Civ4 tips

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
45
91
I got Civ 4 last night. I went through the tutorial but I feel like I am missing a lot about the game. Any tips or sites that have good info on how to play?
 

TruePaige

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2006
9,878
2
0
Diplomacy will get you a long way, but the guy with ICBM's can always pi$$ on your party.
 

Schadenfroh

Elite Member
Mar 8, 2003
38,416
4
0
Dont even try to build far flung colonies before you switch over to state property. The ability to have foreign colonies is pretty gimped in this game at the beginning. You are basically limited to areas close to your capitol before more advanced forms of government become available.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
69,527
4,946
126
The best thing to do is just play it. In time your experience will give you the knowledge you want.

That said, always be prepared to be attacked. Don't spend all your Production on Military, but have enough Military Units in your Civ to Defend against an attack. Once that Attack occurs and you have successfully Defended, don't go rushing to Offence, you need a good sized Attack force with the appropriate combination of Units to take out/capture a city. It's a waste of time/resources to fail at that task. You also need enough leftover to then defend that City as well as your Civ.

Develop Economy first before Research. Build Barracks as early as possible, I usually Build one Defence Unit, Settler/Worker, Barracks, then another Military Unit in new a City. This gives your second Military Unit a Promotion.

UN Tip: Get non-proliferation Treaty passed as soon as possible. Unless Conquest is your thing and you want to use Nukes.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
45
91
how many cities should i build? should I build/research all the stuff available?

I don't quite understand the whole resources thing. like you get money, you mine for ore or stone or whatever, and you have to build farms and stuff, but where is this info about how much you have? i see the section for money at the top left, but nothing else.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
69,527
4,946
126
One quick way to see that info is to check out the info screens at the top right of the HUD. You can also mouseover the Name of your cities for that info on a per city basis. Not only do tile improvements increase various things, but city improvement(Marketplace, Library etc) also improve things. When choosing what to build next, mouseover the various options and info on what they do is given as well.

How many Cities? Depends, an old rule of thumb was to build 10 before Year 0. That still seems to be a good goal, but try and build them near special resources and near enough to each other that Culture overlaps(eventually). You don't want your cities competing for the same tiles for production though.

Eventually you will Research everything, so that's not really a concern. What is a concern is the order you research them and that can vary wildly depending on how you want to play.

Best to just play and learn, like mentioned previously. The great thing about Civilization is that it is not a type of game you play once and beat. You play it over and over again, assuming you don't hate it, so the first few times can be used just to get the basics.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
45
91
so the tiles have special properties, like the bread icon for food, the stone icon for ore/stone, and the coin icon for money. do you get anything from these tiles by default or must you build something on them, like a farm, mine, etc?

to go along with that, say a tile has 2 bread icons and 1 coin icon. i build a farm on it. does the coin icon bring me any money or just the farm/bread?

to go even further, some buildings provide additional resources. like the farm gives +1 bread icon. if i place the farm on a tile that has 2 bread icons, does it produce 3 bread icons? what if I place a cottage on that same tile instead. do i get 2 bread icons and 1 coin icon to provide my cities?


is the fishing skill useful if there aren't any water tiles with resources on them? does it have any use for maps with streams/rivers?
 

effee

Golden Member
Sep 4, 2004
1,797
0
0
Wow very good questions, I've played Civ4 and don't know why I never asked these. I usually ask my workers to autoimprove my cities.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
69,527
4,946
126
What's on the tiles prior to improvement are the Default values. Depending on what gets built on them by Workers, their values change depending on the Improvement. Special Resources, such as Cows or Wheat, are only available when the appropriate improvement is completed on them and they have Roads. You can have only 1 improvement on each tile. I too usually just use Auto on my Workers as it becomes too cumbersome to mange all that, but on some occasions I'll Manually choose what to improve, mainly when I need the extra Income from chopping down a Forest or Jungle.

