View Full Version : Decisions T44 and onwards to T100
Jun 06, 2010, 07:13 AM
We now need to establish our main, overall strategy for the next 50 or so turns.
We can agree to the following constants:
Both workboats go around the main continent to meet as many civs as possible, ignore the inlets and head in each direction to meet each other. This will also help the global sailaround in order to get an added 1 movement bonus, if we go for that.
We complete sailing by T44
We can develop a joint settlement strategy solely for the island, where we directly research writing, mathematics and calendar, in order to chop forests 50 % more effective as well as building plantations for 6 spices locations.
This means we settle Quatron, Singularity and Horizon
We can develop a joint settlement strategy focusing solely on the silver and wheat on the island, preserving forests for the time being in order to preserve available health, as we got only 1 health resource (wheat), which sets a population cap that is not parallel to our high happiness cap. This strategy also calls for settling the 3rd or fourth city on the mainland, in order to spread there.
This means we want to research iron working and animal husbandry in order to backfill the city grid resource plan and to make sure we can hold the mainland both in terms of neighbors and barbarians. This strategy gives us bordering happiness/health parity, as we get two more clams. We also get closer to Optics and Whaling with this strategy.
Settlements to be built would be Quatron, Resonance and Cape South
We can develop a strategy that solely backfills one of two resources (animal husbandry or iron working). This means we go for writing and mathematics in addition, in order to quickly get up basic structures in our new cities. The main focus is still wheat and silver on the island, not spices.
Settlements to be built would be Quatron, Horizon and Resonance.
2 and 3 options would of course take measure for plotting calendar after iron working and animal husbandry is researched.
Jun 06, 2010, 07:44 AM
Right, I think this is the thread where we should move some discussion, and I know we have some differing points of view among ourselves, though everyone wants a good plan and what's best for the Q.
Here's the start - I agree with our exploration - due to what we've done so far and with Stonehenge helping even more with the map, I think we *know* kind of what the map is like. Getting in contact with other teams becomes just one of the most important things to do, so we sail onward.
What this leads to in the short term - is I'm thinking we make contact with a third team, due to the exploits of the sailors on the Ganges, quite soon. With contact with 3 teams, we really want to consider something with regards to trading, it just becomes really necessary to keep up in technology.
So the first/foremost economic thing, is that we need to be sure that at least one team among three, is researching towards Writing => Alphabet. Trade isn't possible without that, and we do want to trade. Next, we want to avoid overlap if we can and not waste resources on hostility - two teams researching Iron Working or Metal Casting or something is ultimately just a loss for both teams.
That all said, we need to see what actually happens when we talk to people, and be flexible. Two turns till sailing and we can make the best of them, and also the best of turns to follow.
One thing I still think is not so negotiable is that it really makes economic sense to settle three cities on our home island. I would settle #2 as it is of course, #3 by the two southern wheat, and then #4, #5, and possibly #6 overseas. Even if we don't chop much - the third city still has two wheat and some mines it can get regardless of math/calendar/whatever. It's right there, all the worker infrastructure will be up. I agree that Resonance and the Cape city are the first overseas cities we want at least. We'll have to see what pressure exists on the other side but I think we can secure that "Axiom" site no matter what, and from then that other petal seems to have less promising coastal sites, so we'd be pushing inland after that.
So, technology - again I know there are different valid ideas. But I'd propose two things, first being
A) Really try hard to ensure *somebody* techs writing/alphabet as fast as possible. If the Vikings are doing their own thing like going for the Colossus or whatever we hear on that, we would just have to step up to do so. Likewise we don't even know who the third team we may end up meeting soon is. I agree if we see more immediate benefit to ourselves on another path - let somebody else tech alphabet/no immediate gain for them, while we tech other stuff.
B) If we do want military tech quicker, I would get Animal Husbandry first. It's much cheaper and faster than Iron Working and if we unlock horses - and I'm guessing horses are somewhere around - then we can at least deal with barbarians well enough. I personally would be satisfied with accessible horses right now, and thus AH first determines if we even need to research IW yet. If this isn't the case though and others feel we need the melee no matter what then IW first would be ok.
If we have to end up teching Alphabet ourselves I think going through AH at least before writing is good, so I may propose that as my personal default right now. (Sailing => Hunting => AH => Writing). I'd rather get somebody going right to Alphabet and us to Mathematics, but I fully realize that may not be possible, so we'll see what happens in the next 2-3 turns of diplomacy and other news.
Jun 06, 2010, 07:44 AM
GRAND STRATEGY - Turns 100-200
What really matters long term, is to define a containable landmass for the midgame, based on getting enough specialized cities, defensible land and so on.
This map is a hub and spokes map, where the center is comprised of a narrow isthmus, as I see it, with 6 major inlets separating the 6 teams.
I would like to as early as possible, place a fortress city, with walls, barracks and all on that hub from our side, bridging the two inlets in terms of maritime transportation, as well as defending towards a narrow strip of flat land, akin to Fort Wagner in the movie "Glory". 1989, where the assault troops were trapped on a narrow strip of land and shelled down.
The idea is to control the subcontinent east of us with 8 cities, and half of the subcontinent north of us with 4 cities, as this is the best we can hope for in terms of dividing the central landmass with the other teams. The subcontinent east of us has top priority, as more than half of our cities will be there, whereas the subcontinent north of us should only be taken to prevent other teams to surprise the main island from north, as the land is bordering useless (colonized last).
This still calls for Resonance to be the city built directly after Quatron, as our third city, and to make sure we got iron working / animal husbandry and at the minimum archery covered.
Jun 06, 2010, 07:53 AM
Right, grand strategy is important too, and this was somewhat similar to what I was thinking. Though I'm not sure about having to go overseas on a third city, I'll wait for others input on some things like that we still need a majority decision on. As for long term though, most of what you say is right, and I'd mention:
-I agree the Northern island has less valuable land, particularly on our side. Splitting it half and half with the other team couldn't be too much of a problem.
