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[R&F] Warlord's First Domination: seeking advice

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by Elric of Grans, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Elric of Grans

    Elric of Grans Chieftain

    Jan 1, 2012
    I have worked my way up to Prince with Culture and Science Victories. I never played Domination in Civ5, but figured I should finally learn how to do it in Civ6. I also always play Tall, so this would be my first experience of Wide too. I thought I would make notes as I went along (and exported the timeline, but could not attach it to this thread). I hope I could get some advice on how to improve in future. Partly I want to learn how to play Domination better next time (I think I will try Macedon at Prince difficulty on a Small map next), and partly learn how to use this knowledge to take-out a troublesome neighbour in my Culture/Science games.

    I created a Tiny, Pangaea map at Standard speed with Tomyris on Warlord Difficulty. I founded my city on Grasslands by a river. In one-tile radius, I had: Grasslands/Cattle, Plains/Hill/Rainforest/Truffles, Grasslands/Hill/Forest, and Grasslands/Marsh. I would later learn that I had an enormous amount of free space near me with no civilisations or city states (I could have easily built 7-8 cities in a peaceful game).

    Turn 1: I set my citizen to work the Truffles. Began to research Animal Husbandry. Capital began to produce a Scout. Used my Warrior to scout my immediate surrounds for Barbarians or Goodie Huts.
    Turn 7: Capital completed Scout, sent to seek City States/Civilisations/Goodie Huts/Natural Wonders; began producing Slinger.
    Turn 8: Capital reached two population: set new citizen to the Hill/Forest. Scout spotted a Barbarian Scout; began moving Warriors in this direction
    Turn 11: Animal Husbandry complete; began researching Mining (my first border expansion picked-up a Grasslands/Stone tile). Scout found the Barbarian Camp and Giant's Causeway (Astrology boost) and a Goody Hut.
    Turn 12: Capital completed Slinger, left as garrison; began producing a Builder. Warrior moved towards Barbarian Camp; Scout moved towards Goodie Hut (picking up Giant's Causeway buff).
    Turn 13: Goodie Hut provided Gold; Scout level-up. Warriors reached Barbarian Camp.
    Turn 14: Warriors attacked Barbarian Spearmen.
    Turn 15: A second Barbarian Scout found my Capital. Completed Code of Laws (picked Discipline and Urban Planning); began researching Craftsmanship. Slingers attacked Scout; Warriors healed.
    Turn 17: A third Barbarian Scout found my Capital. Second Scout evaded Slingers, so repositioned to intercept third. Warriors attacked first Barbarian Camp.
    Turn 18: Warriors cleared first camp; level-up.
    Turn 19: Capital reached three population; set new citizen to Cattle. Capital completed Builder and moved to Slinger space (Stone); began producing Warriors. Mining complete; began researching Pottery. Slingers engaged third Barbarian Scout. Warriors went to Giant's Causeway for buff. Scout found Auckland (free Envoy).
    Turn 20: Builders created Quarry (Masonry Boost), moved citizen from Cattle to Stone Quarry. Slingers moved ahead to protect next improvement location. Began moving Warriors back. Scout found second Barbarian Scout and Camp --- attacked wounded Barbarian Scout.
    Turn 22: Scout found Kandy (free Envoy).
    Turn 23: Capital completed Warriors; began producing Settler. Builders created Camp on Truffles. Repositioned Slingers at next improvable tile. Repositioned second Warriors for third Barbarian Scout.
    Turn 25: Slingers killed third Barbarian Scout (Archery boost). Builders created Pasture on Cattle (Horseback Riding, Craftsmanship boosts).
    Turn 26: Second Barbarian camp destroyed by Auckland before my first Warriors could reach it. Pottery complete; began researching Archery. Repositioned second Warriors and spotted incoming Barbarian rush; moved Slingers nearby to assist.
    Turn 28: Craftsmanship complete; began researching Foreign Trade. Slingers attacked Barbarian Slingers; Warriors finished them off (Bronze Working boost). Only now switched policies to Agoge and Urban Planning.
    Turn 29: Second Warriors killed Barbarian Warriors (level-up).
    Turn 31: Capital completed Settler; began producing Monument. Began moving one unit of Warriors and the Settlers towards an appealing-looking spot near many 2 food/2 production tiles and a Gypsum Luxury.
    Turn 32: Met Japanese Scout (Writing boost); no idea where capital is (later turned out on opposite side of map to where I found them). Sent a Delegation to Hojo Tokimune.
    Turn 33: Scout discovered a bunch of Barbarian units not too far from Capital; prepared Warriors and Slingers to intercept.
    Turn 35: Warriors received Barbarian attack. Archery complete; began researching Bronze Working. Promoted Slingers to Archers. Pantheon available: with many Sheep/Cattle resources nearby, and hoping to find Horses, I founded God of the Open Sky (Mysticism boost).
    Turn 36: Archers (level-up) and Warriors finish-off Barbarians. Second city founded on Plains/Hill by River. Set first citizen to work a Plains/Hill/Rainforest tile. Monument complete in Capital; began producing Archers. Began producing Archers in second city.
    Turn 37: Scout finally found Horses, albeit in a rubbish location, and a Goodie Hut.
