So I am having trouble with Civ5 on Immortal and up. Usually I play a more economy focussed game, with few units (4-8 land units) with early expansion (5-7 cities founded) and late aggression (Blitzkrieg!). On Immortal the enemy is outteching and out producing me. Especially when you start near to another player he attacks and steamrolls me very early on. How do yo go about it?
Strategies for Immortal and up
What size map are you on? Back when I played, and its worth noting I haven't played for a few months so patches could have changed everything, I would always be aggressive at the onset. If Im on a large or huge map, this normally means completely clearing my landmass of enemies then grinding on barbarians until I can transport soldiers over water. By the time I get to the other landmass(es), make no mistake, they'll be faaaaar outproducing me. Every inch of their land will be covered. Then I'll explore the landmass and steal away any city states I can. At that point I'll trade everything I got to one civ, then immediately declare war and get my resources back, then trick other civs into fighting that guy while I move in from another angle. It gets tricky, though. A diety fight, near the end, on a huge map, can often mean the other guy is nuking you every turn for 5 turns in a row and other bits of craziness. Don't count on winning a science victory on the higher difficulties. Either win over city states and get a diplo victory, or kill everyone. You can't just sit around and turtle, you'll lose. The key is clearing your landmass early and buying city states.
I usually keep myself to just 3 cities at the most (sometimes 4 but it has to be worth it). This lets you sell off any excess happiness resources for cash from the AI and allow quicker progress through the social policies. I found my second city usually while teching up to iron working and trying to secure the iron for siege weapons. From there target an AI to take their cities and leave them as puppets. Razing any cities that have no world wonders or resources that I already have. I usually choose my time to attack by looking at what unique units my civ has. So for someone like Rome I push out with legions and ballistas. Or for China take a load of cho-ko-nus to bombard cities and a horse unit to take the city. If I have no early unique units I just roll them with catapults/trebuchets and swords/longswords.
You can keep tech pace by using the scientist specialist slots in cities with universities and try to build wonders like the great library and the porcelain tower. They should give you enough great scientists to out tech the AI. Getting the national college early because you have a low number of cities is a big way to keep early pace.
@ryanwho: Make no mistake though. Since a few patches the AI is much tougher. Not really smarter in the combat, but it will allow no weakness. It easily declares war already at the time you just have built your second city. The hard thing is to secure enough iron to deal with the onslaught of enemy units.
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