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What to do with a continent to myself

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by OmniPotent42, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. OmniPotent42

    OmniPotent42 King

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    I have found myself with an entire continent big enough for at least 6 cities all to myself, and have expanded quickly to get 4 cities up and running. I am Persia, and have the Pyramids as well as Chichen Itza. However I am starting to struggle with happiness and need to find some mercantile cs's fast.

    Anyway my question is this: Is it worth it to expand to fill up the continent? Tradition only covers 4 cities, and I am already at that max with TONS more land to settle, maybe 3 more coastal cities or 2 land-locked. I am going for a science victory, so I don't want to slow my culture down a lot, but will it make up for it by population of my new cities? Golden ages should also be taken into account since I am Persia after all.

    Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. afedyuki

    afedyuki Chieftain

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    Extra science from extra population is a number one priority for science victory. Everything else, including culture, is secondary.

     
  3. kamikazees

    kamikazees Warlord

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    The hardest part about an isolated start is that you do not discover other civs or CS for a LONG time. That significantly slows glowth and development until you can get astronomy. Build national college if you haven't already. Then if you have the happiness, I say expand and grow as big as possible so you increase your science and get to astronomy asap. Then upgrade two triremes into caravels and send one east and one west to meet everyone.

    Isolated starts are hard for any VC except cultural. It usually takes me like 50 turns longer to win if I start isolated. Maybe that's my playstyle though.
     
  4. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    if the available city sites have unique luxes then settle them right away, otherwise settle them a little slower as happiness permits. If not too late, focus your religion on happiness, that helps a lot. You can get up to +5 happy per city with the right beliefs. And don't forget to send triremes to explore unless you're sure there's deep water everywhere. you can often meet some civs/CS well before astronomy.

    If you are desperate for exploration, taking the free admiral in the commerce tree is another way to go about it since they can move through ocean pre-astro.
     
  5. AiTenshi1

    AiTenshi1 Warlord

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    Isolated can be fine, even preferred, as long as you adopt an appropriate strategy. I am currently playing a similar game (no city states for a long time, and only 1 found even now, and still haven't found one AI civ).

    It's critical to focus on happiness. This means you know that you have to have some support from religion, you have to get happiness wonders, you have to plan to build happiness buildings soon after founding new cities, and you have to take care to keep population fairly low (5-10, perhaps) except for your capital. As long as you plan carefully, you can easily have 10-12 cities or more. You'll probably want your capital to grow to at least 20-30 with lots of wonders, food buildings, etc.

    Let the AI come to you. Don't bother exploring. Fortify yourself instead because you know they WILL find you, sooner or later. The terrain can be important here, of course.

    You don't need mercantile CSes if you plan your happiness and growth properly. The happiness buildings and wonders should allow you to grow the cities to 5-10, especially if you have religious beliefs helping out. Being isolated means you don't have to worry about foreign religious interference, for the most part, so take advantage of the fact.

    You may not want a science victory with isolation, but you can certainly do it. Frankly, it doesn't matter because even domination or culture means plowing through much of the tech tree.

    Social policies: Tradition, Liberty, Commerce, Rationalism, and the last tree would be whatever fits your context and chosen VC. I'd suggest Order because of the happiness and the sheer size of your civ. It doesn't matter if you want science, domination, etc with such a large civ because Order helps for any large civ no matter what VC you get.
     
  6. Harv72b

    Harv72b Prince

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    AiTenshi1 nailed down a lot of it.

    Focusing on happiness is of course key; you'll want to gobble up every luxury resource you can get to and make construction an early priority so you can start building coliseums. It's also critical to micromanage your early cities and limit growth to what your happiness can support while keeping your capital growing. Also, even if you don't have a mercantile CS nearby, allying other city states can help as they'll often have luxuries which are unique for the region.

    Social policies can definitely save you. Grabbing tradition on an isolated start allows you to grow your capital larger & faster than otherwise, plus can help towards getting some early wonders going.

    As far as your central question goes, if you're going science then you want as many cities as you can support. Even if happiness is an issue early, once you tech up & get your religion going that will solve itself, and the more cities you have, the more population you'll have, and thus the more science you'll be cranking. And yes, it's also critical to get that NC up & running as soon as you hit the wall on happiness & then get to education ASAP to get those universities built & science specialists working.

    Don't be afraid to let things dip a bit into the red on happiness in the early game, either. As you long as your unhappiness doesn't hit 10 all it's going to do is slow growth, and if happiness is that big an issue then that's actually helping you.
     
  7. prince_caspian

    prince_caspian Prince

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    Yes fill up the whole continent, no need to do it ICS style, but just so that no AI can sneak in a city ie. 6-tiles-apart cities. Spam colosseums, circuses, take any happiness from religion especially Ceremonial Burials. Initially there will be some unhappiness lingering about, but as time goes it will be definitely be back into the positive. Take the free GAD from Commerce to explore, unlike some others here I definitely disagree with not meeting civs and CSes asap. It doesn't make sense - whatever victory path you need to sell stuff for money, you can exchange luxs to please CS who want it (also for your own happiness), you need CS bonuses, you need RAs to get to the required techs fast and that is even more apparent for a SV.
     
