The Civilinic Books

Three Arrows Strategy
by La Fayette

New game. My settler #1 has just created Paris. What does my tiny Paris city size one provide? Most likely 2 foods, 1 or 2 shields and 1 or 2 trade arrows.

But I have got 3 possibilities of getting 3 trade arrows at once:

  1. River (city square = 2 arrrows, river square = 1 arrow)
  2. Ocean (city square = 1 arrow, ocean square = 2 arrows)
  3. Trade Special (look at Ming, he's already sniffing for more!)

Under despotism, the best available settings are 60%science, 40% taxes. Hence:

The 3 arrows strategy doubles my science output at the beginning of the game (4 beakers per turn instead of 2). 3 techs (Alp, CoL, CB) are needed before researching Monarchy (and the AI seems to be willing to send one more, outside the path, in almost any game). This means 5 techs needed before switching to Monarchy.

Let us see how it works (playing deity, 7 civs, raging hordes, small map e.g.). Beakers required are usually as follows:

Required Beakers
Tech #Beakers

Assume my two settlers are standing on a river square and the surroundings look hospitable. Settler #1 settles down (hello Paris!); settler #2 walks 2 to 5 squares along the river (from ICS to Perf): hello Orléans!

In that case I get tech #1 after 4 or 5 turns, but that case is not frequent. Generally, both settlers are bound to wander looking for river, ocean or trade specials.

Advice #1: Do they enter the goodie hut they probably discover meanwhile? Rigid 3 arrows strategy says no (because there is a risk of getting a scroll of ancient wisdom outside the path leading to Monarchy ASAP)

But the first test I have made shows that it might be a good idea, nevertheless (main results and discussion below).

Advice #2: Don't let Orléans be created more than 5 squares away from Paris (corruption is hard at work against your third arrow).

Advice #3: Don't forget to think about what's going to happen to yourtiny cities Paris and Orléans when they grow to size 2

Intermediate conclusion :

Using "3 arrows" strategy, the results obtained strongly depend upon the free techs offered at the start (and what happens if my settler chooses to enter the first goodie hut he finds on his way).That is why I have studied what happened to Nazca. What happened to Nazca, gracious queen of the Aztecs (100 starts, small random map , deity, raging hordes, 7 civs)? Main results of the test:

Free techs (Alphabet, Cer Bur and Code of Laws are named "nice techs"). Main results of the test. First goodie hut:


No one would enjoy wandering until 1500BC, if not for testing the game. Hence, that one can be left aside. 18 "stupid" scrolls are a fairly good reason to avoid entering any goodie hut.

But this leaves us with 81 happy results (58 NONE units ready to go scouting, 20 "Gold" and 3 nice scrolls of ancient wisdom, able to shorten our long journey to Monarchy).

That is why my advice is: enter the hut, if you find one before settling.

Best results:

I leave the rest of the calculations to you (if you feel like it, but my advice would be: don't calculate, just try it, it's more fun , and if you happen to fall in love with Nazca, gracious queen of the Aztecs, just let me know!). Good "3 arrows", good civing.

Rereading this post, I notice that some people might think Paris used to be the great capital of the glorious Aztec civilization. I apologize.