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Value of Sacrificial Alter?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by LyricalAssassin, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. LyricalAssassin

    LyricalAssassin Warlord

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    For the last few games, I've had a little bit of a sweet tooth for the Aztec empire. I don't know if it's the iron-less swordsmen or not, but I've always debated whether or not the sacrificial alter is worth building. I've found myself Oracle snatching Code of Laws in order to get it as early as possible, but now I'm questioning the wisdom in this.

    Is the sacrificial alter worth it if for its whip anger sponge?
     
  2. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    SA is not bad, but I feel many overvalue it, because they also overvalue a normal courthouse.
     
  3. Tuscarora87

    Tuscarora87 Chieftain

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    Going for Oracle, CoL and Altar can only needlessly delay Jaguar rush (already cheap and resourceless). If you have gold, cottage or something you can beeline Iron Working and start pumping CR Jaguars. Make sure to pillage AI's copper with a warrior (although you can alert AI before you're ready, it's good to do this because Jaguars alone (without Cats) are really bad vs. Axemen ...and Protective archers). Jaguar is not great unit, but it can surely attack fast. Altar is for later uses (with Kremlin...). I myself would like to hear from others more about it, too. Lot of good players praise this UB.
     
  4. lymond

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

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    Sacrificial Alter is generally considered as ranking up there with the top UBs. However, its worth is derived considerably from the players ability to know how to use it.. (I agree that it's value probably comes a bit later in the game due to the hammer investment. If you are whipping a rush early then speed is more important. Yet the Sac Alter is cheaper than a normal CH - another plus in its favor. I would not say it is "Kremlin" late though for that value, but assuming you have a good many of them up before a Cur prep then you can whip to your hearts content)

    Jags are not a very good UU and ...no.....most good players do not praise it. However, they do may a very nice choke unit and a great super medic. They are just not going to have much value on higher levels as an attack unit, but may have some play if you know how to use them tactically.
     
  5. Tuscarora87

    Tuscarora87 Chieftain

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    edit: UB, not UU
     
  6. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Are these good players aiming for a space victory or a conq/dom victory? In the former, courthouses are needed, while in the latter they are often just a distraction.
     
  7. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    The UB is okay. Assuming you plan to whip lots. Building court houses simply because you can is never a great thing. The top players could be looking at cuirs rushes in the early ad's. Happens much faster on Deity.

    If you Oracle COl this almost implies a caste strategy. On maps with plenty of happiness resources the SA will be less helpful anyway.

    There is no fast way to do a jaguar rush. Why wait for IW and jaguars when you can build axes?? The Ai will always tech IW for you most games anyway. In any case most players prefer HA rushes. Pends a lot on map.
     
  8. Htadus

    Htadus A and L's dad

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    I am not a fan of Aztec but the only redeeming values of that civ is the UB and the Spiritual trait**. The biggest boost is the discounted whip unhappiness duration.

    Try letting a food city grow to about size 6-7 with 2-3 unhappy faces, Double whip a unit, do not complete it, switch to another unit and whip it next turn, do not finish it and start another unit (this work best with cats) and whip it next turn and complete it. Your first whip anger is over and in the next 3-4 turns, you get 4 new units. Do that in 3-4 cities, you have an instant army and your cities do not stay anger too long to cripple the economy.

    From experience I would say it is a badass UB. If I remember correctly, whipping it only cost 5 turns of unhappy in standard speed. It work great with the badass building of the game, the granary.

    **EDIT: I forgot the other reason to play as Aztec, You wont have Monty as you neighbor in a typical game. :)
     
  9. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    I once played the Aztechs. Build Altars everywhere, because it was on Boreal mapscript and I needed every little GNP I could get, thx to 0 :commerce: on that mapscript. Never used the unique ability though, as whipping anger is usually a problem of early times, and then, Courthouses are too expensive. I once Jaguar-rushed, same mapscript, but only a test-game. Was very fun, didn't even notice Jags have one less base-STR against Archers. Stole tons of Workers and the AI never got any metal-unit. Ofc., Boreal and Jags harmonize very well.
    Wouldn't rate the building very highly, but in a Sushi-Spacerace, it's probably useful.
     
