Which is the best way to grow?

slatemen

Chieftain
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Jan 10, 2002
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Location
Dublin, Ireland
I need some advice and I am sure there are plenty of people here who are willing to give it. I have been playing Civ 3 for about 6 weeks now and I was a big fan Cvi2 and played quite a bit although I rarely played above warlord level. For all of you who have been complaining about Civ 3 one thing is for sure, the AI is much better then in previous versions. But I digress…

It seems to me the best way to have any hope of winning in CIV3, either via the space race or through culture, or even military domination, is to have a fairly large nation, thoroughly connected by around 500 AD at the latest. Generally I begin games by trying to expand as quickly as possible until I have around 12 or 15 cities on single continent with a few strategic resources and luxuries under my control, at which point I begin focusing on military and culture growth. When this strategy works, it work well and I am able to be fairly successful. Sometimes however I will get to the point, say at around 200 BC, where I have may be eight cities, all with at least one military units, maybe a few with two, and the other nations start invading my territory by building cities in areas I fully intend to expand into. Fine… that is what AI does…I am then left with a choice…. Do I attack their city and subsequently switch production to military in order to push them off my would-be territory…(which produces a slowdown in my expansion plans and gives other civs the chance to settle as well) OR do I let them be, keep expanding and when I am strong enough start a war (after I am fully settled) to push them off 100 years after they have settled there..(the trouble with this is that they are more entrenched, might have expanded to two or three cites and will have more units guarding their towns) Either way I seem guaranteed to lose, one plan interrupts my expansion and the other forces me to fight a long more drawn out an expensive war at a time when I need to build harbours and aqueducts …What should I do?

Basically, I know in the pre AD period there is a balance between military units and settlers that must be handled carefully, but in the end which is deserves more of my resources, fighters or settlers?
 

Ironikinit

Prince
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Jan 4, 2002
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409
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Michigan
Well, I have a lot of success with an early war, like as soon as I can get swordsmen or horsemen. In fact, I get the impression that an early war is pretty much standard for a lot of players.

What I really like to do is build up until a neighbor builds a wonder (best is Pyramids) and then either get them to declare war or declare war myself. I usually try to wipe them out completely.

Obviously, this doesn't work on a lot of maps, like if I'm alone on my continent, but usually I have neighbors.
 

Rooker

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Jan 28, 2002
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57
Location
Denmark
I usually expand until there is no more room, dashing for resources and luxuries, meanwhile making sure to keep the peace. When eventually you run out of room, I'll devote all my production into culture, hoping to flip a couple of cities.

Then as soon as I get a superior military unit, I massproduce, and attack my weakest neighbor. Then expand into his territory. Then repeat.

I find that a early war, unles dealt with very quickly, cripples my expansion and leaves me too far behind, the other civs.
 

The Danster

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Joined
Jan 24, 2002
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8
Location
UK
If this happens to me, and i've got a particularly nice bit of land which i want to settle over the comming millenia, then i tend to do two things.

Firstly i cut off the land, so that all the enemy can see is my border, this tends to make them try and settle where they can see space.

And secondly i never give away my map for anything, that would jus let them know all about it.

This doesn't solve the problem, and you do need to get your own settlers in there asap but it does slow em down. They don't like to go through your borders to find land and if they do you can always try kicking em out. I know that's risky,might cause a war, so only do it if their people are in awe of your civ, that tends to do the trick.

(oh yeah please note that this is at Warlord/Regent level, i don't tend to play any higher, too much fighting!!)

Not that i don't enjoy a good scrap now and again...

Especially if i'm sure to win...

heh heh heh

:goodjob:
 

eyrei

Deity
Retired Moderator
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Nov 1, 2001
Messages
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Durham, NC USA
On lower levels, it is not absolutely necessary to build a large empire. I have played numerous games even on Monarch level, where my land size was small to average compared to the other civs. However, my country was extremely efficient, I did not need a huge army to defend such a small amount of territory, and I traded constantly with other civs. Although, you really have to use democracy as a government to do this. As long as you are only missing one or even two resources, you can still be competitive and even win using diplomatic, OCC, or spaceship victory.
 

sebanaj

Prince
Joined
Jan 2, 2002
Messages
566
Location
Buenos Aires, Argentina
workers! more food, more science, forget the army...

that's the best way to grow! and also the industry... but then u gotta give anything to other civilizations when they demand it if you have no army...
 

YoungEagle

Chieftain
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
69
Location
Wayne, MI
I try to adapt my strategy fit each game I'm in.

If I start out next to really aggressive civs (like the Aztecs), I have to keep a larger military just to hold them off.

If I start out next to land grabbing civs (expanisonistic), then I try to grab as much land as I can.

