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The Power of Settled Great Spies

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by madscientist, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    :wallbash::wallbash::wallbash::wallbash::wallbash::wallbash::wallbash:
     
  2. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    Grrrr. Tried again, but failed. Zara ended up completing his space ship on another continent during the 1800s still, and that was even while he was busy fighting and launching nukes!

    I had Justinian next to me, and despite I let him grab a lot more land than usual (so he could tech fast), he still was lagging behind.... just too slow.

    I think this strat is extremely limited, but I'll try a few more shots.
     
  3. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I agree, it is limited. However, it's a way for a poor teching leader to remain competitive, especially if there is no good GP farm. As I said, it is not for every leader, and I played exclusively at Monarch, not sure if it workd as well at your level.
     
  4. Refar

    Refar Deity

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    Zara on the other continent can be quite a pain - if he expands unchecked he easily becomes a monster. But why didn't you steal from Zara instead, as he was the most advanced, so it seems ?
     
  5. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    The distance fees would have been excrutiating. Not to mention, assuming I even have open borders. And since we had different religions, again I was too taxed. And all this is assuming you can get your spies across the distance.

    I think a much better strategy is to simply stick with scientists.
     
  6. Refar

    Refar Deity

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    The Spy Economy represented here is only kind of "Supplementary Espionage" - in a full blown EE, where i stop teching completely, i usually don't care about distance and such - can afford it.
    I only play Monarch to Emperor however, so you might be right for higher levels.
     
  7. Gr8scott

    Gr8scott Warlord

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    You can reliably get the Great Wall on deity, but you need a civ that starts with mining and a few forest tiles.

    The best I have been able to manage is with Qin (industrious helps a bit but not critical. Qin is for the chokos...)

    The tech order is BW => masonry => iron working (you need to control iron for chokos)
    The build order is worker => worker => warrior => GW => settler

    you can't do anything with the workers but chop (unless you start on a plains hill and get a worker before BW).

    You need to have the GW by turn 35-38 iirc.

    Once the GW is built, you try to do the expansion game as good as possible (at least you don't have to worry about barbs too much)

    The general idea behind the game:

    -use GSpy to power early tech stealing to get you to machinary at roughly the same time as the AIs.

    -use the power of Chokos to take over an AI (or two if you are lucky/good)

    -Parley the extra land into a deity win

    I have been repeating the opening mostly, but I can fairly reliably get to the point where chokos are ready to go on a rampage (maybe 50% of the time)

    Deity is rough though. If a better player wants to give this a go, let me know how it goes!

    GS
     
  8. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    Well I am trying to go full-bore like a MoFu. Anyhow, I lost again, Zara vassaled his whole continent practically and that was the end of that.

    Though I did save it part-way through. I suppose I can continue from there and try something different. I should perhaps have gifted a world map so he could build a city close by me on a piece of ice to collect that beaver :p

    This causes a whole mess of other problems though...

    But I don't know... even if somehow I win this one... the fact that I have to take a few tries at the same map sort of devalues the whole thing.
     
  9. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    I tried a Suleiman Deity game on small Pangea. Built 1 initial worker, stole another. Regenereated until I had stone nearby and chopped successfully both the GreatWall and the Pyramids. Settled the first GreatSpy. 4 cities at 1500-1000BC and about to capture the 5th from the score leader AI.

    Unfortunately, my relative tech speed is rather slow :-/ I am teching to Alphabet very slowly while the strongest AI is halfway through Literature. We both have Swordsman. I am not afraid to fall much behind in tech, because the settled GreatSpy will produce sufficient targeted :espionage: to steal techs down the way.

    I did research IronWorking before Alphabet so I could produce some defensive units since WorldWarI was near. I also needed to capture one barbarian city behind my choke point.

    Ideally, the score leading AI should sacrifice his whole stack on my choke point city and I should have 324053045 GGs out of this neverending battle with GreatWall and Imperialistic. :) I'll do a more serious try with Suleiman. If my starting position contained one more luxury resource, a gold or a gem, I would be in much better shape technologically.
     
  10. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    If you have a good choke-point, I suppose you could just run a pill-box strategy from the get-go. Get a bunch of CG promoted bowmen, and get your fortification bonus + whip walls (yes I said walls). This seems one way how you could get the Deity AI's to lose their production bonuses. Just slaughter them at a rate of ten to 1. They'll keep rebuilding but you won't. And once you hit your feudalism tech, you've hit the holy grail for the defender again.

