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Koreans and the Early Game

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  • Koreans and the Early Game

    I'm about to begin a game as the Koreans, on a huge world with cultural linking on (continents, 4 billion years, roaming barbs). My likeliest neighbors will probably be the Asians (Japan, China, Mongolia and India) plus some mid-east types (Arabia, Persia, etc.).

    I begin the game with Alphabet and Bronze working.

    I really have no idea how to proceed. I have few strengths to play to: I neither can build roads/improvements quickly, nor can I build granaries right off the bat, to REX hard... I do not possess cheap barracks, for early war... even culture I cannot spread quickly until I acquire Literature.

    How can I achieve a desireable position as the Koreans, without totally kickin' land?

    Please, anyone with experience or ideas, help me out.

    (Note: this morning I did try a game, building about 10 cities, about 7 barracks, and a few vet horsemen... the Mongols and Arabs out traded/expanded me, and the Mongols attacked, leading to an expensive and indecisive war... I gave up. I don't want a repeat of this experience... I'd be happy with any empire as long as I have a tech lead, really)
    You can't fight in here! This is the WAR room!

  • #2
    IMO, you seem to be doing the right things.

    If you are playing on higher levels, getting an early tech lead is not a reasonable goal, however. It is probably better to think in terms of early war and extortion or longer term building and an eventual tech lead. With Korea, the building approach can be supplemented with a run toward the Great Library where a focused effort has a very good chance to succeed.
    Illegitimi Non Carborundum


    • #3
      On your place I would:

      - Start on 100% Pottery research. Get them granaries ASAP
      - REX like mad. Build a granary (or better even 2 or 3). Claim every patch of land you can get peacefully. Don't go into early war adventures. Your empire should be more productive than the others (except India) due to less corruption.
      - Beeline for Literature and build Libraries soon.

      Commercial + Scientific --> Research monster. That's the plan.


      • #4
        My main concern is with the expanionists. While I am REXing and researching, they are learning for free the techs I am researching... I'm looking through various forums now to try to figure out "what the AI will research," but even with this knowledge I'm a bit at a loss.

        Of course, I've only tried one game, for about 45 mins. this morning... I had two luxuries but the land aside from that wasn't top notch... still, surrounded by militarists, I was thretened... I did indeed build 3 granaries, but I found that while this was helpful, I was still hemmed in by Japan and Mongolia.

        It's all a matter of land, in terms of that game... Mongolia was to the North, well esconsed in mountains and hills, with iron and horses... I suppose another game, where they don't luck out, or where I start in a more central position, might yield better results.

        Definitely grabbing the GL early seems be a good plan.
        You can't fight in here! This is the WAR room!


        • #5
          I play the Koreans a fair bit...

          I think Sir Ralph has the right idea...with a couple of suggestions.

          As with any civ, you have to work their strengths. The biggest strength of the Koreans are:

          1) Alphabet
          2) Reduced corruption from being Commercial
          3) Cheap libraries

          REXing is definitely the way to go, but you don't have to strike out for Pottery ASAP to be a good REXer.

          I usually research Writing at 1 beaker/turn (10% or 20%) and save up the cash. Once I've made contact with a couple of civs, I can buy Pottery for about 50 gold. Most people build one Settler before building a Granary anyhow so this times out pretty well.

          You can even make contact, determine they have Pottery, and use Barracks as a lead item for the Granary. Hopefully, by the time Barracks is about to be built, the price of Pottery has dropped a bit.

          Once you do start REXing, think about your city placement carefully. Most people adopt a single spacing strategy which they apply no matter which civ they are playing. I usually play tight 3-spacing when I'm a war-monger, but use 4- or even 5-spacing when I'm a building. When I'm really REXing well, I "leap-frog" over perfectly good sites and then backfill later.

          Once you get Writing after 40 turns, pump up the research to bring Literature in as quickly as possible and start buiding the Great Library. I often use my capital as a Settler farm (with a Granary) until I discover Literature. Then I switch to the GL and use my Workers to develop that city. This works fine under Monarch and even Emperor, but has some limitations under Deity.

          And...then there's the great relationship between REXing, being Commercial, and cheap Libraries. When playing a builder approach, I set my cities fairly far apart and rush a Library as soon as I can. This allows me to claim as much space as possible and let the Culture fill in the gaps...while the Commercial trait helps with corruption. If a rival settles a city between yours before the Library's culture kicks in, don't be hasty. Consider it a good source of workers and maybe a leader or two and declare War when you are most ready.

          Or, if you are in a very hilly region, you can gamble on having a source of Iron and research Iron Working at 1 beaker/turn instead of Alphabet, but that's true of any Scientific Civ.

          Since I prefer to build first and war second, I often research Iron Working after Literature because it's usually pretty cheap by then. That allows me to do a little targetted warring while the Great Library is being built. This approach can be very effective as long as you don't have a long border to defend.

          That's what I know.

          - TT


          • #6
            Thanks for the advice ToeTruck.
            You can't fight in here! This is the WAR room!


