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A different Civ IV

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Stories & Tales' started by Timsup2nothin, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    This thread will be your basic accounting of a Civ IV play through. It came out of a conversation in passing on the OT forum where a different game was being discussed. I described some of the dynamics of that game as "expansion requires fighting for every inch, and you have to be able to hold what you take." In response, the barbarian dynamics of a Civ game were mentioned in a 'I hoped for something like that' vein. I said "fifty civs on a fairly small map, the neighbors are the barbarians."

    It isn't like I had ever actually tried that. I have played with high numbers of civs, but on huge maps. That's sort of like 'regular civ but bigger.' Since I had never tried it but had suggested it, and I do have the requisite 50 civ mod, I figured I should try it out to see if it produced the expected feel. I immediately got crushed, but it did produce the expected experience. It's just that I was the barbarians, and the neighboring Ottomans were the fighting for every inch expanding civilization.

    So I tried again, and this is the result so far.

    1000BC.JPG

    As you can see, it is 1000BC. Among the fourteen known civilizations I am doing pretty well, being one of two that have three cities to my name. There are forty civs total, on a standard size fractal map. I didn't turn barbarians off, but there probably aren't any since it is unlikely they have anywhere to spawn.

    The current situation can be mostly figured out from the screenshot, but I'll add a few details that can't be.

    The big war is off to the east, where Asoka's India (top of the leaderboard) is fighting Romans...IIRC Julius Ceasar. There was some jumping in on Asoka's side, mostly by distant and irrelevant civs that I guess wanted to butter him up. My immediate neighbor up the coast there is Victoria's England, and she is one of the jump ins.

    The English troops on my northern border are Churchill's English, not Victoria's. That's something you have to get used to in huge numbers of civs games.

    I'll answer any other questions about the current situation as best I can.

    How we got here is probably less easy to see from the map, so here's a little detail on that.

    I founded Athens in place and promptly built a fishing boat to feed off the clams. I researched archery, because my first try taught me that a stack of warriors is an invitation to any neighbor with metal to just blow you out before you even get started. By the time I finished the boat I was building archers who could defend my hilltop capital adequately.

    Calendars are too far in the future so the next research path was mining-BW. That revealed my copper source and with what I hoped was enough archers and a descent population in Athens I moved on to a worker, then a settler. When I settled Sparta the hill to the south and the plains to the west were Ethiopian territory.

    My first phalanx stole a worker from Boudica's Celts to the north, who had no copper so I decided they were barbarians that could be dispatched. Not long after I finished researching IW and revealed the iron that I don't think they know about yet. I was looking at a spot for my second settler three north and two west of Sparta on the Incan border, but found out that the Celts had settled their second city in a spot that prevented it. You can see the ruins just north of Corinth.

    I managed to burn that down and took a slightly further city site as my reward. Originally Corinth only controlled two additional tiles, on the NW-SE diagonal, but has flipped a couple from the Incas and a couple from the Celts.

    I don't think I can ever make peace with the Celts, because I not only want that iron but I think it is imperative to keep them from ever developing it. They have a stack of archers in their capital that at present I cannot punch through though, so the war is mostly a stalemate. I acquired two workers, promoted a couple of my phalanxes, and made space for Corinth so I'm calling it a win, but it is a thorn in the side I cannot really move on from.

    I also expect there will be a war, fairly soon, on my southern border. The Ethiopians are going to be pressed to the wall when their copper mine flips into Sparta's sphere of influence. They have a pretty big stack of axes and spears, but I will have the advantage of being able to replace my losses while they can't replace theirs. How holding Sparta coexists with keeping the Celts down I'm not really sure.

    The Incans have no metal. The English under Victoria have gone to war on the far side of the continent. I don't think either of them are any immediate threat. I'm not sure exactly where Victoria's army is, and have contemplated taking over her capital while they are away. They draw copper from their second city, off the map to the north.

    So, that's where we stand, and how we got here. I'm in uncharted waters here, since I've never played under these conditions other than my one previous very short effort, so I'm open to suggestions. I'd also encourage giving this a shot. It definitely plays like an entirely different game.
     
  2. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Actually, getting used to this is no problem for me because I already play unrestricted leaders, so seeing Churchill and Victoria in the same game is perfectly normal.

    That leads me to the question i was going to ask: if you play the 50 civs mod with unrestricted leaders would it entirely randomize the civ distribution such that you could have 5 Incas each with a different leader? Or would it limit it to, say, 3 Americas because there are only 3 American leaders?
     
