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Earth Map Strategies

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  • Earth Map Strategies

    Anyone playing on the various Earth maps should have discovered that there's different strategies depending on your civ. Marla, for example, gives us a program which edits starts, so that everyone starts in the right spot. This is what I use. The game plays differently than a normal, random 16 civ huge map.

    Europe is crammed with civs. Egypt, Zulu, and China have plenty of expansion room. India, Aztec, American and Iroquois are somewhat limited, but still have much more space than Europe.

    For those named, the standard, random-map rules apply. But for Europe:

    Make contact with everyone else first. This should be your highest priority in the beginning. Know your neighbors starting techs. If you (Rome) can trade Warrior Code for the Greek Alphabet, then the Germans have nothing to trade with them. But that's basic strategy, and works on any map. The only difference is you know who starts where, and how to get to them first.

    Cram as many cities as you can into the space you can carve out. 9 squares per city. Not the full 21 you're used to. Even for Russia, you think you've got plenty of room to expand eastwards... the AI will get there eventually, unless you want to stay at war with them from the moment they send a settler and spearman your way.

    The AI places new cities to account for expansion. With your tightly packed cities, you can get more production out of the same space. In my current German game, I've packed 12 cities in the area that the AI (when I'm not European) fills with 7. That's 5 more Knights I can have in production. You won't go past 12 pop for a long time, anyway.

    Once you fill your chosen area, stop. Build up your cities. The French and Romans will waste their production sending wave after wave of settler/spearmen deep into Siberia. You can develop your area, build Aqueducts (if necessary, find those rivers!), build Barracks. Pump out the military. There's little point in building wonders. More often than not, the European civs will be the ones who build the wonders, so let them, and then take them. London usually builds Colossus and Great Lighthouse. And they're easy pickings.

    And for the Western Hemisphere civs, make contact with them your next highest priority. But DO NOT, under any circumstances, even if it means war, give contact to anyone else. In my last game, I had the Americans paying 260 to trade world maps with me. When I traded maps with the English, and saw that they were exploring in that area, then I sold contact to everyone for everything I could get. Once they got contact with the rest of the world, they ceased to be polite, ceased to have 260 gold to trade, and generally acted quite rude. But until they make contact with the other 12 civs, you can simply trade maps and tech (they'll be WAY behind) for enormous ammounts of gold.

  • #2
    I've played the Marla map as the Aztecs - what a good starting place! All of south america is mine, and I've bullied my way northward and control what is in reality the US.

    I'll try some of your tips with a european start one of these days.

    One thing about that map that I have edited: I've made tundra uninhabitable except on special resource squares. Seeing the teeming road networks and dense settlement of Greenland and Siberia makes me cringe.
    The first President of the first Apolyton Democracy Game (CivII, that is)

    The gift of speech is given to many,
    intelligence to few.


    • #3
      I played America today. Selling maps works even better from this direction. Aztec and Iroquois still give me everything they've got. The English gave me all their gold, territory map, contact with another, AND a few coins per turn. I made contact with everyone this way. They all gave me the same offer the English did (The Indians threw in Polytheism). I forgot to check how much gold I'm raking in.

      But the key to this is contact with Aztecs/Iroquois. Once Europe (and others) can start dealing with them, then the value of my maps plumets.


      • #4
        Re: Earth Map Strategies

        [QUOTE] Originally posted by Aqualung
        Anyone playing on the various Earth maps should have discovered that there's different strategies depending on your civ. Marla, for example, gives us a program which edits starts, so that everyone starts in the right spot. This is what I use. The game plays differently than a normal, random 16 civ huge map.

        Who is the lovely and apparently mysterious Marla? (Although a regular visitor of this site I can't read everything)

        Playing an Earth Map with wrong starting locations is like trying to get drunk drinking non alcoholic beer!

        Where can I download this map?

        Thankfully yours,

        " Deal with me fairly and I'll allow you to breathe on ... for a while. Deal with me unfairly and your deeds shall be remembered and punished. Your last human remains will feed the vultures who circle in large numbers above the ruins of your once proud cities. "
        - emperor level all time
        - I'm back !!! (too...)


        • #5
          Here is the link:

          Marla's World Map thread

          The map also comes with a utility for setting the correct starting positions.


          • #6
            I downloaded Marla's map last night. Wow. It's more polished than the game itself. But I digress.

            I started it up on Monarch as the Chinese, a civ I had previously never played (I don't like the traits... but with a realistic world map, I figured China would be nice). Oh my GOD, China is nice. I'm HUGE, and have thus far nailed the Wonders I wanted (G.Library/Sun Tzu, 15 turns from Sistine... it's roughly 400AD).