            • #7
              If you know for sure from the beginning, that you have neighbors, the slow research (or even 0% science) is definitely the way to go. But there is always the opportunity, that you're on an island, even with the continents map setting.

              Pottery usually can be researched in 10-15 turns, means it is ready before the first settler goes and often even before contact is made. If you are on an island indeed, you haven't lost research on the way to map making (your first target). And if you didn't find anyone till the settler is at 1 turn remaining, it means you have at least a lot of space to expand, and you can afford to switch that prebuild to a granary immediately. Having a granary in the very first city is like REXing on steroids, even without a food bonus resource.


              • #8
                Korea is all about its traits.

                Beeline for Literature so you can get those cheap Libraries which not only work wonders for your science output but also add culture. Libraries are cheaper than Temples with scientific civs. If you can also net the Colossus, that would be an even greater bonus.

                Have you ever tried RCP? (Ring City Placement). It is devastatingly effective with commercial civs. Try taking advantage of it especially if you have enough land that you can perhaps risk some not as good city sites in order to make your other good cities incredibly productive.
                A true ally stabs you in the front.

                Secretary General of the U.N. & IV Emperor of the Glory of War PTWDG | VIII Consul of Apolyton PTW ISDG | GoWman in Stormia CIVDG | Lurker Troll Extraordinaire C3C ISDG Final | V Gran Huevote Team Latin Lover | Webmaster Master Zen Online | CivELO (3)


                • #9
                  RNC is fine with me, but the real issue I'm having is being outclassed my by neighboring civs in terms of both REXing and research. I'm able to keep up with both, but up against the other Asians and then either the Europeans or Mid-Easterners, I cannot seem to attain a lead... it's nice to have the cheap libraries, but that doesn't seem to stop the expanionists in particular from keeping on par or ahead of me in terms of tech.

                  Admittedly, I haven't seemed to get very good land as the Koreans so far... the RNG seems to persistently give the Koreans shoddy land, or rich land in a position of isolation.

                  So, what should I go for first: MapMaking or Literature?
                  You can't fight in here! This is the WAR room!


                  • #10
                    Map Making if you're isolated, Literature otherwise.

                    And expansionists cease to have an advantage as soon as they hit the medieval age. Wait till they whored around the techs, then buy them cheap. Heaven forbid you buy a tech which only one civ has, unless you see the opportunity do sell it with profit. You will end even in tech, but with Libraries and Marketplaces built your research capability will be vastly better than of those, who used to "find" the techs. This is the time to launch your own research.


                    • #11
                      So, in other words, you would accept a slight lag in the early game, not agressing (other than REXing agressively), researching Literature first - one city building the Great Library asap - then going for Currency, and building libraries and marketplaces aplenty?
                      You can't fight in here! This is the WAR room!


                      • #12
                        Yes, that's the plan. You are commercial. You make more money than they. Multiply it. Play out your strength. A lag in the ancient age means nothing.

                        EDIT: By the way, if you want to avoid the lag, just get the GL. The AIs often neglect on Literature, use that fact.


                        • #13

                          Though I'm no expert (Com/Sci is a trait combo I haven't played in a long while... which means I'm due, actually), I think the problem here is you want a tech lead right away (or as soon as possible).

                          It's usually a better idea to accept parity or even be behind for a bit (so long as this does not interefere with your getting the wonders you want/need, which, with prebuilds, shouldn't be that big a deal) in order to build up your civ, and then explode forward, gaining and holding a tech lead later in the game (mid-late medieval onward).

                          If you are doing your own research at more than 10%, then beelining for libraries and building them all over makes sense. If you are doing 40-turn research, frankly, I would suggests getting marketplaces down first.

                          I will often build the GL while doing 40-turn research and building courthouses, markets, aqueducts, harbors, etc (everything BUT libraries). Then, with a huge wad of cash and tech parity, I suddenly build a TON of libraries and crank up my research. Often this results in me blasting ahead in tech, particularly if I've been a good little boy and not used my GA yet...

                          grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

                          The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.


                          • #14
                            To make an admission I'm sort of ashamed of, I have yet to play a game where I research at 10%, or accept 40-turn discoveries, in the early game. Bear in mind I'm still playing Regent here (yes, I'm probably ready for Monarch but I'm not moving on until I've won as every civ, and that takes time), so it hasn't occurred to me to try this out. Maybe I will try it this game.

                            After using Seoul to send out a settler or two, you would begin the prebuild for the GL? I've been using my captial as a settler pump mostly, building the GL only when it becomes availible... I will also try this strategy.

                            Unfortunately, I'll have to wait until the weekend to try this out... I've become quite a good little warmonger, but the peaceful strategies for a "sleeper" civ like Korea still allude me a bit.

                            Thanks for the help, everyone.
                            You can't fight in here! This is the WAR room!


                            • #15
                              I wouldn't build the GL in the capital. Build it in a close core city and pump it up to the happiness limit by adding workers (don't let it grow - too slow).

                              Arrian: Good approach, to max out money first, and then rushbuy lots of libs at once.