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What's the Appeal with Marathon/Epic?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by CivMcNut, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. CivMcNut

    CivMcNut Having Fun At It

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    As the title implies, I was curious why so many people play the marathon and epic length games. I started an epic length game myself and it seemed very frustrating with all the techs and buildings taking so long to complete. Is it better for warmongering?


    Maybe my frustration had more to do with my starting spot for that game being on a small continent with one other civ that I took out early and had to wait till optics to find the big continenent.
     
  2. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    It is better for warmongering as theres no risk of your army becoming obselete halfway through the war and its harder for the AI to build loads of units during the war. Since I don't go to war that often that isn't why I prefer it. Marathon/Epic feels more in the tradition of previous Civ games to me. Earlier Civ games were never playable in an evening and being able to complete a wonder in a few turns just seems wrong.
     
  3. Zilkin

    Zilkin Chieftain

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    This is it for me. Anything below Epic simply doesn't feel like Civ for me.
     
  4. praktik

    praktik Chieftain

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    My first civ game was Civ IV a few months ago. I remember thinking - wow, can't wait to sit down and really enjoy this!

    Next thing you know I'm entering a new era relatively frequently and soon enough I'm in the upper third of the 2nd millenium.

    WTF?? I wanted to really feel the epic scope of civilization! I want the long, hundred year wars - I want to feel the passage of time. I like how a game takes many many hours.

    Epic is balanced just right for that. I've tried a few marathon games, but being used to epic, it really feels WAY too long (like you were saying above)... still think I might do one some time to REALLY get that epic feel!
     
  5. Kennigit

    Kennigit proud 2 boxer

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    Marathon and epic is better for warmongering for a variety of reasons-
    1. Units get more out of each move. Basically it gets more advantages for your rushes and each lead that you have lets you take advantage of it more.
    2. Same applies for war techs. Its a big jump to maces and opposed to swords, so its easier to get maces built and attack the AI before the AI gets crossbows or maces for themselves. The movement is the same, so on quick speed by the time you have your army up, the tech level is already evened out and is on to gunpowder.
    3. On marathon, the units are cheaper in relation to the buildings when its scaled. Its something like buildings are 1/4 they are on normal speed, but units are 1/5. This makes the stratedgy of an early rush more powerful and you can just conquer AI's who have built buildings for you.

    Personally I hate marathon (too slow and that 3rd reason). Epic provides the best balance, where units/techs don't go obsolete to quickly. It also helps with strategic stuff, such as popping techs or having golden ages, that add an edge for longer. Try some games on epic and see how you like it; if your a player who likes to just play a whole bunch of games, stick with normal.
     
  6. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I have been a marathon player from the beginning. The major reason is to enjoy more of the ages, both in building and military. Got tired of ignoring the middle ages in warfare because very soon gunpowder comes about.

    It comes down to taste, I would rather play the same game for several days to a week to get a victory while the next person wants to finish in one sitting.
     
  7. Gooblah

    Gooblah Heh...

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    I think Marathon gives the AI more of a bonus. Recently, I've tried Prince Marathon games as Financial leaders. The Financial trait becomes less of a boon (in my opinion), since research times are so long anyways. Also, the AI gets a bit of an advantage, since it has more units on the higher difficulty levels, and can leverage its bonuses more on a slower speed. And, I just like to play an EPICLY EPIC game (like Madscientist).
     
  8. CivMcNut

    CivMcNut Having Fun At It

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    Yeah I would have to agree that getting to together a massive stack of swords and axemen and moving them in, only to find the AI just discovered Feudalism and upgraded his entire set of archers to longbowmen is extremely annoying. I will have to give this game I'm trying on epic a chance. After all I was stuck on a continent by myself with only one luxury resource and no religion. Astronomy really had a big impact when I discovered it.

    But I guess what is crazy is learning about the differences in how long it takes to build something, and what is a reasonable number of turns to research something. I sorta had that stuff memorized on normal, now it's all flipped around. I bet space races and cultural wins can be a lot of nailbiting as there are lots more turns where the AI can get you.
     
  9. solistus

    solistus Chieftain

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    For me, it's largely about the 'civ feel' as others have pointed out. In addition, I really like combat in Civ4, but wars always seem quite rushed. There's little time to maneuver, choose targets carefully, send in reinforcements, etc. Wars feel a lot more tactical and epic on Marathon. You can send riders to pillage away key resources and industrial improvements, then send in your stacks, choosing positions carefully and launching coordinated attacks at just the right moment with no rush. Wars usually end because someone won or lost decisively or both sides are sick of sacrificing resources to maintain the effort, not because it's been 1000 years and both countries just spent a significant portion of the game fighting at the expense of economic and tech growth. You can fight several major wars in a game and still be at peace more often than not. For large maps, it's a must if you want to be able to fight wars with anyone but your neighbors.

