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Thread: Culture victory with 3 cities

  1. #1
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    Culture victory with 3 cities

    Hello!
    I just won my first culture victory yesterday in 450 turns on prince level, after failing once! I am posting this as I really doubted it could be done with 3 cities only.

    I played with France being suitable for culture victory as it possesses a special boost toward culture points gaining (+2 culture per city). Unfortunately it vanishes after discovering steam power, so avoid discovering it as long as possible.

    I was lucky to find marble during first turns and founded Paris on the same tile, so I didn't have to discover mining in order to connect marble. BTW marble speeds up wonder building. To accelerate it even more, my first social policy was the one enabling similar help - buildig wonder faster. I rushed toward previously recommended culture boosting wonders. I had them all. In addition I built many other wonders.

    I had only three cities: Paris, Orleans and Lyon, the other were puppets. One was specialising in production, one in science and one in money.
    I went to war against neighbouring Germany and India in medieval times in order to disallow scientific escape from me resulting in capturing 1 city from each. They lacked iron, so I had no problems, at all, despite numerical disadvantage. They challenged me in coordinate action again towards the end of renesaince, but I repelled them and gained 5 additional puppets. They fought with swords aginst rifles and cannons, so winning was easy. After that I just pillaged their countriside to slow them even more and captured and sold their workers them to gain gold - until peace traty.

    After my first war I concentrated in city states. I managed to keep 2 alied culture ones, 3 allied maritime and one friendly maritime. This gained a lot of food so my workers could specialise, what lead to more gold, tech and more great persons. I earned many great persons and I mainly used them for golden ages. The wonder prolonging golden ages was very useful.

    During the game I was not lagging behind in technology. I built at least one wonder in each city (culture boost social policy) and almost all culture providing buildings. The only problem I had was money. I don't really know why, but in each game I play I don't have enough. Golden ages were saving the situation. I spent my money in bribing city states and upgrading units during wars.

    I also did a lot of luxuries trading to increase happines. At the beginnig my hasppines was low, but it went sky high (to cca 30) after some social policies and luxuries. I didn't have and research agreemnet because I needed money and I feared to get steam power too early. At that beginning I got new social policy in cca 20 turns, at the end in 6.

    So, culture victory could be done. You should not concentrate in culture only, but also in military expansion towards other civilizations and in diplomatic spree towards city states.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by alerob View Post
    Hello!
    I just won my first culture victory yesterday in 450 turns on prince level, after failing once! I am posting this as I really doubted it could be done with 3 cities only.
    Only?! I almost won a culture victory with only a single city as Ghandi. I stopped when I realised I would need about an extra ten turns to finish the social policies and another fifteen to finish the Utopia project (Delhi was a production powerhouse)

  3. #3
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    Only?! I almost won a culture victory with only a single city as Ghandi. I stopped when I realised I would need about an extra ten turns to finish the social policies and another fifteen to finish the Utopia project (Delhi was a production powerhouse)
    Wow, that must have been a tiresome grind of a game. Personally I can't stand cultural victories though I do pump out lots of cultural buildings in all my games to grab SP earlier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythdracon View Post
    Wow, that must have been a tiresome grind of a game. Personally I can't stand cultural victories though I do pump out lots of cultural buildings in all my games to grab SP earlier.
    about 1750 to 2030 (when I stopped) was just enter, enter, enter, except when Arabia, Askia and Ramesses declared war on me simultaneously. (good for me Ramesses was far away, Harun only had crossbowmen and pikemen whilst i had musketmen, and askia only had musketmen when i had infantry)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Gate of Mordor View Post
    Only?! I almost won a culture victory with only a single city as Ghandi.
    One city? Cool! How did you manage not to stay behind in science? Did you suffer from lack of money?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alerob View Post
    One city? Cool! How did you manage not to stay behind in science? Did you suffer from lack of money?
    You don't have to be on par in science. Decent diplomacy ensures you won't get attacked.

    But lots of pop and science buildings in that one city, scientist specialists, research agreements and allied city states (with the SP that haves them boost your science) helps.

    Lack of money shouldn't be much of a problem with only one (large) city. Maintenance will be much lower, and happiness is likely to be a lot higher, giving you more options in trades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alerob View Post
    One city? Cool! How did you manage not to stay behind in science? Did you suffer from lack of money?
    Money went between +8 to +54.

    Science I was ahead until Ramesses caught up to me just before the Industrial Era, when the less amount of cities began to show.

    I also had the Angkor Wat, so the borders expanded really quickly. Before I got to seven in all directions (except where there was enemy borders) my cultural borders were expanding almost every three turns. I only had a max of three workers at once (and deleted one immediately) and never had more then four military units (because of my large borders and chokepoints with many hills (this was on the Scotland map and I believe I was somewhere in the centre of the map, as I didn't explore too much).
    If you play a single-city game, you've got to never open borders. Because you don't have a very big military, you'll be building trade posts on almost every single tile to keep in the black. If you get GGs you should probably delete it unless you have a large income (50+) or are at war.

    Also, as Delhi was surrounded by many hills (which I covered with mines) wonder turns were quite quick. The first wonder I went for was the Pyramids, then Stonehenge, and didn't get the Great Library (IIRC). As long as you can remain slightly ahead in techs, you will always get almost every wonder. Not including the national wonders and the palace, Delhi had about 15 wonders by 2030 (Pyramids, Stonehenge, Great Lighthouse, Porcelain Tower, Angkor Wat, Big Ben, Notre Dame, Himeji Castle, Great Wall, Hagia Sofia, Sistine Chapel, The Kremlin, Forbidden Palace, Brandenburg Gate, Lourve, Statue of Liberty). I am not sure if I had the Statue of Liberty, but I seem to remember getting it in that game.