-I definitely want to get *more* of the Viking-side petal than they do. I'm really not sure we can take the whole landmass though, the Vikings could settle a coastal city on their side much sooner than we could ever get all the cities.
-Nonetheless, I am somewhat confident we can get the bottom Cape for ourselves, and along with Resonance/Cosmos, get a city at the choke up on the central hub as well. The central city is going to be pretty useless economically though so we shouldn't have to kill ourselves with it yet though.
I'm also worried about being a target of a Viking attack. Cities on "their" side would be pretty hard to defend if coastal, cause they could storm right out of spamalot. However, if we have our side of the coast/the Cape covered, we would see them coming anytime that matters - before Astronomy anyway but that's quite a ways out. I think holding the actual land if they land an army just becomes a typical game of keeping a strong military which we can do.
In fact, one more kinda-strategic decision I was thinking about - we might do well to get a core of Numidian Cavalry, upgraded to Flanking II. Not immediately, but just when we can afford it - upgraded to knights later or even as they are they do a premier job of taking out catapult stacks through flank damage. And the free promotion (and then we can have two promos with 5 xp) is almost not worth passing up. Though I'm not advocating rushing these guys immediately, early war isn't going to happen much in this game as I'm feeling it too and they are expensive for now.
Jun 06, 2010, 08:08 AM
Spamalot expands culturally within 9 turns, which is why I really want to get Resonance as city 3, as the race for the Petal will begin right there, turn 51.
Turn 50-100 would likely be the first period with a mutual non aggression treaty, where we in the meantime would need to carve up the land in the petal with the vikings. The slower we go there, the slower the monuments of the mainland would work to our advantage, if at all, in case we obsolete Stonehenge too soon.
Animal Husbandry (Numidian Mercenary) and Iron Working (all melee units) are both things we really need to pin down right away, as we frankly have no clue about our military options right now, and I really dont like it and I really dont take those resources for granted. Resonance also allows us to quicker grab the Petal, not just messing around on an island we already got.
Frankly put, Spices and Calendar are by far not half as necessary as pinning down our military options for the main continent.
I also want to mine the hill next to the 2 silvers, in order to produce more and delay the population growth due to the health cap. Resonance would also increase our healthcap by one, removing the need for premature slavery.
Jun 06, 2010, 08:23 AM
Well, the capital could be stuck at size 6 for a while anyway, if it builds basically settlers/workers, but yeah another grassland mine isn't out of the picture, with the 2nd worker perhaps. I still favor the cottage now and then worker to the second city though if that was the concern.
But I want to back up for a second, I'm trying to look at things realistically. And the answer is, we're not going to entirely out-expand the Vikings no matter what we do at this point. At the same time though, I think we'll have enough that we will get at least our own "half" and on balance probably more. While some teching of other stuff is fine, and doesn't come into play anyway in the short term, on our basic economy, it's just too late to be worth it to give up advantages/core cities for trying to cut off land.
And the thing is, we knew this too. It was discussed and tested - why right now, turn 42, we could have had 2 cities on our home island and a galley with barb-busting warriors overseas. In such a situation sucking it up and putting two cities overseas by turn 60 or something would have been possible and might have been worth it, because it would have been early enough. We didn't go with this plan or similar variations, by choice, and now it's simply too late for a mass transition. Getting our third and fourth overseas can't stop the vikings from getting their city right next to Spamalot on their side is the short answer, and it would cost us a lot of growth and development not to fill out a little more on our island.
In essence I'm saying this decision is already made - it's too late for taking hits to the economy to expand more to be worth it, because we already chose not to. If we optimize everything economically now we get the gains we really invested in, and then we'll just have to rely on other means or hoping another team doesn't charge straight for us in land-rushing. I'm also not saying it's the Vikings specifically behind this, because again when we were isolated and knew it by turn 10 we knew it was possible we'd have any team as our neighbors. The Vikings aren't even the Dutch or a team able to push us culturally or out-settle us due to any specific bonuses right now.
That said, again, I feel at the very least we break even, or a little ahead of even because I would make the Cape town a priority too so we'll have that covered. And if we do want to hamper the Vikings from being a threat to us - the best way to do it is not with direct rushing settlers and vulnerable cities. We can do so through trade, by denying them resources and allies, particularly if we find the team on the other side of the Vikings and they are willing to consider so too.
If we really want to go up against the Vikings, not have them as allies, options are out there and at the very least we can be ahead in economy - and that's what will win for us in the long term. Assuming their island is like ours, they top out at 5 or 6 happiness per city, and if we don't trade them resources, and either find a way to blockade or discourage others from doing so, they would stagnate. I don't see a way we can hope to secure all of the land we would want and have the Vikings as allies though. Now, it's possible they do not see the urgency of the situation either, or waste their time elsewhere, and there never is a worry about them settling much of that "petal." But if they want to they will, and we can't stop them from getting a couple cities anyway if they are going to be allies. If we are ready and prepared to have them as enemies we might, but that's a major decision to make.
Jun 06, 2010, 08:34 AM
I think the scenario with Resonance as our third city still holds valid, but I can back down on the main island plan, by having the following build sequence: Quatron-Resonance-Singularity, and at the same time make sure we get iron working-writing and math, then calendar and then Animal Husbandry. We dont even know who will research alphabet in time for us to get the missing techs, and I really dont like not getting military resources we need to identify now, not later.
If Iron Working does not provide us iron, we may need Animal Husbandry as a short term back-up.
I agree to completing the cottage as we do, but would really like to mine the grassy hill right afterwards.
This will not impact loose plans we laid around the time we secured the Stonehenge, and give us much needed clams, as well as quite possibly horses and iron.
Jun 06, 2010, 08:39 AM
Spamalot expands culturally within 9 turns
How do we know this?
