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About Ysop37

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  1. Yep, me neither!
  2. Keep it cool, you guys!
  3. Sorry dude, but I don't see any merits in your wiki (yes, I'm lurking here already for quite a while ). I simply believe that presenting original content in the open boards of the site is much more easily accessible and approachable by those people who visit WPC for the first time, then locking it all up in an obscure and hidden lexicon (you don't even have a direct link to it yet!).
  4. Thankyou! I already wrote this article years ago and published it at CFC, and I just got reminded of it again when I joined here up yesterday. Huh, what do you mean with wiki it into a strategy guide?
  5. I'm sure (but not positive), that auto-razing would have the same effect as choosing the option to raze. Firaxis has stated that you get a rep-hit for the auto-razes, and this is probably why some people can't figure out why everyone is mad at them (because of all those auto-razes early in the game). No, I did not study what the AI will give you in deals (gpt payments) based on attitude, nor did I study the likeliness of AI attacking you. Military size would also affect the possibility of AI sneak attacks. Military size does not affect attitude (unless that is the sole factor for power rankings). From what I've seen, the AI does not hold things against you (like breaking treaties), if you are doing it to their enemies. However, once they make peace with that civ, then they will apply those penalties (even though you did those things while the civ had been their enemy). I believe there are different 'attitude counters'. One is the standard attitude ranking that I studied here. Another is the 'all or nothing' reputation counter, which is where the AI will accept a ROP (or other deals) based on whether or not you've broken deals before and doesn't matter what their attitude rank towards you is. And finally, there is another sort of attitude ranking that affects possibilities of wars, which would include factors like military size, resources or techs you have that the AI doesn't (and wants), being on the same land mass, whether you are the #1 or #2 civ, etc. and Firaxis did state that there is a random factor sometimes that makes a civ declare war on someone (who that is, is partially random also). Not sure how the attitude counter that I studied here affects diplo vote. In the deity GOTM (Game of the Moth) on CFC which I attended, the first vote I held I had a civ gracious with me, but they didn't vote for me. They may have also been gracious with my opponent, I don't know (they did have a MPP with them). But I did have a terrible rep (broken treaties with Persia). It would be hard to study this, since you can't find out how the other AI feels towards each other.
  6. This report is a conclusion of my excessive (my wife uses that term to describe my passion for CivIII, but I also refer to her hobby of playing for hours and hours Bridge with her girlfriends as kinda obsessive, so touche) researches on how the AI behaves in certain situations and what makes it tick. Being an AI, its actions are rather predictable and everybody could have come to the same conclusions if he or she just would have played long enough the game. So here it goes: Attitudes In the debug mode of PTW there are numbers beside the attitude to give a more accurate rank of the AI attitude towards you. I ran my test on a map made entirely of desert (to prevent the AI from building cities), sometimes making an island to determine whether being on the same landmass made a difference. The test was sometimes with 24 civs, but most of the test was with 2 AI civs. I did some of this test with every civ starting with the same techs, so the value of techs wouldn’t alter power rankings, although map exploration would affect power rankings, especially for expansionists. If you consider that the default attitudes of AI towards you starts at 0 the following things will affect this number. KEY NOTE: Good things actually give you a negative number, and bad things give you a positive number. Here are the attitude ranks: -11 and lower = Gracious -1 through -10 = Polite 0 = Cautious 1-10 = Annoyed 11 through 100 = Furious At the very start (4000 B.C. before ending your turn), power rankings are equal, so the following determines the ‘default’ attitudes before power rankings affect things or if the AI has a power lead: Remember, negative numbers are GOOD. Starting attitudes: Start (no factors taken into consideration): 0 -1 You are in the same culture group Example: So the Americans would have -1 for the Iroquois and Aztecs (all in the ‘American’ culture group), France would have -1 for all civs in the European culture group. Aggression level of AI: Chieftain-Warlord 5 = +2 (Germany, Zulu, Mongols) 4 = +1 (9 Civs) 3 = 0 (6 Civs) 2 = -1 (China, Iroquois, Carthage, Korea) 1 = -1 (France, India) Regent-Monarch 5 = +3 4 = +2 3 = +1 2 = 0 1 = -1 Emperor-Deity 5 = +3 4 = +3 3 = +2 2 = +1 1 = 0 You could look at it as Regent-Monarch