    Of course, with getting so many early-to-mid wonders means that your building and units production suffers, but in a game like this where you can't have too much maintenance that's not too bad. I suggest that you fill out Piety as your first social policy, and beeline for Mandate of Heaven so your happiness wonders (Notre Dame, etc.) produce culture for your empire as well. Using this strategy I almost won a culture victory, but would have needed a few more turns for the last policy (at 3000 for one policy and 208 culture per turn it's about fifteen turns) and building the Utopia Project (with a production powerhouse should only be perhaps fifteen turns).

    Well, that's my Indian strategy.
    Last edited by Black Gate of Mordor; 10-21-2010 at 05:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eireksten View Post
    You don't have to be on par in science. Decent diplomacy ensures you won't get attacked.

    But lots of pop and science buildings in that one city, scientist specialists, research agreements and allied city states (with the SP that haves them boost your science) helps.

    Lack of money shouldn't be much of a problem with only one (large) city. Maintenance will be much lower, and happiness is likely to be a lot higher, giving you more options in trades.
    I only met two city-states in the whole game (with a total of eight) and never had enough money to consider allying a good option. Over time your gold can become quite big, but research agreements can set you back a bit. You've got to remember to never open borders (although I'd never suggest it, even if you've got a uber-military). You can get happiness to easily skyrocket, and maintenance is only about 20 for buildings and 15 for units.
    If you get a few GEs you can use them to rush the wonders to only a single turn, which can help you to get those really good wonders (like the Great Wall, which is probably essential for such a small and weak (militarily) empire)

  9. #9
    It might be useful to get the patronage SPs in a culture victory scenario.

    Allying up with CS will give you rather significant culture/food boosts, but in addition you'll get 33% of their tech (not unusual to get 100+ beakers, 20+ food, 100+ culture).

    What's annoying is that diplomacy is NOT possible on higher difficulties, unless you manage to find a corner of the world where you don't share borders with any AI.

    I beat deity doing a 3-city/no puppets strat (well I actually got bored and did a cheesy diplo win in 1700AD to get office-braggament points), but only cause of archipelagos helping me stay out of trouble.

    There should be SOME way to keep the peace after the initial wars.. appears there's not

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karakaz View Post
    It might be useful to get the patronage SPs in a culture victory scenario.

    Allying up with CS will give you rather significant culture/food boosts, but in addition you'll get 33% of their tech (not unusual to get 100+ beakers, 20+ food, 100+ culture).

    What's annoying is that diplomacy is NOT possible on higher difficulties, unless you manage to find a corner of the world where you don't share borders with any AI.

    I beat deity doing a 3-city/no puppets strat (well I actually got bored and did a cheesy diplo win in 1700AD to get office-braggament points), but only cause of archipelagos helping me stay out of trouble.

    There should be SOME way to keep the peace after the initial wars.. appears there's not
    Of course, stupid me.

    You can easily win a culture victory with a single city as long as you have a friendship/alliance with a culture city-state, have a decent production (40+ production, and about 30 turns on wonders such as the Notre Dame and the Sistine Chapel) and good culture. And always refusing Open Borders (which I would suggest you should do for all games)

  11. #11
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    Ive done culture with 2 cities and Egypt, I really just wanted to make every wonder in the game

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Gate of Mordor View Post
    And always refusing Open Borders (which I would suggest you should do for all games)
    I personally always refuse open borders agreement unless they offer something really big. I couldn't see so far any disadvantage in accepting it. Could you tell me why refuse it. Is there any hidden disadvantage I can't see?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alerob View Post
    I personally always refuse open borders agreement unless they offer something really big. I couldn't see so far any disadvantage in accepting it. Could you tell me why refuse it. Is there any hidden disadvantage I can't see?
    Do you have a military of only a few units? Well, watch out if you open borders with a large civ with a much larger military.

    Once they have scouted your empire, they will immediately declare war, bringing their units back to their frontline. Their units will trample over yours, even though the AI sucks. They'll take a few cities, and on higher difficulties will probably destroy you.

    That's why I never accept Open Borders treaties. But It's not bad accepting them if they're on another continent. They never come.

  14. #14
    I had a cultural victory with only 2 cities... and I will never do that again. It was the most boring thing I have ever experienced.

    End turn... End turn... End turn... Oh look, now I can build an upgraded version of a building. (Repeat 200 times or so)

    I won in like 2047. By 0 AD I was wishing someone would take me over, but since the A.I. is terrible they never declared war, even though I had literally no army.

  15. #15
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    Very strange, this is counter to my experiences. What difficulty setting did you play this on?

    When I did a 3 city cultural run (Emperor), I was attacked all the time by every one of my neighbors. They basically ended up getting beaten back and then subsequently crushed by an 8-9 unit army every single time though.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Gate of Mordor View Post
    Do you have a military of only a few units? Well, watch out if you open borders with a large civ with a much larger military.

    Once they have scouted your empire, they will immediately declare war, bringing their units back to their frontline. Their units will trample over yours, even though the AI sucks. They'll take a few cities, and on higher difficulties will probably destroy you.
    I must rush in to tell you are wrong. I just made a game on difficulty 7 with Ghandi and i only had made one city.
    At year 1500 or something ,the enemies piled up everywhere and i had open borders with almost everyone for the exact 50 gold each gave me. I had my single warrior from the beginning still ,and the iroquese rushed by me with like 10 units of musketeers and fregattes and whatnot. Equally the other AI next to me. Neither attacked me seeing i had only a single warrior

    Rather saying ohh its nice to meet you again , when in trade. So all wrong

    By the way, i am in Renaisance, they are in Modern age.
    Last edited by Eshme; 10-24-2010 at 05:39 AM.

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