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What does a decent IMM economy look like?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by lindsay40k, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. lindsay40k

    lindsay40k Emperor

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    I get that most human players aren't going to stand a chance on higher difficulties without cherry-picking a real nice start location, but once you've rolled your wiggly river, gold, building material, food and strat resource, what do you do then?


    I got a win with Hannibal and a GLH economy, but this is rolling a couple of sixes and a very specific approach.


    I got a win by storming Hammu's holy city with War Chariots when he'd spent dozens of turns spamming Missionaries and just built the Shrine, but this isn''t much different to picking my favourite leader and getting his best wonder. And as Rameses with Marble and Stone bulbing towards CS, Thebes built pretty much every Wonder and every one of them had a benefit worth the handful of hammers required.


    I get that once Currency and COL are in the bag, cities with plenty of hammers or food can produce wealth, but even with a lot of gold mines I struggle to keep safe from the likes of Shaka and Monty and not stagnate before this.


    I get that once Chemistry's in the bag, Communism enables massive empires with high research due to low upkeep and SP Workshops producing Wealth, but I've not been able to get over the hump to reach this point without facing insurmountably more advanced AIs.


    These general pointers all make a lot of sense to me, but I'm struggling to work out the fine tuning and get to certain points without looking at a research bar saying 25 turns to Currency whilst Samurai eye up my border cities.
     
  2. lymond

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

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    That's not true at all, even on deity


    I think you are asking the wrong questions. Economy is economy on any level. You do what you can with the cards you are dealt. It's not like you get any bonuses on IMM+ or any difficulty for that matter. You do get higher penalties like maintenance and happiness.

    What you might ask are what do successful players do differently on higher levels? There's already plenty of answers scattered around this forum from different games and series.

    One of the main differences to higher level play - assuming the player has some mastery of the basics concepts of the game - is more focused gameplay. Things like:

    1) Expanding more judiciously. Maintenance can hit you hard so don't overexpand or conquer too much early if you don't have the means to keep up. Don't be afraid to overlap early cities and share resources. Several benefits to that including reduced distance maintenance and focused worker management

    2) Speaking of which: more focused worker management. More workers is always better, but you will find high level players can do more with less. Think about every improvement you make in the early game. Don't build useless roads if there is a tile improvement that is better or forest to chop.

    3) Great People take on more significance. If you don't emphasize Great People as much before, you should now. Get scientists running asap. Build academy or use strategic bulb options. You are simply going to get to certain milestone techs faster on IMM+ that lower levels. Learn how to maximize Great People and how to use Golden Ages and Caste to speed things up

    4) Tech wisely and focused. Each tech decision is crucial, especially early. With that said, Tech trading is important. You tech faster on higher levels as the AIs tech faster and have more techs to trade. So tech pace increases with difficulty. Don't tech what the AIs tech. Broker your techs and you will more than keep up.

    5) Diplo tricks are more important. Don't be afraid to get AIs into wars early and often. This nerfs them and keeps them in check, as well as providing a defensive measure against more aggressive AIs. It can also set up some nice attack options for you. This includes fake wars too. You don't always have to do this, but is an option in your bag of tricks.

    6) Get currency one way or the other as early as you can...important tech. Also, try to get foreign trade routes up and running asap via roads or coast. Always a good boost early and often underrated or overlooked by less experienced players.

    7) Learn how to use binary research early game and manage the slider...it's almost a must in many cases on higher level games.

    8) Lastly, learn the finer art of the whip. High level players have generally master this concept and the use/maximization of OF hammers.

    9) oh...um...this is last..ha...be very selective in what you build in cities. This ties to city specialization but is more than that. It's about making the most of your hammers.

    Otherwise, generally, economy works the same. Develop and specialize your cities like you always have unless you don't actually do that. Don't get caught up with different types of economies, but rather focus on the hybrid aspect....production cities, commerce cities, great people cities/food.

    There's a lot of other ways to improve your game and succeed on higher levels. Innovative things that players do or situational things. That just comes with practice, reading and analyzing experienced players games.
     
