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Old Oct 10, 2010, 04:22 AM   #1
alpaca
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Play With Me: Rome - infinite style (final part added)

Play With Me: Rome - infinite style

I decided to start my first public game, which might be interesting for people who want to learn how to implement an ICS - infinite city sprawl for those of you not in the know of weird acronyms - strategy effectively. For this game, I chose to try the Romans, because I haven't played with them so far and somebody recently posted a thread asking for suggestions for them (so here is your suggestion). The aim of this game is not necessarily to win, but to get an economy that's as strong as possible (because winning is essentially easy). In the end, I will probably go for a Robot Victory or fly to Alpha Centauri. In case you want to go directly to the ICS part, it will end up in part 2 or part 3.

Augustus is probably not the best choice for an ICS strategy but I'm tired of going for horsemen and want to see how the legions fare. Again, you might argue that a horse rush and such would be more effective and I would agree, but I don't want to do it. The Roman unique ability, adding +25% production if you create a building that already exists in Rome, also sounds nice for an ICS game.

The settings are standard pangaea, Immortal difficulty.

Here are the different parts:

Part 1: This post.
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5 (final)

The starting position

Spoiler:


Sweet I start in plains, next to a river, with gems and ivory nearby. The gems are especially good because I want to go for Iron Working immediately, and mining lets me hook them up. This starting position may not look like anything special on paper but it's actually really strong. The two deer tiles both yield FFHG, three resources + gold, which means I'll have a strong production start without sacrificing growth.

My initial plan is to produce a scout, then a worker. I want to pick up Liberty before I build my first settler. Tech-wise I will try to get Iron Working ASAP and have a settler ready to settle a spot with a lot of iron if I don't have it near either of my first two cities.


The first few turns

Spoiler:


Ugh, an encampment! And so close to Rome! I would like to go scouting a bit more but it seems like I have to whack them before they start spawning additional units. I also found the Grand Mesa, a nice spot to chill when you're stressed out from world conquest.


Spoiler:


My scout pupped ancient ruins and guess what he found: My first policy! I decide to grant my citizens some more liberties and start building a settler the turn Rome hits size 2. The first civ I meet is Ramesses. I like starting next to Ramesses, he usually pumps out some wonders and doesn't expand viciously. Did I mention that these wonders will probably make a fine addition to my empire?


Spoiler:


I also found a very, very sweet spot for a city that will likely become my science center. Silver, twice cotton, gems and a lot of jungles that will be extra-nice with a university. Besides, did you know that settling on a cow will give the city square an additional food? Settling next to a mountain also virtually guarantees I can pick up Macchu Picchu which is good for an ICS strategy.


Spoiler:


Oh noes, it's Darius. Well, just another victim for my impeccable legions. He did offer me a pact of cooperation, though. Hmm... he'll probably break it once I settle within about 20 tiles of his capital. I hope he doesn't attack Genoa before I can take him down - Rome has relied on food imports in real life, which is something I definitely want to emulate.


Spoiler:


It looks like I live on a kind of peninsula. Only time and some more scouting will tell how large it is, but it'll guarantee me some space to expand into for times to come. I'm tempted to set up this river/mountain range as my natural frontier but that depends on how friendly Darius will react to me settling there.


The second city and beyond

Spoiler:


Finally, Antium is settled. I already started researching Iron Working but it's one of the more expensive techs and will take some 25 turns. As promised, the cows yield an extra food, being domesticated animals now I'm going to buy two tiles to get the gems at some later point because cultural expansion will take a while (I'm going to build a worker in both cities).


Spoiler:


I kind of expected Ramesses to be somewhere near and, of course, he complained about settling anywhere within two million kilometres of Thebes. The AI will usually do that on Immortal and it's almost impossible to avoid unless you want to stay really very small indeed. So I don't usually bother.

Much to my dismay, the government in Rome decided to claim ivory, even though they don't know how to hunt 'lephants yet, much to my dismay. The city has a very nice production so I'll set up a monument and do something I don't usually do: Build a barracks first, to power up my Legionaries. I'm also going to chop those deer forests for some extra hammers.


Spoiler:


Quite contrary to reality, the game seems to think I don't like shiny things. SHIIIINYYY!!


