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Zero Research Gambit

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Alexsy, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. Alexsy

    Alexsy Chieftain

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    I read about this somewhere, and I was hoping for a little more detail on it, or a link to a post about it. I'm just starting my first monarch game, as the Persians (when I move up a level, they're my default starting civ.)

    Thanks
    -Alex
     
  2. Volstag

    Volstag Chairman of the Bored

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    I may have this incorrect, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Basically, you set your sci slider to zero, and act as a "middle-man" tech broker. You allow the 2 - 4 tech leaders obtain a particular tech, then you buy it off of them. At this point, you immediately sell the tech to the rest of the world -- and, hopefully, in the process come out ahead.

    When your timing/position is right, you can attempt to "sling-shot" beyond the tech leaders by self-researching a fairly neglected/little-used tech, to sell to the tech leaders. This has worked to great effect in some of my games.

    Have you checked the War Academy?

    -V
     
  3. Alexsy

    Alexsy Chieftain

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    Vol,

    No, I haven't checked the war acadmy, but I appreciate your brief summary.

    -Alex
     
  4. Volstag

    Volstag Chairman of the Bored

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  5. denyd

    denyd Emperor

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    Just to add a little bit to this.

    There is a variation on this for Emperor & Demi-God levels (below don't need it and above doesn't always work very well).

    Pick something you think the AI won't be researching for a while. If you are a you're the only religious, then mysticism is a good choice and research at the minimum level (some people use a scientist if they've got a size 5+ city). That allows you to at some point have a tech no one else has. Then you combine that tech with the gold you've amassed and start trading until you end up with the tech lead (or at least parity) and most of the gold. Then you do it again.

    The keys to making work are lots of exploration, expansion and remaining on good terms with everyone. If you're expansionist this is an excellent strategy as you can you'll normally have the most contacts and with luck you'll pop a couple of huts for techs you can deal with. It also works very well with the seafaring trait on an islands map.

    The keys to sucess are lots of exploring, vigilant checking of the AI advances (check out Dianthus' map stat tool for this, it's a great timesaver) and clever trading. Being able to parlay just The Printing Press into Engineering, Invention, Gunpowder, Music Theory & Metallugy + 1000g & 250gpt is a sure sign your ready for this gambit.
     
  6. Dave the Monkey

    Dave the Monkey Chieftain

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    How do you check on the AI's tech level?
     
  7. Moonsinger

    Moonsinger Settler Retired Moderator

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    Just pretend that you are going to trade for something and see what they have to offer. Their leader heads would also indicate which technological age they are in. Of course, if you are an aggressive trader, you should contact them in every turn.;)
     
  8. move_quietly

    move_quietly Chieftain

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    hey i did this almost by accident a few games ago and it worked good. i set my slider to zero and saved up money and on occasion i would purchase a tech. i did it because i realized that early on what i was most interested in was building things i already had techs for, that i really just didn't need higher techs at that point. by the time i started needing them to build new things i could easilly afford them. at some point i had momentum going and had built banks and things and was becoming a big power in terms of commerce so i up'd the sliders and became the leader in tech. it was working great until the largest AI on the map decided to send all of it's archers over to throw themselves on my infantry. and they started destroying my railroads and yadda ya with musketmen and blah blah blah and if i just get bored and quit the game that's usually when it happens.
     
  9. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    Just to add a bit here...

    What denyd describes are "minimum" research gambits, and such strategies are essetial at emperor and above. These strats work at Monarch level, but not so well at Regent and below. There are two basic ways to pursue minimum research: Set the science slider to 10%, or hire a single scientist in a city with a food surplus.

    If you look in Succession Games you'll find 3 SGs that are based on a "No Research" variant. Science slider stuck at zero, no scientists. Look for any of the "Jumpmasters" games (1A, 1B, 1C). These are emperor level games in which the teams are conducting zero research, trading for all techs.
     
  10. Kalach

    Kalach Infantry Specialist

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    I've found at Regent and below, that the AI research too slow to make 0/minimal research strats viable. With decent economic management you can normally keep a tech lead with self research. Of course you still trade a bit though.

    EDIT - The quote's there because I wasn't sure if thats what you meant or something a bit different.
     
  11. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    You're quite right - at Regent and below it's not too hard to out-research the AI from a fairly early stage of the game. This is the single hardest part about transitioning beyond Monarch. Some research strats that work at Regent-Monarch levels don't work well at all on Emperor, and will only get you buried at levels beyond...
     
  12. ChuckDizzle

    ChuckDizzle Chieftain

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    Quick question, does this strat work better on large or small maps and with more or fewer civs?
     
