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Charis' Report

March 30 2004 at 9:07 PM
Charis  (Login Charis)
from IP address 12.222.91.132


Response to Epic ThirtyNine - Division of Labor - Reports and Discussion

 

Realms Beyond Civilization - Epic 39 - Division of Labor

This epic was a variant game which one simple rule: if a terrain
could be irrigated, it could NOT be mined or planted. The implications
were far-reaching, and a real challenge to productivity. There was one
additional rule: no representative governments.

The scenario goal was to challenge players to learn how to effectively
use 'specialists', in particular the new policeman and civil engineer
specialists, though taxmen and scientists were also useful. We played
an agricultural civ, the Celts, to further emphasize the food aspect.

I wanted to embrace the scenario goal, and so ruled out a 'quick win'
approach of early domination or conquest. A diplo win or a OCC approach
would not have fit my vision of the scenario, and I wanted to pick a
victory path. A civ-culture win fit this very well. On a small world
sometimes the tech pace is quite fast, and our ability to research would
be limited without a Republic/Democratic govt. Or would it? This was the
other aspect of the scenario I wanted to test, how well could we use
Communism and scientists to obtain and keep a tech lead for a space launch.

So my own goal was... a multiple victory. Civ-culture would be primary,
space launch secondary, with 20K and Diplo wins as gravy if they could
work in the same time period.

Rather than delay days (cough, weeks) for a long-winded and highly pictorial report,
I'm going to report this on time (midnight Tues) and in (for me) a summary-like report
(although now looking at the length, this 'summary' would be a tome for many people!)
The longer turn-long is available though I doubt that's of interest :P

*** STARTING APPROACH ***

I knew from the start that I would depend on food, a large-ish number of fairly
dense cities, and heavy use of specialists. I played a succession game recently with
some similarities, RBC11 - Cultured Byzantine Communists. Another game which impacted
this one was RBC1 - Rise of the Incans, my first C3C scenario and one in which I
first saw how interesting and powerful the new specialists were. Alas, I also so
how if unchecked a C3C civ could run away with the game, either in tech or in
culture, and it was a *PRIME GOAL* to keep other civs in balanace.

Similar to RBC11, I knew my first key goal... the Pyramids. For a high-irrigation
agri civ, what could be a better wonder? I went so far as to push the variant nature
of this game and chose to build the Pyramids *before any settler*. It was a long-range
approach, chosen more for theme than for optimality, and one confirmed as definite
when I saw how much room I had for expansion. The nearest neighbors would be quite
some distance away, allowing me to delay the inital land grab and instead build
a supercharger for later land grab - whether by peace or Gallic sword.

Highlights of the opening...
- First research: Bronze at max for Colossus (Pyramids prebuild)
- Build order was odd: two warriors sent exploring, the directly to wonder
  This was a thematic choice, settler first would have been smarter
- Huts gave barbs and Masonry (right after picking WC specifically to block cheap tech)
- The shorter you perceive yourself to be the more you'll rush and get slowed down.
  I irrigated a plains-wine very early on which was useless in Depotism :P
- 1250BC I get Pyramids and in my slumber am surprised by the ensuing Despotic OCC GA!
- With just one city I am defiant against first tribute demand. I almost ignore Hannibal
  completely and go back to building a wonder! We whacked a warr-settler pair and ended
  up paying twice the tribute cost, but we defended our honor (and slowed down them down)
- This also casts the die. Hannibal shall die.

*** FIRST CONTACT and END OF THE ANCIENT ERA ***
- 775BC - I saw what looked like a short crossing and went for it with a Curragh, and was
  rewarded to meet England and Rome, then Portugal, to become the sole contact broker
  for several centuries. This was a huge boost to my tech and economic situation. Before
  then the Eastern hemisphere in my game was rather ahead of our continent, due to the
  lack of Carthage-Egypt cooperation.
- The biggest tech deal got me out of the Ancient era when brokering options became
  available the same time I got to Literature first. I was able to pick up:
  Math, Code of Laws, Map Making, Construction, Currency, Monarchy, all for about 100g
  That went so well I don't think I'll need Great Library. After seeing the eastern civs
  snag almost all wonders Cleo pulls a shocker and scores the Library.