Jun 06, 2010, 08:43 AM
I know this from "Victory Settings", where they have 82 culture, and we know Palace got 2 culture per turn, and that a city expands at 100 culture in terms of land coverage. We expanded long ago, thanks to Stonehenge giving us 8 culture per turn, in addition to the 2 palace gave us.
As they most likely settled on turn 0 or turn 1, possibly turn 1 due to them lagging slightly behind the others, we should expect them to get a cultural expansion Turn 51.
Jun 06, 2010, 08:48 AM
Ok cool. Do we know that the culture border we saw is spamalot? I just want to make sure we don't jump to any conclusions when it could be a 2nd city or even the indians.
Jun 06, 2010, 08:52 AM
I presume its Spamalot, it would be too big of a coincidence that it was India, when its the same color, and its near. Also, India, having Hinduism, would have a quicker expansion of their cultural border than CDZ, suggesting we actually do see Spamalot east of us.
Jun 06, 2010, 09:06 AM
Fundamentally, we got the following culture:
Hinduism 5 (2600 BC or turn 35, 35 more culture than CDZ)
If the island east of the Petal had more culture border, it would be India. Why so ?
Jun 06, 2010, 09:13 AM
This means, that the Maverick border would have increased ( (82 Palace) + (35 Hinduism) ) = 117 culture
117 - 4X5, 3-4 turns ago.
Jun 06, 2010, 09:16 AM
Well are we sure its a capital city? I can't really tell from the screens what the borders look like.
Also, I think we should hold off on playing the turns quickly. The more time we have to get to know the Vikings and make tech deals the better. If it looks like we are going full steam ahead they may assume we already have an ally and are just leading them on. Tech trades are the big variable going ahead.
Jun 06, 2010, 09:20 AM
Well, you can think or not think so, but this is the way I see it. The extent of the borders is clearly of a capital city, and its mirroring our site.
Jun 06, 2010, 09:27 AM
Well my points really are a.) lets not assume anything until we know for sure (you were convinced it was india at first and treated it as a fact) and b.) more detailed screens are necessary for the rest of the team to follow along.
Jun 06, 2010, 09:36 AM
My points to A)
We need to make qualified assumptions in order to move ahead in planning, and get the ball started on discussions, even if they are initially erroneous. Some intellectual curiosity and consideration should be encourage, not the other way around. I was not alone to assume it was India, most of us did, so I am not to blame for that alone. Lets focus on the fact that 100 culture is the cap needed for border expansion, and the border we see east did not behave as if Hinduism would be there.
There are previous screens on India that clearly show a complete BFC in extent. I was quite sure it was India, until I realized this with the Hinduism/Cultural reach state, the CDZ boat had no direct correlation to this, but giving up their culture level of 82. Hinduism would have changed all this, and its only 7 turns ago it was invented.
Jun 06, 2010, 10:46 AM
I think we'll ask in our opening message, see the embassy thread, we probably want to send that by just a little bit later today. It should be trivial to mention our workboat just caught a vague glimpse of their culture but it hadn't expanded, and for them it should be trivial to confirm - they might not ever even have thought it would be confusion with India. I really think it is "Spamalot" too though, and not India.
As for more management - actually I was just thinking, that perhaps a better idea is to get the "Cape" town - we haven't put an official name there yet, first. Not the city on the very southern end of the peninsula, but the one halfway up, right next to that one clam. Resonance is a good city site, but there's no worry about it ever being contested by the Vikings cities or culture. If we got the Cape first, our borders would expand sooner there, we'd have one clam anyway and that's all we need for the health bonus, and Resonance after that might not be so bad. Since the Cape city would be #4 anyway if Resonance was third perhaps by settling city 3 on our home continent but then skipping over resonance for the Cape at the same time, to block off our borders may be the answer?
Again, I personally would actually go for Animal Husbandry, as a compromise for the team, for stability in case nobody else is able to trade, I agree on that, and I really think we probably will reveal horses. I would hope we can get some trade agreements worked out soon and we should take as much time as we can with the Vikings and any other team we meet shortly. Iron Working I feel is awfully expensive and if we don't have somebody else who is going to get writing/alphabet/ready to trade, it really takes us a lot of time. But AH is just a handful of turns off - if we find horses, would we be happy with chariots for barb busting/military right now, and ready to move on? If we don't find horses, that's also important and we'd maybe know our trade situation better by then too.
Jun 06, 2010, 11:31 AM
We really need to flesh out the tech possibilities with CDZ and the the team we are going to meet to the north ASAP. Our tech path really depends on what deals we can get going. Someone may already have AH for instance. And since our neighbors probably don't have copper either there is a good chance that they are already researching IW (I really suspect the Vikings might be since they need metal for their UU). It would be lame if our future alliance starts off with a bunch of research overlap, could really set us behind.
So I'm still leaning towards the top of the tree for now. It provides multiple paths after writing and could put us in a tech brokering position. Plus it would be nice to get Writing soon for a library in Continuum and trade routes with neighbors (our letter should ask them where our workboat should move to make contact with their borders).
Jun 06, 2010, 12:10 PM
Earthling, if you would go for Hunting-Animal Husbandry as a kind of compromise, before the writing-mathematics gambit, I would support that too. Its after all our UU, with the horse. This also means I would like to call for a support for settling the mainland city, such as the city site south of Resonance. I would suggest it to be named "Asymptote", as its brinkmanship shuts off a future viking border, in line with our science naming.
This would call for the following: Research hunting-animal husbandry-writing, mathematics and calendar
Build settler, warrior 50 %, worker, galley, settler, another warrior, then a few workers and settlers
We settle Quatronia, Asymptote, Singularity, Resonance and then Horizon
We need that clam very soon, as we are quite short on health resources.