is the default level and Chieftain-Warlord decreases the aggression levels by 1, and Emperor-Deity increases the aggression levels by 1 when figuring out attitudes. On Chieftain-Warlord, only Germany will automatically start out as annoyed (+1), unless you are in the European culture group, then there are 5 civs or so that will be cautious with you. Everyone else will be polite. On Emperor-Deity, everyone starts out annoyed with you, except the 5 civs that have despotism as their favorite government (explained below), and the 2 civs with the lowest aggression level (India, France), and there are 4 civs who will be cautious (because of aggressive level of 2, but will be polite if you are in their culture group)- Iroquois, China, Carthage, Korea. But once the AI has a culture lead (explained below), India and france will be cautious and the 4 civs who were cautious, will be annoyed (unless you are in their culture group). Situational/temporary Attitudes (may change during the game) -1 You are in the same government as the AI (of course at the start, everyone is in despotism). Because everyone is in despot in the beginning, this gives the impression that a higher aggression level gives the default 0 (cautious). Start at 0, -1 for same government, then +1 for aggression level of 4 on chieftain for example, brings it back to 0. AI’s favorite/shunned governments: -5 Favorite government (only applies if both you and the AI are in this government) +4 Shunned government (only applies if you are in this government and the AI is not) The worst that can happen is you switch from the AI’s favorite government, that you both are in, then only you switch to the AI’s shunned government (net result +9). An example would be if you switch from despotism to republic and Egypt, Zulu, or Celts stays in despotism or goes to Monarchy. Or you go to Monarchy and the Aztecs stay in Despotism or goes to Republic. Mongols is the other civ that favors despotism, but democracy is their shunned government. For the most part, the AI is in Republic-Democracy while at peace and monarchy-communism while at war, regardless of what their favorite/shunned government is. So even though there are an even 6 AI for both republic and Monarchy, the Republic would apply more often for favorite government because the AI would also be in that same government. For attitude purposes, republic would only be bad for you if most of the other AI is still in despotism or going to a war-time government because of wars. If you are still in despotism, while the rest of the world has switched governments (more frequently seen on higher levels), you’ll see the AI attitudes worsen. -1 if you have done any recent trades (maps or techs) or currently have a 20 turn deal with them (gold/turn, trade embargo against another civ). Trading maps every turn does not help improve attitude! It would only help if the map knowledge is being the decisive factor in who has the power lead. Offering very generous trades (example: giving them 5,000 gold for Alphabet) does not help. You sometimes lose this point every once in awhile usually due to some tiles that you have uncovered/improved, or simply as time goes by. You usually lose it more often than every 20 turns, but certainly not every turn or two in most cases. Just remember to trade maps once in a while. Multiple trades does not increase this bonus, either you get the point or you don’t. If techs or gold is used in combination with another treaty this point will apply. -1 If you sign a trade embargo against another civ. This counts in the same category as having a recent trade, so if you’ve already recently traded maps/techs, signing a trade embargo won’t help. +10 for the victim of the trade embargo. -1 If you have a culture lead. +1 if the AI has the culture lead. -1 You pay tribute to the AI. +1 If you call the AI’s bluff when he demands tribute (and he doesn’t declare war of course). -5 If you have a Right of Passage with the AI. -10 If you have a Mutual Protection Pact with the AI. Just remember that a MPP is risky, because they can get you into a war you don’t want to be in. -3 if at war with a common enemy. -2 If you then sign an alliance. So a -5 if you sign an alliance and go to war with that enemy. -1 to -3 for each enemy unit (of common enemies) you destroy and tiles you pillage, -7 for razing an enemy city, but all of this is temporary - AFTER the war or the civ is destroyed, you will get the +1 penalty for each razed city added back on, plus the +1 penalty for declaring war (even if you had joined the alliance). Any damage you did prior to signing the alliance (but during that same war) gets immediately added on. The total effect seems to cap at -15 for doing damage and having an alliance, -13 if you do everything else, but don’t have the alliance in place. This decays at -1 each turn, unless you destroy a unit or pillage a tile each turn to keep it at the maximum. So when peace comes and the -15 ‘temporary’ points is automatically taken off, it may seem like you took an attitude hit by signing peace or destroying the civ, because the