Turtle Style Civilizations

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by GamerDad, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. GamerDad

    GamerDad Chieftain

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    I am just now making the jump from Civ:Rev to Civ IV. Having played all the previous Civ's I do have a general understanding, but the management difference in what I've gotten used to and Civ IV is enormous. I'm looking for advice of what civs to start off playing with, based on my play style.

    I hate war. I'm a very defensive player. I'd prefer to spread my empire by cultural or religious means, with economic slightly behind that. I do not usually keep pace in the tech race as I'm more likely to flip a city from science to gold than gold to science. I do like having a defensive "army" to protect myself, so I am usually slow to expand and very cautious that I'm able to hold my own territory. However, I do LOVE city growth and big populations. I am very interested in diplomacy and if this is done much better than Civ:Rev then I'd like to use it, since I won't be the only opponent of the rest of the world as the console game plays out.

    Any opinions for me?
     
  2. Jtownsend

    Jtownsend Chieftain

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    Well, fair disclosure, I suck at Civ4. But between my low hours played and high hours lurked on this forum, I can at least hand out advice unrelated to my incompetence.

    1. Don't try starting on too high a difficulty level. Warlord's probably the way to go for a game or two.

    2. Read sisiutil's strategy guide for beginners. The thing about Civ4 is that while all of the "extra" systems vs. a Civ2 type game - religion, culture, resources, espionage, great people - are fun to play with, they can be a bit of a kick in the head to start with.

    3. Just my two cents - If you can, get Beyond the Sword (BTS) and the unofficial patch for it distributed here. You can identify yourself as playing CIV/C4W if you have vanilla or warlords, but BTS+Solver Patch is kind of the canonical and best Civ4.

    4. It might be worth also getting the BUG interface enhancement, which I just got yesterday. It pre-warns you of some useful things like city growth, production, the math on hurry buildings with slavery, etc.
     
  3. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    Well, if you prefer a peaceful style, I'd stay away from a leader with an "aggressive" trait, since that will be less crucial. Protective could be good, since at least if people do attack you, you'll have stronger units. Financial is always good, no matter what your strategy. Creative could be good to nab a bunch of land. Expansive would be good, since extra health is useful to build up, and cheaper workers is never a bad thing.

    One possibility would be Sitting Bull. Protective + UB that gives +3 exp to archers means that you can get very strong defensive archers, to prevent people from wanting to attack you. And Philosphical I find is a nice trait for staying at peace, since great people are useful to tech ahead.

    If you want to play a more religious game, taking a leader that starts with Mysticism gives you a leg up on the competition for religion.
     
  4. tempuraki

    tempuraki Warlord

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    catherine: imperialistic to get the settlers out faster, creative to push the culture of the new cities. you'll need to grab land in the beginning if you are not going to fight for them.
     
  5. troytheface

    troytheface Deity

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    Charlemange. Build Chitzen Itza. Protective, and a Pike unique unit the Landsknecht. Protective archers.
    Or Sitting Bull, and build Stonehenge.
    Or Isabella and build The Great Wall.
    These are the superior wonders for these civs beating out the Great Light House and the Pyramids.
     
  6. Pacifist46

    Pacifist46 King

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    I play Wang Kon (Financial/Protective) a lot. Should fit your style quite well.
     
  7. GamerDad

    GamerDad Chieftain

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    Thanks for the links. Those are especially helpful. I will certainly be starting on the easy settings and working my way forward. And I do have BtS. Noticed exactly what you are talking about through the forums and so I went ahead and got it bundled with vanilla Civ IV.
     
  8. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    The best at turtling is Churchill. He is protective, has a good UB in the stock exchange and has an exception UU. You get fast walls and castles which help your power numbers thus keeping most AIs away (Monty is still a moron though).

    The best early game turtler is far and away Sitting Bull.

    As far as diplomacy, play the craven and give into every demand, they often work.

    If you look at past RPC games of mine from my Signature's link, the Churchhill, Wang Kon, and Qin games were excellent Turtling examples (although I did get a little carried away with Nukes in teh Churchill game).
     
  9. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    I would recommend Wang Kon. He's financial, so you can still get a good cottage economy going. He's also protective, which should help defense for obvious reasons.
     
  10. Jtownsend

    Jtownsend Chieftain

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    The thing which I never understood about the value of such a strategy (hardened cities) was how it was meant to actually... work. Do you have the city throw expensive stacks against your perfect defenses in cities? If so, how does your economy survive? I tend to run a cottage-based economy so obviously it's that much more impractical for me, but I wasn't aware anyone, even with a farm-based strategy, could really afford to have the AI laying sieges all the time. Wouldn't it pre-suppose that the AI will be dumb enough to unsuccessfully attack your cities rather than just pillage and choke you to death? Are they?