I've tried some games on small maps to figure out early war strategies. I've also tried games on huge maps with few opponents to develop infrastructure.

If you save the game at 4000BC, you can replay it a again trying different strategies. I think it helps you to become a more versatile player, being able to use any strategy that's neccessary to win in your current game.
 

BillChin

Prince
Joined
Jan 7, 2002
Messages
494
I've posted many times on my basic strategy on the Strategy and Tips section.

Basically:
Build two settlers as soon as possible, before a temple or granary. Plant these settlers very close to the capital, one square away on the diagonal or two away on the straight. Scout out the area while researching the wheel to see horses on the map.

If there are enemy units, find their border. If there are no enemy units at all (about 10% of games) think about an early switch to Monarchy and a long building phase. Otherwise continue planning for war with the Wheel, Horse Riding, Iron Working, Mathematics.

Claim a horse icon with the fourth or fifth settler. If no horses, look for iron. Claim any luxuries with the next few settlers. After building 8 to 15 cities, start building horsemen. On some maps I have to build my cities right next to each other. Build 20+ horsemen (swordsmen if no horses). Attack in force. Crush the enemy. Catapults help a lot if the enemy has hoplites, legionaires or pikemen.

Works like a charm on Emperor difficulty, standard size map, random map, random civ, default barbs. This strategy has gotten me out of very difficult starting positions. It is not strong enough for Diety on a standard size map, but may be adaptable for Diety on a large or huge map.
 

Greadius

:yeah:
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Dec 25, 2001
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In my opinion, war is a great means of expanding your civilization, assuming you are successfull.

It can be cheaper and easier to sack an enemy city than build and develop your own. Its the good old guns vs. butter question.

As far as I know the enemy won't send out a settler unless it knows there is territory there to settle. If they're doing it behind your area of expansion you must have seen the scout/exploring unit, which should hint you off that there may be settlers on the way. Otherwise, you sold them (or someone else) your map. I NEVER sell my maps until I've settled all the territory I want, and it has made a huge difference with other civs finding territory I wanted.
 

Hawkx9

Chieftain
Joined
Jan 6, 2002
Messages
25
I agree and disagree with BillChin. :)

Yes, you really need to place your cities close together in the beginning stages of the game. They will remain small (size 6-12) for a majority of the game so overextending yourself and wasting good land is not wise. However, I place them 3-4 spaces apart, not 2. The only time I'd cram cities 2 spaces together is along a Floodplain and designate those bad boys as Slave Camps. Rush a Granary, Temple, Barracks, and then units. Wheat on a Floodplain is the best tile in the beginning of the game, IMHO. You'll be able to rush a unit (Swordsmen, Horsemen, any UU varient) every 2-3 turns with a Slave Camp next to a Wheat-Floodplain. Remember, don't place the city directly on the Floodplain river. Place it in the adjoining desert to make the most of the land. It doesn't need to be on the river considering it's never going to be larger than size 2-3.

My 3rd or 4th city are always a Slave Camp. If there is no Floodplain nearby, I will set up shop next to a Wheat or Cow. It doesn't matter if said Wheat or Cow is already within a current city's radius. Place your Slave Camp next to the bonus tile and rush all improvements and units. The slave labor use of that food-bonus tile will far outperform normal use.

I also would choose Swordsmen over Horsemen for my initial rush. Iron Working is only two techs away while Horsemen is three, depending on your civ choice of course. One away with the Babs (my favorite). :) Swordsmen will take a city vs. Spearmen much more decisively than Horsemen. Yes, horse <i>may</i> live longer, but I've had one too many Horsemen fall to Spearmen with one hit point. A 2:1 ratio of Swordsmen to Spearmen defenders will slaughter your target everytime. With Horsemen you need a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 for a decisive victory. 20 Horsemen are a lot harder to amass than 10 Swordsmen, especially when you can upgrade Warriors to Swordsmen, equalling insta-army. :)

Peace
 

eyrei

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Originally posted by Hawkx9

I also would choose Swordsmen over Horsemen for my initial rush. Iron Working is only two techs away while Horsemen is three, depending on your civ choice of course. One away with the Babs (my favorite). :) Swordsmen will take a city vs. Spearmen much more decisively than Horsemen. Yes, horse <i>may</i> live longer, but I've had one too many Horsemen fall to Spearmen with one hit point. A 2:1 ratio of Swordsmen to Spearmen defenders will slaughter your target everytime. With Horsemen you need a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 for a decisive victory. 20 Horsemen are a lot harder to amass than 10 Swordsmen, especially when you can upgrade Warriors to Swordsmen, equalling insta-army. :)

Peace

In my opinion, horsemen are a much more effective unit than swordsmen for 3 reasons:

1. They can be upgraded through cavalry, swordsmen become obsolete pretty quickly.
2. They can retreat.
3. If the front you are fighting on changes, horsemen can get there quickly, while with swordsmen, you might as well build more on the other side of your empire.
 

