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Trying to get back into Civ IV

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by CELTICEMPIRE, May 19, 2018.

  1. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    Hello, recently I've been playing CIV again, but I'm really bad at this game. I struggle on Noble and sometimes even Warlord (In Civ III I can win on monarch). I usually go for domination, but I find conquering other civs very difficult. I also perform miserably on water maps.

    What are some good tips and strategies? Which leaders are good to practice with?
     
  2. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    (requested move to Strategy & Tips forum)

    Do you have BTS? First thing I recommend is playing BTS as it is the definitive version. If you don't have it, get it.

    If you are really struggling on lower levels, then you probably have some important basics to learn. I recommend playing Pangaea maps for now. The map will allow you to immerse yourself into most aspects of the game including diplo at early phases. Play standard settings - normal speed/standard size. Try not to get too crazy on the settings/options for now, and I would suggest playing without huts/events as well. Overall, it is better for learning and easier to get advice and apply it.

    Here are a few key basics and ideas:

    1) Post up a game as described above and play a shadow/learner game (in S&T) ..you will get a lot of helpful advice as you play

    2) Civ IV is very much about doing well early game such that things snowball later. Playing poorly in the early game will cause problems later

    3) Workers are the most important unit in the game. Almost always, worker is the first build of any game..there are really few exceptions to that rule, and mostly apply to some coastal starts

    4) Worker management is highly important, especially early on and really always. Improve the right things first and chop forests..avoid unnecessary roading

    5) Granary is the most important building the game, and really the only building required in every city (exception may be strategic city placement where food is not present) Do not waste precious time building useless buildings.

    6) FOOD is KING. This is absolutely THE golden rule of the game. Food drives growth and production. Food actually IS production. (improve food specials first and tech accordingly)

    - Generally food is the key driver on where you settle your cities, and you want to settle such that food or important resources is in the first culture ring so you have access immediately to improve and use. (Creative trait though gives you some flexibility here)

    7) Slavery is the most powerful civic in the game. Learn to use it. Slavery turns food into production. Mastering the use of slavery and related hammers is one of the keys to increasing difficulty (Bronze Working is almost always teched right after the food is taken care of..heck it might even be your first tech if your starting techs are applicable)

    8) Maintenance is a key factor limiting growth and expansion (city, distance, unit, civic, etc.). It increases with difficulty and puts a limit on expansion early on....(see below)

    9) Don't be afraid to settle cities closely..that is, overlap cities. First, it reduces distance maintenance. Second, it allows tile sharing which helps with worker management and cottage growth for capital. Cities will be whipping early anyway, so you don't need every tile in a city improved. They can share food, mines, cottages, etc. (citizens can be adjusted between tiles in the city screen)

    10) Early religions are not important for the human player. Do not waste beakers on early religious tech paths. Again, your focus should be a worker techs, then writing and so on. Very common mistake of new players thinking they need to grab an early religion. Just let the AIs waste their time on that. You will likely get religion spread from them anyway, and can grab your own religion later when they come from far more important tech choices.

    11) With that said, choose tech paths with a purpose and learn about AI priority techs. That is, AIs tend to focus on certain tech paths (religious, iron working, calendar, feud, machinery - basically military techs). Knowing this allows you to avoid wasting beakers on techs that you can easily trade for later.

    12) Trade routes are important. Make sure you have internal trade routes set up immediately between your cities, and note that you don't always need roads if a river is in place or even sailing if the coast is in your borders (hard to explain this without showing) Furthermore, foreign trade routes are more lucrative and should be accessed asap after Writing, if possible. Can be map dependent on how soon you can get this set up.

    13) Commerce is an important component of the game. (Commerce :commerce: is not the same as Gold:gold:). Commerce drives the sliders and produces beakers, gold, culture, and espionage (BTS) depending on your sliders. You want to generally always focus slider on beakers, ofc. Until you settle your first city (and start deficit research) you run 100% science. After your first settle, maintenance kicks in. Start getting used to running 100% tax vs. 100% science, as opposed to getting caught up with a certain % in between. In other words, run 100% tax until you can fund the next tech (just do the math). Later you have more options to acquire gold, so this changes, but it is more optimal early before you get beaker multipliers in place (libraries, academy).

    14) Diplo is important. Learn who the players are. The leaders are different and have different coding on how the respond to others and the human. Some are religious zealots(Izzy), some are ..well..psychos (Monty, Rags, Shaka). Some are much more peaceful and open to you - trading and stuff. One (Toku) is isolationist. Your approach to them can and will be different. And you can leverage certain leaders in certain ways. Be wary of adopting early religions unless you are comfortable in the choice - security, relations, etc. Religion has its uses, especially with the powerful civics, but it can make you a target.

    15) Great people are important. Learn to use them. Great Scientists are the most important in the game - at least early to mid game. You want to get up a library soon after writing and start running scientists to get your first Great Scientist (GS). The best practice for now is to use the GS for an academy in your capital, which often is setup to become a powerful Bureaucracy (civic) capital.

    16) Lastly, just keep in mind that you have a lot to learn but try to put more thought and focus in your decisions, especially early on. You don't have to, but this is certainly a game where more attention to micromanagement helps toward success.