  13. Alexsy

    Alexsy Chieftain

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    well i'm in a monarch game right now. more to be posted about this game later. but my thinking is that with more civs, there's more trading that can take place. so my guess would be, but i havent tested this or anything, that it works best on a large map with many civs.
     
  14. crazyluke2001

    crazyluke2001 Chieftain

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    Um, if you're going for zero research, then don't be Persians because then thier scientific trait is wasted. After all, you won't need any libraries or universities (let alone cheaper ones). Unless of course you rely so heavily on Immortals you just HAVE to be Persian.

    If you like them for Industrious, be American or Chinese, probably American as you will need early communications to make tech trading work well (Americans get free scout at the beginning).
     
  15. earthguido

    earthguido Chieftain

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    I´m playing my first Monarch game, and trying to play tech trader. I have not quite managed to get hold of it, I think. There are a group of 5 tech leaders and 5 or so other followers, me amongst them. I am devoting 50-70% of my trade to research and never get to reach the leaders nor to have a tech they don't. However, sometimes I manage to purchase a tech the followers don't have and then I can sell it to them for all the others I do not have, and then end up 2-3 techs behind the leaders, but sometimes I am really far behind.

    I know I haven't paid much attention to trading in the early game and it is costing me now, and moreover I have spoilt my reputation declaring on England. The point is that with my lux slider at 60% I get new techs in 5-7 turns, and I think doing this and further developing my cities will be the only way to reach the leaders.
     
  16. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    The lux slider at 60% on Monarch raises an eyebrow... sounds like either a lack of luxuries or a lack of markets... it sounds like there is another aspect of the game that needs a look... but anyway, here are a couple of pointers:

    First, if the AI knows it, don't research it, buy it.

    Tech brokering: Don't buy a tech already known by the others followers. Buy that most expensive tech (the one the leader has a monopoly on) and broker it to the other civs. Often you can pick up the techs that are more widely known as part of the trading.

    Dianthus' MapStat will help make short work of figuring out who has what each turn. (Sorry, no link handy). This is an awesome utility... the only one I really use.

    And check out What will the AI research next? by alexman in the War Academy. Good luck!
     
  17. denyd

    denyd Emperor

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    Since Scoutsout replied to Earthguido, I'll reply to CrazyLuke2001:

    The almost zero research with Persia works great: What you need to do is trade your way to writing, then research literature at minimum. Unless > Emperor, you'll probably get it. If you build the Great Library, you can set science to 0% and let the GL keep you current, while building cheap libraries for future researching. You'll also be able to build up a large war chest for that warrior->immortal mass upgrade. Once you've managed to secure your continent, you can settle in and complete those libraries & markets, while researching to republic. Without the GL, you just keep trading and once you get near the end of the Ancient Age, pay whatever it takes to get that last tech to jump ages. Once you get to the next age, trade your bonus tech to get back what you paid for that last tech (and more). You'll be at tech parity with everyone and with lots of gold in the bank.

    There is an article by DaveMcW regarding getting free techs that is must reading in the War Academy. To give and example of what you'll learn is how to get invention as your age change bonus :D
     
  18. crazyluke2001

    crazyluke2001 Chieftain

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    @denyd: Cheers!

    @Scoutsout: Maybe he meant he set his research to 60%. He said this way he researched techs in 5 to 7 turns and this was the only way to draw even with the AI.
    Luxury rate is not relevant to techs, unless it is impairing the amount of money spent on tech.
     
  19. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    @Crazyluke - you're probably right... anyway, between the posts and the links and everything... I hope somebody finds this helpful.

    Oh - one other thing - when you hit the Industrial era - don't overlook sanitation. Specialists seem much more powerful in C3C than PTW/Vanilla.

    For example: in COTM1 I went for a histographic victory ("milking" the game). After kicking everybody off the planet except Korea (and banishing Korea to a 1-tile island) I shut down research completely once I got Sanitation... with hospitals in place I was able to hire many tax collectors and scientists with the food surplus food from irrigated/railroaded grass....

    By the time I got to the late industrial age, Motorized Transportation was a six-turn tech, with the science slider set to ZERO and the Lux (yes, Lux) slider set to 100%. (We're talkin' WLTKD all over the planet...)
     
  20. earthguido

    earthguido Chieftain

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    60% lux slider? I must have been drinking... of course, I meant sci slider. My lux slider remains safely at 0% until WW requires a touch...

    I feel I could be getting more of this if I put down my sci slider, but the problem is that the tech leaders are not willing to sell me anything, not even the lousiest techs, the only ones that would sell something to me are the followers, and they are always second hand techs. That's why I guess I will be researching more. May it be possible that they are not willing to sell me because I do not have enough money?

    And yes, I find your comments extremely helpful, thanks a lot guys!!! :goodjob:
     

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