Jun 06, 2010, 02:27 PM
Edit: sorry about the bottom of page/new page situation :(
I actually like this a lot - and not just because it's good to compromise and have a clear plan, but because it is realistically a good building strategy I'd favor. I do think we'd be great to have the other worker, really might as well have a few more turns to pay off, and I do prefer Animal Husbandry over Iron Working, so thanks if we think we could be happy with horses (cross our fingers and we'd better find horses)
I would propose though, that we first try to encourage the Vikings not to settle our way immediately, or to find out what they are doing if we have time for delay, as I'd rather settle Singularity (the city on our island) first again. I think especially if the second worker is ready to go and helps with a chop or two if we want, we can settle our third city, on the home island, with farmed wheats and all, rather than waiting for a long time on some workboat clam/no lighthouse/etc...
But if we are going to settle a third city overseas, I would settle Resonance third, because it is better to develop in the long run (2x clam, and grassland with rivers and all). If the overseas city is fourth, it should be Asymptote just to ensure we get that land, but then by that point we'd more easily have a quick fifth settler ready shortly afterwards for Resonance. (Asymptote is a good name for that one, I agree, Cape South or something along those lines should be at the very tip of that cape, the whales city someday later.)
So I'll say, again just for my own "vote" - Provo's techplan is good by me right now, it is adaptable and not overly expensive, and reasonably safe on military on the other hand. I also agree with at least a worker after this current settler before the galley, and I'm flexible on where we settle third/fourth. So then we do what's best for our economy/civ as a whole - try to get others teching stuff we can trade someday, and try to keep the Vikings from actually making this a race to settle stuff, so we don't have to sacrifice economy/better city spots to get settlers out to the borders.
Jun 06, 2010, 03:04 PM
I can see cav scout's point about tech-duplication. We need to get in contact with the northern civ and start to flesh out some sort of tech deal.
I like the third city on the home island- gives us a strong economic base to then move onto the mainland.
Jun 06, 2010, 04:46 PM
Yeah, but now it seems we are going for animal husbandry anyhow, just to get the strategy done right.
Jun 06, 2010, 06:41 PM
I wouldn't center much strategy around our UU. In some ways it is even weaker than the base unit it replaces. I'm having trouble imagining a situation on this map where using our UU would be the best response. IW will also need to be researched in a timely fashion in order to chop the jungle that is around our early overseas cities. Time-wise, it looks to me like one way or another we need to be picking up IW within 30-40 turns, preferring closer to 30.
Why is the cape town important? From the look of it, it will be an average city at best. If there is a mountain range running down the middle of the points on the stars then strategically they can pretty much be treated as a straight line (the fact that the line is folded over on itself not being relevant there, since there's no way to take a shortcut until flight). In that context, controlling the midpoint of the line doesn't seem any more important than controlling any other point.
It doesn't matter who is leading the race at the halfway point, it matters who is leading at the end. If you want to expand aggressively to the Vikings side, founding cities inbetween our capital and there sooner is nothing. Founding cities over there sooner is everything. That's the metric by which we should be making those decisions, if expanding over there is our goal. Be practical though and don't expect those guys to be weak. They'll pick up the good city spots near their capital long before we'd ever be able to get there. Realistically, we're either talking about picking up those weak cities around the cape that have nothing more than a few plains tiles and a sea resource or taking the better terrain by force. I'm not particularly excited about aggressively pushing a border with them just to get one or two mediocre cities.
I agree about a strong city up in the center. It kind of looks like the terrain there may be deliberately terrible though. If that's the case I would prefer to pull the city back a couple so that it can be moderately productive and not just a defensive choke point. It may even be the case that a fort can serve much of the purpose that city would.
By my count we're fine on health resources in our capital until we get more happiness resources. It's true that we don't have very many, but that's not really the same thing as being very short, which implies that our growth will be substantially impaired unless we get more and that doesn't seem to be the case at all.
Jun 06, 2010, 07:37 PM
Given Tyboys latest statement about the need for the main city on the mainland to at least be moderately productive, extrapolated with Earthlings statement about Resonance being #3 in case it should be built, I suggest we make Resonance the mainland growth city right after Quatron. Singularity and Horizon can be quickly filled afterwards.
Animal Husbandry serves a purpose, as we cannot rely for warriors only, as some people here seem to think. No proposal for archery or iron has come about either, and AH is the only military unit suggestion made so far. AH will allow us to see what is doable militarily, at a relatively low cost.
About health and happiness parity, Tyboy, I disagree. Happiness 8 and health 7 is the present caps, I would like to get that clam asap, to make the parity at 8, where it really belongs.
Jun 06, 2010, 08:27 PM
Well, that's because my actual first preference, or vote on settling, is that we try to get city #3 on our home island, where it easily grows with a couple of wheats the workers can improve. If for some reason something goes wrong with the Vikings and we feel we *have* to settle overseas faster starting with Resonance is all right though. If we claim land a little more slowly we could go with Asymptote, then Resonance. Again, I'm onboard with Animal Husbandry though because it isn't too expensive and I realistically hope we do get horses somewhere nearby - they would be useful even against barbs alone.
As for Asymptote - the important part there is that cities can't be founded within two tiles of each other on land, regardless of the mountain range. "Cape Town" or the city with the whales is not so important - but Asymptote could close off the whole peninsula. Again, I'd rather the city does not end up being so "important" - if we can keep the Vikings from rushing to expand or they do their own thing anyway, then no, it's not like it's the greatest city around.
About the UU - I would not attempt to use the UU in the short term nor for the mainstay of an army. I did mention this before and here is what I think is still a good strategy - what I would do, similar to how people use some certain other UUs, is by the Renaissance perhaps have a stock of them built, and upgraded with flanking II (and CI I guess if we have two promos). The free promotion => upgrade to knights or cavalry I think really is useful as we will have to maintain some type of army and the anti-siege effect is powerful; in the short term I wouldn't say they are necessary.
Jun 07, 2010, 05:55 PM
I have revised my stand, but the happiness-health parity and no preference for slavery still stands.