    If you have or plan to get BTS, I recommend installing BUG/BULL and/or BAT mod. UI/Info mods that most use:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/forums/civ4-bts-unaltered-gameplay-bug-bat-and-bull.268/

    One other piece of advice: I recommend focusing mainly on the early game right now - like the first 100 turns on normal speed. Just get accustom to the basics while learning to expand and grow your economy, while learning these basics. Also, Currency is a very important tech in the game and one that you want sooner than later - one way or another. Given how slow the AIs tech on the low levels you play, you will likely tech this yourself. After Writing, for now, I'd recommend a Maths>Alpha> Currency path or Alpha>Maths>Currency. Currency not only boost your economy, but allows you to trade extra resources for Gold per Turn (GPT) and trade old stuff for gold. You can also build wealth. (markets on the other hand are not important - avoid)

    edit: Ugh..one more thing to answer your question. Leader is really not important. There are better traits certainly that others, but unless you know how to leverage them it really does not matter much to you now. I'd actually for a new player would find the Civs starting techs more important. (Things like Agriculture, Mining and The Wheel are good starting techs)

    Passively though, traits I think that can help a new player without much thought are the Creative trait and probably Charismatic, just for the extra happiness. Expansive is nice too.
    (Unfortunately, no Crea/Char leader).

    So, I'd recommend Washington as a good generic leader to play. Charismatic/Expansive is a nice trait combo, and the Unique Unit and Building are very late, so you don't have to think about them. (And really Uniques are inconsequential to your game right now) American starting techs are decent and flexible. Hatty of Egypt is probably another good option - good traits, great starting techs, flexible settling due to auto border pops.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
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  3. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    I don't really have a lot of extra money to spend on games at the moment. Civ 4 came in a box with the warlords expansion when I bought it a decade ago (I play the game once every year or two and then get frustrated and go back to Civ III). I've considered getting BTS as soon as I heard about it. I've heard that it's really good.

    Okay, though I've always loved huts so that part might be hard for me.

    Thank you for telling me, I don't think I ever did that. I usually built scouts first.

    I haven't used slavery much either (This probably comes from my experience with Civ III, where pop-rushing leads to riots). Should I keep it for the entire game?

    Good to know.

    Yeah, I probably focus too much on religion.

    When you say first city, do you mean the very first city or the first city that you founded from a settler you built?

    I've usually neglected to use specialists in the early game because they take up valuable food or production spaces.

    As a Civ III veteran, I'm used to micromanagement!

    Thanks, I knew that currency was important but I didn't know that about markets.

    Sounds great! I've won the game as the Celts and Germans (domination), and the Koreans (space race) and a few others I think as well, it's been years.
     
  4. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    I understand. Keep in mind that digital version of Civ IV complete goes on sales quite often. Keep an eye on sites like Good Old Games (GOG.com), GreenManGaming, and even Steam for the complete editions. Usual sale price is around $7.

    Not really saying not to ever use them. Just that they are not great for learning. An inexperienced players tend to focus on huts (like building scouts ;)) rather than important things. Free gold and techs is giving you a false impression of your progress. Also, not that as you move up levels they benefit you less and less as AIs start with 2 scouts at certain levels. Your lucky to even get more than 1 or two, so you are really only helping the AI. Most really good players play without huts and events, which were a new feature of BTS.

    Ha..again, common mistake of newer/less experience players. No reason to every build a scout (exception may be to use one as a super medic, or later on a bit when you really want to scout the map) I never build them myself.


    Slavery is THE most powerful feature of the game. As you play more and become more erudite in its uses and benefits, you will understand this better.

    Whipping (our term for sacrificing population) increases a city's unhappiness by 1 for 10 turns. You learn to manage around this. But not riots. (My III experience is limited)

    It depends on the game and your goals. Some games can be one relatively early. Space is obviously a long game. Regardless, I tend to use slavery for much of the game. There are times though earlyish when you want to run Caste System to pump out great people (again, there are features of BTS that are applicable here, but this can still apply to Warlords). Later game, like Space, you have stuff that significantly boosts overall city production (buildings, improvements, civics) so you can rely less and less on slavery and go with Caste or even Emancipation late. (BTS is boosted even more) Also, the slavery to food/growth is more optimal at smaller city sizes. Late game you actually will try to focus on growing cites larger. Early game, smaller city pop is okay. With exception of cap after initial expansion, don't get caught up in the idea that all cities need to just keep growing and growing in the early-mid game. Use that pop.

    So, with a lot of conquest/dom games, I likely only use slavery the entire game, with the exception of a Golden Age great person pump at some point early (BTS) for great scientists bulb paths.


