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What Era Does Your Game Hang In the Balance

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by Sultan Bhargash, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    We all reach points when the game hangs in the balance: you will either go on to glory or sink into decline based on the developments of a few turns.

    When do you notice this happening to you most often?

    During the Ancient Age, when capturing or not capturing that first neighbor civ determines your future growth?

    During Midevil times, when you start pumping out Knights or you go down hard?

    During Industrial Era, when it all swings on getting the Hoover Dam or reaching tanks first?

    During Modern Era, when you need the UN, the most nukes, etc. to win,

    or after all techs are completed, when the last steps in conquest/retirement/spaceship go down...
     
  2. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    Oh crud. There was supposed to be a poll.

    Well I'll start - I am finding as I crack Monarch level that it is Midevil times when I tend to fall behind and end up defending myself from attacks rather than pusing forward as I am usually able to in Ancient times and again in Industrial when my cavalry are lined up.
     
  3. Spidoinkel

    Spidoinkel Chieftain

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    id say ancient. i like my space and the close proximity of neighbours leads me into conflict a lot.
     
  4. Cantankerous

    Cantankerous ...but I do know Shinola

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    I'd say Medieval times is the most crucial and is the era that shapes the rest of the game most significantly.

    In the Ancient Age, expansion is the key and even with wars it is difficult to actually take out another civ unless they are being ganged up on or are already very small in size and army. Cities can certainly be taken and held, but progress is slow and even if under relentless attack you still may have time to defend yourself.

    Borders are already drawn by the Industrial Age, and if you don't have enough territory (and population) to be competitive, you may not be able to catch back up (unless you can defeat your more advanced rivals).

    The Modern Age is much like the Industrial Age, however it is much easier (and faster) to conquer neighboring civs. But if you're not powerful enough in this era to compete, then your chances are generally not good. And you have to be aware of the "feeding frenzy" that goes on when all civs declare war on the weakest of the herd.

    So that leaves the Medieval Era as the key time to shape and build for the future. So build those Knights!!
     
  5. Raijer

    Raijer The 736th Beatle Supporter

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    I think the Civ I choose has a lot to do with this. China, for example, gives me my greatest struggle in the ancient age. I have to found several core cities if I'm to be sucessful and I usually I get to do this against Civs with key ancient age UUs. I use a lot of Horsemen, and they're pretty wimpy, but they eventually will be the horsies that will make up the core of MY own UU hell: the Rider. If I can survive into the middle age with a modicum of strength, I up-date horsies, and let my Riders do their thang. If they conquer a civ or two, boom, I'm a superpower. But I gotta kick a$$ and survive in that crucile ancient age.
     
  6. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    The 'game start' era when the random map generator gets to either be my angel and place me on great terrain, or be the devil by placing me on a two-tile island or in the middle of jungle or tundra, or on plains with no rivers for miles.

    Seriously, I think it varies by what map size your playing and how crowded the map is. If playing on a really crowded map, you're more likely to be in a sticky situation in the ancient era because everyone's fighting for land. On a larger map with few civs, there isn't that land-grabiness (new word? ;) ) so everyone is more peacefully expanding and the first big wars are more likely to be in the middle ages, possibly as late as the industrial age if you're a 'builder'.
     
  7. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    Bamspeedy- had I posted a poll, I would have been tempted to include that "4000 BC: when the map generator kicks in" as an option...
     
  8. Raijer

    Raijer The 736th Beatle Supporter

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    Ok, I change my vote. I would've hit that option. THAT'S the true "game in balance" moment!
     
  9. werdhertz

    werdhertz I speak Canadianese

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    Id say Industrial for me... i don`t buy that 'gotta have a huge land mass' within your borders to win approach, as im perfectly comfortable beign say the third or so largest civ land mass wise, and still win with ease. I hate having huge countries because of the corruption anyways.

    I find Industrial is when the resource wars start happening, when there are lots of important ones appearing. They also are the toughest because of the damn Infantry and cavalry. Strike fast and then stop within 7 or so turns.
     
  10. Yndy

    Yndy Emperor

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    I think you can pretty much decide for the balance point of the game.
    The first massive attack that you make is that point. I think the you are half way to a victory when you wipe out the first AI.
    I can sometimes do that in ancient age.
    It happens very often in the Medieval times either when chivalry comes around or at the end when cavalry appears.
    Sometimes I have my first massive assault with Infantry and Arty in the Modern Age.
    In RBE DSG 2 over at the Succession Games thread, they turned things in their favour only in the Modern Age.
     
