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6K Man's guide to Reloading

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by 6K Man, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    I used to reload.

    A lot.

    I called it "correcting stupid errors"
    I called it "test cases"
    I called it "not letting 1 mistake ruin a game"
    I called it "fixing imbalanced things"

    But I'm better now. I am a reformed reloader. I have learned from the error of my ways. And in the spirit of the furtherance of knowledge, I will share this wisdom with you all.

    Without a great deal of additional ado... The 7 Degrees of Reloading

    Reloading in the 0th degree
    Your 24-Civ Huge map pangaea game just crashed for the nth time, or your desktop PC suffered a power failure.

    Shame level: Nil. Unless your power failed because you stopped paying your bills in favour of playing more Civ.
    Solutions: Get a job that pays the bills. Or a better PC.

    Reloading in the 1st degree
    Your cat, or your moronic infant, pressed a bunch of keys randomly.

    Shame level: Practically nil. Unless the cat that walked across your keyboard was one of, say, 7 cats in total.
    Solutions: Office door with a lock. Vasectomy (or tubal ligation, if you have those parts). Really, you have multiple cats? :rolleyes:

    Reloading in the 2nd degree
    Misclicking. Your Worker walks towards the barb Warrior with its last move, instead of away from it. The goto function sucks. While grouping units together, the pathing line stayed on screen and took you in the wrong direction... And your stack is now on a grassland tile, instead of the forested hill it was on before.

    Shame level: Low. Sometimes commanders make mistakes. It is historical fact that David Beatty actually misclicked both the Indefatigable and Queen Mary. Misclicks are a part of war, and a real leader would suck it up and deal with them.
    Solutions: Pay attention! And maybe stop trying to Civ while holding a conversation with your girlfriend/boss/mom. Remember that old saw about chasing two rabbits?

    Reloading in the 3rd degree
    Also known as "oh, I meant to stop that worker from finishing its chop last turn", and/or "why am I not in Hereditary Rule/Representation despite finishing the Pyramids 50 turns ago?"

    Shame level: Low-ish. Really, which would you rather be, forgetful or klutzy?
    Solutions: As 2nd degree, above. Reminders (as in BUG, or LoR). You weren't seriously going to go back 50 turns and revolt to Rep, were you?

    Reloading in the 4th degree
    "Sure, I could finish the Great Library for 3 pop points in my National Epic city. But it'll finish naturally in 6 turns anyway, why bother?"
    --------------------5 turns later---------------------------
    The Great Library has been completed in a distant land!
    "%$#@*!"

    Shame level: Medium. You gambled, and lost. But if you never lose, is it really gambling? Suck it up.
    Solutions: Espionage? Better attention paid to the Techs screen? Or maybe realizing that whipping 3 pop points to finish the GL is really only 1 net pop point? And they do grow back, y'know.

    Reloading in the 5th degree
    "I could capture that city with any number of my units, but my GG Panzer can get 2 free XP by killing off that last defender"
    Heinz Guderian has died in Combat!
    "%$#@*!"

    Shame level: High. Units die. Deal with it.
    Solutions: Super medic instead. And did you know that with 5 Settled GG, you can start units at level 5 without too much trouble (Barracks/Drydock/Stable+ 2 of Theology/Pentagon/Vassalage)?

    Reloading in the 6th degree
    "Bombarding takes too long and just gives the AI a chance to build/whip more defenders. I'll suicide 6 Cats against his Longbow-defended capital, and then my 17 Horse Archers/Swordsmen/Axeman should be able to mop up... After all, there are only 5 defenders!"
    --------------------23 clicks later-----------------
    "%$#@*!"

    Shame level: High, if you go back to the beginning of the turn and decide to start bombarding that 80% culture. EXTREME, if you keep reloading until you pull 5 wins out of 17 attackers, all attacking with odds between 2% and 24%.
    Solutions: When you think you have enough seige, bring 50% more. Pillage the everloving bejazus out of his lands in the meantime... it's not like his 5 Longbows are gonna come out and stop you.

    Reloading in the 7th degree
    "Wow, Mansa Musa is teching slowly... that's one hell of a civic change he's going through."
    Mansa Musa has won a Cultural Victory!
    "%$#@*!"

    Shame level: EXTREME. Dude, Mansa is Spiritual. :splat:
    Solutions: Victory screen? Espionage? Please tell me you aren't going to go back 30+ turns, whip/draft together an army, and go raze his capital? It hurts just thinking about that.
     
  2. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    How to be an effective reloader



    1. Save often. Set your autosaves to occur every couple of turns apart.
    (add the following line to your .ini file: AutoSaveInterval = 2 )
    Sure, you can go back further if you have to, but then you run the risk of not repeating the good outcomes that took place before the bad outcome you’re trying to negate. A good rule of thumb: Manually save after every good outcome (Metal Casting from hut, Federal Reserve event) other than the ones that will immediately be wasted (your exploring Warrior beats a Bear, but lands next to a barb Archer).

    2. Check “new random seed on reload”. Otherwise, reloading and doing the same thing will lead to the same result. And that is the definition of madness. It’s the definition of annoying to do things in a different order so as to mix up the results when reloading a non “new random seed on reload” save.