    Again, another common mistake by newer players. Workers>food>growth>whip is the key



    Sorry, first settler. When you settle your first city (not the cap) you will start paying maintenance. You will see your gold running a deficit per turn in the top left. When whatever you have banked runs out the beaker slider starts to drop. The point here is to manage that slider yourself. 0% or 100% ..not in between...at least for much of the early phase of the game. (This is a bit complex and the nuances of this take some time to get used too...the point here is not to get caught up with X% of research..just 0% until you can fund the next tech) Your priority after food and a strat tech (think BW) is to get to writing. After writing you can start thinking about libraries and running scientists which provide passive beakers. So 0% does not mean you are not making some progress (and there is always 1 beakers per turn regardless). We call it binary science. To further explain, the game has a rounding issue with slider and maintenance that is eliminated at 0% and 100%. Thus, why it is optimal to do so until beaker multipliers are in place that overcomes the rounding issue.

    Also, 0% for a time helps fund your early expansion. General goal is to get to 6 cities by 1AD, more the better, but you need to establish economy.



    I guess the key point here is city specialization and migrating city focus to secondary cities. The cap is obviously important for getting out at least the first couple of new cities, but later new cities can take on the brunt of expansion, or units as needed. Cap is your primary source of research in the early game (and often the whole game). This in another reason food is so important, as the cap can run scientists and still have some growth or production. You also, need to manage happiness too of course. You don't want to actually have unhappy citizens, so slavery penalty needs to wear off. Thus, there should be time for all this..it is just up to how you manage and balance things in your empire. But point is the cap will be whipped early for stuff, but then you let it grow into the scientists and abuse less - abuse other cities more.

    Also, look to find excellent food spot to set up what we call Great Person (GP) farm. At least 2 or 3 strong food resources. Great place for National Epic and later your primary source of great people.

    Good! :D ..it will pay off with this game...having patience for that is key. Not all do. IMO is one of the things that makes the series great.

    IMO Currency is the most important tech in the game next to BW. To me, it represents essentially a new phase in the game. A phase of further expansion or conquest or whatever. The boost to commerce and enable acquisition of gold allows so many things. Make sure you are always trading resources for GPT. Keep tabs on AIs available GPT throughout game as you can renegotiate these trades every 10 turns. Trade old or non-important techs for chunks of gold. Obviously, be judicious with important monopoly techs you have and especially key military techs.

    If nothing important to do, like not targeting an AI for conquest at a given time, build wealth instead of a useless building. As for markets, they are extremely expensive buildings early game with little pay off. The turns and hammers a city or cities are wasting on building a market could be put to far far better use. (Important to keep in mind that every turn is important..if you are just setting there watching your empire turn after turn after turn just building stuff like markets or whatever, the game is passing you by)

    So, important buildings:

    Granary - as mentioned
    Library - but do you need it everywhere? Cap is obvious first choice. But what does a library do? It boosts beakers from commerce in that city (via the slider), or multiplies beakers from other sources like the scientist specialist that city runs. A city with no commerce or food likely does not need a library. Culture though may be one consideration for it

    Forge - really outside the Granary, the only other really important building..and only really for a "relatively" longer game

    Lighthouse in coastal seafood spots is obvious

    Everything else, and I mean everything is very situational. Even a barracks is not always needed.

    A monument may or may not be needed, but you can get around this by, as explained earlier, by settling resources in first ring. But sometimes you just need to reach that fish out in the ocean or whatever. Later on there are ways to pop borders without them. I believe on Warlords monuments obsolete very early as well (Calendar?), whereas in BTS it is much later with Astronomy. If a city has sufficient access to food immediately though then culture is not a concern, a later library or may lucky religion spread will take care of it.



    Keep on playing. Civ IV is really a fantastic game and I believe you will find just as much or more joy from it than III (especially when you get BTS)
     
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  5. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Celt - I'm going to provide a link to an old post (well..really posts within a post) where I explain some basics of slavery. Something you may want to read over at some point and practice a bit. It pretty much basics but gives some examples and discusses overflow. Also, so knowledge of granary and growth optimization later will help you, but it is a bit complex for now. Just get those granaries up as fast as possible in your cities, although the cap will focus on mainly and generally on a couple of settlers and workers first before gran - as well as some warriors for spawn busting barbs. (ugh..there I go again with another concept :crazyeye:)

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/going-from-noble-tooo.468987/#post-11671673
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
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  6. Olson

    Olson Chieftain

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    CELTICEMPIRE,
    I wouldn't worry about what version of Civ IV you have or prefer to play; each has its own appeal. It makes sense to get bored of one version before moving on to the next. It's "new" if it's new to you. I played Civ III until a little after Civ IV-BtS came out; then I moved to Civ IV-Vanilla (briefly) then Warlords (for the longest time) before (grudgingly) moving to BtS a few years ago.

    It would be my advice to focus on getting over that Civ III to Civ IV transition learning curve. It took me quite a while because, like you, I wanted to learn how to play a casual game of Civ IV Vanilla/Warlords and, by that time, Civfanatics was already all about BtS, BUG/BULL and BAT mods, and playing on Deity difficulty. :rolleyes:

    I don't micromanage at all (I don't have the time or patience for it). It's also not necessary for winning on Noble, pangea map; by 1800AD (that's my goal...it suits me just fine). Though it's not directly relevant to a game of Warlords, I would suggest you watch "Sulla YouTube Channel - Babylon Always War"
    Even though it's BtS, it's a great way to see and hear a clear explanation of what he's thinking. I think it's on Emporer difficulty so if you remember half of what he explains it will help your Noble level play.
     
