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The Romans

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Ision, Jan 18, 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 Romans

    The mystique of ancient Rome has a unique attraction to a great many CIVers. The fame of this CIV has undoubtedly made it among the most common of, “the first CIV I ever played was…” stories. Among CIVs, the Romans have a small but highly loyal following of players. What follows is my take on the Romans, and a few tips for all you would be ‘Caesars’. Veni – Vidi – Vici !

    Militaristic and Commercial, the Roman traits are not among the most dynamic as a combination. The greatest asset of the Militaristic trait is the ability to generate great leaders and the faster promotion rate of its units. Unlike many traits, the power of militaristic is felt throughout the entire game. However its greatest impact is in the early game. Generate 2 or 3 Ancient Age armies and the game may be over in a flash. The commercial trait is also like the militaristic in that it too is felt throughout the entire game. However, its impact is the exact inverse of militaristic. Commercial starts off slowly, and begins to snowball in its effect. Its greatest impact is felt in the early Industrial Age. Lastly, a warmongering Roman will find that neither of his starting techs give him a head start are in a tech branch that works towards the strengths of his UU (Iron Working) or towards a warmongers Government (Monarchy).

    The peaceful Roman will find that his traits can be used effectively culturally and scientifically, if he is both patient and plans ahead in detail. This player is better served with a Republic beeline – shoot for Philosophy first (grab CoL with free tech) and then research Republic slowly. His research time towards Republic will allow him to build up a decent amount of commerce and allow his cities to grow to enough population as to make Republic useful. The Republic beeline usually allows for him being able to trade for Iron Working and his access to Legionary UUs. The Legionary acts as a superb defender/attacker combo making other CIVs think twice about attacking a peaceful Rome. Unfortunately the starting Roman traits tend to keep Rome from being able to expand as fast or hard as other CIVs. A peaceful-builder Roman may find that early wars are almost necessities if he is to have enough cities to take advantage of the Commercial trait in the 3rd and 4th ages. The Roman player will find that he must pay full price for his cultural buildings. The money for this will roll in – but be patient. The early game for the peaceful Roman is far better served with Marketplaces and Harbors, than Temples or Libraries. Cultural buildings will come later and in mass – but first priority is the bank account. Scientifically Rome usually lags, or is at best on par with the other CIVs, until the early Industrial Ages when the Libraries and Universities make their impact. Until then make the best of having the advantage of starting with Alphabet and the jump-start to Philosophy. Astute trades can keep you at tech parity for some time.

    Warmongering with Rome is usually far more rewarding than peaceful building. Roman advantages include, cheap barracks and a UU that is truly an awesome weapon. The Legionary is a 3-3-1 foot unit that requires iron. Amass a goodly number of these beast and most CIVs will be hard pressed to survive a determined Roman attack. The Legionary is also one of those UUs whose value is not eclipsed until the advent of Cavalry, and therefore is potent throughout most of the Middle Ages. The 3-3-1 stats of the Legionary allows for it to act as both Hoplite and Swordsman at the same time! The Roman can literally build nearly no other type of unit for quite some time. Also, keep in mind that the Legionary benefits immensely working in combination with a small group of catapults. Generate 3 armies (filled with Legions) with great leaders, and you will find that there is virtually no city in ancient or middle ages that can withstand the assault. . Unfortunately, the higher cost of upgrades in C3C has hit Rome hard. The traditional tactic of a mass warrior upgrade to Legionary is no longer viable except in a limited sense. You will find that your upgrading will be done in portions. In effect your warmongering will also be more in the ‘one bit at a time’ style, than the complete overruns that were common in PTW. In a poor start situation you may even be better served foregoing a Legionary strat for an archer strat. The beeline to Philosophy (grab Polytheism as free tech), and then slowly research Monarchy - usually better serves the warmongering Roman (this assumes you were able to trade for Mysticism). As a warmonger CIV Rome is a solid choice, but far from a top choice.

    Summary: A fantastic UU cannot make up for a litany of Civ deficiencies that include: an awkward trait combo, slow early expansion, typically an early UU generated Golden Age, early tech parity problems, and the loss of Rome’s greatest strat – the mass upgrade to Legionary. At the higher levels even the Alphabet to Philosophy (*free tech) beeline strat is usually lost. A slow, ponderous, overly methodical, and uncomfortable CIV to play – 3rd tier overall (2nd tier for warmongers).

    below is the link to my other Civ reviews:

    other CIV Reviews by Ision
     
  2. Hornhelm

    Hornhelm Chieftain

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    This is why I would say the traits are perfectly matched - to make the most of the commercial trait, you need to expand, for which you have the perfect tools, a militaristic trait and a good ancient age UU that triggers a GA right when you most need to expand. Because cultural improvements are full price, your best bet is simply to go straight to Ironworking, then aim for Monarchy while you invade your neighbours and use the GA to mass-produce a winning number of Legionaries, until you're the size that you want. Then you sit back, build your city improvements and watch the money roll in.
     
  3. Ision

    Ision Master

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    Hornhelm,

    In reference to Rome as a peaceful builder - your quote made my argument - read your quote and you will find that that is NOT a peaceful builder strat.

    Ision
     
  4. Hornhelm

    Hornhelm Chieftain

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    It was in response to your summary - 'a litany of civ deficiencies...' I don't think the trait combo is mis-matched at all, and the UU and militaristic trait makes it a fast expanding civ - just at the expense of your neighbours, of course. 3rd tier as a peaceful civ, maybe, but your strategy isn't only about that - playing Rome and not invading your neighbours would waste their best advantage.
     
