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Winning Civilization IV at Prince Level January 5, 2010

Posted by Sean Welsh in civilization IV.
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Well, I won my first game of Civilization IV at Prince level yesterday. It was something of an ugly victory but as we used to say after a tight Rugby game, a win is  a win.

I got a boxed start stuck in the northwest corner of the single large continent. My initial neighbours were Tokugawa, Isabella, Alexander and Saladin. Tokugawa is always a pain in the nether regions and Isabella is an annoying so and so.  Absolutely not my favorite neighbours those two…

Given the initial start I was forced into warmongering mode very early. I began with a raid on Isabella who had sent out a land grab settlement quite distant from her capital. It took me a while to capture that by which time Alexander had sent his land grab settler into “my corner”. I made peace with Isabella and declared war on Alex to knock off his land grab city. I then spent most of the ancient period fighting alternate wars against Isabella and Alexander until I had wiped them out.

By this stage I was trailing in tech somewhat against the leading civs (Hatshepsut and Saladin) but was well ahead on points mainly due to the size of my empire. My research had tanked and indeed I had suffered a strike while attacking Madrid. I got out of the strike hole by making peace, building courthouses and biding my time before finishing off Alex and Isabella.

I got my research back up and plotted my next campaign. I decided to attack Tokugawa who was the second weakest civ. Alas, I was a bit behind in tech and got into trouble during the war. I lucked out though because Saladin decided to attack him as well and between the two of us we wiped out the perpetually annoyed Japanese.

In the mid game was leading on points but severely behind in tech. I converted to Islam to keep Saladin onside and decided to focus on building for a while to catch up in tech before starting my next war.  I got Grenadiers and decided to raid an island off the main continent shared by Hatshepsut and Kublai Khan. I declared war against Kublai Khan and took two cities off him and then made peace and extracted some tech and money. I then built up an army to take on Hatshepshut who was now the number 2 civ and ahead in tech (rifles).

Often though the AI builds Rifles which are vulnerable to attacks by Grenadiers. I attacked Hatshepshut on the island with a swarm of Grenadiers and the main continent by driving an army through the lands of Saladin. Also I send a naval attack so I was hitting Hatshepshut from three directions. This enabled me to pillage her interior but I was having limited success in capturing cities. In fact, I was starting to get into trouble, until I invited Saladin, my fellow Islamist, to join in the war. He did so and together we rapidly crushed Hatshepshut down to next to nothing. I got just one of the cities (the one on the island) and after a while I made peace with Hatshepshut and declared war on Kublai Khan who was very weak at that point. I wiped out Kublai Khan while Saladin and Hatshepshut fought on. Curiously I was able to trade tech with Hatshepshut even after just fighting her and got my tech to within cooee of Saladin.  Saladin was by this time the number 2 on points and Hatshepshut was broken.

I saw Saladin get Apollo and figured he was heading for a space race victory. I have been defeated by the AI before in the situation where I was leading on points by the number 3 civ so I backstabbed Saladin while he was still fighting Hatshepshut and drove pillage pairs (grenadiers and cavalry – move one, pillage one) deep into his empire on the Mongolian, Japanese and Spanish fronts.

The war was long and attritional as he was ahead on tech but by using weight of numbers, skipping cities and pillaging on multiple fronts I was able to stop his space race and lumber on to eke out a Time victory.

Elegant it was not but a win at Prince is a win at Prince!

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