  11. Lt. 'Killer' M.

    Lt. 'Killer' M. Deity

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    Map generator.

    if the maps equal it's ancient times - how good are the AIs at staying out of war. often, I am the only one whos not fighting and thus cannot help but win.
     
  12. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    My vote would've been the Ancient. I'm now regularly playing on Emperor, and find that normally attack one or two of my neighbours before the ancient age is over. Late ancient age is also the time I catch up in techs, either by building the great library or by trading for the techs.

    The early medieval age is pretty tense too, mostly due to all the important wonders that can be built then. After the first part of the medieval age its mostly about gaining a tech lead as big as possible and attacking other civs when I feel like. I guess I need to take the step to deity soon.

    BTW, one of my wishes for the editor is to be able to set difficulty levels per age. I'm happy with the emperor settings for the ancient age, but would like to see the AI gain additional production etc. advantages of 5-10% per age afterwards. If this was the case, then the game could be tense all the way without having to start with such a big handicap as you do in deity.
     
  13. Raijer

    Raijer The 736th Beatle Supporter

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    Yes, I find this is true, especially if I play Persia. If I've played a defensive game, aiming straight for a space race victory, then the industrial era gets pretty gnarly. Besides the resource scrambling, the tech race is pretty heated as well.
     
  14. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    @the Nice One... you get a tech lead in Middle Ages? That is usually when I fall behind, and it happens thus: when I have the Great Library, I turn off research and grow cash. In the early Middle Ages, the AI is often clever enough to each research something different, then two of them get education and my library goes off, then they all trade each other for the techs they wouldn't share before.

    Suddenly I am behind- especially if I was playing Military Monarch and not building libraries and markets. This is the crucial spot in the game. Either my military is going to win me some more territory and some surrendered techs or I am going to implode.
     
  15. Darkness

    Darkness Shadow creature

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    Definately the Map Generator, and after that the medieval ages...
     
  16. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    Sultan Bhargash:
    Yes, I generally gain a tech lead during the middle ages on emperor. I try to get a good empire during the middle-late ancient age by taking out one or two neighbours with swordmen/horsemen, with luxury resources being my primary target (after having secured iron/horse of course). My first great leader normally goes to the forbidden palace, giving me a more productive empire than any other civ in the game.

    My research stay low (0 if having the great library, but low even without) until I have libraries, corthouses and marketplaces in most cities and probably universities in some. All the cash I generate goes partly to buying techs (if not having the great library) and partly to hurry the improvements mentioned above.

    I then normally have an economy that enables me to research techs in 4 turns, something that none of the AIs can keep up with.
     
  17. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    @the nice one- Thanks for the strategic advice. I have only recently caught on to the value of courthouses... still if it takes more than 30 turns to build the courthouse I consider the city a "worker generator".

    Well I am using your emporer hints to play monarch and so far so good...
     
  18. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    Sultan: You're welcome. I find generally build corthouses in every city that has a production of at least two shields. With corthouse (and later police station), library, marketplace etc. this will become a city that contributes quite a lot when it reches size 12.

    BTW, I usually build cities so close that they have 12 squares each. This means that I get to use all squares of my territory before hospitals, and thus have a distinct advantage during the medieval age.
     
  19. Park Ranger

    Park Ranger Wonder hog

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    Although I can't argue with the importance of the starting position, for me the tensest moments are in the early middle ages when I switch from expansion to building.

    If I have any sort of a good start I get wonder greedy and go after the first four middle age wonders (Sistine, Sun Tzu, Bach, and Leonardo's). I place so much in getting at least two of these that I know I often sacrifice other advantages, but a few times I've managed to get all four (which makes getting Adam Smith's, another key wonder, fairly straightforward), which makes for a truly awesome powerhouse of a civ.

    But then I tend to play the ancient civs a lot.

    Nice One and Sultan:
    You turn your science off when you get the Great Library?! Don't you still want to be first to say, Chivalry or Theology? Often I even research Education myself once the GL gives me Invention because Gunpowder just isn't that useful right away.
     
  20. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    Yes, I turn my science off when getting the great library (or rather when I'm sure I will be getting it - normally as soon as I've researched literacy). Yes, it would be nice being the first to get the techs you mentioned, but's even more nice to get 100+ gold per turn and let the AI civs research it at full cost.

    Also remember that the longer this period lasts, the more money I will gain from it while easily being able to build/buy temples/cathedrals/marketplaces/corthouses/libraries in all cities that aren't totally corrupt. If I reserach one of these techs I effectively shortens the great library perioed with 10+ turns. That probably means more than 1500 gold less for me.
     

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