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A builder strategy please!

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  • A builder strategy please!

    I'm a pretty bad player. I am trying to refine my Noble-level game, and seem to have trouble with one issue in particular: empire growth. I have no trouble with conquering my neighbours, but I want to be able to settle my empire like a good builder.

    Can anyone refer me to any threads? I would think this a common problem, but searching is hard with such a vague topic. I've read Vel's guide over and over, but I can't seem to pass this hump.

    I'll run through my general strategy. As Augustus, I research bronze, wheel, pottery. I start a barracks and switch to a worker so that it finishes in time to start building cottages. I probably research writing next, or go for a religion if I can get it. I build/pop a granary and monument, get a second warrior and start on a settler. At this point I get cheesed because someone has settled right beside me, and I switch to my fallback of legionaires and catapults.

    Any advice? Sorry for the newb question...

  • #2
    how fast do you expand? How many settlers do you build?

    yeah I know the game punishes early expansion. But you can get 4 cities up and running fairly quickly on noble without much penalty. After that I take a break, but you can still slowly expand after that.

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    • #3
      I'm experimenting with a settler-first game right now, but it is difficult balancing settler production with granary, for example.

      I'm going to try for five cities before 0AD on a marathon game... previously this is very difficult, but I'm pulling out all the stops and habits.

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      • #4
        Ditch Marathon - it's unbalanced in favour of warmongering because production and movement don't scale to research pace. I advise Normal speed for learning, as it's easy to switch tack if something goes awry.

        An early war is a perfectly reasonable builder strategy, though it may not sound it! Once you've carved out your niche then settle down for a peaceful remainder of the game.

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        • #5
          Workers. If you want to buld an empire, get lots of workers and get them relatively early. Bronze working and aggro techs, also iron if your environment contains a lot of jungle. Push the 60% research thumb rule to its limits - if goody huts gave you some gold you most often can afford to go on -1 to -5. Also your farm/cottage ratio is something you need to pay attention to if growth is your target - more farms, especially on flood plains.

          For this strategy I find Asoka is second to none.

          ...but, you should have an idea of _why_ you want to build - are you looking for space race, diplomacy or culture?

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          • #6
            Maybe it's just me, but neither of the Roman leaders look to me to be particularly well suited for builder tactics. (Granted Augustus looks not quite as bad a builder choice as Julius)

            Rome is more of get a few cities down quick, particularly an iron site, then build your UU and conquer an opponent or two first and then catch up on the buildings once enemy Longbows & Crossbows become too numerious.

            I personally like the Ottomans best for peaceful expansion and building Ancient / Classical / Midevil tactics. Half priced a lot of cool buildings and their UU apprives with Gunpowder and is ideal for taking out pre-Gunpowder units.
            1st C3DG Term 7 Science Advisor 1st C3DG Term 8 Domestic Minister
            Templar Science Minister
            AI: I sure wish Jon would hurry up and complete his turn, he's been at it for over 1,200,000 milliseconds now. :mad:

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            • #7
              Focus on maximizing your Happiness/Health caps, and make sure that every new pop point works a Cottage.

              That's a bit simplistic, but the fundamentals usually are.
              And her eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming...

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              • #8
                First thing I noticed is you're building a barracks really early. Often I'll go through a thrid of the game before building one. Build a worker/scout/work boat instead. Even a warrior. If you're serious about playing as a builder you shouldn't ever need barracks.

                Also, what map are you playing on. Earth maps are notorious for cramped starts so builder strategies really won't work. Try a large highlands game where it takes many millennium for space to be exhausted. Also the less fertile land forces you to pay closer attention to your cities prosperity.

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                • #9
                  I generally find that, especially as a builder...
                  a) have enough military to scare off any threat
                  b) have a nice "culture buffer" so none of your squares get crowded
                  c) ALWAYS have the tech lead so that you can bribe others to fight your wars
                  * OR temporarily change to warmonger if pressed later and wipe out the threat, then go back to builder-mode

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                  • #10
                    Thank you very much for all the suggestions!

                    I am definitely a fan of the early war, which is why I prefer Rome, but I just got a little tired of falling into the same pattern the last few games.

                    As a few have suggested, maybe it is time to commit and abandon Augustus altogether... he sounded to me like a good fit for a flexible builder/warmonger, but specialization is the key I suppose.

                    I play on continents map. I am playing around with ditching the barracks and cottage spamming (as much as I despise it). I'll keep you posted! Thank you for the tips!

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                    • #11
                      you don't need cottages if you run with a lot of specialists (which require farms for high population). I have yet to do this, as I don't like to micromanage specialists. I just cottage spam like crazy (though I like to have a good mix of improvements).

                      which might be the weakest part of my game. I don't have specialist cities. My cities are the jack of all trades type. They have a good mix of every attribute.

                      Though I do try to have one "military" city. Very important. You need to be cranking out a steady stream of military units to keep the ai off your back. Though I will try to fit in libraries and such in my military city as well. Just don't forget to keep building those units.

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                      • #12
                        For builders, find a Financial civ. Building is not why the Romans are in this game.

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                        • #13
                          Industrious civs also make great builders (if you're going for a wonder-centred strategy).
                          - Lord Parkin / emperor

                          Read all about my adventures in the Realms Beyond Pitboss 4 game!

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                          • #14
                            On the topic of specialists, perhaps I can ask about another strategy I've been employing for about a year then.

                            I specify an 'Engineer' city, and only build wonders that produce great engineer points. Similarly for Scientists, artists and eventually merchants. I adopted this as a compromise from an idea I read here: that potentially constructing all your wonders in one city increases the GP birth rate. However, I do not like the idea of randomly generating a GP (a great prophet is generally useless to me, while a great scientist or engineer is almost always useful).

                            Ingame, this usually ends up being a lot of great engineers for me: early wonders I often take are the great wall and pyramids. I rush a library and try to produce a scientist before this for an academy in my eventual science city.

                            This probably isn't optimal, but I like the flavour it adds to the game. As previously mentioned, I have a lot of bad habits to break.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by couerdelion
                              For builders, find a Financial civ. Building is not why the Romans are in this game.
                              Hehe, well put! As you and emperor suggest, I am planning on experimenting with the Inca.

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