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Winning on Monarch level

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Captain Pugwash, Feb 7, 2002.

  1. Captain Pugwash

    Captain Pugwash Chieftain

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    In order to win on Monarch level, is it necessary to slow down your main rivals by military means or is it possible to outperform them in the tech race ?

    I have played a number of Monarch games in which I have demolished some local neighbours to give myself a strong Civ :rolleyes: but there always seems to be one or two Civs on remote continents who remain a couple of techs ahead in the tech race and end up building spaceship parts before me.

    Has anybody won on Monarch level without going to war with the main rivals ? Now I am democracy and an unprovoked offensive campaign might not be popular with the citizens. I have mech infantry in the 1840s so I havent been slow on the tech rate.
     
  2. SanPellegrino

    SanPellegrino Wanderer

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    I play on Monarch, too. In late game I stay in Republic and goad the AIs into war. Usually I pick the biggest guy, I stay in defensive and let the others do work. The AI has war-weariness, too and with a little luck all switch to mon/comm or something, tech progress is slowed down a lot. If interested, read my "Rogue State Strategy" on this board.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14969
     
  3. Arrian

    Arrian Chieftain

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    I play on Monarch, and it is definitely possible to outperform the AI in tech, but it is usually necessary to kill off at least one (preferably two) neighboring civs in order to be really dominant. I go for the Great Library early on, which brings me even with the AI, and then I go all-out for Sun Tzu, the Sistine, Copernicus, Newton and Adam Smith's. Bach is nice if I can grab it, and I usually ignore Leo's.

    Taking out a neighbor during the Middle Ages is usually a good idea (if you can trigger your golden age doing this, it will make the wonder building easier). Build up a bunch of Knights and pick fight. Hopefully, you will get a leader out of the war, with whom you should rush the forbidden palace. If the war goes really well, just wheel your army about and pick a fight with another neighbor. The reason you want to do this is threefold:

    More cities for you, less for the AI.
    More strategic resources for you, less for the AI
    More luxury resources for you, less for the AI.

    I don't feel comfortable until I have local access to at least 5 (preferably more) luxuries and all known strategic resources. Then its time to build up your new possesion, and do a round trades with the other AI's for gold/turn. That will improve relations and make you a ton of money (not to mention crippling their science rates).

    I should mention that you must be careful, if you start the wars, not to do any more harm to your diplomatic reputation than absolutely necessary. If you cannot goad the AI into declaring war on you (best way is to demand things until they get to "furious" and then tell them to remove their troops from your territory), then you should formally declare war and then attack.

    Often, my neighbors are not the "main rival" of my civ. They merely have the misfortune of being next to me... and hey, most of the time THEY attack ME, so all's fair. The key is locking up lots of luxuries and selling them to the other AI's for gold/turn. Once you have the tech lead, you can sell them a tech occasionally for OUTRAGEOUS sums of money (I like to sell them printing press... that's pretty harmless). With all that money pouring in, you can increase your science rate and rushbuild things as needed, while the AI is scratching and clawing to break even while running 70% taxes. :D

    Pay close attention to wars on the other continent. Often, the AI's will break each other's cities, or at least capture them, which drops the cultural borders back to influence 1. Gaps will open up, and many times I've been able to sneak settlers over and grab luxuries that way. In my last game I got 2 furs, 1 spice and 1 incense that way, increasing my total access to 7 of the 8 types of luxury. End result: Hammurabi the Maginificent (3504 I think, SS win in 1824, with all 5 best cities in the world). I never fired a shot on the other continent. True, I killed the three civs that shared mine, but Persia and India attacked me (whereas I admit to coldblooded murder in the case of the Zulu). The AI was just getting to replaceable parts when I launched.

    -Arrian
     
  4. eyrei

    eyrei Chieftain Retired Moderator

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    It is quite possible to keep up with the AI in tech, and even get a lead provided you have a decent sized civ. What I normally do is switch to republic at the beginning of the middle ages and stay with it until the end. The other part of this strategy, is to pick fights with the tech leaders, and force them into monarchy or communism. The AI does not seem to understand that war weariness is manageable with republic if you are not the agressor (probably because the AI usually starts wars). The AI civs will not remain in a representative government for long after a war starts. All you have to do is play defense, so you don't have to build a huge army. It is also useful to employ one or two allies to fight the leading civ, as well.

    Probably more important than this, is the placement of the forbidden palace and corruption/waste management. The AI is not nearly as good at this as the human, so you can gain an advantage here.
     
  5. Allemand

    Allemand Chief

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    So the answer is: go to war.

    Usually the AI gives you no choice. In my latest Monarch game (huge map) there are ten civs and they all began fighting in the early middle ages. I'm playing the Iroquois and the Persians declared war on me simply because I wouldn't yield to their demands. No problem, they're on the other end of the one huge continent so I wasn't worried. Then they got the English to declare war on me. Same thing, they're near the Persians. But I couldn't get either one to talk to my envoy, so I decided if I have to be at war then might as well get something from it. So I declared war on my neighbors, the Egyptians. They then got my other neighbor, the Babylonians, to declare war on me.

