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Old May 22, 2007, 04:08 PM   #301
Niklas
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I think that getting to Theology and Education fast is the most important thing, more important than evening out costs. I think FREE should attack the upper branch regardless, and we can hammer out the numbers starting from that base assumption.
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Old May 22, 2007, 04:59 PM   #302
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I agree with Niklas that we want FREE to work the upper branch (at least until education) as soon as possible (while we are in anarchy). We want them to do this no matter what free techs we get.

I don't mind proposing MAAP II but I also don't mind waiting to see what they have offer. sirdanalot has a good point about waiting for an offer being a key to diplomacy. Look, we are going to ask for 84g to even out the aa techs and it looks like they offered more.
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Old May 22, 2007, 05:05 PM   #303
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Ok – good analysis zyxy. I agree with the rough outline of what you have there.
But I hope I was clear in my post – I think we should have internal discussions about MAAP II so that we can react quickly to the bonus techs and THEN send a proposal. Any proposal we write in advance of seeing what the bonus era techs are will be so full of "if X, then Y. If A, then B" that it would be nearly unreadable.

I also tend to agree with Niklas, that getting to Education as soon as possible is very important for scientific civs, and with FREE as the larger, more populous, and already in Republic Civ – they're pretty clearly going to be able to do that the quickest. Hence, we should push having them do that part of the tree.

Here's a start on a letter for discussion.

----------

Dear FREE Allies,

The end of this age draws near, and it's time for us to set the stage for a glorious new era.

Our current MAAP treaty ends when we swap our Era Bonus techs, and the guaranteed peace moves into the "15 turns notice" phase. We hope you remain excited about building on our foundation of friendship and moving forward into even closer cooperation.

Based on our work on Polytheism, we estimate that we will enter the Middle Ages on turn 95. Since The Council is researching the last tech needed to advance to the Middle Ages, we will be the first to enter the new age. Unfortunately, game mechanics prevent us from sending our bonus era tech on the same turn as we send Polytheism. Therefore FREE will enter the MA as soon as they get the save, and could possibly draw the same bonus tech as The Council.
This makes it very difficult to craft a balanced MAAP II proposal until we know what each of our Bonus Techs will be.

We'd therefore like to propose a very broad agreement, called The MAAP Bridge to cover the turns immediately following the advancement to the new era. This Bridge treaty will be quickly replaced by a full MAAP II agreement once we both know what our Bonus Techs are.

As the Scientific Civs in this game, we hope you'll agree that getting our Alliance to Education rapidly is a top goal. Since The Council will be suffering from a revolt to Republic immediately after the era advancement, team FREE will already be in Republic, and team FREE currently has a wide lead in Population and Score – we therefore propose that whatever the outcome of our Bonus techs, Team FREE should immediately start on the Monotheism, Theology, Education path. The Council will work on the bottom Feudalism/Engineering part of the tech tree while the MAAP II agreement is formalized.

We also need to reach an agreement on how to handle the Polytheism imbalance as we leave the Ancient Age. We appreciate your offer of ½ your GPT post-republic, but since we're very near the era advancement, and since the imbalance is 360 beakers, we think it would probably be best to just agree to a fixed gold payment amount, and allow you to pay it off over time. What would you think of just 1 gold for every 3 beakers? That'd be 120 gold.
A second option would be to evaluate a way to repay the beaker amount in the MAAP II agreement, and may or may not be possible based on what Bonus Techs we both get and what priorities in research we jointly set. We're willing to postpone a decision on balancing out the 360 beakers until after the era advancement, as long as you agree that this imbalance will be made right.

Finally, we'd like to advocate extending the "guaranteed peace" and "no trading without approval" clauses into the Bridge Treaty so that we're both covered until the full MAAP II agreement can be reached.

How does all that sound?
Let us know your reaction, and we'll be happy to work up some more formal documents for signing.

All the best,
General_W, speaking with the voice of The Council
-------


Thoughts? Edits? Additions? Subtractions?

