The MC -> Machinery Slingshot

Diamondeye

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I haven't actually seen an article on this one in here yet, so I decided to write one myself. Feel free to comment.

Terms
Here is a list of abbrevations and "slang" used in the article, and their explanations:
BW: Short for the Bronze Working tech.
MC: Short for the Metal Casting tech.
Prereq.: Short for "prerequisite"
Whip/Whipping: Slang for sacrificing population to fasten production using the Slavery Civic.
Chop/Chopping: Slang for using a worker to cut down forests, providing cheap and fast production.
Prechop/Prechopping: Slang for using a worker to work multiple forests until there is only one turn left of the chopping time, readying the forests for even faster production.
xbows: Slang for Crossbowmen
"Right off the bat": Popular slang line meaning "As soon as..."
"Pop": Meaning a tech or a Great Person appears / is discovered.
GPP: Short for Great People Points, shown as :gp: in the city interface.
GE: Short for Great Engineer.
GP: Short for Great Prophet.
"Bulb" or "Lightbulb": Slang for using a Great Person to complete (or later help complete) a tech.

Requirements
Here is the listed requirements to perform the Slingshot, noted either as a Hard Requirement, meaning a must-have, or a Soft Requirement, meaning an optional requirement that would help you perform the slingshot, but is not strictly needed.
  • Hard Requirement: Starting the game in Ancient Age.
  • Soft Requirement: Starting with one or more of these techs: Mining, Mysticism, The Wheel
  • Soft Requirement: Playing as an Industrious Leader
  • Soft Requirement: Playing as a Spiritual Leader
  • Soft Requirement: Playing as a Philosophical Leader
  • Soft Requirement: Starting near (or on!) the Marble Resource
  • Soft Requirement: Starting near lots of forests.
  • Soft Requirement: Starting near a food resource or floodplain (for faster growth, faster whipping out a worker, supporting an Engineer specialist)


Performing the Slingshot
In order to perform the Slingshot, you will first be needing BW and Pottery (as prereqs for MC), and Priesthood (To build the Oracle Wonder). This is where it is useful to start with the Mining or the Mysticism tech. There are two main paths to start out with:
BW First:
Popular, especially if you start with mining. Let your city grow while you build a warrior (or something else), while researching BW. Once your city hits size 2, start putting hammers into a worker. When you've finished BW, whip your city back to population 1 in order to complete the worker fast. Having a food resource neaby helps completing this first step faster. Once you have BW, immidietly start researching down the Mysticism-Meditation-Priesthood line. While you are doing this, use your worker for prechopping nearby forests.
Priesthood First:
Not exactly popular, this start has potential. If you are starting with Mysticism, you should definately consider going down the Priesthood path first. While researching (Mysticicm)-Meditation-Priesthood, build a worker. This start gives you a good shot at the early Buddhism religion from the Meditation tech if you start with Mysticism. Once you hit Priesthood, immidietly start building the Oracle and tech for BW, and start chopping when you get the tech.

While finishing the Oracle on both of these starts, research towards the Pottery tech - this is where it is useful to start with the wheel. As the MC tech requires the Pottery tech, do not complete the Oracle before you have the Pottery tech!
If you are Industrious, the Oracle will only take half the time to finish.

Okay, you now have the Oracle, and you have to choose your free tech. Pick MC. Start building a forge in your second city (this is important if you need to rely on 100% chance to get a GE, as the Oracle provides GPP for a GP), chop if you can - a useful trait here is Industrious, as it halves production time for the forge aswell. As soon as the forge is up, have an Engineer specialist work in your city. Here it is useful to have a food resource or floodplain in your vicinity, or you'll have to halt the city's growth while working the Engineer. Meanwhile, research any prereqs for Machinery (can't remember them, if any), and Archery (to be able to build xbows right off the bat once you get Machinery).
Now, wait for a Great Engineer to pop in your city. This is where it pays off to be a Philosophical Leader, as you generate GPP twice as fast. While waiting for this, it might be a good idea to build a settler and/or some defenses. Another good thing to build is a Granary.

Once the GE pops, use him to bulb Machinery.

Congratiulations, you have just performed a MC-Machinery Slingshot! Now go beat up your enemies with an army of Crossbows!

Please comment any mistakes, feedback, spelling errors, or the like.
Diamondeye.
 
