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Old September 18th, 2011, 12:18 PM
mondays suck's Avatar
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- - - Abandoned, because this turned out to be incredibly boring and lengthy - - -

Hello everyone, welcome to what's going to be both my second AAR (this time it's more realistic I'll finish it...) and this forum's second Civ 4 AAR (I hope Donny won't mind ).

Like the title says, today we're here to try out some of the war aspects of the game , therefore the settings are:
  • Prince Difficulty. I can play the next highest level, Monarch, and have tried one Emperor (above Monarch) game before and was leading in score, tech and land early on because - believe it or not - I actually paid attention to stuff but never finished it (and was playing as Willem van Oranje, whom I consider close to being overpowered), but I'm a coward, so Prince it is.
  • A map script that pretty resource poor but allows me to play a map bigger than the usually largest possible size, huge.
  • Marathon Speed. Which basically means that everything takes three times as long as in a normal game. There are some other differences I haven't memorized.
  • Raging Barbarians. Recently I tried a game with these settings and got reduced to an Island exile pretty early because I forgot it was on Let's see how much better I will do if I won't...
  • Huts and Events are off. Free techs or lots of money from huts can make one civ run far, far away from the others, if that's me that would be good, but if it's someone else... better not. Events because 90% of them only serve the purpose of pissing the player off. "Oh look, the slaves are revolting in your capital, your forests are on fire, so are your forges and theatres, and there are tornadoes and hurricanes everywhere. The only positive thing: Your HIV test." An unfunny joke is just the right way to describe such a fun-ruining mechanic.
  • Just to appear smarter than I actually am, I screwed around with the tech costs.
    Spoiler:
    anc 100
    cla 110
    med 130
    ren 160
    ind 200
    mod 250
    fut 310
    What could this hastily written mess of a note mean? The letters are abbreviations for the era names and the numbers are supposed to be percentages but since my 5 key which is also used for the percentage sign is broken, I avoid using it if I can. So basically the whole thing means that the later into the game we are, the longer researching a tech will take. Why did I do this? Usually research becomes faster and faster the longer you're into a game, so Renaissance Wars always have to be executed hastily in order to win before Industrial units show up, and it only gets worse later on. One thing that would be awkward would be if I somehow missed a tech and it still has its original cost. And I'm pretty sure I did, so before really starting with the game, I'm going to look through the file once more and compare it with the backup I did of course make.
  • Unrestricted leaders. Makes you able to play as any leader from any civilization. It's fun unless you get both a sucky leader and a sucky Civ. But fortunately, that's not the case in this game.
I was just going to pick my favorite leader with a good civ, but ended up picking random. My own fault. The generator decided for:

No synergy, but a truly excellent combination for these settings!
Pericles' traits are, as shown above, Philosophical and Creative, which means we get Great People faster (I usually don't care about them even though I know I should, but in general it's a pretty good ability) and Universities are cheaper (meh, this isn't going to be the most research-heavy game...) from PHI and 2 culture per turn (this is excellent, saves a lot of time, since each city will need 10 culture (30 in Marathon, I think) to control as many tiles as it can work, more if there's a neighboring city owned by another civ that isn't going to be conquered too soon) in each city and a couple more cheap buildings including Libraries from CRE, these will help our early research a lot, and early research actually matters.
So much for Pericles. Now, the so-called Native America has the Totem Pole that gives extra EXP to Archers. It replaces the Monument that gives 1 culture per turn (of course the Totem Pole does this as well). For a Creative leader, Monuments are THE most unnecessary building in the game, but those EXP could be nice. And there's the Dog Soldier, an Axeman that has 4 Strength instead of 5, but doesn't require resources and gets a 100% bonus against Melee units instead of the usual 50%. So, these two things are going to help against these raging Barbarians quite a lot, even if this won't be quite as much of defensive overkill as Sitting Bull, the usual leader of N.A. provides with his Protective trait that strengthens Archers (and later Gunpowder units) even more, but economically kinda sucks unfortunately. I probably would have liked being something like the Ottomans or Mayans who receive happiness (important for grow big cities, and big cities are, of course, more efficient than small ones. A lot.) bonuses from their unique buildings better, but these defense improvements aren't bad at all.

And why would I edit my real name out? Why not?

