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A hard challange - rough map and huge size

Tiberiu

Prince
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
483
Location
Bucharest
I would like to share this map in case anybody would like to try out. It is a huge size highlands map with Inca and random opponents. The water setting is "Seas" so there will be a few small seas out there.

It is quite a hard game despite it being played with Inca which is a very good civ on a Highlands map. And the starting area is pretty rich I would say. I am almost sure I put "Sparse" settings for resources so please have this in mind in case you find small amounts of strategics and the such.

I have not been able to win this game in 3 attempts but I will mention I did play without the normal exploits like the White Peace or gold siphoning from peace deals and other such things.

I am thinking of doing a 4th attempt this time using the normal exploits to see if this time I can beat the map.

inca_start_t0.jpg
 

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I would like to share this map in case anybody would like to try out. It is a huge size highlands map with Inca and random opponents. The water setting is "Seas" so there will be a few small seas out there.

It is quite a hard game despite it being played with Inca which is a very good civ on a Highlands map. And the starting area is pretty rich I would say. I am almost sure I put "Sparse" settings for resources so please have this in mind in case you find small amounts of strategics and the such.

I have not been able to win this game in 3 attempts but I will mention I did play without the normal exploits like the White Peace or gold siphoning from peace deals and other such things.

I am thinking of doing a 4th attempt this time using the normal exploits to see if this time I can beat the map.

View attachment 623768


Is that really highlands? Starting horsehocky looks more like plains and flat starting location. Yeah, it gonna be hard if you cant build a single terrace farms near mountains
 
This map is "interesting". Was able to get a science victory on turn 295, coincidentally same turn the world congress was founded! Settled 5 cities. Since I didn't know what I was in for, I went for liberty with 1 in honor and 1 in tradition. If I was doing it again, I'd settle the same 5 cities and just do tradition. Gold was a real struggle in this game.


science victory t295.png

 
Hello, thanks for playing this challange and also congratulations for winning it.

What I find particularly interesting in your empire is that you didn't settle any city near mountains for Observatories. I assume you bribed America to leave you alone, or maybe you sold your army at the end.
 
Hi Tiberiu,
Full disclosure, I played the last 30 turns twice. I don't usually go for science victory (I almost always play domination), so I needed to figure out the optimal strategy to bulbing my scientists, and getting to satellites for hubble, which I thought would be the key to winning this game. I settled my cities maximizing the resources available and terrace farms, not thinking about observatories. I wasn't at that point fully aware of this map structure.

Early game gold and happiness were a major challenge at the start. At one point I had to farm barbarian encampments for gold to keep from taking deficit gold science penalty (I wasnt perfect at this so a few turns I lost science). I only met Songhai, Greece, America, Germany and Brazil. I settled the fifth (southermost) town with a goal to defend against an eventual Songhai attack, and this proved to be critical eventually.

Mid game once I realized that the only victory condition possible was science, the challenge was that Germany and America both went rationalism, but that fact that both of them did I think helped me actually be able to win. Once the nukes started flying between them all their border towns were glowing for the rest of the game.

I was first to modern era but already behind by many techs vs America and Germany. I was also third in selecting ideology, America went Order, Germany Autocracy, so I selected Freedom. This was risky but their tourism output was fairly low. I was able to build Eiffel tower for the tourism. Tiwanaku in that location is a production monster. I was able to get Statue of Freedom as well. Freedom tier 3, buying spaceship parts was also a key. I was able to scrape enough gold from my friend Brazil to buy the final part.

America and I were friendly until the ideology selections. He settled those towns near me pretty late. Once he was belligerent towards me I bribed Germany to attack America, and America to attack Greece and Germany once they peaced out. I also donated to America a copy of a luxury to get the "You've traded recently" modifier. I watched the border closely to see if he is amassing units, but he never did. It may have helped at the end when I liberated Wittenberg repeatedly from the Songhai, but I am not sure if that gives you a diplomatic boost or not (I doesn't show as a modifier).
For an army I had 1 warrior,1 spearman, 5 or 6 archers/machine guns, I may have sold at the end or lost one or two to the Songhai attack on Wittenberg. He was really annoying with the paratrooper drops behind my lines. I also didn't want to spend resources on building planes, so he had air superiority. But this was just a nuisance, as the actual game came down to this:

The situation at turn 252 (see tech picture)
I had 5 scientists on standby, enough faith to buy 1 most scientist, 3 more scientists will generate before end of the game, I can get 2 more from hubble.
I also have rationalism finisher coming due in 6 turns.

My techs (55), American has 67, Germany 66. I know someone has Advanced Ballistics already from the research costs.
I played this end part twice.

First time I bulbed now to get to hubble as quickly as possible, worried about one of them getting there before me. I think I lose that on turn 290 to American space victory (I only played it to turn 287 but I could spy him building the final part in the capital). I was nowhere close to finishing as I was out of scientists and needed to hard research the final tech.

