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[BTS] What should I do, and how am I doing?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by SquidInk, May 17, 2018.

  1. SquidInk

    SquidInk Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Greetings,

    I am currently playing the English, led by Victoria. Monarch level. Map is Earth 2. I am applying several strategies I have read about on the forums and I think/thought I am/was doing pretty well so far. (50 BC)
    2 questions: What should I do and how am I doing?

    I spawned in North Africa near some sugar, a river, and some grassland, so I decided to found London on a sugar and went for Pottery straight away.
    After Bronze Working, I settled near the closest Copper to the South of my capitol. I discovered that Napoleon was south of me, and that another source of Copper was 5 tiles away to the East. I decided to found my third city there in order to claim the boundaries and deny him the resource. Turns out he has iron but I can live with that.
    We're the only two civs in Africa and I think I have a pretty nice piece of real estate.

    There is this sweet choke point on a hill around that connects NE Africa to the rest of the map and Animal Husbandry revealed Horses there. I've got the Great Lighthouse and several well-developed cottages so my economy is pretty okay and I decided to settle on the chokepoint to get the horses and control the land entrance to my continent.

    A few problems:

    I have not decided what type of victory I am after.

    Zara Yacob has two cities super close to my horses and I am already feeling the cultural pressure. I don't think I can keep the city very long. I thought of beelining to Music to culture bomb with the Great Artist. I don't want to go to war yet and diplomatically, he's pleased with me at the moment.

    Napoleon has started making Swordmen. He may have something in mind and I will need to start cranking out Axemen soon.

    What should I do? Both Napoleon and Zara have Judaism as their state religion. I have none at the moment. I thought of switching to make them happy while I beeline to Music, and maybe (while I am at it) go for a cultural victory. It is worth noting however that I have neither Marble nor Stone at the moment.
    Screenshot 1.png

    Let me know what you think!
     
  2. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    Your position looks decent, definitely quite winnable! A few things I notice off the bat:
    -London definitely doesn't need a market. You are running 100% research with expenses on the low side, so I don't even know if London is producing any gold. Better to put the 150 hammers into settlers or military.
    -More expansion would be better. 5 Cities at turn 113 is a bit slow, and with the Great Lighthouse you can definitely afford to settle more.
    -Once canterbury's borders expand once, you won't be in much danger of losing the city. Perhaps work a forest tile and crank out a quick monument.

    It might also be nice to know what the technology picture looks like, and whether napoleon is plotting war (you can tell because, if you try to bribe him against someone else, he will say "we have enough on our hands right now"). If he is plotting, then you are correct to build some axes to defend yourself. If napoleon is near pleased with you, you could buy some time by converting to judaism and begging a few gold from him (this gives a mandatory 10 turns of peace).

    Anyways, I would probably continue to settle aggressively, and beeline your way towards a military advantage (probably macemen) before conquering napoleon en route to whatever victory you choose.

    Side Note: I haven't played much Earth2, but I thought that capital cities always had at least one early food resource in their outskirts. Did you move the settler particularly far? Did it start somewhere near where Hastings is now? Your early development probably could have been much quicker and stronger with a more productive capital.
     
  3. SquidInk

    SquidInk Chieftain

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    My starting location was actually where Hastings is. I did not want to build fishing boats right away (2 fishing boats + researching agriculture did not sound very attractive--not sure I was right or wrong); the plan was to settle my starting location with the first settler I produced. I figured Victoria's trait + cottaged river+sugar tiles would give me an early settler considering, and a stronger economy. When 2 coppers were revealed near Napoleon the plan kind of flew out of the window and Hastings was my 4th city.

    Thanks for the tip re: the market. I'll delay it a bit. Maybe the courthouses will balance the books a bit better. Right now I have to build wealth to stay at 90%-100% science. (side question, does the market give you 25% more of the wealth from hammers?)

    As for techs, I have Math, Alphabet, Calendar, Currency, and Iron Working.

