Tips for GOTM#5 and the 1.17 patch


Shaken, not stirred.
Jan 1, 2002
Nanaimo BC Canada
My understanding is that we'll be playing GOTM#5 as America, with the 1.17 game patch.

So I thought a note about what to expect with the 1.17 changes might be useful for people who haven't played with 1.17 yet, and haven't been following the general discussions forum.

I'm sure I haven't thought of everything! :) If you have more tips please jump in with them. These notes are also a bit preliminary. I haven't played enough 1.17 to be sure of all this. But I figured better to share these thoughts now before GOTM#5 starts. :)


Expansionist. Like last month, we'll be able to build scouts and we'll be given one at the start.

Industrious. Workers complete their tasks noticeably faster. When a city is large enough, it will get bonus shield production. (Does anyone know the threshold(s) and bonus involved?)

F-15 and Golden Age. To get a Golden Age before the game is well advanced, we'll need to get it by building wonders. The wonders to match our two traits are as follows. My understanding is that we'll need to build one from each group to get a Golden Age without using an F-15. (Note: It also seems possible to do it by capturing the wonders. If you've captured at least one wonder from each of the following groups then I think the next time you build ANY wonder, you'll get a Golden Age.)
* Colussus
* Lighthouse
* Copernicus
* Magellan's
* SETI Program
* Great Wall
* Hanging Gardens
* Pyramids
* Hoover Dam
* Manhattan Project

1.17 Patch

AI trading behaviour. The rival Civs will, once they are in contact with each other, trade things much more aggressively and frequently than with 1.16. The largest effect of this is likely to be on your approach to research.

Getting ahead in research. If you like to play to get and keep a tech lead, you'll probably find that it takes a lot more effort to do so than with 1.16, because of the more aggressive AI trading. The good news is that if you can get a tech lead, you can then play it much the same way as with 1.16. (But modify your style a bit to allow for the following notes about trading.)

Lagging behind in research. I think this has become a much more viable style of play with 1.17. Once all the other Civs are in contact with each other, you can count on being able to buy "old" techs very cheaply. If there are a lot of Civs in the game you will be able to buy old ones much cheaper than researching them.

Staying about even in research. (Learning some, trading others.) This may actually be the hardest path with 1.17. You'll have to work hard to learn some techs through research. And you won't be able to, at the same time, broker techs discovered by other Civs on different research paths.

Selling your goods. (This applies especially to tech!) Because the AIs are now very aggressive in trading among themselves, a good general rule is that if you sell something (tech, communications, maps) to one AI, you should sell it to everyone who has anything to offer for it in the same turn. If you don't do this, i.e. you sell to just one other Civ, on their next turn they WILL re-sell it to any other Civ who has anything at all reasonable to pay for it. If some particular Civ has been really squeezed dry, can't afford to even pay a minimal amount, then they won't get a trade. Actual amounts will vary depending on number of Civs. As an example though, with a total of 8 Civs in the loop, I found that Literature could be traded as cheaply as 19 gold. (Edit: Don't count on being able to BUY techs quite that cheaply! They're generally more than that. But I'm reasonably certain that the AI's have sold Literature among themselves at that price. :))

Selling during the AI's turn. As a side-effect of the prior note, if an AI asks you to trade something to them during its turn, you might want to say no and then talk to them on your turn. If you make the deal on their turn, they could re-sell it around the world before your turn.

Goody huts. I don't think Firaxis has said anything about this but many people have found goody huts to be more lucrative. In one Monarch game I tried, I opened 10 Goody Huts with my scouts. Two gave me settlers. Many gave tech. Not one gave me barbarians. (But, please don't shoot me if you open a hut with a scout and it gets killed! :))

Bombardment. Bombardment of cities appears to be less effective in reducing its population and improvements. It seems to still hit defensive units in the city with about the same frequency.

