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Using Scouts to squat city sites?

Discussion in 'Old World' started by Stringer1313, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 King

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    I noticed in my game today the AI using a scout to squat on a city site to prevent my founding a city on it. I felt like that was quite a cheap and weird ability, to have a non-military unit prevent a settlement, until I remembered doing the same thing to an AI in prior games. :) Is this intentional?
     
  2. Dave "old computer guy"

    Dave "old computer guy" Chieftain

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    I would assume it's intentional. It has been a feature since the game was released although it isn't a wise move. I have done it when I'm short of available military but it's risky. More often I have used troops to take over the site, but beware of opposing troops hidden in the fog. Also, I wouldn't recommend taking the site from a civilization because they are going to declare a war you may not be ready for.
     
  3. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 King

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    Yeah i definitely learned this the hard way.

    I acknowledge this isn't a huge deal b/c while scouts are faster than military so it makes the mechanic cheesier, tho military can get there quick too. Honestly my only real issue is flavor. It just "feels" weird to have a long scout squatting an entire city.

    Unless they come up with a way for multiple civs to "contest" a spot. I don't think any 4x has done that before - it's always whomever sneaks in first (including capturing cities). This always feels cheesy but i can't think of an uncomplicated way to sort that out.
     
  4. paz_paz

    paz_paz Chieftain

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    Playing my 2nd game now, and I didn't know that scouts can block settling. On the premade "old world" map I (Babylon) ran out of real estate after founding 2 cities. Is there really NO WAY to found a city next to an opponent's scout?! I find that really hard to believe. At first I thought it was because of the truce status. So I made an official peace treaty. But that didn't help. My 2 neighbors didn't seem affected as much. They have 5+ cities ...

    So what's the way to play on the first couple of turns then? The AI has many scouts and in my game they were basically camping most of the sites on turn 5 while still spamming settlers. So does that mean that I'm forced to declare on one of them right at the start? Just to settle my first 3 to 5 cities?! And how easy or hard would it be to get a peace after one of those early wars?
     
  5. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 King

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    You've identified the problem exactly. You must declare war to get them to move. And since AI starts with a military advantage, they will crush you if u declare war so early.

    The only way to counter this is to build your own scouts as quickly as possible to squat cities. That is a very un-fun mechanic.

    Having said this I do acknowledge that a lot of neighboring cities are barbarians and u need military to dislodge, and the AI seems to make that a priority so you have to as well, and then you can use military to squat.
     
  6. Dave "old computer guy"

    Dave "old computer guy" Chieftain

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    After a dozen games so far (no winners yet but I do have a second place) the approach to the early game seems to be build two or three scouts to explore your immediate neighborhood 20 hexes in all directions.You likely will find 1 or 2 city sites unclaimed nearby. Build settlers and make 2 more cities. Now focus on your military and go after those barb encampments your scouts have found, they're relatively easy pickings and become your next cities. Overwhelming military should be your focus. They will likely have 1 or 2 units guarding the fort. You should have twice their strength. Once you've cleaned out the barbarians and gotten yourself up to perhaps 5 cities it's time to think about the tribes. Don't mess with the Danes, they are mega tough and tend to cluster their cities so attacking one of them will elicit a 3 city response. The Thracians are a better target since their cities are generally more widely spaced and they're only a little tougher than barbs. Keep a settler in reserve so you can immediately settle a captured city thereby speeding up your military production and enhancing your ability to take over more cities.
     
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  7. Dave "old computer guy"

    Dave "old computer guy" Chieftain

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    Cautionary note re:my above post ... Do NOT try taking on an Empire. At this point in the game they're much bigger and stronger than you and you'll get your behind kicked royally.
     
  8. paz_paz

    paz_paz Chieftain

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    Hi guys, thanks for the replies! I restarted the map (still Babylon), and tried to anticipate the situation. Founded 3 cities at the start, then I was boxed in (again) and cleared 2 barb camps to the south. After that everything was settled and blocked again. But I think it's alright. There's a nice post on reddit about this "issue". (google reddit old world "AI getting a head start".) It's actually WAD. Dev says, it's a main feature of the game. There was no "empty land" during any time in human history. It's either civilizations (Persia and the Assyrians; Egypt, Greece, Rome) or Barbs (with some of them really strong). So you gotta figure out how to fight your way out of that situation.

    I'm currently in turn 140 ... Have 3 main cities, 3 peripheral cities, and one "colony" used for chopping wood mainly. Tech wise I'm doing alright, Babylon is a civilized advanced kingdom with a couple of wonders, and – most importantly – I was able to keep peace with everyone since turn 1. And I might win a war or simply win by fulfilling my objectives, whenever I want to (I hope). – Only problem is the lag/slowdown/memory leak after turn 70 ...

    Anyway, the main difference compared to the 1st two runs was that I did not start to scout a lot until I had my three cities settled. I blocked the spots with my 1st and 2nd scout, build 2 settlers ASAP and just tried to settle SOMEWHERE. After that I started scouting the immediate surroundings and realized that I have to take barb camps to expand. So I built a task force and a settler and took those spots. And only THEN did I sent my scouts on a sightseeing tour to Africa, Gallia, Rome and the Black Sea. – This was a nice change from "hunting for goody huts while pumping out settlers (or an invasion force)" as I was used to from other games ;)

    And now, I'm just hoping for them to fix the memory leak issue somehow ...
     
  9. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 King

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    Yeah I just started a game post 8/5 update. Definitely got boxed in very quickly (forced myself to quickly take over 2 Gaul cities) and only have 5 cities. Both my neighbors have 10 more cities than I do and overwhelming military force and there is no way I cannot take over a single city at this point. I'm purely doing an Ambition game because I have no choice and if my neighbor declares war, game over.

    Look, I don't want to be one of those people complaining that the game is too hard - people usually complain it's too easy. And the game is still overall fun - going solely for Ambitions isn't terrible.

    I don't mind AI head starts, but I thought they had programmed so that the AI doesn't immediately go out and settle? They seem to have removed that.
     
  10. paz_paz

    paz_paz Chieftain

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    Which map are you playing on? Some maps are more like scenarios, I think.
     
  11. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 King

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    Oh good q. I always play on Random. It's two landmasses separated by a diagonal sea across the middle. I am playing Noble difficulty. What maps are not like scenarios?
     
  12. paz_paz

    paz_paz Chieftain

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    Well the random maps are not scenarios. But the Old World map and the Game of the Week is a scenario.

    Anyway, after the latest patch, I noticed (in the test branch, don't know about the stable) that the city sites can be "claimed" by military units.
    So if you are the 1st civ to move a unit to the center of those sites, that site "belongs" to you afterwards (until you move that unit). A site that belongs to you (has one of your units in the center + has your civ's name under it) can be settled no matter what, it seems. So they are working on this system ...
     
  13. Dave "old computer guy"

    Dave "old computer guy" Chieftain

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    I don't think the claiming procedures for sites has changed since first release. You can claim a site with any unit, military or scout. My usual approach has been to use the scout to find and "claim" the site but then immediately replace the scout with a military unit until I can get a settler to the site. The idea that you "own" that site is not absolute, any military unit with a bigger stick can come along and take it away as I have done to other to other civs occasionally, especially if it's a tribe sitting on it.
     

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