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When Should You get Your First Worker?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by MarigoldRan, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. ahcos

    ahcos King

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    Speaking for me, i didn't, and if you felt like i did so i'd like to apologize. Even the best players go wrong about something sometimes, and i strongly disbelieve that, for instance, TMIT would think someone calls him a newbie just because they try to answer the question as understandable as possible. Just remember, there are people here (including myself) that are reading this forum and lots of it's threads to improve their play, and they're not necessarily IMM/Deity players. Your question is a good question after all, and as far as i can see all posters tried to contribute to the discussion in a way that alot readers can get something out of the thread.

    This won't always work :) If you actually HAVE a strategic resource in your vicinity, opening up with warrior first and choking a neighbour can be very good. If you do NOT have a strategic resource, you may end up choking with crappy units for a very long time. Also remember that choking one neighbour will enable the other AIs to settle his land, improving the chances of a runaway AI with 12+ cities in the BCs.

    There are more things to consider.

    a) What will you do when your target is very far away? It's pretty likely your worker will either take ages to move back to your land, or that it will be eaten up by barb animals
    b) What will you do on mapscripts where you might end up isolated? Warrior first is a sure waste here, and you don't know if you're isolated @ continents or fractal.
    c) How do you want to effecivly choke a Deity AI that starts off with 2 cities, which increases the chances that it has a strategic resource right away? Some of the AIs even settle ON TOP of the resource, in which case you're totally screwed.
    d) you declare on an AI in order to choke, then you realize that the AIs BFC has little forrests. You're pretty much screwed. You can avoid this with proper scouting before you start your attack, but this isn't always possible. Sometimes the AI also guides his workers early on, what will you do in this case?

    There are alot more things to consider. To not go for worker first isn't necessarily bad, but you will need to know what you're doing, and even then bad luck may strike you. With worker first, you're alot saver in this regard

    Yeah right, just "keep the economy afloat". That's the problem: it's not guranteed you actually get your worker, get it back to your land and maintain the choke until you're able to kill your target off. You might end up without workers for a long time, and the other AIs will still be in the game and far ahead if something goes wrong.

    As i already mentioned, that is not viable for any mapscript anyway: You will want to elaborate strategies that will make you win most of the time, not only some time and on one particular mapsetting. If you're fine with starting new maps over and over again until your strategy works out i'm okay with that, but that kind of play is pretty situational, and a classical has nothing to do with "taking away the killer instinct" - it's just the best way to win most of the times.
     
  2. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    So in a rich strategy game, with a lot of variety to offer, you've got one script that works, sometimes, if you play one of a small handful of leaders, on a map that naturally caters to that strategy. Often on marathon (which is broken). And you think this is a demonstration of skill.

    You are some newb. Suck it up.


    Two bits of news

    (1) The AI that you are playing against SUCKS at war. Even more so than it sucks at the other aspects of the game.

    (2) The AI is deliberately gimped in the opening, such that it cannot do unto you what you are doing unto it.


    Seriously, you've been playing since Civ II, and this is the choice of play you prefer? How are you not going insane from the tedium of it?
     
  3. King Pluto

    King Pluto Emperor

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    It sounds to me like you're (TC) advocating a Warrior-first opening for a Worker steal and choke, which I believe is a fairly accepted strategy.

    That does not mean that it's best in all cases. In isolation or when the nearest Civ is too far away are two cases where getting your own Worker up without worrying about the other Civs is optimal.

    I think the main advantage of Worker first is that you know it can help you from Turn 0. You won't know until after you've already gambled with your Warriors if you're in isolation, and by then you're many turns behind in development during the crucial early game.

    And I think you over-estimate the power of early scouting. I think most vets here would agree that the initial unit is plenty to scout around the immediate area of the capital and find some good second and third city sites.

    I'd be interested to see you (or anyone else) do a comparison of that game you mention with a Worker-first opening. I'd also be interested in seeing a comparison in a LHC-style game, and see how far behind the 3xWarrior opening will leave you with no Workers to steal.

    EDIT: The killer instinct you speak of is also slightly overstated. Since you won't be Warrior-rushing any Archers when you get to Monarch, all you're "killing" is their economy (not their cities) and making an enemy, which can definitely hurt if they're still around and their friends decide they're not happy with your diplo plan.
     
