I've beaten the game as every civ but Polynesia, but I'm having a bit of trouble. I really suck when it comes to cultural victories (I think culture civs are just UP, personally) and Polynesia seems to be the worst of the culture civs.
The Polynesians are a water civ, which means Archipelago is their ideal map layout. However, Archipelago is also the most difficult map to win on, due to lousy production rates and limited gold. The AI, with their ridiculous boosts, aren't quite as hampered by the low production as a human and with Moai Statues being your primary tile improvement, Polynesian players are going to have even less production and coin than most civs.
Then we come to science. Whenever I push culture I fall very, very far behind on the science front, which means most of the wonders I try to reach are gone long before I have the appropriate tech (and take forever to build because of the aforementioned production deficiency). This also means you gain access to cultural buildings slower, and, without trading posts, you can't afford cultural city-state allies.
To top it off, Great Artists -which are already underpowered compared to other great people- actually hurt polynesia on Archipelago, because placing a landmark breaks apart their Moais and culture bombs are even more worthless on Archipelago than they are on land maps..
How the heck do you break out of this nasty cycle as Polynesia? Ironically, I feel like I could do better as them just playing on a standard map, but then there's no point in playing Polynesia at all...
It helps if you tell us what difficulty you are playing on first so we get a gauge of what you're up against.
Your map type should synergize with your map size. You want a continuous, stretchy coastline to build moai on, but you also want enough land to work. Archipelagoes only work out this way if you play large or huge. If you go smaller on archipelago, you might need to select low sea levels to make your islands fatter. Small continents work out ideally on small and below. Obviously, your starting environs depends a fair bit on luck. If you find your immediate surroundings completely unacceptable, reroll. Leave "disable start bias" unchecked and you should be near the water even on a pangaea.
Science should be approached differently depending on difficulty level, taking higher priority as you go up. Shoot for writing first, then while you're building the Great Library, work on calendar. When you finish the GL, bulb philosophy and get your national college up and running. Whether you complete the Great Library or not depends on difficulty and the number of opponents you have. With the introduction of Statue of Zeus and Temple of Artemis, I find that it's no longer as high on the AI's priority, but having more opponents means they will stagger wonder attempts.
Once you have completed your national college, you have the option of laying down a secondary city to produce defenders. I find the 2-city culture rush is preferable, and takes a lot of the heat off your capital. You end up with more gold, more science, and the second city can pretty much pull its own weight in culture production to offset the increase in policy cost. You may even split up wonder production - definitely put heroic epic and Brandenburg Gate here.
I also view Polynesia as problematic when it comes to cultural victories for many of the same reasons described above. Generally, going with Landmarks and improving them with Freedom works much better than the Moai unless you really can place them in an unbroken ring. If you build them early, you're getting little growth, production, and commerce from your worked tiles. It seems like you should develop your cities just like any other Civ for the first two-thirds of the game and then switch all your coastal tiles to Moai for a late culture push. Other than that, I don't see the strategy as you can only expend so many land tiles on Culture creation.
I would recommend Small Continents over Archipelago, and/or maybe playing for a diplomatic victory instead. Polynesia does have the advantage of early exploration and can create a great sea-based economy.
I've not played as Polynesia yet but here is some general advice. When you only have a couple of cities your science rate will become really low towards the end of the game (the start of the game shouldn't be a problem with Great Library + National College). In order to keep up with your opponents you really need to focus on signing as many research agreements as possible, and make sure you know how to use them effectively. Great Scientists are also very useful for bulbing key techs (e.g. Acoustics). It is possible, at least on King and Emperor, to stay in the tech lead right through to the end of the game, even though your beakers per turn will be awful.
Small continents is better (lots of long runs of coast).
Ideal start is on a hill by a river in grasslands, with Gold/Silver/Gems/Marble and Wine/Incense. If you start on the coast, move inland one hex and build your capital (to leave the coast free for Moai)
For coastal hexes build Farms/Plantations/Mines whatever and plan to switch to Moai later on.
Build Scout, then Monument, then Scout - go and find all the Ancient Ruins and City States you can. Try and keep on the water and use the improved embarked vision to survey a lot of land in one turn. Keep a note of what you find in ruins (ignoring maps and gold, the population/free tech/culture/unit upgrades tend to cycle - so you won't get another unit upgrade until you've had pop, culture and tech) and try to get the scouts upgraded to archers.
Pottery then Writing (start building the Great Library immediately Writing is finished) then Mining (cut down trees to speed the Great Library), free tech Philosophy, build the Oracle, sprint for Theology, but don't build Hagia Sophia. Take other minor techs as needed, then sprint for Education.
Take Tradition opener (for the extra +3 culture in the capital) then all of Liberty (Citizenship first), by the time you complete Liberty and get the free great person (take an engineer) you should have Theology. Rush Hagia Sophia, take another great engineer, and rush Chichen Itza - your Golden Ages (ie income) are now boosted. Build Notre Dame immediately you get Eduction - this'll sort your happiness and hence Golden Age frequency.
