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[BTS] Work-Boat-first start? [Monarch][BUFFY]

SlimJim01

Chieftain
Joined
May 17, 2022
Messages
55
Hello everyone!

After taking a break from Civ4, I've finally decided to get back to it!
This time around I decided to go with Ragnar for two reasons. 1. I've only played with the Dutch so far, and I'd like to get out of my comfort zone. 2. I want to do more naval invasions! For that purpose I went with an island/water based map.
I've been running into some issues, and I could really use some help.

First off, I think you'll agree with me when I say that this is a really good start! Three food sources right off the bat, marble for The Great Lighthouse two tiles over, food near good helper cities sites, elephants and river tiles a bit further down!
Spoiler :

Civ4ScreenShot0023.JPG

Civ4ScreenShot0024.JPG



Since there are no food sources except Clams, I have to work boat first (even if I went worker first, they would have fudge-all to do). I did some reading up, and figured working the forest hill with 3 hammers to get the boat out in 8 turns would be the best course of action. However, what perplexes me is that everyone says that you should immediately start making a worker (15 turns). That means 23 turns without any growth.

In my shadow game I was introduced to a very simple technique. Build warriors until you get Bronze Working, start chopping, put chop into settler, go back to warrior, when at 4 pop chop settler, put overflow into workers, repeat until you have 3-4 cities by 2000 BC.
I, for the life of me, cannot do it. The best I managed to do is three total cities... by 1800. Not to mention that I'm drowning in jungle. Oh, and I'm also supposed to fit in The Great Lighthouse somewhere in there.

This is my idea for research: Bronze Working first, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry (for the helper cities), not sure about pottery (granary could be useful) on the account of no river tiles at the start (could just work water tiles for now), sailing and masonry, then Iron Working (gotta get rid of the jungle).

Also, lack of border popping is killing me. Should I invest in monuments for early border popping (libraries take a while to build)?

Input would be greatly appreciated!


Side note: you can still build Berserkers when you get riffling. And you can upgrade them to Rifflemen. You can get basically get early Marines. I think that's pretty fudging neat.
 

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  • Billy Bob the Viking God BC-4000.CivBeyondSwordSave
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Marble doesn't speed GLH; it speeds GLib. (And NE, HE, Parth, Taj among others.) GLH has no resource boost.

90% of maps are worker first; you've apparently rolled one of the 10% that's not.
 
It's not clear from the image but you should be working clams to build the worker in 12 not 15. Alternative is to grow to size 2 in 6 turns (I think) and build worker in 10. Either way as long as BW is researched the turn after worker is built you don't lose worker turns.

I'm also not sure the pig city needs to be coastal if it doesn't get any seafood in range. Maybe SE of pigs to grab elephants while having enough non jungle tiles to work.
 
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However, what perplexes me is that everyone says that you should immediately start making a worker (15 turns). That means 23 turns without any growth.
I don't think anyone here would advice worker first, with Rags starting techs ;)
Mining & fishing are prolly the only combo where worker first can come into play.
(for fishing starts anyways)
 
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First off, I think you'll agree with me when I say that this is a really good start! Three food sources right off the bat, marble for The Great Lighthouse two tiles over, food near good helper cities sites, elephants and river tiles a bit further down!
I don't agree.
  • seafood is not great, because improvement costs 30:hammers: per tile
  • clam/crab is not great, because it's only 4:food:-tile
  • no rivers for the first 3-4 cities
  • lots of jungle
Long term it's fine because you have plenty of food, but for the first 100T (when it really matters) it's pretty weak.

In my shadow game I was introduced to a very simple technique. Build warriors until you get Bronze Working, start chopping, put chop into settler, go back to warrior, when at 4 pop chop settler, put overflow into workers, repeat until you have 3-4 cities by 2000 BC.
I, for the life of me, cannot do it. The best I managed to do is three total cities... by 1800. Not to mention that I'm drowning in jungle. Oh, and I'm also supposed to fit in The Great Lighthouse somewhere in there.
Yes. It's not your fault, it's because the start is slow. I think you can make 3 cities by T50 (2000BC) if your worker just keeps chopping.

Settling on the marble would've made it a bit easier. You need to settle on eastern pigs then though which is slightly inconvenient.
 
That grassland will be be a resource. You never get grassland surrounded by forest.

