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What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Carbon12, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Carbon12

    Carbon12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
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    Ok, so I am new to the Civ series here. I've played about 15-20 games, and only won about 5 of them. The bad part is I play on settler. I have come here and spent a good amount of time looking through these forums, and I have printed off Sisiutil's Guide. Seems I understand the basics of the game, just not the best way to implement them. The few games I have won, it's been so close to a time victory that it's in the last 100 turns of the game. I usually play on standard size maps and normal time. Then, when it gives me my leadership level, I'm always the bottom one (Dan Quayle?). I guess my questions are what can I do to win earlier and get a better leadership score? I've won diplomatic, space, and a time victory that I know of. One of my issues that I know of is that I have so many cities, that they all usually just end up copies of each other. I know it's better to specialize cities to do different things, but once you have all the buildings you need for a GP farm, then what do you build with the city? Not build anything and set it to full beakers? Also, when people talk about an early rush, what is considered early and then too-late for it to be an "early" rush? Once you get past axes and swords being the best units available?

    Wow, seems like I just need to lrn2play, but that's what I'm trying to do.

    *Gets flame shield up for being bad at settler.*
     
  2. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    Early rush is usually chariots or Axemen although warrior rush will work on every level starting from Prince going down to Settler. Basically, you almost only build one of these units and then attack a neighbor around 2000~1500BC and take their cities.

    Regarding your difficulties, I suspect you are not building enough workers to improve the land. Try building something like 1.5 worker per city as a rule of thumb (not always true but you get the picture). Improving the right things is the next thing... for whatever you want your city to be, it needs :food:.

    I would also recommend looking through some walkthroughs people are posting on this very forum. Sisiutil for instance played the ALC (All Leaders Challenge) for some 20ish games which you can all read on the forum. Have a look at the second topic from the top of the subforum, it will be listed in there, as well as several others.

    Other than that, the best tip I can give you is to post a game of yours with the save/screenshots (hit Printscreen while in game) as you play short rounds so that it becomes easier to see where you go astray.
     
  3. lymond

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

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    You might want to do a walk through here with one of your games - it helps to get good advice. It's hard to give you advice without seeing a game, especially since it appears that you are using some strategies from this forum and articles. I agree that it's probably how you are putting things together.

    Oftentimes the advanced strategies are not even necessary on settler, but still a good thing to practice on a lower level to get used to it before moving up. I suggest posting your game here as a walkthrough with a particular leader, strategy and victory condition in mind. The experts will be happy to give advice and point out what you may be doing wrong.

    Early rushes are not critical to winning, especially at lower levels, but I still try to do them when I can. Generally, you do this if a rival is close by - say within 10 tiles. "Early" is very early. Some people even do warrior rushes. I tend to wait for either when the UU comes online(depending on leader) or axes. The key is to catch the AI offguard and beat them resource/tech wise. Steal workers and destroy strategic resources like horses, copper to prevent them from building advance units. I don't have an exact date but I'd say you would start on this well before or around 2000 bc - maybe sooner depending on speed. Otherwise, it's not really an "early" rush.

    You might want to try playing at epic speed for a while.

    I can't mention enough how important workers are in this game. You've probably come across this point before, but make sure worker is one of your first builds, if not your first. The general rule of thumb is 1.5 per 2 cities, but more the merrier. Build them and steal them when you get the chance. When I settle a new city I usually build a worker first there as well, unless it's coastal and there is seafood. Work you improved tiles first and get them online.

    Settle commerce focused cities with cottages, golds, gems, etc, and lots of cottages. Make sure you settle one city early with high production (hills for mines) to crank out units constantly (mixed in with military focused buildings). One of the major things I've learned is a good army is a plus always, even in peace. Have the city send units to protect other cities, but also established a well-balance "Stack of Doom" that is ready to either defend or go on the warpath at a moments notice.

    Diplomacy is one of the hardest things for new players and I'm still getting used to it myself. Generally allies fall along religious lines. Depending on the leader and strat, it may be wise not to jump at a religion until your rivals flesh themselves out. Who are the more powerful/advanced civs? What religion is more common, i.e., are more civs under one religion? Once this is established, choose allies wisely and shun ones that you expect to destroy.

