Why is Civ 4 so difficult??

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by labellavienna, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. labellavienna

    labellavienna Warlord

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    I'm a Civ V veteran...and have dumped hundreds of hours into that game, however I've recently bought Civ 4 BTS and I really LOVE it. But every time I got even 30 minutes into the game I get completely destroyed by barbarians....even on the easiest settings I get wrecked by them...what am I doing wrong?

    - How can a barbarian AXE man can plow through my warriors and archers so easily (what kills an axeman?)? They also literally just had to step on my cities and it gets destroyed...how come my cities can't defend themselves like in Civ 5?

    - Why do my cities have that red sad face on them? It says they are unhappy...but what can I do to make them happy? I have a slave civic isn't that enough?

    - What are those white circles on the city screen...sometimes i click on them randomly but they don't do anything?!

    - How come I am making less gold all the time? Are there trade posts like in Civ V? I don't know how to increase the gold I make =[
     
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  2. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    First of all, welcome to Civ IV, a real Civilization and a real strategy game :)

    Second, if you really want to learn to play and get better, spend more time here:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/forums/civ6-strategy-tips.540/

    Civ IV is very very different from Civ V, and yes, much harder. However, things become easier once you learn the basics. The challenge is real, but really just learning a few things will get you going quite nicely on Noble level soon, so don't worry.

    I will answer your questions, but really there is a bit to learn, so read up, check out S&T and ask question there. post a game to play with folks, and watch some LPs.

    - Axeman eat warriors for breakfast and have a bonus against melee. Chariots kill Axes quite easily if you have access. But really, your problem here lies elsewhere. Why are barbs even entering your borders on easy levels? What other settings are you playing?

    No , Cities do not defend themselves like in Civ V, but they do have defenses which apply to units stationed inside. Archers have the best city bonuses, but honestly in many games I never even tech or trade for Archery (on high levels), except for Horse Archers. So you need to learn the nuances of spawnbusting outside your borders. Don't play Huge maps for now or slow speeds. Expand.

    - Cities have a happy cap. Happiness is not global (ugh) like in Civ V. There are civics and reosurces that help with happiness, and religion. But there is notthing wrong with cities being smaller until those kick in (4 or 5 citizens). Use slavery. Use it wisely. Don't feel bad keeping cities smaller until you have the happiness, but try to get it when you can and at least let you cap grow when it can.

    Science does not equal population in Civ IV (again..ugh)

    - Those circles are you citizens, and actually they work quite similar to Civ V in that you can change what tiles they work and also change what tiles between cities that overlap (and overlap is not actually a bad thing)

    - One important thing to note is that what you think is "gold" on that map is not actually gold. Those coins are "commerce". Commerce if adjusted by the sliders (which do not exist at all in Civ V). The sliders are one of the things that make IV much more intricate than V. Lower your reserarch slider and turn commerce into gold.

    Generally, you will run 100% research until you hit what is called deficit research which usually hits when you settle your second city. V has unit maintenance, but IV has other kinds of maintenance like city maintenance which is impacted by distance from capital. Also, civics can adjust maintenance as well.

    There are ways into the gold, especially once you hit Currency ( a very important tech) but at some point early you will always be running deficit research. You can use binary research (100% tax or 0% research) for a few to turns to fund full research. This usually happens after Writing is in. Get a library or two up quick and run scientists for more static research. Use first Great Scientists (GS) for academy in your cap)

    The most comparable thing to the trade post is the cottage. The difference is the cottage develops over time, so keep them working ( they only grow when worked). Ideally you want your capital to have good cottagable land (think riverside grass or flood plains) for an eventually Bureaucracy capital (bulk of research).

    Note that while workers do have importance in V, they are much more important in IV. In fact they should almost always be your first build. DO NOT BUILD SCOUTS. Worker management is very important so use them wisely. Improve food specials first, mine or two, especially strat resources, and chop choppity chop.

