Home > game mechanics, multiplayer, strategy > Renaissance Start, especially in multiplayer teamer

Renaissance Start, especially in multiplayer teamer

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Quite similar to this introduction to the early stages of modern/future start games , I´d like to give an overview of “what to do” during the first couple of turns of a Renaissance start game. The following passages relate to typical multiplayer Renaissance settings, key defining factors being quick game speed and noble difficulty.

What do I try to achieve during the first turns?

All teamer games in multiplayer see a lot of warfare. That means that in the short-term you need to be able to defend yourself and your teammates against what´s thrown at you (or be able to attack yourself). At the same time there are many ways of gaining buildup advantages, both short and long-term. The art is to know when it is good to spam city 4 and 5 and when it is better to get 8 or 10 more Knights (for example) instead. The beauty of multiplayer in general lies in the fact that your actions have immediate consequences. Unlike in a game where you build up on your own continent and only after 120 or so turns get to know whether (assuming land was equal) you did better or worse than your opponent, here every decision, every turn, basically every worker move counts.

Now in Renaissance you start with 2 settlers and 1 worker (and 2 longbows, 1 explorer). As said, you want to have enough units at every time to not die to an attack – of course that relates to the amount of units the opponent can have, which basically increases every turn.

Rule of Thumb: You will be safe and be able to maximize the production of units in the early stages of the game if you get a third city together with some other infrastructure and only then start producing units.

So I´ll try to talk about how to best achieve this, what to expect afterwards and in which cases doing so might be dangerous.

How to build up

When planting your first 2 cities, there are a couple of factors that play a role no matter what map or setup you are playing.

chops in capital
Bureaucracy is available from the start in Ren, so you want to maximize the amount of chops from forests in you capital since they are worth 35 hammers (+50% from bureaucracy, +25% from forge) instead of 25 like in other cities. That means look first for a spot where you get the maximum amount of chops into the fatcross – remember to assign all to the cap, too!

Iron and Horse (Knights) are the key strategical resources in Ren, get them into your first three cities if possible. Especially on a more “open” map like Team_Battleground (more and earlier attacks!) iron is very important for some early pikeman if you are expecting to be attacked soon. In a 3v3 clan game your team will probably pick France, so 2 horse and iron overall for the team are enough for the beginning since French Muscets don´t require a resource. As a side note Arabia can build Knights (camel archer = a little better Knight) that don´t require resources either.

fresh water
Fresh water (river, lake, oasis) is not the most important aspect during early planting, but it sure helps in the long run to have +2 health in a city.

Try avoiding double fronts, meaning don´t plant two cities “above” each other towards the opponent in a way that an opposing stack, especially two-movers like Knights, can move into your land and next turn be able to hit both cities. Planting on a hill is – quite similar like with fresh water – a great bonus, but doesn´t play the most important role. Though having your front on a hill is worth sacrificing a little better alternative spot next to it, which doesn´t receive the 25% defense bonus.

general build order
As a rule of thumb, you first want to get 5-6 worker (rather 6 then 5), while getting worker 5 and 6 in the other city start chopping a settler in the cap. Basically don´t put more than 1 chop from the cap into a worker – doing so with the first is fine though. Since you start in slavery, you should be able to slave 1, chop 1 in cap and slave another 2, chop 1 in the other city.

Trick for making settlers: In later eras you can work wealth (or culture and science) in your cities. While you do so, the hammers the city produces go into that, but the chops the city receives are just stored until you start a “real” project like a settler, unit or building. What´s important now,is that your city grows, while working wealth. So after having gotten 2 workers you can chop with 3 or 4 in the cap and just grow to around size 4 while storing the chops. After having gotten 4 in there (4 x 35 hammer= 140 hammer) you can either slave the rest or finish the production in 2, sometimes 1 turn if you have improved some tiles already. If you are imperialistic, chops for settlers will be worth even more, in the capital 45 hammers.

So you got 5-6 workers and some chops in a settler in the cap, probably the settler ready. Turn 5 you get a religion (unless more than 8 players are in the game – there are only 7 religions. In that case demand a missionary from your team mates) – adopt and spread it. Get barracks on top and start building units.

Being spiritual or not make a big difference (especially in a wargame) in Renaissance. You can adopt your religion without a turn of anarchy, you are more flexible later on, you can spread your religion with Organized Religion and have the big advantage of the slavery-serfdom-slavery switch.

If you are spiritual you go Hereditary Rule – Bureaucracy – Slavery – Mercantilism – Organized Religion for the first 5 turns and slave/chop those workers, which just chop and don´t improve any tiles. Turn 5 you switch to serfdom – now you can start improving tiles. Chopping takes 2 turns, no matter whether in serfdom or slavery, but improving tiles is much faster in serfdom. Still take a chop here or there, but mostly improve your food and strategical resources and some other possible. During that time spread your religion (maybe get a spare missionary for a 4th city, so overall build 3 missionaries) and get barracks. Around turn 10 change back to slavery and at the same time adopt Theocracy. If you are charismatic, you can get stables and later in the game (when the chops at the cap are gone) switch to vassalage for triple promotion Knights (barracks 3 + stables 2 + theocracy 2 + vassalage 2 = 9 experience).

If you are not spiritual, it´s a little tougher. You go Hereditary Rule – Bureaucracy – Slavery – Mercantilism – Theocracy from the start and don´t switch in between. In order to spread your religion you need to build a monastery somewhere. Best don´t get it in your capital since that is already busy with settlers. In this scenario you don´t get to use serfdom which makes your improvements come slower and you have to get an additional building with the monastery.

What to look out for while building up

It´s possible that an opponent got horse and iron in his first two cities. In that case, he will be able to spam some 5-6 Knights super early or some 10-12 early on you. Scout with your explorers towards your front and look out for this. Get pikeman or elephants if available in that case, maybe ask for support from team mates. In general if you are the front be careful with going 6worker-settler-religion-barracks without any additional units, especially on an “open” map like Team_Battleground.

What to do after the initial buildup

First of all spam units, preferably Knights. If you are in the back, get only Knights. If you are at the front, make one city produce catapults only, rest Knights, maybe some pikeman or elephants. While doing so, build up some technology. Especially your capital with it´s +50% commerce needs some cottages. While planting getting a luxury resources or two into its fatcross is great. Often a library is worth being build in the capital. Once the situation is stabilized, maybe a first attack over, you can think about expanding further. Depending on available spots and left over chops, you can try getting city no.4 and maybe no.5 then. Combine left over chops with high population cities. Slaving a settler in a city with pop 8 is easy – don´t worry about slaving away 2 or even 4 pop for a settler at this point.

  1. ...
    January 11, 2010 at 04:34

    Would you say its better to slave your units after buildup or run caste system with the workshops on plains?

    • shizanu
      January 11, 2010 at 08:47

      Definately slave your units. Workshops only start becoming an option with Indu era, but even then you have to tech state property that makes them really superior to slaving.

  2. ...
    January 12, 2010 at 04:58

    ah ok thank you very much

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