*** SECOND WAR (FIRST REAL WAR) ***
- On the verge of revolting to a better govt and with an army consisting of 3 whole
  Gallics, what do I do when Cleo demands tribute? I do what any good defiant would do,
  and tell her to jump off a cliff. She declares. I whip two Gallics to avoid instant
  collapse of front cities, but when they win, she had no units in position and momentum
  swung our way.
- 10AD - We get our first MGL! From an elite Gallic valiant in battle? No!! From an
  elite spear holding off two *War chariots* and getting one on defense!! :lol:
  A Gallic army is formed and it soon takes two cities. Egypt must have been crazy
  to ask tribute, they have NOTHING to throw at me, and I swallow several more.
- To insult Cleo further, I go ahead and proceed into anarchy mid-war. Like others
  in this epic, I drew a sad two turns. 23 of 62 units allowed shows just how razor
  thin we are despite offensive gains. In 90AD an elite gallic beats an archer for MGL #2.
  With Chivalry due soon, we hold and in a few centuries fill with Knights.
- By 200AD we're capturing Alexandria. Sheesh, if there was any sign of resistance I
  was willing to stop long ago. I wait for her to pop a new tech from library to extort
  before stopping at this point.
- 300 AD - Hannibal is just NOT WATCHING what is going on, and demands tribute. I really
  debate whether to turn this into a defiant game, but decide it would take too long to
  play and I would risk not finishing. I give in, for now.
- 310 AD - rng goes whacko. Full 4hp vet GS loses to a hurt archer in the open, then
  it feels bad and gives me a MGL with a hurt elite who was planning to heal up.
- 320 AD - FP done in Alesia, but benefit seems tiny. (I have too few cities :P )
  In same year Burdigala is founded as a native city among Egyptian thorns. It's a city
  destined for greatness. One more turn syndrome consumes me, and I go 6+ hrs to 3am.

*** MEDIEVAL WARS and WONDER WARS ***
- After decimating Egypt down to a small handful of cities, I grant peace for tech,
  go zero research and high cash, and built up many horses. Then bam, huge upgrdade.
- 610AD - It's payback time for Carthage, time to trim their sails. On turn one we
  cut their iron colony and the Knight army takes Leptis Minor, defended by just 2 numes.
- 670AD - English start Bach's, which I desperately wanted. I react with unswerving
  dilligence at FP city, merging in two workers instantly and stopping all jobs next
  door to finish improving the last needed tile. It's a close, close race.
- I was not garrisoning cities (on purpose, prefering a city loss to a big troop loss)
  and lost Leptis Magna but recaptured right away. Utica, home of Copernicus, is captured
  and we look forward to communism which will make it a useful city.
- Pentagon due next turn, our 600 shields in FP city due any turn now and we're short
  about four techs!? A problem? No my friend, that's by design. As we've planned and kept
  close to our chest for many years now, with research OFF, we attack Cleo and capture
  Thebes and the Great Library. We score *TEN* techs:

  Theology, Printing Press, Education, Gunpowder, Banking,
  Astronomy, Democracy, Econ, Navigation, Free Artistry.   Not bad!

  By what seems to be a bug we did NOT get Music Theory although two civs we know have it,
  so we have to get that from Portugal immediately.

- With Bach's coming close, I investigate London and see we'll beat them by 1.5 turns!
  I MM Entremont to the hilt after a Pentagon prebuild to make it complete Shakespeare
  the same turn as London would, and SLOW down Bach's one turn. Thus we snag both ST and
  Bach's in same turn as London would have completed Bach's. (It gets Smiths instead)
- Around 900 AD we look close at culture - to our surprise England is whipping us,
  we are 6317/2403 for civ/city, and England is 10,102/2549. We're +129/turn, they +199.