Spoiler:


I found Thebes, it was closer than I thought. Rome is being pestered by barbarians from the north. I'll keep my warrior in Antium just in case Ramesses decides to do something inconsiderate and mean with his war chariots.


Spoiler:


Now there's a lot of encampments, and I'm not even playing with Raging Barbarians. My tech pace is slowly increasing after both cities grew in size, and I'm happy to find another maritime CS. Helsinki cleared that encampment, too. Rome switched to a settler so I have one ready in case I don't have any iron nearby.


Spoiler:


My second policy is Citizenship. In itself, the +25% worker speed is ok, but it's actually just a stepping stone to Meritocracy, which is worth basically 1 happiness per city and will combine with the Forbidden Palace to dampen the effects of number of cities on happiness.


Spoiler:


While Rome finally claimed their gems, I met Bismarck. Let's hope he's far away so I can sell him things. He did offer me a PoC, which I accepted. He also offered me a pact of secrecy against Ramesses, which fit my own policies perfectly.


Irony: Something to do with iron?

Spoiler:


Hooray and rejoice, Antium was placed even better than I thought: right next to a whopping six iron. Is that awesome or what? Awesome, definitely.


Spoiler:


I will found my third city close to Antium next to another iron deposit. This will give me a nice launching pad for an invasion against Ramesse, who built a city to the south, and possibly Darius.

While the newly-built worker hooks up the iron, Rome will build a spearman. Since I'm going to fight against Ramesses, spearmen are nice because they defend well against chariots (they get their +100% bonus against mounted units). Antium is going to start building a monument. I'll also save some money to buy a Legion when the first one is ready in Rome while I research trapping to hunt elephants and deer. I will continue to mathematics later in order to unlock Ballistae.


Spoiler:


Darius had similar ideas about where to settle, so he complains to me for being faster. Sore loser if you ask me. To retaliate, he settled right within my empire. Of course, this settling policy means he canceled our pact of cooperation. I thought something on the same lines, my choice of words was a little more drastic, however.


Spoiler:


Rome has horses nearby: four of the beasts. We will find a use for them, or sell them to someone for hard shiny things. My warrior needs upgrading, so I spend some money on training him to Legion. The cut-throat city states, as usual, ask me to eliminate each other. I remain impartial to their bickering, however. I sold gems to Ramesses because he was the only one who had money, but he'll probably not get the full 30 turns out of the deal, if you know what I mean.


Saving Genoa? Nah, thanks. I'd rather take Egypt instead.

Spoiler:


I knew it! Darius the prick stuck it up to Genoa. This will allow me to get some nice guy points: I'll let him conquer them, then take the city from his cold dead hands and liberate the Genoese people who will be eternally (well, almost) grateful. To add insult to injury, he insulted the size of my... army.
Just you wait!


Spoiler:



When Rome finished the Legion, I bought another, to get the 15 xp also in Rome. Both are dispatched in the direction of Antium to meet with my upgraded warrior. I decide to attack ASAP so I don't build any roads with them. I also decide having an archer or two makes sense so I bought one in Antium. Ramesses actually has a larger army than expected but nothing will be able to stand against the legions!


Spoiler:


As is customary, I will let the stupid AI come to me. So I declare war and let him runto into my fortified positions. Then, I concentrate on Thebes. I wonder where he got all those units from - but no matter, they'll die like everyone else. He's also too stupid to shoot with his war chariots, preferring to spend all their moves on wallowing around in my ZoC instead.


Spoiler:


Thebes falls, and with it the Pyramids. It'll be integrated into my empire as a puppet state. Very historical, this


Spoiler:


My scholars and priests now devote their efforts towards developing a calendar, which I need to hook up my cotton.


Spoiler:


Promotions are lame, instant healing rox! This is a thing I quite dislike, instant healing is such a jerk promotion. When you play with it, it's way too strong, when you play against it it's incredibly annoying. I soon got my first great general who will come in handy against Persia. Memphis was razed, Egypt defeated, the preps for the war against Persia beginning.



------------------------------------------------------------------

I'll have to split up the post now because the forum doesn't allow for more than 30 images in a post. I hope you enjoyed reading so far, and stay tuned for more when I actually get to the ICS part.