Pop rushing improvements. Rushing is still viable for the occasional improvement. The unhappiness resulting from a Despotism/Communism rush (and I think from drafting but I haven't tested that) now lasts 40 turns instead of 20. Repeatedly rushing in one city will quickly reduce it to a useless state. The unhappiness accumulates with 1.17 in such a way that if you do a lot of rushing in one city, you won't be able to get any citizens at all to work in that city. Combined with the longer term of unhappiness, you can figure that after a lot of rushing, a city will be useless for the rest of the game.

(Note: Pop rushing by using workers, in a size one city which is permanently unhappy, remains technically possible but is forbidden by the GOTM rules.)

Capturing enemy cities. When you capture a city, you inherit any unhappiness previously caused in it by rushing. So, depending on the enemy's government and how long your siege lasted, you could end up with a permanently unhappy city. This problem can be reduced by striking rapidly (no long siege which allows them many turns of rushing) or by striking while they are in Monarchy.

Culture flipping of cities. This is supposed to be better in 1.17, i.e. captured cities are supposed to be less likely to flip if you keep a large garrison of your forces stationed in the city. But don't count on this, it can still flip anyway.
Well, the difficulty will make a big difference in most strategies. Thanks for the listing of Industrial/Expansionist Wonders, I hate checking on those types of things ;)

Disbanding a city will transfer any unhappiness buildup to one of your other cities, seems like it is to the closest one. Since the AI can easily build up a games worth of unhappiness in it's cities, razing cities is even more important. The cultural flipping changes don't make much difference because of this. If you do have an unhappy city, don't disband it. It really sucks to get 100's of turns of unhappiness in one of your core cities just because you disband a totally corrupt one on the fringes of your empire.

Expansionists never get barbarians from huts. With the patch, the AI seems to allow Scouts to stay in their territory for 40+ turns. I had 3 Scouts holding 3 Iron resources in German territory for 40 turns before they were told to withdraw (just had to see if they had changed this at all). They will ask you to leave on the first turn though. If you move a military unit into their territory, your Scouts will have to be withdrawn.
If you see a goody hut outside of your culture zone, and dont go to it until you have all the first level techs, will it give you a second level tech? (by first level I mean all the ones on the complete left of the tech tree). And if so, has anyone used this strategy before? And is it worth it?
Originally posted by Aeson
It really sucks to get 100's of turns of unhappiness in one of your core cities just because you disband a totally corrupt one on the fringes of your empire.
Ouch! Thanks for the warning. I hope you discovered that while mucking about, not in a game you cared about!

Originally posted by Aeson
Expansionists never get barbarians from huts.
Silly me, I avoided the goody hut in GOTM#4 for ages, didn't know that. :)
I was actually playing a Deity game to submit to the HOF when I ran into the unhappiness transfer. Turned out that it didn't matter, as I had done some editing of the civ3mod.bic file. I had just swapped the zulu and english positions in the editor, as I wanted to use the color orange. The game crashes if I just try and change the colors. I had forgot to properly reference the UU's though, and so the Zulu could build Impi and Spearmen, but the English couldn't build Spearmen or Man-o-Wars. The game wouldn't have counted anyways. It really as a suprise to have my capitol and 2 other core cities go from WLTKD to civil disorder after settler disbanding 3 cities that I had captured from the almost defenseless English. I didn't play long enough to tell if the transfer was just of unhappiness that I had created by rushing the settlers, or if it was also giving me the English unhappiness too. Either way it ruined the production of my core empire for at least 40 turns.

Goody huts can give you any Ancient Era techs. They can only give you a tech that you have all the prerequisites for. They won't give you the tech that you are researching unless it is the only available tech left to get. This can be used to somewhat direct the flow of techs from huts. I usually start off my Expansionist games researching the tech that I don't want. Masonry often ends up with that distinction, though if I really want to get Horseback Riding quickly the best way is to research Alphabet. That will cut out any second+ level advances other than Iron Working and the Monarchy line.
After reading a few of the tops players tips in the spolier threads of th last couple of GOTM's I decided to try and take some of their advice :) such as planning out a few targets (like the above wonders) So i was having a think about it.