Build your second city from the free Settler from Collective Rule (may want to take Representation before Collective Rule), depending on how many City States and gold yielding goody huts you've found you may be able to buy another settler at the same time. Build cities near different luxuries to your capital (you'll need the happiness). If you can site the second city to get a third luxury and later "culture bomb" another different fourth luxury from a city state even better! Cities should build Library then Monument - plan to build National College in the capital after 2nd city (and third if bought a settler) but before you build the next city. Plan to buy the settlers for 3rd and 4th city - don't build the settlers.
Piety is next on the policy list. Don't build Temples, take Legalism when you have 4 cites with monuments.
Next tech target is Archaeology to build The Louvre. You should be able to hold your own tech wise, to the end of the Renaissance, but you'll start falling behind from there on. It's no big deal, this is a defensive end-game strategy, and defending is much easier than attacking. Defend cities with Catapults upgraded to Artillery and Archers (from your Scouts) upgraded to Crossbowmen (these units will be able to retreat and fire from the Ignore Terrain promotion from the Scout base)
The next tech target is Radio, for the Broadcast Tower and (if you're lucky) Eiffle Tower (for the happiness boost). The final one is Flight, for the extra gold from the Moai
Policies are Tradition, Liberty, Piety and (typically) Patronage and Freedom
That should give you a good base to work from, you'll need to work out the fine details!
From 4 cities you can easily get 800+ culture per turn (http://www.flickr.com/photos/whoward...in/photostream) with 400 from your capital (http://www.flickr.com/photos/whoward...in/photostream), and 1100+ is possible (http://www.flickr.com/photos/whoward...in/photostream) with 600+ from your capital (http://www.flickr.com/photos/whoward...in/photostream)
why not build/by temples and then snag free opera houses and immediately build Heritage?
(free policy is nice, and the 50% boost is also good)
That's another approach - just depends how quickly you need to get to Monachy and Landed Elite
Just played the first 88 turns as Polynesia.
Immortal - Small Continents - Large (10 Players + 20 City States) - Standard Speed - Turn 88 - Policies: Tradition:Opener, Liberty:Complete (equal leader with 8 policies) - Techs: Sailing, The Wheel, Archery, Masonry, researching Education (14 total techs, leader is on 18) - Ranked 2nd (246 to England's 258, 3rd at 211, 8th at 160 - 9 and 10 not met) - 5 Wonders built (England has 3, four others have 1 each)
I also have three RAs (having just sold my spare Wine to fund one, there being no other Civ with spare luxuries at the moment). One will mature on turn 95 which should just about boost Education to completion, the other two on turn 116 (so I'll need to research the minor techs before then)
Currently building the National College in the Capital, when that's almost complete I'll buy another Settler for my fourth city up in the top right by the Whales. Both CSes have Furs so I may culture bomb one of those later.
The Hermitage does not grant a free policy, you're thinking of the Sydney Opera House.
Originally Posted by nukenbypass
As predicted, pretty much held the tech lead until mid-way through the Renaisance, and was around 4th or 5th into the Industrial Era, but easily winning the culture race.
No Iron on my island, and the only Coal is on the coast (now under Moai) so useless. Building the Utopia Project (if I get there, as if Japan off my East coast decides to pay a visit it'll all be over for me swiftly) will be sloooooooow!
Last edited by whoward69; 01-21-2012 at 09:06 AM.
Reason: Added turn 365
Excellent advice guys! Sorry I haven't been responding, I got really busy with school this week.
I'm mid-way through a game right now that's going fairly well (only turn 300 though).
For the record, I've beaten Deity, but I generally go down to Emperor for nice, casual games. I also play Standard sized maps exclusively, since the larger maps have ridiculous delays between turns.
The only real difference between Deity and Immortal for a Polynesia cultural win is that you need to get lucky and find Pottery in a goody hut, otherwise the "science cheat value" for Deity pretty much means the AI will beat you to Writing (and hence the Great Library). A Standard size map should be easier as there are two fewer AI opponents trying to build the same Wonders as you.
When I used to play on King level I only ever lost twice and both were with Polynesia. I had the same problem both times IIRC in that I got hemmed in on the corner of a continent by a few other civs and couldnt generate enough units to bust out.
Not sure that an early great library make so much sense. I am playing in immortal with them, and I started by pumping out scouts and warriors to take advantage of their UA: you can quickly meet all city-states (and become friend with 8-10 by doing simple missions) + you get to trade with all civilizations on stage.
Well, the difference being that you resurrected a dead thread from before G&K was released and those "simple missions" were nonexistent. Influence upkeep is almost a joke now.
Ah... And also reviving this old thread, I am really not convinced by those Moais. They do look very nice, but it's often hard to have three in a row because of luxuries. And for +2 culture, I am not sure that it is worth wasting e.g. +2 food which will help you support 2 specialists with the freedrom tree (that is probably mandatory if you go for a CV)