Last edited by alpaca; Oct 12, 2010 at 10:27 AM.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 04:23 AM   #2
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The Persian War

Spoiler:



Now, Darius will die. He didn't even manage to defeat puny Genoa, so I decided to wipe his pathetic bum off the map. I didn't forget his insult about the size of my best piece - the legions - either. Immortals cannot stand against legions and Genoa now loves me (not quite as much as for liberating but I still get to be their best buddy).


Spoiler:



I finished my first ballista but I don't think I'm going to use it much because after this war, I'll have enough space to settle and will stop conquering.


Spoiler:



Everyone doesn't like me anymore (which I can tell by Nappy only paying 200 for my silver) but who cares - I'm the great Roman Empire, only rivaled by Bismarck the Furious Teuton. Now I can start settling for real. They started calling me "the bloodthirsty one". Bloodthirsty? I'll show you bloodthirsty!

I'm actually pleasantly surprised by the Legion's performance. I expected them to be strong but I didn't reckon they'd be so awesome against cities. Mostly, they just get one damage from city bombardment, even in the open, and in their turn three attacks are usually enough to bring down even capitals. They aren't as overpowered as Companion Cavalry but they're still really good. It's a bit curious that they can build roads but not remove them, though.


The Aftermath

Spoiler:



While I get my economy going by plastering Thebes with trading posts and Rome and Antium with farms, I ponder the lay of the land.


Spoiler:



If I hadn't seen any French or German units I'd have thought it likely that this is actually a continent rather than connected to somewhere else, but one of the edges has to have a landbridge. Pretty defensible, I'd wager.


Toward infinity - and much, much further

I started going into ICS mode for real now that the early game and my conquering spree is over, so let me talk strategy now for a bit, as this is what you are probably looking for if you're reading this thread.

Spoiler:


The idea of an ICS strategy is to settle cities as close as possible to leverage the additional growth, production and commerce that small cities have over large ones. In Civ5, there are a number of game mechanics that lend themselves well to this kind of strategy. To wit
  1. Maritime city states. The bonus granted from maritime city states is per city. Each adds +2 food to the city tile at the start, increasing to +4 over the course of the game. Since every city benefits from this free food, a single maritime CS ally will allow you to set up two additional specialists in every in the later stages of the game. Obviously, the more cities the better, because each gets the bonus.
  2. Happiness buildings. In Civ5, happiness is global... or is it? In fact, only the consumption of happiness is really global. The production is local. Each city can build happiness buildings, and the low-tier buildings are more efficient and more effective than the higher ones. If you have lots of small cities, each can have a Colosseum and a Circus where available, and some theatres. This actually rules out happiness as a long-term limiting factor and turns it into a growth-limiting factor because you need to set up these buildings in each new city.
  3. Purchasing things with gold. Provided you have enough gold, you can buy buildings where and when you need them. Spamming trade posts is a typical strategy, and it's possibly even better in ICS. Just spam trade posts, make money, and buy the buildings you need. This is especially good for the more expensive buildings which have a better gold/hammer ratio.
  4. Certain policies, like Communism and much of the Liberty tree, scale with the number of cities. So do some civilization abilities or buildings, like the one of Harun al-Rashid or the Chinese Paper Maker. For them, you also want as many cities as possible.
  5. Research favors large empires because a tech will cost the same, no matter how many cities you have. Since having more cities usually means having more science, you will tech faster.
  6. Trade route maintenance makes you want to put your cities as close together as possible. City tiles are free roads, after all.

There is a significant drawback to ICS which I won't hide from you: The speed of unlocking social policies. This is the only thing that is really better for small empires because, roughly, your average culture per city is what determines policy speed. Since there are sources of culture that don't scale with the number of cities, like wonders and cultural CS, you will be slower at unlocking these SPs, so make sure you only pick those which are most useful to you.

In Civ5, the closest way to pack your cities is to go two tiles in any direction, then one to the side, as the minimal distance to the next city is three. If you do this right, each city will share all tiles with other cities, and the first ring around your cities will meet (see the screenshot, I'll add more as the game progresses).


I.C. S.trategy

You might be tempted to let each city have its six tiles and be done with it. This works and it's what I call the homogeneous ICS. Opposed to this is the heterogeneous ICS. The city layout is the same in both cases, but in the second one you're going to designate a number of cities in your empire as primary cities, and the rest as secondary cities. Whenever a primary city grows (is anyone else annoyed that the pop-ups stop after size 5?), it will grab a tile from a secondary city.

