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Early-game research on Monarch...

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  • Early-game research on Monarch...

    Hoo, I'm not quite ready for Monarch yet! I'm playing C3C, beta-patched. Forgive me if this has been discussed before (probably has been a lot, but I like to get current opinion, since it can change from patch to patch...), but I'm wondering what's the best approach to research in the early game? On Regent, getting tech parity or even ahead is pretty easy even right from the start (depending on number of AI civs) with research pumped to 100% (or when support/improvement costs begin to be a factor, whatever is the highest reasonable amount)...

    Not so on Monarch. I can get a couple techs this way at first but then it seems I can't get my econ going and it appears more optimal to set research all the way down and trade money for tech (and if I'm lucky I can use that tech to trade for another)...I considered leaving research at 10 or 20%, but I figured "why bother?" since by the 50 turns for the tech (posts I've read advising having some "token research" seem to be from days that 32 or 40 turns was max), everybody else would have it and I could likely just trade the gold instead by agreements only last 20 turns and I can get some good deals with them.

    I can live with being behind in the early-game (it's only temporary after all) I just want to know if this is the best way to handle the situation, or if I should have 20% research or maybe the lone scientist, or maybe if there are any tips on tech-trading you guys could offer...

    (Any advice on research on Regent would be helpful, too, since my next game will probably still be on Regent...)

    - Kef

  • #2
    I'm making a stab at monarch, and I've bizarrely got a lead all the way from ealry middle-ages...

    Having said that, it's a 80% water archipelago map, and as I 'expanded' into other kingdoms, it's why I got a litle extra 'petty cash'

    If I DO get desperate for tech, I can always trade away resources - even ones I don't have spare for. Feel free to trade away horses when you're making swordsmen, for example

    So I hear, with loads of opponents - if you DO get far behind, the actual cost of the tech drops - so that (correct me if I'm wrong guys! ) for example, if the other 15 peeps research something and you're last to get it, it only costs you 1/16th of the cost.

    Allegedly, it's not possible to get left behind in the way we sometimes do to chieftain opponents (pkes vs tanks ) - but I'm a total coward so I've never REALLY jumped in the deep end.

    One last note - I currently play with the idea that I'm slowly popping the opponents off one at a time, with a view to eventual domination. The tactics might be very different if you're a ship/culture/UN player...
    It's all my territory really, they just squat on it...!
    She didn't declare war on me, she's just playing 'hard to get'...


    • #3
      Monarch has become a template for me.

      100% research on Pottery if you don't start with it.
      Warrior-Warrior(garrison)-Granary(prebuild if necessary)-Warrior(escort)-Settler.

      You only lose a very few turns with the granary and you gain them back very, very fast.

      I can't recall the last time I didn't beeline for a Granary.
      Sad really.
      "Just once, do me a favor, don't play Gray, don't even play Dark... I want to see Center-of-a-Black-Hole Side!!! " - Theseus nee rpodos


      • #4
        Interesting, I play the Portuguese (starting Pottery and with Expand/Seafare you can make early contacts on almost any kind of map.)

        I research Writing at 10%, often build early Scouts/Curraghs instead of Warriors and use the Lux slider to avoid discontent if I'm growing fast, and by making early contacts, popping huts and tech trading I generally obtain an early tech lead. Thanks to inability to trade communications until Printing Press I can often keep ahead through trading until I've caught up with my own empire's development. Also, I've found even with 50 turns to Writing I still often get it first on Monarch....


        • #5
          I am fairly comfortable on Monarch and haven't found the early research any harder in C3C. I generally do research rather than buy techs.

          Priority one - contact other civs so you can research techs they have more easily.

          Priority two - get Bronze Working, Pottery, Ceremonial Burial and Warrior Code/The Wheel. Decide whether you are going for Philosophy, the Great Library or whatever and push hard.

          You can sometimes pull off the free tech from Philosophy as the AI doesn't seem to fully understand how important it can be. Best trick (I've only done it once in 4 or 5 games) is to get Code of Laws, then Philosophy and pick up Republic as the free tech.

          A lot is map and opposition dependent but contacting as many AI's as possible is vital. Techs from goody huts always help. Otherwise it is the standard tactics. Build roads. Build more roads. Build marketplaces before worrying about libraries or courthouses.

          I'm usually not first into the Medieval and build few if any Ancient GW's. It is more important to have taken out your nearest neighbour so you can be competitive in the late Medieval/early Industrial.
          Never give an AI an even break.


          • #6
            I have to admit I beeline for pottery as well... (cheapest tech AND the granary for the settlers) - but then, that's something I would do ANYWAY

            And also, I too would kill my immediate neighbours ASAP...but I take that as a given too. We get percious enough trade in this game, and their empires later give us a big chunk of it

            Oh - and if you haven't done so already, halt on automating workers. It's not because you can do a better job than the AI (hey, you might ) but because the AI wastes time going between squares it wants to work and occasionally gets trapped in a bizarre loop of going back-and-forth, wasting your precious time.

            How big a difference? Once I took control, Monarch has almost become as easy as Regent, apart from the AI having more units...

