1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Zero-research to Self-research Crossover

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Madroc, May 12, 2005.

  1. Madroc

    Madroc Researching: Code of Laws

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    84
    I just won my first Monarch game (PTW, as the English) and played the whole thing with zero research (one poorly managed scientist). On Regent I was used to trailing the AI and pulling ahead around the end of the AA. It is widely said that you can out-tech the AI on Monarch, but when/how do you make the switch from buying to studying? I made a couple abortive efforts (resulting in a handful of libraries and two or three universities) but I never could... I was always in gpt deals that wouldn't let me set research higher than 30% or so, and all my infrastructure was economic (stock exchanges everywhere, no tech improvements most places.) Does it make sense to start off buying and switch later in the game? If so, how and when do you do it?
     
  2. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    5,251
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hidden Underground Volcano Lair
    Never buy anything. Just trade what you have for what they have. If they dont have it, research it at 100%.
     
  3. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    13,695
    Location:
    Oviedo, Fl
    Stock exchanges are a long way down the road tech wise and you also have to have a bank built. So by that point you should have the tech lead or you probably are not going to until you reduce the others.

    Universities are a 50%, but need a lot of shields. So if you are running very low research rates, they probably are a waste. The maint is offsetting the beakers or worse. You have to look at what the city is doing. If you have 2 beakers, you do not want to build a uni. If you have a bank and an exchange, the gold will yield a better results (50% for each on the base).

    One thing is for certain, if you are feeding gold to the AI, it will be hard to take the lead. Make trades tech(s) for tech, make even a cash deal, but no gpt.

    Be sure to look at your towns and see if the citizens are working the best tiles. You can see the gov will put pop on food tiles and ignore commerce at times. Check the tiles and be sure they have been roaded and mined. OK some will have to be irrigated, but be sure you have the right improvement and it is used.

    Take advantage of river tiles and when you get to the point that you have enough food, look to see if you can move to one of those gold tiles or other commerce tiles.

    The point that you take the lead does not matter, just that you do take the lead. I don't care if it is in the early IA or late or in the Middle Age. That is often a function of your start location and traits.

    Even a some what peacefl builder should be holding 60% and still pay all the bills. If you are getting that and have libs where needed, you should be doing 7-9 turn techs. That is good enough at Monarch, unless a KAI develops.

    I would rather see you spend the money on stealing than to give it to the AI. After you get into the Middle Ages, I do not like to feed the AI gold.
     
  4. Pentium

    Pentium Digital Matter

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    2,673
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    I think it's not worth switching. Choose your style in the begining and stick to it to the end. Of course (like always in Civ) there are extreme cases, bot not very often.

    I myself like researching. And what budweiser said.
     
  5. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    5,251
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hidden Underground Volcano Lair
    It's nice to be the tech leader, but you dont win the game by being ahead in tech. I mean there is no tech leader victory condition, nor can you win by having the most gold. Granted, I always want to be the leader too, it just feels more secure. But its a false goal, put there just to lead you astray. Keep in mind that you can still win the game if you never even get ahead in tech. Make sure you have what you need, if you need defense, have defense. If you need knights, get knights, dont worry that they have education and you dont. Get used to being a tech or two down, just dont get down a whole age. I cant win on diety (well maybe I could if I tried), but I can win on DG. I just played a DG game where I was behind the russians by about half an age for the whole game. It didnt matter because I was so much more powerful than them, more land, more population, more troops. When I got tanks I attacked them and they fell easily although they were 3-4 techs into the modern age and I was still doing atomic theory and electronics. So you can stil win if you are a little behind.
     
  6. kungfool

    kungfool Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Messages:
    18
    The only time I fork gpt over to the AI is for alliances--I play on huge maps (usually pangea) and I typically dont mind spending up to 30-40gpt per ally or even past 50gpt if its a strong neighbor, (usually the early middle ages when I got a golden age coming for a UU victory)--I figure the gold I give them is justified somehow on account the ai is plowing through my enemies army on my behalf, as a side note the AI rarely sticks an alliance out for the full 20 turns anyhow--which is just as well, as its really only the first 4 or 5 turns that count anyway.

    To give outragoues amounts of gold for tech or luxuries only strengthens the AI players position and lead, by letting them tap into your economy and chug away in a peaceful state youll never catch up to them.