For a 2050 finish you need a large map and some food producing terrain.
For very early conquest you need pop rushing

So both the options are ruled out [:)] (I guess i won't play at all)

I thought i'd list some points i'm thinking about now. And see if anyone else is wondering the same thing. But don't answer if you've played a large ammount already because hindsight is a wonderful think [;)]

1) small map, six other civs - probably going to need someone elses room to expand into pretty early on.

2) Lots of cities are going to get defense bonus's for being on hills, so light on defense heavy on attack

3) Movement will be slower for horseman, adding that to the 50/50 retreat, swordsman might be a better bet early on.

4) Terrain is tipped more for production rather than population so closer city spacing would probably be best, and try not to found cities on grasslands cause they might be in short supply (I won't have a 38 city like last GOTM)

5) Industious bonus might hopeully balance out the time for workers building improvements on yucku terrain.

6) The slow growth times for cities might make it more worthwhile trying to capture a few cities instead of raxing everything like previously thought. Quick & decisive

7) Make use of Military Police to keep citizens happy on Monarch difficulty (mostly a reminder to myself when i read this in the morning when i'm sober a start my game [:D])

8) Cities will in majority be smaller so happiness wonders won't be as important.

So I'm thinking I'll probably go for a close core of a few (3-4) central cities pump out some swordsman, attack the nearest civ. Scout around If it's a large continent & semi inhabitable then make a decision from there. Probably try for Colussus & pryamids for Golden Age

hmm, anyway I think i'll sleep on my strategy and see if anyone else tells me to spend a few hours reading the manual [:p)
Trash, that's a great set of notes!

I've started the game so I won't comment in detail. (And not at all on your conclusion regarding strategy! :)) All of your points sure make sense to me for what can be inferred before exploring.

About 2050AD on this map: An early win bonus sure has a better chance on a small map. But it won't be clear till well into the game (if then :lol: ) which way can get the highest score. My (very wild) guess would be that the cross-over point, where an early win bonus is equal to the score for playing it out, would be between 1000AD and 1500AD on a small map. In that range, the higher the water percentage, the higher the break-even date. Archipelago would push the date higher, Pangaea lower.

The happiness difference between Emperor and Monarch sure makes a big difference between these levels! Incense can be seen in the start position. Once it is hooked up, towns will be able to reach size 3 and remain fully productive without anything else to boost happiness. If you play a fast buildout approach your towns don't get larger than 3 during the starting phase, so no military police or luxury spending will be necessary until after that phase. (Rush producing something changes that of course :))
Thanks for the notes. I've been playing Civ 3 for a few months now, and have been having a tough time transitioning from Civ 2, which I consistently beat like a drum at Emperor level.

I *think* I've got the idea now - I'll see if I do better, going forwards. The hypothesis that I am testing is that a bedrock strategic concept is rush-build management at the start of the game. The strategic priniciples look something like this:

1. If you have extra happiness, you have a "resource" that is wasted. This is an indicator that you should rush *something*.

2. Since unhappiness from a rush lasts a finite period, the earlier you start rushing, the more you can do over the course of your career as a despot without ruining a city.

3.a. In Civ 2 I made a point of building a lot of settlers just before a revolution. This is even more valid in Civ 3, as the population decreases by two - the city making the settler is less productive with a smaller population, but it doesn't matter during anarchy. The production value stored within the settler is hopefully released in a new city soon after the revolution ends, while the city that built the settler partially recoups its size during anarchy.

3.b. An alternative to settler building prior to a revolution (depending on the government type you intend to switch to) might be doing a bunch of rushes. A portion of the unhappiness period will be ticking away during anarchy. If the new governmental form doesn't support pop-rushing, then the turns prior to the revolution represent your "last chance" (until communism) to use this technique.