            It's a given for most experts, but something I only recently took on. SPREAD THE WORD!!!
            It's all my territory really, they just squat on it...!
            She didn't declare war on me, she's just playing 'hard to get'...


            • #7
              I play with accelerated production, so the granary isn't as critical (though still helps in settler production, and river-side cities).

              The biggest help to early research always seems to be good commerce resource squares, and early tech trading.


              • #8
       it seems I had the right idea, except it seems even a token effort toward research is still I guess it's the Right Thing because I can still buy tech but I'll still get one every now and then without putting a big investment at one time into it (not to mention giving the money to the enemy).

                As for the initial tech, seems Pottery is the way to go then. But when exactly does Bronze Working come in? I was taught in my Civ2:ToT days that one should get Bronze Working ASAP to build the Phalanx unit as a better defender, and I found similar advice for Civ3 in a couple of places. But I think about it now and I don't even build spearmen until I have a few shields to spare, unless I have an unusually productive city. I know Warriors suck and should be replaced ASAP except as exploration units, but I don't have many early-game problems with defense, even with raging barbs...(on higher levels I'd definitely give Spearmen more priority due to the stronger barbs, though). So this places Pottery ahead of Bronze Working. But Bronze Working is still important not just for Spearmen but because it leads to Iron Working, exposing iron as a resource. But I think maybe getting The Wheel first to see horses should be done first, since it's much quicker/easier? Hmm...

                So, granaries become a lot more important on Monarch? That makes sense to me, considering I also got out-REXed fairly easily before I gave up...

                Thanks for the insights, guys. Anything else?

                - Kef
                I AM.BUDDHIST


                • #9
                  I think, both the decisions what to research, and how much to spend on it, depend on what you want to do in the ancient era. The examples I give are mostly taken from Emperor level, but should apply to monarch as well (i think).

                  If you *know* you'll be doing a lot of fighting, you won't need anything more than pottery, ceremonial burial, warrior code + wheel + HBR / BW + IW for a while.
                  Sure, other things help, but especially since you can't trade contacts in C3C, there is no immediate need for writing, and alphabet+math just for catapults seems to be a little expensive imo. If you can obtain more than you need through trade, even better.

                  On the other hand, if you have few opponents, think you may be alone on an island, or just want to build up, the route can look completely different. Things like writing, map making and philosophy become much more important, and you probably won't get WC/wheel/HBR for quite some time (unless there are good trade options). If you are sure you can keep peaceful relations with your neighbors, the only military thing you'll need early is BW, then you can concentrate on alphabet and everything that comes after it, or Myst+Polytheism.

                  My start looks similar to ducki's: pottery at max (if not starting tech), warrior (scouting), granary with prebuild, settler. The garrison warrior is a matter of personal preference i think, sometimes i build a second one early, but you can get along by using the lux slider as well. I never pop any huts at that point (unless EXP of course), for fear of barbs.
                  The second tech would then depend on what i wanna do - BW or warrior code for fighting, cer burial for buildup (alphabet/writing if religious). Either way, i typically stay at maximum research (as much as possible without getting bancrupt - running a deficit doesn't matter as long as the money is there). If there are any possibilities for tech trades, use them.

                  Important things along the way, imo:
                  - workers. One per city. Yes, even as industrious! First mine/irrigate, then road, but never leave anything unroaded! If there are rivers, put priority on the tiles adjacent to them.
                  - for building up, settlers galore! Unless your borders are touching with the opponents', and there is no city site anywhere in the workable radius left, you don't need things like libraries, temples and that sort of stuff. What you need is workers, and more settlers. The only exception to this would be a wonder city, which should get a temple and some military police. Depending on the aggressiveness of your oppenents, you may need some military, but not much. 1 spear in each border city is typically enough, unless you know they'll attack you soon. Border expansion should be done by building cities, not culture!
                  - forget civ traits. Just because you are SCI that doesn't mean you need Lit asap, and it doesn't mean you need a library everywhere (for now). Same goes for religious. Screw those temples, they cost money and 30 shields...and now think about it for a second, what else could you get for 30 shields? Right...
                  - for early wars, try to place cities in the best spots near your capital. Once you have a sufficient number, barracks everywhere with maybe one or two exceptions, and build units. You still need the workers, but can skip the settlers. However, fill up the empty space with cities after you achieved your military goals.
                  - imo, 3-spacing (CxxC) is best at this point, but i'm sure anything beyond 4-spacing is pure waste of usable tiles.
                  - ancient wonders are nice. However, they are hard to get. Using the military approach, usually i don't build a single one and capture 2 or 3 (depends on where they are, of course). As a builder, you might be able to get one or at best 2, but if it's worth it is up to you. Don't get used to the GL, i think it's actually better for your gameplay not to build it.

                  Now how does all this relate to research? Well, actually, just as much as it relates to production and overall strategy:
                  Set your goals, stick to them, and try to achieve them as soon as possible. Don't try a bit of this, and a bit of that. Using the military approach, you will fall behind at first, but once you get to extorting the techs you need, you'll see it was worth it. Just look at the extra space and all the nice goodies you got. On the other hand, if you build up, do it the whole way. Every workable city you build is worth the 2 pop + 30 shield investment very soon, even if it only gets to size 3 at 4 shields/commerce each or something.