In order to grow our cities, we need now to get up our two island cities first, Quatron and Singularity, which are quick fixes, then we need Resonance up as soon as possible for the added clam and the mainland presence (river is good too, as it provides 2 more health).
Quatron and Singularity got a cap of 5 due to health, 2 for forests, 1 for wheat and 2 for difficulty level. Our happiness bonus is useless, if we can't match it with sufficient health.
This is also why I dont want us to communicate to CDZ our entire resource picture, or they will see this, possibly ask other nations to keep health resources away from us. We should only communicate what we want to trade away, thats all, not what we have.
CDZ is quite tightlipped to us, as I have seen in numerous other demogames.
Lilely, the petal is structured like this (an idea I have):
SW, Quatronia, SE, CDZLand, W, Mavericks, Amazones, NW, Sirius, NE and Merlot, E
Jun 07, 2010, 09:18 PM
Well, we certainly don't know which of the remaining three teams is exactly where, but yeah, they should all be northern and further away from us.
There's a lot of long-term strategy/trade ideas floating around and I perhaps I should mention again too, that resource trades will be important; I doubt any team has sufficient happy/health on their own. Particularly teams without a trait like our CHM or EXP will be hurting.
If we are after a setup to "swindle" some team or two out of technology, arranging denial of resources also isn't too bad, it could really hamper development to be stuck at five or six happiness especially if they don't tech monarchy. But again we have to choose very wisely.
Right now I won't say I'm doing anything other than brainstorming, but certain situations do present themselves. First, the teams:
-Vikings/CDZ: our most immediate and nearby threat if they become an enemy rather than an ally. We will have the longest amount of time working with them, and at this point seem to at least have the comfort they know less about the map and will have explored a good deal less than us. We can also keep them unaware of our other contacts and dealings.
-India/Mavericks - our other neighbors. They could have contact with some additional third team on the other side of them - indeed, I actually suspect they do, probably sent out a boat themselves or the other team could have. If not, they might be making third contact sometime soon, and they will know from the start we have another contact. I think our overall analysis which still makes sense to me is that the land towards their "petal" is less immediately valuable/important to us, and the one clear site we want to settle on our side we should get anyway. India will be strong economically long term but not necessarily so much military threat.
Any other team - disadvantages are they are further away, but as the whole map is structured any next teams have the effect of "flanking" others; everyone probably has two neighbors. The strategies and personalities of these teams vary, and who is where makes a big difference.
Here's two plans I would consider, though again this really is brainstorming, a lot going on, and I know their will be plenty of revisions and other ideas to add to any plan:
Choke/Economic Stranglehold on Vikings (also, apologies for uncreative names)
For a few reasons, I think if we were to try to cut off and isolate another team, it would be CDZ/the Vikings. For one, they have less economically-inclined traits, same for their UU and UB. As already mentioned, they are close by and a potential military threat. So this carries risk, but if we succeed, they could be really weakened and easy to take out/gang-up on later. India is stronger economically, they could have wonders, get some scientists much more easily at the least with philosophical, plus their workers, and their religious path means we probably couldn't cut them off from happiness effectively enough. Anyone beyond India, is probably too far for us to blockade/impede/stagnate even if we wanted.
The strategy would entail
a) Be willing to trade with India and further team's India's way, generic trading/tech etc...
b) Contact the team on the other side of Vikings as we are making progress towards doing. Then, as early as we can, get this team in on a plan against the Vikings. Neither of us get OB, trade them resources, etc... so they have little happy and health and no trading partners, as we block them from getting through anymore
c) In the short term, convince the Vikings to waste their time and not expand aggressively. We settle our part of the petal, hope to trick or watch them do something different. For technology, we suggest we tech Alphabet for an eventual trade, and then encourage them to do something expensive and wasteful. Like promise them they can tech Metal Casting and build the Colossus, and we'll even wait for them to get the Colossus and share Alphabet in the mean time - then when we/other teams don't in fact trade with them, they are left behind.
This carries risks and other teams could take that as carte blanche to backstab us too though. Possible high reward/secures us much land and removes a threat, though risky.
Generic Tech Trading Alliance
We intend to find 2-4 teams, could be anyone, and lock into a long-term alliance. It could be us, Vikings, and India, us and India and India's next friend, us and Vikings and Vikings' next friend, etc... We just work to entirely optimize teching, basically splitting up the world into haves and have-nots, so that our alliance comes out ahead. One possibility is to try to see which team gets/is going for the Oracle. If India is after the Oracle, an alliance with them would probably see us ahead in economy and technology in the long-term if we both are able to be honest and cooperative.
A common strategy and nothing else would be locked in stone regarding what we do domestically, this is legitimate to consider and I'm sure we'll see more discussion on it, as I wouldn't be surprised if some other team is thinking this way too.
The High Wire: playing it on the edge
This is kind of what Provolution seems to have suggested with recent revelations about Mavericks. Basically, we don't lock ourselves into anything, and we leave diplomatic options open with everyone, waiting for some future time to commit. We would basically:
a) just keep trying to get as much contact as possible
b) expand/build up our civ domestically just as we would as regular building up economy, no special military/settling concerns, keeping a balance in everything
c) most importantly, go for the high value tradeable techs, and make aware to all teams we would be able and willing to trade. We won't be lying nor will we make enemies - we actually will tech writing/Alphabet/whatever, and we go with whatever offers we get, down the line seeing which teams make the best allies. Of course, this will tend to somewhat lead into some sort of alliance as above, the difference being that we could still trade with other teams in the short term, and we wouldn't be listening to what our allies "suggest we tech." We tell the world what we're doing in a way (limited to tech trade, that is), let them come with the best offers.
Assuming we are ok with faster Alphabet, or more specifically teching Alphabet and initiating trade ourselves, this is a pretty safe strategy as well.
But this is all privy to change and there'll be so much to do when we hear back more from Mavericks and CDZ, don't want to spam too much now.
