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Notes from a Humiliating Series of Failed Huge/16/Emperor/China Openings

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  • Notes from a Humiliating Series of Failed Huge/16/Emperor/China Openings

    This, like Vel's famous work (though not nearly as illustrious), is above all a reminder for my own durn self for future games...

    1. If there is ANYONE with a start position even vaguely close to yours, or even with a distant one and a penchant for being an $###@$, BUILD GARRISONS after 3-4 explorers and your first settler. The !@#!@%#% WILL sneak attack you, as they've all been paid off by a consortium of major monitor manufacturers to do things that will make you break yours.


    2. Ta HECK with city spacing patterns. The ONLY thing you (I) need to care about in the SPACING department is not missing spaces without creating hideous permanent overlap in the process. Otherwise, as a non-religious civ, the priorities for city/camp sites are:
    a. fresh/salt water access (permanent cities only)
    b. opening access to new luxuries reasonably hookable without a temple
    c. opening "access" to to new bonus resources without a temple (if still REXing, then highly competitive with b. above after luxury #1)
    d. opening access to new strategic resources reasonably hookable without a temple (if REX dying down, then goes up a notch or two)
    e. turns 'til the city can be founded, of course, with this being more important the fewer cities you have
    f. driest/most overabundant terrain in area (permanent cities only)
    g. "most peninsular"/"most mountainward while still feedable"/"most jungleward while still developable in reasonable time" sites -- not important to SETTLE early, but to know early that you WILL have permanent cities there, due to city-spacing impacts
    h. strategically important road (e.g. into a lux) for free
    i. free jungle chop

    The notes above strongly point to why camps are so powerful...

    3. If you have too much adrenaline and/or testosterone in you to wait one turn for a more advantageous attack (better defensive position, no river, higher concentration of force, etc.), you have too much to be playing Civ. Feel the urge to "just attack"? Then you've gotten too hot-headed. Can you cool down? If you're not sure, save and continue later or another day.

    4. Take the number of granaries you think you should build before switching exclusively to barracks (as a non-rel mil civ), then subtract one and build that many.

    5. Building roads miles into the wilderness looks real cool and can pay off nicely, but is just as likely to get your worker barbf*cked or at least see him wasting turns running back to an area where he could have worked all along, for a comparable or higher benefit.

    6. Get your explorers home by Map Making if possible. That's the moment when their utility instantly falls to a fraction of what it was before, and your REX will be winding down and a war (hopefully offensive!) winding up, if it wasn't before!

    "'Lingua franca' je latinsky vyraz s vyznamem "jazyk francouzsky", ktery dnes vetsinou odkazuje na anglictinu," rekl cesky.

  • #2
    let me add a couple more small reminders i found useful (mostly on Emperor/Deity).

    to 1. Do not overbuild garrisons. One warrior for happiness purposes, and maybe a second warrior for exploration/barb killing. Add a scout for expansionist (in addition to the starting one) or a 3rd warrior for everyone else, but don't overdo it!
    If you see the AI coming at you with more than 2 units or stacked, you can expect a sneak attack. All you have to do is contact them, and give them gpt, either 1 gpt for free, or buy something from them, but always for GPT! That way, the next 20 turns you will be safe, at least for attacks from that AI, as they will want their payments.
    Later on this doesn't work as good, but still helps, and it should get you through the critical early phase, when you are defenseless and they have tons of free units.

    to 2. do not care about overlap, even for permanent cities. With a few exceptions, i always use 3-spacing (X-O-O-X), or at least try to have one city within 3 spaces of each, for reinforcements in 1 turn, if necessary.
    To hell with overlap, with standard 3-spacing, cities can grow to size 13-15 typically and get decent production (around 60-corruption usually, with the really good ones at 80 in industrial). You get the metropolis bonus and good enough production, with the additional benefit of low pop pollution and no need to build hospitals asap.
    From the points you listed below, imo 2e, turns til city can be founded, is most important, with 2j - can that city help blocking off an AI expansion into 'my' territory? - as second.

    3. i agree completely. I've lost a couple of games because i attacked with too few units, or dragged wars on for much longer than necessary, because instead of building up til 40 cavs i attacked with 20 (for instance) and made very slow progress.

    4. i typically build one granary, as first thing in my capital (after warriors/scout). If i don't start with pottery i'll use barracks/pyramids/colossus/temple as a prebuild, and pottery will be the first tech to research, at 100%, and then typically poprush once or twice. Only when i get a start with food in abundance, eg floodplains with at least 1 wheat, i may skip the granary completely. As a result, my capital will be powering at least 70% of my expansion, i even had games where every single early settler was built there. Probably one might get more out of additional granaries, maybe i should try it some time.

    5. agreed. Once you have enough cities to produce military and prepare for war, you can use a worker or two for offensive roads, if you can keep up with improving tiles easily, but earlier, it's a waste.

    6. Depending on how many explorers i have, i'll disband them or use them for exploration with my military, i guess that's what you meant, too?


    • #3
      Regarding 1.: That's what I've read, but recently I gifted GPT to civs that were obviously on the way to sneak attack, and they took the money and sneak attacked anyway, so I don't believe it anymore. I've seen it work too, but like I say, I've seen it not work.