EDIT: Note – I went pretty conservative in asking for 120 gold. We could certainly ask for a ratio of 1-to-2 = 180 gold, if The Council thought that was more fair.
Personally, I was thinking it might be best to ask low, and hopefully avoid raising controversy over our popping of Currency and trading with Saber.
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Old May 22, 2007, 08:44 PM   #304
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This letter looks very good. I lilke the name MAAP Bridge.

I'm curious about the gold for poly deal though. Haven't they offered us half the gold they'll make while they turn off research and wait for us to finish poly? Do we have any idea yet how that would stack up against the 120g we're contemplating asking for? (I'm still without a readable Civ III disk. Bought one on eBay but haven't rec'd it yet.)
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Old May 23, 2007, 12:39 AM   #305
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Looks pretty good.

If both teams draw Monotheism however, then it will be very hard to balance stuff with FREE taking on the upper branch. Perhaps if we include MilTrad, but even then, we would never be able to reach Chemistry by the time they reach Astro, so there would be a forced wait for them. In this case it seems better if they start on the lower branch. So perhaps we should leave it open who does what branch?

Concerning Poly, I would say we prefer repayment in beakers, but if that turns out to be unfeasible, then half the beaker difference in gold. We really need to wake up to the fact that we are one of the weaker civs, and we should stop giving away every advantage we get in diplomacy.
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Old May 23, 2007, 01:48 AM   #306
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Common preference should be to get to Education as fast as possible. That should certainly be FREE's part, no matter which free techs we get.

Whether we switch branches after that or how we cope with the imbalance we should try to cover after we saw the free techs. There are way too many ifs and whens that waste my processing time...

So I like the proposed letter very much

The 120g for Poly is also okay with me, although I think the MA will offer plenty of chances (right from the start) for FREE to outresearch us and to "pay their debt".
We'd have to find a common sense of the real value of Poly compared to MA techs (beakers value is much underrated in that comparison) as it allowed the era change earlier and delayed our revolution.

I'm thinking of some abstract value like "6 turns of research" or "a medium cheap tech" or the more concrete "3/7 of the most expensive tech of that era".
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Old May 23, 2007, 07:06 AM   #307
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Another idea along the lines of Paul's thinking (and taking into account zyxy's imbalance driven forced wait) is to have FREE research an optional tech instead of just waiting around. I'm not sure if there would be any we'd both want at that stage but it's worth considering. The forced wait may not be so bad if we can get them to give us half the gold the generate while they wait. (That's another reason we may want to seriously consider accepting half what they make while we research poly - it sets a nice precedent.)
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Old May 23, 2007, 09:40 AM   #308
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Once our first treaty with FREE runs out - are we allowed to trade AT-techs with whomever we like without asking?

If we eg. see SABER under pressure from GONG, are we allowed to help them tech-wise (if we can) without consulting our friends?
(No, I don't think that gifting Republic would really help them... )
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Old May 23, 2007, 12:06 PM   #309
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I'm not sure if that would be legal under the treaty. But then again if the treaty is expired. Well, there are two options. The first is to talk to FREE about this now and try to get their feelings on nit. The second is to talk to them if we reach the point where SABER needs help. I imagine if something that benefits both us and FREE were involved we'd be able to come to swift agreement on it.
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Old May 23, 2007, 12:14 PM   #310
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Ok – some good discussion going on here.

Let me address some of the objections that have been raised.


1) Getting more gold by splitting FREE's income
I think this is a mistake for several reasons.
Most importantly, our best estimates put the start of FREE's revolution on turn 84. With 9 turns of anarchy, they won't emerge from that till turn 93. Depending on how you interpret FREE's offer, that's just 2 or 3 turns of their gold production that we'd be getting. With newly stepped up unit costs in Republic, it's very possible that won't be very much money. (Note: I don't think FREE was intentionally trying to rob us, we haven't yet told them how quickly we're getting Polytheism) If anyone thinks that FREE will be making over 100 gold per turn after their revolt – please speak up, as if it's enough over 100, it might be worth further pursuit of a gold splitting arrangement.
For what it's worth, as of turn 90, according to CAII, we could only generate +45 gold per turn at 90% economy, 10% luxury, and in a Republic form of government. FREE is probably better than that… but I have a hard time believing they'd be better than double that.

