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Tips needed to take my game to the next level

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Cyric_74, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. Cyric_74

    Cyric_74 Chieftain

    Nov 11, 2005
    I'm currently playing on Emporer level on earth like maps and want some tips to improve my game.

    I like Emporer level but rarely win, though I usually go for spaceship victory and am usually close.

    I generally am not very warlike, preferring to build my cities.

    I've never been one to go for cultural victories more so because I don't really see how to push these.

    Here are somet things I normally do and maybe you all will have different ideas.

    Great scientists - I usually build their 'great building/science lab'

    Great general - Same thing, I save most of them until I can build the military academy.

    Great Prohpet - Always use them for their great building if I have the necessary religion so I can get the money from it. If they're all built already I do a golden age with the first one and then usually just end up joining them to the city. When I can use them to research a tech, it's usually old or something I don't need, the religion has been discovered already, etc.

    I don't normally produce a ton of great people so I save most of them for their great buildings.

    I build banks, markets and groceries in most every city. I figure the bonus on the income helps even if the city isn't making a ton of money.

    I also tend to build libraries in every city and later in the game universities & observatories as well.

    I can Never seem to beat anyone to Buddhism. I always play random civs so I realize I need one that starts with Mysticism to have a chance but even when I do, I always get beat to it.

    The first techs I usually go after are almost always the ones that would net me a religion. I skip buddhism because I can never get it, I go for Hindu first and try for Judaisim even if I get Hindo, so I can get twice the money coming in when I build the great building for each religion.

    I can also never seem to make someone capitulate or become my vassal. When I do go to war and am winning, the offer to 'become vassal' never lights up.

    Eventually I get tired or they end up becoming someone else's vassal!

    This is Very frustrating for me.

    I usually have open border agreements with most everyone on the board so I can trade resources and have income from trade routes. I know this can lead to me getting mapped out and attacked when I'm weak though .. and since I'm not very warlike this happens pretty often. ;)

    I also rarely make any specialists by turning off workers in a city, so I never have any dedicated scientists, or engineers, etc, unless I've added them for some reason (and I rarely do that preferring their 'great buildings')

    I have more little things but maybe this is enough to start. ;)
  2. BaronVonCP

    BaronVonCP Chieftain

    Jan 5, 2009
    I am in no means an expert, but I do win consistently on emperor.
    A few remarks:

    - You need Feudalism to unlock capitulation.

    - Not using your great generals until military science seems like a bad idea. An instructor or great general can yield tremendous benefits early. You should be taking advantage of these.

    - You seemed to be overly-focused on religions and shrines. Why is that? Sure they are nice things to have, but so are other wonders, corporations, an army, technology, more cities.... etc
    I'm not saying going for a religion is always a bad idea. But you must realize that you are sacrificing other things that may be more likely to win you the game.

    I have a lot more to add, but I've forgotten some of what you posted so I will be back later.
  3. adrianj

    adrianj Deity

    Dec 10, 2006
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Hi Cyric - I'm also an emperor leve player hoping to move up soon. So I guess take my advice with a grain of salt since we're basically at the same level. But I've learnt a few things playing GOTMs and SGOTMs...
    I personally quite like cutlural victories - but it is something you need to focus on from an early part of the game in my experience. The same goes for most VCs I guess, unless you are so dominant in a game that you can pick whichever.

    Great scientists I find are excellent for 'bulbing' key techs on the way to Liberalism, eg, Philosophy, Paper, Education. Not necessarily all of them, but at least for Education you will get full value from your GS. An Academy can pay off very well, but I would usually only put one in my best science producing city.

    Great Prophets are nice for the shrines, but of course this assumes you have founded a religion and it is spread decently enough. If I ever manage to get one very early (eg from Stonehenge or Oracle) I like to settle it, as the 5:gold: per turn is very useful for dealing with the maintenance of a small empire and keep you running at 100% science. Bulbing Theology is also nice, but I'm usually teching towards Liberalism at that point and the AI often beats me to it. (I haven't really experimented much with an Apostolic Palace diplo victory, but I would imagine being first to Theology is a real advantage here)

    Early Great Generals - depends on how much I am warring. If I have a war planned very soon I'll create a Super Medic unit - one whos job isn't to do too much fighting but keeps a large stack healing quickly in enemy territory. Otherwise I think settling them for the +2 xp is very valuable, more so than waiting until Military Science.