    Turn 38: Scout found a second continent (Foreign Trade boost), Goodie Hut provided XP boost. Foreign Trade complete (left policies untouched); began researching Early Empire. Only now remembered to switch Capital Citizen from Stone Quarry to Cattle Pasture (d'oh!).
    Turn 40: Capital's Archer complete; began producing Trader. Warriors discovered Kongo's Capital: planned to make this my first target!
    Turn 41: Scout found Barbarian Camp with many Barbarian Warriors milling about nearby. Sent Delegation to Mvemba a Nzinga.
    Turn 43: Both cities gained Population (Early Empire boost). Barbarian Warriors began moving towards my cities, so I had to use my troops to intercept.
    Turn 44: Capital completed Trader; set to produce Warriors. Second city completed Archers (Machinery boost); set to produce Archers. New Archers moved towards Kongo (too far from Barbarians). Trader begins route from Capital to second city (Currency boost). One unit of Warriors and one of Archers continues to engage Barbarians.
    Turn 46: Bronze Working complete (no Iron in my borders; some between my second city and Auckland); began researching Masonry. Early Empire complete (no change to policies); began researching State Workforce. Capital finished Warriors (moved towards Barbarian hoard); began producing Warriors.
    Turn 47: Japan requested Open Borders for Open Borders; instead granted Open Borders for 1 Gold per Turn.
    Turn 48: Capital completed Warriors (Mercenaries boost) and sent towards Kongo; began producing Archers.
    Turn 49: Archers lured Barbarian Spearman out of Camp; Scout moved-in top clear it. Troops began cleaning-up stragglers. Archers complete in second city and sent towards Kongo; began producing Archers.
    Turn 52: Capital Completed Archers and all non-garrison troops sent towards Kongo; began producing Builder (two potential Pastures waiting).
    Turn 54: Scout discovered a Japanese city on other side of Kongo capital; troops almost in position.
    Turn 55: Masonry complete; began researching Writing. Capital finished Builders (would go on to construct two Pastures and a Quarry); began producing Ancient Walls (I had no idea what to do at this point!). Second city finished Archers; began producing Monument.
    Turn 56: Kongo complains about my troops, so I Declare War. Only one Archer can attack on this turn.
    Turn 57: State Workforce complete (set Policies to Conscription and Urban Planning); began researching Political Philosophy. Governor Unlocked (seem to have forgotten this last time; I do not remember the prompt popping up): no idea what the correct strategy here is (with the plan to use minimal Builders, so no need for Magnus or Liang), so picked Pingala for a small boost to Science and Culture) in the Capital and Victor in the second city (his quick relocation time will be useful on captured cities for Loyalty). No tiles to pillage, so attacked Kongo's capital taking out about half health.
    Turn 58: Captured Kongo capital (Irrigation boost); began repairing Monument for Loyalty boost.
    Turn 59: Left one unit as garrison in new city while moving other troops towards second Kongo city.
    Turn 60: Writing complete; began researching Horseback Riding. Began attacking second Kongo city with Archers as Warriors got into position. Scout found Aztec Scout; sent Delegation to Montezuma.
    Turn 61: Began Classical Era (Normal Age Dedication: Free Inquiry). Capital completed Ancient Walls (Engineering boost); began producing Campus, buying a tile for a +2 adjacency. Second city completed Monument; began producing a Battering Ram for future wars.
    Turn 62: Captured second Kongo city, removing them from the game. Scout found Valletta (Political Philosophy boost).
    Turn 63: Kongo Capital finished Monument; began producing Settlers. Victor reassigned to Kongo Capital for Loyalty boost. Scout found Babylon.
    Turn 65: Political Philosophy complete; began researching Military Tradition. Uncertain which Government, so picked Autocracy for two Military Cards. Set Policies to Conscription, Agoge, Urban Planning, and Colonisation. Began moving some troops to Barbarian camp near Kongo cities; others staying near old Kongo/Japanese border.
    Turn 66: Military Tradition complete (Policies changed to Conscription, Manoeuvre, Urban Planning, and Colonisation); began researching Games and Recreation. Took out Barbarians near Kongo cities.
    Turn 67: Capital completed Campus; began producing Encampment (bought a tile to get a decent location).
    Turn 68: Second city completed Battering Ram (began moving towards Warriors); began producing Builder. Trade Route complete: relocated Trader to Kongo capital for better start location.
    Turn 69: Horseback Riding complete; began researching Irrigation (meant to pick up Silk luxury in Kongo area, but would go on to forget this). Began Trade Route between two Kongo cities.
    Turn 70: Irrigation complete; began researching Wheel.
    Turn 73: Games and Recreation complete; began researching Defensive Tactics.
    Turn 75: Wheel complete; began researching Currency. Capital completed Encampment (Military Training boost) and bought Stable with Gold; began producing Saka Horse Archers. Second city completed Builders (who made a Gypsum Quarry); began producing Water Mill. Kongo Capital completed Settler (sent with Warrior escort to area between Kongo start and my start); began producing Builder.