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  7. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    I started up a new game as Washington. I decided to do warlord difficulty just to be safe. It's going well.

    Good to know.

    It's not just Civ 4, I love the goody huts in all the Civ games! I forgot how to turn them off anyway. In my newest game I only got gold, no techs.

    I just started a new game and rushing saved my cities after Monty and Kublai ganged up on me.

    Basically in III, certain government types (Despotism, Feudalism, Communism, and Fascism) allow that game's version of slavery, pop-rushing (I've also heard it called whipping). It seems to have a much more severe affect on happiness and if there is enough unhappiness a city will riot, making it completely useless for a turn. Neglect the rioting city and a building might get burned. If you have a nuclear power plant in a rioting city, things could get much worse.

    The new build order seems to be doing wonders.

    I did all that, and I got 9 cities by 1 AD, including a barbarian city I captured.

    Yeah, if I'm not feeling patient I'll play something that isn't Civ.

    I got Currency before 1000 BC I think. Helped out a lot.

    I followed that building advice, the only other buildings I built were Christian Temples to combat unhappiness.

    That might be difficult as Civ III holds so much nostalgic value for me.

    I'll have to check that out.

    Thanks a lot:goodjob:! I'll watch it soon.
     
  8. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Good. I recommend at least playing Noble for now. Noble is basically the neutral level. Higher than that and AIs start getting bonuses. Lower than that the AI gets malus/human bonuses. But you are just learning concepts so its fine. However, next game bump up to Noble for a while. Just making some of the these adjusts we discussed will help.

    (Note: Warlords - the version - has an inverse difficulty with BTS - kinda odd. Warlords is easier on the lower levels than BTS, but much harder on the higher difficulties. One reason is catapults work different and are OP below BTS. Cats can actually kill. In BTS they do collateral damage only.)


    Eek..not sure when it was in your game, but AI usually a bit more docile on lower levels, although you can never really know with some like Monty. KK is bit aggressive but not near as bad as his partner GK, who is a psycho like Monty. Probably need to work some on the diplo side but that takes time. If someone like Monty is close, I will see if I can get in a position to attack him sooner than later. Granted, that is not really your focus right now.

    Dogpiles should be avoided though or predicted. You can check diplo screen to see if leader is in war mode (We Have Enough On Our Hands Right Now - WHEOOHRN).

    With time, we need to get you acclimated to diplo and bonuses/malus. Note Worst Enemies. Note bonuses to diplo like trades and open borders. Religion. Trading resources will boost diplo by +2 over time as well.

    But yeah..slavery is great for the fast army - one way or another.

    Good to hear! Seriously, just a few of these basics down and you will put these levels behind you.

    Sounds good!

    Excellent..grab that gold!

    Temples are okay, but a bit expensive unless Spiritual (trait bonus). There are other ways to manage happiness as well or just limit your growth temporarily some way. I forgot about monuments also giving +1 happy as well, so better build for CHAR leaders. But again, monuments obsolete much earlier below BTS. You can, of course, delay grabbing Calendar for a while unless you have a lot of those resources.

    Welcome to the new nostalgia :D
     
  9. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    I nearly lost Washington and Atlanta due to Aztec catapults.

    The game has got to the point where everyone has longbows, the point where it becomes exceedingly difficult to take cities. I decided to make peace in exchange for gold instead of bringing the fight back to them.

    Kublai shares a long border with me, Monty has a short border. I used to be on good relations with Kublai, as he was the last to get any religion at all. I sent in Christian missionaries but he converted to Taoism and then ended the open borders deal. Monty is Jewish in this game. Everyone hated it (except Ashoka, my only friend) when I attacked Alexander and took a city. I think they also didn't like it when I used a great artist to expand the culture in a town they both bordered.

    Ashoka is Buddhist and has close borders, but since we have open borders and trade often we're on good terms.

    I only built temples in my cities with 8+ population (My capital has 13 IIRC, and that's after I used the whip a few times).

    The only thing that keeps me from putting Civ 4 at the level of Civ III is the cultural defense bonus. It's always been my least favorite part of the game. Most of my other criticism of the game is about non-gameplay aspects (no city or palace view). One thing I've always thought Civ 4 did well was multiple leaders for some civs, and I don't understand why that was never brought back in V (I know almost nothing about VI).
     
  10. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Well, admiration for IV will come in time as you learn more about it and the nuances of the game. Not sure I understand the issue with cultural defense. It is a component of a cities defenses that is always there and grows over time. Nice that as human you don't have to bother with walls/castles (AIs will always build them..in fact it should be very much noted that the AI is not at all a model for how the human should play..just a thought) Anyway, later on at Gunpowder and beyond, units ignore wall defenses, but your cultural defense is still present. Of course, one can bombard down all defenses with siege.
    (Well, I guess another thing too is the cities can be seen rather nicely on the map itself. I do recall being able to build up a palace in III, but really after a few times it is not that big a deal. It's the gameplay that really shines here. Problem after IV, is they dumbed the game down a lot in V and VI)

    I'm not seeing your game so it is hard for me to really gauge how your game is going, but it sounds like things are not going well at this point. Based on my experience with timings, AIs getting Feud, and hence LBs, would be quite late in the game at this level.. Well, past 1AD. So really you should have much more substantial position at this "assumed" stage. However, I'm sure you've made progress as a whole in how you conducted earlier parts of the game, but just started to reach a dark area on how to progress.