    I'm interested, because I find defenses dead cool, I just figured they were mostly useless except for really rare geographic/strategic circumstances. (Taking a city in the enemy's back yard and then making it into a bug zapper has a certain appeal, but a bonus to city walls isn't exactly an overwhelming advantage to the prot leader in such a scenario.)

    OP: Glad to hear you have BTS! A few other things.

    First, maybe the best reference sheet I've ever seen made by players of a strategy game. Firaxis should put it in the box, if they aren't; and indeed if you bolted Sisutil's guides onto this chart you could probably get Prima to stick a logo on it and sell it for 39 bucks.

    To make things easier you may want to enable the free selection of leaders in your custom games; this will let you pick just the leader AND the civilization you want (and thus, unique unit and building.)

    For a new player the general rule is to go with a cottage-based economy; cottages get more and more commerce the longer they're worked, but the Financial trait - which gives you an extra commerce on every tile with more than 2 - means you start out with 3 for a cottage (or a coastal ocean tile) which means a lot of extra money right from the beginning of the game and then running all the way through. For anyone using a cottage economy - which you may always do, depending on your preference - Financial is deliciously overpowered. Some leaders with it and another handy trait:

    Elizabeth, Financial/Philosophical (Double great people speed; you need wonders or to run specialists in order to have anything to double, a common error for people who know Liz is good but don't understand GP)
    Huayna Capac, Financial/Industrial - Double wonder speed. Fantastic but can exacerbate wonder overbuilding, a chronic ailment of new Civ4 players.
    William of Orange, Financial/Creative - Free +2 culture from cities pushes out borders a lot faster without the need to build monuments. Also, cheap libraries.
    Hannibal, Financial/Charismatic - faster unit promotion, faster great generals, extra happiness from the start and with non-obsolete monuments. Also city tooltip appears to be a Duffman reference

    If you are going to remember to run some source of great people points (specialists or wonders) than Elizabeth is generally considered most economically overpowered; great people and cottages are kind of semi-incompatable emphases so some people don't like her as much, but as a newbie, getting both great people often -and- a great commerce economy is the softest start.

    If building monuments annoys the heck out of you than William of Orange might be a good thought - also, the cheap libraries are evidently an attractive deal even for people who don't care about culture micromanagement.

    One really basic thing is "build cottages on riverside grasslands and floodplains, and work them so they develop." If you do nothing else but that you'll wind up with a great economy and tech on low difficulties.

    As you get up to noble there are some new things to civ4 to remember - specialization of cities as commerce/production/specialist cities, and making sure to use your city production and workers for exactly what you need right now, not "everything you'll ever need, in whatever order you come to it." Think of it as a bit like "last minute economics," doing whatever does you the most good right away.
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I use "defensive" wars to avoid WW, but only as a precursor to attack.

    When you declare on a leader that makes a lot of troops, it will move those troops into your borders if you don't go after them first. This favors the defender in 2 very big ways:

    1. War weariness (although part of the AI cheat bonuses is a major reduction to this, at least YOU don't have it) and more importantly

    2. When 2 large stacks clash, any time there's enough siege involved the attacker wins. When you're in your own territory, enemy siege moves 1 tile per turn, yours moves 2 at worst. That's right, you are GUARANTEED to be the one that gets first shot with your siege if you wait for their stack to enter your land before mowing it down.

    So any time you can do this, be it in your own territory, a vassal's, or even just a war ally, taking that stack down "defensively" is better than dealing with it in their territory. Intercontinental wars are harder with this especially since siege can' hit from water anymore but there are workarounds typically. Or nukes.

    If you want to be on defense all game and not attack, it's best to avoid wars entirely. Understanding the AI personalities and who will declare at what disposition and power rating is very important then. Noble and below you can easily with with 8 cities or even less if you know what you're doing, so if you really hate war and want to hamstring yourself somewhat because it's more fun for you that way, keep enough military to survive and learn diplo.
     
  12. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    But that's not really a purely defensive war. That's a counter-attacking war.

    That being said, nobody can really win a game with a purely defensive standpoint, since you get starved. They key is in deterrence. If I have a choice of 2 people to invade - one I know has walls around all their cities, the other doesn't, then I choose the one without walls.