    Turn 76: Second Kongo city completed Monument; began producing Settlers.
    Turn 77: Gained first Envoy: sent to Valletta.
    Turn 78: While exploring Japanese border, they build a third city that pushed my Scout into the middle of Barbarians(!) --- run away!
    Turn 80: Currency complete; began researching Construction. Capital completed Saka Horse Archers; began producing Government Plaza (adjacent Campus). Created third city; began producing Monument.
    Turn 81: Bought tile with Iron so Builders could make Iron Mine (Iron Working boost).
    Turn 82: Completed Defensive Tactics (policies unchanged); began researching Feudalism. Second city completed Water Mill (Construction boost); began producing Entertainment Complex. Governor Tile: appointed Magnus to second city.
    Turn 83: Kongo Capital completed Builder; began producing Commercial Hub. Saka Horse Archers engaged Barbarian Scouts near my third city.
    Turn 84: Granted Montezuma Open Borders for 1 Gold per Turn. Bought a tile and built a Horse Pasture. Capital completed Government Plaza (Mathematics boost); began producing Horsemen. Governor Tile: appointed Amani to Valletta.
    Turn 87: Capital completed Horsemen; began producing Horsemen.
    Turn 88: Construction completed; began researching Iron Working.
    Turn 90: Capital completed Horsemen; began producing Horsemen. Saka Horse Archers and Horsemen continuing to clear Barbarians between Japanese Capital and my borders. Second Kongo city completed Settler (moved into gap between my cities and Kongo cities); began producing Commercial Hub.
    Turn 92: Japan complains about my troops dealing with the Barbarians. Not yet ready for war, so apologise. Iron Working complete; began researching Engineering. Capital completed Horsemen; began producing Library.
    Turn 93: Second city completed Entertainment Complex; began producing Arena. Trade Route completed; began connecting Kongo capital to my third city.
    Turn 95: Created fourth city (this would turn out to be a rubbish location and contributes nothing over the game); began producing Monument.
    Turn 96: Feudalism completed (Policies unchanged; Stirrups boost); began researching Military Training. Capital completed Library; began producing Warlord's Throne.
    Turn 97: Hojo Tokimune wanted Open Borders and offered it in exchange for Open Borders and 1 Gold per Turn; accepted! Upgraded some Warriors to Swordmen.
    Turn 98: Masses of Barbarians approached my Capital; never saw the Scout. Engineering completed; began researching Machinery. Kongo Capital completed Commercial Hub; began producing Market. My third city completed Monument; began producing Builder.
    Turn 99: Military Training complete (Policies unchanged); began researching Mercenaries. Envoy unlocked: sent to Valetta, becoming Suzerain and thus discovering Zanzibar. Horsemen and Saka Horse Archers continue to deal with masses of Barbarians near Japanese border.
    Turn 101: Declared Surprise War on Japan. Began moving Swordsmen, Archers, Horsemen, and Saka Horse Archers on Japanese Capital and second city (at same time).
    Turn 102: Horsemen pillaged Japanese Districts and Improvements. Capital completed Warlord's Throne; began producing Water Mill. Governor unlocked: appointed Reyna to my third city (perhaps expand borders a little faster?).
    Turn 104: Captured Japanese Capital (Recorded History, Civil Engineering, Drama and Poetry boosts); began producing Monument and left a Garrison.
    Turn 105: Completed Machinery; began researching Stirrups. Recruited Great General Boudica. Second city completed Arena; began producing Builder.
    Turn 106: Mercenaries completed (set Policies to Conscription, Professional Army, Urban Planning, and Surfdom); began Medieval Faires. Capital completed Water Mill; began producing Builder. Captured third Japanese city (with a Builder); began producing Monument.
    Turn 107: Japan's City State ally began to assault my second city. Captured last Japanese city; began producing Monument. Used non-garrison military units to begin clearing Barbarians on border. Fourth city completed Monument; began producing Ancient Walls. Used Japanese Builder to create Mercury Mine (Apprenticeship boosted). Relocated Victor to Japanese Capital and Reyna to Kongo Capital.
    Turn 108: Capital completed Builder; began producing Heavy Chariot. Kongo capital completed Market; began producing Campus.
    Turn 109: Captured a Barbarian Settler (had been Japanese, fled my troops into Barbarians). Second city completed Builder; began producing Colosseum (buying necessary tile). Second Kongo city completed Commercial Hub; began producing Campus. Builder created Lumber Mill (Mass Production boost).
    Turn 110: Capital finished Heavy Chariot (Boudica attached before it left); began producing Heavy Chariot. Began chopping-in Colosseum (Magnus city).
    Turn 111: Earned Envoys: one to Valletta (now six, including Amani) and one to Babylon (first).
    Turn 112: Capital completed Heavy Chariot; began producing Granary.
    Turn 113: My fourth city completed Builders (would create Pastures and a Kurgan); began producing Trader.
    Turn 114: Completed Stirrups; began researching Printing. Created fifth city (adjacent new luxury near Japanese Capital, but city would never develop enough to be relevant); began producing Monument. Japanese Capital completed Monument; began repairing Campus. Second Japanese city completed Monument; began repairing Campus.