    You mention religion and trying to spread Christianity, but I'm not sure how that shaked out. Did you found Christianity? Hence teched Theo yourself (not optimal)? Did you actually adopt Christianity? As mentioned better to let those early religions shake out and see which one is better to adopt - think religious bloc or just stay in no state religion. Religion can be a big diplo malus, as mentioned, especially with some AIs like Monty. So you really need to be careful what you to do with it. It is not crucial to be in a religion. In this case, given this group of leaders I would probably either look to go Jewish to keep Monty happy, or join another bloc and target him early.

    You mentioned, I think, 9 cities by 1AD. That should be a really good and solid base to start making decisions on how to proceed. To start making plans for expansion and conquest, and thinking about how you would like to win the game.

    Oh..Alexander is one of the psychos too. You may have to juggle Monty or Alexander, the two big aggressors here. Asoka is a nice guy by the way. Kublia, I'd classify as a "warmonger", but his diplo is easier.

    Hmmm, I would have used an early Great Artist (did you get the free one from Music?) differently in BTS. Warlords you need two great people for a Golden Age and the golden ages not as lucrative as BTS. A Great Artist in Warlords can be good in a conquest game though for bombing a newly capture large city..not a bad idea, but not sure if what you did here was a good idea.

    Anyway, I think it may be time to start a new game, but you can post your save a let me look at your progress at this stage. I have played quite a bit of Warlords version in the past, but some things are certainly different. (And don't worry about replaying a game too or better yet replaying the first 50 or 100 turns of a game. Mainly about learning and practicing now. Although I would recommend starting a new game on Noble level)
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
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  11. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    If your nearly losing units to Aztec catapults you are doing something wrong early on. THe AI are very slow tech wise on Warlords. You have a huge advantage.

    Adopting religions on this game is often asking for trouble as you immediately get a 1-2 point diplomatic hit. Learn to get Ai to pleased/friendly. Gift techs, gift resources, share their favourite civics. Open border over 25-50 turns gets you diplo points too. Shared wars too.

    I rarely ever build any temples. Waste of hammers. Use representation or Hereditary Rule civic That or happiness resources. Forges and markets can also help larger cities.

    In terms of war. Early wars 1000bc or before include Horse archer. If the Ai has built up spears and axes you can go melee/catapults. Later game many prefer cuirs as they ignore certain defence bonuses.

    Overall I would not expect the Ai to develop any stack of more than 4-5 units on warlords early on. Where the human player could have stacks from 10+ from 1000bc. More later on. On warlords I think the Ai only starts with warriors. So early warrior rushes are possible.
     
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  12. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    The issue is that I don't like the game mechanic as it gives the defenders too much of an advantage. Constantinople didn't survive from the barbarian invasions all the way to the 5th century because of the Hagia Sophia, it was because of walls and soldiers.

    Civ III also has the amazing editor feature.

    I'm past 1400 now. The issue isn't technology so much that Monty and Kublai had a lot of units and they caught me unprepared.

    I did found Christianity shortly after 1 AD and I got the Church of the Nativity up later. I'm thinking of just going to Free Religion (I have Liberalism now).

    I have well above ten cities now. I'm thinking of finishing off Alexander and maybe go after the Incas, the weakest civ on the map.

    It's a good thing I cut Alexander off of Iron. Later on, he attacked Asoka and no territory was gained or lost on either side. But because I attacked Greece (I used my horse archers and chariots to pick off a city defended by archers) everyone except Asoka says "You declared war on our friend."

    Yeah, I got him from music.

    I play Civ 4 on a different computer than the one I'm using right now, but I think I can transfer the save file and get it uploaded tomorrow.

    They had three catapults in a stack that also contained macemen and crossbowmen.

    I probably should have just become Hindu or Jewish.

    I only built the temples in large cities and cities on borders (for cultural reasons).

    What is a cuir? As of right now, I have knights, Longbows, crossbows, Macemen, Pikemen, and Trebuchets.

    Only Monty seems to be building stacks. Alexander stayed almost entirely on the defensive and Kublai only sent the occasional keshik.
     
  13. elitetroops

    elitetroops Chieftain

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    In my mind it simulates that people with a stronger cultural identity are willing to fight harder and make more sacrifices to maintain their freedom.
     
  14. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    I had never considered that.
     
  15. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Are you playing Warlords or beyond the sword? You really should post a save as these long line by line replies are not helping too much here.

    If the AI had mace/xbow it's likely you should of had that too. Even on monarch level you should have a decent advantage.

    What kind of science do you have by 1ad? How many great people had you by this date? 4-5?

    On Warlord it's probably almost 2000bc before they build a second city? On immortal level they often have this by 3000bc or before.
     