Anyway, here is our beautiful starting position:

I don't like this. We're not next to the river, and we can't go there without losing one of these Clams. I love rivers, but that's not worth it, and I'm not going to hope for other seafood down south (the southern blue circle implies that that position is good, but these circles aren't too trustworthy), it's too risky. I think I'm just going to settle where the Settler already stands for these other reasons:
  • Because of the many forests that effectively reduce our Settler's movement to 1 tile per turn, we would lose turns moving anywhere but East. And while the east looks nicely green and has a river, we don't know how many resources there are.
  • While the hill Sheep sucks and Fish would have been better than Clam, our food situation is pretty good. If, for example we'd settle where the Warrior (that guy with the club, in case it's not obvious) stands, we'd have even more food, but in general, the land would be far worse.
  • We won't be able to build one of these lovely Levees in the capital, but at least the Lake will give us a Health bonus. That's pretty nice.
  • We can always Settle other cities near other resources, move the capital to a better place by building a palace there and whatnot.

So, as said, I'll look through the tech file once more and try to find out whether I partially screwed up there because I'm pretty sure I did, and then the game can actually begin. Tomorrow, because these preparations and writing this crappy text took me a lot longer than expected and I am weak and therefore need some sleep.


Some probably not very useful notes:
Spoiler:

Dramatis Personae
[/SIZE]
Spoiler:
  • Pericles / "NativeAmerica" - destined for victory!
  • Sitting Bull / Rome - one protective (=uncomfortable to war against) neighbor ...
  • Wang Kon / Ethiopia - ... and another protective neighbor!
  • ? / Sumeria - DEAD, fell victim to angry, bloodthirsty Barbies enraged by the lack of Ken on this map and in this game in general
  • Many unmet civs, at least one of them likes to build wonders
Common Abbreviations:
  • PovP or PP - Poverty Point, our fish-rich second city.
  • WK - Wang Kon, the a slightly weird-looking leader of the Ethiopians who live north of our home continent.
  • SB - Sitting Bull, Roman Emperor. Usually I call him Bull though.
  • more to come, we're still not far from the beginning of the game.

Last edited by mondays suck; October 8th, 2011 at 01:47 AM.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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I don't mind you doing one of these at all.

But real men do it without modding the tech values. ;P
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Old September 19th, 2011, 10:36 AM
mondays suck's Avatar
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I had already written what, if not properly formatted, would have been quite a wall of text, misclicked - apparently I pressed Ctrl+W, I can't see how that could have happened considering how far W is away from V (on the keyboard, not in the alphabet) - and pasting an image URL is what I was actually trying - and closed the tab I'm afraid I'll never fully master the arts of not accidentally deleting any post I actually put some effort into.

So, what did I talk about first? The whole tech mini-mod. My entirely non-malicious intention here was to increase the Barbarian pressure even more, since the early phase is where they are the most dangerous and stretching that early phase... Being able to war for longer later without meeting technologically superior units on the enemy side is just a nice side effect - and it doesn't mean the AI won't abuse it as well if given the chance, it's not particularly unlikely someone like Shaka or the Khan will be in the game and become a major power.

Oh, and map size and game speed should be increased/decreased proportionally and since this map is bigger than Huge...

That and real men also have the courage to wear pink, which don't think I've done a single time in my life so far. So I would never have been able to claim being a real man anyway.

Another thing about the mini-mod, I got my issues sorted out now. Yesterday I started the whole thing believing the techs are sorted by eras, but I had no such luck. So I missed probably about half of them, good thing I noticed it, would have been a little awkward otherwise. I knew me only having multiplied 3 medieval techs by 1,3 was a bit suspicious

So, I at this point I am ready to start...
Spoiler:

...but then I remembered I forgot one more thing:

So I added this line into the World Builder Quick Save file. Why? Because Vassal states are annoying. Sometimes the enemy will capitulate merely halfway through the war, sometimes they won't when they only have one city left which is surrounded by an army. More important than that, however, is the option to peacefully become a vassal of someone else. Sometimes even happens between two AIs that hate each other. So, say, Gandhi voluntarily becomes, say, Napoleon's vassal, goes for a cultural victory and will be hard to stop because Napo=#1 military power in the world. Anyone trying to stop him will have to fight Napoleon first, and Napoleon can't do a thing against Gandhi from the point he takes him as a vassal.