    Turn 115: Capital completed Granary; began producing Aqueduct (I had no idea what to do: this proved to be a bad choice).
    Turn 117: My fourth city completed Ancient Walls; began producing Commercial Hub. Trade Route complete: began connecting Kongo Capital with Japanese cities.
    Turn 118: Began Medieval Era (Golden Age Dedication: Free Inquiry). Medieval Faires completed (no Policy changes); began researching Exploration. Governor Unlocked: Assigned Moksha to Japanese Capital (it has a Holy Site, I guess); moved Victor to my fifth city (vulnerable location). Used Boudica to convert a Barbarian Swordsman about to attack my Heavy Chariots.
    Turn 119: Capital completed Aqueduct (Military Engineering boost); began Encampment Training (need Gold!!).
    Turn 120: Barbarians approaching my fifth city; bought Ancient Walls with Faith.
    Turn 121: Montezuma complained about my troops; not ready again, so apologised (not a lot of room to move them back, however). My second city completed Colosseum; began producing Commercial Hub. Second Japanese city completed Campus; began producing Library.
    Turn 122: Third Japanese city completed Monument; began producing Campus.
    Turn 123: Montezuma wants to trade for Luxuries; I deny him (I do not need him doing more damage against me!). Kongo Capital completed Campus; begin producing Library. Japanese capital completes Campus; begin repairing Holy Site.
    Turn 124: Capital's population reaches 10 (Civil Service boost). Recruited Great General Hannibal (sent to where my Heavy Chariots await Gold for upgrade). Capital completed project; began producing Commercial Hub. Second Kongo city completed Campus; began producing Market.
    Turn 125: Recruit Great Merchant Marcus Crassus (Mercantilism, The Enlightenment boosts).
    Turn 126: Exploration complete; began researching Drama and Poetry. Changed Government to Merchant Republic (Policies set to Conscription, Serfdom, Caravansaries, Merchant Confederation, Professional Army, and Autocratic Legacy) --- Castles boost.
    Turn 127: Completed Drama and Poetry; began researching Recorded History. My fourth city completed Trader (began route connecting to my Capital); began producing Commercial Hub. Japanese Capital completed Holy Site; began repairing Theatre Square. Finally finished clearing Barbarian Camps from old Japanese borders; still some Barbarians to mop-up.
    Turn 128: Printing complete; began researching Military Engineering. Recorded History complete (no Policy change); began researching Civil Service. My fifth city completed Monument; began producing Water Mill. Finally upgraded Heavy Chariots to Knights.
    Turn 129: Capital completed Commercial Hub; began producing Market (meant to do Forbidden City, but forgot to leave a spot for it --- the Aqueduct was a stupid move). Garrison began engaging Barbarians at Capital. Began moving Knights (with Hannibal) towards rest of troops.
    Turn 130: Civil Service complete (no Policy change); began researching Guilds. Took out Barbarian Scout in old Japanese area.
    Turn 131: My second city completed Commercial Hub; began producing Market. Second Japanese city completed Library; began producing Commercial Hub. Started upgrading Archers to Crossbowmen (Metal Casting boost). Moved my troops up to Aztec border.
    Turn 132: Completed Military Engineering (no Nitre near any of my cities --- could found another, but plan to finish game before then); began researching Astrology. Declared Surprise War on Montezuma; began moving troops through natural choke-point into his border city. Using a garrison to deal with one of his Missionaries.
    Turn 133: Kandy declared war on me. Completed Astrology; began researching Apprenticeship. Kongo capital completed Library; began producing Ancient Walls. Continued to move troops through natural choke; cannot attack yet.
    Turn 134: Guilds, Banking boosts. Guilds completed (no Policy change); began researching Diplomatic Service. Barbarians spotted near my fourth city; Faith-bought Ancient Walls and upgraded garrison to Swordsmen. Capital completed Market; began producing Trader. Began Pillaging with Horsemen and Scout.
    Turn 135: Apprenticeship completed; began researching Mathematics. Recruited Great Scientist Abu Al-Zahrawi; immediately used him (Education, Cartography boosts). Captured an Aztec city; began repairing Monument. Governor Tile: gave Amani Prestige promotion (nearest Aztec cites close to her, so newly captured cities will benefit).
    Turn 136: Continued to pillage tiles and captured an Aztec Builder; began attacking another Aztec city. Faith-build Ancient Walls in my second city (Kandy approaching). Capital completed Trader; began producing Intelligence Agency. My fourth city completed Commercial Hub; began producing Market. Second Kongo city completed Market; began producing Ancient Walls.
    Turn 137: Completed Mathematics; began researching Education. Captured my second Aztec city; began repairing Monument. Military Science boost from Knight killing a troop. My second city completed Market; began producing Trader. Japanese capital completed Theatre Square; began repairing Granary. Governor Tile: no idea, so just gave Moksha Divine Architect. Moved Swordsmen escorting Battering Ram up and used Swordsmen and Knights to assault Aztec Capital.
    Turn 138: Knights finished off Aztec capital, securing Domination Victory.

    I feel like I got off to a slow start (compared to what I am used to), but was able to use my conquests to catch-up and, eventually, slingshot well ahead in Techs/Civics. I guess that is how Domination works? I suspect I took took long too win, but that is probably to be expected for a first time. After defeating Japan, I got worried that Aztecs, lacking a religious rival, would effortlessly score a Religious Victory before I could do anything about it. That did not eventuate, but I had no idea how to counter this possibility. I feel like buying the Stables was a bad investment, and I suspect I made too many Horsemen. I could have had Knights and Crossbowmen out sooner had I done this differently. I had absolutely no idea what to do with Governors in a Wide empire and when running conquests. I am uncertain if I made the right choice around my Techs/Civics/Policies/Governments.

    How did I do in my first Domination game? What mistakes did I make? What should I do differently in future, in both Domination and fighting neighbours in other victory conditions?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  2. Sagax

    Sagax Warlord

    Nov 9, 2013
    Not an efficient player by any means, so just a few things that caught my eye immediately:

    I would pick Oligarchy for the +4 combat bonus, and use the wild card slot for the military card - seeing that you were using mostly melee units anyway.
    If you are on the offensive (and you are, since you are going for Domination), Walls are kind of a waste. Build them only in the outskirt cities that are likely to be attacked. And even then, usually having archer + melee is enough on lower difficulties.
    Purely subjective, but I think Gov Plaza is not that necessary for a Tiny map.

