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AU 201 - DAR 3: The Medieval Era

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  • AU 201 - DAR 3: The Medieval Era

    As per the previous two threads, a fairly loosely defined period for the reports. If someone's teching peacefully then they might want to report up to the discovery of their first Renaissance technology.

    If it's war then you might want to stop around the completion of your strategic objectives.

  • #2

    When we last saw Winnie, he'd just made peace with Cyrus. But the barbarian city of Ainu was there for the taking. With its walls and its CG Archer, a Crossbow was lost (43% win odds) but the city fell on the next turn, giving us two workers to boot:

    And soon after we became Confucian, which was nice

    This was a fantastic peace of luck as Confucianism had spread quite widely in my lands anyway and converting almost immediately repaired my relations with the ever-gullible Persian.


    • #3

      Well GNP looks pretty bad at this point ca. 650 AD. Whilst the AI's numbers are inflated by their maintenance discounts, we need to get moving to improve this. Even allowing for discounts, it looks like we're up against a FIN civ: the CHM Hannibal, perhaps? The other stats aren't too shabby, but scarcely outstanding. As attempt to boost GNP, I'd had a dash at the Colossus, but got beaten to it in 660 AD and the cash get poured in researching Optics. 660 also saw the birth of a great prophet who gets settled in London, as Theology didn't appeal as a lightbulb.

      Compass had been recently traded to Cy for Calendar and Brennus got Drama for HBR. The next couple of hundred years pass quietly. We're getting our new lands improved and adding more units to our army for the inevitable war with Cyrus to claim the Confucian holy city. Speaking of the Persian, he comes knocking in 800 AD:

      I sell him Drama for Literature a few turns later to cement our friendship.


      • #4
        What next? Betrayal, of course.

        The first city to fall is Arbela in 960: my CRII sword winning a 50-50 against an Axeman suprised me so much that I fogot to take a screenshot! In that bizarre AI way, Cyrus sent out a settler with two archers to settle NE of Susa. One of my HAs took one escort and another soon arrived to raze the city immediately after founding.

        Bactra had a big 'ole stack of units in it. Indeed I had gone the wrong way here: I'd expected his main force in Ecbatana. Anyway, I bombarded his defences down for a few turns before attacking in 1040. This time I have a screenie. Check out what a Drill IV CB can do to a wounded spearman:


        • #5
          In 1090, we see something really painful: Cyrus has Feudalism and Ecbatana is on a hill. But we're taking this city come hell or high water. In fact, this is where we'll learn just how good highly promoted CBs can be: ordinarily, I'd avoid attacking such a city with anthing less than Grenadiers.

          (Check the ruins of Ergili at the top of the screenie.)
          The win odds for our Drill IV CB were 2.3%, but now the CG II Longbow is down to 2.1 health. The next couple of battles follow a similar pattern, but our final CB loses at 93.7%. No matter, their sacficies shall be immortalised in our poems and songs. The remain units, including one LB guarding his pigs get mopped up for the loss of one cat (and that was a weedy move on my part).

          We hang off on peace for a couple of turns until we can check out Cy's last city: it's a real duffer, with no resources of any kind and under cultural pressure from GW. Peace is made for nowt, as Cy had nothing to give. With the CHM bonus and the Calendar happy, I'm not worried about Motherland longings.

          Away from the front, I sold Monotheism to GW for 170g, and gave him Drama and Literature for Currency. A nice shot in the arm for my economy. Also visible in the screenshot is the fact that I'm researching Philo because it's still undiscovered! I get there first in 1160 and Taoism is founded in York.


          • #6
            Well that's it from me for this course. After reducing Cyrus to an irrelevance, I looked to get my empire in shape for the next phase whilst teching towards Liberalism. In the end, I decided I'd like to complete the game but wouldn't explore the promoations aspect of CHM any further as I decided on a space race; I felt I didn't have the free time to complete a military win.

            I enjoyed the CB action and the synergies between CHM and PRO can be very satisfying indeed. Whether this was as effective as Axe rush, I'm not sure, but it's always fun to use both traits of any given civ.

            I look forward to the next course. And finally a couple of screenies. England ca 1140 AD:

            And see how the force of my closing borders propels Cyrus's trireme across the ocean:


            • #7
              Monarch Difficulty

              My suggestion would be going until somewhere around ~1250AD, since this would continue the trend of halving the number of years per DAR (3000, 1500, 750).

              I left off having extorted some stuff out of Cyrus for 10 turns of peace. One of the first events of this time period was Washington switching to Buddhism, giving me a Buddha Buddy.

              Unfortunate in this case since I don't like backstabbing my religious allies but Washington is pretty much my only avenue for expansion. In any case I wont be pushing more Missionaries into America.

              In 540AD a man of Wisdom is born.

