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Tough Decisions (game help)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Mordraken, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. Mordraken

    Mordraken Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    95
    I'm in a game right now and in a strange position...

    I am the Mongolians on the Western side of my continent. I am just about to get canons, believe I'm the only Civ to have gunpowder. I have just started settling the "New World", and am dealing with Barbarians well enough with my macemen & knights over there.

    The trouble is what to do on the Old World continent. To my East is Motezuma (#2 civ) and Tokagawa (#3 civ) who share religions. Montezuma is involved in a war to the East of his land with Catherine & Mana Musa (who also share a religion different from Monte). Nobody likes me much (I took out England & Germany early, and I don't share a religion with either pair, and my border tention with Monte & Toka are pretty tense). The Old World is quite large - it would take about 7 turns for a boat to go from my land to the other side (Catherin's territory).

    Scores are something like (year = 1650):
    me = 3,000
    Monte = 1,900
    Tokagawa = 1,700
    Catherine = 1,400
    Mana Musa = 1,300

    Here are my options that I see...
    1) Don't attack and hang back, ensuring I'm well defended, and focus on developing the new world as quickly as I can, and milk my lead.
    2) Sneak attack on Montezuma (right on my boarder, but a LONG border, about 25-35 squares long north-to-south) - assuming his forces are all in Catherine's territory waging war, his cities close to my border may be less defended. Note I risk being attacked by both Montezuma and Tokugawa who are friendly, and both right on my border.
    3) Attack Mana Musa or Catherine, assuming they're already well beat up by Montezuma. Problem is, it's such a long way away, and neither Monte or Tokugawa will open their borders to me, meaning a long boat ride to get there, and no hope of reinforcements for at least 14 turns. However, they ARE the weakest...

    Any ideas? I was originally going to play this as an offensive conquest type game, but got bogged down in developing my sprawling empire after taking out England and Germany... I should be able to get an attack force of 10 cannons and 15 muskateers/cavalry in about 15 turns.
     
  2. maltz

    maltz King

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    967
    Montezuma + Tokugawa can be very dangerous. How about convert to Monty + Tokugawa's religion and spread it among your kingdom (for bonus in organized religion), while mass-settling on the new continent. This way, your tech lead will be overwhelming.

    Or if you prefer the war, you can align with Monty + Tokugawa, and bribe Tokugawa to attack Mansa Musa / Catherine, and kill Monty. You have to do it fast, or they will "escape" to the new world.

    Catherine is known for backstabbing brothers and sisters of the same faith. Mansa Musa is lame as an attack force. I wouldn't align with them.
     
  3. TCGTRF

    TCGTRF Warlord

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
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    298
    Oh, Mord, think of World War Two on the Eastern Front.....

    You've got a 30 tile border? Don't do it. Resist the temptation. Put those cannons in your back pocket, now.

    You cannot defend a 30-tile border successfully against pillagers. Period. Let's say you have your attack force, right? That's about a large enough group to make two or three stacks and attack on a front that's perhaps 10 tiles long against a city or two.

    Monty and perhaps Toku are going to send Knights or their own Cavalry, when they develop them, over the border and right for your resources. (Hell, they could do it with jaguars!) Pretty soon you're not going to have anything left.

    What would I do? Hmm. That's a really hard one.

    I think I'd hedgehog up. I'd run my military strength up to 1st or second place, if not there already. I'd use my existing cavalry to guard against an infiltrator-type war while making sure that I built few fast-reaction stacks with cannons in a couple of my cities. When they invade, and they will, trust me, they'll send one or two Stacks o" Death over. Use a suicide cannon (built with collateral damage) or two on each stack to take them down, then use the rest of your stack to eliminate the weakened units. While you're doing this, send a few of your cavalry deep into his territory to disrupt his lines of communication and resources.

    THEN, launch an attack on their cities, knowing that a lot of their main force has been eliminated.