    Not wanting to fight all four civs by myself, I started lining up allies. Got the Indians and Greeks to fight the Persians, the French to fight the English, the Germans to fight the Egypians, and the Romans to fight the Babylonians. Surprisingly, it didn't take too many resources to get them into the war.

    Only about 8-9 turns in the Egyptian war so far, and things are going well. Started a little slow because Chivalry was discovered just as the war started and all I had to fight with was about 15 Mounted Warriors (probably the best unit in the Ancient Age but it can't stand up to knights). I got two leaders and used them for Bach's cathedral and an army. Just got my third leader and will use him for another wonder. Building the Heroic Epic so I should get more leaders soon. Have taken about a third of the Egyptian territory and nobody else is a threat so far. I now have about 40 knights, the Egyptians started with a large army and have been tough but the tide has turned and it won't be long now.

    One thing that bothers me is the Greeks (one of my allies) are getting a tech lead and the war is slowing down my building of universities. Guess I'll have to deal with them. ;)
     
  6. Arrian

    Arrian Chieftain

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    Be careful not to bite off more than you can chew. If you want to remove a neighbor, hit him hard 'n fast, and knock him down to a city off in the tundra or on an island somewhere (or just wipe him out). Then it's back to peace so you can build those universities.

    If an AI civ declares war on you from far away, pay the civ inbetween to ally with you (plus a ROP) and send your attack force over... pick a strategic city (luxuries or resources in the radius) and grab it, then hang out until the 20 turns are up and make peace. This is if you don't have much of an army. If you're strong, go all-out and drop a whoopin' on him.

    If a strong AI civ attacks you, pay off a neighbor or two to help. The AI's will slaughter each other, and you will be able to attack the enemy's cities w/o much resistance. Grab the best cities - you should be able to beat your ally(ies) to them. The AI deals poorly with multi-front warfare.

    Basically, if you don't bring in allies to help you, your AI opponent often will, as Allemand has found out. One way to lessen the likelyhood of a neighbor signing an alliance with your enemy is to have a lot of active trade deals going, and a "polite" diplomatic relationship.

    Obviously, if you really don't need the help (attacked by or attacking a weak neighbor), don't pull in any allies. Just finish the job quickly.

    -Arrian
     
  7. Allemand

    Allemand Chief

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    I have no regrets about how I’ve played the game so far. When the AI has an advantage (as it does on Monarch level) you need to find a way to offset that advantage. There are tradeoffs in every decision and you just have to know what they are and be willing to accept the challenge. I concentrated on expanding and building city improvements and infrastructure while maintaining a very small military (one unit per city until I was in the Middle Ages). This was acceptable because I was in an isolated area (northeast corner of a huge continent) with oceans on two sides and a long mountain range on the other two sides. Had I been in the center of the continent the military would have had to be much larger. In addition to the infrastructure/city growth, I was able to build the Pyramids, Sun Tsu’s Academy, Cistine Chapel, Leonardo’s Workshop, and J.S. Bach’s Cathedral (with a leader). I should get a couple more wonders soon, when I get more leaders.

    The small military is probably what caused the Persians and English to declare war. I could have gotten the Indians/Greeks/French to fight them right away and just sent a token force to observe and look for opportunities, but I was near the edge of the area I could expand in without going to war so I made the decision to enlarge the war. Although I would have been in much better shape for war in another 15 or so turns, I figured my enemies would be better off too. It has worked out well so far. With only about 15 Mounted Warriors at the start, I now have about 40 Knights which should not have much trouble finishing off the Egyptians. The Persians have already asked for peace, but I will let my alliances run out before that happens. I have five allies fighting four enemies and I want to keep some of the alliances. The slowdown in building universities is a minor irritant. In fact, without the Golden Age (triggered by one of the first battles) and the leaders I’ve gained from the war I would be worse off than I am now. I’ll completely conguer the Egyptians and that will give me about 20 more cities to play with (after I decide where to put the Forbidden Palace).

    Arrian’s advice is good and it is generally the way I play, but I would add that you have to assess your situation and take advantage of opportunities. In fact, the most enjoyable games occur when you deviate from the “best” way to play.
     
  8. epsilon97

    epsilon97 Chieftain

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    I have been reading these posts and everyone talks about building the pyramids or the great library. How do you build them? When I play on monarch, I neverbuild these in time. I even start building them in my capital as soon as I put out one settler. What can I do to build these early wonders?
     
  9. eyrei

    eyrei Chieftain Retired Moderator

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    I usually do not bother with early wonders, except for the Colossus. Having your capital begin a wonder early really slows down your expansion. The effects of all of the ancient wonders either become obsolete early on, or can be duplicated at a cost. Except for the Colossus.
     