Second time I really min-maxed my science output in each town. Also delayed starting the bulbing until after I finished electronics but before rationalism finisher (which I use on satellites).
There is a lot of moving part here, so there is probably a more optimal way to play these last turns to get there before 295.
The last 3 turns are bulb final tech, buy part, launch. I don't know the exact rules around bulbing the getting the tech immediately vs having to wait a turn even though you have enough science.

Ultimately I am not really sure what changed on the second play through that made Washington not launch on 290. I could see his second last spaceship part sitting in a city 6 tiles to the east of my capital and not moving. His capital is much further to the north. It may be that the path to the north is blocked by German nukes or paratroopers? Or maybe just luck. As I launch they are both still ahead of me in techs.

t252.png
 

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Interesting write up, it is helpful. So AIs threaten victory quite quickly on this map type it seems.

I agree Hubble is essential, especially to deny to the AI... I want to give another try to this map but I am thinking of using 6 cities, all with observatories, ideally with fresh water too, for gardens, get Tradition 6 fast and grow the capital tall, the rest can just be size 10 if there's not enough happiness, and work specialist slots.

I am a fan of this map type, it's so rough and hard to scout... even Inca can have a hard time. Probably Carthage is the best civ for this map type, they would have no issue meeting everybody quickly, becoming Congress Host, finding most Natural Wonders, etc.
 
I'd be really curious what happens if the rationalism AIs are not side by side, say Babylon and America, so they can't nuke each other early and often. Would it be possible to beat that?

Note that I also went with Sun God for a pantheon due to the amount of wheat around, and a lack of a faith generation pantheon that I could see. It worked quite well because there was no religious influence for quite a while so I got a lot of growth out of it. Once Songhai got their religion spread to my cities it wasn't too bad because it had Peace Gardens and I had gardens in all my cities. Also helped to get a positive modifier with him. If I had better faith generation I could have had 1 or 2 more scientist in the late game but that's a trade for early growth.

I am not sure it's an advantage to meet everyone early. You'd be a lot more exposed to ideology pressure due to tourism and nothing you could do to counter it. In my game Babylon was generating 218 tourism at the end, but was unknown to me. There are only a few dig sites in the area where we start...It would help with teching early, a few happiness points due to world wonders, and the big one which is scholars in residence. For trades I was able to trade everything I had away no problem with the few AI I knew, and it's not like you have a lot of resources to trade :)
 
@5ilV3r You have inspired me to try out the map finally and win it, I think I am about to get a convincing victory this time, which I was suspecting I would do because I feel that my game has improved a bit from the time when I played the map.

I'm on turn 200 and I'm in a very good spot, 3rd ideology, Order with 2 free tenets. Hard built Eiffel Tower turn 197. I am not being influenced by anybody. Met only 4 civs.

I went with a 10 city empire, all of them with Gardens and only 1 without Observatory. I caught last religion with 0.5 happy per city and +2 happy from gardens, enhanced with +2 culture from temples.

Unlike the previous 3 attempts that resulted in failure, this time I settled my capital on the Silver that is visible right away, went for a quick shrine and took +1 culture and +1 faith from Silver and Gold, and then secured all Silver for a Religion, helped by a friendship with Wittenberg.

I had pretty good Ruins so maybe a little extra lucky than normal. I got something like 2 x culture ones, 2x population ones, 2 x Scarchers, 1 Warrior upgrade, 2 x Tech and 2 useless ones.
For policies I went with Tradition Opener > Liberty Collective rule, after that finished Liberty and took an "early" Scientist for an Academy. Boosting Science from 16 to 24 early is noticible...
The biggest issue early game was gold generation as you well pointed out. Lost some Science because of that.
Barbs were an issue in the early-mid game, so annoying.

Here are the saves from Session 1 and Session 2... hopefully I will win in Session 3.

If you want to share Saves please do, because I like comparing stuff and trying to learn new things from other players.
 

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Tiberiu, Thanks for positing this challenge by the way. Here is my save at 252, decision point for space rush. Also one from turn 198 (closest I have to 200).

Looking at your save vs my 198.
I have 43 techs vs 42 but you are on a better pace. E.g electronics is 12 turns for you and 14 for me at this time.
For you Competition wise America is at 48 with rationalism and Germany also at 48 (maybe without?). For me America is at 49 and Germany at 48 with rationalism clearly selected.

A couple of observations:
I assume you are delaying Public School in the capital because you are about to settle that city with the settler in the north and want to finish Iron Works? I would cash buy the public school, earlier turn if I could...
Also not sure that town is a good idea, is it to block American invasion? It will be a drag on science. If I pop that settler in your save it adds 107 science cost to electronics. There is more than 30 techs left, so that's at least 3000 science costs (I am guessing since it's more for latter ones and less of earlier ones)... It would be hard to make that town pay back in science by the end of the game, since there is only ~90 turns left.
I would just station units on the coast to defend from troop landings. Unless you are planning to nuke Washington from there?