    Lastly, while there is a, generally, late game civic that allows purchasing with gold (Univeral Suffrage) they concept of purchasing stuff with gold is much much less a fact or in IV than V. Just get that out of your system. in IV, it is the Slavery civic that is so powerful. Understanding how to leverage slavery is the key to this game.

    edit: One more not for now, FOOD is king in IV

    edit2: Keep in mind that there is very little that translates from Civ V to Civ IV. You are learning a new game, but a game that is extremely rewarding. One of the best games of all time.

    edit 3: Cause I'm incapable of stopping....

    Commonly used UI mods. Most here don't play without them:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/forums/civ4-bts-unaltered-gameplay-bug-bat-and-bull.268/
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  3. labellavienna

    labellavienna Warlord

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    Thank you so much for your help! I feel like I might have come off as whiney in my op but I am continuously frustrated, I Really like this game but it's being so difficult lol. I don't know why barbarians are attacking me...i get 3-4 of them circling my cities and they are already up to axe men while i'm still discovering archery and stuff. When this happens I can't do anything...and i might as well just start over because they completely wipe out my troops. I will take your advice and roam the sub for noobs...maybe ill get some experience there.

    Btw sorry to ask one more question but the "white rings", how do i know when to switch them out and when to keep them on a particular tile? Does the tile need to be "worked" by a builder/worker before i can put a ring on it? What happens if the ring goes on a tile that hasn't been improved? Does the worker still need to improve it to get some kind of benefits?
     
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  4. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Oh..don't worry at all about your concerns while just having started playing the game. We've all been there.

    As mentioned, consider the white rings just like you would the faces in the V city screen. You can move them around by clicking on tiles or specialist slots (when you have them). You can also swap tiles between cities by just taking that tile. Citizens will automatically grow on new tiles, usually the best yield (but not always..more on that later). Generally you will work your improved specials (food first, then production or cottages, later scientists). Just mess around in the city screen for a bit and get used to.

    Note the tile yields (turn this on if you have not already). Now open city screen and check the tiles worked compared to the food and production bars (top middle - with numbers just to the left of the bars). Note the numbers there and how they add up. A citizen working a tile always gives the yield of that tile regardless of whether that tile has been improved. You will see this by analyzing the city screen as I just described. (Note: Settlers and workers are produced with food and hammers)

    Actually, managing your citizens is fairly important, especially as you move up levels. We call it micro-ing. However, you don't have to worry about it too much now while learning, but always make sure you are working your best tiles (specials, etc. as mentioned earlier). And later start running some scientists to get that academy and then later bulb strategies.

    Note trade routes too via roads, rivers, and coast. You get commerce this way as well and it is important. Try to have a road ready to new cities for instant trade road (up to but not including the tile you settle on). Later you will familiarize yourself with the nuances of how trade routes work and how they are connected, which will allow you at times to limit the usage of worker turns on roads for hook-ups, such as a connecting river. But note that trade routes are not anything like they are in V. They do not give gold but rather commerce, which can be turned into gold. Foreign trade routes are even better, so get them up when you can.. Often simply sailing will do that for you. Trade routes also impact religion spread.

    As for the barbs, I'm not sure what the timings are with your game. On lower levels it takes a long time before Axes show up, so this simply means you are not doing the right things now to limit or prevent the barb problems.

    Post a game over in S&T and let folks take a look at it. Really this thread itself is better suited to that forum. You will get tons of advice there.

    So back to that auto-tile working thing. Again, citizens generally work the best tiles (specials, improvements). However, what you think is best at a given time is not necessarily what the city thinks. There are settings in the but right of city screen to set the governor up, but I usually micro this stuff myself. To me, it is just part of the game to do this. Also, when you run Representation, a strong civic, that while later in tech tree, can be opened up by the Pyramids. Cities like to run specialists if slots are available when in this civic, but that may not be the best thing at certain time - plus, city might run specialists you don't want.