Settling on marble would have been better. 6 turn workboat. A 4 food sea tile is not great. 5 food corn much better. If you found the fish that would of been tempting to spend another turn.

I think with this start if you found the marble settling on it was a great move. If you fog gaze at start you can see the plains and you know you often get 4-5 resources in BFC.

Always worth moving settler at start.
 
As people already pointed out, Marble doesn't speed up The Great Lighthouse (the fastest way to get TGL is Roosevelt). However, the little island up north might be a just reason for TGL.

But judging from your screenshots, until T15 and you haven't met anyone :hmm:. It's probably isolation (= you need Optics to contact other AIs). Or the closest AI is connected by Sailing (which is slightly better than isolation). If it's isolation, with the marble, oracle Monarchy would be worth considering, as I only see 1 early happiness resource (ivory) on your screenshots (jungle dyes need calendar and IW, which comes too late). Another option is going for Aesthetics - Lit and build GLib, as the extra GScientists will bulb your way to Astronomy.

This map doesn't have the strongest start, but it still offers good opportunities for learning about empire management, fog-busting, :gp: generation, and naval warfare. In Pangaea-ish maps people usually don't need naval invasion; but in Fractal/Continents maps, building galleons and attacking some AIs on another continent is frequent. Plus, Ragnar's traits, UU, and UB make him one of the good choices for people's first attempt of isolation :viking:.

(libraries take a while to build)?
3-pop or 2-pop whip the libraries is much better than slow building them. A rare situation that you may slow-build libraries is when you play as CRE leader (why bother whipping 2 pop for a creative library which only takes 4 turns to build). You probably got used to slow build libraries when you played many games as Willem.

Good luck for your game :viking:
 
I really doubt isolated on a big and small map. Just lots of land. Plus monarchy so AI probably didn't start with many scouts. Hence nobody met yet. Try to keep your cities 2-4 tiles apart. At some point you will want monuments but a few of the starting cities can be done with resources in the inner ring. Maybe after BW/AG and AH? Not a fan of the pigs/dye city. Feels awkward away from coast like that. Needs more scouting otherwise you kill off so many coast tiles.

Or is it quicker going corn, farm and whipping a workboat at size 2? Of course financial fish is very nice. +3C a turn.
 
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Ooooops the map turned out to be Big & small :think: Couldn't load the save so I instinctively thought the map was Fractal or Continents. In Big & small that's probably not isolation, but all the islands make TGL a little more tempting. A good news is OP has large room to expand. Even the start is a little weak, expanding to 8 or 10 cities in 1AD might be a good goal to set.

Agree about more scouting. OP will need to meet and open borders with the AIs before benefiting from foreign trade routes. A scouting work boat would find some AIs reachable through coast maybe..? Although the scouting wb is not urgent at the beginning of the game.

Settling cities with resources in the inner ring is the best way to deal with border pop issue. But I understand SlimJim01's feeling about border pop and city placement :lol: : I used to play as Louis for a long time so I developed a bad habit of grabbing resources in the outer ring of a city; when I changed the leader to de Gaulle or Nappy, border pop became indeed painful, and I had to totally throw away my old habit of city placement.
 
Okay, so I restarted the game and settled on Marble and got to work. Tried settling two cities by 2000 BC, only managed to settle the second in 1800. On the upside, got three workers, and a couple of warriors that are fog busting.
Found some Civs, we got Boudica down south, Arabians west (I don't think we have to worry about them for now), and Aztecs... somewhere.
I opted to get Pottery, so I can start putting down some cottages. Right now I'm going for Construction, ('phants + Catapults), because Iron Working wouldn't really help us without an army of workers.
Spoiler :

Civ4ScreenShot0025.JPG

Civ4ScreenShot0026.JPG

 

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  • Rag_Mon_Sta_Big_Nor_Anc_1720-BC_Tem_Med_Jul-15-2023_23-21-54.CivBeyondSwordSave
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Yeah, lots of mistakes there. No worries though, we are here to point them out. ;) For learning purposes I'd encourage you to just re-play the start (up to T50 or so) until you get it right.
  • improve the seafood under your culture and work it. Also the fish to the E. That's why I said you need to found on the pigs, which would've been my 3rd city probably.
  • while granaries might be ok (since you have +1:) from ivory), non-capital libraries definitely nono. Those cottages are not urgent either, since you have a lot of seafood tiles to work. You should expand instead! New cities pay back very well.
  • I'd want GLH, so sailing-masonry instead of pot-writ. 2nd and 3rd cities need to focus on expansion in that case.
  • 3 workers is probably an overkill since there is not much to improve. 2 is fine so that 60:hammers: can go towards settlers.
edit: maybe you didn't build those boats because I earlier said that seafood is not great. Still, it's the best you have! I'll play to T50 or so, but I think you should try yourself first before getting spoiled.
 
