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What I've Learned on the Way to Emperor

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  • What I've Learned on the Way to Emperor

    Just recently, Dominae posted a thread 10 tips to get you up to Emperor/Diety.
    The thread covers much of what is needed to get to the higher levels, but I thought that I would spell out what I went through.
    So......

    I found this site in August 2002. I would just peek my head in and read what people were writing. One of the first things that I saw was Arrian's thread on Ultimate Power. I saw what he had accomplished in his game, and I said "That should be me." So, after a few half games on Warlord, I moved up to Regent with my newly found skills. I won the only full game I played at that level. The other ones that I started, I was "forced" to quit, mostly because I had learned so much and couldn't live with my mistakes. Playing taught me so much, but I owe much more to the countless threads and posts by others here. After reading all of Theseus' Must Read Threads, I took the jump to Monarch. My Egyptians seemed to perform well in the few games that I played. I was able to grab all of the wonders from the Hanging Gardens on, had the most land, highest population, and access to most luxuries. Still, I didn't feel like I was dominating as well as the regulars here seemed to be reporting. So, I posted in a thread (A Strategic Choice) in which Arrian and Dominae played out the same game with an Early Leader. I asked Dominae to take a look and tell me what he thought. I had no idea how much I had been doing wrong.

    Dom was nice enough to create a new thread for the purpose of of making me a better player. BRC's Game covered the first game that I originally posted, a whole bunch of Q & A, as well as a number of graphics on city-spacing. It's an interesting read. Many people chipped in to help (you know who you are).

    So, now that you know a little of my history, my first Emperor start. This is also my first game with someone other than Egypt (that lasted past Feudalism). Ottomans, Standard, Continents, Sedentary Barbs, PTW 1.14.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I quickly REX'd out, trying to keep my cities at about 3-tile spacing. From what I had heard, you don't get a lot of land at this level. Best to get your cities down. I beelined to Monarchy, as I would need the MPs, and I planned to war. My initial Rex:
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Persia quickly made themselves a power. I worried that if I didn't hit them now, they might end up bullying me around. I built up a small force, and marched toward their capital, Persepolis.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Right after, the Arabs declared war on me. I fought them off, and made peace on equal terms. Over the next few centuries, I oscillated on them, Persia, and the Zulu. Horsemen were upgraded to Knights, and then to Sipahi. An elite gave me my FP built due east of Istanbul. It was optimally located for when I owned the whole continent.

        I made contact with the rest of the world in the early A.D.'s. China and France were pushing their tech ahead steadily, and they usually trailed by one. Japan and India had been beaten into submission early, but were plugging along. I kept contacts seperate until Astronomy.

        Well, after taking half of my continent, building my FP, and some infrastructure, I decided that it was time to get back on the grind.
        Arabia was next, and my Sipahi sliced through their belly. I captured a few wonders (Sistine, Leo's) and built Adam Smith's and J.S. Bach's at home. Then, with my momentum, (and a nicely timed GA), I went after Zululand.
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        • #5
          With my continent secure, I went into builder mode. Looking back, this was probably a mistake, as I should have put out more Sipahi and sent them over on boats. Anyway....

          France. They pissed me off. They dropped 2 Medieval Infantry off next to my core. I politely asked them to leave. They declared war. Ok. I dealt with the "threat" and planned some payback. I was in no condition to take over their whole homeland, but I did the next best thing.

          Paris, which was a major powerhouse, was the target of my frustration. I dropped off ~12 or so Sipahi and Riflemen a square away. Next turn, I hit it, I razed it, then I got back on the boat. See ya.
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          • #6
            I felt better. I went home and did some more building. I snagged all of the Industrial Era Wonders, with ease. Japan sneak attacked my little island to the SE. Oh well. Other than that, nothing exciting.

            I first contemplated going the U.N. route, as I was starting to get bored. The Spaceship would take too long (I thought). However, I have heard that a U.N. vote can be unpredictable with all of the MPP's and Alliances, so I decided that Tanks would be the way to go. France was first.

            I landed roughly 80 Tanks, which were upgraded to MA right before the attack. They made progress pretty steadily, as I was praying for a Domination win. I cleared out the French, and with no Domination turned on China. As WW hit me, I dropped into Anarchy for the final push. A few turns later, it was all over.
            Final Score: 7074
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Here are the Score and Culture Graphs. Power looked almost exactly like Score.
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Culture
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  What I've Learned on the Way to Emperor

                  Walking step by step through my game:

                  1) Tighter city spacing. Found city's along fresh water, bonus resources, luxuries. Most important, at Emperor, the AI's expand fast. Get a lot of cities vs. a lot of land. You need to get your production up to make up for the AI's 80% bonus.

                  2) Build the FP early. While I didn't, it could have made the game much easier, even if it was not optimal (thanks Catt). I was being killed by OCN corruption by 300 A.D. BUILD IT EARLY.

                  3) Despotism doesn't suck. Actually it does, but, with the ability to support 4 units per city for free, you can become powerful very quickly. Build a lot of workers. Build a lot of units. This game, I finally broke down and built non-vet units. They work great as MP units, and they don't require a barracks (with 1 gp per turn). Keep your military at the limit of your allotted units.

                  4) Relative strength. The AI might have a bigger army than you. But when you have all of your units outside his capital (Persepolis, in my case), then it doesn't really matter. Use your whole army to fight. He will beg for peace after you knock down a city or two.

                  5) Crown Thyself. I went to Monarchy first, and then to a Democracy in the Industrial Ages. Unless you have a good amount of luxuries, I think that it is a good idea to just take the anarchy and be a King. MP units are still extremely useful for getting your production up, and the hordes of workers that you have (right?) are not eating away at your treasury. The Medieval Age is all about production.