    EDIT: Oh, and the "Raging Barbarians" setting is on. I had to reload a game before this one because I got totally trounced by barbs.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  4. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    I can understand not wanting to build boats. Often you can squeeze them in after the initial worker, but this leaves you with fewer warriors and vulnerability to barbarians. That irrigated wheat, on the other hand, is a fantastic tile, and leaving it unimproved until this late date is a little silly. Pottery can usually wait until after techs that unlock strong resource tiles in the capitol.

    Actually, courthouses often suffer the same problem as markets. Expensive, and quite low impact for their cost. Let's take nottingham as an example. Not sure of its maintenance cost, but I would imagine about 4:gold: at maximum. So building a courthouse gives +2:gold: per turn at the cost of 120 production. That means that we could immediately get 120:gold: by building wealth instead of the courthouse, and the courthouse would pay itself back after about 60 turns (probably a bit fewer since our empire will get bigger and costs will increase). There are many other choices (workers, settlers, granaries) that have a much quicker payback rate. Aside from a select few cities (bureaucracy capital, religious shrine, etc.), lots of early-game infrastructure is simply too slow to be good.

    Also, don't be afraid to run a deficit or build wealth! I would recommend reading Anysense's recent thread "Achieving an early deity space victory", as it shows a really incredible game that makes tremendous use of building research and wealth throughout, and also touches on getting gold from the AI through trades and begging. I'd also recommend not measuring your economy by percentage, but rather by net value (research produced minus gold lost). Often newer players stop expansion too early because they are afraid to occasionally run at 0% research to build gold, even when the net value of their economy would improve.
     
  5. enKage

    enKage Follower of Zoamelgustar

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    First of all, you shouldn't have moved your initial settler, settling no food capital caused expansion problems, 5 small cities this date is a little weak.
    You should aim for at least 6 cities with capital having already academy still in BCs.

    England starts with fishing and mining, that makes it perfect for coastal starts (Agri-> BW chop workboats in this case). By mowing a settler you lost very powerfull capitol (3xfood, 7 foodpositive or neutral riverside cottages), 2nd city should go 1S from London to grow cottages .


    Even if you settled London where you did, Hastings should be 1W (remember to have food in 1st ring).

    Anyway, what was your tech order?

    Positive sides: good city placemt south, try to always catch copper/horses in one of first 2 expansion cities just for barb defense

    The game is still winnable IMO, but cultural victory is a bad choice. You dont have 3 foodpowerful cities to go for it


    EDIT

    Markets do NOT give you more gold from building wealth. Building wealth uses production multipliers, so forges help in this case.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  6. SittinDown

    SittinDown Chieftain

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    glad to see you posting! you seem to have figured out some of the basics, and that's a great sign. it's fun to move up in levels, and you seem to have a good attitude.

    good on you for grabbing copper / horses. but as you've found, it's really hard to settle your way into denying an opponent access to metals / horses.

    ....you can definitely still win this game. but as others have said, moving too far to settle your first city is a problem, and you should probably do less-buildings and more units early on. Canterbury is only hurting you at this point, because it's far (high maintenance), and doesn't have much resources. I don't think the library is going to help, and it's going to take a long time to build it. you might want to gift it to someone if you can for something else, and plan on taking it back later.
     
  7. lymond

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

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    Your first mistake was playing this map. London is absolutely horrible city and if I had rolled that it would have been restart. Earth2 is likely non-standard map script that does not do food checks. Don't play a start without food and don't cottage sugars if you don't have any food at all.

    Did you move the settler (turn 0)?

    Next bit of advice - BUG/BULL and/or BAT mod:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/forums/civ4-bts-unaltered-gameplay-bug-bat-and-bull.268/

    oh..and welcome to CFC! :D
     
  8. enKage

    enKage Follower of Zoamelgustar

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    Already was mentioned initial settler was at that extremely good spot where Hastings is settled now, but fishing start was not wanted
     
  9. Pedro78

    Pedro78 Chieftain

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    Earth2 is a map script that does food checks. It's based off the Terra script. OP simply moved his settler a bit too far.


