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Why can't I win on Prince?? I've been playing a while now!!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Devinius Maximu, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. LlamaCat

    LlamaCat Emperor

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    hey it could be worse... I can't even win on Noble yet with Warlords expansion and it's my third try. I was starting to beat Prince on the Vanilla game. how depressing... :)
     
  2. Wlauzon

    Wlauzon Prince

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    I am improving some, but I pretty much still suck :mad:

    At least I am seldom dead last anymore :eek:

    I think I need to go back and review all the strategy articles on specializing and other things, like slingshot tactics.

    My tech and power is usually OK up to 500 AD or so, but then (I guess the other civs start getting paper) I start to drop behind.

    I admit I get lazy sometimes and automate some workers, but I don't think that is the major problem - I think my city management skills just suck. :sad:
     
  3. largedarryl

    largedarryl Prince

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    I wouldn't worry about not being able to win on even noble. When I played Civ3, I don't think I made it past the 3rd lowest difficulty (and I played that game for way longer than I've played Civ4).

    Now on civ4 you just need to practice, I had recently taken 6 months off from the game and when I returned I struggled for my first game on noble. I couldn't even believe it for a while. Then last night I finally moved back up to prince and it looks to be going really good.
     
  4. Wlauzon

    Wlauzon Prince

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    I have been looking at the power charts, and I can be way ahead at 500 AD but fall behind by 1500AD. Even though I am still way ahead on tech.

    I even tried using world builder to add in a ton of military units to see if that was the reason.

    Maybe the power chart is just not very reliable?
     
  5. UnspokenRequest

    UnspokenRequest Prince

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    To me, automated workers is a sin. Period.

    Workers have to build terrain improvements according to your priorities. The computer doesn't know what is your priority at the moment. He doesn't know that you want to turn this particular city into a production center or a science center. How can the computer take the optimal decision. Workers have to function according to your plan. The computer will mostly give you average cities. It'll never give you GREAT cities.

    I'm pretty sure it is part of the problem, since city management and workers are so interrelated.

    Don't ever, ever, ever, ever automate worker.
     
  6. largedarryl

    largedarryl Prince

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    @Wlauzon, there are several things that contribute to the power chart. One of the factors that contribute to the power graph is the number of military units you have. Other factors that contribute to the power graph are
    1. The quality of units (1 warrior isn't worth the same as 1 infantry)
    2. Population of your cities
    3. Some city improvements increase your percieved power (buildings like forges and factories add significantly to the power graph as they increase your "military potential")

    I don't recal where these exact numbers are, but there is definately a thread in this forum discussing the exact values used in the power graphs. I'll see if I can find it, but as far as I can tell the power graph is very reliable, its just not a measure of number of military units.

    On prince using automate workers is a big no no.
     
  7. Wlauzon

    Wlauzon Prince

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    Nearly always, I don't use automated workers until late in the game. By then, all of the major cities have been improved manually.

    But looking at the power graphs, I am seeing an almost straight line upwards for me, but for some civs I am seeing a sharp rise and a much steeper curve upwards, usually around 1000 AD. And I can't figure out where that is coming from unless they are getting some really large cities.

    My tech, buildings, and units are nearly always in the top or 2nd, yet the power chart still shows me in 5th or 6th quite often.

    For example in a game I just finished, Montezuma had knights, I had tanks, and was like 10-15 techs ahead. Yet he was higher than me in score. Part of that was probably land area, but his population showed only about 20% more than mine.
     
  8. dav_nice_06

    dav_nice_06 Chieftain

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    What is the influence of map size on strategy ???

    Oki .... i read all the good strategy advices written in this post : thank's guy now i can win on Prince Level .... :king:

    There is something getting out in this topic : the strategy seems not to depend on size map ... of course the way you expand must be diiferent but i guess there is a lot of other things ...

    When i applied the strategy read here, for equivalent start (~6 games) exept the size map of course (start with Hannibal, level Prince) :
    * on giant size : I loose ... the AI had too many powerful cities
    * large map : diifcult win (i miss the domination win by 0,5 % of territory but i took the lead just before my last war around 2000)
    * normal size : easy win !!!

    Is someone had an idea about the AI behaviour with size map ??
     
  9. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    I got my first win on Prince today, unfortunately not valid for the HOF since someone else already used the map, grr.

    I was Alexander on Warlords and got a Space win in 1987, not very impressive I know. I probably could have won a domination victory had I finished off Ragnar rather than vassalizing him and then turned on my buddy Roosevelt, but I didn't want to do that so I went for the space option. Isabella made things easier for me by declaring war on me really early and I managed to wipe her out early on and Madrid and Barcelona were great cities. Ragnar declared war on me next but only sent a few cavalry to pillage my dye and towns, I only had pikes and knights but a pike followed by a knight seemed to work for the cavalry. If he had gone for the kill he could have beaten me easily. I managed to bribe Roosevelt into helping out and we became good trading partners after that, we went to war against Ragnar a few times afterwards until he was on his last legs and I vassalized him. Then Brennus declared war and kept sending a caravel or two which I just kept sinking with frigates, what an idiot.