  3. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    I reroll any start on immortal if it's too good. Any gold/gems/silver, reroll. Any imbalanced unique unit, reroll. Any too good trait combination, reroll.
     
  4. Apricottage

    Apricottage Warlord

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    lymond's right. The main thing I've found I've improved in as I've moved from Noble level to Immortal is that I get a better ability to plan things and focus on specific ways I'm going to make the game winnable. One of the biggest parts of the game in this regard is war. It's so important that I'm almost starting to feel like I can win most any Immortal game just by use of a few judicious wars. Unfortunately, the best way to learn to war is to just keep on doing it without any real heed to tactics (to begin with). Starting out, I had no idea what an appropriate army looked like. Now I have a better idea of what I'll need in order to take out a given foe. It's just practice that'll teach you what you need. So go forth, lad, and fear no enemy! Except for Monty, he's scary.
     
  5. lindsay40k

    lindsay40k Emperor

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    Ooh, great response!

    I'm including casual players when I say victory is beyond the grasp of most human players in a mediocre high difficulty start. :p

    Yeah, since getting confident on Emperor and moving up to Immortal I've found that one extra city to grab the mid-distance Iron now brings the whole economy crashing down. I've learned a newfound respect for the humble Archer as my early antibarb unit when BFC Copper's not to be found.

    It was this sort of thing that really helped me get past Monarch.

    I'm starting to get the hang of the use of GAs for a GP binge to bulb things along, now. Last game my GP farm popped a GA from NE, despite having GLib and two Scientists in the Liberry... burned Rembrandt for a GAge, ran five Scientists and popped ANOTHER GA :crazyeye:

    Now, this I'm still trying to get the hang of. I still haven't got a feel for what the AI techs and what it'll want to trade for. I often beeline Lit for GLib and NE, after that I'm fond of the Elepults or Macemen lines and reluctant to trade those techs to the AI.

    I'm pretty confident with this nowadays.

    Yeah, Hannibal being my favourite I got the hang of trade routes pretty early on. Hooray for big long rivers :)

    Is this where you set 0% research whilst libraries and suchlike are being built, and then 100% for a while once they're finished?

    Hitting the whip when a build's got one turn left is practically a habit now :D

    Definitely something I need to get better at. With the higher upkeep in higher difficulties, I find myself tempted to give commerce cities Markets and the like, where before I'd have pure research and Shrines and/or Wealth-producing hammer cities to subsidise research. And then the AP comes along and tempts me to add Monasteries and Temples to the build queues... and a captured Sankore adds marginal beaker production to many cities... decisions -.-
     
  6. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    Why whip with one turn left? 1 pop whip?
    Don't take all the tips as dogmatic. Try to understand what you gain and lose with whipping and everything.
    Do you know how many hammers food is worth?
    Do you know when it is better to whip grassland mine away? If you manage to get to those answers by yourself, you might have an eureka moment. I mean that seriously. Happened to me.

    Binary research is existent through most of the game. Better to accumulate money and research monopoly tech in 5 turns and then broker it around then slowly research something only to find out almost everyone got that tech meanwhile.
    There are other applications of binary research but they are very situational.

    On higher levels, key is in controlling the environment. Passive play is usually punished. Think twice before hitting the end turn.
     
  7. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

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    Yep 1 pop whip when almost done should be rare ;)
    Few situations where i use that, one would be when worker almost completes and granary still needed.
    Can be useful in cities that have not many good tiles (now), growth will be overall faster with spending 1 pop but getting that granary, and sometimes there are no forests around.
     
  8. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    1 pop whip with 1 turn left to granary would be the exact case lindsay40k mentioned. I can only imagine that'd be of use if you want OF into organized LH. Not much use otherwise. Defensive whips don't count. Those are extreme situations and require extreme measures. But can't remember when I used that either.
    Anyway, not always bad move to 1 pop whip, but always a bad move to always 1 pop whip.
     