                  Sorry if this is a bit lengthy, i hope it helps in some way or the other. Oh, yes, don't automate workers.


                  • #10
                    I don't automate workers and I don't recall a time I did except in my most casual of games. I've been aware of the virtues of terraforming micromanagement ever since reading Vel's SMAC/X guides. (And I never automated Settlers in Civ 2:ToT because that automation sucked was blazingly obvious back then...)

                    Anyway. I just started a new game, random, except for map size, which is large, including random Civ choice for myself. Random barbs is kind of odd but I guess it keeps you on your toes, since you don't know what you're in for...I ended up as the English. I realize I might have forgotten to take it back down to Regent, so I saved and reloaded...sure enough, I'm still on Monarch, so I guess I get to apply this advice. I'm not going to start capital's doing good and I found a good site for a second city and a possible good site for a third, so I'll see what this game throws at me.

                    As the English I started out with Alphabet and Pottery, I went for The Wheel in order to reveal horses (so I can make an effort at grabbing a strategic resource early) and now I'm going for Writing in order to try to get Philosophy for the free tech. I think I may have a good chance at it. The Seafaring trait really helps against the research lag but I'm sure it'll hit soon...

                    - Kef
                    I AM.BUDDHIST


                    • #11
                      Whoa! I was the first to get Philosophy alright, and it took me from way behind in the race to way ahead! I used my free tech to get Code of Laws to use as a trade item (AI values it because it's deep in the Ancient Times tree, but doesn't actually do much for it until it actually needs the Courthouses), and to go for Republic. This move was right on the money...I was able to get every tech everybody else had by trading and I didn't even have to trade Philosophy itself, so I still have something they don't (not very useful, but Philosophy is a required tech, and I can use it in future trades). I traded the Code of Laws instead of Philosophy because I could get a better deal that way. I have two sources of Luxuries and I'm building up my road structure to get my cities hooked up, so I don't think there will be discontent problems caused by lack of police if I do switch to Republic.

                      I also got a SGL when I got Philosophy and Code of Laws. I tried to use it to rush the Pyramids (plenty of room to expand my civ, so I better do it quick), but it won't let me rush it for some reason, even though the Civilopedia says they can rush Great Wonders...I guess I need to look into that a bit more.

                      - Kef
                      I AM.BUDDHIST


                      • #12
                        I was able to build the Pyramids now; saving and reloading somehow fixed the problem. Apparently it was a bug.

                        Geez, this is becoming almost too easy. I practically forget I'm playing on Monarch. =^^=' 16 cities now, still REXing. No war in sight, though I might go starting one once I have my iron and horses hooked up, and start acquiring cities by conquest. Why build cities when your friendly neighbors will do it for you?

                        What's this, though? I can't trade maps anymore? I don't see it documented anywhere, just that Civilopedia now fails to mention map trading ability upon discovering Map Making. What was the rationale for removing it?

                        Ah, well...I'll get some sleep soon, then back to the game!

                        - Kef
                        I AM.BUDDHIST


                        • #13
                          Map trading requires Navigation.

                          Be careful with Republic. You now get free support for a certain number of military units but the ones you have to pay for cost 2 gold each, not 1.

                          Not a problem just for a few garrison units but potentially expensive for a large attacking force.
                          Never give an AI an even break.


                          • #14
                            I got Republic; took an Iroquois city already, too. Building lots and lots of swordsmen and horsemen...they're about half as strong as I am, and it's going to change for the worse for them! This is becoming so easy I'm actually beginning to make deliberate inefficiencies in the hopes the AI will catch up...

                            When did they change map trading from Map Making to Navigation? My Civ3 strategy guide says you get it at Map Making, and I went through the PTW and C3C readmes, and the C3C manual, and found nothing mentioning a It's no big deal, I have a couple of warriors trolling through Aztec territory after signing an RoP, so I'm beginning to catch up on exploration...

                            I have lots of token garrisons and workers, so in addition the army I'm building, yeah, I'm paying through the nose for units. But it's OK because I'm getting a lot more money than I did in Despotism, and it fact it kind of evens out to the money and tech I was making then when I bump down research and bump up luxuries. Once I got my marketplaces up, though, I'm sure I'll be seeing a real difference...

                            Speaking of war, does war weariness stop as soon as war is over, even if I start another war with somebody else on the next turn? War weariness probably won't be a big issue for this little pruning war, but it could be a problem if it "carries over"...if it becomes a big deal I'll switch to Monarchy. The anarchy hit really won't hurt me much and if it does anyway I'd probably be happy to get a little more challenge.

                            EDIT: To those who say Seafaring is overpowered, I say...yup!

                            - Kef
                            I AM.BUDDHIST


                            • #15
                              You say you haven't noticed the up in level? You will when you see how your opponents are building more units than usual (this is where I noticed it )
                              Even the meagre Zulus decided to have a whack at a substantial knights landing force...not saying it did them any GOOD , but it's a hint of what's ahead
                              It's all my territory really, they just squat on it...!
                              She didn't declare war on me, she's just playing 'hard to get'...