Fish can be harvested from water tiles without special resources, but not from Rivers. Workboats will only be available at Cities that can use them. Without Special Resources on water tiles you really need a Lighthouse to make them worthwhile though.
 

bovinda

Senior member
Nov 26, 2004
692
0
0
An excellent site for Civ IV information and strategies: the forums at Civ Fanatics. They have articles that explain everything and how to strategize in all kinds of ways, from warmongering to peaceful expansion to city specialization etc.

Civ IV is a deep, deep game! Have fun.
 

Izzo

Senior member
May 30, 2003
714
0
0
They may have nerfed the chop feature in the patch, but I think it's still a key tool. Basically, you take your tech tree straight to bronze working (I think) to get the remove forest command for your worker. And then you manually control your worker to chop down forests around your capital (adds production) and you can get a worker and settler faster than the comp. Repeat this a couple of times to get an early boost on the computer. On lower difficulties, I would also chop rush the Oracle to gain a free tech, usually the one that gives Courthouses or Swordsmen.

edit: oh, and make sure you build a lot of cottages. A strong economy is essential for gaining tech faster.

Last thing I will add is that early in the game, watch your city growth. When you build settlers and workers, your city doesn't accumulate food (so your growth is stagnant). So if you are one or two turns away from gaining a population point, you may want to hold off on starting a sett/worker so that you get the population point right away, which will help you build your settler/worker faster.

 

Skacer

Banned
Jun 4, 2007
727
0
0
As your city grows you can select a number of tiles to take effect on your city. Say you select a tile that has 4 bread 1 coin. Your city now gains that 4 bread and 1 coin. A tile that isn't selected does very little for you (Unless it has a resource, you will always gain those resources -- sheep, bananas, mines, etc. The items you can build on a tile, simply improve that tile so that it is as good as it can be. Example, one of the tiles you've selected for your city (this is done automatically usually) is rice land 1 tile from your city. You selected this because it is bringing in food and allowing your city to grow bigger which is a great benefit. Now, you want to build a farm on this rice field so that it adds 1 additional food, health and gives you a trade resource of rice. Basically, you developed on the land to get more out of your selection since the tiles you can select are limited.

Military and Expansion both cost money, you get money by growing a city. You normally can't grow a city, expand and create a military all at once, so these objectives have to be balanced. A lot of people tend to get stuck in a scenario where they grow their bases until they are overpopulated and their citizens hate them, they also don't make a large military, usually only building enough to defend the cities and not the surrounding land. It's easy to rectify this by simply building more military.
 

brandonb

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 2006
3,731
2
0
Here's my tips.

1) Make sure there are roads everywhere. For example, lets say there is an iron mine near a hill thats producing your civ iron. In order for all the cities to build iron based units (swordsmen, etc), there needs to be a road connecting from the mine to all cities. If you only have a road to 1 city, only that 1 city can use the iron. So make sure you build a spiderweb of roads connecting all cities from/to each other. Roads also increase trade, which puts the "coin" icon in the tile and it helps generate money.

2) If you do have an iron mine the enemy will destroy it as soon as they can, to stop you from producing iron type units. So make sure you place defensive units on the mine, like a swordsman/archer, and if you can (I haven't tried if you can do that) build a fortress on the mine, but it might actually remove the mine, its been awhile since I played, but if you can stack a fortress and defensive unit on the mine, do so. Also with horses, etc.

3) Make sure you have atleast 3 defensive units in a city. When the enemy attacks, they usually come with a huge force, you will need atleast 3 defensive units otherwise you will get wiped out soon. Also make sure you build city walls/castles to boost defensive strength.

4) Don't expand too quickly, as the cities haven't had time to build up its infrastructure, which will cause other cities to lose resources/money as its funneling money into new cities. The idea is to always try to have 1 or 2 cities in the "building up" stage at the most, once you get workers into the area, and the roads/improvements are made all around the city, then start expanding again. Never neglect workers/roads/tile improvements. If you don't have enough workers and have a ton of towns, the infrastructure/trade won't be good enough and your civ will go bankrupt.

5) If you plan to attack, and a city is defended by 6 units, you will need atleast 12 units to take it over.