The secondary cities will focus on specialists and providing happiness for the rest of your empire, while the primary cities will focus either on production or science. This approach combines the advantages of a large number of cities with the capabilities of a smaller empire to utilize multiplier buildings and is overall more effective than the homogeneous approach.

The large cities are allowed to create any building they need for their designated specialisation and I will often buy them there. Secondary cities don't need most buildings: They will always have a Monument and Colosseum, plus anything they need for specialists and a circus if applicable. On top of that, they may get culture buildings if I need to ramp up my average culture or a theatre if I need the happiness. That's it, they don't get any multiplier buildings or anything.

I'm not yet sure about how many primary/secondary cities you need but I will at least have one ring of secondary cities around each primary city so two primary cities radiuses don't intersect. Mostly, I choose primary cities from location, in my game definitely Rome and Antium, and create secondary cities as "filling material" in between.

Last edited by alpaca; Oct 10, 2010 at 11:37 AM.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 04:23 AM   #3
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To continue

After that little excourse into theory, let's get back to practice. Oda, whom I recently met, still pays reasonable prices so he will be my prefered trading partner from now on. I sign a research agreement with Bismarck to speed up my teching a bit. By now, I have two maritime CS allies and my cities are growing fast so I build a lot of colosseums. Rome will buy one when I have money, and I'll build some more buildings there to make use of the Glory of Rome. I picked up Meritocracy as my third policy, which adds +1 happiness per city. This is integral to my strategy.


Spoiler:


Don't forget to always build one or two settlers so you can continue growing - preferably in secondary cities, the primary cities may want to focus on growth instead. I generally go by feel and don't check with the economic overview, but if you like you can do that. Your first building priorities should be monuments, colosseums and libraries. If you want to rush-buy some of that, focus on the colosseums because they are the most expensive and most useful. You don't generally want to try to have a lot of excess happiness but 20 or so is fine.

Spoiler:


As you can see, due to my warmongering, at turn 111 I'm already first in the demographics. My lead is still slim, though, which is hopefully going to change very soon. My economy started picking up in pace after I established some trade routes. I'll soon enter my first GA, too.

I'm now teching towards Civil Service, both for the farm bonus and for Chichen Itza, which I think is awesome. I'll probably build it in Rome - it is that important.

Spoiler:



I found my landbridge, meanwhile. Arpinum is going to be another primary city, focused on production. I will probably use it to build Macchu Picchu and either the Taj Mahal or the Forbidden Palace. As you can see, Bismarck and I are vying for the first place. I have a golden age now, which should give me a nice boost.

Spoiler:




I annexed Persepolis because it started building an Armory on top of the Barracks it already had. It's going to end up as a production city, too, putting me at three which I think is enough. Thebes will become another science city when I have enough happiness to spare to annex it.

Spoiler:




Finally found China far towards the east. I'm posting screens instead of writing a lot because, as they say, a picture often says more than a thousand words.


Capital Trouble

Someone's warmongering. China lost their capital to Germany, as did Japan. I think I'll need to put Bismarck in his place before he gets out of hand. So I mobilise my army and send it east, over the landbridge, on a quest for a balance of power.

Spoiler:


Policy-wise I decided to further explore the Liberalism tree and picked up Representation.

Spoiler:



Impressively enough, Bismarck smelled something and asked me to show my colors. I was happy to oblige.

Spoiler:





Pretty soon, I finished Chichen Itza and in the same turn researches Banking. Rome would go on to build the Forbidden Palace - a huge bonus for ICS games. As you can see, Bismarck is getting quite strong, so I really have to take him down a notch before he starts taking off and comes at me with artillery.

Spoiler:



I got my first Great Scientist of the game. He will be used to research Printing Press later. Napoleon joined our fun with Bismarck, so we had a war three against one now since Japan was already at war with Germany when I declared. I hope they'll pull their weight. I'm concerned to already see cannons and decide to beeline towards artillery instead of trying to go for the Taj.

Spoiler:



I conquered Guangzhou and gave it back to Wu for a defensive pact. I couldn't hold on to it anyways and giving it to her is probably better than razing because she can use it to make money, which I will gain later by selling her luxuries. Oda meanwhile annoyed me considerably by sending a settler over thousands of miles and settling next to Persepolis. At some point, he'll suffer a loss, but for now I'm busy with Bismarck and settled for buying the Marble tile.