      Regarding 2.: 13-15? That means building and maintaining a hospital just for a 1-3 square gain. I'd rather either keep a city at 12 or build it to 16 or higher.

      I'm not sure there is a "standard" 3-spacing; I've seen 3-spacers use lots of variants. Myself, I'm an OCP'er at heart, though I'd never use just OCP'ed cities anymore -- always in combination with camps. My "note #2", though, is more about going a little "dirtier" than this -- religiously dropping the OCP in order to get the planned permanent cities down in spots that provide advantages more important than OCP. Incidentally, there are other priorities I should have listed there, like "denying things to the enemy."

      3. Last night I archer-rushed Persia due to lacking pottery for so long (an exceptional situation) that I was essentially forced to build lots of units. All was going well until I flipped out and became too impatient and too scared of counterattack losses to adjust my attack position after I realized I was camped across a river. Huge losses, no victory, cursing, Ctrl-Shift-Q.

      Regarding 4.: I always research at one beaker and don't even CHECK the effectiveness of full-science research until I'm earning quite a bit of gold each turn, as I find it just too depressing to play with the slider and learn that it would only get me to 30 turns. It might be a huge/16 thing -- I generally find it not a problem to find someone with whom to trade for pottery by the time I've built my explorers and first settler.

      Regarding 6: Considering that even a warrior is worth 40 gold in rushed shields (and that map making arrives long before you can rush anyway), I'd never disband it around mapmaking time unless it was ridiculously far out. Not sure what you mean by "using them for exploration with my military" -- by "explorer" I meant "exploring units", not "the unit called the explorer"; perhaps there was a misunderstanding here?

      "'Lingua franca' je latinsky vyraz s vyznamem "jazyk francouzsky", ktery dnes vetsinou odkazuje na anglictinu," rekl cesky.


      • #4
        -for city placement. choose a distance, and do not build a city at any other distance.

        if you don't know about it, read "city ring placement" i think it is on civfantics. basically, it comes down to: if all your cities are at exactly the same distance from capital / fp, none will have more than about 20% corruption. diagonal moves count as 1.5

        building a city closer will negatively effect all cities that are farther away. building one further away will not affect the closer ones, but will be heavilly corrupted itseld. build further away sometimes is done for acces to resources.

        i shoose a distance when i build my first city, looking at the possibilitis all around my capital for each distance.

        at distance 3.5, there are 8 squares, but your cities will be very close to eachother.

        at distance 4, there will be 12 squares of which you can build 8 cities since they are in groups next to eachother.

        4 is i think the best distance to build. only if many squares at distance 4 are unusable, or too good to build the city on, choose 4.5 or 5.

        this first ring of 6-8 city's + capital (often not all the squares are usable) will be my initial core empire, before expanding any further, i will first grow these cities and get a decent military.

        -I have never yet build a granary in early game, simply because it is way too expensive. i do build barracks asap though, i play militaristic civ's only.

        -Attacking i do when it is needed. often it is needed to keep up in techs (get them from peace nagotiations) in the game i am playing now, i HAVE to archer rush my neigbour because i dont have Iron or Horses myself and he has. (so i have to take it before he uses it to make swordsmen / horsemen)

        i open with science at 0%, never have i been able to finish my first research myself. i will set it to 10% when i get the option to research writing or polytheism (espescially poly, that one you can usually get before the AI has it)


        • #5
          WOA, the .5s are lopped off, so 4 and 4.5 are the same. While we still have RCP, that is where I have been building my initial core mostly.
          The greatest delight for man is to inflict defeat on his enemies, to drive them before him, to see those dear to them with their faces bathed in tears, to bestride their horses, to crush in his arms their daughters and wives.

          Duas uncias in puncta mortalis est.


          • #6
            Wacken, I've read about RCP, but I just can't bring myself to believe that its benefit outweighs the benefit of choosing camp/city sites according to their palette of immediately and long-term benefits.

            -I have never yet build a granary in early game, simply because it is way too expensive. i do build barracks asap though, i play militaristic civ's only.
            Tell ya what, if you write in someday that you've built an early-game granary, I'll try out RCP... believe me granaries DO pay. I almost never build all 60 shields by hand -- I chop and whip (since I get the new pop back fast anyway). You start slower, but break even quickly, and from then on it's pure gravy. I've toned done on 'em since the fateful night that led to that post, but I still build 2-4 per game (huge/16).

            i open with science at 0%, never have i been able to finish my first research myself.
            Are you playing on deity? On emperor, I find 40-turn science useful from the very start IF I have bronze working, mysticism, or above all alphabet -- I find that even when I can't be the first to research a second-level tech, I can at least be early enough to get some value from it. What I don't do, and perhaps should do, however, is gambling on finding someone with alphabet early and milking a little (only 1/turn most of the time, actually) extra gold from my land until I do... the reason being that often, I switch to Mathematics once I get Alphabet anyway, as it's a fairly surefire 40-turn grab. (Assuming I also have Masonry... but if I don't have alphabet to start with, then by the time I get Alphabet, I usually do.)
            "'Lingua franca' je latinsky vyraz s vyznamem "jazyk francouzsky", ktery dnes vetsinou odkazuje na anglictinu," rekl cesky.