    Sounds like you should focus less on GP farms at this point and more on establishing commerce cities for research and production cities for units. While no GP farms, you can at least choose a high food city with a library, possibly your cap, and work a couple of Great Scientists. Another important point is not to overbuild in every cities. Granaries, Forges, and Courthouses are a definite in every city. However, you don't need barracks/stables in commerce/research cites or libraries/markets in production cites. (at some point later you may be able to fill these buildings in as needed). Just make sure you get the key buildings first in the right cities.

    Slavery and chopping are great in the early game. Use them! The key is to get a quick tech and military lead in the early game which should be quite easy at settler level.

    I'll stop here since, again, a walkthrough is helpful. There are so many tips to give and I'm not even near the expert as some folks here.

    Edit: One note on cottage cities. Work those cottages! Don't worry so much about production or building. Key buildings (granaries, courthouses, forges) and rearch/gold multipliers like markets/banks can be chopped or whipped. (Granaries allow the city to grow back quickly after whipping) Just make sure you have your citizens working cottages so that the grow, which takes a lot of time. These cities will become strong as the game progresses, providing lots of beakers or gold as needed. You defnitely want lots of beakers early to get the tech lead and achieve tech goals like Civil Service, Currency and Liberalism. Another powerful things in building wealth in high hammer cities (only hammers go to building wealth, research or culture so you'll need to use a higher hammer cities for a while if they have nothing better to build or u are not a war). Building wealth allows you to keep the research slider as high as possible during the early and mid-game. This is why Currency is often a coveted tech.
     
  4. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    Try starting your next game with these three simple guidelines in your mind:

    - No city must work unimproved tiles (or as Laborer specialists), or sea tiles without a lighthouse (lake tiles are fine)

    - No city must build ANY building that it doesn't need BADLY

    - You must win by Conquest or Domination

    For the third one, you could make it a bit easier by saying "you must conquer 2 civs" or something like that.

    By the second one, I mean that in the relative short run, you need the following buildings:
    In your capital:
    Granary (if you plan on whipping, at least),
    Barracks (if you plan on early war - if not, wait until later with building it!)
    Library (ONLY if you put out huge tech from the city or need to run scientists)
    Forge (later, if the city puts out a fair amount of hammers)

    In other cities:
    Monument (if you are not creative or have a religion)
    Granary (again, for whipping)
    Barracks (again, if it is a troop-spam city)
    Library (again, only if STRICTLY NECESSARY)
    Forge (again, only if the city has a considerable hammer output - and has nothing better to do)

    Eventually you will need courthouses aswell, and maybe later some happiness. But the main idea is; Keep buildings at a minimum! Build LOTS of troops, workers and settlers.

    Ideally, always more workers than buildings until you hit the market/grocer things or have many religions. Ideally, always weight building a building against units (Walls are fine, but two extra archers cost the same and are way more usable often).
     
  5. jamesddd

    jamesddd Chieftain

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    May 26, 2008
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    just keep a few things in mind that should help you win on settler

    you read a lot about city specializiation, but honestly its not necessary at low levels. Build your cities next to (but not directly on top of ) resources and improve the tiles using workers

    build workers, at least 1 per city. Automating them is a bad idea in higher difficulties, but once again, on settler, it'll get the job done

    Expand. Land is power, so get more of it. Be careful not to expand too much too early though. Generally around 5-6 cities around 0 AD is acceptable. Watch your research slider, if you're losing a lot of gold at 30% research you might want to halt your expansion and get your economy running (building more workers, courthouses, libraries)

    be aggressive. Build offensive units, and build lots of seige weapons. If you feel you have a larger army than your neighbor (should be the case on settler), attack them. Use seige to bombard city defenses, then send in a couple to do collateral damage, then mop up the defenders with your main attack units.
     
  6. naterator

    naterator Bravely running away

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    Something that can help alot if you're playing Beyond the Sword, is downloading the BUG Mod. It doesn't change the gameplay, it just gives alot more info. For example, it tells the actual effects a building will have if built in that city; so you'll know exactly how many beakers a library will yield or how much gold a bank will produce before you build it. Also, it has alot of this sites walkthroughs in the civilopedia.
     
  7. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    That's a lot of information that really is not that important to know at settler level. If you are losing at that level, there is probably just one major mistake you do every time, easily identifiable but impossible to know until you post a save of one of your games.
     
  8. Carbon12

    Carbon12 Chieftain

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    Ok, I'm at work right now. I will try and fire up a game tonight and see if I can post some saves and see what's going on. Thanks for the advice everyone!
     