You are not guaranteed to get a great engineer, except you build the forge in a second city FAST. And I don't know wether it is possible to squeeze in a settler in your builds, but I guess you already tried that strategy?
 
Oh you're right, Infact the probability of the engi popping will be quite low, but if you're good enough at whipping the forge fast, you can have a near 50-50 chance, but yes, to be sure, you have to build the forge in the second city. I will edit the post to show this.
 
Thanks for the links, VoU, I have read some of the guides by Sisiutil and find them very useful. However this Slingshot aims for a military advance compared to the groundbreaking 'Mids, especially useful in SEs... I thought of this in my last game where my Quecha Rush was murdered by some early Dogsoldiers and I needed a counter for them. I almost by chance got a GE and bulbed Machinery - and then I was leading the war until he got a lot of horse archers (odds 50-50 vs xbows not considering promos or terrain), And the WW struck. I eventually quit once I found the other continent filled with harmonic and highly advanced leaders all of another religion than me.

But that's not the point! The point is that the guide is for occasions like this where you (for some reason) need a counter for infantry instead of the Pyramids.

Again, thanks for your reply. :worship::worship:I am not worthy:worship::worship:
 
Oracle = 150 hammers
Forge = 120 hammers
34 turns running an engineer instead of working a plains hill = 68 hammers
Total cost: 338:hammers:

Pyramids cost 450:hammers:

So this strategy is a bit cheaper than getting the Pyramids, but you don't have Representation to help you research Archery and Iron Working (and everything else!).
 
Oracle = 150 hammers
Forge = 120 hammers
34 turns running an engineer instead of working a plains hill = 68 hammers
Total cost: 338:hammers:

Pyramids cost 450:hammers:

So this strategy is a bit cheaper than getting the Pyramids, but you don't have Representation to help you research Archery and Iron Working (and everything else!).

Thanks for the reply Dave, but you misunderstand our argument - Voice Of Unreason arguments for using the GE rushing 'Mids. Considering your above maths, it shows out he earns about 112 hammers on that.

Consider being Industrious, the Oracle is 75 :hammers:, Forge is 60 :hammers:, Pyramids are 225 :hammers:, but the lost hammers by working plains hill is still 68, equalling in 203 :hammers: vs 225 :hammers: cutting the hammers gained by rushing to a fifth - it nearly pays off just to build them the original way if industrious.
 
My argument is you should build the Pyramids and bulb Machinery. :)

I don't like Oracle -> GE -> Pyramids either. It makes your next few GPs 50% - 100% more expensive.
 
The point is that the guide is for occasions like this where you (for some reason) need a counter for infantry instead of the Pyramids.

I understand that, once you've got a Great Engineer, the best way to leverage him will not be the same in all cases.

I think you will appreciate, on reflection, that this slingshot is really about spawning the great engineer as quickly as possible. And that problem was covered in the prior art (perhaps not completely - I'm certainly willing to believe that there are other improvements to be made).

I don't guess that winning the Big Stone Trophy will spawn that engineer faster than the Oracle -> MC slingshot will. 500 Hammers in one city is a lot more than 338 shared between two.

Is my confidence that the price of the BST went up misplaced? Edit: no, my copy of Civ4BuildingInfos.xml agrees with my memory.
 
Meanwhile, research any prereqs for Machinery (can't remember them, if any), and Archery (to be able to build xbows right off the bat once you get Machinery).

You also need IW and iron (at least in Warlords, maybe BTS removed that req?) for the xbows.
 
focusing too much on puling this of instead of devolping your empire is a mistake imo, you should get out 3 cities before you start the oracle for much better effect. Having oracle xbows without production is not very usefull. Get worker techs before priesthood(whatever you need to improve your high food sources). This is obviously best qith quin as you get cho no kus that are protective, his uu and you have cheap forges, that said it is prolly better to just hardreaserch machinery after MC/IW/Archery.
 
Thanks for all the feedback, and yes AnaNg, Xbows does require iron. I was just surprised how easily I got them in my latest game as Inca, and thought I could bring it up here. :)
I agree with VoU that this slingshot is about getting the GE asap - what you do with it afterwards is for you to decide. Another nice thing is rushing AP with it...
 
Today I succeeded to build the GW (great wall) one turn later the oracle and in my third city a force within enough turns so my first GP is an engineer to bulb machinery. I want to kill my neighbour with Cho-ko-nu's (I'm Qin shi huan) and my second GP will a great spy so I can infiltrate and steal techs :)
 
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