    As far as producing them - I always try to specialise one of my cities with the most food resources as a GP Farm. Over the course of the game this produces a good amount of great people, usually scientists but occasionally an artist slips in there from the small odds added from the National Epic. I usually use any artists for a golden age(s) unless of course I'm aiming for a cultural VC.

    I try to keep my research slider close to 100% science. This means that most cities don't produce any :gold: at all, so markets/banks/grocers don't have any commerce benefit there. In that case I'll only build them if a) there is a religious shrine or some other gold producing thing (eg, merchant specialists/settled prophets/merchants) or b) I need the happiness/healthiness from the market/grocer. If I'm planning on building Wall Street then I will usually build the minimum number of Banks.

    I find this pays off quite well since most :commerce: is being converted to :science:. Depends on the victory you are aiming for though I guess. For example, if you want to dominate the world with Rifles, then perhaps :hammers: are better spent on Riflemen rather than Observatories. My best science city will definitely build these buildings no matter what.

    It has been a long time since I even tried to found a religion. I'd much rather have the benefits of techs like Agriculture, Mining and Bronze Working for improving things with my workers, chopping forests and generally expanding my empire.

    As BaronVonCP wrote, perhaps you don't have the Feudalism tech?
    Assuming you, then the only advice I can offer here is to keep pummeling them until they give in. Else just wipe them out completely - this means their cities are yours (plus added maintenance) and it removes the pesky unhappiness from citizens wanting to join their homeland.

    It pays to really figure out who your enemies are and who your friends are. I won't even bother trying to be friends with Montezeuma or Shaka, I'll just assume they will attack me and I won't OB with them. On the other hand, someone like Ghandi or Mansa Musa can be a very good friend. Often the other AIs will group themselves by State Religion - in this case I will pick one group to be friends with and not the other even if I have no state religion myself.

    From this seemingly simple statement there have been many many articles written. I guess the easiest thing to do is to not run many specialists anywhere - but have a think about a dedicated GP Farm that works only high food tiles and the rest assigned as specialists. I find it can be very useful. Also, sometimes in the early game it can be more important to get research from scientists specialists than from say working a 4 :hammers: mine, eg you need the science to get Construction to build catapults, or you want to be the first to Liberalism.

    I hope more people add to this thread, as I would be very interested in what the best players think of the transition from moving up from Emperor level.
  4. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

    Aug 23, 2007
    One thing that's nice to know is the character of each AI. Is this AI warlike? Does this AI trade technologies at cautious and pleased? Does this AI have a tendency to backstab?

    Using the BtS PDF reference and the BTS Attitude Reference Visuals can be a great tool. I used this when I was transitioning from Monarch to Deity.
  5. Morthrod

    Morthrod Chieftain

    Oct 18, 2008
    If you really want to take your game to the next level you need to learnt to do rushes. If you can kill or cripple a nearby civ you not only get more resources and another capital caliber city, you also get much of the room they were going to expand into. If you have more land, then you will have more happy and health resources and many more beakers per turn.
    However if you rush someone you usually cant get any of the earlier religions.
  6. Cyric_74

    Cyric_74 Chieftain

    Nov 11, 2005
    Lots of good notes all!

    From reading some of the other posts, etc and these tips it seems I have definitely been neglecting my production of great people.

    The super medica adrianj mentioned is something I too go after, though maybe not as often as I should.

    BaronVonCP asked why I was so intent on a religion, its for the gold. As well as getting along with other civs. I can usually spread it to at least 2 other civs and that usually means making allies as well. I actually try to get at least 3 of them, all for gold income.

    I do normally get feudalism but maybe i'm not pressing my wars far enough.

    I'm still not sure how have someone become my vassal. I've been relatively powerful and watched as one AI eats away at another and every turn I'll check to see if he'll 'come under my protection' but the option to become a vassal never comes up. Often they'll become a vassal of another AI. I think maybe because I don't have enough military strength to impress them?

    And yes, I can see the value of rushes to take another's capital city but it goes against my pacifist (in civ4 at least) tendencies, where I just want to expand a build.

    adrianj raised another question for me, I'd always kind of thought that if I am at 100% science I'm still getting use out of my banks & markets because the gold was produced first then multiplied by the bank/market then converted to science.

    Is that not the case?
  7. peppe1

    peppe1 Warlord

    Nov 16, 2008
    Maybe you need to do a writeup of one of your games, as it sounds counter to the typical game most people play/recommend for the higher levels.

