Tips for Babylon GL Rush

Kevin J

Hewer of Wood
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I've been trying to get the GL with Babylon on Deity, and I think I've finally found a combination that works. It's worked my first two tries on marathon, settling in place (though settling on a riverside/hills/gems/mountainside would be ideal). It also worked 3/4 on standard. If you disagree with any of these tips, or have suggestions to improve this, please add to the discussion. Think I just had a few lucky attempts? Quite possible! Test it out and see.

So, here's what I did:

1. Disable Goody Huts. What's more likely: the player popping a goody hut that grants a tech along the path, or one of multiple AI's each with multiple times your military units doing so? Don't give them an even greater edge. Yes, this is non-standard. It's to remove some RNG. If the AI pops writing, game over, you lose the race. That's just the breaks. But if you prefer the RNG, go for it!

2. Hard build worker first. Given (1), scout first isn't as valuable. Your initial warrior can do some exploring till about turn 20 (standard), then pull him back for barbarian defense.

3. Use some gold to pick up extra forest tiles to chop if necessary. Trade with your nearest neighbours (gpt for lump sum or settled mining luxury) - it gives you a positive diplo modifier, which *should* reduce the chance of DoW. Try to find gold to rush buy an extra worker on marathon - this is not feasible on standard speed.

4. Get mining before writing. There is no time to tech anything else. Your worker will do nothing but chop, and build one mine. Chop the forests for 2 turns, leaving 1 turn (on standard). Finish the chops once you discover writing. In case of an early DoW, you can finish chops early to get an extra military unit - this will delay your GL however. You will typically have 3-4 worker chops applied to the GL.

5. Try to time your builds so that you finish a build just as you discover writing - you don't want to waste turns. Military units are the filler here, you'll likely need them to ward off a rush anyway. If you still have a granary building when writing pops, finish a chop to clear it, but try to time it so that this isn't necessary. On the turn you discover writing, start construction of the GL. Typical build order settling hills: worker->monument->granary->warrior->GL. Adjust based on your production & chopping.

6. When you finish research on Writing, move your Great Scientist to a forest tile you haven't pre-chopped. Settle on forest tile, ensuring production is set on the GL. This extra forest chop is free extra production.

You may need to spend a turn to move your initial settler nearer to forest - I did on a few attempts.

All 3 policy trees are viable. Tradition+Aristocracy for 15% wonder speed is good. So is Honor + Warrior code for the 8 turn golden age. Liberty's free worker isn't bad, but you can have most forest tiles pre-chopped without it.

This method doesn't always work (see my later post for a few trials on standard). I had it work 2/2 on marathon speed, and 3/4 on standard - sometimes, the AI will still beat you, even if you do everything right.


Your suggestions/analysis?
 

Kevin J

Hewer of Wood
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Messages
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were you attempting on standard speed?


No sir, not yet. Shouldn't make much difference though with the cost scaling, but I'm willing to try it and see. It was on large maps both times though, meaning there were extra civs in contention.

EDIT: Just tried. Pangea Plus, Standard Size, Standard Speed, Standard Resources, No Goodie Huts, Raging Barbs

4 Chops, turn 36. Wasted a turn moving to settle so that I'd have forests to chop. Settled on hill/silver. Damn things go fast on standard, how can people play this way?! Soooo much faster for trying things out, but it just doesn't feel like the real game to me. You can't fine tune things near as much on standard. :( Raging barbs on standard is just a little over-the-top too. For the last 10 turns I had 4-6 barbarian units in view of my capitol.

Mining->Pottery->Writing.
Worker->monument->granary->warrior->Great Library.
Honor->Warrior Code. Popped GG for 8 turn golden age the turn I discovered writing, had 3 forests pre-chopped, settled GS in place on forest. Spent 50g to buy extra forest tile. Worker did nothing but chop, only had one.
 

Martin Alvito

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It's relatively harder on Standard. The GL usually goes in the early to mid 20's on Quick and in the late 20s to early 30's on Standard. You need a lot more :c5production: on Standard, but get about the same number of production turns post-beeline due to slower teching.

Hard building a Worker appears to be suicide in .332 unless all AIs are very distant. I've had those games, but you have to roll +/- 6 maps.

Using the Academy to chop a Forest is an excellent tip.
 

Kevin J

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Messages
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It's relatively harder on Standard. The GL usually goes in the late 20's on Quick and in the early 30's on Standard. You need a lot more :c5production: on Standard, but get about the same number of production turns post-beeline due to slower teching.

Hard building a Worker appears to be suicide in .332 unless all AIs are very distant. I've had those games, but you have to roll +/- 6 maps.

I traded with the two civs I had contact with (settled silver with one and GPT with the other). Trading goodwill has to help doesn't it? I'm going to try rerolling a few more times.

If it's really early 30s in most games, even with goody huts off, then I don't see any possible way to consistently get the GL on standard. It took 4 chops, settling on a hill, plus a golden age to get it at turn 36 - I don't see how to go much lower, short of settling on hills marble. I.E. pure RNG, which is yuck. I'm not a fan of a gambit opening.