Jun 08, 2010, 01:54 PM
I would recommend building Resonance first, followed quickly by Quatron. This way Resonance can develop as a strong city early, and can even help settle later mainland cities (it could probably provide the settler for the cape city, which would be around the time we'd want it). I believe archery is the best route to pursue, as it allows for a better defense with no resources needed.
Since we have an early religion, we'll soon have to decide whether we want to send out missionaries to convert the Vikings and other heathen to provide us with invaluable espionage, or, if we think that would anger them too much, agree with them not to. Either we get to see their capital all of the time, or we make good with them by agreeing not to spread religion, its a win-win situation.
Edit: Forgot we need a galley to build Resonance, so reversing the order of those cities, which seems like the popular choice, is good.
Jun 08, 2010, 03:37 PM
City settling is something we're all up in the air on, I agree, certainly that's a good view and similar reason to others taken before.
We're probably not looking at archery though, but if you favor at least attaining some military resource, there have been options and compromises on that. The reason is archery is a detour and we figure we must have at least some resource around (especially with unforested tiles that likely have hidden resources)
The point about religion is good, but there's the same problem a lot of things run into regarding the game's unusual map. We can't actually send boats with missionaries to their island, due to the galley/ocean thing again - this can be gotten around by gifting the missionaries in this instance though, but we don't get more scouting info, and we probably won't have enough actual espionage points for a real bonus there. But Vikings very well may be ok with spreading our religion just for happiness/civics for them, or if not they may see it as a diplomatic bonus too, I agree.
Jun 08, 2010, 06:27 PM
I see your point about archery, though I wouldn't be surprised if some of the strategic resources were on the mainland, in which case we would definitely want to research those techs fast to see where they are. I think trying to strangle the Vikings is a viable strategy, since we would likely be berserker targets when they get them due to our proximity and the inevitable expansion race we'll get into with them.
Jun 08, 2010, 07:51 PM
Being at 7 health and 8 happiness isn't an issue as the city will no longer need to grow and has the surplus food to waste on unhealthiness. The other cities will need to be 5+ on pop before they have health problems. We probably want to get that clam hooked up by that point, but we could found our two on island cities first without missing that mark at all. The clam only equates to 1 food per turn per city that is unhealthy and growing. Even if we made that our 5th city (about as far out as I could imagine it, it's the best looking overseas city spot, 4th is what I suggest) we're talking about 2, maybe 3 food/turn gained for prioritizing that city. On the other hand, that city doesn't have a bonus food resource for the first 10 turns. Compare that to a city with a wheat resource right next to it which generates 2 more food/turn than the best tile the overseas city could work. Not that I think empire-wide usable food production is a great metric to make decisions by, but I think it illustrates how small the effect of the clams is.
Unhealthiness, in general, is not a big deal. Nothing like unhappiness. Often a city with good bonus food can just ignore it, as is the case here. From the look of it, nearly all of the city locations we are contemplating are well endowed as far as food goes and will not have any trouble hitting our happiness cap with little regard for unhealthiness.
I feel like you're constantly suggesting there's a sense of urgency that we need to get some things done right now prov. I feel like it would be more accurate to say that we need to get them done before not doing them becomes a problem. There are deadlines for techs/builds/settles and sometimes beating them by a lot is helpful, but often it makes no difference and we are most efficient by only barely meeting them. Recognizing the difference and acting based on it is, in my opinion, the biggest factor in separating average play from good play.
Nobody is suggesting that warriors will be effective at much, but if we're building two more on-island cities, which are fine with warriors, before we found our first overseas city we're looking at 30-40 turns before we would actually build and use the stronger military units (assuming we want to build one immediately/shortly after we build our third settler). That's the earliest deadline we're looking at for that tech. Really, we could get it a bit later than that even and get by, but getting it anytime before then provides no benefit at all. To be convinced we need the tech any sooner I'd want to hear a plan that is better than founding our two island cities then building the clam city, which I have not. If possible I'd say getting IW in the first round of tech trading with alphabet and math would be optimal.
For neighbor relations, I'd prefer to be friendly with cdz and harass mavericks militarily, looking to ally with whoever is beyond mavericks if that is practical. I expect mavericks to be the easier target and the more dangerous if they are allowed to develop unimpeded. If we could create a 3 way alliance with cdz and whoever is past mavericks that would be an awesome position tactically. I think the best way to deal with the obvious viking threat is to try our best to turn them towards their other neighbor and not overextend ourselves in their direction so that our border city can be strong and reasonably defended, hopefully making us look less desirable. That would be mostly beyond turn 100 though probably. Those other plans are so deliciously complex that I'd be excited to try either of them as well. A lot depends on what the diplomats think they can make happen.
Jun 08, 2010, 08:15 PM
Worrying about health right now is a distraction. We will have resource trades going shortly anyways.
As far as allies:
CDZ is going to go to war with one of their neighbors. Do we want to fight them? Heck no! We want their wrath to fall on their other guy. The best way to defeat an enemy is to not fight them at all. We need to be the team they pick to be their secure rear flank.
So lets turn on the PR campaign and really get in good with these guys! No standoffish or cryptic emails, no posturing or warnings about our sphere of influence. We need to be friendly and open! This mean sharing info and getting a good repoire going right away.
If we assume good faith with them there is good chance they will reciprocate. If we dance around catiously we will just wind up on their death list.
Mavericks- we want to ally with these guys too. Why? If we get in tight with them and CDZ knows it they will be less likely to attack us. The first team to get attacked in this game is probably going to get it from two sides. We need to be alliance-minded in our thinking or we will wind up as that team.