Hawkx9

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Jan 6, 2002
Messages
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Originally posted by eyrei


In my opinion, horsemen are a much more effective unit than swordsmen for 3 reasons:

1. They can be upgraded through cavalry, swordsmen become obsolete pretty quickly.
2. They can retreat.
3. If the front you are fighting on changes, horsemen can get there quickly, while with swordsmen, you might as well build more on the other side of your empire.

I used to think this way as well; however, it all boils down to speed and cost. I said I prefer Swordsmen for my <b>initial</b> rush. Amassing a group of Horsemen takes <i>much</i> longer than does Swordsmen. Why? For many reasons:

1. Iron Working requires two techs while Horseback Riding requires three.
2. Swordsmen can be upgraded from Warriors, which are available immediately. Chariots are not available immediately and require 20 shield to produce vs. 10.
3. As I stated previously, it has been my experience that Swordsmen conquer cities much more decisively than Horsemen. A 2:1 ratio is good with Swordsmen, but you need roughly 3:1 or 4:1 for a decisive victory with Horsemen. Has this not been the case with you?
Now, keep in mind I'm not speaking of ground-covering speed. Yes, Horsemen will rush to the target much more quickly, but I'm talking about my <b>initial</b> rush here, and as I said, Iron Working is two techs away, Horseback Riding three (depending on Civ choice <i>of course</i>). This first attack will be against my nearest neighbor, therefore, I do not need the speed of Horsemen. My nearest neighbor is usually very close by - if not I will forego this initial rush and wait for Horsemen.

Horsemen usually can retreat, yes. But the "indecisiveness" of Horsemen seems to counteract their land-covering speed. Having to fall back and heal when a Swordsmen would have taken (usually) the city slows things down. Also, Horsemen will be slaughtered vs. Impi, have a very hard time advancing against Jag Warriors, and will be quite unsuccessful vs Hoplites. I would take Swordsmen <i>even moreso</i> vs. the Zulus, Aztecs, or Greeks.

Yes, the wonderful thing about Horsemen is that they upgrade all they way thru Cavalry. (This is the exact reason I never choose a Civ with a UU that breaks that chain - China for example.) That is why I use Horsemen for my second rush and beyond. However, an initial Swordsmen rush is simply faster, period. The ability to upgrade from Warriors, the fact that Iron Working is two techs away instead of three, and the fact that you need less Swordsmen than Horsemen to conquer a city displays that. :)

Peace
 

eyrei

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Originally posted by Hawkx9


I used to think this way as well; however, it all boils down to speed and cost. I said I prefer Swordsmen for my <b>initial</b> rush. Amassing a group of Horsemen takes <i>much</i> longer than does Swordsmen. Why? For many reasons:

1. Iron Working requires two techs while Horseback Riding requires three.
2. Swordsmen can be upgraded from Warriors, which are available immediately. Chariots are not available immediately and require 20 shield to produce vs. 10.
3. As I stated previously, it has been my experience that Swordsmen conquer cities much more decisively than Horsemen. A 2:1 ratio is good with Swordsmen, but you need roughly 3:1 or 4:1 for a decisive victory with Horsemen. Has this not been the case with you?
Now, keep in mind I'm not speaking of ground-covering speed. Yes, Horsemen will rush to the target much more quickly, but I'm talking about my <b>initial</b> rush here, and as I said, Iron Working is two techs away, Horseback Riding three (depending on Civ choice <i>of course</i>). This first attack will be against my nearest neighbor, therefore, I do not need the speed of Horsemen. My nearest neighbor is usually very close by - if not I will forego this initial rush and wait for Horsemen.

Horsemen usually can retreat, yes. But the "indecisiveness" of Horsemen seems to counteract their land-covering speed. Having to fall back and heal when a Swordsmen would have taken (usually) the city slows things down. Also, Horsemen will be slaughtered vs. Impi, have a very hard time advancing against Jag Warriors, and will be quite unsuccessful vs Hoplites. I would take Swordsmen <i>even moreso</i> vs. the Zulus, Aztecs, or Greeks.

Yes, the wonderful thing about Horsemen is that they upgrade all they way thru Cavalry. (This is the exact reason I never choose a Civ with a UU that breaks that chain - China for example.) That is why I use Horsemen for my second rush and beyond. However, an initial Swordsmen rush is simply faster, period. The ability to upgrade from Warriors, the fact that Iron Working is two techs away instead of three, and the fact that you need less Swordsmen than Horsemen to conquer a city displays that. :)

Peace

I do see your point. However, while it may take fewer swordsmen to take one city, it takes fewer horsemen to take out an entire civ because there are few casualties. When you say you need only a 2:1 to take out a city with swordsmen, that implies that only 1 of every two swordsmen survives the assault. Even if it takes three horsemen to eliminate each defender, chances are that all three will survive. Give them a couple turns to heal, and then these same units can take the next city.
 