We move the Warrior to the west...

...and see two more Fish resources only a city on that hill is going to be able to reach - and we'll want that city, it will be a Slavery 'paradise'. Not as our capital though. However, if we settle the capital where the Settler stands right now, will we still be able to Settle that Fish city?

A test in the world builder (again with a randomly rolled Pericles, the game really seems to want me play that leader) shows:

We can't! I knew about the 2-tiles-rule, but I didn't know it also applies diagonally. I have, however, seen an exception to it before, something like this:


These two Indian cities on a Russian borders clearly only have one sea tile between them, yet I was able to settle that second tundra paradise, Ayodhya to grab some extra seafood (that was an interesting map, lots and lots of seafood, but all of my land apart from a couple good tiles the capital had was Tundra or Ice) out of Agra's reach. Why? Probably because they're on different landmasses.

Sooo... there was a blue circle on that southeastern hill, right? Let's see if we can trust these things just once...

I lost the image, but it was pretty disgusting. What happened next? I stupidly wandered around for a couple more turns, something I usually never do, but at least on Marathon speed it's a bit more affordable than elsewhere and eventually found here:

That's not a good capital, but now I can't change it anymore. For research, I select Mining.

We are on a peninsula! Awesome! This will make things a lot easier, unless I royally screw up.


We finish Mining and start researching...

This will allow us to convert forests into hammers (production), adopt the civic Slavery and build Axeman or, in this case, Dog Soldiers. And it will reveal Copper, but we don't need any, we have the Dog Soldier.

Turn 38, we finally meet a first Barbarian unit: A bear.

I'll be better off avoiding him.

Our first worker finishes, and because there's nothing else to do we start mining the reason why I settled here: The Gold, which will speed up our early tech and expansion a lot.

We build a lot of Warriors, and when Bronze Working FINALLY finishes:

Another massive amount of turns later (I really, really hate the early game in Marathon speed - but it pays off, the later eras are always fun):

Herpaderp, that's not what I was meaning. Stupid crap, why can one album only have X pictures but the whole account can have more? Doesn't make any sense. And even after making a new album, this keeps pissing me off because it always goes back to my old, full album. Looks like I have to get a new Photobucket account.

No, we both finish Animal Husbandry (we have Horses somewhere to the NE of Cahokia ) and we finish the first phase of our anti-Barbarian measures:

The conditions for Barbarian units to spawn on a tile are:
  • The tile is in covered in fog of war (slightly grey and completely black don't make a difference here) for all players
  • There is no unit within 2 tiles. Including other Barbarians.
For Barbarian cities, only the first rule applies, but I hope we'll be able to settle our peninsula before they can spawn.

So, our lousy warriors light out the back of the peninsula, our first Dog Soldier is protecting us from any attackers from the east. Unless he dies at low odds, of course.

We meet, off all people, Sitting Bull - of Rome.

Rome is infamous for its unique unit, the Praetorian, a Swordsman with 8 instead of 6 Strength points. That's QUITE a difference, and together with the better Archers from SB's protective trait, this will be a really, really uncomfortable war enemy. The Unique Building is the forum, a market that besides the usual things a market does increases the city's likeliness of producing Great People by 25%. Since the Bull also gets +100% Great People from his Philosophical trait, he'll probably get quite a lot of them.

Where did he come from?

From the east. With a Galley. That's unusual. Sailing must have been the very first thing he decided to tech. I don't know why he would do what but... it's his decision, isn't it?


With the Sheep and the Cows improved, Cahokia can finally grow to at least size 2! Plains Hill Sheep and Plains Cow might be the weakest food resources in the game, but they're better than nothing.




Also, look at this: We have a lot more espionage points on Bull than he has on us!

What does that mean? Each city's palace produces 4 espionage points per turn, and they can be distributed on among all the known civs. The AI never focuses on just one target early on, they spread them evenly among everyone they know. So SB does know somebody else, but met him after he met us... I think.

It's 2000 BC, and we suck.

