Faster Expansion: A Key Element of the Early Game

All or most of you are civ2 veterans, and you are all scratching your heads as to how the AI expands so quickly. Even on regent, with even odds, the AI manages to get culture buildings, spearmen to go along with their settlers, wonders, and out expands you!
Even when you try, for instance, to produce a settler as soon as you get the chance, in all your cities, you are beaten. What’s the problem?

The sad fact is that you’ve all been doing it the wrong way. In order to build a settler you need 3 pop points. It takes 20 food to go from 1->2, and 40 food to go from 2->3, or 3->4, or 4->5, or 5->6. This means you grow *faster* with more population, as long as you have the terrain to suit it. Often, the build order for most of your towns, and especially your capital, is warrior, settler, settler… when you are trying for fast expansion. This should not be done.

Behold, the build order: (Note, if you are expansionistic build the scouts, otherwise ignore them. A second or third scout really helps in finding goodie huts, city positions, luxuries, rival civs)

Capital Note: If you go the peaceful route, don’t even build a barracks in your capital. Your capital should be getting as many wonders as possible, and should be built near a river since you can’t make settlers while making a wonder.

Warrior (First should be scouting), Scout, Granary, Settler, Warrior (Fortify), Settler, Worker (Build Mines), Scout, Settler, Spearman (Fortify, send warrior scouting), Warrior, Settler, Worker (Build Roads), Wonder.

First Couple Near Capital Cities (Main Cities):

Warrior, Granary, Settler, Worker (Roads), Warrior, Settler, Spearman, Settler, Spearman Temple, Worker.

Border Cities: Note: If you have an extra warrior/spearman (You should), stick them in the border city and skip building the spearman.

Temple, Walls, Spearman, Worker (Mines or roads), Granary, Worker, Library (Or, you don’t have it yet, skip to next), Spearman, Worker, Settler (For either any uncolonized bits of land, or reserve for a galley).

There are also a number of key wonders for the early era:

First and foremost is the lighthouse, getting this may mean a bunch of footholds on continents or islands that no one else could get for ages.

Second is the great library, having this means you can specialize up a tech tree, or have loads of money for republic or monarchy.

Third is the pyramids, because this drastically shaves time off the border city build order (You won’t have time to finish this for your main cities).

Finally the Colossus, because it is quick to build and quite effective for a very long time. Super Science Cities are MUCH MORE POWERFUL if you can get them in civ3, because everything else is corrupted to all hell (Normally your SSC is your capital, or near it, or has the forbidden palace).

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