Unfortunately my army was in a pretty bad shape now and I decide to do things a bit more defensively. I lost my great general, too. In fact, I screwed this one up quite a bit because I didn't anticipate cannons. Had I, I would have played considerably more defensively.

Last edited by alpaca; Oct 11, 2010 at 06:21 AM.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 04:43 AM   #4
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I'd love to lurk, alpaca.

I have one request though: Could you please resize your pictures so that I don't have to sidescroll all the time? Cheers!

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Old Oct 10, 2010, 04:56 AM   #5
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Looking forward to seeing the spam!
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 05:03 AM   #6
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An alternative to resizing images is putting them into spoiler tags. That would also help speed up the loading for those of us with poor internet connections.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 05:29 AM   #7
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* brings popcorn *

very nice indeed
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 05:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca View Post
The Roman unique ability, adding +25% production if you create a building that already exists in Rome, also sounds nice for an ICS game.
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised about just how useful the +25% is. That is going to amount to thousands of saved hammers in total across your many cities. It will speed up the construction of some buildings when you have a long build queue and thereby boost the economy (gold, beakers and hammers)
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 06:19 AM   #9
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Cant wait for the continuation.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 07:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
I'd love to lurk, alpaca.

I have one request though: Could you please resize your pictures so that I don't have to sidescroll all the time? Cheers!

I guess I can use thumbnails It's going to take me a few minutes to update the links. The images are already downsized to 75% in both directions, if I make them smaller still they become unreadable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJJ View Post
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised about just how useful the +25% is. That is going to amount to thousands of saved hammers in total across your many cities. It will speed up the construction of some buildings when you have a long build queue and thereby boost the economy (gold, beakers and hammers)
So far the +25% looks nice, indeed. The bonus is subtle but it's definitely there: Building a monument in 24 turns instead of 30 after founding a city, for example, is not bad.


Edit: 3rd post updated with the further course of the game. In case you're wondering why I don't post Strategic View screens, it always crashes the game for me.

Last edited by alpaca; Oct 10, 2010 at 07:28 AM.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 07:40 AM   #11
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I have never tried this strategy. Looks interesting. I have always tried for ~9 cities and 5 puppets. So, basically you plaster everything with trading posts, buy all your food from maritime city states. Your cities build temples, collusiums, and circuses. Build workers as needed, and troops as needed. Do you build a troop for each city to boost happiness?

-Why build monuments? You don't need them do you? You do not need to rex new land as placing cities basically does that and you are helplessly far from social policies. The only reason is if a monument is required for a collusium, which I cannot recall off the top of my head.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 07:40 AM   #12
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Lot of cities you have there!

Your economy looks like it's in great shape as well.

Unfortunately all the conquering makes it hard for me to draw direct economic comparisons to my games where I just place cities 'normally'.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 09:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feanor01 View Post
I have never tried this strategy. Looks interesting. I have always tried for ~9 cities and 5 puppets. So, basically you plaster everything with trading posts, buy all your food from maritime city states. Your cities build temples, collusiums, and circuses. Build workers as needed, and troops as needed. Do you build a troop for each city to boost happiness?

-Why build monuments? You don't need them do you? You do not need to rex new land as placing cities basically does that and you are helplessly far from social policies. The only reason is if a monument is required for a collusium, which I cannot recall off the top of my head.
I'm not "helplessly far" from policies, my policy speed atm is about 25 turns. Not good but what do you expect Monuments are pretty cheap so the cost is low. I usually also build temples, and many of my cities run one or two artists.

Quote:
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Lot of cities you have there!

Your economy looks like it's in great shape as well.

Unfortunately all the conquering makes it hard for me to draw direct economic comparisons to my games where I just place cities 'normally'.
I know, but it's very rare you can play a game on Immortal without having a large army because someone nearby will always attack you, so I might as well put the army to good use. However, only two of my cities are conquered, the rest is built by myself. It's possible to compare it to games where you conquer maybe one or two comps.

Small caveat, though: I got really lucky with city states in this game, it's highly unusual to have three maritime CS so close. The strategy works basically the same with 2, with 1 it's a bit more difficult and you have to build some more farms.