Not a lot else happened: I built a couple more Dog Soldiers, didn't encounter a single Barbarian yet, improved a few tiles around Cahokia with the Worker and started working on a Settler for a second city. Pretty boring game so far . But the future will be better tomorrow, and we can only hope the same thing applies for this game.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 04:24 PM
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That is a bit unusual to see a Civ with Galleys that early. You should totally get him to declare war on the next person you meet, especially if it's Shaka or Genghis.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 01:16 PM
mondays suck's Avatar
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No. I will let that person declare war on him because it will most likely be easier. The Bull might not be Tokugawa, but he is kind of an isolationist - and most of the warmongers always seem to hate him anyway. We don't have any mutual contacts yet though, not by the end of this update (spoilers ).
Spoiler:
First, I learn that photobucket is discriminating supposedly female not-quite-one-year-olds with 1-minute-old e-mail accounts and easily rememberable 8-letter passwords. Outrageous!

So I had to lie in my personal information and enter yet another captcha, but now I got rid of the nonsensical "your album is full"-problem.

Our first Settler finishes, about time to work on a proper settling plan. Our peninsula is safe, has a lot more resources than the other parts we've seen of the continent so far, and far away cities cost tons of money, even though it's not as bad on a map that big where a city that's three entire screens away from the capital still won't really cost a lot of distance maintenance and it only starts mattering when you settle (or, more likely, conquer) lands that are really far away.

Soo... here it is:

Because I already accidentally moved the settler west and because we're paying enough unit upkeep started building something economic, we are going to found Slavery Paradise #1 first. Why a work boat when barbarian Galleys will show up before we can cost-effectively counter them and pillage our seafoods? We have ocean fish, and while ocean is usually worse then coast, here it's a good thing, these Galleys won't be able to reach.
And since we are creative, we'll get that fish into our borders pretty soon.
Creative means culture and culture for some reason means land after all.

In general, lots and lots of pretty food-poor land that will become awesome with Communism and Biology. But until then... not so much


We have our first fight with Barbarians!

Probably the same bear I avoided earlier on. The human barbarians are still staying away, but maybe at least PETA will volunteer to test our defensive measures now.

We found what's going to be one of our best cities, maybe even THE best:

Poverty Point

After Writing (Libraries, Open Border agreements and it opens up lots of new teching possibilities), we start on Mathematics. With which chopping forests will yield 50% more hammers, and we have a lot of forests.
I am not Signing OB with the Bull just yet, because he has Sailing, so he will profit from trade routes with us, but we won't profit from trade routes with him until later.



Sitting Bull knows how to properly lead a state, and we FINALLY get to see real barbarians. That alive Warrior must have walked all the way from the Southeast up to there, he can't have spawned on that foggy tile right next to him since our blue-glowing Dog (he must have been the one who won that fight, because the blue glow means he has enough EXP to be able to be promoted, and I haven't built any EXP-giving buildings yet) is 2 tiles away from it.

Now this is just annoying:

Instead of fighting our fortified dog, these guys just walk straight to my undefended capital. Will I be able to produce another Dog in time?

6 turns from here if I work as many of my available hammers as possible, that's clearly not enough.

So, the whip is used for the first time. Not what I wanted, the food poor Cahokia is not an ideal place for this.

But, this way, we at least are able to...

..save our capital from the Barbarians. And even if that Dog would have lost at 99,9% odds, we still would have had that new full-health Warrior defending next turn.

This one tile Tundra island here might actually be worth settling.

It won't be able to produce a lot of stuff, but the food can be used to slave infrastructure and it will be somewhat decent. Only one food is not optimal, but we don't have any of this yet, so that's +1 health in all our cities, and one more health with Harbours.

The barbs already have a tech we don't: Hunting (which, along with Bronze Working is required to build Spears)

But Spearman are only good against Horsies and Tanks, so that should be a non-issue.

So, while the Barbarians are harassing me by dodging my dogs and I am trying to fortify all of the chokepoints southeast of Cahokia with more dogs, we also get to settle a new city:

For now it can work the coastal fish and pay for its maintenance that way. We need Communism, I want Workshops on these non-riverside grasslands.

The first Axeman shows up...

Usually these guys are a major threat, but what does this guy do? What barbarians do all the time, try and take over the world by avoiding Dog Soldiers like the devil supposedly avoids holy water.