              This self-styled Great Prophet builds the Buddhist Shrine, and pretty much at the point where the thing turns a real prophet (ahem, profit) over settling a GP, although an Academy would still be stronger.

              I make a trade to Brennus : Horseback Riding and Code of Laws for Calendar. I can't remember when I got Horsebackery, it might have been in a trade, but it certainly fits well with my Guilds beeline. Towards that end I am of course researching Currency (not that Currency is needed for Guilds, but there's not much point in it without currency...)

              I get my little cities settled down on the Persian Peninsula and my forces are rapidly moving into position to gank both cities.

              My attack forces are mostly the leftover axes and chariots, with a few horse archers and maybe a longbow.

              Cyrus suffers from a rather terminal case of existential failure, in fact I was relying on a couple of his marauding units spontaneously ceasing to exist because they were ready to step into the undefended gold/wheat city. Who needs a garrison when you control the fabric of reality itself...

              Sometimes I find work for idle workers in the form of going scouting, hey they're move 2 and not much more expensive than an explorer, so why not!

              The Celt capital is rather... spicy fish or fishy spices or something. Decent anyway.

              Getting back to a mini-overview at 1000AD:

              Guilds is rapidly approaching as i amass a stack of doom in my forward-most city and work on my economy with a rather quickly built Forbidden Palace, which will help my soon to be American holdings to be profitable.

              Washington discovers this new-fangled religion thing called Taoism and my guilt at having to backstabbing a religious ally instantaneously evaporates, NOW it's a righteous backstab!

              I had amassed about 4 Horse Archers and i parked these on the last tile of friendly culture, upgrading them to knights as cash allowed, using the superier movement to have the knights cash up with the 1-move Stack of Doom, thus I had knights to join in the city siege.

              I do however only upgrade about 3 Knights this way before the allure of Stock Exchanges becomes too much to resist and I got to full research speed.


              The Banking beeline is EXTREMELY powerful especially for England, I naturally whip these stock exchanges in right away, the pop is unhealthy and will regrow quickly. Stock exchanges - and actually banks too - are really good building considering how early you can get them, and as long as you are running at or below 40%ish science then 1% of science multiplier is worth 1% of gold multiplier, so the Bank is in fact as useful as a University - at least for an expansive empire with high expenses.

              America is falling so easily it's not even funny.

              What I DID find funny was that he birthed a Great Engineer right as I was about to take Washington City... now I wonder... if I leave it a turn... will he?

              He will he indeed! A free world wonder! Not the best world wonder, but hey, the price is right!

              Washington city is STACKED!

              +50% global GPP and an Academy in the City and the other wonders, along with a free marketplace, granary and lighthouse, now that's nice!

              I decide that my final civic combination of the game will be Rep/Vassalage/Merc/Theology so I get a final round of whipping in to make the most of Org.Rel, before I go with the mounted terrors of Cha.

              With courthouses and stock exchanges nearly everywhere I have no trouble at all funding my army and expensive civics, research multipliers are low, but research isn't really a part of this equation... in terms of research the Steel beeline is very cheap, compared with say Rifling, a civ pursuing the central Liberalism path can not get stronger military than one pursuing the bottom Guilds/Chemistry/Steel path, so it comes down to science multipliers vs gold multipliers and one of those is unquestionably better for wars .

              In 1240AD I get another Great General.

              While I don't yet have a Medic III, I'm now using split stacks to destroy Washington more quickly and soon I'll be using disposable knights, so I just don't need a Medic III. As such this guy gets settled.

              On 1250AD itself I decide to eat the 2 turns of Anarchy (ouch) to switch to Merc and Theo, if I knew it was going to be 2 turns I would've probably switched to merc earlier, but I did want to get Engineering before eating Anarchy.

              Anyway some statistics for 1250AD:

              I am rather impressed by the fact that I have more stock exchanges than Barracks. Uh in any case the Stock Exchange (and banks generally) is a good build, better than market/grocer if you don't need or wont get happy/health.


              • #8
                Screenie of your tech tree & empire so far Blake?


                • #9

                  I'm pushing strongly across America, planning to back-conquer, or use his vassalized cities to distract the next victim.

                  Tech tree:

                  Of the techs you can't see, I don't yet have Alphabet or Compass. Neither are useful to me since everyone else has Alphabet and I'm going into closed borders mode.