  3. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    I dunno. I don't use unrestricted leaders. In this game I actually assigned all the leader/civs to avoid duplicates. Usually if you just let a bunch of civs be determined randomly you will actually get some outright duplicates. In my short lived first try I had two different Maya/Pacal civs, for example. I would guess that with unrestricted leaders you'd have much less chance of outright duplications, and could easily get several different Americas or whatever.

    What I meant takes getting used to isn't the leaders, but the actual civs. Those troops there are flying the flag of the English. I moused them to check who they were because I was considering an attack on my English neighbor. In that situation it makes a big difference that they are Churchill's English, since they are going to remain neutral, rather than enemies to be dealt with. Of course, that's what left me with the fact that I really don't know where her troops are. I'm guessing they are headed to the west to fight those Romans, but since we have an open borders agreement I would have expected them to be passing through my territory if they were headed there, and they didn't.
     
  4. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Hmm. I think that seems to suggest it's the first of the two options I mentioned - you could get five Incas.

    I will probably not bother to install the 50 civs mod and instead just do 32 on a Small map or something. IIRC 32 is the default maximum, right?
     
  5. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    As I recall the default maximum is 18. The fifty civ mod, by itself, is a really simple install; rename an original file so you can get it back and put in the replacement file. It gets a little more complicated if you have other mods that also replace that file because that involves merging the source code and recompiling...but @Lemon Merchant did that for me and included it in BetterBat AI (at least) and probably in just regular BUG/BAT as well. I'd go with one of those.
     
  6. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Yeah it is 18.

    I gotta check out these mods sometime this weekend; expect me to pester you with questions if I can't figure anything out on my own.
     
  7. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    No problem. If you go with any sort of BAT there's a much better source of answers though. Anything I could possibly tell you would just be me passing it on from @Lemon Merchant.

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

    Meanwhile, the Greeks by most normal Civ IV standards are sort of floundering along. However, in these different circumstance they may be doing pretty good. It's hard to say. Before the battle of Vienne.JPG

    With four cities I'm obviously ahead of the curve, for this game. But four cities at 380 BC are certainly not booming the old research...or productivity...or much of anything else. Argos, in particular, is borderline useless since it was really only founded to keep the corn from going to waste when Athens doesn't need it.

    I guess it isn't surprising that the shifting diplomatic situation has come to the forefront. I've joined the great movement of Confucianism, which has improved my relations with Zara to the point that even when his copper flips maybe he won't attack me. He also joined in the piling on against the Romans as a further distraction. Overall, we're good in the south.

    I was also doing fine with the Celt problem. Backed off and lured Boudica into a few archer forays that gave my phalanxes a bit of experience. Then the dratted French jumped in "to help." Their little stack is enough to prevent any further excursions by the Celts, but not enough for Nap to even think about attacking the city. I also don't have enough troops to do anything but weaken them enough for Nappy to overrun them.

    So, the options are:

    A) Go on a whip orgy and try to produce enough phalanxes to capture Vienne and the iron supply.
    B) Soften them up, let Nappy take them out, and immediately declare war on the French to grab the spoils.
    C) Just keep on building up forces and improving the territory I have already.
    D) Count on Nap to make sure that no one develops the iron and turn my own attentions westward, seizing the Incan territory.
     
  8. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    80BC, sweet victory!

    I opted for some combination of A, C, and D. I was whipping up phalanxes and sort of minding my own business, counting on Nap to keep the Celts contained in their bunker at Vienne. Zara invited me to join the war on Rome, so I did; desultorily since I had no intention about actually sending troops. Both Zara and Victoria moved up to friendly. Not friendly enough since some band of Germans promptly declared war on me, I'm guessing after a bribe from the Romans, from the bottom of the leaderboard and Zara saw fit to let these cretins pass through his territory. The meager Germans ran face first into a big stack of phalanxes and that was that, but I got some promotions and popped a great general. SCORE!

    About then, for reasons totally unknown, Nap made peace with Boudica. I took a couple moves healing up and getting my new general into place, then roared into Celtia with fifteen phalanxes to go against what turned out to be eight archers. I did not expect to win in one turn, but...

    My nine unpromoted phalanxes, despite really bad odds to begin with, won three out of eight and then took down a fourth that was on its second go.
    My three CR1 Phalanxes won two out of three against the weakened resistance.
    The last two totally battered opponents fell to a CR2 and my Woodsman 3 general/healer, leaving my second CR2 phalanx in reserve.

    So I have my fifth city. I've secured an iron supply. My diplomatic position is pretty good. I have a stack of nine veteran phalanxes that includes some pretty well hardened CRs and a general with some healing skills. Things are looking really good here, despite being at 80BC and having yet to even start research on currency. I think the conditions are just as hard or harder on everyone else, and I haven't gotten the feeling that I'm falling way behind. Somebody popped theocracy, I'm guessing by a bulb, but I'm close to having calendars myself, which no one in my neighborhood has.

