Civilization V: Nothing But the Sword?
I heard someone phrase a criticism with the title I chose for this thread, and I thought it was a fairly compelling suggestion to consider: does Civilization V provide substantial opportunities for relatively non-aggressive, non-warlike playstyles to remain competitive with more aggressive/warlike counterparts with regard to higher levels of gameplay (such as immortal or deity?)
The reason I ask this is that I generally favor a non-aggressive game, fighting wars primarily for defensive purposes, and only when strictly necessary for winning. I'm especially inclined to favor styles of play focusing on internal development, wonders, and science victories.
My issue stems from the fact that I have noticed that these playstyles seem to work fine on any difficulty up to and including the emperor difficulty, but are fairly useless for immortal, and don't even come close to working on deity. Judging by the criticisms I've heard which I mentioned ("Civilization V: Nothing But the Sword"), should I conclude that Civilization V just favors aggressive playstyles rather than playstyles focused on internal development?
Doing my science-oriented playstyle, everything is fine up to the immortal difficulty level. As soon as I get to immortal, I can only win by more militaristic domination-oriented strategies. Is this indicative of an inherent weakness in focusing on internal development, science, and wonders when compared with militaristic strategies, or do I just need to do it a little differently in order to continue using that playstyle on immortal or deity?
I've seen on youtube vids which say they opted for a science victory - but of course their step 1 involves rushing a neighbor early, again, rather than focusing on internal development - and as far as I'm concerned, that doesn't really count. Are there any non-aggressive science-oriented strategies that will work at any level, up to and including deity?
I'm also aware some found ways to do these single-city cultural victories, and that's a little interesting, but I'm hoping for a way to win that's a bit less cheesy. Sitting there with a single city while begging 7 different superpower-ais to not kill you every few turns doesn't really interest me either.
And then, lastly, most videos of science victories on youtube are from like 2-4 years ago, so presumably they were operating under older patches, or possibly are entirely fake alltogether anyway. Anyone know some legitimate science-focused strategies for a normal map, like continents, or pangea, which even work on the immortal and deity difficulty levels? I might be able to settle with an islands strategy if there is no alternative, but I'd rather something that would work with typical standard map settings.
Any advice on this matter?
Nope nope nope. Science victories are just as viable without city-taking on immortal and deity as it is on any difficulty below. You just need to learn how to get your science going.
Good: Research agreements, bulbing
Bad: internal beaker generation
I've experienced single city culture games on immortal where I've lead in science through the industrial age. The key is to keep some civs friendly enough that they will be willing to sign research agreements with you. Good candidates are non-neighbors, as they are less likely to backstab you and waste your money (and turns). Also, save your great scientists, Oxford, and Scientific Revolution to bulb your way to the top once you hit the modern era. Once you figure out the system it's relatively painless to win a science victory before turn 300 on normal pacing.
So again, it sounds like you're doing single-city strategies only if you want to do a science or culture game, right? Nothing with a civilization strong enough to actually deter aggression in a defensive manner while maintaining a "typical-size" civilization and emphasizing science/culture?
Thank you for the fast reply though. Do you have (recent only) youtube videos of this in action by any chance, or of any other science-oriented deity-level strategy in action? I haven't been able to find anything from 2012 using science strategies.
It's interesting that you suggest bulbing rather than internal beaker generation. I guess this means use scientists to rush techs instead of making academies? The thing is, I thought people say that the academy generates more science over the course of the game, so isn't that preferable? Why bulb? Or do you maybe only bulb at certain times, and generally otherwise do academies? And I'm assuming since you're focusing on bulbing, you're going to want to play Babylon for this, correct?
Oh also, you mention "normal" pacing - I take it this means I set game pace to "standard" or something right? I usually play "quick." Is science a bit stronger on standard pace or something?
Last edited by tempshemps; 05-20-2012 at 12:17 PM.
