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Yay, first DG win! Some questions though

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Crakie, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. Crakie

    Crakie Soupnazi

    Jan 4, 2004
    Ok, so I picked a 70% water archipelago map with the Byzantines, but I won my first DG level game! I still have a long way to go though before getting comfortable at DG, but it feels like I have the right kind of momentum going after a substantial amount of miserable failures.

    Perhaps to serve as an inspiration for those still struggling for their first DG, let me briefly summarize my game. I also have some questions, wondering how more experienced players handle this.

    I started on a fairly large island of my own, but easily exploited the seafaring trade to establish contacts quickly. This resulted in a quick tech lead at the final stages of the AA. I have to give every credit to Ainwood's CivAssist II... it really makes ALL the difference in tracking the progress of the AI. Being a tech leader, the demands started pouring in. I usually gave in to whoever was alone on an island, but refused the rest. I then used my tech lead to forge alliances that I kept in place for numerous turns. This was the start of many wars, which lasted a long, long time. Any effort of the AI to bother me was easily dealt with... dromons rock! The GA was well timed too. As a result of the wars, the development of many AI opponents was severely hampered. This really helped me staying in first/second place well into the middle ages, not to mention being able to conquer some more land with knights without too much resistance.

    Question 1: would the war-forging tactic work on continents, picking on the AIs reasonbly far away? If not, how to keep up? Stop researching yourself and buying when several AI's know the techs?

    During the MA I focussed on developping my core cities, apart from building a stack of knights to conquer another island. Libraries, unis, marketplaces and banks. Expansion also lasted until well into the MA. Non-core cities would build settlers or workers, leaving them undeveloped for a long time. At the end of the MA I started falling behind to powerhouse Babylon, who started on an island of their own, and Portugal even though I dragged them into alliances which they seemed to take very seriously. The turning point of the game was when I bought Magnetism and Theory of Gravity at close to monopoly prices, then selling my free IA tech getting me all my money back and more! I had reduced the other two scientific civs to one city, which led to an opportunity to get into the IA with all three starting techs and a huge income!

    Question 2: What to do with non-core cities? It seems that in the first two eras of the game they serve little purpose: they generate no income, they are not productive. One could get them up to size 7 or more for extra unit support and getting a few scientists or tax collectors, but I am reluctant to do that because a) the workers needed for the terrain improvements (irrigation especially) probably are more useful getting the core towns up to size 12 quickly by joining them to those cities and b) to get 7+ cities and keeping them happy you will need ducts and marketplaces which take forever to build or need to be rushed (an investment I am not sure will pay off so easily). To me leaving the non-core cities undeveloped until civil engineers, building workers until then seemed a good strategy.

    In the IA I never gave up my tech lead, using the enormous funds of democracy AIs to fuel my economy. The funds stopped though when I dragged my closest competition into a MA against the Hittites that had finished off the Egyptians after many a century of wars that I had instigated. The Hittites were now the biggest AI civ by far, though behind in techs. Worried about a possible runaway AI, I went after them, dragging Portugal and Babylon with me. They soon went into Fascism, drying up my funds. I eliminated the Hittites, controlled 40 % of the land and went on to launch my spaceship in the early 1600s without serious competition.

    Question 3: For my spaceship, I supposed having research labs would cut the required research times, shaving off a decent number of turns. But it didn't... at least not that I could tell. I made similar observations for libraries and unis, they have no significant result on the research you are doing at the moment they are getting online. I do know that if you DON'T build them, research in an era or so later is really hampered. So I am not saying they are useless, but this observation strikes me as odd. What's the explanation for this?

    So there it was... my first DG win! A favourable map of course, but no iron, horses or salpeter on my home continent, and only one luxury. I'm going for continents next..

    Question 4: Any tips for a continents game? :D
  2. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

    Feb 9, 2004
    Oviedo, Fl
    It does not sound like you need any advice. The only thing I would say about getting wars going on contients is that you have to fear that one civ will rip up another and get more powerful.

    In an island map that is less likely to occur as the AI is still lame on invasion, unless it is already much stronger.

    Non core cities that are quite corrupt are a problem. either leave them at size 6 and try to get a few scientist or as you mentioned, run them up to city size and get the specialist. Which way to go is often a function of the game. In a domination type you probably can afford to build some up.
  3. BigNHuge

    BigNHuge This... Is your story...

    Apr 29, 2003
    I just finished my first DG game with the same settings as you. (DG/Byz/Arch/etc.) I achieved Conquest in 1908AD (After turns of searching for a long galleon with a settler in it.... Damn Mayans.) Mine went a little different though.

