can never do these right. One time I did come close to winning one though, I conquered Willem and Montezuma on another island but stupid Sury capped sitting bull before I got over to that landmass. If he hadn't done that and I'd capped SB I might have been able to do it.

    I just have problems keeping pace and I can never get inside the clique the other civs have formed by then. I'm just an outsider.
     
  9. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    All they have to do is remove the worst enemy map hack detection and iso wouldn't be nearly so bad.
     
  10. Boom12389

    Boom12389 Chieftain

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    I don't think isolated starts are that bad. Sure, I find the teching is much, much slower (took me until 2020 to win by space :cry:), but the AI can't do naval invasions for crap, so you can turtle and slowly crawl towards your chosen victory.
     
  11. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    Good chunk of land? When I have settled my little island I usually find that I have LESS than "my percentage"(100/number of civs in the game) of land.

    But isolated is quite easy if you are willing to go AP or culture. For everyone seeking domination/conquest/space isolated is a pain.
     
  12. mechaerik

    mechaerik Tuturuu!

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    My home continent usually starts with another civ or 2 on it.... but its isolated by medieval times.
     
  13. Berkobob

    Berkobob Warlord

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    You would be amazed what you can do with six solid cities. Although I admit some islands give you really crummy land.

    I finish every game via domi/conquest, the big problem with isolated is the need to split hammers between navy and army without having that critical mass (ie having conquered 1-3 civs on your continent and being the largest civ).
     
  14. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    this strategy doesnt really work very well on emperor or immortal. Ive managed to win on an isolated start (usually via diplo or culture), but on immortal i think its almost impossible to win the liberalism race (ive never done it). Its fairly easy on a populated start.

    As an aside note, i think the oracle strategy is a very weak one on hhigher skill settings. You have to divert time away from key worker techs and defence, which is defo not a good idea, especially if you are isolated and need that defence to spawn bust your landmass.
     
  15. Berkobob

    Berkobob Warlord

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    I have won Lib on Immortal when isolated. Better players than I have done it on Deity.

    Oracle is good on high levels because it slows down the AI's. Being isolated means you have more time to backfill your lands.
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I have, and I'm one of the slower techers in the immortal/deity group. Poaching great library and/or getting taoism first slows things down. Aside from that, if you want a straight shot out there you can get it ~ 1000 AD (or much earlier with bulbs though one wonders the value in that) which usually wins at immortal. I get astro ~1100 AD sometimes, by getting within one turn of lib and then chain-trading up to optics. Of course often I just say hell with it and go for astro first after civil service. In a couple awkward cases in the LHC series, I've managed to get lib AFTER astro on immortal.

    Oracle is fine on immortal/deity in isolation, although on deity you will probably want a commerce resource to have a chance at taking anything decent. What you sacrifice then is expansion rate, but that doesn't hurt much with uncontested land.

    Barbs can generally be handled mostly or entirely by warriors. Certainly you get enough time to build a wonder or two that way, often the whole island winds up getting locked down that way and if a barb city doesn't spawn I can't get Heroic Epic it's so effective :cry:.
     
  17. Bluto_Longneck

    Bluto_Longneck Chieftain

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    I like isolated starts, especially with someone like Pericles. It's mostly Monarch level for me, I'm so tired of seeing 42 scouts per turn and what not. It takes me back to Civ3, when the AI had even sillier bonuses. Like Deity games, you move your single warrior and you see a stack of 7 archers.

    But lonely starts give me freedom to do what I want and don't have to hear one voice (text) telling me what to do. What Civ game was that, when the AI wanted something, he actually asked for an audiance? I miss that.

    And TMIT, I know your spawning tactics works, but lately I seen strange things. 3.19 patch and woody warriors dies helplessly fortified on foresthills against archers and even my archers on woody hills, dying against simple warriors. Barbs is just a frustration for me now and I have turned them off in many games. Only time I want them on is when I want HE.
     
  18. Callonia

    Callonia Deity

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    I love isolated starts XD

    My favorite map is archipalego soo XD

    Its usually fun to take over your island quickly if its small and then expand to grab surrounding smaller islands. It always force you to develop your navy.

    I generally build alot of archers, and promote them along the combat strength line. I tend to do this if I fail to get stonehenge or not fail.

    It's pretty fun being an small nation coz you get to observe how AI behaves, and in my games, AI tend to be VERY WAR HUNGRY XD

    If your careful enough and choose correctly you'll be able to carve out one medium sized Civ with better land and take it for yourself or choose to join the side with lots of friends that hates that one big badass civ with plenty of vassals.

    Send your troops to kill off one of his vassal and use his land to increase your power!
     
  19. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    The exchange of ideas is what made the places that advanced advance at the rate they did. Its totally normal.
    Fair? Life isn't fair.

    As for getting techs from barb villages, broken. Barbs generally lose because they are less advanced than you, so how could you, for example, conquer a village defended by archers, while using macemen, and recieve gunpowder in return?
     
  20. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Hall Monitor Super Moderator

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    You're probably right about that. I should have mentioned that I've been playing at Prince.

    I have this incredible urge to be roughed up, beaten, and mauled, so I'll be moving to Monarch after my current game is finished. :D
     

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