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T57
Spoiler :
Started with a boat, because it improves a tile so much faster. Also 4:food:3:commerce: is competitive compared to 5:food:. Mining-BW-agri. Started a worker size 2, put exactly 30:hammers: to it and switched to slavery, whip. Worker chops one forest (I picked the one which is most likely to grow back).

Civ4ScreenShot0015.JPG


Worker moves to improve corn, exactly when agri is in. Corn will be improved exactly on the turn the city grows to 3. For high quality play you need to pay attention to timing.

Civ4ScreenShot0016.JPG


One chop towards settler, grow to 5, 2-pop whip. This allows to work the strong tiles non-stop and works weak tiles only for a few turns.

Civ4ScreenShot0017.JPG


2nd to grab western pig (I had a scout parked on it to prevent jungle growth!), 3rd on eastern pig to steal capital corn and soon claim the fish. These new cities will whip their own boats while capital is already working on GLH. Still only one worker, 2nd one 1-popped in western city with the help of a chop next, then they move to chop capital for GLH.

Civ4ScreenShot0018.JPG


Auxiliary cities are working on settlers - Uppsala has a chop in a settler so now just grow to 4, 2T towards settler, whip. Haithabu is about to grow to unhappiness, no now 40:hammers: towards settler, grow to 4, whip. GLH is 8T away I think, so while this position might seem a bit underwhelming at first, there is a clear direction. In 10T it's 5 cities with GLH. I am also already working towards oracling CS.

Civ4ScreenShot0019.JPG


The defence is a bit light, but it's monarch and there are plenty of AI units around.

I think the main takeaways from this are simply
  • improve strong tiles asap, work them non-stop, whip off crap
  • expand expand expand
 

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  • Billy Bob the Viking God BC-1720.CivBeyondSwordSave
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Went in a slightly different direction, but I think it's still pretty solid! Managed to get three cities by 2000 BC, got three Work Boats (the third one should get to the final Clams by next turn), some Warriors for fog busting, and I'm on track for the Great Lighthouse.
Spoiler :

Civ4ScreenShot0028.JPG

 

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  • Billy Bob the Viking God BC-2000.CivBeyondSwordSave
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Yes, looks better! Are you in slavery? Pretty sure you should have whipped a boat already in Uppsala.
 
Not convinced about the Great Lighthouse on a start with Ivory, decent commerce & relatively close neighbors. Should also mention that GLH loses some of its value on maps where you don't get intercontinental trade routes.
Playing the peaceful game is ofc an option here, but an elephant rush looks much more straightforward.
 
Sure, it's more efficient to just go for war. I think GLH is pretty good on big&small anyway (unless I'm mistaken and the map script is something else), since there will be a lot of island cities.
 
Yes, looks better! Are you in slavery? Pretty sure you should have whipped a boat already in Uppsala.
Thanks! Didn't have to whip any, since I built them all in the capital.
Sure, it's more efficient to just go for war
I think that would be for the best. Pretty sure most everyone is on the left, which leaves the Celts with me. Hell, might be good to let them develop a couple of cities. Wouldn't have to cut down down so many damn jungles that's for sure.
 
Thanks! Didn't have to whip any, since I built them all in the capital.
You have an unimproved clam in Uppsala and you are working three unimproved tiles!
Hell, might be good to let them develop a couple of cities. Wouldn't have to cut down down so many damn jungles that's for sure.
My thinking exactly!
 
Things are going quite well! Got 5 cities, all (except Bjergvin) have Barracks, Monuments and Granaries (the ones that have acess to seafood also have trading posts). Fog busting is coming along nicely, Archers for happiness, Open Borders with everyone and Clams for Sheep with Saladin. Waiting on Horseback Riding, in the meantime - Catapults.
Spoiler :

Civ4ScreenShot0029.JPG

 

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  • Billy Bob the Viking God BC-0375.CivBeyondSwordSave
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