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Terrain effects on the Despotic Golden Age

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  • Terrain effects on the Despotic Golden Age

    Some players avoid early GA's as a matter of policy. The despotic caps on the economy plus the small size of empire limit the value.

    Another view is that a good early game can be ultimately be a match-winner in itself, or for tougher starts at least tip the scales in the direction of survival.

    True, there's nothing like a middle-age GA to throw up all that infrastructure, or to crush a foe, but if, for example, you're playing a Lighthouse strat with the English, or you have an early UU which needs to be used, it's going to happen.

    What happens in a despotic GA is that all the 'good' tiles - shielded grasslands and river - yield no bonus, but the 'weaker' tiles - especially riverless, unshielded grassland and plains can enjoy the bonus - povided they've been irrigated/mined.

    So, if you have terrain with lots of plains and unshielded grassland, an early GA can serve you better than if you are already enjoying the wealth of a river and loads of bonus grassland.

    When terrain does favour the early GA in this way, the object is to maximise population working improved tiles - which could mean cutting back on expansion. I hate building settlers during an early GA, and pop must be balanced against the workers needed to improve all the tiles.

    I even wonder about a policy of not mining s/grass early on in favour of developing those tiles which will benefit from the GA. It seems too counter-intuitive though, to not get the best tiles working from very early - I wonder if anyone has tried this.

  • #2
    the object is to maximise population working improved tiles
    I cannot emphasize this enough. This goes for all GA's, not just despotic ones, of course. EDIT: Hell, this goes for all the time, not just GAs!

    It's easier if you're industrious, because it's easy to get your terrain development done when you have superspeedy workers. But if you're not, you really have to pay attention to what your workers are doing (not to mention building more of them).

    I tend to go for late ancient age GAs, in republic. Not just to get around the Despotism penalties, but also because that gives me time to "build up" a bit - pump up my population, develop the terrain and build some key improvements (courthouses! I HATE the idea of all those GA bonus shields being wasted).

    I even wonder about a policy of not mining s/grass early on in favour of developing those tiles which will benefit from the GA.
    I've thought the same thing. Just road the bonus grass, move on to regular grass and fully develop... well, it only makes sense to me if 1) you absolutlely cannot develop terrain fast enough to match growth (to me, this denotes a problem); and 2) if you know exactly when your GA is coming (such as completion of the Lighthouse as the English). Even then, it's tough to justify. If your growth is so fast (say, +5food/turn with granary) that your workers can't keep up, punch out a few more workers.

    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.


    • #3
      I once tried single-city Jag-rushing. The plan was to build a bunch of Jags to start with, then use the GA to gain revenue to support more and more of them, which would be get built every turn.

      Somehow, it didn't pan out. I only got 9 shields not the 10, so it went to waste. Maybe I'll try again sometime - it's not exactly a hard test to set up, and I'm wondering whether these terrain considerations could be relevant.


      • #4
        Civs that trigger their GA early (Aztecs, Zulus, sometimes Egyptians and Greeks) really really like Plains. It takes less time for them to be improved to "workable" status, and they provide a bonus under a GA.

        The only civ that can profitably not Mine Bonus Grasslands early is the Aztecs. The ones around the capital should always have Mines on them, but the one in the surrounding cities can just have Roads in expectation of a GA. It's a matter of figuring out: 1) when you're going to trigger your GA, 2) which tiles you'll be using while under it. Definitely something to consider when playing the Aztecs.

        And her eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming...