1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

The Sumerians

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Ision, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. Ision

    Ision Master

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2003
    Messages:
    452
    The Sumerians by Zardnaar

    Between the Tigris and the Euphrates arose the Sumerians. In this ancient land they were the 1st among many to use the Tigris and the Euphrates for agricultural purposes and invented the worlds 1st alphabet.

    In the game the Sumerians are Agricultural and Scientific. This trait combo is a paradise for the builder civ player. Right off the bat the Sumerians can build granaries to get a settler factory going early on. A decent start with a river and bonus food resources gets the Sumerians off to a fast start perhaps more pronounced than any other civ in the game. If they can trade for Alphabet early on the Sumerians are well placed to research Writing and Philosophy to grab Literacy for free. Even if you have no intention of building the Great Library, half priced normal libraries are tempting for the builder player. Sumeria is one of the best civs in the game for culture with cheap Libraries, Universities and Research Labs and usually a large population as well. Throw in cheap aqueducts and you should have some of the largest cities in the game before most of the AI civs. Sumeria is one civ the AI seems to be able to play reasonably well.

    The Sumerian UU is the Enkidu Warrior. Basically a half priced 10-shield spearmen with stats of 1-2-1 (that replaces both warriors and spears) they can build straight away without any resources needed. You get an excellent defender early in the game for a mere 10 shields. Although the Sumers may struggle in an early offensive they are second to none on the defensive. Even the mighty Greek Hoplite can't compare to the cost efficiency of the Enkidu Warrior. For every hoplite or spearmen you can build the Sumerians can build 2 Enkidu Warriors. Generally, 2-3 Enkidu Warriors should defend every Sumerian city. Any AI that attacks has to plow through each city, while it’s easy for the Sumerian player to rush reinforcements to the front. By using the terrain properly you can easily trade a 10 shield EW for a 30 shield swordsmen or even a medieval infantry or knight. Sumeria wins its early wars with attrition strategy the AI can't afford to pay. Sumerian cities are often productive as well, as its not an issue to use 2-3 Enkidu as military police and still have a large mobile army in the field. The only drawback is the unit support (Sumeria has a lot of units), the 60 gold required to upgrade them to a pikes and Sumeria can't build normal warriors. A mass upgrade from warriors to swordsmen is unlikely with the Sumers.

    For the pure warmonger Sumeria doesn't offer as much as the other civs. If you don't mind an early golden age you can try an Enkidu Warrior rush generally after you have researched Iron Working or Warrior Code. With the Enkidu Warrior triggering a GA you can flood a nearby AI civ and pillage their improvements and steal their workers. The GA will also let you build archers or swordsmen quickly if you have access to Iron. Personally I prefer a late ancient age GA with Sumeria, as there’s a snowball effect from being able to build marketplaces, libraries, and a massive army along with the free tech you receive from the scientific trait at the start of each new age. Sumeria should have a well-developed infrastructure and large army by then. Few AI civs can stand up to an Enkidu Warrior/Pike army with catapult support at this point of the game.

    Once Sumeria gets going after the early defensive or expansion wars you are well placed for the rest of the game. In the late game Sumeria is ideal for a space race victory or perhaps a cultural victory. Even for the warmonger an advanced, large Sumeria can provide an easy conquest or domination win. The Agricultural trait still provides a late game boost with cheap hospitals and recycling centers and the amount of science Sumeria can produce is impressive. If an AI Sumeria is in the late game, it is probably either in the tech lead or near to it, and will probably be one of the hardest AI civs to beat.

    Summary. The Sumerians are one of the easiest civs to play. For the new player it offers rapid growth and science with an excellent UU to keep you alive. For the advanced player you get a nice trait combo and an ultra cheap defensive UU to help survive the insanity of deity level games. Although there are better civs in the game for culture and warfare Sumeria has few if any weak points compared to the other civs. The main negative is the trait combo- great traits individually but little synergy between the two. They are a 1st tier culture/builder civ, and are towards the top end of the 2nd tier warmonger civs due to the power of its UU. Sumeria isn't really map dependent except on island maps and even then they’re no worse off than any other non-seafaring civ. Overall I would rate them as a high 2nd tier civ.

    Ision’s comment: I agree with Zards listing of the Sumers as an overall 2nd tier Civ.

    below is the link to all the other CIv reviews:

    links to the individual civ reviews
     
  2. Ision

    Ision Master

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2003
    Messages:
    452
    The above article was written SOLELY by ‘Zardnaar’. All of the arguments, conclusions and strats are based on his experience with this CIV. Zard has graciously volunteered to take on the task of writing a few of the CIV reviews. I am very grateful for his participation, in that otherwise it would be highly unlikely that all of the reviews would ever be complete. This Civ review will be placed in the ‘sticky’ that contains all of the other reviews. My personal contribution is limited to the role of editor. The very last comment is mine.

    Sincerely,

    Ision
     
  3. Ision

    Ision Master

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2003
    Messages:
    452
    Amen to that!

    Ision
     
  4. Tranquility

    Tranquility Grand unifier

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Mascouche, Quebec, Canada
    Wow...awsome review! Sumeria was the first agriicultural civ i tried, and yes it was a very easy game, and i agree with ya(especially the enkidu part, i just build pikes and desroy the enkidus, even though i usually upgrade), ¸

    Both of ya continue the good work! 17 civs left!
     
  5. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    2,228
    Location:
    Germany
    Cheaper hospitals from agricultural? I don't think so...the two modern improvments you get cheaper are solar plants and recycling centers.