    For that they would need to convert the majority of your cities - not that easy for the AI. Also, when at war, you can move your military unit to the tile of the enemy religious unit and choose "Condemn the Heretic". Boom - goodbye religious unit, goodbye religious pressure.

    You may also consider investing into Amani/envoys and stealing City States from the enemy's influence. This can be done even when a City-State is already at war with you, they will cease immediately (and start attacking the AI).

    Another note - a popular strategy is to get Magnus as your first governor and chop the hell out of your forests to rush whatever military units you are building (well, not everything - just the key ones for timing).

    And finally - HORSEMEN, the earlier you get them as Scythia the better your early domination goes. Though i guess you were short of Horses in this game.
    Victoria likes this.
  3. Cakeathon

    Cakeathon Chieftain

    Nov 3, 2016
    Okay... there is a lot of stuff there but I'll try to stay focused on the big picture rather than nitpick on details. Frankly, if you get the big picture right, even diety becomes easy without much micro at all.

    I'll start with your self-assessment and work from there.

    I also play tiny pangea a lot and religion victory is always a threat, it's rarely a problem on larger maps but once you hit duel/tiny it's a real possibility. There are only really 2 ways to deal with it, declare war and kill their missionaries/apostles with your military units or get a religion and fight back on the religion plane.

    Getting the districts and buildings with enough faith production to really fight back is mostly only a realistic option on higher difficulties. On diety the AI are so far ahead, the first AI you kill might already have holy districts when you conquer their cities so founding your religion isn't so crazy an idea if you have a faith-generating pantheon. On lower difficulties, you would have to build the holy districts yourself so it's a lot less realistic for a warmonger.

    Yes, buying stables was probably bad and no you most certainly did not build too many horses. In fact, the biggest problem I see in your play is how few units you built.

    Here is my most recent horseman rush at turn 81 for reference, I had just finished eliminating my 3rd AI civ with 18 horsemen, and you are playing Sythia too so there is no reason to not build a ton of horses.

    Spoiler :

    Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 2.00.22 PM.png

    To quote my favorite domV guide:
    Since you played civ5 you might want to have a look at it, while the mechanics and balance are different (archers were OP in civ5 while cavalry is OP in civ6), the same general ideas still apply to civ6 or really any 4x game.


    Absolutely, no question about that. But I think you are looking at this wrong. The real problem is that you didn't play to your strengths and didn't have a clear plan. Being late is just a consequence of this.

    Building units is not free, you could be building your empire instead. The conclusion to this is that the first army you build is very important. If you build an army of archers, you are actually delaying how fast your horsemen and knights will come out. Similarly, if you skip archers, your horses will come out very fast but your knights will come out later compared to a straight rush to knight.

    I'll write more on this in my answer to the last question.

    You should use magnus in the early game to chop out units, beyond that... to be honest it doesn't really matter that much for domv, just go with what you feel is needed based on your circumstances.

    I think Policies/government was fine, this kind of stuff is very debatable and it's really not what will make a difference for you at this point, as long as you hit the obvious big ones like using conscription and slotting the right +production policy for the situation you are 95 % of the way there. You can refine policy use later, you'll crush diety way before this kind of micromanagement ever becomes important.

    For tech, once again it's more a symptom of not having a clear plan. More on that later.

    Too slow, not enough commitment.

    The most important decision to make when going for early aggression is to decide what your initial offensive army will be composed of, this will have repercussions throughout the entire game.

    For Sythia, it should be horsemen/horse archer, there is really little reason to start an archer rush unless you have a very cramped start(you didn't). Similarly, for Rome, it's legions. Civs without a strong early UU have to think a little more about it but you should really pick between archers, horsemen, swordsmen and knights fairly early on and commit to it.

    If you play Sythia your game plan should be to get horseback riding fast and get a ton of horsemen/horse archers out, the earlier the better. On a tiny map this is the end, you should be able to conquer everybody with just that even on diety. However, on bigger maps you would then move to knights -> cavalry -> tanks if the game keeps going.

    This focus on key units rather than building all of them also means you will get better units faster and that you will have more money for upgrades to the units that actually matter. For example, you used money on swordsmen and then couldn't upgrade your knights on time. Early knights win games, late swordsmen don't. You also researched ironworking, engineering, machinery maybe even more before stirrup. At this point you have to realize those techs won't win you the game, an early knight army will win you the game.

