From Emperor to Immortal
CivV is the first Civ game I've ever played. I've gotten to the point that King is boring, and Emperor is interesting -- until the Renaissance, at which point I have established such a lead that I'm just killing time until a victory condition is met. I've made a few attempts at Immortal and am completely at a loss. What should I do differently on Immortal to overcome the increasing advantages that the AI receives?
where are your problems?
the AI early rushes?
getting out teched badly?
overcoming the sheer amount of units?
Well, in the most recent attempt, I managed to stay within about 5% literacy of the #1 civ. Problem is, the #1 civ was my next door neighbor (Greece), and he was city-spamming like there was no tomorrow and had a massive army. I had more iron than him (as Russia), but I couldn't spit out longswordsmen fast enough. They may be stronger than pikemen, but when the pikemen outnumber them 5:1 ... yeah.
In other games, I've fallen victim to the early rush where all 4 other civs on the continent declare war on me simultaneously. Ugh.
One of the ways to beat the AIs on immortal is to go for the early rush yourself. Try to ignore your normal development for a while and assuming that you play pangea or continents build 6-7 warriors and go straight for iron working. Save enough cash and upgrade all the warriors into swordsmen and attack your neighbouring civ as soon as possible. Having some archers as well will be a bonus but not absolutely necessary. The AI will probably be defending with warriors and a few archers so you will beat them down in no time. You might go into negative gold per turn for a while but no worries as, as soon as you have their capital under your control your financial situation will improve plus you will have extra luxuries to sell. From then on with two capitals in your hands its your choice how to proceed, I guess you could go for another capital or take a more peaceful approach. Just be prepared for denouncements if you completely kill that first civ you attack.
if ur defending u need ranged units
try mixing in some catapults with the LS if u have the iron
but getting good units out is all about upgrading them from cheaper units
A good strategy (not counting ones that rely on purely exploiting game mechanics) is to rush research iron working (preferably with a civ that has either special warriors whose special abilities work when upgraded such as aztecs jaguars or a civ that has special swordsmen) and try to time this with your first settler (probably from liberty tree).
Try to have 4 or more warriors out along with as much gold as possible for upgrading them once you get the iron working tech out so that as soon as you net that iron (preferably by settling on it, or at the very least next to it and upgrading it asap) you can attack and seize a nearby city.
This will give you a very good headstart.
Heres some corner pieces of my deity level game structure. The should still help at immortal but I'm not sure what the gap is in their behaviors at that level. Anyways~
1. Always declare war first. (It should grow obvious when they build near you or start to be within 10 tiles)
2. Always trade all your stuff for gold before declaring war.
3. Don't declare war on everyone. (Leave Civ's by warred-Civ in fair diplo)
4. For people you didn't declare war on pay them whatever they want inorder to go to war.
5. If unhappiness gets too bad from loss of luxuries - don't fret. Just buy a CS thats far away from the crossfire.
6. Keep checking for warred-Civ's to offer peace. After peace treaty expires declare war again, do not declare war again if the warred-Civ did well.
Don't forget to work the City States. I was able to get past the early game AI on Deity using the AI's bonuses against them. In very few turns, my neighbors built up a fat stack of cash. You go to your cities and move you citizens to the highest gold producing even if it is not sustainable. Then you essentially take all of their money on the promise of giving them all yours luxury, resource, and gold per turn. Take all of the AI's gold and buy city-state allies that border the enemy. If you're lucky, there will be a city state somewhat in between you and the closest AI. Then you declare war. Having explored and met AI's far from you is very good with this strategy since you can burn distant AI's to build up your defense against more local ones. Other's recommend against it, but burning all of the AI's in the ancient era is great because they will not launch a successful attack from far away!
I've never seen the AI defeat a city-state in the ancient era. Therefore, your CS alley winds up taking the heat for you or at least they might distract them enough to make the battle fair.
This, like all strategies, will work varyingly well depending on the map setup.
The key to victory is to be flexible.