However, even beyond the short time frame for sharing, it's totally not verifiable. We don't have any reasons not to trust FREE, but it bothers me a little bit to be totally at the mercy of someone else's goodwill. Especially when we'd never even know if they were robbing us.

While there are certainly some appealing aspects to splitting the gold… given the fact that it's likely to be for such a short time and is totally unverifiable, I don't think it's our best choice at this juncture.
2) How do we balance things if we both draw Monotheism?
I agree that this is our worst-case scenario, but I don't think it merits delaying the journey to Education. Fortunately, I believe there's only a 17% chance that will happen. IF this does happen, I think we should then push FREE on giving us more generous consideration on the value of Polytheism. That would be the time for us to make our case about how we had to delay our revolt to republic, how beakers are relatively more expensive when your empire is small and in despotism, etc. At that point we can try to inflate the value of Poly to balance out the MAAP II.

I think this kind of big upward adjustment of the value of Polytheism might be kind of hard for FREE to swallow if we propose it as a stand-alone type agreement. It will almost certainly come across as greedy, and just one poster on FREE's team who happens to remind them about us getting Currency for free from a hut, or someone who does the math on the WarriorCode/Wheel deal could really generate some bad feelings towards us.

Contrast that with attaching an upward evaluation of Polytheism that is attached to a full MAAP II agreement. In that scenario, our "greed" on Polytheism comes packaged with a whole ton of information, good will, and major diplomacy points to debate and talk about. That adds up to a lot less consideration of any single sub-point… like what we're asking for Polytheism. Additionally, there will be pressure to find a way to make the MAAP II balance, and since FREE will already be on the Education path and won't want to switch mid-stream – having the Polytheism deal be the lynchpin that makes everything balance makes it more appealing to just accept so that the deal can be signed.

I know we're behind in score, but from a more objective standpoint… I think we are really coming out ahead in our diplomatic dealings so far. I think we need to be willing to play the role of the more junior partner for a while longer – till we can really explode coming into the late Middle Ages early Industrial era when our commercial trait will really start to shine.
So bottom line – I think the idea on the upward evaluation of Polytheism is a good idea, but should only be used if totally necessary to balance out the MAAP II agreement.
Baring that, I think we should try to pursue a gold swap. I'm open to making it a 1 for 2 deal… 180 gold.

Oh – and regarding trading AA techs after the fact, I think that could technically be considered fair game… but almost certainly breaks the spirit of the agreement. Hopefully it's a null point, as it will be covered in a MAAP II agreement. However, if we can't reach a MAAP II agreement with FREE, then I would say anything is fair game.
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Old May 23, 2007, 02:24 PM   #311
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So bottom line – I think the idea on the upward evaluation of Polytheism is a good idea, but should only be used if totally necessary to balance out the MAAP II agreement.
Baring that, I think we should try to pursue a gold swap. I'm open to making it a 1 for 2 deal… 180 gold.
I doubt FREE will make more than 100gpt but are we sure they'll only have 2 or 3 turns to stockpile gold? As for ill will, we should remember that the trade we did with SABER included a tech we got from FREE. So (IIRC) we were really just the middleman there. Also, if we ask for 180g and they don't have it then we have to get paid over the long haul in dribs and drabs and we risk being seen by FREE as someone taking all their excess gold for a long time. That said I do agree that we should not squander our diplomatic advantages. Why don't we see what the trade value is of poly in CAII (when we get poly, that is)? We could use that as a starting point but work towards getting repaid in beakers as zyxy suggested earlier.

I guess what I'm saying is put a high price tag on poly if we're talking gold but a more equitable one if we're talking beakers (though, as pointed out, AA beakers should not be equal to MA beakers).