The economy is just starting to really get its bearings, here's a sneak peek at the next update that will probably come a bit later today.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 09:55 AM   #14
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I prefer directly linked images to thumbnails, maybe put them in spoiler tags...

Do you try to limit your filler cities somehow? or you just let grow everything on their own?
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 10:59 AM   #15
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awesomesauce. Games like these will help clarify exactly how all the mechanics of this game will work out in meta game.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 12:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vranasm View Post
I prefer directly linked images to thumbnails, maybe put them in spoiler tags...

Do you try to limit your filler cities somehow? or you just let grow everything on their own?
Right, that's the last thing I'll try, though. They'll stay like they are now. There's probably no optimal solution for everyone.

I didn't limit my filler cities in this game but it's something I'm considering. It's a huge lot of micro, though.


-----------------------------------------------------

Overview of my Empire in 940AD
Spoiler:



Duking it out with Germany

Spoiler:


After losing most of my army, I was in a bit of retreat against Bismarck's Landsknechts. I fell back to my side of the land bridge and decided to await him there. Arpinum finished Macchu Picchu, giving me a nice finance boost. I decided to try building The Sistine Chapel, which is awesome, with the Acoustics I got from a Research Agreement with Oda.

Spoiler:



Bismarck and I were pretty close together in the Demographics at this point, but he had a bit of a lead in military technology.

Spoiler:


I got my next SP and considered my options. At this point, I typically go for Mercantilism which provides a 25% discount for buying things in cities. Other options, all of them useful, are to go for the science-boosting Rationalism, go for more specialists with Freedom, or to save your SP for the Order tree. At this point, which I have a feeling will be crucial to the game, I decided to choose Rationalism which immediately grants me a golden age. It would onl last five turns but these five turns would help me churn out a few units. The science will be useful in keeping up with Bismarck in case I can't go on the offensive again.

Interestingly enough, Bismarck had the Very Unhappy modifier, probably due to conquering too much of Japan and France. It's a shame you can't continue to build Ballistae after you research Trebuchets, they are actually better because they're a lot cheaper.

Spoiler for Mounting a counter-offensive:


Bismarck offered me an unacceptable peace treaty, which I of course didn't accept. I continued building up my empire safely tucked away behind the narrow isthmus that separated the two parts of our continent. Jeanne d'Arc emerged to help me in my struggle.

Spoiler:


I got Printing Press from a research agreement. The next thing Rome builds will be the Taj Mahal. My Great Scientist was spent on Chemistry. Oda complained about me settling next to him... Civ5 diplo AI at its best.


Forbidden Secrets

Spoiler:


The Forbidden Palace, most marvelous of world wonders. At this point, it was worth 18 happiness, constantly growing. These happiness points would go directly into population and, therefore, science. At this point, I had to start going through my cities in regular intervals because they started assigning bad coast tiles and stupid unemployed citizens instead of artists or scientists. Quite annoying but can't be helped. I also had to start buying libraries from time to time to avoid running unproductive unemployed people (this is worth it in my opinion).

Spoiler:






All the time I continued expanding. I like to sometimes settle outward-in, even though it's more expensive road-wise. City state tiles will stay theirs forever, though, so I feel like it's often worth it depending on the circumstances. Above are some more shots of my empire and the state of the world. I wonder who the Unmet Player with 0 sticks is

Spoiler:


I was able to take Beijing. It has the Hanging Gardens which provides +3 happiness and two sources of Incense, so I decided to keep it and use it to buy units there instead of giving it back to Wu, who would probably start expanding in my direction sooner or later. Another reason why she doesn't get it back is because she freaked me out by proposing war against Napoleon who threatens "the stability of this world" even though he's totally weak and just lost his capital to the Germans. I was slowly closing the military gap, however. Attacking proper German cities probably is still a bad idea, though, and will have to wait for Artillery.

I am now faced with a slightly awkward problem: due to Egypt blocking me, I wasn't able to scout at the start, and later the war with Bismarck intervened - so I didn't even know where Germany was.

Spoiler:


Here, by the way, is proof of another part of the Forbidden Awesomeness that many people don't know: The FP reduces unhappiness from the number of occupied cities as well. I assume the same is true for Planned Economy, making it a huge whopping lot better than Police State. I guess that this is a bug or an oversight, in any case it's good for conquest.