    I haven't tried Epic out much; how many fewer turns does it have?

    Gooblah: I disagree about Financial. The longer research times mean that you save more turns with a commerce bonus. I'm not sure how research times scale to building times, so that may be a wash, but this can give you an edge in combat. Finishing a key military tech a turn or two early is rarely decisive, but if you have 5 or more turns on a Marathon game against a closely teched opponent with a major unit upgrade, you can turn the tide of a war. Of course, I'm only just starting on Prince difficulty, so I can't speak to higher difficulties.
     
  10. Dark_Ownage

    Dark_Ownage Chieftain

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    I really suck at this game and infact never won a game! But i always play eipic cus its alot more fun I think. it makes it more realistic i guess and i live longer :(
     
  11. kcmarkwell

    kcmarkwell Chieftain

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    Basically, the quicker the game speed the harder the AI (and humans opponents) are because each move you make is that much more crucial. Personally, I get extremely bored on slow speeds and find them way too easy to win. Anything slower / easier than quick / emperor games are a joke if you have been playing civ more than a month.
     
  12. Revenant27

    Revenant27 Chieftain

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    its mostly been covered but, I like to actually get some use out of my troops, I play epic only. on normal i upgrade so fast, I often don't even have time to build a full army.

    its would be like
    alright 10 macemen and then 6 trebuchets, but oh look I can hit gunpowder in 5 turns, why not wait? and iot just keeps going like that.
     
  13. AnsonMage

    AnsonMage Chieftain

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    I've played all of the game speeds. I prefer normal (who'd have thought?) over the others because it's actually tailored to what I expect. Epic and Marathon take WAY too long for my taste and Quick doesn't let you take advantage of your military because by the time they're in place, they're outdated.

    On normal, I get all of the benefits but my games don't last weeks on end.
     
  14. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Chieftain

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    Marathon is an AI nerf.
     
  15. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    Warning! You may get addicted to the Epic/marathon gamespeeds for longer or shorter amount of time. Had an epic game a while ago, I enjoyed it so much. About half the game was a war with Cyrus, to try and conquer Susa. Just battle back and forth with tonnes of swords, catties, horse archers, maces, crossbows, even knights before the city was finally mine. Excellent!
     
  16. Matjillam1

    Matjillam1 Chieftain

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    ANOTHER reason that epic/marathon is better for warmongering:

    - With quick/normal, many citys pretty quick gets to complete even the heaviest military in 1 turn (normally middleage ->) and therefore many hammers go to waste.

    If u play epic/marathon, a city completing heavy military in 1 turn is very rare, so NO hammers are wasted in military produktion.

    All-in-all, u have relatively MORE units on epic and especially Marathon (mostly post middleage)

    Btw, my most fun game ever was on marathon :) (was a bit of a pain in the beginning, but at the end, WOW!)

    If u can handle that slooooooow beginning, it gets REALLE fun later on. :goodjob: for marathon!
     
  17. BurN

    BurN Chieftain

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    Haven't tried any other speed then normal. Imho slower gamespeed is more forgiving to mistakes/mm and gives you even more of an advantage in warfare against the ai. For example playing a civ with an early uu on marathon would just feel like cheating to me.

    O yea and the fact that a game on normal lasts long enough for me already. I like to finish my games in +- 3 to 5 hours.
     
  18. Jeff1787

    Jeff1787 Sarge

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    Don't tell me you are calling emperor level games a joke unless they are played on quick speed. You better check with some of the better players. You won't find one who mastered this game in a month. Maybe you are a Civ genius....;)
     
  19. Kennigit

    Kennigit proud 2 boxer

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    I don't think its very hard to get to emperor in a month. Honestly, after you know your basics, you can work your way up with a simple straightforward CE to monarch, then hone in for emperor. But still, I think that the quick speed=most difficult is definitely wrong: quick speed might be the easiest as you never have to worry about military. For example, if a barbarian archer comes, you can build 3 warriors before it gets to your city. On epic speed w/o fogbusting well on a largeish map and no resources, you could be really bothered by barbarians early on.
     
  20. obsolete

    obsolete Chieftain

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    That just makes no sense. Did you not see that extra hammers get applied to the next unit?


    Wow, I agree with Dave on something....
    So what is your opinion of epic?



    P.S. AS for the comment about Quick speed... I used to play Monarch on Quick ages ago. Let me tell you, the day I went to Normal speed, I couldn't believe how must easier everything was. I never went back since.
     

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