    Under these conditions five cities is a LOT.
     
  9. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Thread Killer Moderator

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    You're right IIRC, the 50 Civ DLL is available for BAT as well.
     
  10. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    War in the north.JPG


    I'm starting to wonder if this fight for every inch business actually compensates for a known weakness in my playstyle. I tend to not be aggressive enough, often not attacking "just because I can." Having to attack to expand at all is making me more aggressive, and the conditions seem to be severely limiting the opponents. On this continent Napoleon has been by far the most aggressive, having declared war on Boudica, Victoria a couple times, and finally on me. Being aggressive gained him control of what was Victoria's copper supply, there on the northeast coast, but in the longer term has done him no good. Meanwhile the only war not involving me has gone absolutely nowhere. Rome has gained nothing, Asoka has gained nothing, and the various jumpers in from across the continent have gained nothing.

    I suspect that an aggressive player would be allowed to just gobble up the neighbors one after another fairly easily, so this may not be as entertaining a setting as I had hoped it would be. I might give it another try on a higher difficulty before I concede that completely though. I also want to see what is happening on other continents. The demographics screen suggests that there might be another successful consolidator somewhere else in the world.
     
  11. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    I've made the first intercontinental contact. Well, my first, for sure, and unless some strangers sailed up on us it's the first by anyone on my continent since I'm the only one with optics. Whoever it is that is pushing me out of first place on the demographics screen it obviously isn't this guy:

    Intercontinental.JPG

    Obviously founding Buddhism didn't do him a whole lot of good, but I guess that's why he is annoyed with me. Either that or he heard about my mistreatment of Boudica.

    Speaking of mistreatment, Napoleon has been put to the sword. I considered giving Victoria back her copper supply, for about a nano-second. I wish I had a border with the Romans.
     
  12. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    While I was absorbing the French territory I mostly completed my world exploration. I also finally climbed into first place on land area. That was the big mystery that was nagging at me. I had absorbed two other civs territory and I still wasn't ahead, but I couldn't find anyone who had done anywhere near as well in expanding. The mystery was solved about the same time it ended.

    First off, the very next turn I found out that Brennus and his weak tech performance didn't mean no one outside my continent was keeping up. Two turns later.JPG
    Obviously Pacal had done better as the founder of a religion than Brennus had.
    So Justinian.JPG
    Then Canterbury popped their borders and I made contact with Mao and Charlemagne and traded for a map of their continent. Justinian at some point ate the Dutch, and undoubtedly he was the one who had been leading in area. Into first place.JPG

    But the same border pops that got me that map had also put me ahead of him. Sailed over to say hello and found out I'm just a step behind on techs. Not a big deal.
     
  13. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    About then Victoria offered to vassal to protect herself from Julius Ceasar, which was pretty pointless since the Romans couldn't march through my territory to get to her anyway. But I was more than happy to fight the Romans so I said yes. Turned out to be a mistake, since keeping Canterbury under control would be a lot simpler if I had just put Victoria to the sword and gotten it over with.

    Which brings me to an observation about this game setting. Culture is a problem. The lack of space has cities mashed together, and not just border cities but massive core cities. Sparta is three squares from Zara's capitol, and has been ineffective at flipping the diagonally adjacent copper mine. Corinth also has an immediately connected tile that belongs to someone else. And then it got worse.

    I captured Cumae from the Romans and took two turns healing up my stack. Moved out, leaving a couple troops for garrison, and no sooner did it get over being captured than it revolted...not a Roman revolt, an Ethiopian revolt. I looked at what it would take to keep it under control, and it just wasn't worth it. I walked out, figuring that if the Romans ran over and took it that would be fewer that I'd have to kill to take their two remaining cities, which I wanted more anyway. No sooner did I bug out than it outright flipped to Zara. He was starting to get on my nerves.

    I captured Antioch, the Roman capital, and set my sights on Hyderabad. The holy city of Confucianism and Taoism, captured from Asoka, was what I really wanted. I figured that eliminating the Romans outright was the only way to keep from getting culture swamped here on the far side of the continent anyway. Stack rolled into position. First turn of bombardment knocked their defenses down by about half. Two more turns and the Romans are toast. And the call from Zara at the Apostolic Palace goes out. Peace with the Romans.

    Antioch by itself had Roman culture stripping it from one side and Indian culture stripping it from the other and couldn't even feed itself, much less contribute anything to my cause. I gave it back to the Romans to at least reduce the Indian territory since Asoka vassaled up with Zara.

    At this point I have had it. Enjoy that Apostolic palace buddy. Papa Pericles has got somethin' for ya.
     

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