If that's the case, then yes, it is relatively easier on marathon - for example, I had gold from barb huts there, whereas I had none in the standard game - there was just no time.

Game 2: 4 chops, not settled on hill. Goody huts off. Turn 38 success.
Game 3: 2 chops, not settled on hill. Goody huts off. Warrior first. Turn 42 success. Was DoW'd by greece despite the warrior, fended him off with my 2 warriors (6 warrior rush).
Game 4: FAIL. Built on turn 32. SIGH. Seems like turning goody huts off isn't a panacea.
 

Martin Alvito

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Yes, it does seem to take the AI longer with the huts off. This is odd, since you'd think that there's at least one AI that would take Writing first and go.

One trial: turn 40, got Theo. Took Tradition -> Aristocracy. Time to push Scholasticism.

EDIT: Turn 61, and 4.5:c5science: from two allies under Scholasticism?!?!? Holy nerf, Batman.
 

Kevin J

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Wow, surprised you had the time to tech both philosophy and calendar in that production window. Nice, that will be a fun game to play out.

I think turning off the goodie huts just reduces the chance that an AI will have writing. If one researches it right off the bat and starts the GL, you get a result like my game 4, even with the huts off.
 

Martin Alvito

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Actually, it's a pretty worthless game because I got drilled on Patronage. I could have taken four RAs and filled out Tradition instead, or gone Liberty for the free Worker and obtained a GE for the HG or the HS -> PT chain. I'll probably play it to 100-125 and then set it aside for the moment.

Culturals have their original power once you hit Medieval (12:c5culture:/turn). That makes the Babylonian GL -> Theo pretty strong in and of itself.

My guess is that they stripped the city-states of the ability to build National Wonders, which is in turn making Scholasticism awful. There's just no reason that a size 8 and a size 6 CS should be giving me 5 :c5science: a turn in the 70's. Should be 5.25 by my math if neither has an NC.
 

vexing

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Yes, it does seem to take the AI longer with the huts off. This is odd, since you'd think that there's at least one AI that would take Writing first and go.

some AI is pretty much guaranteed to hit a writing goody hut with ruins on, especially on marathon.

i think the AI tends to build less wonders on marathon because there are more turns in which they can reevaluate their military position and change from producing the wonder to producing units.
 

vexing

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My guess is that they stripped the city-states of the ability to build National Wonders.

oh those sons of es, they did, in civ5civilizations.xml they added the national college to <Civilization_BuildingClassOverrides> for city states.

goodbye patronage =/
 

Kevin J

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Huh. So I think I'll just be dallying in the Tradition/Liberty/Honor trees until rationalism opens up then. That's cool, they have tons of happiness and other tools for growth - which all feeds in nicely to the research boost in rationalism.
 

Martin Alvito

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Yeah, it looks like the new gameplan is to finish a tree and then grab Rationalism. A single Cultural should confer that.

The only remaining question is which tree to finish. My money is on Liberty for a Hanging Gardens GE and early game boost.

Oh, and by the way: don't sign multiple RAs on the same turn, and micro your research to minimize how badly randomized overages screw you. Having two techs worth of research go into Navigation when playing Panagea sucks.
 

Kevin J

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I think for a peaceful great library first strategy (which should be the same for any civ, except for the extra GS chop), liberty is definitely the way to go. I don't suspect you'll have enough production on hand to have a reasonable chance at hard building the HG without the free GE, but I'd need to play a few games out to test it.

For a civ that benefits more from barbs (Aztecs, Songhai, Germany) I'd go honor - the benefits are comparable, and it plays to their strengths - and go on an early conquest post-GL, rather than focusing on the hanging gardens. You can still win with warriors and archers, which you'll soon upgrade for half price.

For an HG first strat, I'd definitely go tradition. As I have been doing. Having an early city with that level of production is just too fun. It's very flexible too, as you have the production to do what you want - focus on conquest or expansion. I think this strat can actually benefit most from mixing the early policies, but I haven't done testing to confirm it - I've just noticed the games where I've mixed policies seemed to be working better.
 

Martin Alvito

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Finished the game. Fluke diplo game where I was distant from everyone and got a bunch of early DoFs as a result, so I decided to OCC it just to see how slow it was. Won on turn 250 (1700 AD) with just the starting Warrior. It got a little tense when Washington slapped up Apollo around 225. A well placed bribe (150:c5gold:?) to Alex kept the Americans busy and reduced D.C. to radioactive slag, though Washington did manage to get two parts built and retain the capital.

Alex finished Manhattan before 200 but took way too long to exploit it. He had virtually all the city-states but never finished the UN.

Sloppy on my part at several points. My guess is that you can still win OCC around 225-230 in the right start, and that 200 is probably still doable if you can get an early, semi-wide empire and play your cards right. Since Globalism is now off the path, you end up getting about the same number of techs, and the reduction in part costs means that part completion takes about as long as it used to with a Solar Plant up. The only major slowdown is that early bulbing up to Apollo is more or less impossible since the last few techs must be bulbed.

The new RAs are much better than the old ones. Four will do the lifting of five or six of the old ones if you push through the tech tree correctly. I don't think that was the intended result of the changes, but it is what it is.
 
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