The Economy

Is steadily growing. Most of my money still flows into buying Colosseums to get those happy citizens. Antium will soon have finished its university and will then start working the jungles for some extra science. Meanwhile, a great scientist was spent on researching Dynamite so I could maybe finally get an edge over Bismarck who now had Landsknecht-Schützen: Riflemen with +100% against mounted units. Bad news for my Knight-heavy army.


Spoiler for Düsseldorf with Alhazen:


I successfuly sabotaged German science efforts by capturing Alhazen before he could be put to good use.

Spoiler:




Many of my secondary cities have now, due to the three maritime CS, reached a size where they can seriously start putting in some specialist economy weight. A lot of them run scientists and/or artists, boosting my research and policy gain. The GP points will also allow me a fairly fast great scientist generation later on.

Spoiler:


Quick aside: Some of the music pieces in this game are really great. When I reached the industrial era, I listened to one of those Another quick aside while I'm at it: This road was built by me, mostly with Legions, to get my reinforcements over there faster.

Spoiler:


I just got the Sistine Chapel, something that I can rarely pull off because Acoustics is simply not a high priority for me. But research agreements for the win, I say. Now to build Himeji Castle in Arpinum. You'll have noticed that I like setting apart one or two cities for wonders. This is partly due to wonders being cool but also due to me thinking that a lot of them are pretty good and warrant their cost if I can afford it. Himeji Castle for example has a useful defensive bonus but also yields 2 engineer points and 4 culture. It's also one of those wonders that you really don't want your worst enemy to have if you want to attack him.


Turban Wrapping

Spoiler:


This goes without explanation. Except for why my science suddenly jumped: I unlocked Secularism which is huge with so many specialists.

Spoiler:



I don't agree with the game, though: I accidentally stumbled upon a lightly defended Berlin and took it, a very cheesy way to win a domination victory (4115 points for those of you interested in comparing notes) - whoever coded it so crappy, anyways? I'll continue playing a bit until I at least properly subdued Germany and make at least one more update for you guys to see where the economy is going in the modern era. Here's the current state:

Spoiler:



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Old Oct 10, 2010, 01:26 PM   #17
gaiko
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Congrats, alpaca, you are like the first person who exceeded the speed of sound in an aircraft - you've broken the CivV happiness barrier!

Having read your and others preliminary discussion threads on the possibilities of a CivV ICS, I launched into a pilot trial of this with France, King, Standard, Normal, Continents. For this trial I wanted 1) to minimize "background noise" distractions from the overwrought AI at the higher levels and 2) rely on the French UA culture crutch to speed me down the central Order line to communism asap, because it is the effect of the ICS combined with the production boosts that I really want to see.

The SP strategy is:

1) Liberty: Citizenship->Meritocracy. That's it, not Representation, even if not France. Order is the #1 priority. Benefit: +1 happy / trade city, ICS synergy.

2) Piety: Organized religion -> Theocracy. That's it. For the pop happiness benefit, which scales to pop growth, but at 5 pop (correct me if this is wrong) is at least +1 happy / city.

Together with Coliseums (Construction, early enough) +1+1+4 secures happiness neutrality at "equilibrium", roughly = Coliseum in every city. Obviously more luxuries = less Coliseums, but more Coliseums means either sale for cash or quicker GA.

The core builds / city are therefore: monument, library, coliseum, market (this last depends gold yield level).

3) Order: Socialism (-10% building maint, just in time!)->Planned Economy (-50% # of city unhappy, duh)->Communism (+5 hammers / city, more duh).

I realize Piety nerfs the Rationalism option, but there are few alternatives to Theocracy; Cultural Diplomacy (Patronage) requires too much SP for an inherently unreliable effect, while Humanism (Rationalism) is not scalable. I'll experiment with delaying reaching full happiness neutrality until the Renaissance (Freedom, which scales happiness with specialists, plus has important cultural benefits on the left branch that counter ICS effects) to another test game. But therefore, focus on GP scientists to bulb into that era asap.

4) Wonders: Forbidden Palace of course.

5) Maritime CS: 2 goes without saying. Later, Cultural CS, as many as possible.