                  • #10
                    Prince Midevil Era

                    1040 AD Start Philophacy

                    1070 AD Cyprus completes Chicken Itza

                    1100 AD Great Scientist born in London. Will construct Academy in Nottingham next turn

                    1110 AD Discover Philophacy. Trade it around. Start Optics
                    Adopt Burearchcy & Serfdom

                    1120 AD Islam founded far away

                    1160 AD Discover Optics. Start Paper

                    1200 AD Discover Paper. Start Guilds

                    1240 AD Trade techs around, saving a turn off of Guilds by selling an ancient tech away. Start Banking

                    1250 AD Catherine completes Muslim wonder

                    1260 AD Ankor Wot built far away

                    1280 AD Discover Banking. Start Education. Circumnativate the globe

                    1340 AD Washington builds the Budist wonder

                    1350 AD Hanibal builds Confucius wonder

                    1370 AD Complete Education. Enter the Renance Era. Start Liberalism
                    Complete University of Sankore in Nottingham

                    How I used Charamestic this era: Exclusively passively; I've not needed any Colosums and in addition was able to get by with one fewer military unit as police in each city compared to normal.

                    As to style of play I'm using: A peaceful one religion gambit. I took over a city from the barbs early this era (or was it late the previous one?) after noticing it was fairly large and the AI wasn't doing a good job attacking it. It also had a lot of unique luxaries and 2 workers inside. It's about where "Arbela" is on Blakes map.

                    (Actually a lot of AIs seem to be playing peaceful one religion. I haven't seen a single war declaration yet, Washington is about 100% Budist, Napoelon is about 100% Jewish, Hanibal is about 100% Confucist. Only Catherine has been founding multiple religions (Christanity, Taoism, Islam))
                    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.


                    • #11

                      I was quite interested to see the tech plan and civics ideas in your game here Blake. My guess is that you are planning simply to finish the game through domination or conquest and to do this before your rivals can mount any serious defence and are therefore expecting this to be done before you have to worry about switching to an industrial economy.

                      What is your expectation of finishing all this? Do you know whether or not you will have to launch an armada to deal with some AI rivals?

                      From the point of view of civics, I’ve never seen how Vassalage and Theocracy can work very well in the later game. I’d tend to prefer Pacifism if I am going to also use civics that work with specialists(eg Merc/Rep). While Mercantilism does not do well if you have lots of overseas trade routes (Free Trade better) or large Empire (State Property).


                      • #12
                        Couerdelion, without going into what would probably be spoilers, I'm fairly positive that there's not enough land on the starting landmass to win via domination without at the very least building enough ships to transport your army over to Napelon's landmass.
                        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.


                        • #13
                          Theology/Vassalage is great for ship building with a Cha leader, it gets you 2 promotions without needing dry docks - that means +20% str or +1 move.

                          This kind of "Zero economy" civic setup is quite expensive without banks - but the stock exchange make it affordable enough. High gold multipliers are most effective when you have high expenses - if you don't have high expenses you don't need high gold multipliers... other civics are also not really that useful, pacifism would kill me with my army sizes, free market would benefit my opponents more (because my empire is so large). State Property is obviously awesome but I don't have it yet! It should but might not go without saying that Police State + State Property is an upgrade over Representation + Merchantalism, if you're doing a lot of fighting and don't end the game with cav/cannon. Universal Suffrage+Emancipation might also be needed but if I'm going to be wracking up the War Weariness I prefer to use Police State and either forgo the ability to rush (with state property workshops it's not needed) or simply ignore the emancipation anger.

                          To go into minor spoilers, the starting continent does indeed not have enough land for domination. But as I hinted at above, Cha+Vassalage+Theology is excellent for naval warfare... fear the Cha frigates and ironclads.


                          • #14
                            It was really the “final” civic question that took me a little by surprise which suggested that you would be finishing before Communism/Fascism. It does seem to be possible that there is a big window between Cannon/Cavalry and those techs but the question is whether or not it is big enough to build and send a large continental army by sea and conquer that territory you need.

                            My own experience is that this timeframe would be sufficient to acquire some of these higher techs and probably long enough to justify the anarchy that a switch would bring.

                            On Theocracy v Pacifism, I guess I have a little bit of a fetish for the flower-power brigade. Pacifism brings with it extra costs but I find that these are more than compensated by the value of the extra GPP that I get. Also units still start out of the blocks with 5 XP (Vassalage + Barracks) with 8 XP for mounted units and stable. So they get exactly the same starting promotions and the difference is that units may need two combats for their third promotion. So the difference lies in naval superiority and the extra promotion gained there. I find this argument a little harder to agree with because I am assuming that you will have local naval superiority simply because your Frigates will be taking on Caravels and Triremes!! That’s a very cheap way to gain experience for the boats.

                            Merc/Rep/Pacifism gives you a very healthy return for a well designed GP farm.

                            It’s quite likely that my arguments in favour of a pacifist war machine are a little biased towards my habitual style of play. But there they are anyway in the expectation that someone will find some flaws.


                            • #15
                              I also forgot to ask about the mercantilism point about benefiting neighbours. I was under the impression that trade routes are a function of Open Borders and that the “No foreign trade routes” only affected your own cities and not the ability of foreign cities to gain trade income from your cities.