*** MANIFEST DESTINY ***

There was really no reason in the world why I shouldn't take ownership of my entire
continent, and the sooner the better so as to focus on city growth, empire growth,
and cultural building. The whip was applied rather liberally, during small city size
when happiness was not a big issue, and when the Pyramids would help re-grow the city
quickly.

- As far as Carthage, his repeated pleas for peace fall on deaf, defiant ears. We even
  go out to the nearby island, and wipe Carthage off the face of the planet.
- Yea, though mass murderers, we are cultured, scoring some nice wonders after totally
  missing the parade of early medieval wonders. Newton's is added to Entremont's list.
- 1110 AD - we're first to ToG tech and Maredudd ap Owain shows up. An SGL! I have nothing
  to rush and keep him in case our low shields would cost us a wonder later.

*** The BOLDEST MOVE in My Game ***

Still stinging from my experience in RBC1 with runaway AI (admittedly in v1.00)
I wasn't about to reach 100K culture only to have England with 120K, or even 60K.
(Yes, at this point I was oblivious that my target was 80K, not 100K culture!)
I did NOT want a huge war and did not want a phony smackdown later to prove my
cultural superiority, so I had a straightforward plan. With a pair of armies and
several cavalry earned in the fighting with Carthage, I would send over a few ships
and in a 'honorable surprise attack', raze London!! On precisely the IBT after I landed
England learned Nationalism and what would have been a cakewalk became a nail-biting
episode in pain. My ships were gunned down instantly by Man-O-War ships, and so it was
a do-or-die proposition. The rng did not help initially, and if I waited, there would
be whipping, cavalry arriving and no hope of reinforcements. I pressed hard, and the
armies went deep red. They would NOT survive. The cav attacks were hit and miss, and
though many rifles were killed, I was left with a cavalry defender and no attackers
left. I had brought two muskets to help defend counterattacks, but they had to take
up arms. The first died, injuring the English cavalry - which stayed on top. One left.
The 2hp army attacks... and DIES! The 1hp army hits the 1hp sole cav defender. AND DIES!!
The ONLY unit we have left is our last musket! The vet lost 2hp then finally, won!
He had the very lonely honor of razing once-glorious London. Chances for getting Lizzie's
vote were slim indeed :P  There was one hurt ship left in the water, which three
1 and 2 hp winning cavs escaped in. They fled due south and hugged the artic barrier,
not knowing if a Man-o-War would come out of the fog to slay them. On the counterattack,
my armies and remaining force outside the ruins of London were slayed to the man.
The attack worked, but by the slimmest of margins, and my progress on the Pentagon
was instantly curtailed -- with less then 4 armies it now swapped me to something else (!?)
The three injured cav did arrive home, war heroes! They healed, joined our other armies,
and led a bold attack on the small island to the SE of the capital, where we captured
the three English cities including Liverpool and Dover. With this success, England could
not reach 40K before I could reach 80, and they were kept permanently from running away.

In fact there was a careful balance of power in the Eastern hemisphere, and with trading
and alliances I did all I could from a distance to keep Rome, Portugal and England in
rough balance. This worked out surprisingly well. Early on that meant free gifts of tech
and iron to Rome, sale of Rubber to Portugal, only to see them pull ahead when I cut off
their lux shipments.

*** INDUSTRIAL ERA ***

Two MAJOR items impacted the industrial era, neither a surprise. First, the
advent of Communism. That was soon followed by Espionage in order to build the
very nice SPHQ. This was done AFTER rails were laid down, and after the best
looking cities got their factory, to see which city would get this excellent boost.
My Burgidala was placed somewhat centrally and had a rich set of hills and mountains
around it. It became one of the best producers, although a fourth city way up next
to Carthage which I named "Celtic Pride" was also very nice due to communal corruption.
The second big impact was the arrival of civil engineers with Replaceable Parts. This
was a MAJOR boost to the national culture building program. The worst of cities could
easily knock out buildings in 8-16 turns instead of 80, and temples were very quick.