But that brings me to the last strategic point: You must prioritize things that will counter the ill effects of ICS on culture. Having broken the happy barrier, the new barrier is now culture. It is so important that you should bend your walk up the tech tree to this purpose, alternating only with military necessity. Especially with bulbing. Therefore prioritize:

1) Philosophy: temple, Oracle (free sp), and is the path to

2) the Theology->Education-> Acoustics/Banking march. Monastery bonus if you have wine, but FP and SC wonders are strategic.

3) Then you need to catch up on your sailing skills to reach Archeology which not only gives the museum + the hermitage as a bonus in a culture "super-city" if you have one, but more importantly is the path (via Biology (Oil!) and Electricity (Stock exchanges! Destroyers!) ) to Telegraph (CR wonder) and Radio (Broadcast towers). Beyond that, a cultural desert save for the distant Globalization on another branch.

I realize that one can't strategically rely on nabbing wonders on higher levels, and compensations will have to be found that I haven't determined yet. Later.

Also later will be why I prefer to run a "temporal hybrid" ICS (not to be confused with Alpaca's heterogeneous ICS, which I also run, and is made inevitable by temporal ICS. So what is that? Well, there are four phases to expansion: 1) the early 2-3 city "core" placement, these *may* be destined to become production/specialist/culture cities, or may be be placed to grab early strategic resources (esp. horses gee, wonder why?); 2) "Conquest REX", yes believe it or not, I'll keep AI cities if they are large enough, have developed luxuries/production and can be hooked up readily to trade net. The others raze but leave the AI with one city (NOT the original capital, of course). See final comment below as to why; 3) "Expansion REX", by this time early Industrial era where I want to strategically claim Coal, Oil and production seaport cities. Also take over some inconvenient coastal CS's, usually Militaristic, without antagonizing the global CS world. All coordinated to fill continential gaps, but I realize that 2) & 3) won't be a pure ICS grid and will leave unworked hexes. I'ts a tradeoff. 4) Pure ICS to the end.

Finally, a diplo note. I've read rumors that the AI hates you extra (or sooner) if you wipe out civs, so I now always leave a defeated AI with one last city, but always take the capital (speculating on whether AI knowledge that domination is now impossible will reduce them as a future potential military annoyance). I seek to hem them in with my own cities (another reason why I would keep a captured city, as these are naturally nearby) + ally CS's, to whom I will gift lots of high tech military if they are weak - I've even had an ally CS acquire a 2nd city from a defeated AI attempting to re-expand! Basically this converts the defeated AI into a noxious CS - it's really cute when these 1 city wonders dial me up to insult me!
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 01:54 PM   #18
gaiko
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Forgot to add that at the end of the "Conquest REX" phase, managing happiness to annex the puppets asap is top priority. Consequentially I immediately TP over all puppet farms. No puppets for long in this strategy! It is crucial to micromanage city growth (I practice strict pop control, unemploying if necessary, and TP'ing over the puppet farms also controls this) and build order, over the long run. Courthouses follow and since the AI already developed the city, it's not too long.

When the above is finished is when I enter the "equilibrium happiness REX" phase.

Note that like others, I never build the promotion bonus buildings, and would question the early barracks build in Rome. I'd sooner build a granary in the early capital, another building I almost never build, relying on the Maritime CS instead. Likewise early farm-hills will be converted to mines once the CS food is fully online.

But, thanks to this strategy, this is the first game where I can see the advantage for building Forges, and that gives iron another advantage in city placement beyond the renaissance.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 02:11 PM   #19
gaiko
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Last post for today. Of special note is the trade route yield, which about equals Rome's net gold. That is one of the features of this strategy that attracted me to it, as it enormously raised the Gold/road hex ratio - Arabia would be a killer!
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 02:16 PM   #20
aimlessgun
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Pulled up my last deity game where I placed cities "normally". At about the same time I was running 436 science, 292 GPT, 337 MFG goods (#'s during golden age like yours). I was playing a non-interference game but as you said your conquests have had minimal effect probably.

I don't claim to be a great economy manager, but all your numbers compare extremely favorably. Sort of botched my policies so I don't have secularism, but with far less cities it would probably only be like 50-60 science.

EDIT: Haha looked at the land/population ratio, you can definitely see the difference between sprawl and a normal settling pattern, you have more than double my land but I have 1 million more people I think that is because it counts larger cities more heavily though? Not just a citizen count.

Last edited by aimlessgun; Oct 10, 2010 at 02:22 PM.
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