    If you hit mercenaries at T106, you should have a whole knight army on T106, that should be your aim, you should have the money in bank, stirrup researched and a sizeable heavy chariot force on the turn mercenaries hit. Notice you didn't upgrade to knights until turn 128(and you had very few). a T106 knight army is decent while a T128 knight army is very late on higher difficulties. It's important to stay focused on those "game winning" units and make sure to sync up your science/culture and resources so that everything comes together at the same time and as early as possible.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
    Elric of Grans likes this.
  4. Elric of Grans

    Elric of Grans Chieftain

    Jan 1, 2012
    Thanks, that seems like great advice: I can definitely see how to apply it!

    My original intention *was* to rush Horseback Riding, but I had no source of Horses. I had to conquer the Kongo with Warriors/Archers to get them (the one source of Horses I got was actually directly between the Kongo capital and Japan's second city). In hindsight, however, the Swordsmen were not as important as I thought they were (I also had more Archers than I really needed). I should have left those Warriors back at my cities and instead focused more on Horsemen/Saka Horse Archers. Without the Maintainence on Swordsmen/Archers, I could have easily supported more cavalry. In hindsight, I could have attacked Japan sooner, and kept producing cavalry to attack the Aztecs before even finishing Japan. Similarly, I also recognise in hindsight that waiting for those Knights was a waste of time. I did not *need* them and could have won faster if were more focused.

    I am thinking of playing Macedon next. I just wanted to clarify a couple of points with them, to ensure I am more focused. I was planning on a similar opening to the Scythia game (some Warriors/Slingers for Barbarians, a Builder for Eurekas/Craftsmanship, a Settler), but try to beeline Bronze Working sooner. My intent is to build an Encampment and the UB in my Capital immediately after my first Settler, then later build a second Encampment/UB in my second city as its first District. With the UB, a Campus seems unnecessary (I can capture them later), so a Commercial Hub would be my next priority in those two cities. Does this sound good so far?

    Depending on which Eureka I can get first, I will get either Horseback Riding or Iron Working next for one of the UUs; then the other tech for the other UU. Since they have two UUs, am I splitting myself too much to use both, or should I focus on just one? I thought I could make my first rush with one UU, producing an army of the second UU during this war, then rush the second army at either a City State to get some XP (Kandy was a PITA in the previous game) or start war with a second major civ (since Alexander suffers no war weariness), finally meeting the two up for the rest of the game. As I progress I was thinking of focusing on promoting the UU Horsemen to Knights, then later on promoting the UU Swordsmen to Musketmen. I figure I should be aiming to win before the Modern Era, so those guys would be enough. Does that seem like a decent plan?
  5. Cakeathon

    Cakeathon Chieftain

    Nov 3, 2016
    UUs don't require resources, you could have just built saka horse archers and captured with a warrior. Then once you got your horses you can start building horsemen. A big part of the advantage of civs like Rome/Sythia/Macedon/Persia is that they don't need resources to crush everybody around them in classical.

    Seems ok but you don't really need commercial hub in those cities, at least not until you have built a huge army. If you need money in the early game, just sell your luxuries to the AI, no need for early comercial hubs.

    Also you don't necessarily even need the 2nd encampment either, just build it if you have nothing better to do. What you *need* is 1 UB in a city with stuff to chop and builders to do the chopping.

    2 armies would probably work, but honestly, hetairoi are just so OP there is little point in using hypaspists. Also this goes back to my previous point which is that iron working isn't on the path to stirrup, or really anything interesting until much later.

    As to what to do after knights... that's actually one of the more awkward part of playing Macedon, you have a few options. You can just build warriors early on instead of slingers/archers for barbs and upgrade them to muskets along with a few extra you built just before, or you could just bite the bullet and try to keep going with knight corps until tanks come around. The second option requires you to be faster since you need the AI to not have an answer to knight corps before you hit combustion. But anyway, it's mostly theoretical since you should have conquered the entire map at that point.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    Elric of Grans likes this.
  6. GeorgeF

    GeorgeF Chieftain

    Aug 30, 2007
    For Alexander, I focus on Heteroi. They are fast and get you GG and upgrade to knights. You have the start right, you want to get the UB early. I typically get it in capital as I am starting Horseback Riding, and so I slot in Agog and build archers/warriors until HB Riding is in. Slot in Military Tradition to finish at the same time as HB Riding. For Macedon, other than settler/builder/encampment, you should be building units for upgrade. Your second city should be to get a pasture or iron, whichever you need in that order of priority. So if you need iron, no need for a second city for some time. Units to stay alive is really the priority, you're pretty weak early, although getting an encampment for a second place for protected ranged unit really helps.