  10. abla

    abla Chieftain

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    The only early wonders I seem to be able to build are either the collosus or the great lighthouse. I usual get nothing else till much later when if I am doing ok I can build every wonder from newton or univ suff onwards.

    Forget about leonardo, adam smith, bach, etc - I'm not even close with those.

    It seems to me essential to knock off your two nearest rival to give yourself a chance - on a standard map. On bigger maps it doesn't seem so essential to do this quickly.

    My only win so far was on monarch, standard random map. I was on a good sized continent as the babylonians. Next to me were the greeks and chinese with the zulus in the north but seperated by the otehr two from direct contact.
    I built 3 cities with temples and barrack and strted churning out spearmen and bowmen. Attacked the greeks till they were down to one city then kept on going against the chinese. I try and have a setteler or two waiting so I raze the taken cites and build my own unless there is a wonder present. This gives lots of free captured workers so I never have to build any more.

    Knocked the chinese down to one distant island city, finished off the greeks and fortified a line across the continent against the zulu. I had 70% of the land area.

    On another continent there were iroquios, english, aztec and french. English were killed by computer and aztec pushed into a corner leaving france big but a dominat iroquois.

    The iroquios had a tech and culture lead so to win (which I did by culture in about 2020) I had to invade. Allied with the french I wiped out the iroquis since even though by this time I was huge and he was squashed he had such accumutated score that he was still ahead till almost the end.

    It seem very difficult to catch up late on - you must go to war since you need to be pegging back the leader to stand a chance later.
     
  11. Rich

    Rich Artificially Intelligent

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    I dunno. I think that if u can expand early on and build key wonders youve got the game in the bag. Its far to difficult to keep everyone happy without wonders. Also i think that the great library is mayb the best wonder in the game. Perhaps short lived but u can acquire numerous techs through it.

    But what i`d like to know eyrie is what wonders u do build. Do you start building them in the second era. Sun Tzu i always find is damn useful.

    Cheers
    Rich
     
  12. Rich

    Rich Artificially Intelligent

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    Well apart from rush building with leaders. Just damn good city sites. Cattle, Grassland(shield) always help. A good research rate to get the techs asap. Making sure that the city buiding the wonder has a good healthy pop using entertainers reduce shield potential. So try building temples or use units to act as Military police.
     
  13. eyrei

    eyrei Chieftain Retired Moderator

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    I rarely bother with SunTzu's. I designate two or three cities as military training grounds, and build my army there. I will do anything in my power to build the Sistine Chapel. Its effects do not expire, and they cannot be duplicated. I also try very hard to get either Copernicus' Observitory or Newton's University, if not both. Universal Suffrage is also very important to me, because I generally stay in republic the entire game, and I don't like to make early peace with civs who **** with me. I also make sure I build the UN, because of the absolute control it gives you of a victory condition. Any wonders other than these are just bonuses, and are not necessary for me to win.
     
  14. Arrian

    Arrian Chieftain

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    Building Ancient Great Wonders on Monarch seems hard at first, but there is a way to do it. I usually build 2-3 settlers out of my capitol (depends on whether or not I get any settlers from huts) and then start on the Pyramids (capitol has 2 warriors & a temple to keep it happy for a while). If you capitol has good production (without which I would have restarted immediately, so I assume the capitol site is good), then you will beat the AI to it. I choose to switch to the Great Library, but most people seem to prefer the Pyramids. If I have a good coastal city, I will also go for the Colossus.

    The Key to the Middle Ages wonders is generally ruining the "ripple effect" for the AI. The first Medieval Wonder available is usually Sun Tzu. Pre-build it using a Palace, and make sure you finish it before the AI's have Theology. *NOTE: this is now a helluva lot more difficult with 1.17f, as the AI tech trading makes getting a tech lead very difficult* That way, any AI's building Sun Tzu waste their shields and have to start over. Then start on the Sistine. Actually, what I like to do is have my #2 city work on the palace, discover Feudalism, and if I'm in the lead, I continue on to Theology while my capitol works on Sun Tzu. Then, upon discovering Theology, if the AI doesn't have it, I switch the #2 city to Sun Tzu & the capitol to the Sistine. That way, the Sistine is done earlier than it otherwise would be (Sun Tzu still gets done faster, of course). But that requires a solid tech lead, which ain't gonna happen often anymore.

    Most of the stuff I said in prior posts is now altered by the newest patch (1.17f). The AI trades tech like crazy, and in my first game w/the patch, I scratched and clawed to a tech lead toward the middle of the Industrial Age, and never got more than two or three techs ahead. And I had a really solid game going. I had both the Great Library AND the Pyramids, due to a very early Great Leader. Yet, perhaps because I was taken by surprise by the changes to AI behavior, I got beaten to Copernicus (that hurt), Bach (ouch) and Leo's (annoying). I did end up capturing each of them eventually, but pre-patch I would have easily build them all myself.

    -Arrian
     

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