Civilization 4 noob

Unless it has an airport, in which case it can receive an infinite number of airlifts per turn.

You’re right, I stand corrected.

The big point obviously is unit preservation. With you mentioning having the strongest unit available (cavalry) then the AI will have a fairly hard time taking them down I’m guessing. The best strategy though would be to make good use of their mobility. There is a tip which is in the Civlopaedia about pillaging. Until you can build up a large enough army on the continent, why not send your cavalry out to pillage everything they see and thus, cripple the AI (and generate extra coin - invasions are expensive with unit upkeep). As far as unit movement goes, I’ve never known the AI to be terribly smart in any iteration of the Civ game, and they don’t tend to react too well to a number of scattered forces. Removing access to key materials could be enough to cripple their cities, and if workers are able to be captured (can be difficult), you then have a nice little workforce for when you do start capturing. I personally don’t worry about not having improved land available, personally I find the AI can make some poor decisions with regards to land improvement and relish the thought of specialising my own cities with improvements that will provide that.

When you say the city wouldn’t grow, it sounds like the city you captured was close to the enemies cities that would obviously be producing a massive amount of culture, their borders pushing your own (either that, or the captured city was in revolt). With the few ocean invasions that I have done, I’ve focused more on capturing the cities that are smaller. Not sure what the map looked like, but that can be anything which is in Tundra normally because they just don’t grow very well. What those cities will do is enable that foothold required, without suffering too much squeeze from any larger cities. That is all the advice I can give if wanting to create a foothold.

At the point in the game where you are using cavalry, I’m guessing the strongest defenders would be musketmen. City walls are less of a problem then, however it doesn’t undermine the value of siege units which will helpfully knock off the culture bonus defence that a city builds up, and cause collateral damage if you use those units to attack. My most produced units in the game are siege units because the collateral damage is an amazing mechanic in the game to help with city capture.

I was curious about how people played civilization 3 and 4: Do you keep random dice rolls, or do you make it so that reloading a save game can end up with a different result?

I have to confess, I can’t stand the idea of every dice roll in combat being pre-determined from when the game starts, and every village/bonus hut being pre-determined as well. One area where I blatantly cheat as an expansionist in the Civ games is I save the game right before I go to a village/hut. And if I get a result I don’t like (a barbarian village, or finding money), I reload from the save and try again.

I try not to abuse the system too much when it comes to combat. Most fights happen and if I lose, I lose. But if the classic Pikeman vs Battleship ever goes the way of the pikeman, and I happen to have the battleship, you can be sure that I re-load from an older save game.

Of course, none of that is possible if you start with the default option in Civ3 and 4 of the random seeds only being generated for the game at the start. So I was wondering if I was alone in this “cheating” ways of mine.

Technically, that’s not really how it works. Rolls for each of these are done right when they occur. What matters the most is the order events take place in. Every time something hits the RNG the seed number changes, so if a player makes the exact same moves, he’ll get the exact same results because the seed will be the same with each event. Change the order of events and you’ll change the results as well.

Or maybe you knew all this already and were simply voicing your frustration. ;)


Yep, already knew that. The main thing is that having only one random seed makes it so that immediate saving/loading to change events is no longer possible. If that pikeman beats the battleship, you’re going to have to go further back than one turn and do things differently if you don’t want the same result, etc.

Well, part of the strategy is playing the numbers and accounting for your inevitable losses. One reason why stacks of units are so effective is that they tend to minimize the impact of random upsets.

  • Alan

As long as you have multiple events during a turn which hit the RNG, just changing the order around should be enough. As I noted though, the seed changes in a consistent way, so if you have 3 things which hit the RNG, changing the order of the first two will still give you the same result for the third.


Ever since I started reading up on CivFanatics a few years ago in an effort to improve my Civ IV game (and boy howdy, how I did! Moved up two difficulty levels in like a month, good times), I stopped doing the save/reloading thing. I think playing Crawl on CAO helped me with this too; I’m sure as hell more invested in a level 15+ Crawler than I am in a hut-popping Warrior.