    I got a GA in Republic, used it to build military and get $$$. I traded like mad after the GL died. And I just plugged and chugged till IA. Then i built my infastructure and almost all the IA wonders till tanks, then I dropped Netherlands, wiped them off their continent-sized landmass, then took out German Panzars. My final battle I used alot of strategy to take even one city of the Mayans defended by about 35 TOW Infantry at size 18(Smallest sized city).

    My new DG game is Sumeria, Contenents. Im in the MA and almost have 1/2 of my continent. Ive taken out about 3/4 of the Hitties and 1/4 of the Byzantines (Both capitals are down.) I missed out on the GL by 4 turns. So, I took all them shields and thought they would go to waste on something like a Sword. I did uber trading to get myself to tech lead and ended up getting Sun Tzus. I now am constantly pumping veteran MDI and Pikes to take my continent. Once I get it, Ill secure it with lots of infastructure and invade the other continent once cavs come. (Perfect time as its Germany, Netherlands, and Mongolia, which means Swiss Mercenaries and whatever Mongolian UU are are ineffective and the Panzar is far away. If it comes to the point of Cavalry will be ineffective like up against rifles or something, ill just hold out and rush towards either diplo or space, I dont want another 1800's invasion, it takes too long :)
  4. sanabas

    sanabas Psycho Bunny Hall of Fame Staff

    Nov 24, 2004
    Canberra, Australia
    You're using civassist, so both before and after you build it, check your total science, and how many beakers are left in the tech. Basically, to reduce your already in progress research from 3 turns with no overrun to 2 turns with no overrun, you need to increase your total science by 50%, which even 6 research labs coming in at once is unlikely to do. Each science building does have a result on the current tech, but usually it's only to reduce the extra beakers on the last turn, letting you turn research down to say 10% instead of 40% on that last turn, resulting in a couple of hundred extra cash.

    If you really want to see if they're useful, save your game, sell off ALL your libraries, unis & research labs, and then see how long the current research takes.
  5. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

    May 4, 2003
    Köln, Cologne, Colonia. Finally.
    2) Non-core cities? On a 70% archipelago, with a non-military goal? In other words, with about 30% of the land?
    In such a case, you can get everything somewhat useful. Court+WltKD+Policeman/CE. But even without those late-game specialists, they all will make more than 1spt, and with the Byz traits, harbor+library are cheap - and will yield several beakers.

    And yes, the strategy to incite inter-AI wars without actively participating is not a good idea on other landforms. Especially not continents.
  6. SJ Frank

    SJ Frank Spamalot Co-court

    Sep 17, 2002
    The hill tile S-SE of San Francisco
    With continent maps, your ace-in-the-hole is the suicide galley. If you could reach the other continent before the AI's do, you will be able to broker techs at monopoly prices to both continents.

    If the two continents can't reach each until navigation, then you essentially have a free tech ride until navigation. It's just like the Great Library, except there is more mouse clicking involved :)

    Since it functions like the Great Library, you could think of suicide galleys strategically as a GL, in terms of how much resources you want to devote to it. The GL costs 400 shields, each galley costs 30 shields, and each curragh only 15. So, even if it takes 300 shields worth of ships to reach the other continent, you still come out ahead.

    * * *

    None-core cities

    I tend to think there are still two types of none-core cities: those that are salvageable, which means they can reach 50% corruption after a courthouse, and those that aren't.

    Regardless of which types of none-core cities they are, I don't bother with them until my core is done and I can migrate workers out of my core cities to them. In the mean time, my none-core cities first build a few workers, then build catapults if I'm going to war, or continue to build workers.

    Once the core is done, I first get workers out to the salvageable none-core cities, and help them build their courthouse, then to the hopelessly corrupt cities and irrigate them. After this point, both types of none-core cities are pretty much left to fend for themselves. The one's that have courthouses either build more bombardment units (for war) or slowly build their aqueducts and marketplaces. The more corrupt one's gets nothing.

    A key point in here is how fast can you improve your core cities. The sooner that the core gets done, the sooner that the none-cores can become (somewhat) productive. As a reference, in my current game, my core has just been completely improved, and I'm about to pull a 2-fer trade on Engineering and Monotheism :D . I realize more and more that it's not just how many workers you have, it's also how early you have them.
  7. Crakie

    Crakie Soupnazi

    Jan 4, 2004
    Thanks guys, your replies make sense. I guess the one thing I need to start doing more, is thinking on my feet... not following a general plan to some degree. This is doable, I feel like I am starting to get a grip on the game, though I lack the experience to be able to fully assess my strategic position in certain stages of the game.

    Another thing is that I'm lazy... I hate micromanagement after the AA and/or improving the core. I just am not motivated to direct all those workers for very little result in income or productivity.

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