  4. Dhoomstriker

    Dhoomstriker Girlie Builder

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    If you truly want some early-game excitement, build a Worker first and use it for exploration.

    There need not be any difference in your tech path, since, as you say, you don't need to worry about teching Worker techs that you won't use.

    You'll also get a handy 2-move scouting unit.

    The excitement will come from the diceiness of whether or not a 2-move Barb Animal, such as a Panther or a Wolf, will come out of the darkness and eat you alive! :lol:

    Surely, this intense, nail-biting, gut-wrenching action will offer more excitement than a Warrior-first build will, will it not? :cool:
     
  5. Platin

    Platin Chieftain

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    Doing this with India would be the superior attacko strategy :p
     
  6. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    I was actually thinking using a Settler would be best - that way you can also try and judge based on the location of the blue circles where resources are that you haven't seen yet. Truly a strategy which will separate the experts from the amateurs.
     
  7. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    Clearly a more exciting investment of your original Settler than actually founding a city.
     
  8. Blitzrr

    Blitzrr Chieftain

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    4 warriors seems extreme. I like to keep it simple, so I go worker if it seems I can make use of it all the time, warrior otherwise, workboat on water starts.
     
  9. Dhoomstriker

    Dhoomstriker Girlie Builder

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    That approach is actually a really great strategy. Your Settler can scout for potential threats to your initial Warrior or Scout in order to keep your Warrior or Scout safe from harm!

    Besides, if you play on a low enough difficulty level, your Settler should get a free win or two against the Barbs, right? Right? Well, it's worth a try anyway. :cool:
     
  10. Benginal

    Benginal Emperor

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    Why not scout with your initial settler for an enemy capital, settle 2 squares due east, north, west, or south and go stonehenge first? Then try to flip the AI capital. Industrious, creative, and starting with mysticism would all help the gambit.
     
  11. iggymnrr

    iggymnrr Deity

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    Worker is more exciting. Barbs/animals won't spawn for 5 turns or AFTER the human player founds a city, which ever is later. Scouting with original settler is boring. (In Civ V it would be exciting. Run into a barb at turn 2!)
     
  12. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    I doff my hat to you; that is truly the greatest and most exciting of all possible opening strategies, a whole order of magnitude greater than that of any other conceivable build. Reminds me of the Teutonic Town-Center rush in Age of Empires 2 (anyone else remember that? Good times...).
     
  13. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    believe it or not I did the "cultural attack" strat once. Failed, of course :lol:
     
  14. aggri1

    aggri1 Prince

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    What about the special case in which the capital has only calendar resources and fish, and you start with Fishing?

    I recently was in that circumstance, and I built two workboats first and after that had vast quantities of food for building a settler with. That game turned out fine.
     
  15. ahcos

    ahcos King

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    In most cases it's not too clever to get the worker out after the settler. Worker can preroad the city, can improve the city the turn you settle it, he can chop out the settler and so on. Either you go with Settler @ size1, or you're better off building a worker before the settler. There might be rare exceptions, for instance: you plan your second city to be on the coast aswell - but then again, you'll lose tons of hammers by not chopping, and you won't be able to improve strategic resources without a worker.

    Either you steal a worker or you built one yourself - there's just no other way :) Well, except goodie huts ofc.
     
  16. Ataxerxes

    Ataxerxes Deity

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    If you start on the coast with fish, starting with Fishing, workboat first is probably the best strategy. In the case you give, it's the obvious start. If I have Fishing and seafood, I usually go Workboat first and juggle my tiles so the workboat comes out right at pop 2. Then I start my worker (or possibly another workboat as in your start).

    For most starts I go worker first, same as the better players.
     
  17. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    That's silly. You don't want to scout with an early worker. A warrior stands a chance of staying alive. A good chance too, on forests and hills. A worker simply dies.

    Can't believe you'd recommend something like that. I thought better of you.
     
  18. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    This idea is even sillier than using a worker. If you lose a worker to an animal, that's bad. If you lose a settler, that's worse.
     
  19. ecuwins

    ecuwins Emperor

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  20. ahcos

    ahcos King

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    Reading post #37 i thought you'd be ironic, but judging by post #38 it seems like you're actually serious about what you're saying ... ?
     

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