    Lastly, probably when of the biggest issues with newer players is adjusting to the maintenance and the fact that you start losing gold the minute you settle a new city and as you start building units over the free cap (units even cost more outside your cultural borders). But don't be too alarmed. Maintenance will slow expansion but you should easily be able to expand to at least 6 cities before the BCs end. And start using binary (yeah complex) to accumulate gold while expanding to fund research of the next tech (do the maths). Later, after currency and stuff, you can acquire more gold quickly via trading to keep that research slider up. Yep, this is all complex for you now but you will get a feel for it the more you play,and we can help walk you through it if you post a shadow game (best way to learn fast)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
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  5. intutama

    intutama Warlord

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    One of the best guide I read when I was a beginner was the following one:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/sisiutils-strategy-guide-for-beginners.165632/

    Considering barbs:
    - they start spawning after a while (at the beginning there are just wild animals, which cannot enter your border) and quickly get stronger (at first warriors, then archers, then axemen)
    - they can spawn in any tile which is at least two tiles away from any unit/city, even if nobody has vision on that tile. So an easy way to lower the barb pressure is to fortify warriors around your land to prevent barb spawning.
    - usually if you can't fully prevent spawning (lots of free land around you) you want to get copper online quickly (you might even settle on it to save turns) and get 1-2 axemen for protection.

    Example:



    from this thread:
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/when-do-barbarian-units-enter-cultural-borders.299483/
     
  6. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    Civ 4 is tough, so we can all have a good time getting better at it :goodjob:

    Don't feel let down by the initial difficulties. Get accustomed to the UI, units/buildings/tech particularities. Then you can learn about the more detailed stuff : resources, happy cap :)) and :mad: faces in the city screen), open borders, wonders, etc. Eventually you'll want to pay attention to civics and Great People and maybe espionage (no rush). There are many different mechanics and you can look to learn about one at a time.
    It would probably be wise to try not to import much knowledge from Civ 5.
    "What mechanic am I not familiar with ?" is a good question to ask at the launch of the game. Then see if you can learn about it / find a use for it.

    In Civ 4, you're trying to set up an Empire :
    So expand : build settlers, build workers, connect cities, improve tiles, work the tiles you've improved and everything will follow along. Settle more cities, build more workers, grow your cities, work more tiles. Set up infrastructure (Granary, Library) when space is running out, etc.

    The military side of the game, you can learn later. To start with : most units have counters (chariot : 100% bonus on offense against axeman).
    It's very fine to focus solely on the Empire building aspect of the game at the begining.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  7. VanitysFiend

    VanitysFiend Chieftain

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    Lol, because it was designed to be a challenge ;)

    In most cases, especially with infantry units, combat in IV is binary, as in your unit either kills the opponent or the opponent kills you, there's no duking it out over several turns. Cities don't defend themselves at all in IV, u need to garrison them with units. Typically, axemen counter axemen, but so do chariots when attacking, archers can do a good job when defending if the terrain in favourable, and they have good promotions.

    Happiness in IV is local to each city. Enter the city screen and at the top you'll see a :), mouse over it and it'll give u a breakdown of what's making people happy, and what's making people sad. One thing you're probably missing is a garrison unit, each city needs at least one unit to keep the peace. Oh yes, that slavery civic should be a big help in controlling unhappiness, but u gotta know how to use it :) Have you used the pop rush yet?

    It shows what tiles are being worked, on chieftain I wouldn't worry too much about managing tiles yourself, as long as u build improvements sensibly the AI should be able to handle it.

    You should probably turn on the yield view for now. First thing you need to know is that :commerce: and :gold: are not the same thing. :gold: is gold and :commerce: is commerce, which represents trade (and, to an extent, human social interaction). :commerce: is converted into :gold:,:science:,:culture:,and :espionage: via the sliders in the top left hand corner. If you set the slider to 100%:science: then all your nations :commerce: in converted to :science: so you need to get :gold: from elsewhere, such as conquest, religion, or simply building wealth in your cities.

    Trading posts were V's somewhat inadequate replacement for cottages, one of the loveliest improvements ever added to a civ game, and one that's sadly lacking in IVs successors :( I don't have the time to go into detail, so I'd just advise giving this article a look, and maybe this thread as well.

    Anyway, if u have anymore questions, feel free to ask :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  8. meatball20

    meatball20 rockhound

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    But it's got the cool religions and corporations
     
  9. CapitanPiluso

    CapitanPiluso Chieftain

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    After some 100 hours of Civ V I bought Civ IV and really like it.
    After reading articles,suggestions and guides I am only able to last until turn 100 or 120, when 2 or 3 AI civilizatiosn declare war and push me to a sure defeat..
     