    Anyhow, I won't have time to resume my game until the weekend so it will have to wait till then. In the meantime, I'm not TOO scared about it though. But next time, maybe I should tip the scales in my favour by using Pangea.
     
  11. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    Mad, are you suggesting this half-assed system because it may allow a shot at the liberalism race? Or other. I think if you are planning to not win the race, it would be much better to ignore any GPs other than Spies.

    I think for a full blown Spy Econ, the only real pollution early should be something like from the Oracle, due to Oracle --> CoL.

    My current game though I'm trying to keep as 100% g-spies. I did wake up early during the night so squeezed in a few more hours, but still there are probably a few more hours left to go.
     
  12. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    YEs, I am thinking of a shot at the liberalism race, to get nationalism for free. Earlier nationalism will outweigh the cost of that one GScientist.
    It certainly is half-assed, I agree. It's to be a supplemental strategy to help THose leaders that have trouble keeping up in tech.
     
  13. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    I noticed the effects of nationalism is always much less than you expect. Anyhow, I completed the game, and came in second AGAIN. Arggg. There just isn't any prize for second place in this game, but that's what happens when you use a strategy which basically forces you to run in second.

    I guess I can try dropping down to Immortal and seeing ho w it goes.
     
  14. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    Welp, it doesn't look like TOO many others are interested in a spy economy. Anyhow, it is monday now so the weekend has come & gone, and unfortunately I couldn't make this a go. I guess there is always next weekend. I thought I came close but no cigar. Even with the internet project, there is 100 & 1 things which NEED to go right for this method, and that's often 1 thing too many lol.

    I suppose I could tweak a few things just a little bit more, maybe increase my MM as well a tad, but I don't think that's going to be nearly enough.
     
  15. Cashew

    Cashew Prince

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    I would never bother to go for the greatwall early on if I didn't settle on stone. Most people have weak espionage all game so the early spy is completely pointless and will cut too much into your expansion and other builds.
     
  16. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    The point of the article is to explore how to use settled great Spies to supplement a normal game. The Great Wall is a vital part of that unless there is some other way I don't know of to get a GSpy prior to Code of Laws.
     
  17. Cashew

    Cashew Prince

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    Ziggurats :O

    EDIT: Seriously though, ZIGGURATS.
     
  18. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    Excellent point there!
     
  19. FlyinJohnnyL

    FlyinJohnnyL You need more workers....

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    This is all the MORE reason to build the wall. Since most people have weak EP all game, that one early great spy settled in the cap is usually enough for you to basically ignore ep the rest of the game...it will routinely allow you to see what the other civs are teching, which is pretty important imho.

    It's nice basically ignoring the fact that you even have an EP slider...that being said I've been having a ball this week running EP economies. Never thought about Ziggurats, maybe I'll try it with Gilly, or even use unrestricteds...
     
  20. Tephros

    Tephros Caffeine Junkie

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    Then there's the mechanics of religion and espionage. Having the holy city and stealing from the cities of empires with heathen religions is powerful. It's still more powerful than a trade route even if they are the same religion. Having the holy city of your religion makes espionage much more viable.

    Somebody also mentioned the idea that you cannot have a tech lead using a strategy like this. I disagree. If you steal monopoly techs from multiple civs, you can be the world tech leader. However, it is a bit difficult to be the first to techs such as liberalism.

    In terms of predicting who will have education first, that's not too hard. The passive effect of seeing research isn't too expensive, and you can see who even can research education in the foreign advisor, limiting the number of civs you'll need to direct espionage at. Then you get roughly 3 spies in 3 separate cities (the bottom 3 for cost, which can be predicted by seeing how much it would cost to poison their water in the espionage advisor) and time it so they are at -50% cost when the AI researches the tech, i.e. you move them into the city when the AI is 6 turns away. I use only one spy per city because of the penalties with stacking spies. Sometimes I keep another set of spies on the border in case one or more get caught. But if you have spent more espionage than them, the odds of success go up.

    Personally I prefer a hybrid economy with an espionage city or two, so you can have the best of all worlds. And in that case you're going to have a variable espionage slider depending upon who's researching what.
     

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