    I am currently stuck on monarch and prefer to build as well instead of war, but need a nice start for success on monarch.
    At 100% science you any not getting very little benefit from gold multipliers (unless the city runs merchant specialists that give 3 raw gold or other gold specialists). At 0% science your science multipliers have very little effect, unless again you run science specialists, or specialists under 'representation' civic.

    Bank +50% Gold, Market +25% Gold, Grocer +25% Gold etc apply only to gold.
    There is gold :gold: (the end result) and there is raw commerce (from tiles) :commerce:

    The only commerce multiplier is bureaucracy, which gives +50% raw commerce to your capital to be run through multipliers based on your slider settings.
    If you zoom into a city and hover over your Science/Espionage/Gold output you should see a base commerce level. The split that you set in your global sliders sets how much commerce goes through your gold multiplier building or through the science multiplier buildings. Culture and EP sliders can also get a slice of the raw commerce and be multiplied by their buildings with the relevant techs.
  8. JBossch

    JBossch King

    Apr 16, 2006
    Washington, DC
    Not usually worth it, not for 3 religions at least. You are burning up tons of hammers on missionaries that could be used for soldiers to just go take enemy cities. That will get you a lot more gold, a lot faster. Not to mention, the effort it takes to get 3 GProphets means you are neglecting better GPs like scientists.

    They will only agree to it peacefully if you have really good relations and they are really weak. Most of the time players get vassals by capitulating them after utterly crushing them in war.

    No, this is not the case. You are likely confusing :gold: and :commerce:. Read up on the difference and how they get multiplied.
  9. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

    Apr 3, 2006
    <sung to the tune of The Gambler> ...

    You gotta know when to rush 'em, know when to wonder spam,
    know when to go for culture, know when to rex.
    You never count your beakers, when you're fightin' in the battle
    There'll be time enough for techin', when the war is won.
  10. DABegley

    DABegley Warlord

    Oct 10, 2001
    I commonly build markets even in cities that don't give me much gold, or if I'm running 70%+ research, due to the happiness bonus. If I have fur, silk, ivory or whales or can trade for them it's worth it in many cities to raise the happy cap. Now Banks are a different thing.
  11. Morthrod

    Morthrod Chieftain

    Oct 18, 2008
    If you want someone to be your vassal in any way you have to have twice their land and twice their population.
  12. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

    Dec 17, 2005
    Planet Earth
    You really should download the Civ IV spec. reference sheets and study them. I'm not sure though where the download links for the PDF is anymore.
  13. Birdman6

    Birdman6 Warlord

    Feb 21, 2008
    Do you specialize your cities?
  14. siggboy

    siggboy Monarch/Epic

    Oct 20, 2006
    Saarbruecken, Germany
    You should really make one Super Medic (Chariot + GG) unless you plan a peaceful game (which is quite hard IMO on that difficulty).

    I recommend The Great Wall, it's very strong especially considering the low hammer count. Keeps the Barbs off early, and likely gives you a Great Spy which you can exploit easily to siphon off a lot of techs from your next-door neighbour. Lastly it helps with Great Generals if you are under attack.
    It's very easy to become "addicted" to building the Great Wall, much like with The Oracle and the mids.

    I also wouldn't say that having two Academies is a bad thing, since their pay-off is so high. Of course bulbing towards Liberalism is a strong tactic as well, but if you get it early enough you can still have a worthwhile second Academy from later scientists.
  15. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

    Feb 12, 2006
    On feudalism front i never really tech this. The AI will always tech this before me purely as i go liberalism route. The Ai normally happily trade away feudalism anyway for techs like philosphy.

    I think where my game lacks is not using lower science slider early on to build up gold. Once academies, libraries etc are online the gold produces much more science. I always seem to max out science instead of building up gold reserves. Perhaps a mistake especially with events on.

    Also I need to make better use of wealth and science in my cities as builds. A lot of the immortal players seem to use this. I always seem too busy building stuff. never quite worked out right time to use these.

    That being said on emperor I always seem to grab the liberalism race.

    I find my most powerful emperor starts involve an early rush. Rolling over an Ai capital and second city give you a huge early boost. Capturing a size 4 city is much more benefiial than building 2 size one cities. Especially if the capital has granaries or other buildings. Building units does allow cities to grow compared to building settlers/workers.

    Not sure on the value of building every building in every city. On my game i normally end up with 1-2 cities that produce a sizeable chunk of my science and gold too. Some cities with a bank will do very little to help you later on. Specialise cities!!

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