  8. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    A continent on your own isnt too bad. I recommend building ZERO military - literally nothing other than perhaps 1 or 2 units to deal with any barbs. You might want to get a couple of triemes out to see if you can meet any other CS's. Focus all of your builds on infrastructure which boosts happiness, religion, science and money, in that order. Use your excess cash to rush buy happiness buildings. Try and get a religion ASAP, choose happiness bonuses (or whatever suits your terrain), try and choose Pagoda's as your follower belief, and auto build them rather than buy any missionaries (i would even hold off on enhancing your religion with another GP or even purchasing a missionary in favour of pagoda's). Then beeline happiness wonders, get a GA via commerce, and meet some AI's. There is lots you can do and you can focus purely on that as you are being left alone. Going for science, you want to ignore the impulse to save on founding cities. you want to get them up as early as you possibly can.
     
  9. loki75

    loki75 Chieftain

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    I don't agree with this, with a whole continent to yourself and no one else on it, barbarians are going to be a big PITA. No one can clear the camps for you, no one can remove the FOG for you and they will produce massive amounts of units. They will cause a severe problem on your workers and infrastructure.
    Trust me, I've been there, on a huge map. I almots ragequitted having to micro-manage my units constantly and losing a few workers.
     
  10. OmniPotent42

    OmniPotent42 King

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    Well, I expanded to get 3 more cities, and I'm now in the Atomic Era. Wish me good luck!
     
  11. clif9710

    clif9710 Warlord

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    Being alone on the continent can be great BUT...

    Don't forget at least a small navy. I've found if you are isolated by oceans, other civs will eventually try to come over and get you, embarking an army even with no significant naval cover for it. In the late game you have to be prepared to destroy any and all aircraft carriers because they can bring nukes your way.

    Just because there is a huge area of ocean, don't consider yourself safe. Post at least a few caravels, because of their great view and speed, to cover ocean off the coasts of other continents. They'll let you know of anything heading out for you and if the civs have built their first destroyers/BB/carrier.

    In one game I had the equivalent of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with me having all of North America. I discovered and knocked off an invasion force coming over the Atlantic but figured the huge Pacific would keep me safe. Not true. A force showed up eventually on my Pacific coast and took a seacoast city before I could rally and take it back. With no navy there, I had to scramble to get ships into the water or a regular train of enemy reinforcing units could have come over that long water route and made my (small army) life hell. Fortunately in this case, the UI had made only one small invasion force.

    You always want to catch them in the water before they can hit your beaches.
     
  12. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    Why not explore? It's not that hard to build 1-2 triremes and later 1-2 caravels. The return is definitely worth the investment. Trading partners are just too important. Since you are isolated you have a good chance for it to be a peaceful game - but to take advantage of that you want to trade/sell luxes and sign RAs. The sooner you do that stuff the better off you are, and you need to meet the AIs first.
     
  13. AiTenshi1

    AiTenshi1 Warlord

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    (and @chazzycat)

    Keep in mind that RAs are bugged. I'd advise against depending on them. Actually, I advise avoiding them totally. It's not worth trying to play with random outcomes, and it isn't needed, anyway. I win much better without them due to the bugs.

    As I said, I am playing a similar game. I don't need CS bonuses because I cannot have them since I cannot find any CSes on my map. I just found Geneva, but that's the only one I have, and I only found it long after taking over the subcontinent.

    Here's the problem with finding CSes. If an AI allies with them and DoWes you, they will DoW you, too. It just isn't worth it until you can lock them in as your ally against the AI because the AI has far more resources than you (and they'll use it, too).

    The AIs will find you, don't worry. Actually, the CSes will find you, too, as they send out their caravels.

    One other thing I forgot to mention. Do NOT give an embassy to the AI civs. They'll use it to spy. They can't spy if they don't know where your capital is (well, they can't spy on the capital and that's the main target, after all).

    I'll also mention that I was the last to found a religion in my game, but I'm still winning and have the happiness boosts that I need.

    Oh, one thing about happiness... keep it as high as possible all the time so that you get Golden Ages as much as possible. It might dip, but if you manage it carefully, you can really stay on top of things.

    Usually, you don't have a choice. Since you are isolated, you do, though, so you should adjust your strategy to take advantage of being isolated. No DoWes, no religious battles, no waste of gold on CSes, etc. Dominate the tech tree and wonders and the AI will be too weak once they do meet you. I vastly prefer being isolated and no AI interference until mid to late game, but this seldom happens on many maps. That's probably why some people think that exploring and having contacts with AI and CS are needed, but this ignores the enormous downsides to having contacts. At higher levels, you start behind the AI and have to play catchup no matter what, so being isolated is excellent for such purposes.

    Or you can go meet them, but be prepared to spend resources (units, gold) as well as have delays in buildings and wonders due to dealing with AI interference. If you're prepared, you can do it that way, too. Not sure if you can be prepared, though.
     
  14. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    RAs aren't *THAT* bugged. There are some wonky outcome in the very late game but for the most part, they work as intended.

