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Civics in Focus Part III: Labor

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Slavery

Required Tech: Bronze Working
Effect: Can sacrifice population to finish production in a city
Use: Main means of production till Modern age

Slavery is the most efficient way to produce till you either have a fully developed cottage economy running Universal Suffrage or workshops with State Property and Caste System. That is because with granaries growing your city and slaving that pop gives more hammers, then working mines with that pop during the same time.
Till then running Slavery on the Labor civic branch is the standard, everything else the exception that needs a good reason.
Efficient usage of Slavery is one of the major aspects of micromanagement in civ multiplayer. Due to its complexity I can not fully elaborate on it here, but I will try to name a few basics.
Direct slaving (without producing beforehand) is inefficient (50% higher cost).
You have to prevent unhappiness from stacking up too much, so try to slave as much pop as possible when slaving.
Try to generate overflow by slaving shortly before you would have to sacrifice one pop less  in order to do so and finish another project with that overflow. A city that is designed for slaving units should grow each turn. Small cities grow faster, bigger cities can work cottages/extra hammers. Which size you need depends on the food available. Read more…

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National Wonders #1: Flop 3

January 26, 2010 6 comments

This is the first edition of a four-part series about National Wonders which is supposed to describe the scenarios in which those play a role. As usual when evaluating a building, unit etc. in civ it´s vital to not only look at effects and abilities, but as well at costs, required technologies and most importantly the overall context: In what situation in what kind of game will the building/unit/etc. help me achieve a certain goal? The more situations and different kinds of scenarios there are, the better is the examined object.

There are 14 National Wonders. The series will consists of the following four parts:

I. Flop 3
II. Top 3
III. Good. Basic. Not Game Breaking.
IV. Specific. Key for some scenarios.

We start with the worst three National Wonders. Worst means, that they are the ones that get build the least if at all in civ multiplayer (and most probably in single player as well). I myself have never built any of those three nor seen them been built in any game.

Mt. Rushmore

-25% War in all cities
+1 Great Artist point
+4 culture
Cost: 500hammer normal, 335hammer quick speed (Double Production Speed w/ Stone)

First of all most multiplayer games are played with “always war”. The unhappiness resulting from war and especially from a war as the aggressor (the one declaring war and fighting outside own borders) is heavily reduced. There are extremely few situations where war weariness plays any role. Only one I can come up with from the top of my head is a 5v5 Ironman game with hundreds of units potentially clashing and Statue of Zeus having been built – not exactly the average game. It´s a little different with diplomacy games, where war has to be declared first. There if you get into a war that lasts longer than you´d wish for, Mount Rushmore is basically a must-build. Still this is a pretty specific situation in an already specific game type. Read more…

Single Player Funkiness

January 24, 2010 Leave a comment

This one is not a text about strategy or competetive civing, but about single player setups that are solely designed for a fun and somewhat different game then usual. When looking at certain civs, their UUs and UBs or certain maps, there are some combinations that might not necessarily be “the  best” overall, but provide a different then usual gaming experience in a specific setup. Here are some of those, all tested and approved 😉

Portuguese Waterworld

map: Archipelago
sea level: High
starting era: Ancient
leader/civ: Huayna Capac of Portugal (unrestricted leader)
rest: optional

Game Plan: Build up “normally”, try to get Great Lighthouse, but especially Colossus. Get your empire going, go for Education for University of Oxford and either bulb Economics with Liberalism or a Great Merchant in order to build your UB, the Feitoria. Take a couple of Golden Ages once you got Feitorias. Avoid Astronomy for as long as you can ;). The cheat variant involves giving yourself Economics from the start with the help of the World Builder :D. Of course you can take any other FIN leader, just get Colossus – it´s more fun having Great Lighthouse as well though.

If all works out, you won´t be making more GNP then you´d be making on a land based maps with 10-12 cities, but you will be making much more than you´d making usually on an Archipelago setup and the output display on sea tiles will look different then ever before :D. Maximum focus on sea tiles instead of setting up a cottage economy over the course of the entire game is the difference to a usual game here. You don´thave to grow your commerce tiles (cottages), just get a Feitoria in there.