Single city games are not viable for science victories because you will eventually lose out on the race. I usually lead until the end of the industrial age on immortal, and I would never have led on Deity. I find that 3 to 4 cities is sufficient on immortal for a clean spaceship race. Getting your National College up early helps you finish off techs between RA completions. You don't need to play Babylon for the bulbing strategy, but it does help. The greater bulk of your bulbing will occur towards the end of the race to put you up to nanotechnology as soon as possible by "buying" the techs that's most expensive in terms of beakers. It's quite possible that you will actually accumulate too many great scientists to keep sitting around such that their maintenance cost becomes prohibitive for a limited empire, so I personally like to expend 1 or 2 of them at certain points along the tech tree. Good halfway techs to bulb would be Scientific Revolution for public schools, Chemistry for the production boost, and a personal favorite is Military Science so I could rush the Brandenburg Gate for the +2 Great Scientist points (the AI really likes this one too, so it's a good idea to deprive them of it). Stack wonders that give GS points in the same city. This includes the Great Library, Oracle, Porcelain Tower, Kremlin, and Brandenburg. One strategy I always like is to go for the Oracle even though I'm not playing a culture game, use the free policy to finish off Liberty for a free Great Engineer, use him to rush the Hagia Sophia for another GE, then use him to rush the Porcelain Tower. I find that when I finish Liberty, I'm usually not quite in the Renaissance yet to open Rationalism on the next policy, so I may also bulb Acoustics if I'm not quite there yet. I assume you know how the median mechanic works for research agreements and know how to queue up techs, so I won't bore you with the specifics of that.
but if you don't lead technologically (as you said on deity), how do you get your science victory ahead of the AI?
Originally Posted by Magic_Hotdog
I referred to my 1 city non-spaceship games, explaining why they're not viable for the science race. As an aside, the AI doesn't push for nanotech. It will always branch out around the modern age to go for Atomic Theory and Refridgeration. When I say "ahead" what I mean is by percentage of the tree completed, as defined by the demographics card. You can trail behind the AI by up to 5% and still get access to the stasis chamber before they do. Before you start bulbing, that gap is more likely to be 15-20% on Deity.
I would genuinely agree with the OP. If you try to tech with the AI's, you will fall behind in either military technologies or cultural/scientific technologies. The way you fill that gap is by puppeting AI cities. And that is the only way in my game. I had this discussion with MAD in his Deity thread. My game simply does not play the same way his does. I cannot keep the bots in good favor to continue to pump out RA's. What I have seen is when my score reaches 80% of the top Ai's score at the moment, they start to get angry, unless it is a bot that is looking to invade me. They will play nice until about 3 turns before the RA ends and then promptly lose all of their units running into my fortifications in 5 turns. Ultimately squandering my time and money because the game is not trying to win with that bot anyways.
What I find most frustrating is the inability to turn off nukes. It really slows down the game on Deity and Immortal, and does nothing but guarantee some other random AI a scientific or cultural victory. Common Sense says you cant tech with the bots. They will have 4 or 5 cities with 20 pop by 1000AD. If science=pop, the only way to balance that equation on deity and immortal is through violence.
This might sound crazy but to me this game always seemed more like a balancing act. You have to balance 4 things: military, science, culture and economy. In the lower difficulties you can ignore one or two of these to reach a specific goal but the higher ones require more balance between all four and being successful in all four. Expecting to win completely peaceful just doesn't make sense to me because that would mean putting military success on the backburner. I think that's what makes the higher difficulties so hard. You have to be good at all 4 aspects of the game.
Yeah the nukes can get annoying. I'd like it if they could add a cumulative negative effect for nukes like neg 1 happiness per bomb for 20 turns or something. That way dropping a few wouldnt hurt too much but constantly launching nukes every other turn would.
Thats a great suggestion, since usually they end up nuking what once was their own cities. I would personally prefer that if you have an anti air and an interceptor aircraft in that vicinity that the unit is lost and no nuke is dropped. The nuclear missile should be unstoppable unless you introduce a missile defense building into the game. If they are truly greatly improving the bots ability to defend and use ranged weapons with the launch of G&K's. Deity is going to become impossible in my world.
Originally Posted by VicRatlhead51
An aside on nukes...
One strategy I've found for them that works well if the geography favors it is to send a small expeditionary force(s) to the civ's sources of uranium, pillage away, and hold the source instead of pushing for any cities. Again, it's highly dependent on geography, how many sources they have (steal the CSs providing them yellow cake!), and a lot of luck. It doesn't take the nukes completely offline, but seems to make them far less effective and has been worth the effort in my experience. I've even gone so far as to use culture bombs to accomplish this goal. No uranium = painless nukes.
I am not QQing about nukes here, I just truly feel it takes away from the game. The bots on the higher difficulties have an almost limitless supply of nukes on the larger maps and I would really like to see an option to turn them off, or make it where interceptors in a city prevent nuke bombers from attacking your city. I am excited to see the changes G&K's will bring, I hope the option to turn off nukes will be there :P
Well aren't you a broken record...
Originally Posted by Magic_Hotdog