6) Once you can, try to keep other civs happy, even if they demand you do stuff for free. Watch their disposition on the screen "Annoyed". Once you get a few civs which like you, make sure you get alliances with them. Other civs are getting into alliances with others. Later on if you have someone declare war on you, they pressure their friends to attack you as well. So sometimes you think you get a single war, only to have 3 other civs declare war on you as well. You have to have alliances yourself to help fight back, otherwise its just a matter of time before they will deplete you and win... So make sure you follow the diplomacy and don't be too greedy with others, make sure others like you and find alliances, coming to them after the war has started won't work.
 

Malladine

Diamond Member
Mar 31, 2003
4,618
0
71
Originally posted by: Skacer
A lot of people tend to get stuck in a scenario where they grow their bases until they are overpopulated and their citizens hate them
hmm yeah, but the only way to prevent city growth too quickly is building workers and settlers right? what if I already have enough workers and there's no more land?

I'm currently struggling to win Noble. I've failed twice as Romans, Epic mode. One of them i declared war to help out the Aztecs, on the Egyptians who were 400pts stronger. Then the aztecs dropped out, like 5 turns after, my closest neighbours the Mali (who were pleased, wtf?!) declared war, then his friend followed him. The egyptians refused to make peace, but that didnt matter anyway since the Mali were destroying me with knights and macemen (mainly the latter) vs my praetorians.

Anyway, suffice it to say that the first time around my final score was 170, the second 780. Both "dan quayle" lol.

So i need help...which this thread is providing me. Plus i'll go to civ fanatics.

I'm in a third game now as the Japanese, on a small continent vs just the egyptians, i'm 80 pts ahead of em right now...
 

Malladine

Diamond Member
Mar 31, 2003
4,618
0
71
Originally posted by: jpbelauskas
How is this game in over all? I can't decide between this and CoH
completely different games, turn based vs real time. Depends what you like? Have you played both genres before?
 

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
6
0
This game is great. It's one of those games that I can always just pop in the CD and play I never really get bored of it.

And the best is, if you do happen to get bored of the vanilla game, download a mod like the Total Realism mod and suddenly it's like a new game. :)

 

rasczak

Lifer
Jan 29, 2005
10,453
22
81
Originally posted by: Malladine
Originally posted by: jpbelauskas
How is this game in over all? I can't decide between this and CoH
completely different games, turn based vs real time. Depends what you like? Have you played both genres before?
I played Civilization(yes that Civilization :D ) and Age of Empires II a while back and loved it. As for CoH and similar, I have not, but the game looks pretty fun.
 

StinkyPinky

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2002
6,731
723
126
What's the difference between normal, epic, and marathon in the game options? Is it just research speed?
 

Furyline

Golden Member
Nov 1, 2001
1,212
0
0
Originally posted by: StinkyPinky
What's the difference between normal, epic, and marathon in the game options? Is it just research speed?
As you go from normal to epic, each turn takes up fewer years, so there are more turns in the game. Marathon has even more turns.
 

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
6
0
Originally posted by: StinkyPinky
What's the difference between normal, epic, and marathon in the game options? Is it just research speed?
Everything is slowed down by increasing their costs... research speed, city growth, building/wonder costs, unit costs, tile improvements speed/cost

The point is to draw the game out longer so that you spend more real time in each era so for example you may already have a fully populated world yet everyone is still low in tech. And the major thing which is why I like playing Marathon the most is you have more time to use military units before they become obsolete. No more are there wars where it starts with a phalynx fighting a swordsman and ends couple years later with tanks fighting mechanized infantry. You won't have what in my opinion is the ridiculous situation where by the time you research and build a new unit it is already obsolete.
 

brandonb

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 2006
3,731
2
0
I just reinstalled Civ4 yesterday based on this thread. I also tried out Total Realism mod. Its quite different, and makes the game more enjoyable I think. I just got gunpowder so I haven't played an entire game through, but I think its funny when you are in the Slavery Civic, that you get Slave rebellions and stuff then you kick the slaves ass and make em work on your world wonders.
 

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