    3. Recognize what reloading can’t do:
    a) If you find a start you like, save at 4000 BC and then play for a while before discovering the starting position isn’t so great, “Regenerate Map” doesn’t work with saves.

    b) Losing a wonder race by more than 6 or 7 turns usually means that you lost the wonder race, period. Like it or not, there isn’t much rearranging you can do, even if you go back 30 turns, that will get you to finish ahead of the AI. Then again, maybe the AI will build something else if you go back 30 turns.

    c) Help you play more than a level or so above your current skill level. Unless you do it an awful lot.

    d) Win you respect. But in the words of Marsellus Wallace, “f_ck pride, man.” Play the game you want to.

    e) Help you even a little during a multiplayer game. Unless your multiplayer opponents are really desperate for someone to play with.

    f) Teach you anything, if you use it like a crutch.

    4. Recognize what reloading CAN do:
    a) Try out attacks that likely won’t work. But you might not know they won’t work.

    b) Fix accidents – depending on your definition of “accident”, this can be pretty broad.

    c) Help you learn from mistakes, assuming you are capable of learning without pain

    5. Know that if you reload a lot, the number of sessions in your game will be a dead giveaway if you decide to submit your game to any Hall of Fame/Game of the Month comparisons/competitions.
     
  3. Moroktonos

    Moroktonos Philosopher

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    [pissed][pissed][pissed][pissed]What about...
    Oh. My axeman has an 93% of killing the barb archer this turn... that's good, but because he's my only defender, I don't have the population to whip yet, and I don't want to risk anything, I'll just let the archer suicide himself next turn and take advantage of the city's defensive bonus.

    Next turn...
    Barbarian's archer has defeated your axeman (combat odds 0.8%)
    Hamburg/Bombay/whatever has been captured by the Barbarian state! [pissed] [pissed] [pissed]
     
  4. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Reloading that to avoid the loss of the unit/city would be a 4th (You gambled, and lost) or 5th (Units die. Get over it) degree reload.
     
  5. Moroktonos

    Moroktonos Philosopher

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    Fair enough, but would you consider distinguishing between reloading because 1 unit in a stack of 15 died in 1200 AD and your only defender in your second city dying at outrageous odds in 2300 BC? I don't re-load because a unit dies at above 95% odds, unless its a manifestly game-ending situation like this one (and yes, I am picky about what constitutes manifestly game-ending).

    I suppose you could argue that you should always keep two defenders in all your cities, but this itself is also a gamble on emperor+ because you would be swamped with unit upkeep immediately and the hammers spent just in case you lose an axeman to an archer would cause you to lose out on most of the good settling spots to the ai.

    I'd consider reloading in this situation to be less shameful than reloading because you didn't want to lose pop points by whipping the GLib in your N.E. city and consequently losing it by a turn (I'm okay with the former, but the latter is just being a noob; I usually whip on wonders as soon as I can unless I'm positive that I'm the only one with the tech to finish it. I did once lose on the GLib by one turn because Eliabeth finished literature and pulled a GE on the same turn, but I just quit that game out of sheer rage) I probably should just get the bug mod though, as it would cut down on some of my re-loading, which I really do try to keep to a minimum.

    I'm a little more lenient about it if I've just moved up a level -- sometimes I even replay the same game multiple times with different strategies until I find the best one. Not especially honorable considering that I know the map in advance, but I always learn a lot from such games. Once I become more comfortable with a level, I'm harsher about it.
     
  6. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    The latter is a 4th degree reload, while the former is 5th degree, with a higher degree of shame.
     
  7. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

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    Nicely written article! I like the idea of degrees of shame...

    However, for me the degree of shame goes down one level when the cheating is done against barbarians (actually, I never ever reload in combat against the AI), and at least two levels if its against those §$%§$ barbarian galleys (I hate them so much...).
     
  8. alhill

    alhill Chieftain

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    Just wanted to say that this article is full of win.
     
  9. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Part II added.
     
  10. Yamps

    Yamps Deity

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    5 stars! :goodjob:
     
  11. Tristan_C

    Tristan_C Emperor

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    When I started out in Civ4, I used to play above my difficulty and reload a lot in combat. Yep, 5th degree! Then I learned exactly what the OP said: units die. To fight a war, I simply needed to build four, five times as many units as I was doing. And never stop building siege. And GG's should either be back at HQ or be medics... your Combat-XVII Praetorian role-playing character will die.

    I only play one difficulty higher nowadays, but it's REAL difficult now and my style is tougher as a result of the lessons learned by not reloading.
     
  12. Jerrymander

    Jerrymander Epistemologist

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    What about villages in the early game?
    Or is that a 4th degree?
     
  13. Yamps

    Yamps Deity

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    I'd say 5th. ;)
     
  14. Le Singe

    Le Singe Chieftain

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    +1 for this thread
     
  15. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    It depends on the exact circumstances, but in most cases, that's 4th degree (you gambled, and lost).
     
  16. dirtyparrot

    dirtyparrot Upholding Brannigan's Law

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    What about reloading because "the game is slowing down".
     
  17. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    0th Degree. Reloading due to computer problems is understandable.
     
  18. kcd_swede

    kcd_swede Jag är Viking!½ GOTM Staff

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    :lol: Where does worldbuilder fit in?

    I mean, if I'm going to cheat at solitaire (re: reloading), why be so meek about it with something as ineffective as reloading? Use worldbuilder and create some nukes. That's more like it!
     
  19. Jerrymander

    Jerrymander Epistemologist

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    What if you reload BECAUSE you got Bronze and Iron Working from huts?
     
  20. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

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    Negative shame (=pride).
     

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