  16. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Yeah..I was going to say something similar to elite. The cultural defense can be interpreted to represent several factors of a civilization's culture and influence that could be applied militarily as well.

    Don't recall III editor, but IV modding is absolutely immense, and World Builder very simple to use and access. Think of anything, and there is probably a mod for it.

    Moving from a game you love to a similar new game has growing pains. Folks asked "why not this?" and "why not that?", "why not the old way?". Most here did the same when V came along as well (with reason..ha). I've played 3000 painful hours of Civ V, and still hate the game. Civ IV BTS on the other hand is without argument one of the best games of all time, and much more similar to III in style and complexity with respect to the overall series. I feel confident that you will come to love it.

    A cuir is a Curaisser (sp?), a new unit in BTS that is a mounted unit between Knight and Cavalry. It is a gunpowder unit. Many consider it the goto unit on higher levels..easily Libbed. Pre-BTS, Cavs were the way the go, or actually siege is so OP.

    Anyway, in short regarding above topics, we need to see your game. As you have progressed in learning, you should absolutely blow the AIs away in tech and maintain ridiculous military advantages. So it sounds like that mainly passed you by. The problem is improving things earlier on, building a better economy, use of great people, everything. Takes time to learn and easier to do so if we can follow along with your games. Warlords (version) makes this a little tougher since almost everyone here plays BTS since 2007, but there are still plenty of things for us to help with before you get BTS.

    Theocracy is general not good to tech. Not sure if your logic was to just get a religion. Code of Laws and Philosophy are much better techs for the human player and on important and necessary tech paths. Theo is a distraction. And again, there is no necessity to found your own religion or even waste a great prophet (or even produce one) for a shrine. Capture them. (On low levels with appropriate teching you will very likely tech Code of Laws or tech or bulb Philosophy ages before the AI does)
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
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  17. ArchGhost

    ArchGhost Chieftain

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    Lots of exchanges to read through, but just for the moment I'll add 2 or 4 cents, or maybe like a $1.50:

    SLAVERY.
    Use it, abuse it, love it. There's a meme somewhere on the forum about before and after finding CFC and becoming a sadistic taskmaster -- but it's absolutely correct. The greatest improvement to my play since starting the game at Noble came from learning to stop being so conservative when concerned with trading population for production -- the cities grow back, but if you lose them because you didn't whip some badly needed units, or get out-expanded and shut out of the map because you couldn't pump settlers/workers faster, well...

    Whipping important buildings (granaries, libraries in good spots, etc) is also key to developing quickly to progress more quickly/smoothly. Most importantly, it'll get you out of the "passive builder" mindset, which is a trap that ensnares many a newbie (such as yours truly) since many of the things that are more expensive than units, such as wonders or the less useful buildings that come later, are usually prohibitive to whip. I haven't read through what Lymond linked you on Slavery but I'm sure it at least touches on some of the other nuances (overflow, whipped pop amounts, murdering unhappy citizens, etc) involved, and you can learn in time how to apply it through experience too.

    Washington is a great leader for repeated, early whipping, by the way (Assuming the trait changes happened in Warlords; I've only played BTS). Expansive lets you get Granaries in place very easily (which power regrowth of whipped away population) while Charismatic gives you an extra happy face to whip even more (as well another +1 happy with a quick detour in Mysticism and a cheap Monument).


    Other than that big one, another general tip or two

    Teching
    -avoid teching/founding religions yourself. It flies on lower difficulties but is largely a waste of time/beakers once you move up, except in VERY specific scenarios

    -it pays to have a tech goal in mind and then optimize your path towards it using the tree to help you study it Otherwise you'll waste a lot of turns teching unnecessary stuff or things you can just trade back for. Don't tech religious or wonder techs if you want to conquer others, etc.

    -only tech war techs if you plan to go to war (duh). No point in picking up Construction or Guilds if you aren't gonna attack someone, while you can keep yourself safe with units from earlier techs like Archers, Axemen, Spearmen, and Chariots for quite a while; if you learn diplomatic navigation well, you can only worry about Barbs in some games. For the same reason, Machinery and Iron Working typically get back-burnered until at least Civil Service (CS + Machinery = Macemen, a good unit for the timeframe). Feudalism is basically a defensive technology that also shortens wars through vassaling, so you don't really need it.

    -Learn the path to Liberalism (teching Lib first grants a free technology) and practice it as you get better. You need Philosophy (require Code of Laws/Drama and Mediatation) and Education (requires Paper)to tech it. It's not game-breaking to lose the Lib race but its a decent advantage when used right, such as to shorten the path to a Cuir or Cannon attack, to pick up good trade bait, etc.

    -Shortlist of things to prioritize: anything you need to improve food early, The Wheel > Pottery, Bronze Working, Writing, Alphabet (on low levels the AI will almost never tech it early enough to trade something else for it), Currency, Civil Service. Iron Working is a "sometimes" tech if you need to clear jungle before the AI is willing to trade it, but generally they tech it quickly or it would probably be better to settle elsewhere anyway. Archery is another one if you can't find horses or bronze and the barbs are pressing in, or are feeling especially threatened by a belligerent AI.

