Thursday, December 25, 2008

Civ Tips, Anyone?

Just thought I'd ask some advice from people with more experience at Civ4. Anyone know how to get a good running start at cultural victories? Advice on going military? Advice on keeping my finances in order? (So far, it's largely me and my bro versus AIs.)

Lately, I've ended up rushing Alphabet so that I can tech trade early.

3 comments:

Dan said...

I've found that tech trading with the AI doesn't tend to justify the return, especially when they offer a tech in return that you're two turns away from researching.

For either culture or military victories, a large gold income every turn in a must; culture accumulation is directly tied to how much gold a city brings in, while military units incur a cost in upkeep every turn.

Different civics also help. Hereditary Rule and Vassalage give you free experience for military units, reduced upkeep costs and happiness from garrisons. Free Speech and Emancipation give a large culture bonus and a large growth bonus to hamlets and cottages, and a large unhappiness penalty to anyone who doesn't also have that civic.

Wonders are also a great help.

Graham said...

I find that rushing to found a religion (I either go for buddhism or hindu) gives you a nice culture boost early on. Send a missionary with your settlers and your cities can start generating culture immediately, with no improvements. Also, building the wonder associated with the religion you found will give you an additional gold for each city with that religion, which can be really good once you start converting other civs.

Nes said...

I can't say that I've beaten the game on anything other that the lower difficulties, but this seems to work more or less for me. I always have at least 4 of the top 5 cities (and the other one, if it's not mine, is another civ's capitol). I also generally find myself researching and progressing ages faster than I can build the wonders that go obsolete. Adapt as needed for your play style, or drop something if it flat out isn't working.

When going for a cultural victory, I always play as Gandhi. You get a bonus to culture (which, after the beginning, isn't all that much, admittedly), Fast Workers (who are useful for most of the game; compare that to the civ that gets a special Warrior), you produce Wonders quicker (useful throughout the game), AND you get a head start on founding religions (Mysticism is researched). You should be guaranteed either Hinduism or Buddhism, and sometimes both.

I focus on founding all of the religions. Each one in a city allows you to build two culture boosting buildings (3 in the holy city), and it's much easier to spread it around if you founded it and can send missionaries to your own cities (not to mention your neighbors). You also have the luxury of practically choosing which religion your neighbors have (by spreading it), making it very easy to get the good relation bonus from having the same state religion.

Make sure to focus on 3 cities for all of your wonders (depending on the volatility of your neighborhood, and if you can't withstand a war, maybe spread that out to 4 or 5). I find it helpful to make these cities border cities (and the capitol), if possible; you can use the huge culture boost they will be getting to convert neighboring cities.

I find that Open Borders agreements - as much as I hate accepting them - are almost a must; they help counter the bad feelings from close borders. (I assume that you're trying to avoid a war if you're going for a cultural victory.)

But, don't neglect your armies. No matter how hard I try to placate them, I always end up with a neighbor who's a pain in the ass and keeps trying to invade. Thankfully, I'm usually an age or three ahead of them in technology, so they're fairly easy to fend off. Don't forget that you can upgrade your units. I often find that I have riflemen attacking the idiot neighbor... but I still have archers defending my cities. (Granted, if he's lucky, he's attacking with macemen, but more likely axemen.)

Tech Trading:
Trading tech can be profitable, you just have to ask the AI if you can adjust the deal (if they're the ones who initiated it), then wipe the slate on both sides. They generally offer, as Dan notes, the one that you've almost researched, and they generally ask for the best one you have. What I do is offer them one of the lowest or, preferably, least useful ones that I can, then pick ones from them that have a combined research cost that is roughly equal to what I'm offering. You seem to be able to push for more as your relations with them improve (I've had 8+ with some civs and they practically give me stuff). If you're asking for a bit more in research points than what you're giving, and they refuse, you can usually make up (some of) the difference with gold and they will accept.

If the techs that the AI can (and will) trade with you don't come close to the same cost as what you can offer them, don't bother.

Finances:
Make sure to build the cottages. I always forget this, so I end up falling behind in research later in the game. I don't have the latest patch yet, which has the option to keep forests, so automated workers end up cutting them down to place cottages. As I like to keep the forests, I can't automate my workers.

Unless you absolutely know that a tile will need to be a farm or something (and maybe even then), put a cottage there anyway. It can always be removed later.