    Civ4 is a very complex game and you can't learn everything at once, but the two main things that you have to keep in mind while learning are:
    • Generally, aim for the short term benefits -- "what city build/tech/civic/war benefits me the most right now?". A typical example is that in 99% of cases it's better to build Wealth/Research than a Market/Courthouse. The only building that's always required in every city is the Granary, the rest is situational.
    • Food is king. Generally, you want a good food surplus in every city. Combine that with a Granary and you get super fast growth. Conclusion: slavery is the most important civic -- with enough whipping you can out-produce any AI.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  10. SquidInk

    SquidInk Chieftain

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    Thank you all for your replies. I settled on turn 2. I checked my 4000 BC save and I did not have vision of the wheat plains on turn 1. I thought I only had the 2 clams--which is probably what pushed me to move at the time. Regardless, it sounds like I probably should have settled in place when I saw no food with my warrior.

    The plan now is to settle a couple more cities and get ready to conquer Napoleon. I'll also get rid of Canterbury as SittinDown suggested. I'll abandon the Library now and just build workers. Now, should I go for HBR (4 turns to research) to use my horses before gifting the city? Or should I not bother, get rid of it now, and just go macemen (Civil Service in 13 turns though) and catapults? It feels like not using the horses is a bit of a waste now that I have spent a settler and an inordinate amount of time building a long-ass road.

    Also, for some background, I have played two or three hundred hours of the game but I just recently got back to it and decided to commit to playing leaders I have not played, and at harder levels. Before this, I was mostly winging it and won on Monarch, albeit mostly Space Race victories.

    EDIT: Tech order (as best as I can recall) was Wheel, Pottery, Bronze Working, Masonry, Hunting, Archery (to fend off a little barb problem), Animal Husbandry, Writing, Math, Alphabet, (Traded for mysticism and agriculture), Currency, (traded for Iron Working), Calendar, and Code of Laws.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  11. Pedro78

    Pedro78 Chieftain

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    Do you have Construction already? Axes/Swords + Catapults is absolutely fine, no need for Maces as Napoleon is backwards in tech. If you can trade for ivory, then teching HBR and going for Catapults+Elephants is also a good option, even though I suspect attacking sooner with Axemen+pults would be better.

    You can learn pretty quickly. I moved from losing on Noble to my first deity win in ~9 months (had a 3-month break in the middle, though). Watching some YT videos and reading stuff/listening to advice here makes it really easy to learn the game (if you have the time & energy).
     
  12. SquidInk

    SquidInk Chieftain

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    Swordsmen are impractical as Iron is too hard to get at the moment (right below research bar, on the left). I may build up some catapults while I research civil service (need to get Contruction first though), forego HBR for now and build chariots for scouting and exploration instead. I still don't know what Napoleon really has in his territory.

    No one seems to have ivory for trade but Elephants sure would be nice.
     
  13. SittinDown

    SittinDown Chieftain

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    If you got horses with Canterbury and want to Horse Rush, then keep it. HA's are fun. construction is more reliable but slower. the HA's can easily pillage Napoleon's iron (unless he settled on it). after that he won't be able to make new units, and likely, overinvested in swordmen, so a few axes can mop them up pretty easily.
     
  14. lymond

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

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    ah..I see..i was only popping in quickly so only read some of the OP. Yeah, the settler move was not a great idea at all. You really don't want to move your settler into a blind position unless you see at leas some good food in that position. London is simply very poor starting position.

    Ha...well, considering London's position, the iron is actually extremely practical with a city 3N...may not of known about iron when you sent settler out to Cantebury. I can understand the desire to grab horses though. Not sure if Yeha was already there or what other resources are hidden, but Cant is kinda struggling. Copper is fine though.

    (hint: you can speak to an AI and he will tell you what his best units are..you may have to click them a few times as random sayings will pop up, but then you will see something like "Ho Ho..I have an Archer")

    Try to avoid teching Archery if you can, and well Hunting for that matter. Warriors should be outside cities spawnbusting 5X5 areas. Should be pretty safe here until copper online.