other AI have a worse attitude towards you. +1 to +3 for using privateers (the victim adds on the penalty). -5 If you trade or donate a resource. Trading multiple resources seems to have no effect. +1 If they ask you to leave their territory, +4 if you are given the orders to leave or declare war. These are only temporary, and as long as you leave when forced to, you get the points back the next turn. You can continually send 1 troop in, spend 1 turn there and claim you will leave, leave when you are forced to, but go back into their territory the next turn, and the AI attitude will not drop in the long run, just keep cycling between +/- 5 pts. Any recent wars can add a penalty, seemingly depending on the casualties the AI took. Most of this decays after being at peace for awhile (and the AI re-builds lost troops). +4 for failing at an espionage mission (any mission or attempting to plant a spy). Other civs don’t care, just the civ you tried to plant the spy in, or perform a mission in. You can recover these points after 10-20 turns. Actually from what I'm figuring now +3 (which you can recover) is temporary, +1 is permanent. Gifts -1 for each 10 gold worth of techs/gold you donate, up to a maximum of -10 (100 gold). This bonus decays at about 10 gold/turn. The larger of a gift you give above 100 gold, then longer you will get to keep the -10 maximum pts. Example: Giving them 1,000 gold will keep them happy for 100 turns, 500 gold would be 50 turns. gpt donations are added on immediately, but the effect of it may disappear before the deal is done. Permanent Attitude Changes Note: Some of the attitude changes you do to a victim during war is hard to test, since it’s hard to find the difference between acts, because you can’t find the attitude level until the war is over with. And figuring the difference between what penalties are just from being at war, and what was caused by breaking treaties, razing cities, etc. Most penalties are temporarily erased if the civ is at war with the civ who you broke a treaty with. Example: Say the Aztecs have added +10 points because of things I have done to the Iroquois. If the Aztecs go to war with the Iroquois, those 10 points are taken away, so the Aztecs will feel better towards me, but once they sign peace with the Iroquois the 10 point penalty is added back on. So penalties are only added for friendly civs, not enemies. -2 If you have an embassy with the AI +2 You demand tribute from the AI. Whether they actually pay the tribute or not. If they have a good attitude towards you, this will be +1, but once they are annoyed/furious it will be +2 each time you demand tribute. You can make 50 tributes in one turn and get a civ at +100 towards you (very, very furious). +1 if you raze the city of another AI. +12 if you raze a city of that civ. Other civs don’t add any more penalties than the standard +1 if the city had contained any Great wonders. It doesn’t look like the victim adds more than the +12 permanent penalty either, but there may be a temporary penalty. +4 if you’ve declared war on that civ before. If the AI had declared war on you, it is possible to get the attitude back to pre-war levels, providing you don’t raze any cities or other bad things. +12 for breaking an alliance. +2 is what other civs will add. No penalty for destroying the last city of an AI (unless you raze it, then just the +1 for a razed city). But the ‘temporary’ effects of doing damage to a common enemy, alliances, etc. will disappear since no one is at war with that civ anymore. +1 You declare war on a friendly civ (all civs who are at peace with this civ will add on the point, others will add the point if they ever sign peace with this civ). The trick is to get others to declare war on you. Example: Aztecs were at -17 with me, I declare war on the Iroquois, so now I’m at -16 with the Aztecs. If I get the Aztecs into the war via an alliance I now am at -22 (-5 for the alliance, then recover the +1 point since I’m no longer at war with a civ that is friendly with the Aztecs). But after war, the +1 penalty is added back on. +4 if you break a trade route (like pillaging your own road) that cancels a treaty. In addition to the -5 you lost since you are no longer trading resources, it will feel like +9. Other civs will add +1. +1 If you sell them one of your workers (not sure why this is, maybe it’s confused and thinks you were at war at one point and thinks that is how it got your slave?). You restore the point if you buy the worker back. +1 for each captured worker you disband (of their nationality). Think of it as disbanding = killing. Using the slaves, selling them, or joining them into cities, seems to have no effect. Edit: If you starve citizens of their nationality (from joining slaves into cities, or starving a captured city), there is a penalty-don't know if this is permanent or not. Breaking a ROP treaty: +4 If you have no units in their territory when declaring war with a ROP treaty in place, other AI will add +1, but will still sign ROP with you. +6 If you have any units in their territory when you break the ROP