    Cyrus made it a bit tense near the end by building the UN but his good buddies on the other continent all abstained in the Diplo victory vote, ha ha. 3 turns after the vote I launched my ship. Brennus kept being annoying at the end sending spies to sabotage my oil all the time, but I just amassed a big army and didn't move it anywhere during the endgame.
     
  10. UnspokenRequest

    UnspokenRequest Prince

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    Bigger maps= more AIs and/or more cities for each AI.
    Both situations help the AIs progress faster on the tech tree.
    The more AI there is, the more tech they will be trade with one another.
    The more cities they have the more beakers they will produce. So yeah bigger maps/more AI is harder.

    A few things I usually take special care of on larger maps:
    Try to have good allies you can trade with. This means knowing the Leader's personalities (i.e. don't try to trade with warmonger and religious freaks like Montezuma, Isabella, Tokugawa, Ragnar, Shaka, etc.). Focus on the talkable leaders, try to be friend with the leaders reknowned for their science achievements (Mansa, Gandhi, etc.). If one of the freak is near you, kill him asap or you'll likely regret it in the future.

    Alphabet becomes more important (it already is in every game). The sooner you can trade tech with them (without them being able to trade with one another), the greater advance you'll have once they start trading with one another.

    Build more roads and more troops. In case of invasion, you'll be happy. In early wars, on larger maps, it's hard to transport troops from one place or another in large empires. Cities on the outskirts of your territory have to be more autonomous = better defense.

    Killing an early civ is rarely a bad strategy. It may be a bit more important on larger maps because there are so many AIs. One less AI = one Civ your other ennemies won't be trading with.
     
  11. bardolph

    bardolph King

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    I've won games all the way up through Monarch with automated workers. When you're learning the game, it helps to reduce the number of decision points, and when you automate workers and allow city governors to place citizens, you can concentrate more on build order and military strategy.

    Yes, manually controlling workers will yield better results than automation once you know what you're doing, but I would hardly call automation a "sin."
     
  12. UnspokenRequest

    UnspokenRequest Prince

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    That is why I said "to me" at the start of my sentence. That means that doing this in my game would almost be like committing a sin (I'm an atheist, but it's only a metaphor, after all). I'm not saying it should never be done by anyone.

    On Settler and Warlord, while the person is understanding the game's basics. Yeah automation may help.

    However, Wlauzon is playing on Prince. He knows the game's main mechanisms. When I reached these levels, I personally prefered to take care of my workers, even if that meant making some mistakes. Making mistakes is a good way to learn.

    The point I wanted to make is that a player who doesn't take care of his workers on prince, doesn't help his cause. That is a fact.

    WLauzon explained that he only did it on rare occasions, in circumstances when the cities's terrains have already been improved. That is another thing. The main goal is to have fun after all. Taking care of nearly useless workers is not necessarily fun.
     
  13. JohnnyRico

    JohnnyRico Chieftain

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    I am equally stuck on monarch lelvel, but prince seems to be beatable ( at least 1/3 of the time). Sometimes bad starting positions (which usually means no bronze/iron/horses or marble/stone for woders) will crimp your style, but what can you do. Even more often Montezuma will berserk your behind when you let your gurad down abit... just cause he's a prick. If these things happen, theres nothing you can do. But when they don't happen here's some hints that might help.

    Advice:

    0. See who keeps coming up on top in your games. Huyana Capac, Asoka, Wang Kong come to mind. Play them for two reasons... since they're so successful as AI, they must have some cool perks... and since you ARE them, they cant be an adversary in the game. Huyana Capac is ridiculously priviledged early on: good strting techs, awesome unit available right away, great leader perks.

    1. Don't play random map type. It's an added difficulty. If you know youre on a terran map, you know to explore looking for a new world. It also gives you a clue about how to circumnavigate (i.e. go for the poles, you'll encounter landblock near the equator). If you play on archipelago, you'll know to build boats AND NOT neglect seafaring. Etc.

    2. Scout as much as possible early. getting 100gp before you found your second city is really nice. Once you have two cities you will lose money (-1 or -2 gp/turn) which means your scouted gold will postpone your science investment cutbacks by 50-100 turns! By then you may have a holy city + prophet and your finances will be ok once again.