  9. BigTime

    BigTime Prince

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    How many cities did you settle? You should have a bare minimum of 6 cities, but the more the better. Also 1.5 workers per city like every1 else said is essential.
     
  10. Carbon12

    Carbon12 Chieftain

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    Woo!! Just won a domination victory in like 1950's(ish)!! Played on the semi-earth map as Greece. I everyone started in the middle east area. I saw shaka was my closest neighbor, and I've heard that he can be a pain, so I made him my first target. Took him down and eventually capitulated him. After that, I went after the Egyptians, and took their cities. Next was Portugal, and they weren't a problem by then. After them, I took out Churchill, and then Willem, and finally Gandhi. I tried to get Gandhi as an early vassal, but he had already declared to Willem. Once I took Willem down enough, he abandoned his protector and it was just a matter of time after that. The best part is my final score at the end was Leah something. Middle of the pack! That's awesome. Next I want to try for a good space race victory. What is a good time frame to finish that around? I might play tomorrow, and since I'll have most of the day, I can post saves and screens as I go along for some advice. One thing I would like to mention, I got the BAT and BUG mods, and they had a nasty habit of crashing my game. I like some of the stuff they do, but I don't want to have to worry about it crashing and not having a fairly recent save. I have the latest versions (downloaded them yesterday), and my BtS is 3.19. Any ideas about that?
     

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  11. Navarre

    Navarre Legio XIII

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    The game saves automatically every four turns anyway. Just go to \Single\Auto when you want to load a recent save after a crash.
     
  12. Shoot the Moon

    Shoot the Moon Playing World in Conflict

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    You can also easily set the game to auto save every turn, so if it crashes you at most lose one turn (which can easily be repeated).
     
  13. lymond

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

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    I think BUG and BAT or not compatible, and possibly causing your crashes. I recommend playing with just BUG or BUFFY. BAT is mainly graphical which is nice and all but BUG has more useful tools. I think BAT installs to custom assets which conflicts with the other mods. BUG can run as a standalone mod (in the mods folder), while I believe BAT cannot (in other words it's always there).

    BUFFY is another good mod by the same makers. It's basically a combo of BUG/BULL and a few tweaks for the HOF and GOTM games - again just unaltered gameplay enhancements. Eventually, as you get better you may want to try out the GOTMs.
     
  14. Navarre

    Navarre Legio XIII

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    BAT is BUG with graphics. No way BUG has more useful tools, they have the same.

    Carbon12, did you install BAt and BUG ? That may be why your game crashes, although I don't see any reason. Just install BAT, you'll have BUG too. Try to lower your settings if the crashes continue, or just play with BUG if your hardware isn't good enough for the improved graphics of BAT.
     
  15. naterator

    naterator Bravely running away

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    I have noticed that my game (w/ BUFFY) crashes if i try to load while the game is running.
     
  16. Mantic0re

    Mantic0re Prince

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    I struggled for quite a while with this game on early levels. I used to ask the same questions.
    The title asks what am I doing wrong, I used to read a lot and try to apply things and still struggled.

    Before you can understand what you are doing wrong you need to know what you are doing.

    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU KEEP A JOURNAL OF YOUR GAMES. I write down what choice I make and why, so some turns it is just a matter of hitting space bar, other times it goes like:

    yr: xxxx Tech: Monarch-need happiness boost
    yr: xxxx City#2: Build Barracks- highest hammer city (on F1 screen), unit builder for garrison/war.
    yr: xxxx Plan to DoW on neighbor1 (pros/cons-planning thoughts)
    yr: xxxx Build Worker ( 7 workers / 6 cities)

    Force yourself to figure out why you make each choice and write that down.


    Checking logs and comparing to forum advice makes your mistakes easy to see and correct.
    With this process I've built a few rules I force myself to follow in order to prevent repeating these mistakes.

    Every 5 turns I check the F1 and F5 screens, if less than 1.5 workers / city (counting workers in being built) I build workers in my one of my top 3 hammer cities.

    I limit myself to a number of buildings per city at different stages of the game. For example: I only allow myself 2 (rarely 3) buildings / city before Code of Laws.

    These are just a few of the key things I've had to learn to improve. All the advice is quickly overwhelming and I've found that a detailed journal can quickly point to places where I am not following forum advice (typically a mistake I'm making).
     

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