    -Shortlist of techs to avoid teching yourself: Religious techs in general including Monarchy (trade for them later after Alpha), Calendar (trade for it), Feudalism, Theology, Divine Right. A whole host of situational builder's techs/trade bait (Masonry, Aesthetics, Literature, Music). Unless you have a lot of sea resources or are isolated on your own island, avoid going much past Fishing (Sailing is usually as far as you need to go for a long, long time) or avoid the Fishing line altogether until you need Calendar for more happy stuff. Drama can get you to Philosophy later but Code of Laws is generally more useful by itself (Drama is largely pointless until later in the game, if at all).

    That covers about the first 40% of the tech tree and if you can save time/be efficient getting through that part of it, you can put yourself in a strong position for the rest of the game.

    Wonders
    - general tip? Don't bother with most of them. They are either too hard to win the race on to justify, or too weak in their rewards. This is the peaceful-builder's trap! Pay attention to what happens to the AIs like Rameses or Augustus when they can't protect themselves with friends against a no-nonense Shaka or Monty! Your resources are almost always better directed elsewhere. Beakers towards other techs, hammers can become units or, with Alpha/Currency, Research or Wealth instead.

    -Exceptions usually involve access to a building resource (Stone/Marble, etc) that speeds it, playing an Industrious leader or another leader with a good setup for an early wonder, lots of forests around to chop, or a specific gambit in the map type such as Great Lighthouse on island heavy maps.

    -The only wonder I would say always justifies a shot is the Pyramids. You should always at least make an evaluation of whether it's feasible to pull them them off without stunting yourself too badly, as early access to Representation is very powerful (and to a lesser extent, Police State). You can live without everything else although Mausoleum of Mausollos, Taj Mahal, and Kremlin are all pretty good in their effects and are worth a shot if you have the resource for them.

    -Also, I'll fire some shots here and claim that Oracle is pretty much a waste of time. The gambits to utilize it in the most powerful ways meet heavy contention from the the AIs trying to beat you to it as the difficulty moves up, so it only breeds bad habits. Exceptions apply like always (particularly if you start Mysticism/Mining or The Wheel and have Marble, or are playing an IND leader), but this in general.

    - a better habit is learning to abuse "fail-gold." Putting hammers into a wonder then losing the race to AI nets you a pay out of gold to be repurposed (usually to bump up tech rate). Doing this intentionally can be very useful before you have Currency, or at any time if you play an IND leader or have the wonders' building resources at hand.

    -most of this applies earlier in the game. Later on you can do what you want since it won't gimp you nearly as much.

    Diplomacy
    this is a very complex subject, but very powerful, and probably the most important skillset to learn if you want to move up in difficulties. Just to touch on a few of the most important things in general:

    -don't align yourself with black sheep unless you have no other option (such as they are your only trading partner). A universally hated player is likely to be a target for the aggression of others, and being overly chummy with that Gandhi or Hatty can earn you a lot of unnecessary ire from the rest of the world. The attitudes screen under Foreign Advisor is your friend here, you can see who hates whom.

    -religions usually determine the way AIs fall into alignment themselves. Often the world will fall into just two large camps, or maybe something entirely chaotic. In the former you'd want to align with whoever you think presents less immediate threat or offers more security (see next tip) while in the latter it's usually best to remain unaffiliated because it'll piss off more entities than it will please to choose one side.

    -try your best to not piss off your neighbors; an AI on your border that hates you is the most likely one to attack you! There is little you can do to prevent remote AIs from doing anything, but if you share a border (making you a land target if 8+ border tiles) with someone keeping them relatively happy reduces a lot of threat. In certain situations you may even want to suck up to a neighbor to avoid untimely aggression by gifting techs, resource trades, give them a free city, or simply give into their demands. Sharing their religion is a much more prickly prospect that requires you to go back to a "big picture" view before you make that decision.

    -it may seem unsavory, but giving into demands for tech, gold, or a resource can really be a good thing for you; no matter how much you may think it sucks to give up something to a bully for free, a war before you are ready for it is much worse. Giving into a tribute demand like this will also guarantee you a short reprieve of a 10-turn peace treaty, and some free positive diplomatic modifier, so there is some sweet with the bitter. Resource demands are actually super nice because you get all of that sweet immunity+diplo and can just cancel the trade after 10 turns like normal, so don't always trade away all of your surpluses...

    -There are exceptions: if there's really nothing to fear from the punk, or the demand really is unreasonable (i.e they want your Nationalism the turn after you tech it or like 800 gold!) telling them to shove it doesn't do much immediate harm as they are unlikely to declare war over it, and even if they do, they won't have an assembled stack on your border yet, so you can prepare. Just be aware that you may have to deal with it in the future and don't ignore it, keep it monitored.