    3. Scouting units tend to wander off. scout manually first, revealing teh area immediate to your capital - it's important to know where you put your second city. then automate them. If youre lucky to have a starting scout, make sure that every turn he moves the max of 2 and he ends up on hills (for defence bonus and better visual range). If none available. make sure he ends the turn on forests (where he can beat wild animals.)

    4. Keep building units (warriors usually) until you reach a better city size (2-3-4). send them scouting too. Once they accumulate 2 promotions fightings beasts, send them home. these may be worth promoting one day and you shouldnt lose them to barbarian bears or archers.

    5. At city size 2-3-4 build a settlers or worker. This choice depends on your resources, tech or need to exploit those resources, etc.

    For instance: you have a city on teh seashore, next to a river. You got crabs and know about Fishing. You got cows but no Animal husbandry and no Wheel. You scouted a site upriver with marble and copper. You got some extra cash. Definitely go for settler first. A worker will be useless cause a) you can get extra food from crab b) building fishing boats dont stop growth c) you dunno the techs needed to take advantage of the resources available d) your cities will be connected by the river anyway even without a worker buiding roads.

    Alternatively: city inland, got cows and know Animal Husb. Dunno where the next good city site is cause copper and iron havent been revealed. Get a worker first, the cows will improve your food and production, adn the settler will be built faster when you DO know what to do with him.

    6. I go directly for polytheism (and usually get it, founding Hinduism).
    If you dont get it first, at least youre ahead in the race for Judaism.
    If you go for buddism (meditation) you will often not get it. Then you sttart polytheism reseach behind everyone else and will miss out on hinduism too! Btw meditation is NOT required for hinduism or judaism so having it does not put you ahead for an alternative.

    7. I try to build the Stonehenge (esp if I got stone and have founded religions). IT's useless, I know, but it can give you priests as great people. Then build the Oracle in the same city and youre swimming in great prophets. Use them to build their religious buildings and you will have no more money problems for a v long time. Keep one to trigger a golden age. Great wall is nice cause the protection from barbarians (asp at higher levels) but the're no end to how useful engineers are!

    8. Alwys get the Oracle. I heard a lot of people using it to get teh Alphabet. If you have a lot of religious wonders it's a good idea. If not, I often get Theocracy from it. It founds Cristianity and it costs more reseach than any otehr tech during that time. Same for racing to Liberalism, asap (i get Astronomy with it for observatories and cause its difficult to research.) Missing either is not diasturous, but gettin them it's surely nice.

    9. I only build 2-3 cities. I try to get the rest by conquest.

    10. Do not take over crap cities, they cost money to maintain. Make sure you know why you're conquering a city (i.e. you need some resourse around it, or wonder in it.)

    11. There are two kinds civs you should pick a fight with: (I) the weakling that you have poor relations with for an easy territory grab and (II) a high ranking rival that you need to take down a notch. For the second kind, do not stop after you just take down a city, he can recover from that and hurt you badly later. If you take 2 big cities of his 6- that will likely set him back for good.

    12. Religion ruins relations. Be nice to you co-religionists, they're the only ones you can keep up good relations with (unless it's montezuma).

    13. Lure people into attacking. Pile up cash. Do not upgrade units (i.e. keep warriors instead of axemen and spearmen). Some a-hole WILL pick a fight, guaranteed. Use the cash to upgrade those warriors (to axemen usually but make some spearmen if he's got mounted units). Make the enemy your biotch. next age do the same with mounted archers to knights and nail the next choleric prick.

    14. Trade techs. This alone should be a chapter... once you get a tech everyone wants (i.e. Christianity, see above) sell it to all the otehrs. They will give you everythign they got for it. This is very important: Start trading techs from teh bottom up: if you get sailing from teh tech leader for christianity, you helped yourself a little and you helped him a LOT. But if the bottom dweller has sailing, and is willing to trade... you helped youself a little, and who cares what the bottom gets cause he's unlikely to impact the game significantly with or without it. So Accept bad deals from weaker civs.

    15. Trade resources for a few gp/turn. If you have a few such resources it will keep you afloat financially.

    16. DO not give strong civs horses, iron, copper or oil.

    17. The enemy likes to pillage. On the sea too. Nice to be ready .

    18. Synergize wonders and great ppl. Build Heroic epic, red cross, mil acad, west poitn in the same city. Add mil leader. kick asphalt.
    DO same for culture wonders + artist. Get free cities by revolt.
    Wall street + merchant... etc.

    19. Keep a supermedic in an attacking stack. Stack heals faster.

    20. If you are spiritual, remember that you can switch civics at will. if you get into a war, switch to vassalage and theocracy for 10 turns, and make units with all cities duirng that time.

    21. Stop playing Civ. it's wasted life.
     
  14. Wlauzon

    Wlauzon Prince

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    Something I would add to that is that as soon as you get a civ, trade it. Don't wait a turn or two. If you are the first on the market it will be worth more.