In this setup a city with Moai statues can look like this during Golden Ages (click to enlarge):
That´s two base :4wirt:, +1:4wirt: each from FIN, Colossus,  Feitoria and Golden Age, next to one base :4prod: from Moai and an additional +1:4prod: from Golden Age. Would be fun to have the Dutch Dike in there as well 😉 Read more…

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Good UB – Bad UB #9: Unique Buildings in civilization multiplayer

January 21, 2010 Leave a comment

There are no just good or just bad unique buildings

Even though the title suggests different, there are basically no just good or just bad unique buildings (and units). Every UB and UU has to be evaluated in the context of the game settings and overall strategy it´s supposed to be used in. A (fictional) unique unit archer that gets +100% against melee units is useless in a game played on Islands, where you have no (military) contact with your opponents until Astronomy is researched and archers are long obsolete. A unique building is good if it significantly supports a (playable) strategy.

Bad

Apothecary

Unique building for Persia; Replaces Grocer
+2 health
+1 health from Banana, Spices, Sugar, and Wine
+25% gold
Can turn 2 citizens into Merchants

Garden

Unique building for Babylon; Replaces Colosseum
+1
+2 health
+1 per 20% culture rate

Both the Apothecary and the Garden provide an additional +2 health, one being a Colosseum, the other a Grocer. The only use for Colloseums/Grocers is in longer games like Ironman and even there those two are very low priority and mostly get only build in a few cities if at all. Health on the other hand isn´t too hard to come by, especially in longer games where you expand vastly (or lose).

Good

Dike

Unique building for the Dutch; Replaces Levee
+1 hammer on the city’s river and water tiles
Can only be built in a coastal or riverside city

The Dike is is a levee that additionally provides water tiles with 1 hammer. Also you can build it into any coast city, not just cities next to a river. not just the  It´s a great building that finds its uses on many different settings. Any setup that involves Space Race and water can make good use of it. With Golden Age you can have tiles that otherwise wouldn´t be doing any production give you 2 hammers per turn. On maps like Archipelago or Islands the production coming from dikes can be a big portion of the overall production of an empire, giving the Dutch player a significant advantage over a non-Dutch in the later parts of the game, be that for Space Race or for producing units.

For Good UB – Bad UB part #1 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #2 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #3 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #4 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #5 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #6 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #7 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #8 click here

Civics in Focus Part II: Legal

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Vassalage

Required Tech: Feudalism
Effect: New units receive +2 Experience Points
Use: For 2 promos (3 with agg) on not-mounted units in Ancient and Classical Teamers. For tripple promoted mounted units in Medieval, Renaissance and Industrial Era Teamers. For tripple promoted German Tanks in Modern Era Teamers. For additional Promo in Ironman/ffa.

As you can see Vassalage can be used in almost every setup. However it is only used by the whole team in Ancient and Classical, because later on you have to choose between Bureaucracy and Vassalage on the Legal branch, while you have Theocracy available. So for getting 5EP on your units, you will rather use Theocracy. In Ironman/ffa this is different, because you do not necessarily have a religion to use Theocracy. In this case you will need to use Vassalage for the additional promotion.
In Medieval Teamers you could theoretically use Vassalage for another promo on melee units, but for economy and tech path reasons this isn´t used in any of the currently common strategies.
In the midgame eras you can build tripple promoted mounted units, if you either are Charismatic or Mongols and use both Vassalage and Theocracy. Since in those eras there is a focus on mounted units (Knights, Curassiers, Cavalry) and the third promotion provides you with formation (+25% against mounted units) this gives your units a significant advantage. The same can be done for all units with Pentagon and Chm as soon as it becomes available. Read more…

Challenge #2: “Montezuma´s Revenge

January 12, 2010 37 comments

This is the second fastmoves challenge, continuing the theme laid out in fastmoves challenge #1. This time it´s about all-out war. The scenario simulates a potential situation in a 5v5 ancient game on Team_Battleground. You got an aggressive leader and decided on not rushing or going for a common 4cities-granaries-monuments-barracks buildup, but attacking with a bigger stack before Construction is researched or even player´s build up completely. Your plan is to get as many units (axes/spears only, being representative for 23 hammers of production each) as possible till turn 50 with the total disregard for the long-term consequences on your empire. Read more…

Civics in Focus I: Government

January 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Hereditary Rule

Required Tech: Monarchy
Effect: +1 per military unit stationed in a city
Use: For happiness till other civics are available in all game formats.

Hereditary Rule is the only civic you have available for a long time (till you get constitution) and is usually only used in that time-frame. The other government civics that get available later on, are a lot stronger, so you switch to them.
How to use Hereditary Rule is pretty obvious. Put as many units in your cities as you need. If you have to build military anyway, use that, otherwise get warriors. You can even deliberately not connect a city to resources, so you can build warriors in that city, while you have better units available in other cities. This way Hereditary Rule basically provides you with unlimited happiness at the cost of having to produce the units and having to pay maintenance for them. Read more…