            The key, for me, has been NOT selling my world map. Territory map, yes, world map no. This allowed me to get the jump on colonizing Indonesia and the other islands south of me... though the AI has begun to catch up. I now have contact with everyone (I bought contact with the Americans, Iroquois and Aztecs from Joan of Arc for 50 bucks ).

            The problem for me, however, is that my computer is REALLY struggling with the map. Huge, 16 civs is kinda rough with a 400mhz/64 MB system. The wait between turns is getting really annoying... and like I said, it's around 400AD.

            I have stayed out of wars, which have occurred (Russia v. India, with Zululand and Persia entering the fray). I find myself far too busy building essential city improvements to actually build an army... though I will soon have the ability to pump out some Riders. Mmm... Riders. Methinks India is goin' down.

            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.


            • #7
              Something about Marla's map seems to discourage the AI from settling down through Poly/Micro/Indo-nesia and Australia. I was constantly selling my world maps, and the AI seemed to prefer to settle the frozen tundra of Siberia. Only after most of the northern hemisphere was settled did they start to move down into South America or the S Pacific Islands.

              It is a really big map (larger than the standard huge maps), and even my 1.33GHz/512 MB system doesn't do too well in the later stages of the game.

              I've only played as the Zulu's on this map so far, and definitely map trading works for their starting location. On Deity it was singlehandedly keeping me in the Gold/Tech lead, and making contact with the americas netted me about 1000 Gold in just one turn, plus several Techs. The Zulu's can very easily settle South America first, and/or Austrailia. The key to the Zulu's is to invade the Egyptians early, and take the Horses and Saltpeter along the red sea. I was able to do this in my first game with just Impies, and in my second by sending a few swordsmen (who took forever getting there). I think next I'm going to play with either the Japanese or English, and see how that works out.


              • #8
                Well, I've played on to roughly 700AD, and the wait between turns has gotten BRUTAL. Yet I soldier on. I've got the Sistine, Cop's is done in a couple of turns, and Bach is under construction as well. I have a narrow, 1-tech lead my most advanced adversaries, with others lagging. 1 turn away from Banking.

                I have not fought yet, as the Chinese have to pay full shield price for city improvements (well, not barracks/harbors/walls, but whatever) and nearly all of my time has been spent doing that. I do have a small army of riders now, and have been pondering hitting India, but I really need more riders... and one of the AI's has gunpowder now, and will be trading it soon. So war doesn't look likely. I would pick a fight if I felt like I had enough troops to do real damage to someone, to at least trigger my golden age. Then again, the longer I can hold off on that golden age, the more powerful it will be.

                I've been trading as best I can... using tech now, and am pulling in a bunch of money (though not as much as I'd like). Many things get rushbuilt, but still I find little time to pump out Riders.

                I don't know about the SE Asian islands thing... I'm agressively colonizing it (Next stop - Australia), but the Indians and even the Japanese have put down a city or two (to my 6 or 7). The European civs definitely have a Siberia complex. It's a horrible patchwork quilt of size 1 or 2, influence 1 cities.

                Anyway, I will try to continue, but my computer may just rebel and refuse to work anymore That, or I will get too frustrated with 10 minute turns that will only get longer.


                p.s. What I wouldn't give for a normal size world map that was done as well (or even half as well) as Marla's map. Clearly, you couldn't have more than 1 or 2 European civs, but that's ok with me.
                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.


                • #9
                  Im sure that once Firaxis gets around to offering a usable editor that good maps will become more common. The ability to zoom in and out, along with a mini map would help design a lot. Having to load up a map in game to see how it looks from a global perspective is just too time consuming and frustrating.


                  • #10
                    Yes, the waiting is the worst thing about the map. About the only bad thing, it's fun for a while.

                    I've found the answer: CONQUER! My Romans have just driven the Indians completely out of Asia (they're the only ones who DIDN'T settle in Siberia). Seems the wait isn't so long if the AI doesn't have any cities left. Doesn't actually speed the game up, because now I'M the one taking 15 minutes to move.

                    I've tried non-Europeans, but it's just not as fun. I blocked the French from settling in Spain with 2 warriors while I grabbed all the available spaces in the rest of Europe and the Morroco/Carthage area in Africa. Then I went to war. The only time I've stayed at peace was while I was moving my Legionaries, Knights or Cavalry to the next border.


