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The Netherlands - friends then foes

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by crdvis16, May 17, 2016.

  1. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,143
    In an effort to add more content to the strategy forum I wanted to do a write up of my experiences playing as the Netherlands and the general strategy I pursued. So here it is!

    Civ: Netherlands
    UA: +4 culture from each different imported luxury and +4 gold from each different exported luxury (scales with era)
    UU: Sea Begger- stronger Corvette with city attack, supply (healing outside of owned waters), and prize ships (chance to convert defeated ships to your side) promotions.
    UI: Polder- built on tiles with access to freshwater, gives food/production/gold and then extra yields with certain techs. Unlocked at Guilds.

    My general strategy will be to leverage Netherland's unique set to achieve a diplomatic victory. I'll do this by being a friendly neighbor in the early game in order to facilitate trade and then pivoting to an aggressor once I have a navy.

    Early Game:

    The only relevant part of the Netherlands' unique bonuses in the early game are the bonuses to luxury importing/exporting. In order to import and export them it helps immensely to have friendly relations with other civs. So early game priorities for me were to find the other civs by building my scout first, research the necessary technologies in order to improve my local luxuries and have the workers to do so, and find ways to improve relations with my neighbors.

    My opening build order was scout->monument->shrine. Tech order is dependent on what luxuries are available to improve. My policy of choice is Progress because it will help me get my infrastructure going early on and will be beneficial to having a wide puppet empire later on. The early shrine is for founding a pantheon for its bonuses but I am not particularly concerned with founding a religion. The Netherlands have no bonuses to faith generation or synergies with religion and playing on Immortal it can take some effort to found one which is just not worth it.

    For settling my cities I made sure to make at least one on the coast with good production tiles that will be my military city (Sea Beggers!). Other cities would preferably be near freshwater tiles if possible for later Polder construction.

    Making friends with other civs in order to have trade partners can be tricky. You need to have a decent military to avoid early DoWs. I purposely avoided settling too close to neighbors to avoid border tension. Trading embassies is helpful so getting to writing early in order to do so is beneficial. Do not be afraid to trade away a luxury even if you only have a single copy of it as the +4 gold from your UA trait is great and scales. Importing luxuries is really the greatest boon to Netherlands, though. I was often getting ~1/2 of my total culture from all the imports, including from CSs. You can really cruise through policies if you get your luxury imports going, completing Progress and jumping into Statecraft.

    Mid Game:

    Finally getting to guilds, start spamming Polders wherever possible. Cities along rivers or with lakes get a huge boost to production and food from these. These great tiles can boost cities into powerhouses capable of stealing mid game wonders, especially those suited to a diplomatic victory.

    Right around when you've created a sizeable navy and upgraded them to Sea Beggers is the time to pivot towards aggression. Picking your enemy correctly is important. A rival that is a threat to your alliances with CSs is a good target (Greece, Austria, Mongolia, Venice, etc) or anyone that has conquered a CS that you can liberate. Someone that has wonders, especially diplomatic ones, is a bonus. You also want to prioritize someone with cities along the coast and someone who preferably has a large navy of their own. Your Sea Beggers have increased CS compared to corvettes, but most importantly they can capture defeated naval units and turn them to you side. Your navy will continue to get stronger as you win more and more battles and will snowball into a dominating force.

    With the seas secured your Sea Beggers can then transition to attacking cities with their free city attack promotions (also getting you gold for each attack!). Conquered cities left as puppets still contribute to your empire via the progress tree bonuses as well as the science/gold/culture they naturally give.

    Your third policy choice should be Imperialism to complement a strong naval power. Extra Great Admirals can be used to give yourself new luxuries and trade them away for massive gold- remember, that +4 GPT has now scaled up and up with each passing era.

    Aside from dominating the seas, continue to build diplomatic buildings for Great Diplomat generation, diplomatic units, and completing CS quests when possible. Put yourself into a situation to dominate votes in the world congress and turn it to your advantage.

    End Game:

    Pretty straight forward from here on out. Ally every CS you can now that your wide puppet/conquered empire gives you access to extra paper and production for diplomatic units. Use your Polder powerhouse cities to grab wonders. Use your influence in the world congress to pass preferable proposals. Your large amount of culture from your luxury trading is both a buffer against ideological pressure and a means to plow through 3 sets of policies and unlock ideologies earlier than most other civs.

    Continue to conquer via the seas if necessary- the Sea Begger promotions are kept upon upgrade turning them into monster Ironclads and beyond.

    Eventually, your CS alliances, diplomatic wonders, and preferable world congress proposals (world religion, world ideology, etc) will put you over the top in delegate counts and win you the game.
     
  2. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    This looks almost exactly how I'd play the Dutch. Diplomacy is really important for them for all the reasons you describe.

    Great job!
     
  3. merill

    merill Prince

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
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    Location:
    France
    Do you put our villages near polders when possible or do you try to put villages inside a ring of polder?
     
  4. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
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    I found that the polder/village synergy was a bit hard to naturally come by. I tended to simply prioritize putting polders as many places as possible and probably wouldn't place a village instead of a polder for the extra gold. I could be wrong in not trying, though. That type of thing can often just be dependent on the tiles and such around your city and not entirely up to your control.
     

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