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February 26 2004 at 3:27 AM
Sirian  (no login)
from IP address

Response to Ah

I played my turn at FRFR three months ago. Well, 90% of it. I made good gains against Russia and good progress on other fronts, especially the domestic side.

I had a lot of problems, though. I was at the height of my GalCiv gaming and I had lost all of my Civ3 training. When I wanted to fortify a unit, I was hitting G for Guard. When I wanted to center on a unit, I was hitting F for Find. Etc. It was like developing Parkinson's overnight: my brain is sending the signals and the body is doing its own thing instead.

I pushed through this, but it helped make the effort more a labor than a labor of love. Then there was the micromanagement aspect. FRFR is nothing if not an exercise in "variant" MM action. The whole point of the game is squeezing enough benefit out of our meager resources to try to squeak by to a hobbled victory. It took a lot of time to remember, or to figure out again, what the plan for each resource was, or ought to be. I did it, but... this took more labor.

Now here's the kicker. I did not raze the Russian cities. I thought we could chance one flipping, save on settlers, keep the improvements... In GalCiv, flips take TWO rolls to complete, so if you gamble, and fail, you get a warning, and a second chance to abandon the installation. My thinking was affected by this, no matter how I tried to deal with it.

So here I come to the end of my round, and three Russian cities flip back to them. Three. All my labors, all my efforts to catch up and work through my untrained reflexes and re-engage with the strategy, all up in smoke over three dice rolls.

Sound familiar?

Except for Epic 36, which I greatly enjoyed playing and for which I should not have delayed writing my report... ALL of my Civ experiences for the last year have been shattered in one way or another by the dice. It started with the last AW Epic and has continued on in unrelenting fashion. Civ is just not a stable enough design to allow one to dance close to the fire. If a scenario is designed to be so difficult and challenging as to pose a major risk of losing, there is enough swing from the dice in enough areas that inevitably the dice will become a deciding factor.

Let me tell you another little story. I was playing a shadow in Epic 38 anyway. My first jav tosser victory pulled a slave, and then I got only one more slave in the next TEN battles. One. That was two out of eleven. Now there I was, having bent my civ to building vet jav tossers. I made defensive war on the Dutch, to have them send me their regular warriors so I could pick off ten or twelve of them and gather up my initial allotment of slaves (cities).

I pulled two out of eleven chances? Two out of eleven? I knew right then I was in trouble. Either the odds were too low on the inherent chance to enslave, or I had been bit YET AGAIN by HORRIBLE dice luck in Civ.

This was absolutely the wrong game for me to be playing as my first C3C experience: a variant where my entire growth curve would be dictated by the dice. Whether my luck was good, decent, or ugly, to have the luck of how many slaves are pulled out of the early combats be the DECISIVE factor in the competition was more than I could bear. I knew there would be someone out there who would start off like Gris did: bang bang bang, a slave with each combat. They'd have more slaves after three fights than I had after eleven. Now what's the point? We're not playing the same game or anything like it.

I quit in disgust and went back to Morrowind for a couple of days. I had to give it some time.

I liked your variant idea, though, and I did want to play it. I wanted to explore it, experience it, with a middle-of-the-road batch of luck, to take the luck out of the picture. So I decided to do the GalCiv kind of thing and reload. Heck on it. I backed up eight turns, erasing five of the eleven combat results. At that point, I had two slaves from six wins. I changed my moves slightly to land a different order in the seed chain, and got three more slaves out of my next six combats. That changed it to five-from-twelve instead of two-from-eleven. THAT was enough luck to move forward, so I proceeded from there with my shadow game. My luck after that was poorer, but within the reasonable range, so I played normally from there.

GalCiv has changed my perspective on a lot of things, and overall, for the better, I think. I have done enough RBE DSG2 "live with horrible luck" games to where I have nothing left to prove to anybody about my ability to cope with and survive horrible dice. (For those who don't know, in RBE2 I lost our entire army of about a dozen units in ancient war and killed one enemy unit. ONE! And it was all dice. I did not make stupid moves.) I've been there and done that, and now I just want the dice to fade into the background. I don't WANT to be tossed all over the map by dice rolls. I want to tailor my challenges to a finer point than that, to get a better consistency from my investment of time and energy.

I had a GOOD time with my shadow game of Epic 38 and thought I had found a way past the dice dictating my fate. Then the SGL incident. It was too much. Civ3 has become the poster child for me of what I DON'T want to experience in a game any more. In fact, I am quite likely to set up an old Pentium 100 here so I can get my fix of MOO1 again. Been too long since I played it.

If you had been accessible through email at the time of my FRFR action three months ago, we might have been able to discuss options and decide on a course that would keep me involved. I had tried to contact you about a totality of issues, and you were not responsive. I also tried through Griselda to reach you, but that didn't work out well enough either. You don't prefer email, and that was the option I wanted to use.

At this point, the FRFR ship has sailed for me. Feel free to finish up FRFR on your own, or to bring in other partners. Best to ignore the partial turn I misplayed and go on from the end of your last round. I will cheer you on toward a hopeful late game victory.

- Sirian

 Respond to this message   

  1. Thanks - Charis on Feb 26, 2004, 7:30 AM
  3. mooooo - Bam-Bam on Feb 26, 2004, 7:37 AM
    1. Wistful Thought - Sirian on Feb 26, 2004, 11:24 AM
      1. Well... - Zed on Feb 26, 2004, 11:44 AM
        1. As can I... - The Black Cursor on Feb 27, 2004, 5:20 PM
          1. New Players - Sirian on Feb 28, 2004, 6:14 AM
            1. Hey Sirian, did you see this MOO site? - Ozymandous on Mar 1, 2004, 12:54 PM
              1. Yes - Sirian on Mar 1, 2004, 7:00 PM
                1. Oops. - Ozymandous on Mar 2, 2004, 4:08 AM
                  1. Request - Sirian on Mar 2, 2004, 5:55 AM
      2. Evil--you're evil, I tells ya - Bam-Bam on Feb 26, 2004, 12:47 PM
        1. Who, Me? - Sirian on Feb 27, 2004, 6:01 AM
          1. MOOing - Zed on Feb 27, 2004, 8:34 AM
            1. Reply - Sirian on Feb 27, 2004, 1:24 PM
              1. Reply reply - Zed on Feb 28, 2004, 1:14 PM
                1. I Have News - Sirian on Feb 28, 2004, 2:29 PM
                  1. I remember that editor. :) - Ozymandous on Feb 29, 2004, 3:57 PM
          2. Clarification - Bam-Bam on Feb 28, 2004, 9:53 AM
            1. Ah - Sirian on Feb 28, 2004, 1:33 PM
      3. Introduction to Master of Orion - Sirian on Feb 29, 2004, 6:08 PM
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