I did the save/reload/redo thing all the time in Civ 2 and Civ 3. (Even though it really wasn’t effective in Civ 3.) I finally bought Civ 4 in June and have been playing it non-stop for a month, and I haven’t done it once.

That’s not to say I don’t reload earlier saves on occasion. If my settler gets taken out by a barbarian I didn’t see, or if an entire stack of units gets unlucky rolls and crashes against a city’s walls like so much flotsam, I’ll reload the last autosave, but I don’t just try the same moves again and expect different results anymore.

Also just yesterday I was building the Three Gorges Dam and had 2 turns left until completion when the Indians built it out from under me. Since I’d had enough money to rush completion, I reloaded an earlier turn and did so. Up yours, Gandhi.

I think reloading kills some of our best gaming opportunities. The best stories we have to tell after playing a game are when we come back from huge odds

“I declared war on china and marched my stack into their lands only to find tons of knights waiting for me. Afetr chinas turn my stack was gone and the chinese knights were coming for me…”

If you can recover that game then you have a story to tell. You have a unique game experience. To often reloading ruins that.

I don’t know what it is about tbs games that makes losing feel so personal. I think its because we get a plan in our mind and when it falls apart we feel like the game is gone. If we would react and come up with a new plan it may be more fun.

(yes I still reload sometimes)

For me, it was tied into my concept of what “should” happen. My Swordsman “should” beat the defending Archer. My Spearman “should” kill an attacking War Chariot. I “should” be able to chop the Oracle out before Mali can. Because much of Civ (in particular, Civ IV) is about achieving goals while spending the fewest possible resources on it, I would feel cheated if I stepped across that line and failed.

The lesson, which my reading of all kinds of articles and threads on CivFanatics taught me, is that (to be unbearably trite about it) you need to think more like Sun Tzu. Victorious warriors win before entering battle. It’s so true. Stop hoping that your axe can roll its 80% chance to kill an enemy sword, and start bringing another axe to finish the job when it inevitable goes south. Simple in concept, but I had to overcome a lot of bad play habits to really grok it.

I had one kind of like this last night, though it wasn’t coming from behind so much as successfully overcoming a scary situation. I started a new game as Pericles (Creative, Philosophical) after finishing off the previous one, and I started out sharing a continent with both Shaka and Montezuma. That’s a serious oh shit situation. To make matters worse, I found Hinduism and Monty founds Buddhism, so I’ve now got a warmonger who hates me living right down the street.

My salvation comes when Hinduism spreads to Shaka, and I do my best to make him absolutely love me. Then I use him as my own personal attack dog, siccing him on Monty whenever possible, and using the Sumerians, (also Hindu) as backup. End of story, Shaka still loves me, and he has both Ramses and Monty as vassals. I’m still ahead of him in score but he’s WAY more powerful than I am militarily. Once I’m able to sign a defensive pact with him, I’m gold to push for my cultural victory.

You are absolutely right about reloading, coming from behind generates the best stories but it doesn’t stop me form doing it. I play most of Civfanatics Civ 4 BTS game of the months, where can’t reload and I am a
ashamed to admit that most of the time I can’t stop myself from reloading. Of course I have some honor and don’t submit the games where I cheat.

I just wanted to tell everyone that yesterday I started my first full game of Civilization 4. (I’m using BTS.)

Hey, this is addicting.

Use the bug mod!

I’ll check it out. I downloaded FFH2 and Dune at the same time, and didn’t even think about vanilla Civ4 mods.

I haven’t put more than an hour into these games since Civ2 over a decade ago. I already caught myself playing before work this morning.

I have started playing Civ 4 again while stuck at home. Does anyone remember in a Custom Game using Advanced Start? I thought we could purchase units to start playing with but I cannot remember how to do it. I lick on a worker but the interface does not let me purchase one (I can purchase tech with gold).

I figured it out

I don’t know if we’re playing the same game…

Ha Ha!