treaty, and other civs won’t sign ROP with you anymore and will add +2. +4 for breaking a peace treaty with that civ. +1 is what other civs will add on for breaking a peace treaty with another civ. These numbers are doubled if you figure in the fact that you are declaring war-(example: +4 for breaking the treaty +4 for declaring war). Nukes: Victim of the nuke adds +32! Other civs will add on +16, regardless of whether they declared war on you or not. These penalties are permanent. +1 for failing at an espionage mission (any mission or attempting to plant a spy). +3 is temporarily added, but the +1 is permanent from a limited test I did. Other civs don’t care, just the civ you tried to plant the spy in, or perform a mission in. Other factors +1 if you accept a city that wants to flip. -1 if you refuse to accept the city flip. These are cumulitive if there are multiple flips, but I'm not sure if these are permanent or temporary. Having resources that the AI does not have doesn’t seem to affect things (although it would affect power rankings and might affect the possibility of war, but not attitude). Nor does being on the same landmass affect attitude. Making a ‘culture attack’ (building a city right on their border and rushing culture to try and flip their city) does not affect attitude. Power lead: If you have a power lead, most of the good effects (negative numbers) are halved. ROP is one of them that still gives you the full points no matter who has the power lead. Example of what is affected: Maximum of -5 for donations instead of -10. So the Americans start off with the Aztecs at -6 (-5 for favorite government, -1 same government, -1 for same culture group, +1 for agression level) with them at 4000 B.C. on Chieftain, but this drops to -3 at 3950 B.C. on the lower levels, because already the human has a power lead. If the AI has a lead in power, you’ll see the full effects, or normal numbers (all numbers I‘ve listed in my study). If I give myself 5000 gold and donate everything I have that turn, the donation part of the formula will be at -5, but when I end my turn, the power rankings are calculated and the AI now has the power lead, so it will jump up to the full -10. If the civ is extremely furious, positive things seem to have less of an effect. Summary: This could be used as a checklist for anyone concerned about AI attitude. I'm not sure what the best you could get a civ at because there is no way to figure how many culture flips you have refused (-1 for each one). But with no culture flips involved, the best would be -58 by having the following: AI has power lead. You have a culture lead (-1). AI Civ with aggression level of 1 on Chieftain-Monarch, or aggression level of 1-2 on Chieftain-Warlord: (-1) Same culture group: (-1) Traded maps/techs recently (-1) Recently paid them tribute (-1) Donated enough gifts (-10), You and the AI are in the AI’s favorite government (-5). Same government as the AI (-1) You have an embassy with that civ (-2) You have a ROP with that civ (-5) You have a MPP with that civ (-10) You have an alliance against a common enemy and have done enough damage to the enemy this turn (-15). You are trading resources (-5). You have never declared war on anyone, disbanded slaves, broken treaties, razed cities, demanded tribute, refused to pay tribute, sold any of your workers to them, used nukes, get caught doing espionage, used privateers recently, or accepted culture flips. Theoretical maximum: -58. The maximum you can get a civ mad at you is 100. There are countless ways to get it this high. Ways civs could be mad at you: You have a power lead. You haven’t been trading with the AI. You haven’t given any gifts. You don’t have any embassies, ROP, or MPP. Selling your own workers. AI has a culture lead. Your not in the same culture group. No alliances in place (or not doing damage to the enemy during the alliance) , or not at war with common enemies. You are in the AI’s shunned government, and the AI isn’t in that government. You are in a different government than the AI. You've used nukes. You have razed cities. You use privateers. You accept culture flips. You disbanded slaves. You starve off foreigners. Not paying tribute. You have trade embargos against them. You’ve declared war (you’re a warmonger). You’ve been at war with that civ before/recently. You’ve broken treaties (ROP abuse, peace treaties, trades, etc). You got caught using spies. You demand tribute from the AI. AI’s aggression level (it is higher on higher difficulty levels for attitude purposes, this does not mean it will affect sneak-attack possibilities and other things). ‘Border infractions’ (this is only temporarily applied for 1-2 turns). If a civ is very furious with you (above +20 in most cases if you have the power lead, +40 if you don‘t have a power lead), you can see there just isn’t enough positive things you could do to realistically get them back to annoyed or better. According to my gaming experience, the AI must be at least polite or better to vote for you in the UN, otherwise, they will abstain or vote for the other guy.
