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Fastmoves Library

May 9, 2010 2 comments

This post gives a categorized overview on our work, with short descriptions of the categories or individual articles, especially for those readers, that didn´t join us right at the start.

your fastmoves staff

Introductions into Civilization Multiplayer

Introductionary articles for players that are new to Civilization Multiplayer. They contain information on concepts of civilization that are not used in singleplayer but in multiplayer and introduce the common game formats in the multiplayer community.

A summary of the ways civ4 is played in multiplayer

Civilization Multiplayer: city elimination, simultaneous turns and timer

Useful Tools: Civ4Fans, Teamspeak and Hamachi

General Articles on Civilization Multiplayer

The Art of Attacking in Civilization Multiplayer
Extensive Article on how to attack best in Civ Multiplayer explaining underlying principles, the effects of terrain and culture. Shows and explains several strong ways of attacking, like direct hit, fork and culture bomb.

Defending in Civ MP
Counterpart of the article on attacking. Explains the importance of sentry network and culture, gives advice on how to plant your cities to provide good defense, block enemy moves and how to best counter approaching stacks.

Anti-Choke: Dealing with Warriors and Archers in Ancient
Guide on how to defend against units attacking you early in game. Gives detailed information on how to anticipate units coming for you and how to best protect your buildup.

Vision range and its role for offense and defense in civilization multiplayer
Describes the rules of vision range for units, which is very important for building up a sentry network for defense on the one hand and plan sneaky attacks on the other hand.

How to read the Power Graph in Demographics
Lists of power values of important units, average unit values in each era and guide on how to device the amount of enemy army from the demography screen.

Tricks #1: The Culture Bug
Explains the use of the so called culture bug, that allows you to build culture and a unit/building in the same turn. This is a common (and important) part of later era games.

The Art of Boating
Article on efficieny and different ways of attacks via sea (commonly called boating). Gives advice on when boating makes sense and how to do so best.

Putting a Great General to good use
Explains the diffent ways a Great Geneal can be used.

The Happiness Cap
Explanations of the concept of the “happiness cap” and its impact on the game and possible strategy.

Components of Score
Article on how score is calculated, what it can tell you and when and how it effects your strategy.

Ironman/ffa/cton

Traits in ffa and Ironman
About the individual usefulness of traits for ffa and Ironman type games and how you have to adopt your game style to those traits in order to put them to full use.

Maps, Difficulty, Settings – how to adapt
Description of what impact different maps and other options like difficulty have on the game, how you need to adopt your game style to that and what influence that has on how good the different traits and civs are, with a special focus on choice of civ.

Interaction of traits and choice of leader
Article explaining how the traits interact with each other, why certain combinations aren´t good and two good traits dont make a good leader and what combinations can be useful in which situation.

When to attack and NOT attack
Guidelines on what circumstances are necessary for a war to make sense in a Ironman/cton/ffa game with special distinction from duels and teamers.

How To: Space Race

CTON #1: Getting started

CTON #2 Midgame Party

Introductions into later Eras (non ancient start)

Most players only know Civilization games starting in ancient era. However in multiplayer every era is used as starting era, to enjoy all parts civ while keeping games within a reasonable timeframe.
The buildup principles and strategies for later era starts are obviously very different from ancient (especially Renaissance and later). The articles of this category explain the basic buildup principles for their specific era and give an overview of common strategies in order to introduce players into those eras, that are new to them.

Renaissance Start, especially in Multiplayer Teamer

Modern & Future Start, especially in Multiplayer Teamers

Introduction into Industrial

Introduction into Medieval

Series MP Strategies

This series features strategies for actual ingame situations relying on our theoretical raw material in the general articles. The strategies are common or actually not so common ones, that are actually used in exactly that fashion by top players in CCC as well as regular games.

Medi 3v3 – “The Hammer”
Strategy for a massive slow stack attack with a leathal mix of Cho-Ko-Nu, Samurai, Macemen,War Elephants, Pikemen, Catapults and Trebuchets shortly before the opponent reaches Knights in a 3v3 Medieaval Inland Sea Teamer.

Ironman/ffa – “Cav Upgrade Rush”
Strategy for quickly and cheaply killing an techonologically inferior opponent in an Ironman/ffa game with a stack of Cavalry mostly upgraded from Knights.

Ironman/ffa – “The great Modern war”

Strategy for a big conquest war with Infantry/Artillerie/Machine Guns, relying on overwhelming your opponent by superior production and massive force.

Other Strategy Articles

About the Expansive Trait
Math behind and use of the strongest trait in ancient start, noble difficulty.

A Flop5 of Unique Units

A Top7 of Unique Units

National Wonders

National Wonders #1: Flop3

National Wonders #2: Top3

National Wonders #3: Good. Basic. Not Game Breaking
#4: Specific. Key for some scenarios

Series Civics in Focus

Each part explains one branch of the Civics menu. The articles contain the effects and requirements of each Civic, explain in which game formats and in which situations they can be used and give short introductions into how they can be put to their best effect.