BillChin

Prince
Joined
Jan 7, 2002
Messages
494
Maybe I can outline another basic strategy:
Research Bronze and then Iron. Build four to six cities. Claim iron. Build ten swordsmen or upgrade from warriors. If no iron use archers. Attack the nearest opponent in force. Crush the enemy. Enjoy.

I have to admit that outline is cleaner than my basic strategy which I boil down below:
Build two cities very close to the capital. Research the wheel. Claim a horse. Build 8 to 15 cities claiming luxuries and iron. Research or trade for Horse Riding, Iron Working, Mathematics. Build 20+ horsemen. If no horses use swordsmen. Pick one enemy. Bribe the others. Attack in force. Crush the enemy. Enjoy.

I'll add a third for large maps, or ones where there are no enemies in sight:
Explore area while building first two cities close in. If there are no enemy units at all, plan for an early switch to monarchy. Build cities nicely spaced on good land and claim luxuries. With this start many options are open. Knights make an excellent offensive force. A cultural victory is a possibility on lower levels. A spaceship or diplomatic victory are also good ideas.

For the original poster and those reading along, I think these basic plans are good ones to adapt to your own playing style. With these three basic starting strategies in hand, novice players have a good chance in any game start on standard size maps for difficulty levels below Diety.

Originally posted by Hawkx9
I agree and disagree with BillChin. :)
...
Peace
 

infanta

Chieftain
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Messages
42
ancient periods of warfare can be pretty lengthly, at the start the low number of cities means you can't really afford a huge military

when on the offensive you are generally looking at 2 spearmen defending each city, it averages 3horsemen or 2swordsmen to take out one spearmen so ya need 6 horsemen or 4swordsmen to generally take a city

whats best through is 2horsemen (or catapults) and 1swordsmen (or even an archer) per spearmen as you use the fast attack unit to wound and the other to kill (even though the fast attacker will often kill)

this usually results in less casulties and requires a few less units

if you following behind yer "offensive" blocks with workers for roads and settlers then the speed ain't really an issue as it effectively matches your expansion rate

if you expand at the same rate as you advance then if you can bothered you can cascade your units. This means have your cities road connected 2 squares apart and when a unit is made then move it the next city and move the unit that was in that city to the next one and so on. This is a very fast way to get units to the front (even faster with fast units)

generally im lucky if i can get 2-3 cities in place fore boder wars start (i play 16 civ huge maps) so for me conquest and expansion go hand in hand

i normally produce military units till the city hits pop 4 then i pop rush a settler and repeat, any time i've deviated from this i tend to get swamped by opportunisitc ai's

once 10 or more cities in play then maybe start on some other things (at this point 2-3 civs are usually crippled or dead)

if you do go for the offence earlier and you aint playing a militarlistic civ like aztecs or zulus then work on units 4 chariots+2 archers or 4 catapults+2 warriors or spearmen. Later when you get the tech you can upgrade warriors to swordsmen and chariots to horsemen (and likely replace the archers with swordsmen)

course you can replace any of the aforementioned units with unique units
 

ScrewTape

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Jan 2, 2002
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4
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Alabama
I generally go 4 cities all 2 spaces away on diag from my capitol (assuming that you can do that...). That way you the corruption is low. Then I go for horsemen or swordsmen (depending on the resouces that i get). Also I must agree with an earlier post, I like swordsmen early. Then I crank out mass troops until i control my land mass. The computer tends to be a bit aggressive in the early land grab. So you can roll over the first two very easily. They will have mainly swordsmen in the cities, but very few offensive units.

The thing that i'm still very unsure about is when/if to government switch. and i dunno which one to switch to. i find myself going republic after i get art of war. i don't know if that is the wise thing to do though.
 

ScrewTape

Chieftain
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Jan 2, 2002
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Alabama
I generally go 4 cities all 2 spaces away on diag from my capitol (assuming that you can do that...). That way you the corruption is low. Then I go for horsemen or swordsmen (depending on the resouces that i get). Also I must agree with an earlier post, I like swordsmen early. Then I crank out mass troops until i control my land mass. The computer tends to be a bit aggressive in the early land grab. So you can roll over the first two very easily. They will have mainly swordsmen in the cities, but very few offensive units.

The thing that i'm still very unsure about is when/if to government switch. and i dunno which one to switch to. i find myself going republic after i get art of war. i don't know if that is the wise thing to do though.
 
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