Here, I was in a sticky situation: My Warrior was a bit injured and not fully fortified (5% defensive bonus per turn, maximum is 25%, he had like 5 or 10) and I couldn't get out that Dog in time without whipping my food-poor and - I think -still angry from the last time I used Slavery capital. So I gambled...

...and the barb pillaged a road I built in order to be able to reinforce faster The next turn, he moved on the cow tile, intending to pillage it, and the new dog killed him.

Northwest of Mound City we have more islands and some copper.

I'm not going to explore these lands before I get Metal Casting and can build Triremes which counter these pesky barb Galleys that should start showing up any second now.


And a couple turns later, a Work Boat shows up around there, and we meet...

The proof that I need to reinstall my civ.

If we take a look at his city list...

...and Ethiopia's city list...

Notice what's missing? Apparently either the capital, Aksum, or the second city, Gondar. Good job, Barbies!
He is leading the scoreboard though, probably he either built the only wonder that has been built so far, Stonehenge, or researched cheaper techs than i did and therefore has more techs. It's really, really unusual to see WK having settled 4 cities that early, usually he just does nothing for a long, long time.

And just one turn later, a Galley shows up right where the Work Boat had been.

So I whip a library in Pov.P. and decide to stop for today because I hate these things... totally not because I noticed it's already past 23:00, it's not like I need to sleep or anything.

Oh, one more thing:

Stonehenge was already built (and I missed ToA, but it's not an important wonder anyway), but now it's gone! What if it was in Aksum, the barbs captured it and not Gondar, and razed it? Seems like the only explanation to me. Also explains why WK already lost a city, when you build a wonder and three early Settlers you probably don't have a lot of units. And not having a lot of units is typical for him anyway.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 11:45 PM
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That glitch looks pretty bad.

You need to do something about those barbarian hordes. They almost always go straight for your cities in Civ IV.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 12:10 PM
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The mountains and lakes to the Southeast are full of chokepoints, in fact I can wall me off entirely from the barbs that way and I had already finished that by the time I posted the last update. I just hope my Dogs survive

Spoiler:

Since I apparently didn't post one yet, here's the situation described above in picture:

As long of none of these guys die, I can only be attacked by sea. And while barbarians do use Galleys for transport, they only do it when both the galleys and the transported units were produced in a city. Also, I plan on settling the city "Cowkepoint" soon, it will serve as a magnets for anything that manages to break through. It's on a hill, too. Unfortunately the cow happens to be south, where it can be pillaged easier...
The guy 2S1E of the marker is not fortified there, he'll go a bit further down south.

Oh god.

I shouldn't have built that Workboat in Cahokia but in PovP. A bit of bad luck here and that Galley would have got me. Fortunately it came out of the shadows one turn too late.

An early shrine!

Lucky Prophet from that Temple apparently, could also have become a merchant. That Civ is going to become powerful, whoever it is. Also, there are three size 9 cities in the top 5 cities department, that scares me since my cities are size 4, 5 and 6. Do they already have Monarchy or how to these guys deal with the unhappiness resulting from such a high population, PovP already hates me at size 5. (maybe they're Charismatic?)

We finish Mathematics, enter the Classical era and start researching Sailing. That way we will be able to get foreign trade routes with our neighbors, always good when in monetary problems, which i think I am, the Gold and the one cottage near Cahokia just don't cut it, I'm paying too much for military outside my borders. But without it, this land would be in ruins, so that's fine.

With an amazing 4 gold in our glorious treasury...

... we are the third wealthiest nation of the world! I have no idea how that guy found that out, but everyone else being bankrupt is a good thing, I think.

Explorers gonna explore - not a lot of land barb pressure right now, on a side note.

It's impossible to have one city get both the golds and that fish

I heard hell is a nice place for vacations ...


Bye Bye, whoever you were
This is odd, Sumeria is one of the most powerful civs in unrestricted, they should be among those with the least barbarian problems...
That two wonder city is still there by the way, that sucks. Would have loved seeing another one going for early wonders die.

Aksum is still there, too, so it was his second city, Gondar, that Wang Kon lost.

Could have known this way earlier, but only know I remembered I could most likely see what WK's city that's not called Lalibela or AdAb is by entering the F8 (although I always use the button :p) victory conditions screen and seeing what's said in the 'culture' section.