    Excellent article, though.Sumeria has two of the best traits (superior on monarch and below and still good above) and an UU which I rate near unbalancing - because of its price.The problem is you get rather a completly different (stronger and more expensive unit, here the spearman for a cheaper price) than a slightly "beefed up" standard unit.And 10 shields difference in price are not always the same...getting Immortals (=Medival Infantery) as Persia for 30 instead of 40 shields (means -25%) and some techs earlier is good, but having spearmans from the beginning for 10 instead of 20 shields (-50%) feels to strong for me.
    It's one of the strongest civs in my opinion, even for the AI.If Sumeria is in my game, it is usually one of the biggest and most developed empires in later stages of the game.
     
  6. Longasc

    Longasc Deity

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,763
    An excellent article by Zardnaar, I never took a close look at the Sumerians, but the Enkidu Warrior and the strong traits are very seductive...

    Maybe a civ for my next game, hmm... still have to fight through the game started month ago, more reading than playing right now!

    Great review, Zardnaar!!!
     
  7. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    Good comments so far. One of the hardest decisions I had to make was to place Sumeria in the second tier. This doesn't imply that Sumeria is a 2nd rate civ but out of 31 civs in the game I would rather use 10 civs or so, most of the time before Sumeria. They're still in the top half of those 31 civs though. The main reasons it missed top tier are (IMHO).

    1. No trait synergy. Both strong traits but no real combo.

    2. Agricultural Trait. Great trait but what happens if you don't start beside a river or have one nearby?

    3. Scientific Trait. Less useful the higher the difficulty level.

    4. Defensive UU. Great UU but in a game with Immortals and Mounted Warriors- I prefer to attack or counter attack

    5. UU becomes obsolete rapidly. Some UUs last from the ancient age to the industrial age.

    Like all things in civ it can also depend on alot of factors. Seafaring civs are very powerful on island maps. Sumeria I find is top tier on Monarch and below as you have alot better chance of getting SGL's than on the higher difficulty levels and the agricultural trait should help you expand faster to take advantage of the slower AI expansion.
     
  8. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    48
    one thing you must admit about the enkidu is that it also helps you expand faster. every player has to build offense and defense unit to go with the settlers. the enkidu at 10 shield take less taime and so helps your expansion even more.

    good article zaard!

    Y
     
  9. Reprisal

    Reprisal Warlord

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2002
    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Yankees: You build defensive and offensive units to go with your Settlers? I usually only send a lone Warrior with them. Usually, these Warriors are recycled, too -- they're woken up from other cities after I get Spearmen... I play Regent, so I can manage to deal with the Barbarians with one unit unless, of course, there's an uprising.
     
  10. crystal

    crystal Scrooge

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,005
    Location:
    Finland
    You start a new game? :D Anyway, it's only one city and it doesn't have to be your settler factory.
     
  11. Chaos_BF1942

    Chaos_BF1942 Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    488
    I love this Civ, I have one city that City Radius almost has all Flood Plain that, I think only 3 spots aren't. It also has 4 wheat. That Wheat/Flood Plain thing gives like +8 food.
     
  12. Baalzebul

    Baalzebul Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Turkey
    Although their special unit is strong, it holds a dangerin itself. Very very early golden age probability. If you' re on a early war there is no escape from GA because EW is the only defending unit you can have at the ancient age.
     
  13. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    Sometimes a early glden age can have a bigger effect on the game than a later one- even if most of its effects seem "wasted".
     
  14. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    But due to distance another city may not be as effective a settler factory as your primary one. At the lower difficulty levels you can get away with this but on Emperor+ level the AI expands very fast. Its the one thing about the agricultural trait I don't like- most other traits have a constant effect regardless of where your city is.
     
  15. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    2,228
    Location:
    Germany
    I agree on this - of course I find it more useful to have it somewehere in the late ancient age or in the middle ages, but I don't think it is always a great disadvantage if you have it in despotism.Ok, if you just have 5 cities it will not do much, but if you just manage to have enough cities, you will benefit.The second problem with the tile penalty is overrated I think.If you follow the rule "mine green, irrigate brown" in despotism, you will get the complete GA bonus on these tiles.The only (common, beside some ressources tiles) losses are commerce on roaded river and coast tiles and shields on mined bonus grassland.
     
  16. Mad2rix

    Mad2rix Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    287
    Location:
    Japan
    Sumerians rock!! because they have two of my favorite civ traits, which provides an oppurtunity to grow towns so fast they provide greater chances of building libraries faster. However, I hate them when I play against them because thier UU can be produced at faster rate (If it's above Regent difficulty) as they're pretty tough to defeat them only during the Ancient and Middle Ages. Also there's a chance that they expand so fast, my civilization might be surrounded by thousands of Enkidu Warrior and often build cultural improvement to capture my newly build towns.
     
  17. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    They're one of the best AI civs in the game- nice AI traits and a defensive UU.
     
  18. RFHolloway

    RFHolloway Analyst in the UK

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    860
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    The AI certainly plays them well, look at some of the COTM 1 games for some examples of problems they caused.
     
  19. Choffy

    Choffy One more turn

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Continents 80% water
    For Multiplayer, sumerian is great.
    Good builder civ which can more than easily counter an early human or Computer rush.
     
  20. Enkidu_Warrior

    Enkidu_Warrior Shaman

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Australia
    calling the sumerians a 2nd tier civ is off base. reading the other reviews, it's clear that flexibility is favoured over specialty, yet, for example, china, clearly a one-dimensional warmonger civ, is rated 1st tier.

    furthermore, other 1st tier scientific civs, such as greece, are lauded for their ability to produce GL and gain free techs at each age, but the sumerians dont get it credited as one of their benefits.

    in general, civs with strong builder abilities are rated above those without - which makes sense since infrastructure plays such a strong role a the game goes on. yet that is what's so inconsistent about placing the sumerians down in the 2nd tier (top "half", notwithstanding) - one of the top builder/culture civs in the game.
     

Share This Page