I. Government
II. Legal
III. Labor
IV. Economy
V. Religion

Series Good UB – Bad UB

Series on Unique Buildings. Each Part evalutates two to 4 unique buildings, explaining in what situations they can be used and why they are useful there – or otherwise why they are not.

Introductory post of each Part:
There are no just good or just bad 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 an 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.

#1 Research Institute, Terrace
#2 Salon, Hippodrome
#3 Mint, Ger
#4 Forum, Baray
#5 Pavilion, Stele, Rathaus, Ikhanda
#6 Assembly Plant, Mausoleum, Hammam, Ball Court
#7 Obelisk, Odeon
#8 Dun, Citadel, Totem Pole
#9 Apothecary, Garden, Dike
#10 Cothon, Trading Post, Feitoria
#11 Madrassa, Sacrificial Altar, Stock Exchange, Seowon, Mall, Ziggurat

The Fastmoves Challenge

Fastmoves multiplayer related edition of the game of the month, with video analysis on the best possible approach afterwards.

#1 Robinson Crusoe´s thirst for knowledge
Video Solution

#2 Montezuma´s Revenge

#3 Smart Ragnar

Video Solution

Quiz Time

#1: Max Production in 10 Turns

Solution

#2 The Eternal City

Solution

#3 Manchester´s Big Brother

Solution

Concept Ideas

Articles on conceptional ideas for Civilization, like new functions for building or guidelines for mapskripting.

#1 Building: Assembly Line

#2 City Commerce and Specialization

#3 Mapdesign for Multiplayer Civ

Fun&co

Single Player Funkiness

4 city Ancient buildup with Shaka

Report on CCC Playoff Match between clans [RUS] and [PPP]

Not Gameplay related Stuff

Civilization Network – a commentary

New Mapscript: fm_Mirror_Inland_Sea1

Echoes from the Civ World

Echos from the Civ World #1

Announcement of Civilization 5

Civilization 5: First info and screenshots

Civilization 5: “1-unit-per-tile” concept

Civilization 5: trailer by 2k.Games

Civilization 5: All known Civ5 Facts

Civilization 5: Video Content

New Civ5 Revelations

Categories: multiplayer

Challenge #3 Smart Ragnar – Solution

April 20, 2010 2 comments

After a long time and tons of problems with video programms and upload rates we finally managed to put together the solution for our last challenge (click me if you don’t have photografic memory).

The challenge simulates the standard 3-city-buildup as Ragnar of France in a Renaissance Teamer. Goal was to build as many French Muskets as possible within 30 turns while still being able to work 60 beakers in the end.

This time the video is with audio commentary by myself, though unfortunately I am pretty unfriendly, because we had to cut away my introduction. So imagine 11 second being warmly welcomed by a smiling Shizanu.  Same is true for the goodbye at the end ;). The solution itself was developed together by Jobe and me.

Have fun
Shizanu

P.S. We have a new software now – from next time on the video quality is going to increase significantly.

How To: Space Race

March 31, 2010 Leave a comment

This article is about how to most effectively build a spaceship under peaceful conditions, which will often decide the game in ffa-diplo style games. This can be applied 1:1 to singleplayer, presuming that techtrade is disabled or the AI too far behind to trade. Only possible exception is the Internet, as it´s usually banned in Multiplayer.

The two factors deciding how fast you are, are how long you need to research all the necessary techs and how long you need to build the final parts. You build all parts except the second Engine.

Read more…

MP Strategies #3: Ironman/ffa – The great Modern war

March 24, 2010 2 comments

This edition of MP Strategies features about the only possibility to fight a war relying on brute force against an opponent that is rather close to you in tech and production in an Ironman/ffa game.

The Idea

When you are running a cottage economy from the point of having researched Democracy on, your production will quickly multiply. While before you have virtually no base production and slave everything, Universal Suffrage already gives you about 1:4prod: per tile you are working, providing you with a good base production.

Now we will combine two effects in order to again quadruple our production and then pump out a huge army. First is that with running Universal Suffrage a golden age about doubles your base production giving you a huge production boost. This is the reason, why you should safe your golden ages for after Democracy anyway, but for this strategy it’s even more vital.

The second effect is, that with Steam Power and Assembly Line the huge bulk of building for increasing production becomes available: Levee, Factory and Coal Plant also doubling your production, both things combined make the quadrupling.

Obviously golden ages don’t last forever, but for the major part of the army production phase, you will be running them. Usually you will blow two, if possible GP wise even three golden ages into this. This is 18 Turns golden age – if you were able to the Mausoleum of Mausolossos (probably strongest Ironman wonder anyway) even 27 turns. Thats the time you will you for building your army.

After having set up your production you produce a huge stack of Infantry, Machine Guns and Artillery, that is very difficult to counter, because of Machine Guns immunity to collateral damage and move in on your opponent. Read more…

MP Strategies #2: Ironman/ffa – “Cav Upgrade Rush”

March 19, 2010 Leave a comment

This strategy is designed to quickly and cheaply kill/conquer a neighbour who is some turns behind in military technology in any kind of ffa/Ironman game. Like with any Ironman/ffa strategy its not something you decide to do at the beginning of the game, but something that needs specific circumstances to become a viable option, which I am going to explain as well.