    -Also, if an AI says to stop trading with someone, it's usually a bad idea to give in to that. The AI you stop trading with can hold a grudge for a very, very, long time and be lost as trading partner for the whole rest of the game! When balancing that against taking a diplomatic hit with the guy who hates him, it's a poor trade (the demand-maker cannot declare war over this demand either, so it's even worse) unless the target hates you anyway and won't trade with you already. Remember to factor any negative diplo you get from the demand-maker into the situation if they are a neighbor, are already extremely displeased with you, etc. If you want to mitigate that amount of negative diplo you accumulate over this demand type, which is very common as the AIs almost always have Worst Enemies (the demand is to stop trading with their worst enemy) and they will do it repeatedly, just tell them no and then manually cancel any trade deals with their Worst Enemy if you can afford to/want to to avoid more hits in the future without losing the tech trading partner.

    -The last tip is part of why it can be important to avoid aligning with pariahs, since it just creates hate for YOU on (mostly) all sides: hate from the pariah if you stop trading with him via the demand, hate from his enemies each time you refuse them. The only way to really avoid this is to carefully study the alignments of the AIs and really only trade with those that are gonna be benevolent with you in the first place, which is harder than it sounds since they change their affiliations throughout the game (and at random).

    -Before attacking someone, try to evaluate their diplomatic standing: Who are their friends? Are they generally liked or despised? Are they attached to anyone else (i.e . a vassal)? You don't have to fully understand the entire picture (it's quite a rabbit hole) but at least a little study can help you be prepared and know that you're gonna get some diplomatic backlash or someone bribed on you for attacking the target you chose, or that you can get some backup of your own to team up on him more easily or even build fire-forged friendships by sharing wars.
     
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  18. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    Thanks for all the tips, everyone. Here is my game save file.

    I think I'm going to start my next game as Julius Caesar.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. cseanny

    cseanny Chieftain

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    I piggy back the Whip/Slavery sentiment above. I'd suggest setting up a whipping "test map" and practice on it. You'll be amazed at the large number of units you can produce in lightening speed. So yeah, think severe streamline, cut corners, and focus on the bare necessities; Food, Food, Food! A Capital working cottages in conjunction with overlapping cities and swapping tiles is quite powerful (every level).
     
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  20. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Hey Celt -

    I few thoughts on your current game:

    1) It's pretty late game and appears you have no real focus on what you want to do. Not a criticism really and not unexpected as you are learning, but just something to think about. End game thinking should start much earlier.

    2) 6 workers is far to little here. Probably should have at least double that number - and had those much sooner. Lots unimproved here including food and resources.

    3) You are not trading resources as I recommended. You are leaving gold on the table, as well as maybe some other useful resources.

    4) Diplo situation is not great. A bit surprised that Capac and Asoka are not toast. Capac would probably vassalized to you peacefully at pleased, possibly Asoka too, but no diplo has been developed.

    5) Free Speech is a very poor civic choice (unless going for Culture victory). Bureaucracy much better. However, Washington could have been developed better for Bureau - more cottages. Not perfect Bureau cap, but not bad. (Get rid of an idea that just cause a new civic is available you need to adopt it..oh..and ignore Sid's tips)

    6) City placement could be better. You are settling away from food and/or not improving it timely. cities could be closer - cities to help Wash grow cottages.

    7) Heroic Epic in capital seems not good idea. Waste of hammers to build - you don't even have marble. Look for a more hammer focus secondary city to build HE, if you need it.

    8) Cavalry is probably your best option here. You can tech it in 5 or 6 turns after Banking and go stomping. Just start pumping them and whipping them..go kill

    9) Your tech advantage is still pretty good here otherwise..again, very late and AIs are very nerfed on this level. As you get more experience and perspective, you will get a better feel for the "timing" of things, like what techs you should have by a certain point and how to leverage military advantage.

    10) You have tons of gold. Why research slider not at 100%? You can finish Banking this turn and move on to Military Science. Or grab Econ first for the free Great Merchant and use him for a trade mission in a large city somewhere for gold.

    11) Again, so many resources not improved. Banana (food resource just sitting) there unimproved. So many happy resources..extras too that you can trade.

    12) Think about early on seeing if you can bribe bad guys on bad guys with techs..get them at war then declare on one or the other.

    13) Lastly, work on city management. Not the tile worked and not worked. The city governor typical does a bad job of placing citizens. For instance, that Banana city north of Wash is not growing at all..it is not working its food resources. (note: there are little buttons at the lower right of the city screen that helps make the city do the right thing...like the food (bread) button) - helpful if you don't want to manage all your cities every turn. ( I do)


    Oh..and I recommend installing the HOF mod for Warlords until you get BTS. You can go into normal options screen and apply some settings that improve the interface quite a bit - a little bit similar to the BUG mod improvements. Better info screens and stuff:

    http://hof.civfanatics.net/civ4/mods/HOF-2.13.004.exe

    (can't use for current game, but can for future games)

    Adding some screens of the options page so you can see what to add:

    Spoiler HOF1 :


    just really the civalerts here...gives better info in the logs on the left

    Spoiler HOF2 :


    it's the advisor screens that really pay off here...so much better with those checked.

    On HOF3 page, not much to change but you can check the Graphic check box

    Also, adding this view of the Game tab, you might want to mirror these settings:

    Spoiler Game options :


    turning off tips, using quick moves, and turning on how auto-workers work (not that I'm encouraging automating workers, which is bad, but in the very late game you might use it)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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