  10. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Bet that was never a game ender in V.
    Which is why IV is still so much fun.
     
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  11. Ricci

    Ricci Prince

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    Welcome to the forums. You will find the finest experience with this one. I am curious about your general settings to play with? I can tell you in advance that several DoWs (declaration of wars) most certainly respond to a lack of knowledge of your surrounding, that together with a comparatively weak army probably.
     
  12. Kjotleik

    Kjotleik Kjotleik

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of Civ IV! :hatsoff:
    BIC and lymond have already given you (more than) enough information to start your learning-curve for this game.
    They are way better players than I am, so I'm not commenting more on that aspect.

    But if you, for training purposes, want to remove barbarians from a game you're starting - you can always go to "Custom Game" and choose the "No Barbarians" option. I actually recommend reading through the options available to you. If you for instance would like to focus one game on learning how to grow and develop cities, you could always choose "No Barbarians," No Technology Trading," "Always Peace," "No Vassal States," "No Tribal Villages" and "No Random Events."

    Then, as you learn new skills, you can turn the options on (one by one) in your next games, to increase the complexity of the experience.

    Good luck! :trophy: (<- soon to be yours...)


    Sincerely
    Kjotleik
     
  13. CapitanPiluso

    CapitanPiluso Chieftain

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    Thank you.
    I am currently playing noble difficulty,standard size map,ancient era and everything else default rules.
    I believe that my main issue is to find a balance between army development and territory expansion.
     
  14. Lazteuq

    Lazteuq Chieftain

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    One thing I know lots of noobs do is building unnecessary buildings. If you dont have any important buildings to construct, just make a unit or build research instead. There is nothing wrong with a city in the modern era never getting a stable, university, walls, etc.
     
  15. Ricci

    Ricci Prince

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    There is a whole part of the game about the intricacies of diplomatic stances & surroundings to know in advanced when, and if, you are getting imminently DOWed. For what you write right now you are not there yet. Nevertheless I´ll give you a couple of patterns to get along:

    - If there are many rivals around you most certainly will get invaded at some early stage (t100-t120 is around 1AD Normal speed right?) Classical era peak most games.
    - if rivals are close to your borders, or if there is border tension, invasion preassure increases
    - if your diplomatic stance is below Pleased it increases (religions play a big part here, especially that early on)
    - if the enemy is bulding units and stopped expanding it is prone to attack someone.
    - if you have very little army you become a sure target (this is subject of some variables but you can get some intuitive idea; if you have overexpanded and ended with little units/city. Though units/city is not the only issue reggarding power, clearly.)

    Not one of these certificates you will get attacked, it is not that lineal (thankfully). But you have some clues as to when you might begin to be in danger. If you detect these patters: automatically build more units and place them accordingly to the vecinity of danger. Build some wall if you have to, but units are prime to win wars, not walls.
    Needless to say, you should be somewhat on par technologically. At that stage you should have managed to get some bronze units, chariots, maybe horseman, maybe catas. You won´t be able to defend just with archers & warriors. There is much more to war to what you might have experienced or hear about in V, so for the moment I recomend you concentrate just in an army comprised of Spearman and Axemen (some few archers to garrison cities), the proportion will be up to you to balance against your possible attackers resources and army composition (if they have horses get more spearman, etc)

    Finally, this is just but one approach to get passed that 1AD barrier you seem to be having problems with. Feel free to keep this channel open Capitan.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  16. CapitanPiluso

    CapitanPiluso Chieftain

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    Thanks,I returned to Civ V to calm my frustration but will come back to Civ IV as soon as I could finish my current game.
     
  17. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    Been thinking of going back to Civ IV myself, at least for a bit. Required reading is here
     
  18. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Posted it somewhere but will happily do so again, IV= where Civilization ended ;)
    All later games are something different, and i would pay for them having their own name so we get rid of them & comparisons with real strategy games..seriously.
     
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  19. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    That really takes me back, to the time CIv 3 fans were saying the same thing about Civ 4.
     
  20. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Well, at least we can say that by the final release of all the fixes and mods for BTS civ iv, that it was a good game.
    With VI out, we still can't say the same for V. It still sucks.
     
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