    And quite often even crap techs can be worth something to the civ at the bottom of the list - so what if he only gives you 60 gold, that is better than nothing.
     
  15. Wlauzon

    Wlauzon Prince

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    Near the end game, or when you have several larger cities and are just filling up space, it is much easier to just automate the workers. By that point, there is no way those cities will ever really become important anyway - it's mostly a land grab to get as much area as possible under your control. The actual city placement might be a lot more important, since you want to get as much area under your control as possible.

    I won a game a couple of days ago by just 5 points - I did it by turning up culture points to 100% for about 6 turns. That was enough to expand the borders of several smaller cities and just put me over the top. A desperation move, but it worked.

    I almost won another one when a rival city nearby did a culture flip about 2048.

    I have not gotten good enough at Prince yet to where I can hold a commanding lead, even when I manage to stay ahead, so sometimes these little tricks work.
     
  16. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Yay it seems my first Prince win submission has been accepted after all, don't know why the starting save file said the map had already been used when I did the auto-check on it.

    I managed to get a commanding lead in the game since I eliminated Izzy early on then me and Roosevelt kicked in Ragnar until he vassalized to me. When I met the Civs from the other continent Cyrus was ahead and the whole continent was a Christianity love-fest, but I managed to out tech him at the end since my economy was good, a triple holy city and another one, all with shrines, and 2 excellent cottage cities and 2 good production ones. Cyrus misssed outr on the Diplo victory vote by his friends abstaining though 3 turns before I launched, as I said earlier.

    So now I'm going to try another game, it will probably bring me down to earth again pretty fast. Random leader brought up Shaka, continents again. Last time I played Shaka I was alone on a small Island with England and Aztec reachable by galleys, I declared war on Victoria but she managed to take my second city with just a catapult and an archer, despite it being defended by a couple of Impis, and razed it immediately. Things were looking dodgy by then and building more settlers was going to be a big time hit for my plans so I gave up on that one.
     
  17. utberguy

    utberguy Warlord

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    Woo hoo! I won my first prince today!
    I used Incan and was 1,000 points above the second highest.
    My strategy is to locate copper first. I manage to found all 3 on the map near-by.
    The I start by only building 3 cities focusing on axeman. Then I found out which civ does not have iron/copper, or haven't got to utilize them anyway.
    My strategy is to crush those who haven't gotten copper as much as I can before iron working kicks in.
    The first attack is Sparta where there is a copper mine nearby, but not developed yet.
    I found at early stage AI is more willing to cease fire. So I kidnapped some more cities and really focus on cottage building.
    Later in the game (after renaissances) I started selling techs to fund my research because no one wanted to trade. (I declared war on most civs by then )However, they were still willing to buy though.
    After liberalism and printing press, my tech is one era above the rest and I was able to finish space race at 1977.
    The AIs do attack you when you are nearly finished on this level. So when your major cities are doing the SS parts, you got to make sure you have enough arm forces. Don't be furstrated with the AI attack.
    My experience is AI generally will have a HUGH stack o' doom. But once you have enough seige weapon to finish off the stack they pretty much are done. You can then either attack or make peace. I usually get what I can, e.g. one or two cities before ceasing fire.

    It was a fun game... hope this helps others
     
  18. utberguy

    utberguy Warlord

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    One way to fix the maintenance is to locate your 2nd and 3rd VERY NEARYBY. e.g. closest you can get. I know you won't get much blocking, but if you do that you can save $ and focus on axeman building
     
  19. Wlauzon

    Wlauzon Prince

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    Another tactic that will occasionally work (on any level, not just Prince) is if you happen to luck out and get placed in an area where there is only a single square land choke point, whether because of sea or mountains. Build a city there and fortify it heavily and build other cities behind it that are safe.

    I got one in a game last night, and Alexander must have used up 30 units trying to get past it. Not to mention that some of mine got multiple promotions.
     
  20. Wlauzon

    Wlauzon Prince

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    I have been playing two types of games - an 8 civ Pangea, and a 6 civ seperate continents both on huge).

    the odd thing it, it is harder to win the continents one than the Pangea one. I suspect it is because the continents on Huge give the other civs so much time to really get rolling once they get to around to about the Astronomy stage.

    On Pangea, I usually either have a massive win, or I die really soon - but when I win, I usually win big. Last game I had 78% of the continent. That of course is totally impossible with continents - it simply is not possible to even transport enough troops fast enough even if you could produce them. Which is why I have been going for a culture win (going.. not getting there... ). I can win about 1/3 of the time on just points.

    I prefer the continents mainly because the game usually goes a lot longer - quite often in pangea you have either won or lost by 1500.
     

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