4. The practice of killing off your population means that its critically important to be able to quickly grow the population back. This makes granaries much more important in Civ 3 than in Civ 2, and makes the Pyramids a really powerful wonder. The balance between managing cities for food production vs. shields gets tipped towards food when using this technique.

As a consequence, cities that are "food-challenged" (especially away from the core of your empire) are destined to lag. I would really have to think hard about building such a city in the first place. Possible reasons: capturing a resource, defending the perimeter of the empire, or cutting off access from an opponent - in other words geo-strategic.

Comments, anyone?
I was never that big on pop-rushing i feel too mean :)

But with the 1.17f patch i think it pretty much screws up pop-rushing. I'm not sure how much early score makes a part of your total score, but each of those happy citizens your rushing are 3points to your 'current turn' score that you don't get.

I did do some pop-rushing in this GOTM, once for a ganary in my capital to begin with because i had the luxury and military police so i could support the unhappiness, and quite a few of my 'filler' cities that could only get 1 food rushed a temple after 21 turns. The temple seems to cancel out the rush.

But as i said before i never used poprushing much anyway, probably better off listening to SirPleb & Aeson's thoughts as i think they used to use the old whip a fair bit in the past ;)
i pretty much agree with all your points fossil except that building a city isn't always geo-strategic. a 'useless' city can be a 2/gold per turn income (on wealth) for only taking up one square. in a culture victory also your culture/turn is limited by your cities/turn so just getting culture from bought temples in useless cities is useful.

also i try to avoid anarchy by playing religious civs. obviously though this doesn't work in gotm!

Great notes Fossil, lots of good stuff there.

Rushing is certainly more limited and balanced with the 1.17 patch but I believe it remains a very important game element. Carefully employed rushing of improvements can give your tribe a very important boost.
Originally posted by Fossil
1. If you have extra happiness, you have a "resource" that is wasted. This is an indicator that you should rush *something*.
Nicely stated, I hadn't crystalized that rule so clearly but it sure is how I play at times. One thing to balance against it: Sometimes it seems better to build up population a bit first. It is nice to have ongoing gold and shield production from the first few citizens in a town, then keep rushing the "top" one when the unhappiness would be acceptable. I particularly play this way if a town reaches size 6 and I don't have the time or desire to build an aqueduct. In this case it seems to me that extra food is wasted (spillage over the top of the granary :)) so it is time to rush a bit.

Originally posted by Fossil
As a consequence, cities that are "food-challenged" (especially away from the core of your empire) are destined to lag.
I would add two more reasons to your list: score and culture. Score is a big one. And culture as Trash and ChumChum have described - if you can pump out spare settlers (i.e. if the core area is not too food challenged itself) then you can send them to resource poor locations, wait 21 turns for them to grow one citizen and have 21 shields of production, then rush a temple. Helps your overall score and culture.

Originally posted by Fossil
The practice of killing off your population
My citizens zealously sacrifice themselves in their commendable efforts to please the gods! (Of course there are occasional non-believing slackers who need encouragement with the whip.) :lol:
I got used to, and very good at, playing the unpatched civ3. I wanted to try this GOTM so I applied the patch. Since I did, I have the feeling that civ3 became several degrees more lame.

For one thing, there is a ridiculous amount of money floating around. I set my science to 0 and thought I'd buy techs as I need them, but by 10AD I have almost 2000 gold and nothing to spend it on. If techs are going to be this cheap, researching them should be easier, because as it stands, there is absolutely no point in trying to! That takes a lot of the fun and balance out of the game. As a matter of fact, researching techs became much harder, since libraries now cost twice as much as in the unpatched game. Well, forget it!

I also found many strange bugs in negotiation. Apparently, this patch totally disallows the gold/turn deals. You have to wonder why it's even an option.

The only reasonable strategy that the patch leaves intact is the old "just kill everyone and take their land" behavior. I guess it's fitting, since I am supposed to be role-playing the Americans, but it makes all the decisions too easy.
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