Our next message doesn't have to have a full MAAP II proposal, does it?
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Old May 23, 2007, 02:57 PM   #312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donsig
I doubt FREE will make more than 100gpt but are we sure they'll only have 2 or 3 turns to stockpile gold?
Well, I gave my math. FREE revolts on turn 84 +9 turns of anarchy = turn 93.
If you have different numbers, then yeah – that would change my assumptions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Donsig
As for ill will, we should remember that the trade we did with SABER included a tech we got from FREE. So (IIRC) we were really just the middleman there.
Well, that's not the full picture though. We got credit for 120 beakers on the MAAP (the value of Wheel) and FREE got credit for just 90 beakers. A 30 beaker advantage for us anyway you look at it.
To make matters "worse" the techs we traded for Wheel and Warrior Code BOTH came from FREE (Iron and CB). So you could easily make the case that we made 120 beakers just for arranging the exchange or (if FREE was really playing hardball) they could even argue that we made 210 beakers since FREE could have gotten both those techs from Saber without even involving us if we hadn't been the middle man.
I think we got a REALLY good deal, and I very much hope it never comes up in discussion with FREE.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Donsig
Also, if we ask for 180g and they don't have it then we have to get paid over the long haul in dribs and drabs and we risk being seen by FREE as someone taking all their excess gold for a long time.
If FREE agrees to pay gold, I'm sure we can work out a gold payment plan that can be over in 20 turns or less. Allowing them to pay over time should get us goodwill, not hostility. After all, they get their benefit now, we have to wait for the full benefit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Donsig
Our next message doesn't have to have a full MAAP II proposal, does it?
Certainly not! Here's version 1.1 of the message I propose sending to FREE.

Spoiler:

Dear FREE Allies,

The end of this age draws near, and it's time for us to set the stage for a glorious new era.

Our current MAAP treaty ends when we swap our Era Bonus techs, and the guaranteed peace moves into the "15 turns notice" phase. We hope you remain excited about building on our foundation of friendship and moving forward into even closer cooperation.

Based on our work on Polytheism, we estimate that we will enter the Middle Ages on turn 95. Since The Council is researching the last tech needed to advance to the Middle Ages, we will be the first to enter the new age. Unfortunately, game mechanics prevent us from sending our bonus era tech on the same turn as we send Polytheism. Therefore FREE will enter the MA as soon as they get the save, and could possibly draw the same bonus tech as The Council.
This makes it very difficult to craft a balanced MAAP II proposal until we know what each of our Bonus Techs will be.

We'd therefore like to propose a very broad agreement, called The MAAP Bridge to cover the turns immediately following the advancement to the new era. This Bridge treaty will be quickly replaced by a full MAAP II agreement once we both know what our Bonus Techs are.

As the Scientific Civs in this game, we hope you'll agree that getting our Alliance to Education rapidly is a top goal. Since The Council will be suffering from a revolt to Republic immediately after the era advancement, team FREE will already be in Republic, and team FREE currently has a wide lead in Population and Score – we therefore propose that whatever the outcome of our Bonus techs, Team FREE should immediately start on the Monotheism, Theology, Education path. The Council will work on the bottom Feudalism/Engineering part of the tech tree while the MAAP II agreement is formalized.

We also need to reach an agreement on how to handle the Polytheism imbalance as we leave the Ancient Age. We appreciate your offer of ½ your GPT post-republic, but since we're very near the era advancement, and since the imbalance is 360 beakers, we think it would probably be best to just agree to a fixed gold payment amount, and allow you to pay it off over time. What would you think of just 1 gold for every 2 beakers? That'd be 180 gold.
A second option would be to evaluate a way to repay the beaker amount in the MAAP II agreement, and may or may not be possible based on what Bonus Techs we both get and what priorities in research we jointly set. We're willing to postpone a decision on balancing out the 360 beakers until after the era advancement, as long as you agree that this imbalance will be made right.

Finally, we'd like to advocate extending the "guaranteed peace" and "no trading without approval" clauses into the Bridge Treaty so that we're both covered until the full MAAP II agreement can be reached.

How does all that sound?
Let us know your reaction, and we'll be happy to work up some more formal documents for signing.

All the best,
General_W, speaking with the voice of The Council

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Old May 23, 2007, 06:29 PM   #313
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Well, I gave my math. FREE revolts on turn 84 +9 turns of anarchy = turn 93.
If you have different numbers, then yeah – that would change my assumptions.
I don't have different numbers to offer, merely pointing out that we don't know when their anarchy started or how much they'll make per turn after it's over, etc. I'm really leaning towards getting poly paid for within MAAP II rather than gold, especially since we're going to be in anarchy ourselves soon.