  7. FfH 2 and Planetfall were both mods with a very high replay value and marvelous graphics.
  8. There's more where that came from, mark my words!
  9. Before I'll be beginning my little rant (), note that I asked the exact same questions and made the same suggestions as listed here in this thread also a couple of weeks ago at CFC. I just felt that I had to tell you about my bad experiences with Saladin so far and how he is one of the most complicated leaders when it comes to winning a game with him. Also, I'll be giving out my two cents on how Saladin could be improved with just a few minor tweaks. So here it goes: God, I hate Saladin. Just quit a game with him, not because I was losing -- I was doing fine, three shrines and the largest empire -- but because it was just so damn boring. I could either slog my way to a domination win like fifty games before, but slower because I'd get no help from traits or UU or UB, or I could get up to a dozen cities, go turtle and chase a Culture win. Oh, the wild excitement! It's not just me: Saladin is consistently ranked as one of the least favorite leaders. And it's not hard to see why. He has one okay trait and one weak one, a kinda lame UB, and one of the dumbest UUs in the game. And there's little synergy between his traits, starting techs and UB beyond "try to found a religion, get a prophet, build a shrine, repeat." So what would make him more interesting? One thing that comes to mind: increase the Camel Archer's retreat possibility to 30%. This would raise it from a crap UU to a so-so one, and you'd have the interesting possibility of adding a GG for a 90% retreat chance. Another: get rid of the silly Camel Archers altogether and give him a real UU. How about a melee unit with a retreat possibility? Or Archers with a movement of 2? The Madrassa... I don't know what to do with the Madrassa. I mean, it's basically Egypt's UB, except it comes a lot later. And because it's later, it's not nearly as good. That's because (1) Great Prophets are spiffy in the early game, but unless you have founded an unusual lot of religions, by medieval times they're much less interesting; and (2) by the time you're building Madrassas, there's a good chance you have some Temples up and/or you're close to getting Caste System online. So if you really want Great Prophets, you can probably run Priests anyway, making the Madrassa worthless. It does give you 4 culture instead of 3, which IMO elevates it from "almost completely worthless" to merely "kinda lame". I dunno. What do you guys think? Ysop
  10. I have been playing vanilla Civ3 for a few years. I finally decided that the best way to feel that I had "completed" the game was to beat it on the hardest realistic scenario that I could come up with. So I started trying to have a domination or conquest victory on Diety difficulty on a Huge pangea map. After about 16 tries, I have finally been successful and I wanted to share what I have learned. How many AI's? I like to play against 7. If you do too few, then you won't be able to trade as well or play them agaist eachother. If you pick too many, then they will expand faster than you and you won't get much land. With 7 on a huge map, they usually stop expanding and give me enough space to make a country about as large as any of theirs if I expand fast enough. Which civ to pick? I play as France. Their strengths (industrious and commercial) seem well suited to having a large country with lots of cities. If you hope to take over the whole world, you will need low corruption/waste and lots of efficient workers. Also, their starting techs offer a good strategy to keep up with technology in the ancient era. Keeping up with technology. There are other articles with good general strategies. I go through most of the game with 0 or 10% of my money going to science. I spend the first 40 turns getting mathmatics. I usually get it a little before the computer players. I like trying to wait until I see that someone I know has communications with lots of the other civs. The goal is to use mathmatics to gain communications with all the other civs and pick up a few techs. Then I research the tech that gives you markets (forgot what it is called) over 40 turns. I trade it and a little money to get all of the techs that anybody has, to get all of their territory maps, and to get most of their money. This sets you up well to move into the second era. From here, things vary, but I usually try to research the least popular techs over 40 turns and then use the extra cash to buy the techs that I want. How to keep up with expansion. For the first several thousand years, I build nothing but warriors/spearmen and settlers. I spread out my cities so that there is no more than 2 spaces between the culture borders so that the computer won't build cities in between. This puts you way behind in culture and military. You will be for a long time. Just pay off all of the threats and don't build your cities too close to theirs. Try to get a forbidden palace up quickly. You can pay to hurray a courthouse in the FP city to make things go faster. It will definitely be worth the 200 or so gold to rush it. If you play your cards right, you will end up with a large country against 5 or 6 opponents by around 1000 AD. You should be almost caught up in technology. You should build up all of your city improvements before military. You will finally get to do some fighting starting with infantry and artillary (maybe as early as cavalry). Whenever you start a war with another country, pay to have as many other countries as possible go to war with them too. This way they won't all gang up on you. To be efficient against a larger enemy country, use artillary efficiently. With enough artillary, you will hardly ever loose a troop. Well, 'nough said. Don't get discouraged. After all, it took me 16 tries. Have fun.