    The only thing a tech lead ever did for me was invite an endless onslaught of ridiculous AI demands to hand over my tech for free. Tech bought alliances rarely last more than 3 or 4 turns for me as well. Tech leads also get you into an endless one ups manship game where you sell tech for the bargin give away prices the AI will give and go 100% on research just to stay one step ahead, all while you could be rushing units or improvements instead.
     
  7. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    13,695
    Location:
    Oviedo, Fl
    I am with you budweiser, but I suspect it won't be useful to those peaceful builders. They will not have the troops to hold off the AI, if they are forced to use inferior units.
     
  8. SJ Frank

    SJ Frank Spamalot Co-court

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    717
    Location:
    The hill tile S-SE of San Francisco
    The natural place to switch is when you build the ToE.

    Those two monopoly techs should get you all the available gpt's in the world, which enables you to push research high. Those factories and rails that you built a while back skyrockets you production, such that your cities can build the research infrastructure quickly. The AIs at this point tend to start world wars, and that knocks them out of democracies, stops tech trading and slows down the world tech pace.

    However, should you switch is another question. If you're not big enough, so that after switching you can not out-researching the AIs, then it's probably better to build troops to get bigger first, then worry about switching to research mode.
     
  9. SJ Frank

    SJ Frank Spamalot Co-court

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    717
    Location:
    The hill tile S-SE of San Francisco
    I disagree with any statement that contains the word "never" ;)

    It's okay to buy tech, even using gpt to buy tech, as long as you're brokering those techs around for more techs. The most important thing is to never buy straight up, always play the broker. If there isn't a brokering opportunity, then don't buy! Waiting until there is at least a 2-fer before buying.

    The advantage of trading tech-for-tech is that you don't fuel the AI's coffer with your gpt. On the other hand, the advantage of buy with gpt is that 1) you save shields on research infrastructure, and 2) you're much more flexable in the deals that you can broker, which usually results in better deals.

    I'm really annoyed by the fact that people call this strategy the "zero-research strategy". I think the name mislead a lot of people. It isn't about zero-research at all; it's about tech brokering.
     
  10. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    5,251
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hidden Underground Volcano Lair
    You said never!

    EDIT: I made my statement because I was thinking no matter who you give the money to, it will end up feuling the researcher ai. I am toying with the idea of playing a game where I nver give any money to the enemy to see how it effects their tech pace. instead I will use any money to rush my own units or improvements. Sooner or later, I should be done improving everything and may surge ahead in my tech pace.
     
  11. SJ Frank

    SJ Frank Spamalot Co-court

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    717
    Location:
    The hill tile S-SE of San Francisco
    :blush:

    I promise. I'll never say never again. :mischief:
     
  12. eldar

    eldar ChiefTank

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    The three golden rules of trading (stolen unashamedly from Bede, or was it DocT?):

    1. Do I need it? - will the tech being bought give a significant edge that will allow completion of a goal more efficiently.

    2. Can I afford it? - not necessarily "do I have enough gold/gpt/tech/goods to pay for it?" but "would buying this cripple my economy in such a way that I would lose all ability to self-research/build units/keep my people happy for the next 20 turns?".

    3. Is it profitable? - can I broker this tech around for more gold/gpt/techs/goods than I initially shell out for it?

    If the deal fulfils at most one of those conditions, do not trade.
    If the deal fulfils 2 of the 3, it's a good deal, and is probably worthwhile in some but not all circumstances.
    If the deal fulfils all 3 criteria, go for it, it's Sale of the Century!
     
  13. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    5,251
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hidden Underground Volcano Lair
    I think a different approach is worth exploring. I think to keep parity you should keep your wealth to yourself and not let a dime fall into enemy hands. Take money out of their hands whenever you can. Trade your techs freely to the ones who lag behind, they will be your friend and they wont be funneling whatever money they do have to the ai research leader. The opponents are really operating as a research conglomerate against you. It's just another example of how they are playing a different game than you are.

    I tried a standard contintent C3C emporer england game to test my theory last night. I chose england because england's great strenght appears to be her ability to generate tons of cash. I thought if I chose this civ, it would be even more of a challenge to my cash denial strategy. However, england has some other traits that help her get techs. On my starting lands were Germany, Mongols, China and Babylon, all of them nasty boys. America, Iroquios, and zulu were on the other continent.