    Your force over in the New World is probably going to have to be self-supporting for a while, you're in a heck of a fix right now. A border like that with no natural choke-points is a killer once you've got mobile troops.

    Once thing more. Once I got to the Industrial age, I'd beeline for Assembly Line, Combustion, Industrialization and Artillery. This situation just begs for early tanks.

    Tom
     
  4. Jorunkun

    Jorunkun Back with a vengeance

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    The question boils down to which presents the greater opportunity: Defeating your neighbour directly (in war, at the risk of losing and forestalling your advantage in the new world), or outgrowing him (in the new world, at the risk of him winning his war quicker than you can settle).

    I´d say make nice with your neighbours, hedgehog in and pour your energy into the new world. The way it looks, you have a lot more to gain from settling and developing the new world than from risking war with #2 and #3 - with so much room to grow, your position will only get stronger.

    J.
     
  5. Leifmk

    Leifmk Deity

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    Yeah, use your head start in the New World. Bring the gift of civilization to the poor barbarians over there. Crush your Old World neighbours with bombers and tanks, later.
     
  6. atreas

    atreas King

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    To start, I would say that in this game (as you describe it) you can't easily lose. Both the attack and the build-up procedure will lead to a win eventually. The reason is that the "tech-dangerous" guys (Cathy and Mansa) are having trouble by the warmongers, so they probably can't hurt you.

    One very famous world chess champion once said that "the player with the advantage has the right and the obligation to attack, because otherwise he runs the risk to see his advantage evaporate". If you consider that your advantage is of a permanent nature you can avoid an immediate attack - just accumulate more advantages. Otherwise attack, and attack hard. As you describe your game, it seems you have a permanent advantage, so I would suggest an accummulation process for safety, but you also have such a huge tech advantage that makes even an immediate attack possible (but not with the units that you describe).

    Continue expanding on the New World. From what you are saying to us, I would consider Toku as your main problem (I am not afraid of civs that are engaged in wars between them). I definitely wouldn't attack Monty at this moment - he is playing my game by beating the other two.

    But I admit I would probably have taken a different path and would have gone for Cavalries (you have very long borders, and you need a strong and fast moving unit ahead of that age, as Knight are not adequate). As you describe it, you could have catched the opponents with no riflemen (or even muskets), and it would be game over for them - cavalries with level 3 can get a city with 60% defence and longbows without much (or even ANY) loss and also even without cannons. Is it too late to try it now, if you want to go for an early conquest victory (but always starting with Toku as you first rabbit)? Attacking Toku has the additional benefit that Monty can't bother you for a while, since he is battling on the other side.

    Anyway, whatever you do I think you can't lose in that game - just pick your desired winning method.
     
  7. voek

    voek Prince

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    well i dont fully agree with previous suggestions

    As i can see you have a HUGE advantage (3000 score). I would estimate my changes how i would do in a war against Toku and Monti. Monti is at war and should be weak. I would espionage his close city's (spreading your own religion if you haven't already). If they aren't heavily guarded it would be an option to attack Monti.

    When Monti is a possibility, you will have to take a look at Toku. Do you think he comes to war (at Monti's side) or can you persuade him to attack someone else (English)? When he attacks someone else, he prob. won't attack you. But in the case he will attack you, you will have to consider the strenght of your defences along Toku's border. I find defencive battles/wars are much easier (when you are ahead in tech).

    So if you can hold off Toku and Monti's border towns can be quickly taken (since his war at the other side), i would certainly consider attacking him.

    Capturing 2/3 city's will be giving you peace again anyway.

    My point is, i think waiting to long for starting a war can cost you. You have the tech advantage and Monti is at war, which is a very good change to make a "good" war. It doesn't have to take long. But when you get Monti, you get the number 2 and losing will be almost impossible.
     