  11. The GREEKS Commercial and scientific, oh how the money and the techs roll in! In PTW the Greeks always fared better than most CIVs. Play enough epic games and you began to notice that one of the few non-Industrious Civs that the AI plays well is Greece. Greece and Korea were AI Civs that typically started slow, but if they survived, almost assuredly became strong late game threats. The dynamics of their traits was in itself a boost to the AIs problems with becoming gold depleted and technologically backward by the Industrial age. For the human Greek player, Greece was a wonderful builder CIV. Their assets include: Cheap Libraries and Universities, tons of cash to hurry and upgrade quickly, better science research, a free tech every age, a strong defensive UU (the Hoplite 1-3-1) that may keep your military expenditures down in the early game, also that UU tends to make aggressive AIs far more leery of an early Ancient age attack. The Greek traits/UU lend themselves to a very efficient game play when ugly situations arise unexpectedly. In the late game the Greek commerce can be a game saver and an AI game breaker. Warmongering with the Greeks can also be very rewarding. The warmongering Greek typically starts very peacefully, amassing gold and preparing his infrastructure in depth, the Greek can launch a massive late middle age Cavalry rush. Correctly played Greece could mass upgrade the very turn of a major military unit improvement, which in turn will lead to the quick demise of any foe! Want to launch a Space Race victory, just try to beat the Greeks to those techs! Want to be the worlds banker, beloved by all, sitting pretty on a UN vote – just try to beat the Greeks! Want to beat the Greeks to a cultural win – even the Babylonians will have their hands full trying. On the downside is the fact that the science trait in PTW was simply not that strong compared to other traits. Secondly, while a good warmonger can ‘war’ with any CIV – Greece, while certainly not among the worst, was also not a first choice. No one runs past China, Germany or the Vikings to play the Greeks for a Conquest/Domination game. Lastly, that UU had 2 drawbacks; you are always in danger of an AI initiating an early Golden Age for Greece, and it was an awkward UU to initiate a GA with after the Ancient Age. Another drawback is that lazy PTW Greek worker that always took too damn long to do anything! Lastly, that tremendous late game flexibility of the Greeks is tempered by a somewhat not so flexible early game. So how do the Greeks fare with C3C? After playing a few games with the Greeks again, I have come to the following conclusions: C3C has seen the resurrection of the science trait. The addition of the possibility of a Great Scientific Leaders for the first Civ to discover a tech makes for even stronger Greek play. The greater need to do your own research for techs also enhances Greece as a top choice. Once the ‘bugs’ are ironed out in the patch, the commercial trait will benefit immensely. The dynamics of the science/commercial combo will be accentuated to an even greater degree than ever before. The toning down of the Industrious trait alone, improves your workers ability in an indirect manner. C3C sees an already strong Greece, become even stronger. An excellent PTW builder CIV is now a hands down top 3 choice. An average warmonger CIV, is made a far more viable choice. In summary, the Greek play in and of itself remains essentially the same. What has changed is the effects of that play are far stronger. Overall a 1st tier Civ. If you liked the Greeks before – you’ll love them now!