    In the ancient age their is only limited use for money. Spend whatever money you have to purchase embassies. The embassies will reveal a portion of the map and gradually increase relations.

    Exploring is the key, make early contacts by whatever means you can. Trade your techs for their techs or your techs for their money. You will be at parity or have an edge. Build up your base and get out of despotism. As soon as you can, begin cash rushing improvements in your capital and then spread out to the core. When the cities are up to date make an attack force and whack someone and get some land. Keep expanding slowly through oscillating limited war. But prioritise building the core.

    If you have no cash, you may get extorted for techs. Dont sweat it, fight if you want or give in. You will probably be two or three ahead anyway.

    My session ended with me building Knights Templar and starting to research education in 9 turns. Only the other continent is up gunpowder. The rest are behind me. I am proud to say I never gave anyone a dime for my techs and I whipped germany and the mongols in a war. My archers rule. Sadly, I lack iron and horses.

    This strategy may be situational, but I am going to continue the game and see how it goes. Then try a different civ.
     
  14. Madroc

    Madroc Researching: Code of Laws

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    84
    I should have clarified that while I was buying my techs, I wasn't trailing otherwise. I was number one in score (eventually), power, and land area, and my only real rival was China (island map, they started alone on the second biggest island, plus the AI tends to play them well anyway.) I kept them happy with ongoing trade and tried to buy tech from the weakest civ who had it.
    I will self-research in my new game, even if I trail a lot early. It seems like unless you get ToE (I opted not to pursue it, for reasons that escape me now) it is very hard to get out of the all-cash rut. Of course, this time around, I'm Korea, which won't hurt...
    Someone on here (I forget who) says that your research should always be at 100% or 0%. Any thoughts on that? (FWIW, I play a Builder style, punctuated by short, decisive wars fought on my own terms.)
     
  15. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    5,251
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hidden Underground Volcano Lair
    I firmly believe in 100%, or what ever you can afford and still keep people happy. You get money when you turn down research at the end of a run so as not to waste beakers/turns. I do know that is possible to play a game where you spend nothing on research, I have done this too and it works and is fun.

    If you are going to do self research, you need to get good at micromanaging, placing core cities, building population, exploring and making contacts and so forth. Korea is great for this and has many advantages.
     
  16. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    18,200
    Location:
    Chicago
    Eldar it was kind of a combo of Rik Meleet and Bede. I think this is good to have nearby when evaluating a trade.
    How about this....
    I'm sure he wouldn't mind and I think it's worthwhile to see.
    Here's DocT in our "Blind" Demigod SG. Check out this round of trading to get us back in the game. There was some additional scolding :blush: that I've deleted but the lessons learned were huge. Check this out....
    He picked up 4 luxs, 5 techs, 37 gpt and 415 g. He paid with horses, 68 gpt (net cost of 31 gpt for everything) and 240g(we were 175 to our positive here).

    Quite a demonstration of how to trade.
     
  17. Pentium

    Pentium Digital Matter

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    2,673
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    But what when every AI has every tech available to you? How do you broker then?
     
  18. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    18,200
    Location:
    Chicago
    We were behind there but opportunities were still available. In the MA's there are two distinct paths.
    Most players go chem--> metal--> MT. What DocT is saying there is at the higher levels Mono --> Theo opens either Educ or PP and the possibility to either build research buildings or acquire a monopoly tech in PP.
    I think the point is what path is the AI least likely to head towards.
    What we do know is what are some of the things the AI values most.
    --Their UU.
    --Governments.
    --Wonders.
    --IIRC Space Parts
     
  19. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    13,695
    Location:
    Oviedo, Fl
    Whomp brokering is great when you get the chance and can be very powerful. The opportunities like the one you list are not going to happen on Monarch, not common on emperor either. This was a monarch game.

    You need a game when the AI has a big bonus and you are not over powered. This is not so uncommon at DG. The AI will have the means to do good research, the player can find the niche.

    It is not so easy above DG either as you may find it hard to have something to broker.
     
  20. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    18,200
    Location:
    Chicago
    This was a Demigod game.
     

Share This Page