The General Idea

The Idea is to upgrade 20-30 Knights to Cavalry once they become available and add some quickly slaves once to those and then rush in with about 30-40 Cavalry on an opponent who doesn´t have Riflemen yet. Having a two-moving stack of superior units then allows you to take down your opponent within 3-4 turns so he can´t put up any further resistance.
The other way this can be used, is to only raze 2-3 cities of someone in an Ironman/ffa game to take him out of the race for the lead.
Upgrading a Knight to Cavalry costs 68 gold on fast speed, so upgrading those Knights will cost you about 1500 gold. With the usual state of economy at that point of the game, this is three to four turns of money saving. Since you can upgrade your units after having moved 5 tiles on roads, you can have a Cavalry stack of considerable size in position to move in within four turns after researching them, which is possible no other way.
The second big point of this strategy is, that its difficult to notice. You can build the necessary amount of Knights over a long period of time, making it look like you only build them to have some defense army (which often actually is the case). This doesn´t cause a considerable rise in the power graph, especially not the sharp ones that are a sure sign of approaching war. The real rise in power only comes when actually upgrading to Cavalry which is done at the end of the turn you go into position to move in. Thus your opponent can only detect the rise in power in the very turn you are moving in on him. Of course there are more subtle hints something like this might be coming, be he has to monitor your moves rather closely to find you out.
This should already make clear, that is tactic doesn´t work, when you are playing with some kind of diplomatic agreements, that force you warn your opponent of your attack. Read more…

Civics in Focus Part V: Religion

March 17, 2010 2 comments

Organized Religion

Required Tech: Monotheism
Effect: Can build Missionaries without Monastery, +25% :4prod:for Buildings in Cities with State Religion
Use: Spreading Religions in any game type, speeding up production of buildings in Ironman/ffa and classi/medi teamers.

Organized Religion has three kind of uses. The first is in Ironman/ffa where its what you usually run longterm, when you were able to found a Religion. Missionaries can then be used to get the culture expansion to fatcross in newly founded cities, having a State Religion will give you one more :) everywhere and the production bonus is very useful, since you will build a lot of economy buildings. If you play a cottage economy, Organized Religion is what you usually run all the time, except for GP phases or war.

In classi and medi teamers Organized Religion in basically the only Religion Civic available all game being adopted with slavery and monarchy right at the start. (Theocracy possible in late medi, but often without effect). In those games you dont need a lot of building but only some, so it might be useful to adopt your religion or it might not be, depending on if you need the missionaries anyway for culture expansion or not (creative trait/good resource distribution).

In later era start game (reni upwards), you will likely pick Spiritual trait. In this case you can adopt Organized Religion for a few turns in the beginning to spread your religion before going Theocracy, which you will be running longterm for stronger units. If you are not Spiritual, its more efficient to build a Monastery in one city and adopt Theocracy right from the start. However note, that you can’t build Monasteries in Modern/Future start games making Organized Religion the only way of spreading your Religion, which is one of the main reasons Spiritual becomes mandatory here.

Read more…

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Civics in Focus Part IV: Economy

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Mercantilism

Required Tech: Banking
Effect: +1 Free Specialist per City, No Foreign Trade Routes, Foreign Corporations have no effect
Use: Getting free additional GP points in Ironman/ffa and Renaissance to Future start games. Increasing research in combination with Representation. Speeding up start with additional Hammers from free engineers in Renaissance to Modern start games.

Mercantilism provides you with a free Specialist in all your cities while having the (for ffa diplo games severe) backlash of disabling Foreign Trade Routes. If you play an ffa diplo game and have open borders with several players, Mercantilism is no option, because the Commerce you loose due to that, cannot be compensated by the Specialists. This is especially the case, when you play on a map with continents, where you have intercontinental Trade Routes, that provide a heavy additional boost.
Also Free Market gets available at about the same time on the Economy branch, providing you with another of those oversea trade routes instead of loosing them all.
In always war type games you don’t have foreign trade routes anyway, so this is no problem, which makes Mercantilism an interesting option. While you only have Free Market as different option, Mercantilism will always provide a better bonus.

If you play later Era start games where Mercantilism is available from the beginning, it allows you to work an Engineer in each city from the very beginning, giving you two additional hammers (you have a Forge in your cities when planting from Renaissance upwards), which is a pretty nice boost for your buildup.

If you run Mercantilism together with Representation (the case with specialist economies in ffa/Ironman and Industrial Teamers) and work Merchants/Scientists each specialist provides money/science equal to 6 Commerce. This is quite considerable and e.g. the way to get to Communism in Industrial Teamers.

Finally the simplest use of Mercantilism is getting additional GP points from specialists if you want to push out GP. This is valid in any type of game.

Read more…