    I also don't really understand your "downside" to meeting the AI. It doesn't make any sense. Who cares if get a DOW from a city state on the other side of the map? Regardless of RAs, you are just losing money for all the extra luxes & strategic resources you would be selling. If you are sitting on extra luxes they are doing nothing for you.

    Also why wouldn't you want to know the critical info about the other AIs sooner? To give you more time to plan & react to their potential sneak attacks? Being aware of the geopolitical landscape is nothing but an advantage IMO.
     
  15. OmniPotent42

    OmniPotent42 King

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    I did send out 2 caravels to explore, and I think I found everyone. However, I don't want to exchange resources for gold. I will exchange resources for resources, but I personally feel like trading resources for gold gives me too much of an advantage. Besides, happiness is a much bigger issue right now.

    I actually managed to buy ALL of my settlers without trading, mainly because of plantations and the Monarchy policy. I have 3 coastal cities, and Lizzy once sent a group of Ships of the Line around my continent, so I got a little nervous, but then I lost her ships (+2 movement isn't shabby) and I think she went to attack the Maya. Close call!

    Anyway, I'm at like 700 spt (science per turn) and will most likely get a science victory in the late 1800's. Lizzy keeps signing dem research agreements, so I'm happy.
     
  16. Koiranputki

    Koiranputki Prince

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    Yeah...those Ships of the Line "look" scary, but she doesn't seem to know how to use them properly.... In my current game she had a bunch of them trying, in vain, to prevent me from capturing London.... I had a bit, not really very much... of a tech advantage...Artillery...

    She slowed me down considerably, but couldn't stop me. Actually it was the Longbowmen, scads of them, which then were upgraded to three-range Gatling Guns...and the occasional Cannon... that really slowed me down to a painful...though still inexorable...crawl...;)
     
  17. AiTenshi1

    AiTenshi1 Warlord

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    Um, yes, the RAs are THAT bugged. This has been confirmed. There is an entire thread about it. I am playing a strategy game, not a game of chance, so I do not feel like putting up with spending hours and hours playing only to have my entire game ruined by a random outcome. If I wanted to do that, I would just flip a coin rather than play.

    I've explained how things work. You are not losing money by not meeting AIs and CSes that only cause problems for you. I think you are forgetting that you cannot sell luxuries in many cases once the AI finds you and does not like you expanding. You wind up sitting on them anyway, but then you also have to put up with AIs and CSes draining your resources via wars and allied status, attacking you through religion, competing with you for territory and city sites, etc. I have 9000 gold presently because I have not needed to waste resources bickering with AIs about CS allegiance, DoWes, territories, etc. I also have most of the wonders (and I mean most, even ones I don't technically need) and am leading in tech by about an entire era.

    There is "nothing but an advantage" about intelligence gathering. Anything you gather, they can, too. Again, I explained all of this regarding the pros of being isolated and why it can be a huge advantage, assuming you adopt the proper strategies (which are different from strategies used when you are not isolated). Sneak attacks? The AI cannot sneak attack me because I will see any attack coming and I am far ahead of any of them in tech.

    Your approach is trying to stick with non-isolated strategies even when you are actually isolated. This might be possible, but it is certainly not required, nor is it desirable since you have to actually waste time and resources to do it. You can, but I am advising that it is not the opportune approach or strategy in dealing with an isolated context. Adjust your view rather than trying to force usual strategies into the context. It's far easier and much more fun than dealing with the usual AI shenanigans. At the very least, it's a change of pace because being isolated doesn't happen that often on many maps (i.e., anything aside from stuff like archipelago or small continent types of maps).
     
  18. prince_caspian

    prince_caspian Prince

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    Your approach to things, and your explanations, strike me as really weird. The obvious one being your constant fixation on that RA bug. It doesn't happen to everyone, do you know that? If that bug is fixed as it will be, then are you going to continue telling the world not to play RAs?

    All right, let's assume that you relent and say RAs are now ok, but RAs require mutual embassies, then again you have this phobia about embassies because they are centers for spying. RAs need money, to have money either you plant trading posts everywhere which is not good for growth, or you sell excess stuff you have. Then again you say that you can't sell things to AIs because somehow they just hate you. Nothing else is said about DOFs and its link to RAs, or the preferential rates given by friendly AIs.

    OP says he has a landmass to himself. Mostly everyone here says to fill it up including you. But then you say that if you meet AIs they somehow will hate you for doing so. No explanation. Nothing else is said whether any AI can settle close enough (like on an island nearby) to trigger the covet penalty, because faraways will not simply hate you unless you have other non-geographic diplo penaltys.
     
  19. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Perhaps if you are on a continent on your own on a huge map. But really, how many AI's/CS's were you playing with? Even then, your natural expansion should clear out most of the problems. Once your immediate area is clear of camps, your borders close off most routes for barbs to you so you ought to be able to defend at some sort of choking point. Then only time i can see this being a problem is if you are slap bang in the middle of a huge continent and all of the CS's are on the coast.
     
  20. loki75

    loki75 Chieftain

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    it was a huge map using "continent plus", I was alone on a continent which could accomodate 25+ cities with no AI and no CS. That was weird, and the barbs became a huge problem.
     

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