My science advisor, at 1:30 am, says "Sleep is for the weak!" I should have disagreed,
and Went to bed, but pressed on til 3:00am.

*** TRANSITION TO THE END ***

The micromanagment in this era was initially fun, always effective, but the only downside
was a real risk that I would miss the Epic deadline, so I probably didn't handle this
quite as optimally as I hoped. In particular, my timing of the end was off. By 1300 I
was an the verge of communism but so few cities had finished their cultural bldgs that
the civ culture and rate was lower than I wanted. I had a far worse blunder / mental
lapse which I'll get too shortly :P

Effect of Communism compared to Feudalism (which is rather like Monarchy in econ/shields):
  Feudalism: Shield output of top 8 cities: 52,18,16, 8, 8,8, 8, 8   All nation: 230.
  Communism: Shield output of top 8 cities: 50,19,16,16,15,13,12,10  All nation: 363.
  That's a 58% increase in shields going to Communism, and 47% increase on science. HUGE!

In 1440AD Burdigala completes SPHQ hitting 62 spt, eclipsing the FP with 52 and capital 38.

In 1540 the culture situation was: 36,639 +666 per turn. Victory would have come in
65 turns, less with more bldgs continuing to complete. In fact, I would complete the
Internet before then, so I estimate culture victory would have been in 1770 AD.
But that didn't happen, and wouldn't happen. For I really did want a space victory
(actually a double victory) - to see if communism plus scientists were strong enough
in economy and science to keep up a fast tech pace. I literally had to sell dozens
of cultural bldgs to slow down the culture pace. Tech time estimation was tough too,
but it seemed like if I did NOT sell techs it would take about 7 turns per tech,
but about 5 turns per tech if I sold to the other AI for gpt. Because the year of
victory was important in this epic, I had to use tech sales to fuel research. There was
slight risk if I didn't have enough shields to build the space parts fast enough.

So also in 1540 I decided to have a large sell-off of cultural buildings to reach space.
The blunder was that I did not realize UNTIL 1758 that the civ culture victory condition
for small maps was *80K* not 100K. I *so* commonly play standard maps, and had never
fathomed civ-culture win on small map and never noticed this. I noticed only when
looking at the VP screen in 1758, when I was at 62,879 culture, 27 turns to victory!
I then had a massive temple and cathedral meltdown, which was quite highly dissatisfying
in a thematic sense, but I was at Miniturization at that point and was not going to give
up going to space.

However, I learned something else. I had known Nuclear plants were an increase to shields,
+100% instead of +50%, but I didn't realize Manufacturing plants were *additive* with
power plants. I had always assumed from the 'plant' designation that they were just
another redundant power plant. They're +50% shields, and also go nicely in combination
with offshore platforms. So at the end, my shield totals for my best cities were:

Burgidala - SPHQ - 102 spt
Gerogovia - FPHQ - 111 spt (the frozen tundra forest spot! Thanks to the game)
Entremont - Capital - 81 spt
Celic Pride - spiritual center of the nation - 90 spt
Leptis Minor - Carthaginian empire - you non-Communists never knew how good this one was :P
Alesia - decentish location on fresh water in the core - both of these around 50spt.

Largest cities? Size 32, 32, 29 (cap), 29, 28 (SPHQ), 28, 28, 27, 26, 25, and FP is 21.

Entremont was the top city, with Rome, Lisbon, York and Veii behind. Six wonders for
  Entremont. We had 69% world pop (!), 52% area, 80288 culture, 11,145 in capital.
  Econ was 21926g+821gpt at 80% sci (!) (+2443 at 0%, or +312gpt at 100%)

Looking at other folks city placements, many chose my Alesia for the FP location,
but it really didn't have the shield potential of other sights. I was surprised to
see that my FP site selection was not even a CITY SITE, much less an FP site, in
most other games. It had just enough food for size 12 before rails, and was able
to grow larger later. My Burgidala was, I thought, a great spot, and it was my first
city to break 100 shields.