    Yeah. as long as economy is ok, no need getting rid of Cant. It can grab corn later too. Zara might make a good first target as well since Yeha will be a problem for can't. Can't tell for sure without seeing a save.

    oh..and if you go HAs pretty much focus on that or cats/whatever..not both. It is getting kinda late in the game, although it is only Monarch so HAs may still have some life. (just check how close guys are to feud)
     
  15. SquidInk

    SquidInk Chieftain

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    Lymond, I did not know about talking to the AI multiple times. It's a good tip. Well, I tried on Napoleon and he told me all about his axeman. Which was comical because I had just built a few chariots.
    I did get to see that he has a pretty big army though. Not waiting for macemen now. How do you beat a stack of axes, swordsmen, and spearmen with only horse archers and axes? Don't I have to have catapults to soften them first? I have never done well in war without siege engines.
     
  16. Anysense

    Anysense Chieftain

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    Siege is great. That's why most early rushes have -pult ending (because of catapults). To fight without siege you either need numbers or a technological edge.

    Edit: Current position of Hastings seems even worse than moving London; rather worthless until border pop and you want your first cities to be very productive or claim something of vital importance and Hastings fulfils neither requirement. It must have been settled with wheat and cows in the first ring. Another option was settling with clam in the first ring or cows+copper.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  17. lymond

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

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    Good point, Any. Hastings did not register for me initially as London is so bad. But yeah, Hastings is not an optimal early settle for non Cre leader....and not even really if Cre.


    Honestly Squid, I recommend rolling a new game. Lots wrong with this game already, although may be winnable. Try a standard Pangaea map. Post saves.

    Nappy is one of four AIs with the highest unitprob (40), and he is one of the psychos. So you know he will have quite an army at this stage. If he is in close proximity to me at the start I usually try to take him out early and/or harrass him. (Shaka, Rags and Mehmed are also at 40)

    (I don”t consider use of cats as an “early rush”)
     
  18. SittinDown

    SittinDown Chieftain

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    Oh nice - me neither.

    Good question. Spears in hill cities and culture defense are suicidal for HA's, and if they have some archers and axes in the mix, your axes won't help. Flatland cities, though, you got a chance even with good numbers, and it can be worth it situational.... sometimes you can scout that the AI has a weakly defended capital, and you can get your HA's in there fast enough to catch them off guard. Also, with HA's you can sometimes space them between cities well enough that the AI gets confused on which city to defend. Also, you can always just "harass" them, which means, go pillage their lands - especially their mines, and cottages, and always try to start the war with some border worker-stealing, but try to keep your units safe, because if they counter attack and kill your units, it's really hard to get a case fire. Done well, it'll set them back a bunch.

    Otherwise, you either rush earlier before they get those units up successfully (AI's typically don't build a lot of military until they fill up available land), or you grab land and build your economy and come in with more advanced units later by using bulbs and smart trading to get to (Elepult / Cuirs / Rifle Cannons) while the opponent is still behind (Metal / Archers for elepults, or Longbows for cuirs and rifles). On Monarch if you have the most cities, you should be able to win a space victory most the time (though watch for AP), even if you don't pull off a good military campaign.
     
  19. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Yeah reroll and take off raging barbs. Moving to Hastings killed your game here. 5 cities by 50bc is too low. You want at least 7-10 by this date. On monarch level an axe rush would of been viable.

    You may be top scorer here but that is more down to the difficulty settings.

    Stack wise mix of pults or letting them suicide their stack on a city. If they have no pults they can't bombard. Sometimes you can let them capture a city then attack with 5-6 pults and take city with melee and mounted units.
     
  20. SquidInk

    SquidInk Chieftain

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    I have restarted the game and kept the Victoria save for later. I think it is winnable because I am ahead in tech and my army isn't half bad.

    Right now, I am focusing on practicing whipping and general economy on Immortal so I have 6 cities by 1 AD. The struggle has been to find 6 *good spots* for cities. In my most recent map, I thought of attacking my neighbors but the closest, and most desirable piece of real estate is Mansa Musa and I have no copper for axes. Iron unknown but I am going Horse Archers and Construction.
     

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