  5. Ision

    Ision Master

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    I agree - their best advantage is warmongering, and off the top of my head I can think of a half dozen trait combo's that are far better suited for this: Ind/Mil, Exp/Mil, Exp/Ind, Ind/Agr, Agr/Mil, Sea/Mil, Exp/Rel, Sci/Ind, ect.......................there are even more.

    Ision
     
  6. Zingo

    Zingo Beer

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    Nice Ision!
    Just wondering about this line:
    "Unfortunately, the higher cost of upgrades in C3C has hit Rome hard. The traditional tactic of a mass warrior upgrade to Legionary is no longer viable except in a limited sense"

    How more expensive is it to upgrade in C3C than PTW?
     
  7. Hornhelm

    Hornhelm Chieftain

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    Agricultural I can understand, but how exactly do better goody huts, more ship movement points, cheaper temples or faster workers allow you to build more units in the ancient age? You only need to know where your immediate neighbours are, the coastal trade bonus is nothing to commercial, you should conquer a civ or two before you need to throw a revolution, and in the ancient age your cities can only work a certain number of tiles - when they grow past their ability to work all developed tiles, build another worker. Nothing matches agricultural in any age, but commercial does noticably reduce corruption in the ancient age - I always notice in commerical civs that my core is wider - cities two towns away from the capital are better at producing units than they otherwise would be. Man, if I had to win conquest game in Civ3 to save my life, only Iroquios and Celts would be a better choice, imo.
     
  8. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Ision have you been on holiday? Anyway another useful article. Although a powerful UU you are right about an awkward combo of civ traits. The AI tends to play Rome poorly (that I have seen up to Emperor)and a human player seems to be limited to legionaire swarm tactics.

    A great UU comparable to Gaelic Swordsmen or possably Immortals but both the Celts and Persians have a better trait combo.

    Anyone else think Rome should be Industrial/Militaristic?
     
  9. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    wow! great review Ision!!!!!

    and you are right, as a warmonger the romans are very average. you will get alot of bs from the rome lovers haha!!!
     
  10. Ision

    Ision Master

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    Zard,

    Yes I was on vacation through December, and then had a lot of work upon my return. Hopefully I will be able to continue cranking these out at 1 every 2 weeks. I will also be working on a guide to the Ancient Age wonders (I have only done 1 so far) as well as an extensively detailed guide for winning at Deity Level. Good to hear from you again.

    Ision
     
  11. Ision

    Ision Master

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    Horn,

    Every trait works on every other trait in a positive fashion. What creates a superior trait combo is the degree in which they work on each other and the synchronicity of the timing in when they work on each other. Furthermore, you cannot divorce a trait combo from the context of the CIV in question - ie, Sea/Mil would be an average warmonger combo for the babs, but fantastic for the Vikings (Bezerks)- and the Viking do have this trait. You also cannot divorce a trait combo from the utility it has in relation to the actual use of the UU or combat unit in general. Example: the Romans are 2 techs away from iron working - the Persians 1, all else being equal being militaristic will not help the Romans when those Immortals show up 10 to 25 turns before the Legionaries. I do not have the time or effort to expand on this further here, perhaps another thread. Let me just say that commercial is great in combo with scientific - but just average in combo with militaristic. The synergy of those 2 combos works out differently, and so the degree of impact is different. Lastly, CIV as a game is about speed & quantity more than anything else. Get their first or in greater numbers: and on average you will win out.

    Ision
     
  12. sir_woland

    sir_woland Chieftain

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    Just since it caught my eye: "Veni, vidi, vici", goes the Julius Caesar quote.
     
  13. ybbor

    ybbor Will not change his avata

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    depending on the value of eclipsed knight has every stat better or equal, although more expensive

    so after you've caught up on the wonders, what civ is next, you know just the other day i was thinking, where's ision? hope you had a good vacation, and nice to see you back
     
  14. Hornhelm

    Hornhelm Chieftain

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    Alright Ision, that makes more sense.
     
  15. Kaboth

    Kaboth Chieftain

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    Good work again Ision your tribe guides are the best there is. I'm not gonna ask you whose next the suprise would be better :D
     
  16. bovinespy

    bovinespy Chieftain

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    I love your reviews, Ision! I especially like how you analyze the synergy of traits, and also appreciate the "tier" rankings at the end. Will you be doing an Agricultural or Seafaring civ soon?

    Keep up the good work!:goodjob:
     
  17. Ision

    Ision Master

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    No I won't.

    They will be the last CIVs I review. Since the 2 traits are new, I feel that I should play them extensively before venturing opinions and strats. This also includes the PTW CIVs that changed traits (like Spain).

    Next up to bat will be.............

    China

    sincerely, Ision
     
  18. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    how does rome compare with china or the scandinavians for a conquest win?
     
  19. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

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    Great Guide, Ision. Surely many will agree: Commercial is not everyone's favorite trait...

    This shows the greatness of the Roman Empire, they managed to rule the world with this combo. :)
     
  20. zerksees

    zerksees in remission

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    Well, I have only played Rome once. I thought they were excellent - good enough to help me beat deity on PTW 1.27f and put Rome (and me) into the high score HOF. I will play them again.

    Doesn't commercial increace the optimal city number - even in C3C? Surely this would help corruption throughout the game.
     

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