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modern & future start, especially in multiplayer teamers

October 30, 2009 1 comment

modern & future start
Modern and future start games are quite different from all earlier eras. Research doesn´t play any role, instead it´s about setting up the initial cities as fast as possible and especially about gaining momentum on your opponent, putting pressure on him at different spots on the map until the position becomes so strong that a city or more can be taken. Due to artist bombs and railroads those eras are all about constantly paying attention and reading the game, especially predicting what the opponent will do and preparing for a response to it, often long before it happens.

I´ll try to give an overview over an average buildup during the first turns of 3vs3 modern and future game as they are played in the CCC, in between some general concepts for those eras.

buildup
While there are exceptions, depending on some specific strategies, the initial buildup on modern and future is pretty clear and similar for both eras. A spiritual leader is an absolute must (or getting Christo Redentor somewhere turn 3 – a future strategy involving a player with Gandhi getting a Great Engineer turn 2-3 for it, while his two teammates have traits like Imp/Chm and Agg/Pro).  I recommend Ashoka of India for a test run in single player (it´s restricted pick, Ashoka for being spiritual and commanding fast workers) – this allows for a “normal” buildup without the usual Great Person (GP) duties of a Gandhi.

The goal is to have each of the three starting cities produce one unit a turn, preferably an offensive one like a tank in modern or a modern armor in future (which are a little more expensive then for example (defensive) anti-tanks in modern).

initial civics

  • Universal Suffrage: in order to buy up to two workers right away  in cities where no forest chop comes in right after founding or accelerate the building of the first units. Remember: Research slider to 0% and all commerce into money. Once a city becomes unhappy, turn the culture slider up for happiness. It´s not unusual to reach 80 or 90% culture at the end of alonger game.
  • Bureaucracy: 50% bonus on base production and especially on forest chops in capital.
  • Serfdom: 2 turns for workshop on forest instead of 3, 1 turn for mine instead of 2, 1 turn for pasture instead of 2 and so on. Since cities are pop 4 in modern and pop 5 in future from the start, improving land to have something decent to work as fast as possible is key.
  • Environmentalism/Mercantilism: For Gandhi it´s Mercantilism for the free specialist, but otherwise it depends on the land and city positions. The decision has to be made turn 0, deciding on planting spots and examining them for their health situation. Jungle, Desert, no Fresh Water = bad, forests, fresh water, health ressources = good. Bad means Environmentalism, good is mercantilism for the additional production of an engineer specialist.
  • Organized Religion: possibility to build missionaries without monestaries

Click picture to open gallery.

What to do after game launch
Each turn counts in late eras, so plant your cities fast. When the game launches, follow this order of action:

  1. Push “F3” and adopt initial civics.
  2. In future, do a quick scan of the map (you got satellites!). On a map with balanced ressources like Balanced there are only 6 oil. Those 3 you see that don´t belong to your team are the positions of your opponents.
  3. Plant accordingly – I know this is vague, but planting “correctly” in a a modern/future game can´t be taught in a couple of sentences in a text. Rules of thumb are, planting as fast as possible with the help of roads done by the initial 3 workers, not planting a “double front”, meaning one city above the other in a line while the opponent is left or right of those cities. The best way to orientate when chosing the spots for the first 3 cities is to check for oil (and aluminium in future) and keep the opponents position in mind when doing so.
  4. Fresh water, forests and grassland tiles are what you want beyond that, overall a city should have around 10-12 tiles to work.

build order
Assuming a not super-aggressive approach (where you chop units basically right away), the way to build up your empire looks about this:

  1. go to around 10 workers (you start with 3) first.
  2. get barracks in every city.
  3. spread your religion. Religion “pops” turn 5, everyone gets one in a 3v3 game from Renaissance on.

worker moves / land+city management
The golden rule of modern and future: Try getting everything you build in 1 turn.

In order to do so start first with producing those 6-8 aditional worker. Either get a chop or buy them if that is not possible, avoid building workers for more then 1 turn – worker movement is key here. Get barracks and missionaries afterwards, time a chop if necessary in order to get them in 1 turn. After that start producing units – hook oil/aluminium right away – the shorter the time spam where you don´t spam one unit per city per turn the better your play is.

Hook ressources and build workshops on every other tile, even on some ressources like horse or elephant. Those ressouces that you can hook in 1 turn (those requiring mines/pastures) have first priority. Mix hooking ressources with chopping forests right after you´ve hooked ~2 ressources per city. Build workshops right away on forests, priority on grassland forests. Make sure each city has 2-3 workers improving it. RAILROAD TO YOUR TEAM MATES, send 1-2 of those early workers to do that right away.

civic switch
This switch is designed to maximize the production of your now decently improved cities that are working 4-5 or more workshops each already and to give your units another promotion next to the one from the barracks.

Police State: +25% Unit Production
Bureaucracy: +50% Unit Production in capital
Caste System: workshops produce 1 additional hammer
State Property: workshops produce 1 additional food; all cities +10% production
Theocracy: 2 additional experience for all cities with state religion

conclusion and warning
At this point it should be around turn 8-10, cities being at the point where they produce 1 double promoted unit per turn. At this point a warning, often in a modern or future game you will have to not “cleanly” go from 10 workers to barracks to religion spread to building units, but be in a position which you won´t be able to defend with just your three initial units. In that case you have to “shuffle” some chopped units into the usual build order. For example gettign three more workers, then chopping 2 units, then continuing on the initial road.

differences future/modern
In both eras oil plays a significant role, but in future you additionaly require aluminium for modern armor. Remember that while planting your first three cities, also remember that uranium allows you to build the same ships oil does – especially important in case an opponent pillages your sea oil and you require ships to get it back.

Mech Infantery are a decent substitute of a unit in case you don´t have oil, especially when playing an aggressive or protective leader (Montezuma or Saladin are standard picks right after the 2 Indian leaders). Main difference in general between modern and future is the fact that siege weapons here have 2 moves (mobile artillery), which is unique in civ.

In case planes/airships are not banned, building 1 or 2 very early is very important. A trick to use them most effectively with little effort is queueing the scouting command. Select the plane, click “R”, hold “Shift”, left click on tile to scout. Repeat 30 times.

I recommend to anyone interested to start a single player game without any timer or opponents and just play the first 10 to 12 to 15 turns according to the principles mentioned here. After a game or two one can add a medium timer and/or opponents. Doing this takes little time and is an effective way of mastering the basics of those eras.

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