    And if you happen to be having trouble and get attacked, the extra walls let you hopefully stay on that little bit longer, so that your opponent will either give up, or give you time to pick up that extra archer or axe or maceman needed.
     
  13. GamerDad

    GamerDad Chieftain

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    Got any links that work? :( This thing sounds great. Would love to get it.
     
  14. Jtownsend

    Jtownsend Chieftain

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    http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=6570

    definitely works, the other one was the same one but maybe the link was broken or something. Somewhere there is a printer friendly version; if you want that I'd just put the filename into the google search of civfanatics or something.
     
  15. Bleys

    Bleys Deity

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    There is extra incentive for fighting battles on your own land if you built the GW, because of the "+100% Great General emergence inside borders" feature.
     
  16. deathturnip

    deathturnip Deliciously carcenagenic!

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    All of the aforementioned advice is good, if incomplete. Get writing quickly so you can run science specialists and keep your economy afloat while you expand as quickly as you can, preferably "boxing your opponents in" so that they cant spread into your land. without combat, your empires size will stagnate leaving you to get overtaken by a more aggressive AI (assuming they ever pull off a war, which is admittedly unlikely on low levels)
    If you grab a large amount of land early on, you have that advantage and deny your foes the terrain/resources.

    Walls can be useful to keep your power rating up, but don't build them everywhere. just cities that your foe can attack. ideally you shouldn't build any at all, and just rely on overwhelming force (since it is mobile and if you are in the mood can be taken to THEIR lands). barring that, yes a few walls on the outskirt cities will help.

    And finally, though this can wait, get over your aversion to fighting. Montezuma (and a few others) is stupid and therefor might make it necessary. Plus if they have nice land, maybe a strategic resource you need, there can be some pretty big payoffs.

    Oh. final advice. Do not listen to Attacko. you are not ready.
     
  17. Bleys

    Bleys Deity

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    Actually, there is a game style that favors this strategy, Culture wins. Lots of religions for max Cathedrals, lots of defensive units to keep power rating up, strong diplomacy skills. There are a bunch of great threads about Culture victories, I rarely go for culture myself, so I cant give as much direction, but its a very strong style. Lots of GOTMs go Culture, so it has power.
     
  18. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I was talking about a purely defensive standpoint in a war. Yes, you can get a culture victory without winning a battle in the game, but if someone if fighting you, my post was in response to not fighting back to that.
     
  19. troytheface

    troytheface Deity

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    Based on a religeous turtle i reassert Isabella going for Meditation (Buddhism) (or Theocracy and Theolgy if you want to wait ) and the Great Wall suggestion and add Montezuma aiming for Chitzen Itza and Code of Laws (Confucionism)
    The Jaguar unique unit is not bad against horse, can fight sword, and archers should take on Axemen in a defensive stand, which is to say that the Jaguar is a good defensive unit surprassing lets say a definitive defensive unique unit like the Bowmen in that it is not doomed to Horse Archers.
     
  20. GamerDad

    GamerDad Chieftain

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    Well, I've started my first game and oh me oh my what a lot of things I have going on. Chose Sitting Bull and have just mostly been clicking through and following Sid's recommendations while trying to get used to all the different interface options. I'm in the 1800's and haven't been attached or seven seen a single military unit from one of the other civs yet (on 2nd lowest difficulty).

    Some things I haven't figured out yet:

    1. What do I do with money? And why should I worry about a big economy if I can't rush buy units/buildings until way into the game?

    2. Unhappiness seems to be an issue and slavery solved it temporarily but not longterm. I wasn't really going for any particular victory type, although I did build anything religious or cultural that popped up.

    3. How do I focus on religion, or can I? In my mind I envision creating massive amounts of missionaries and spreading my religion throughout the world. But I don't know how this is accomplished in the game, and if it is even helpful or not.

    4. Victory conditions. There seem to be a lot, but I'm ahead by 400 points or so and not sure what I need to do to "win."

    5. How do I change which specialist is being built?

    6. What is it okay to automate and when is it not? I've had mixed results from clicking on automation, mostly good when going all out production. (OMG everything takes SO long to build or research for the first several hundred years, though).

    7. I'm used to grouping three units into "armies" in Civ:Rev, but that doesn't seem to work here. How many of a unit is considered the equal of say a Civ:Rev army of archers in each city for defense?

    8. Workers on automation to build roads, improvements and trade networks rock.

    That's all I've got for right now. My head is still spinning from the hours I wasted last night. Reminded me of the old days. Guess it never stops being addictive.
     

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