  12. “I love thee, I love thee not, I love thee, I love thee not…” would be the national anthem of America if the Civs had one. Beloved, despised and sometimes both at the same time - America is one of the most debated Civs in the game. Typically this Civ is disliked by ‘newbies’ and praised by the higher-level players. The truth lies somewhere in between. Industrious and Expansionist, America has the traits that can result in an explosive early game start. In combination these two traits are arguably the most complimentary traits in the game. Together these two traits result in pure production power. The Industrious trait will result in a faster road network. This will quickly translates out to higher gold revenues than most other Civs. The Expansionist trait usually results into a quick tech lead combined with a greater knowledge of the map. Add to this the fact that America starts with Pottery, which allows for immediate access to granaries, and this results in a faster city expansion. Add yet again the fact that those early scouts will have located the ‘prime real estate’ for the settlers to found the cities. Combine all these elements and what results is a total city lead, scientific lead, commercial lead, production lead, and trade advantage. Out of the starting gate, few if any Civs can rival the sheer force of the American expansion. The trick to America is to translate that early lead into a permanent state of affairs. It is here that the ‘newbie’ loses patience and the veteran begins to cement his dominance. America, and only 2 other Civs, has no half priced buildings of any sort. The American pays ‘sticker’ price on everything! To offset this it is imperative that the American maintain his expansion as long as possible. He may not crank out temples and libraries as fast as others – but he will have more. He may take longer on those barracks and airports - but he will have more. His cities may not produce as much science, food, or commerce as other Civs – but he will out produce them nevertheless. With America – SIZE DOES MATTER. The key to this Civ is simple. It’s a numbers game. As a warmonger Civ America is greatly underrated. The lack of a UU in the first 3 ages leads many to this false conclusion. Whatever America may lack in quality is easily made up in quantity. Or to quote a particularly evil man, “quantity is it’s own quality”. Given the typical large sprawling empire of the Americans, the ability to crank out what will seem like an endless stream of units can quickly overwhelm even the best equipped or cutting edge of armies. America wins it wars with its economy (pure production/commerce/quantity advantage) and logistics (faster workers facilitating military movement by roading). A successful early war with America will pay off more than perhaps any other Civ. Launch that war at the end of your expansion phase (or during - if the conditions are perfect) and you indirectly lengthen that expansion phase. Remember, with America – SIZE DOES MATTER. If you’re the type of player that likes to have high scores – you will be hard pressed to find a better Civ than America. As a builder America is again, often underrated. No you will not have the oldest temples/libraries in the game, but to repeat myself – you will have the most. America builds almost in the same manner that it wars – it relies on the power of its economy. While not the best of builder Civs, America can hold it’s own well. I will add this however; with this Civ you are often better served waiting (Middle Ages) to build temples or libraries. Their benefit simply does not outweigh the fact that they are slowing that crucial expansion phase. Chase those luxury resources like crazy – while important to any Civ, their impact on America is especially strong. America has 3 major downsides. Firstly a Modern Age UU (the F-15 jet fighter) that while an excellent and versatile unit (now with the C3C improvements) it simply is a non-factor in all but the most unusual of circumstances. Secondly, the lack of an early UU necessitates that America pursue at least a minimal wonder strategy in order to initiate a Golden Age. This will tie up a valuable city or two in the part of the game - where it hurts America the most. As a production powerhouse, I strongly recommend the pursuit of the Pyramids for this Civ – free granaries for America accentuates their production advantage to near ridiculous levels! Regardless, pull 1 Industrious wonder in the Ancient Age and Copernicus or Magellan’s in the Middle Ages, for your GA. The 3rd downside is a subtle one, but the most important one. In essence America plays ‘differently’ than any other Civ. There is a certain commonality of play between most Civs that is not as consistent with America. The Civ trait combo that is perhaps the most complimentary in the game - may also be the most demanding. The fundamental problem with America is that no other Civ is as unforgiving of early mistakes as America. New players struggle with proper worker management, happiness, and tech research. America is built around proper worker management and getting the absolute most out of their traits. This Civ is a challenge even to mid-level players, no wonder that ‘newbies’ dislike this Civ so intensely! Every Civ provides players with built in advantages; America has very subtle advantages that require patience and attention to detail. Summary: Before C3C, I often said that if America had a UU like the Immortal or Rider, there would have been a ‘best’ Civ – America would have been untouchable. Had you asked me to rate this Civ prior to C3C, I would have given it an unqualified top tier status (among my personal top 5). This is no longer the case. The toning down of the Industrious trait hits America harder than any other Industrious Civ. America relies on the strengths of this trait to a greater extent than all the other Industrious Civs. The greater value of expansionist does mitigate this somewhat, but not enough to balance out the loss. So where does Ysop put them? As usual America doesn’t make anything easy. On a huge/pang map – 1st tier choice, on a stand/continents map – 2nd tier choice – on a small map or island map – 3rd tier bottom level. So I’ll split the difference, overall a middle of the pack - second tier Civ.