  8. ChangHao

    ChangHao Long standing Civ-er

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    what do you mean don't attack?

    of course, don't attack the other end of the continent. you will become terribly segregated and have 50 square of border instead of the present 25...

    dear monte and/or toku will come after your throat sooner or later. they don't give a damn to your score or size most of the time. they just want to piss you and ruin your cottages that have grown painfully into towns.

    so my take is to wack them hard. one by one. what's more, you've got gunpowder.
     
  9. jlindy

    jlindy Death From Below

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    Could you post a save sounds like a very interesting game.
     
  10. Mordraken

    Mordraken Chieftain

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    Thanks for the advice all. I will try to post a save game tonight (if I remember!) The game may not be that interesting for the good players in this forum, but it is an interesting strategic case - do you war with:
    -a distant weak nation
    -a close nation already at war
    -another strong "isolationist" nation a little further away
    -nobody and lock off your borders

    After reflecting on the advice here, and despite my original interest in making this a conquest game, I think I will hole-up, defend my borders, and devote my production efforts to improving my science and dominating the new world. The reason I think this is the right way to go is that if I was to attack either Tokagawa or Montezuma, there is a good chance (I think) that both of them would gang up on me. Although I have gunpowder and (I think) they don't, I also don't think they are too far behind me, so could conceivably have it in 10-20 turns (I have no idea how long). However, with my lead, and the new world under my control, I should be able to generate a huge lead in tech and production and win outright by the end of the game.

    And, as someone else suggested, I can wait for Bombers and tanks, and then open up my attack. If I'm lucky I'll have them when everyone else only has musketmen, although I don't think I will get that big a lead.

    The risk of this strategy: If Montezuma and Tokagawa ally, and defeat both Catherine & Mana Musa, then they will have about 70% of the old world, and could both gang up on me later on. Even so, with my tech advantage and new world, I think I might be OK, especially if I can make nice with Montezuma and become his friend. Adopting his religion is key here... I just wish he'd send me some missionaries ;).
     
  11. BigCMan

    BigCMan Chieftain

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    My suggestion would be to attack Montezuma, considering your lead. In my experience, he usually just masses units. This causes him to fall behind in tech, and with your tech lead, you should handle him pretty easily. The fact that he's at war with someone else already will also hinder his mobilization efforts. I wouldn't worry too much about Tokugawa just yet. If you can take some of Monty's cities quickly, that will be good for you, and help you increase your ability to deal with Tokugawa when the time comes.
     
  12. Mordraken

    Mordraken Chieftain

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    Well, I have an update after a (much longer than planned) gaming session on Friday. First, a couple of corrections. It was not Mana Musa & Catherine - it was Cyrus & Hatshepsut that were loosly allied against Monte & Toku. Second - I was at about 2,600 while Montezuma (the closest) was at about 1,700, so I didn't have QUITE as dominating a lead as I thought.

    I decided to hunker down, make nice with Monte, and focus on the new world. I traded some techs with him, continued to bolster my cities, opened up a regular trade (fur for 3 gp/turn), and he evntually offered open borders. He stoped his war with Hatshepsut abourt half way through those transactions, while I continued to develop the new world, and upgrade some home defenders. I also cleared out some of my home defenses to help with the barbarians in the new world.

    It seems I made the wrong decision.

    About 5 turns after opening my borders, and just after I discovered oil, Montezuma launched a sneak attack on me. I lost one city defended by Cavalry, 2 riflemen and a spearman (not upgraded) to a batallion of Knights (must have been about 15 of them). I was EXTREMLY lucky in that I had enough money to upgrade a number of old defenders to machine-guns, and took out somewhere around 20 knights, cat's and musketeers before I was able to move to recapture my city. That's where I am now.

    I think if I was to replay it, if I had continued to build my military over the 20-25 turns before I was attacked, I would have a force that would have been able to roll through Montezuma - at least for a while. The other option of attacking Hatshepsut would have been disasterous. Not only would I have my forces spread between the New World, my original territory and the new Egiptian conquest, but I would have Egiptian cities that Monte could pretty easily take from me.