  9. lymond

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

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    Nothing wrong with Elepults if you get them up in time to be effective. You will find though that Medieval units on high levels, like Mace, become less effective. Can you make it work...sure...but they are not always optimal in every situation? And then, to the point, techs like Machinery are one of those prized techs for AIs like Maths, IW, Feud, Construction, Calendar, Engineering, Guilds, Banking, etc.etc... In other words, these are techs I generally avoid and trade for later. Unless I try for a particular strategy like setting up an early Machinery bulb.

    So Basically, for instance, you focus on getting Machinery in normal time. Generally you will find that most of the AIs have it as well. Even if they don't have CS, the will likely have crossbows which are obviously quite strong vs. Mace. Additionally, you now have nothing to gain from that tech...you can't trade it.

    Um...that is pretty bad
     
  10. pomthom

    pomthom Drive & Reverb

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    I think lindsay was joking about the whip :)
     
  11. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    Welcome to CFC!

    One thing about CFC you should know is never assume someone is joking. Many many funny serious threads around. :rolleyes:

    With 1T left for build you definitely maximize OF from whip and everyone mistakenly wants to max OF instead to speed the build. You max OF only if you want to build a wonder in hammer low city and things like that.
     
  12. rfcfanatic

    rfcfanatic Mercantilist

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    But isn't this a way to get whip overflow?
     
  13. lymond

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

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    see Shaka above. You can get the same OF and more from whipping multiple citizens. You just need to calculate the timing. BUG helps with this.

    Whipping is not just about OF but also speed. Whipping multiple citizens allows you to expedite builds, get OF if you set that up and give more time for unhappy to burn.

    How you use it and when you use it is situational...early infra, OF into wonders, fast army.

    Also, you take into account the city setup. Is it high food/low hammers? This is how you turn food into production.

    3 popping settlers is very common for me. Often with 2 to 3 turns into a setter in some cities you can 3 pop whip and put the OF into a fast worker. Or vice versa - 2 pop worker into Settler. 3 pop whip is 90 free hammers. I will sometimes 4, 5 or 6 pop Universities.
     
  14. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    What do you need OF for?

    You can 2 pop whip granary at 29/60 and get max OF and more time to get rid of whip unhappiness. But, with granary, you usually want to maximize food, not hammers. With settlers, you can 3 pop whip at 39/100, 2 pop whip at 69/100). Notice the pattern. Also, try to avoid whipping without full granary.

    Moreover, 4 to 2 whip is more efficient than 4 to 3 (better food to hammer conversion).
     
  15. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Lol whipping right before something finishes brings back memories of the protective wall-whip/chop overflow abuse in earlier patches. Turning that 1 pop into 90 gold was pretty useful!
     
  16. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    Sometimes I feel my hiatus between vanilla civ and BTS 3.19 was actually good thing. No abuse to forget.
     
  17. babar

    babar King

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    You could try No Tech Brokering. I switched to it because I find it more fun (never enjoyed the tech trading aspect of the game very much), but it also slows the AIs down and makes the game easier (an unwanted side-effect in my case).


    I've heard that even good Deity players can struggle with really tough Immortal starts/maps. I'm not sure how true that is, but you can probably re-roll some bad starts and play with only your favourite leaders for a while without feeling too bad.
     
  18. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Deity

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    Warmonger sandwiches on continents with very limited space with the other continent allowing 1 AI to smack up a couple AI as vassals is near unbeatable even on Immortal. Certain map scripts have situations that are much much much harder than normal. I see Immortal as very easy to play as it gives you tons of room to screw around compared to Deity, but there are still starts that after seeing so much of the first 50 turns I will give up on knowing that even if I could win it would take me until 1900 AD, and this is a complete waste of time.
     
  19. pepe26

    pepe26 Lacrosse Enthusiast

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    so playing civ4 to win game around 1500AD is a good allocation of time but winning 1900 is a waste? ;)
     
  20. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Deity

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    Yep, 1900 takes an extra hour or so, and thus I cbf.
     

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