  13. The Carthaginians by Ysop37 Carthage was one of the great cities of the classical era. Founded by Phoenicians they built up an empire based on commerce. Carthage fought 3 Punic Wars with the emerging power of Rome and lost all of them. Hannibal was famous for leading an army containing elephants across the alps and inflicting a massive defeat on the Romans at Cannae in the 2nd Punic war. The Romans eventually razed Carthage to the ground in 146 BC after a 3-year siege. In the game Carthage has the traits seafaring and industrious and the Numidian Mercenary for its unique unit (UU). Although not bad traits by themselves together they have little synergy and achieve little compared to some other civs. For most of the game Carthage has cheap harbors and fast workers. Like the historical Carthage its power rests on its ability to trade resources and gold. On an island map 1st contact should be made with as many AI civs as possible- Carthage makes an excellent tech broker civ. Being able to build cheap harbors its easy to trade obsolete techs to AI civs in exchange for luxury and strategic resources. You also start with masonry and alphabet techs- excellent techs for early wonder building and a head start towards philosophy and the Great Library. With masonry you can easily do the palace pre-build for any wonders you decide to build. Like most seafaring civs however Carthage is weaker on pangea maps. For the builder/culture player Carthage is at best a 2nd rate civ. They have few cheap improvements and no cheap culture buildings. Unlike other non-religious or scientific civs their trait combo doesn't lend itself to rapid growth or high shield production. Although they have the industrious trait it is perhaps the weakest industrial civ in the game. They're not a bad builder civ just very average. Carthage is one civ the AI tends to play very badly- other civs out expand it and the AI is busy building a 30 shield UU to early in the game. In just about every game sooner or later one of the AI civs will attack you or you decide to liberate some AI territory. Carthage’s UU is a good, dependable and reliable unit. For 30 shields you get a 2-3-1 Numidian Mercenary (available with bronze working) that requires no resources to build. It also has a very long shelf life- it doesn't become obsolete until the early industrial age. Basically it’s a super pikemen you can build very early on. However a slight drawback is you can't build spearmen and at 30 shields it’s a pain to build early on with small cities. The NM starts to shine in the Middle Ages once your cities have the production to build them in large numbers. As a UU it is average to weak but is still better than a normal pikeman. Its somewhat awkward to use as well as the 2 attack value isn't really used that much and is risky for a 30 shield unit. However in those games where you don't get any iron the NM is an excellent unit to have in a poor mans army of catapults and archers. It seems to be a situational UU- great in its element weaker outside of it. Despite some minor drawbacks you get a 3 defense value unit a whole age ahead of when you normally would- if you're willing to pay for it. Overall its a solid UU but is the weakest out of the defensive UU units. If it matters its one of the best looking units in the game. Overall Carthage is at best a 2nd tier warmonger civ. Summary. On island maps Carthage can be a 1st tier civ. On pangea and most continent maps it falls a long way down to a 3rd tier civ. Overall I would rate it as a low 2nd tier civ. Its not a bad civ but is average in virtually every way. Even some of the weaker civs have more interesting UUs or traits. In its niche- an ironless island empire its one of the best civs in the game. Also wins the top 5 best-looking UU award. Side note: I would rate their overall strength and versatility in the game as nothing more than mediocre, not that good but neither also not really bad. Three out of five stars.