    I'm attaching an older save (but after I had begun my "dig in" strategy above) but (I hope) long before Monte declared war on me. I think if Monte was someone else (like perhaps Gandhi) then going to war would not have been as necessary, but because of Monte's aggressiveness, I think an early war would have been the right thing to do.
     
  13. Archbob

    Archbob Ancient CFC Guardian

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    I'd probably build up a force and attack montezuma right now since he's already at war with the other two civs. What difficulty are you playing on?
     
  14. atreas

    atreas King

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    I checked the save file, and I think that you missed many opportunities.

    1. It is unacceptable, I think, with a lead in techs to lose the "race" for economics. Not only it is usually more profitable to have Free Market than Mercantillism in a cottage strategy, but the Great Merchant from Economics would upgrade almost all your army. I take it you could have gone there many turns ago, but instead chose the way to tanks - well, they could wait 3 more turns. Check the techs that provide great people and always try to get them first (these are Music, Economics, Physics, and Fussion).

    2. You keep soldiers in some inside cities, like Old Sarai, that need no protection and you haven't enough protection in a city in the borders, that is also the holy city for two religions. To make things even worse, this city has lost a good deal of her tiles to Monty's capital - that makes the city less productive and also allows all kinds of sneak attacks (only one square distance), at whatever point Monty thinks better. It's imperative to put some riflemen there, in order to have defence against fast units attacks.

    3. You have a big tech lead over Monty, but not much over the others. That means your position isn't very stable if they stop wars and switch to science and trading.

    4. You have gone too far, I think, with the cottages and now I can't really see cities with production. Plus, I see you are even building wealth in one of the cities - well, probably you need some cavalries more than the 20 Gold from one of your few productive cities.

    5. You had them clearly, I suppose for more than 150 years, with cavalries against longbows and you lost this chance (now you don't have much army in the Old World). Also you can improve on your attacks. For example, in the war against Barbarians I saw you attacking with Cavalries and Macemen against a city with Macemen and 50% defence bonus. Well, if you think of it you will see immediately that these Macemen are nothing more than decoration - they can't attack (unless you want to sacrifice them) but could be of better use in another way (maybe as defenders in some cities). That's why you needed so much the upgrade money from the Great Merchant.

    Generally, in the position I saw I think you need to consolidate militarily - you haven't enough defence in the borders (don't follow the AI system, it's better to concentrate the army in the places that are in danger) and definitely you haven't enough force for an attacking war. But Monty can't hurt you if you put some Riflemen in the border cities and also build some cavalries. I think your position is a bit unsecure - try to run for Tanks and kill Monty immediately (at least, get his capital which is torturing your cities with culture). But Cyrus isn't far at all (in fact, he is closer than Monty) and you may be in trouble.
     
  15. Drofd

    Drofd Chieftain

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    I would of castled up then completely load on defence and go for a tech runaway
     
  16. katank

    katank Prince

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    You shouldn't be defending cities with cavs. Use piles of rifles. Also have collateral forces waiting.

    Unless their borders are right next to yours, you can bash 2-3 cannons into their attack stack and those knights would never be able to take your city.

    I tend not to go heavily on colonizing the New World but concentrate on taking out the Old World. The barbs can be pretty significant in force in the New World.

    Monty must die. Unless he is friendly with you, kill him ASAP. From what I hear, he would barely have open borders with you. You have to take him out.
     
  17. Mordraken

    Mordraken Chieftain

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    atreas - Great advice. I think because I am playing at an easier level, these mistakes haven't come to hurt me. I was able to win this game, but was constantly attacked by Montezuma throughout. Fortunatley I did make frieds with the Persians and Egyptians, so Monte was fighting a 3-front war. Once I got tanks and bombers, I loaded up my forces and rushed him out of existance. Neither Japan nor Persia attacked me, which was lucky (although I did have defenders on those borders).

    I must make a habit of (1) not producing things I don't need... like +health buildings in a healthy city and (2) reviewing my production on a regular basis to ensure that cities are being productive.
     

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