  10. Hurricane Jane

    Hurricane Jane Chieftain

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    Pretty decent, but it is pretty expensive as well. At least it's pretty much basic infrastructure, but it's main use will be whipping units rather than buildings because of high total cost (and opportunity cost, Granary, Forge and some culture (although you can run Caste easily because of SPI, but you need to find a right timeframe to switch out of slavery) will be more important anyway, as well as Lighthouses in coastal cities). It will be very decent at whipping units though.

    Beelining for it is not really sensible though. The benefit in the earlygame is mostly the ability to REX better, but economy-wise it's doing little for you. Oh well, those extra Workers you can get with high-food cities can be pretty good, but I don't like that near enough to beeline for it. Although CoL is pretty early on my main economy route anyway. Aztecs aren't really that good in economy anyway though, on something like Monarch/Emperor it's better to go the early Jaguar route I guess. On higher difficulties this is pretty suboptimal which makes the Aztec weak.
     
  11. Little Faith

    Little Faith Warlord

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    The thing that really kills Jaguars as an offensive city taking unit is that the Aztecs starts with the lovely tech combination of Hunting and Mysticism. This usually means that unless we got lucky with deer on the aforementioned Boreal map script, we'll have our hands full just getting the basic worker techs and by the time we can aim for something like Iron Working we are way behind the curve and it would be better for us to go the usual Writing -> Alphabet/Aesthetics route and just trade for IW, at which point the time window for a Strength-5 rush has probably passed.

    Compare this to the good Strength-5 rush unit: The War Chariot. Not only is it a cheap as hell 2-move unit, but the Egyptians need to research the grand total of one tech to unlock it, One Tech! ..and it's even a potential food tech and on the path to Writing.
     
  12. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    It just isn't practical to build them for early rushes, nor are they needed for later game wars.

    HAs - Too early, not worth the hammer investment, and there's a good chance they won't even be available yet anyway.

    Elepult - Questionable. I think it would depend on how long the elepult war goes (multiple targets?) and the availability of happiness resources.

    Medieval (trebs and such) - Potential to be pretty useful. These can often turn into long, bloody wars with lots of attrition, and it's also pretty easy to get into bad financial shape in the process.

    Cuirs - Based on my personal experience i don't think it's too useful. Given an average cuir breakout with something like 6-9 cities, I never bother with CHs before the breakout, and rarely build any afterwards either. Upgrading HAs/eles is really efficient and not too difficult with some basic planning, and then you will quickly have gobs of happiness resources to support whipping as the AI fall like dominoes.
     
  13. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Two players who play mostly deity think this:

    Something doesn't add up here. ;)
     
  14. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    Yes. Why is Izuul only playing Immortal sometimes? [offtopic]
     
  15. Hurricane Jane

    Hurricane Jane Chieftain

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    On lower difficulties Jaguars pair up pretty well with Chariots. Too bad it costs too much time to get WIII with them in the early game. When that's easy opponents already could have Maces.

    On the highest difficulties it's obviously better to wait, wait, wait. Until at least WE's or medieval horses most of the time.

    In the first case you would be better of building your Jaguars and Chariots rather than putting in 120 :hammers: into a better whipping factory.

    In the second case I probably agree with Izuul.
     
  16. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    I no longer have the patience and focus that i used to have. Probably has something to do with a 3 year old running around the house.
     
  17. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    It is suprising the number of players who seem to think jaguars are good for warfare? The minute they meet any axes they are somewhat nerfed. Meaning you rely on HA, WE or pults. Sure they are good on forest/jungle but they are weaker compared to swords.

    The reality is you almost have to go out of your way for COL/CH then decide on a military strategy that fits in with that. It may have been best just to plan your war and ignore the UB/UU on most maps.

    @ Izuul - Fully agree with the kids running round bit. They pretty much take up all your free time. Which is why I have done my best not to have any so far. I guess at some point we all grow up and move away from serious gaming. You can just play civ 4 for fun. Immortal is probably more fun/relaxing to play casually.
     
  18. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Speaking of kids and the Sacrificial Altar....

    :lol:

    :eek2:
     
  19. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Until you are in your 50s with grandkids who you can hand back when you want to play Civ :)
     

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