    You're right, no need for you to hard build anything but Encampment and CH. My latest game I even picked up a religion with Japan's 3 holy sites, then got caught up on science and commerce from Rooseveldt's districts. If you get your Heteroi going you can get all 3 of the classical GGs, I typically burn Sun Tzu right away for the extra culture, and Boudica as soon as I can for some extra units, and keep Hannibal and then Aethelred to boost my troops. Keep your Warriors up with your army so you can upgrade them when you finally get iron working, they start to really help in the window between horsemen and knights, and of course you want them for Muskets later.
    Elric of Grans likes this.
  7. Elric of Grans

    Elric of Grans Chieftain

    Jan 1, 2012
    I just finished my second Domination Victory, as Macedon on Prince and a Small map. I had to reset three times, as Barbarians kept destroying me in the first 10 turns (I am finding this a really common situation on Prince --- often 2-3 Barbarian camps attacking me before I have an army). Once I finally got established, it was mostly fairly easy. In hindsight, I could have used my early Warriors to take out my nearest neighbour, thereby getting a bit of a head-start, but was paranoid about Barbarians. Once I had Hetairoi, I began spamming them in both my cities. I was able to conquer four of five major civilisations in the Classical Era. I had Knights available just before finishing off the fourth, and stupidly forgot to wait for Mercenaries to be complete before upgrading (four turns too early; cleaned-out my treasury to do 3/4 of them). At this point, I only lost a single Hetairoi. I even founded the second religion, though I never bothered trying to do anything with it. Once I started fighting Chandragupta, however, things got bogged-down and painful. He had a lot of his elephant UUs everywhere, he was on the coast and Barbarian vessels were often finishing-off weakened Knights, and every one of his cities was build on a natural choke-point. I lost three or four Knights and each city took far, far too long to conquer for how easy they were (each city bordered mountains and two of them had a river crossing that allowed only a single troop in at a time). I had to clear two of his three cities just to get access to the capital, which fell in no time.

    I think I have the basic concepts now, and should be able to use this to improve my Culture/Science games too.
  8. NukeAJS

    NukeAJS Chieftain

    Jul 28, 2008
    Someone touched on this indirectly but it's worth mentioning more directly:

    Whenever you choose to produce something, ask yourself: "What goal/objective does this help me achieve?" I've seen many players just starting building granaries simply because they are there. It's not that you shouldn't empire build, you absolutely should; but it's more about having a reason that serves the ultimate purpose (a domination victory).

    For example, as Tomyris you should get horsebackriding ASAP and everything you do should be to get there as fast as humanly possible. If the best way to do that is to grow a tall capital -- fine. If it's to complete science CS quests -- great. If it's to get all the tech boosts required between the beginning of the game and horsebacking riding -- that's fantastic. After you get horseback riding, your next goal is to make as many saka horse archers and horsemen (if you've horses) as possible. If you don't have horses, your first conquest should be a city with horses so that you can have both horse archers and horsemen. If there are no horses -- you'll just have to suffice with +3 movement warriors/swordmen.

    You might run into situations were amenities and/or gold become a problem. Many people think they should stop warring because of this and sometimes putting a ten turn truce in place is the better move. But very often, the counter-intuitive move is to continue to conquer because a newly conquered city will fix those problems whereas a ten turn truce will just slow you down from what you were going to do anyways (conquer that next city that would have solved your problems anyways).

    Lastly, at lower difficulty level, you should have no trouble making friends with at least one civ and it's almost always a good idea to do so. It's not because you need their help militarily (you don't), but if you can do joint declarations of war, you won't have to worry about getting DoWed and then fighting a war on two fronts. The only word of warning is to make sure not to renew your friendship/alliance when it's almost time to backstab your ole buddy (usually the final civ to take down). There's no way to get DoWed or DoW a friend so if you aren't paying attention, you might befriend someone, want to declare war on them ten turns later, and then have to wait another 20 turns before you can actually do it.

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