Traits: Better to emphasize or compensate?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by GHalfrunt, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. GHalfrunt

    GHalfrunt Just zis guy, you know?

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    In general, do you find it more useful to use leaders who compensate for your weaknesses (FIN/PRO for me), or ones who emphasize your strengths (CRE/ORG for me)?

    All the discussion I've seen on the forums about comparing leader traits (I remember one in particular called PRO basically useless) seems to rely on either one particular strategy that they consider "correct" or people actually knowing how to play a variety of strategies well. This is, well, not me. I'm horrible at warfare. I've quit a couple of games recently because I tried to be aggressive and ended up unable to built up a sufficiently large or advanced military, even focusing on producing lots of hammers, and ended up in essentially a medieval cold war that ground my economy to a halt. And even more often, I've been overrun and humiliated by AGG neighbors who resent me for pressing on their borders too hard with my culture. So what I usually do now is play as leaders who can compensate for my incompetence with traits like FIN so I can get more money out of my below-average cottaging or PRO so I don't get overrun too easily. On the other hand, since my typical "role playing" kind of play style tends to make me build culture and keep my overhead costs low anyway, I figure I could just double down with CRE or ORG on what I can do well and try to find ways around my weaknesses instead.
     
  2. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

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    There is a lesson somewhere in this text...hmm wait think i found it ;)
    Don't put cultural pressure on Monty, Shaka and Genghis without an army ~~
     
  3. GHalfrunt

    GHalfrunt Just zis guy, you know?

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    LOL. Well, yes, but...
     
  4. Pendle Witch

    Pendle Witch Chieftain

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    The way I learned to fight wars better was to put smallest map on (duel?) and select one civ to fight against, preferably not one of the lunatic civs listed by the poster above :) Persia is a decent choice to fight against.
     
  5. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    First, I'd note the big divide between warmongers and pacifists. Pacifists will generally find AGG and PRO less useful. Warmongers will likely find IND less useful.

    Second, some people are more comfortable teching off of specialists and GP bulbs; they'll tend to prefer PHI to FIN. Others are more comfortable teching off of cottages, and will tend to prefer FIN to PHI.

    Third, some traits are simply harder than others.
    AGG, CHA, EXP, FIN, ORG, and PRO all more or less manage themselves; it doesn't take much to get full benefit out of them.
    CRE, IMP, and IND take a little bit of adjustment to make full use of, but are nearly fully useful even if you just play a normal game.
    PHI and SPI require a great deal of thought and adjustment to maximize your gains from them.
    I'd focus on the fundamentals and avoid the trickier leader traits until you feel confident in your general play.
     
  6. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    No traits can save you from poor play. If you fail to build a decent army and don't manage diplo, it's not gonna matter if the 1 archer guarding your capital is PRO or not. You will be pillaged to hell and be insanely behind.

    It certainly can help, but it probably would be more important to identify critical mistakes and learn to avoid them. You shouldn't be like "I am bad at war, so I'm gonna avoid it" Because Monty doesn't think the same way. :lol: Plus you shouldn't use a mediocre trait like PRO to cripple the rest of your game IMO.

    Pick random leaders and just play. See how much you can get away with when you're next to an aggressive neighbor. Eventually you'll be able to adapt and build just enough to keep yourself alive

    There's no doubt the likes of CRE and FIN and SPI are far more forgiving, but the more important thing is to play the map and your opponents. Otherwise any strategy will fail.

    One thing that will help is to not be scared of these warmongers. Understand them and their weaknesses, then crush them later. The moment you realize these warmongers are really just AIs that build more units and use them more, but have poorer tech rates, you'll be fine. Don't treat them like this insurmountable wall that will crush you and ruin your games, because they're not. They are Great General fountains though.
     
  7. mtr12

    mtr12 Prince

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    You should be able to play with every leader and every trait, and adjust your game accordingly. I mean, it's easy to get dependent on certain traits, CRE and SPI in particular, but you gotta play without them to really experience all parts of the game.

    The SE players on this forum will undoubtedly prefer PHI, but they can easily play without it. CE players like Dave love FIN, but can also play without it.

    My personal opinion is that PHI, FIN, SPI, and ORG are among the strongest traits, but stronger than any trait is a trait synergy. For example, Boudica's traits (AGG/CHA) have an obvious synergy. Peter's traits (PHI/EXP) work well together because he tends towards a SE, and EXP mitigates some of the unhealthiness of high food pops. Asoka's traits (SPI/ORG) basically make him the Civic Master of the game.
     
  8. ecuwins

    ecuwins Emperor

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    CRE was my biggest crutch coming into this game. FIN and PHI are the other two big "crutches", IMO.
     
  9. mtr12

    mtr12 Prince

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    I think SPI is a pretty big crutch, it lets players get away with changing Civics at their pleasure so they never learn how to optimize civics switching. I still don't know how.
     
  10. ShengWuLien

    ShengWuLien Warlord

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    Here's my take on it. I play at Monarch/Emperor difficulty and moved up from Noble pretty recently.

    For me, the key to improving my game was not figuring out which traits I liked best, but learning how to build an army with the maximum speed and efficiency. Or at least some degree of speed and efficiency. And that was about learning the tech paths, and learning how to whip, chop, and draft.

    Oftentimes I would get myself a nice tech lead--perhaps by taking advantage of nice traits--and think "now to go crush some AIs" but then take so long to build an army that I was in no position to do any such thing.

    Seriously, I think knowing how to whip/chop a stack of axes, or elepults, or Horse Archers, is the single most important thing I learned in Civ. Once you know how to do that, nice traits seem like an added bonus.
     

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