Jun 08, 2010, 10:48 PM
I actually would not favor a three way with us, and BOTH Vikings and Mavericks. For one, I don't think these teams would just be trustworthy enough long term. Not that being cutthroat is bad and it's to be expected - and in fact we may be rather vicious down the line if it ever becomes important. But we'd be putting ourselves in the middle, with Vikings being military powerhouses and India possibly economically. Then of course this would probably unite the other teams, due to geography in part, so it would probably go straight into like a 3v3, "half the world versus the other half" and people could also rationally or irrationally blame us. It's not a terrible option of course and yes it could work, but if we just had "pick two teams to ally with" I'd go with a different combo for the long term. Short term of course if we just trade for what techs/resources we can get, no reason to spoil friendliness yet.
In fact, I didn't really give much of a personal opinion in that other possibly too long post before (sorry :blush:) but I'm thinking:
-Alliance with Vikings, and team on other side of Mavericks, is a solid plan. Have clear and mutually acceptable relations with CDZ, send those beserker Vikings off to fight, we develop strong land, and don't let India or whomever else encroach. I could take this as one I personally like and I think it is doable, shouldn't put any unnecessary trouble on our team.
-Secondly I'd go with somewhat of Provo's plan, or the tightwire act. Where we commit to nothing except simple trade and Non-Aggression, and tech towards Alphabet and make ourselves willing to trade with whomever comes after that. We seem to have the exploration edge in this game, so we really could simply have more contact and more options than any other team, so leaving anything possible and evaluating options later could be good. About 20-30 more turns of just exploring and not committing, though this carries risks.
-Strangling Vikings - it *would* pay off and require solid teamwork, commitment, and overall be a major story of the game. But, I agree it would be really very, very hard and not without risks. So we probably won't choose this, and that's ok, I wouldn't necessarily even risk it either. I just don't want to put things in black in white, but I think it should be stressed that we can't be sure we can otherwise contain the Vikings military - so if this strategy isn't the choice, we have to be aware that we either need them as allies or attacking somebody else - we can't hope they will fall behind in economy and fail to have a strong military force on their own in the midgame.
One more minor thing, though I really do like you guys' lines of thoughts overall, and I am certainly ready to try my part in diplomacy and whatever we decide.
To be convinced we need the tech any sooner I'd want to hear a plan that is better than founding our two island cities then building the clam city, which I have not.
Well, I personally don't want to go for IW right now, so for that line, it probably is a more expensive cost to our economy. The argument for AH depends on our other priorities -it's mostly that it can simply be picked up cheaply enough anyway, and if we have horses/some other resource overseas, it could be a while to wait otherwise. While Iron Working takes a lot of time away by which point missing libraries or something could matter, AH really shouldn't affect our actual city build decisions or settling and all anytime soon, and if we get lucky and horses are right by, it's maybe even worth it for the quicker new resource. I thought it was a good balance and it could still be, though we could wait till later.
However, I will say that regarding city-founding, I think I'm rather favoring getting the "Asymptote" city fourth. Two more cities on the home island, then that city is on the plains peninsula. Resonance would be fifth, probably not too long after, but getting culture/control of that peninsula could matter. And it still has one clam anyway, for that purpose - Resonance has to wait for workboats sent over just as much, not a major worry about short term production. It's the same plan as everyone who likes "three cities on the home island" and I agree to that, just takes a safer fourth expansion to control our borders.
Jun 09, 2010, 03:30 AM
I am intrigued by the Quatronian-CDZ-civ past mavericks alliance. We shall see if that can pan out.
Jun 09, 2010, 03:45 AM
Yeah, every team DAveshack has been at, has lost early, let us keep up that good tradition! :)
Jun 09, 2010, 04:32 AM
You make a fair point about AH. As you say, the value of the pasture we would hopefully pick up outside our second city alone counts for a decent amount. I'm not too confident about the effectiveness of chariots though. They're really only reasonably effective attacking archers and axemen in open terrain. You have to basically hide them from your enemy in order to get any use from them. If he knows you have them they're incredibly easy to counter. Even axes can beat them with smart play in their own territory with roads. That leaves some very specific circumstances in which you can count on chariots to make a difference. They are effective against barbarian warriors and archers. This map is very choke-pointy though, which means cleverly fortified warriors do just fine against barbs and can be promoted to axes/spears a little farther down the line. I don't feel teching archery and horseback riding for horse archers is a good use of beakers.
If we do go AH, I don't think it is worthwhile to research hunting. Going hunting > AH would only save about a turn of research compared to AH > hunting when we have a use for it and I think it is very likely we'll be able to pick it up as a bonus in some early tech trading. It's about the right size to help bridge the beaker gap between alphabet and the other techs you would trade for it (math, IW). It sounds like AH is kind of a compromise that people are willing to stomach because the cost is minimal. I'm fine with that if it is what we need to keep our team in harmony. I would rather see us reach a consensus on what is the optimal strategy than hit a midpoint between two suboptimal ones though.
As always, we should keep in mind how far out it is that we would actually be able to use the technology. Assuming that unforested plains contains horses we're looking at a minimum of 20 turns after we found our 2nd city before we could start work on the pasture (14 to build 2 farms, one to move onto the silver, 4 to mine it and one to move to the horses. That may be low though, as there may be some road builds that are necessary in there, I don't know what our worker will get done before our settler gets there. If it was important we might be able to send our second worker over to pasture it sooner. I think that is unlikely though as it will take us that long to finish the warrior/worker/settler/galley we already have planned after we build this settler. Adding in the time to finish the settler we're on now and get him over there, call it 30 turns at the earliest before we have any use for AH. How far away from IW will we be in 30 turns? If our diplomats can really come through for us, not far at all. Having alphabet in that timeframe is not unrealistic at all.
The other problem with that 3v3 with our two neighbors is that when we do inevitably go to war with the other team we're in a terrible position to collect the spoils as the middle civ. If we could create a situation where we carved up the indian civ with their northern neighbors while vikings fought with their northern neighbor (win or lose) that would be really powerful. We might have to really butter up the vikings to get them to basically guard our flank though, to the point of what would essentially be bribery I expect.