                    • #11

                      That's quite a bit of fighting. Yeesh. I find it ironic that, in my experience, playing a militaristic civ has generally SLOWED my war readiness. This is because I am not, by nature, a warmonger, so I demand that cities build their libraries and cathedrals and such prior to beginning a troop buildup. Thus, I am only now (970 A.D.) preparing for war. I have roughly 30 Cavalry massed at the Indian border, with some Riders for backup (I have yet to decide whether or not I want to trigger my golden age now, or hold off even longer...). All I need now are a few extra musketmen and some settlers, and India's TOAST. Then I will ponder Persia... and maybe Babylon. There is a large stack of ancient Indian troops on my northern border (Manchuria/Siberia) - 1 pikeman, 4-5 spearmen, 5 or so archers and a horseman. I investigated a couple of cities, and they're pretty lightly defended by musketmen. My military advisor tells me they "have the archer." I wonder if, because they are spending upkeep money on those ancient troops up north, they haven't built any up-to-date (for them, elephants) attack troops? If so, this is gonna be a cakewalk.

                      THe problem is that turns have now gotten to 15-20mins each. Ouch.

                      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.


                      • #12
                        In my case, I guess, it's because I'm in Europe. I claim what I can, then I build up my cities. Once I'd gotten the basics (barracks, temple, marketplace, aqueduct if necessary) I started pumping out the Legionaries. The AI continued to pump out settler/spearmen and send them off to Siberia. Their cities are underdeveloped and low pop. What's even better, they only have a small cluster next to me. The rest of France is in Siberia, and so are most of the units which my advisor says "Compared to these guys, we have an average military". I take their European cities and then make peace. Europe is amazingly vulnerable. The toughest battle was for England, because it's an island, and they don't expand as much as the continent, so they've got slightly more defenders than usual.

                        I also did some alterations to the rules. I made Temples, Cathedrals, Marketplaces and Banks reduce corruption. It was incredibly helpful. I didn't need to build Forbidden Palace until I went to war in Asia. I built it in Delhi. But now that I've taken half of China, Moscow's corruption has nearly tripled (2 shields wasted, now up to 5). Without this change, I probably would have had to build my FP IN Moscow. This has certainly been one of the reasons I've been able to go rampaging across the world. I've got better production than normal.


                        • #13
                          That's a pretty significant rules change. Probably fun that way, though.

                          As for me... India was pathetically easy - and I managed to goad them into declaring war on ME! Hah. I slaughtered them. In fact, it was so easy, I was seriously worried that I wouldn't generate a leader. Luckily, I did get one, which was used to rushbuild the Forbidden in a newly built city on the eastern coast of India (so that my indochinese cities would get some of the effects... maybe I should have held off and battled my way to Babylon and built it there. Oh well.). "India" is now a city in Australia (Delhi) size 1, built on and completely surrounded by desert. I would have killed them, but after destroying what I thought was their last city, I couldn't find them and feared the dreaded "1 setter on a boat somewhere" phenomenon, so I made peace. The next turn, I could see Delhi... which was in the same place as a city I had wiped out not 5 turns before.

                          As the war wound down, I switched to Democracy and used a Rider. I'm now in my Golden Age. I just built Shakespeare's and Theory of Ev. on the same turn. 3 turns from Industrialization, gaining 1000gold per turn. I think it's 1270 AD. I have to make a decision about whether or not to attack Persia and Babylon BEFORE the S.O.B.'s get Nationalism (and thus MPP's). I'm leaning toward leaving them alone.

                          Turns are now probably in the 20-25 minutes each range... getting worse of course. But there's no way I'm giving up now.

                          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
                            Arrian, I admire your patience! I also enjoyed a game at Marla's map recently (by the way Egypt rules on Marla's) and buried it, after the AI's turns got over 15 minutes. My computer is not the fastest, but I have heard that even with a newer machine with more than 1 GHz and 512 MB the AI turns take unacceptable long.


                            • #15
                              Sir Ralph,

                              I'm actually not blessed with much patience. I've discovered that you can do other things while the computer is chewing on the AI's moves (like re-read the Simarillion or wash dishes), and at this point, I'm unwilling to give up. I've already put a LOT of time into this thing, and I WILL see it done.

                              Egypt is definitely a strong civ on Marla's map. My friend, who is playing India and is roughly pacing me (I think I've moved a few turns ahead because he didn't play yesterday), mentioned they are #2 behind him - just like they are for me. They are, in fact, the only competition I really have. I don't know if I'd like playing them, since they lack a good production center. They have lots of food and luxuries available, but despite being the most advanced of the AI's, I don't think they've gotten a single Wonder, due to low shield output. Meanwhile, France - a weak, but industrious civ with some hills nearby - has two of the best wonders in Paris (Pyramids & Bach).

                              India and China are good places to start, especially if you are the peaceful builder type. If you wanna kill people, playing a European civ is a good idea. If you want a challenge, I'd say any of the Amerindian civs would be good. If you can claw your way even in tech by the time it really matters, you can do pretty well - especially if you take your continent by force. You wouldn't have many luxuries, though (3 types, I think... dyes, furs, gems).

                              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.