One good thing though: Our Workboat from Cahokia has finally reached Mound City

Or MC's Ocean fish, to be accurate.

We are starting to see what Bull is researching.

He should still put out the same amount of Espionage that we do and I haven't decided whom to solely focus our E. on, so most likely, he knows more civs than we do. So the east is where we'll want to explore when we get Triremes. Which is still going to take an eternity.

That water down there...

...is not a lake, since lighthouse-less lakes always have 2 food. So it's some kind of weird bay. This continent is oddly shaped, that's all I know so far.

The proof. The bull has contact to another civ. Which founded Judaism. And he recently finally founded his second city, too.

Now, who could that be, who loves founding Judaism? As far as religious preferences go, I know that Isabella and Justinian and Charlemagne usually will get Buddhism when they're in the game, while Saladin loves Hinduism. Some other religion maniacs (even though their behaviour is different from that of the zealots above), like Montezuma, Asoka and Gandhi also love founding religions and never seem to be able to decide for one. And then there's overpowered Huayna Capac (without Incans as his civ less so, but still) who always seems to found Judaism. Could he be it? I hope not, since I hate him since he somehow always manages to build a lot of wonders and be ahead in technology while still having a sizeable army. He could be weaker without the Incans though, since they are the strongest civ in the game.

This site becomes Chaco Canyon.

It shall never fall!

This island here looks juicy!

The surrounding land is trash, so giving the fish to continental cities instead is not an option.

The barbarians are more advanced than I am

They already have Archers and I can't even research Archery yet

Cahokia can't grow anymore or we will face unhappiness problems, meaning that any extra population points would simply strike and do nothing but cost city size maintenance (not sure if that really exists, but I heard so... and these red angry faces are ugly)

So I want Monarchy since it's, besides a lone Silver resource somewhere in the Ice, our only way to counter that unhappiness. If just researching about any tech wouldn't take 40+ turns

Our explorer dude has reached the Woodsman 2 promotion after these two Archers finally decided to attack quite some turns after he spotted them!

Since our entire continent, even all that damned ice down south, is basically one big forest, this basically makes him a Horse unit - except that all but one Horse units only have one movement in forests, and that one is the Mongolian unique, so we doN#t have access to it.

Mesa Verde is settled south of PP and reveals another of these ing Galleys in the fog.

I also am taking a break from Currency and am researching Masonry right now...

Meanwhile down south...



And then...

was it built by someone we know?

Yes! We now concentrate all of our Espionage on Ethiopia! Not because it's like I could do a lot with that wonder, mainly because he is up north and probably has lots of green land, while 3/4 of my continent is tundra and ice and Sitting Bull from the east is not necessarily better off.
So eventually we're gonna pay him a visit

Our continent is now almost fully explored, there's some more land in the far south, but since it's only going to be more Ice, I see no reason to go there.
So here's my settling plan...

here with resources...

...and here without:


So, the cities I am definitely going to found are all on the northern peninsula (in fact I have a Settler ready that can found "Alcoholopolis" next turn, that's only "Horsies <3" and "Trashy Filler" left - and that filler city isn't that trashy since at least it's close to the capital and has grassland tiles.)
Apart from that... "there is no such thing as overfishing" has three fish, I definitely want that.
"Goldfish" is on the tundra border, but should be worth it. "Silver Cookie" doesn't have just one but two rare resources I am definetely going to want. The two cities around the lakes and the one north of "Goldfish" don't look too bad either...with Communism, that is. So I think they can wait. Except maybe for the southern lake city, that one should be good earlier.
And then there is the canal I might want to build through New Siberia, that's what I'd call my southern lands. The city would have fish, that's at least something. Oh, and there's another possible fish city in the far east too. Could be somewhat alright, could be terrible, I don't know. Anyway, the canal... I'd have to test it with World Builder, but if it would work, I could use forts to enable ships to travel from Cahokia Bay to the east without sailing all the way around the entire continent. Could be a good time saver. Some extra forts near "Silver Cookie" would help, too.

Yaay, a messy wall of text!
This tells me it's about time to stop for today.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 01:17 PM
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I think you can chain up to two forts for sea travel, but i'm not 100% sure. You can at least build a seaway through the south of your continent.
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