P.S. As far as I'm concerned, if we were to genuinely try something like the Viking strangle strategy and have it not quite work out so we lost the game, I would basically be fine with that. It is just a game afterall. I would love to win, but if we lost knowing we'd attempted something great beyond the usual scope of civ4 I would still enjoy that. I'm not actually throwing my vote to it, but if that's what people decide they want then I could get behind it.
Jun 09, 2010, 11:34 AM
Won't make this long, because your points I all mostly agree with. Mostly I'd say - yes, for chariots they would only be anti-barb purposes, not a real attack military. Having at least the horses just ends up mostly counting for security, letting ourselves/others know we're not entirely helpless. And maybe an early chariot really could probably scout along the middle land bridges and actually stand up to barbs, better than warriors.
At this point I agree that if we get AH, we don't really need Hunting, and the extra turns on Hunting don't save time; we have no hunting camp resources and no metal for spears and won't need them now. I DO think we could manage without AH if the team wants, however some may feel uncomfortable or just riskier against barbs etc... not having some military resource available. So again, it's not overly expensive and is a possible compromise. I agree we're likely not teching IW ourselves and rather want to trade for it, and that getting to trades faster is good, so it's up to a collective call.
I'll say I'm also personally in favor of going with Vikings/next team around India as a possible alliance though, if we all like that idea. It gives all of us room to expand and could be pretty stable for a long-term alliance. Vikings can war against their other neighbor, we all stagnate India, and at worst it's a 3v3, better than that if India/remaining teams don't get allied fast enough.
Jun 09, 2010, 02:21 PM
Allying with Vikings vs. India would require the Vikings to be willing to commit to that, so we will need to evaluate whether or not we could form a working alliance with them over the next few turns, in short, whether CDZ is to be trusted.
We could probably use one of the exploring workboats to build on a clams once we've met everyone, that might just take the right amount of time. I think building a fourth city on our island might slow us down too much in the race to build on the mainland; we should try to gauge how quickly the other teams will be expanding there. We would also want to use our free monument in the mainland cities, so before we get calendar.
Jun 09, 2010, 02:58 PM
Calendar doesn't obsolete monuments, Astro does, know it's a forgettable BtS change but still that works out for the best for us. I don't think we'll be building 4 cities on our own continent first, the 4th is marginal anyway with current tech and worker progress. If there is a debate, I'm not sure who's still for what option, it's for 2 or 3 cities on our island first.
The workboats probably won't be able to come back, or at least not anytime soon - it's another 20+ turns for them to go out and meet people, and if they ever get back to us that'd be like more than 50 turns total. But building new workboats isn't really all the expensive.
I would be willing to trust CDZ as much as any team though, I will say that, and I think there is a major challenge between either getting them with us, or them eventually attacking us, that we want to avoid. I think with them the way we'll be presenting things as working out, is that we'll have an alliance, and bring in a third team. We're not going to explain it's a plan all along to target India - it ought to just seem like how things fall into place. We'll be allies, the other team around past India we'll let in on the alliance, and then it's just an alliance of three teams. Or at least, if we choose to go with such a strategy, that's how we could have it pan out. Even better if the team past India is eager and willing to get things going when we meet them.
Jun 09, 2010, 04:32 PM
I wouldn't expect a lot of help from vikings in that plan. Their role in that alliance would basically be to not attack us and expend their military might on something else. Around that time we might even want to imply that we would help them with their neighbor, but only provide token assistance when it came down to it.
Something occured to me that follows with a couple of plans that have been discussed here for tech trading:
Trade mavericks alphabet for IW or math.
Trade the civ beyond mavericks alphabet and IW or math for the other of those two.
Get CDZ to tech MC and trade them two of alph/math/IW for it, hopefully holding back the third for the next trade down the line or to just straight bribe them with.
From CDZ point of view, it encourages them not to develop a trading relationship with their other neighbor (driving that guy to his other neighbor and creating a negative relationship between those CDZ and their other neighbor). It also allows them to tech something down a tech path that they are inevitably eager to pursue, making the deal look pretty attractive to them. And if we'd rather leave them holding the bag, they've researched metal casting.
For mavericks it's a pretty straight trade that just happens to favor them on beakers. We'd have to hope they don't have contact with enough people to really realize that it is not that good and we'd be isolating them
For the guy past mavericks it's a two for one tech trade, and if he wants to trade those techs to his other neighbor for something else that doesn't leave us behind him. If it's not metal casting we might even be able to get it ourselves.
A lot is predicated on meeting that civ beyond mavericks and getting them to ally with us, which may not be realistic.
Jun 10, 2010, 07:23 AM
After the cottage came up and we utilized it, the lead time to Alphabet is reduced from 18 turns to 16 turns. Projecting Quatron coming up in 6 turns, at the same time we complete writing, and the instant gains of having 1-2 gold more there, I guess we can do Alphabet in about 14-15 turns, depending on micromanagement, for a total of 6+15 turns from now (21 turns). But we need to research alphabet before the CDZ boat reaches Maverick, and I truly hope people see this, not ignore this as it may seem in the discussions.
Jun 10, 2010, 10:39 PM
I agree with you that could be of crucial importance if we are going for a brokering-heavy strategy, so yes, if others are thinking of that, you gotta realize it kinda mandates Alphabet. I think most are looking at Writing anyway, so then it's just Alpha/Math to follow, but I am good with Alphabet anyway. Even if we don't get a real tech-swapping ring going - if it'll just be equitable techs with the neighbors, it still helps. If something really new and interesting comes out (India Oracles something, as an example) we could reconsider after Writing though.
I certainly do think I'd not favor *backtracking* after we do Writing - if we do Writing now we keep teching onwards, not back for Animal Husbandry or Iron Working or something, we'll just have to trade for those.
Jun 11, 2010, 04:14 AM
Chopping forests on our island is folly, as I see it, as we dont have enough health resources to carry the weight, and forests provide 0.5 health each. I would only warrant chops if the health situation warrants it.