                  6) What Wonders? I did not attempt to build a single wonder until J.S. Bach's. While this may have been because I didn't get my FP finished until late, I would put serious thought into spending a lot of shields on something this early in the game. Just make sure that it's worth it, ok? BTW: I think that Bach's was the most important wonder in this type of game, followed by TOE, Adam Smith's, and the later ones. Set yourself up to nab the later ones.

                  7) Acquire Happiness. Also something I failed to do, although I normally do it. How hard is to pack a boat or two full of units and send to find a luxury? Any luxury that is on a coast belongs to you. Go get it. Have money to rush a Harbor. This is not a war of conquest, or attrition. The long term benefits are massive....

                  8) Diplomacy. Sell your techs for GPT, if it's reasonable. Keep your reputation clean, if you can. The AI's don't have to like you, but they do need to respect you.

                  9) Marketplaces are required. Along with your search for luxuries, you will need marketplaces. I did not build a single temple or cathedral until the last 15 turns, and even then I didn't need 'em. I love religious, but it wouldn't have helped me nearly as much this game.

                  10) Culture. You can clearly see that I didn't have a whole lot of it in the beginning of the game. Later I came on strong. Most of my early shields went towards units. With no temples, my first sources of culture were the libraries that went in. I had 4 or 5 cities flip, yet only lost 2 or 3 units due to IDGAFIYF strategy. Jawa Jocky will explain this later if you have any questions.

                  11) WLTKD. It is important to know how this works, especially in this type of game. The production boost is huge. If you are having trouble getting cities productive, force them into WLTKD with a marketplace, MP units, and more luxuries. It's a great thing.

                  12) Predicting Tech. The AI will usually research the same techs down the tree. Research the ones that they won't and trade it to each AI for a different tech. Four for the price of one. These Emperor AI's are good for something after all.

                  13) Go For The Kill. After I cleared my continent, I should have loaded up my boats with Sipahi and Rifleman and run amock. My cities should have kept turning out units. Instead, I became a builder. I had such an advantage that the game could have easily been over by the middle of the Industrial Ages. If you've been playing builder all game, keep building. The Spaceship is not too far away at 4-5 turns per tech.

                  14) Hail Mary! I had MA hammering the AI's. The WW was killing me though. I could have stopped the wars and ended the suffering. Instead, I plunged my beautiful civilization into anarchy, and pushed ahead. A few turns later, the game was over. Don't stop. Get it. Get it. (Write that down.)

                  15) This is the most important thing that you can do, so listen up. If you're having a problem with your style of play, ASK SOMEONE WHAT YOU'RE DOING WRONG. Post a save, with your general game plan. Someone will help you. This will shave months off of the learning curve. Trust me. I have something like 3 or 4 complete games to my name. Game experience is not something that I have a lot of. However, I do have a lot of experience through reading about what others have had to deal with. Know how the AI thinks. Don't react to what the AI's do. Force them into a situation that they won't like (e.g. Selling them techs, Attacking with a lot of units in a stack, Researching techs they won't). You dictate the game that they play.

                  Any questions?? I'll probably have other stuff later, but I'm tired. Discuss. Debate. This is not a list to get you to Emperor. This is what I have learned. That being said, this is definitely not the only way to play the game. Make a plan and stick to it. If it isn't part of your plan, then stay away from it. Good Luck all!!

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                  • #10
                    Here is a zip file with the Initial Start, and the save from right before I won. It got really sloppy at the end, as I was just trying to get it done. Please excuse.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Good Lord BRC...

                      You make it look so easy. I think I'm a bit away from Emporer yet.

                      So, I'm wondering, what do you think is the biggest thing that helped you move up the difficulty levels? And what's a good piece of advice to help me out?

                      BigD
                      Holy Cow!!! BigDork's Back!

                      BigDork's Poll of the Day over at MZO. What Spam Will It Be Today?

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                      • #12
                        You're gonna have to wait Big D. I have a lot to do. The answers to all your questions will be up by the morning. Nice game BTW.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BRC
                          You're gonna have to wait Big D.
                          Oh, but I want it now...

                          Originally posted by BRC
                          I have a lot to do. The answers to all your questions will be up by the morning
                          I hear that. Way too much to do. And I appreciate any help.

                          Originally posted by BRC
                          Nice game BTW.
                          Thanks.

                          BigD
                          Holy Cow!!! BigDork's Back!

                          BigDork's Poll of the Day over at MZO. What Spam Will It Be Today?

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                          • #14
                            congrats

                            Nice work BRC, we should have some succesion games going (maybe in the multi-player forum )

                            About city-placing; I'm not the authority on the subject, but looking from your first pic, I'd personaly do (or have done) 2 things.

                            Red dots = extra cities
                            blue arrow= settled 1 tile further

                            The basic thing with putting your cities close together is
                            1. Make sure you use all land tiles
                            2. Try to get as much harbors in as possible, so you can get maximal use of of the sea
                            Attached Files
                            Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing?
                            Then why call him God? - Epicurus

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                            • #15
                              Good job BRC

                              I agree with Alva in that you could've put in a couple of more cities, still you won so in retrospect it ain't that big a deal.

                              I think an important thing you should mention is getting the Golden Age at an optimal time which you did. Getting the GA is vital, IMO when you are making the final push into conquering your continent.

                              Right now I'm playing as France on Emperor and am at war with Germany (the #1 power) in the early middle ages. Even though I have many Musketeers I have wisely avoided combat with them, I've lost a lot of Knights this way, but I've spared getting a GA since I plan to turn my army against my other neighbours right after Bismark kicks the bucket.
                              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)

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