But the current version of the letter is great and one I think we should get in the mail soon.
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Old May 24, 2007, 12:18 AM   #314
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I agree the probability that we both get Mono is low (11%, or 1/9 to be precise). The problem attached to it is not that Poly needs to be valued higher - rather it's that the lower path represents a much higher value than the upper one. Meaning we would get the heaviest burden, and start later, thus hold up FREE as well. Switching midstream from one path to the other is possible but complicated, and could be confusing.
But I guess we can let this rest until we figure out how it evolves.

Concerning the first trade with SABER: this was conducted before the treaty with FREE was signed, and with techs not covered unuder MAAP. So we were absolutely free to deal them whichever way we wanted.

Which brings up another point: it seems to me that we have been going through some efforts (and had some luck) to meet other civs, but other teams are not really trying so hard. If we get the Torch, then we can easily contact everyone. Would that not put us in the position of playing middleman? Even now the MAAP is restricted our trade, but it is of course not restricting FREE, since they know nobody.
The advantage would only last until Astro I guess, but still.

Concerning the letter: Gneerally looks good to me. But I think our anarchy is enough argument to set them on the upper path. No need to emphasize how well they are doing, it might give them ideas.
IIRC the peace treaty of MAAP automatically extends, there's some language in the treaty about which parts end when...
And I am not sure that an extension of the no trading clause is to our advantage. They cannot trade anyway.
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Old May 24, 2007, 01:41 AM   #315
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@zyxy
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Old May 24, 2007, 06:42 AM   #316
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I have two points we should consider when drafting the no trade clause.

1) We should be cognizant of the time frame covered by the treaty. The MAAP Bridge proposal is short term, intented to tide us over until we get a full MAAP II in place. A no trade clause in the Bridge does not have to be carried over in toto into MAAP II. MAAP II will encompass the entire middle ages during which more contacts will be made by all.

2) We're aiming to use our scientific trait (fueled by our commercial trait) to win this game. We want a big tech advantage. Do we really want to trade techs away?

My position is to extend the no trading clause through the Bridge (at least). I think we benefit more by coordinating and trading our research with FREE and letting the rest of the world fend for themselves. We should be careful though. It is in our alliance's best interest to maintain a balance of power between the other three civs and so there could arise situations where we want to help another country technologically. The other possibility to consider is the other three teams allying to further research - two researching as we are with FREE and the third bankrolling them. If that happens we'd want to lure one of them into our alliance. But doesn't the current set up allow for trades if both we and FREE agree?
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Old May 24, 2007, 06:48 AM   #317
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Do we want to be able to trade for SABER's free tech as well?

Another thing to think about is that at some point (if we build Magellans or once we get to Magnetism), we will be able to trade techs for luxuries or resources
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Old May 24, 2007, 06:54 AM   #318
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Do we really want to trade techs away?
Yes, if they would get the tech by another rival anyway.
And if we need money to keep up high-speed-research or an alliance to keep unit upkeep / pressure low.

A no-trade-clause basically hinders us (more than FREE) to profit from our potential contact advantage we hope to get by the GLH.
However there might be little to gain from the other three civs...

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Do we want to be able to trade for SABER's free tech as well?
That might get tough, we should have all first-tier techs by the time SABER enters Middle Ages - and we don't want to speed them up...
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Old May 24, 2007, 10:39 AM   #319
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Another thing to think about is that at some point (if we build Magellans or once we get to Magnetism), we will be able to trade techs for luxuries or resources
Don't need to build Magellans for that, just researching Navigation is enough. Is Navigation worth including? Would rather kill the lighthouse advantage...
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Old May 24, 2007, 10:43 AM   #320
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yeah - I think we have to be careful about no trade clauses now. We are going to be a situation where we have an enormous advantage in terms of contacts and ability to expand and map the world. I really want flexibility in how we can react to events, while keeping research strong!!
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