*** VICTORY ***

I did end up with the UN, not too difficult, but I had at BEST one ally, with a very
real chance I would lose due to England's enmity and due to a war with Rome. I
was able to time it to achieve space launch and passing 80K culture in the same
inter-turn, so it was a moral victory for me. It wasn't until re-checking saves a day
later that I saw that vile England had just crept over 40K, spoiling my claims for
a double-victory! 8-\  Well, I can at least say that Entremont was no longer in fear
of whether it would beat London's culture or not. If I had not sped down culture to
get the space win, England would have been well under 40K, so the lack of getting 2x-2nd
was simply due to the space slow down. This was in turn due to being in communism. With
the great economic base I had, in Republic/Democracy it was a guaranteed 4-turn rate,
while I could not comfortably reach 4-turn until right in the middle of the Modern Age
after every significant city finally had a Stock Exchange *AND* a Commercial Dock, and
when the Internet powered a research lab in every city. Entremont's culture was quite a bit
less than 20K. I expected it higher though not enough for a city win. I DID have enough
culture there for a city-win to beat the histograph date, but that would likely have
lost to another civ space launch (unless they continued to bicker and fight and stay
in Fascism! <-- the official AI's gun-to-its-own-head govt of C3C, as Communism was to PtW)

*** EPILOGUE ***

This was a very gun game. The difference in play style and thinking imposed by no mining
was good, although in my mind a better challenge would have been no mining *period*.
I enjoyed the London assault, even though it was harrowing (ok, 'because' it was!) :P
Still, the tedium here was *FAR FAR* less than in FRFR, where I could not mine, could
not irrigate, and worse by far, could not make ROADS. Playing that game simultaneously with
this one kept this one from ever feeling a grind, although the management was extensive.
It was also fun to put Communism to a real test. In the RBC11 game we just walked all over
the AI, and it was a blowout. The specialists are I think a nice addition to the game.
Why a nice addition, and why not just "one more factor favoring the player!?"
- For a 'normal' game situation you don't need them to win
- They can make your empire a lot more productive, but you have to work at it
- They open up other victory conditions, rather than create a big imbalance. (ie, they
  were very nice in this game, but had I chose a military victory and non-variant rules,
  I would have blown the AI away, as in fact other players did with quick domination win)
- If you reach Replaceable Parts with an empire large enough that you have many corrupt
  cities, you're already in excellent shape (a 'won' game in most cases)
- It counterbalances what I still (as a minority?!) view as a return to Civ-1 style
  runaway-AI with the new corruption model, giving the human player on Deity or Sid
  with a "good" empire but half-an-age behind a last chance to catch up.

I look forward to seeing:  i) how my 'thematic' Pyramids-first approach compared to
traditional and/or aggressive peaceful expansions, ii) if anyone beat the 1770ish date
for the culture win I would have gotten if I didnt' sell-off 25% of my cpt to ride to space,
iii) how quick folks focused on the space race, not culture, could win. I'm going to guess
that culture (slow tech pace desired) and space (fast pace desired) were at odds in their
builds and optimal conditions and so I doubt my years will be impressive.

FINAL SCORE: 4936   Game time: 33 hrs, 34 mins though it seemed longer :P
Victory: Space win in 1832 AD, turn 381, also had 80,234 final culture.

Thanks to all who played! (And nice variant concept T-Hawk)
Charis


 
 Respond to this message   
Responses

  1. Pics and city comments - Charis on Mar 30, 9:53 PM
    1. Thoughts - T-hawk on Mar 31, 9:25 AM
      1. Re: Thoughts - Anonymous on Mar 31, 2:02 PM
     
  2. City Placement - Justus2nd on Mar 30, 10:31 PM
    1. Metropolis - Charis on Mar 30, 10:47 PM
      1. Very true - Justus2nd on Mar 31, 12:05 AM
        1. Old Timer - Sirian on Mar 31, 5:03 PM
     
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