Interesting that you selected Party Leadership over Hero of the People, which I assume you are taking next. I guess you are about generate all these scientists anyway, and you'll look to accelerate the next round... I think I would have taken Worker's Faculties over Party Leadership in level 2 first. You have to get to Spaceflight Pioneers, so you need to take 2 level 2 tenants.
I would have gone: Hero of the People, Humanism, Worker's faculties, Party leadership, Spaceflight pioneers
My thinking is that bulbing scientists is the key to winning this game.

I think the challenge that you'll have is that America will probably nuke you if you are at war and he can nuke your capital easily. Also I think we only have 1 uranium. Also if Germany is not in rationalism, and say Babylon is, it will be interesting to see (as I mentioned previously) whether you can even win this race...

Exciting times!
 

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You are very welcome and I am happy if you had time playing such a difficult and weird map type such as a huge Highlands with dense mountains...

I have looked at your save from t 198, will see the other one only after I get to that point too. I noticed you like to sell your horses and iron for 45 gold sometimes, I usually try to get 2 gold per turn instead because it ends up to a total amount of 60. I guess it depends on how hard you need immediate cash...

I assume you are delaying Public School in the capital because you are about to settle that city with the settler in the north and want to finish Iron Works? I would cash buy the public school, earlier turn if I could...

Oh, that settler was just a unit to block the way to America from that sea... I kept it on America's entry point to the sea for like 100 turns... I just wanted to avoid headache of America settling near me.
Washington was my friend until we got different Ideologies and then he denounced me, we had a DOF and I was getting loans...
I was very broke at one point (was at -100/turn) and this is why I went for Banks instead of Public Schools, also this is why I took Party Leadership instead of something else. Party Leadership is an interesting tenet... It doesn't give something that big if you look at a city but empire-wide the bonus is pretty decent. Obviously the more cities you have the better. Maybe it was better to go for Five Year Plan or the Factory tenet, first.

I have some cash now and can get more loans from Songhai and I really don't know what is the ideal thing to buy here. I am thinking to buy 2 Hospitals in my lowest population cities to help them grow a bit...
I am 2 policies away from finishing Tradition, and finishing it is also tempting, however I think I should go into Rationalism - Secularism next... need to send Science up and high so that I get to Hubble and Nukes before America does...

Also not sure that town is a good idea

I agree putting a city would be a bad idea at this point, it would only be a negative for culture and tech rate.

Interesting that you selected Party Leadership over Hero of the People, which I assume you are taking next.

I was thinking to get Secularism first, but that would delay the level 2 tenet for Factories for a lot of time, so perhaps Hero of the People will be more accurate....But Secularism would also be an instant spike in Science. I need to calculate exactly how much Science it would be. If it's at least 200, I think I'll take it... will bring me to Research Labs faster...


My thinking is that bulbing scientists is the key to winning this game.

Yes, that's so true... without Scientist bulbs this map is impossible surely... the civs seem to like the environment, they settle a LOT of cities.... America especially seems to play very well on it...and I don't understand why because they don't really get good bonuses for this map type...
 
Here is my turn 250... I'm preparing to discover Satellites and I will probably hard build Hubble. I'm only 5% behind in tech but after I use up my Scientists I will catch up.
I still haven't been able to take Hero of the People or Rationalism's policy for 25% more scientists because I had to take happiness tenets or policies.

Weirdly enough, Japan has met everybody around turn 230 and World Congress was founded.

America sent a few Paratroopers but I killed them. Now we made peace.... should be safe until the end I think.

I was quite lucky in that only Songhai took Order, so I was free to build Kremlin safely for 1 policy.

World Fair should start in 2 turns and I might have a chance to win it with overflow.

I think my strategy has worked, but I think I should have added one more city to that Sea....just to maybe have a chance to bulb Sydney Opera House with an Engineer...



turn250_empire.jpg


turn250_demographics.jpg
 

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Tiberiu, so how did it go?

Oh, after turn 250 I started to play rapidly sensing that I'd win without optimizing things, so it dragged probably 10 turns more then it should. I won quite late, turn 286. The main issue was lack of Aluminium, I had to build a few Recycling Centers. After switching to freedom I made the mistake of not taking the policy which could allow me to buy the parts with gold.... By selling all Research Labs I could have instantly gotten 1 part this way, and selling Schools plus maybe other expensive buildings have been another part. Probably I should have sold Hydrocentrals too, so that I don't lack so much aluminium...

America and Egypt also had 4 parts each but they still had to get to Nanotechnology. Germany went for Nanotech first. America and Germany were nuking each other but Germany sent 6-7 Xcom into my territory, killing some caravans and blocking the way of my spaceship parts, I had to build a few units to repel them.

I won World Fair with a single turn of production (with overflow) - 1300 was enough to win.
Before building Hubble I went for CN tower so that WF bonus will give a lot of culture, I used up an engineer for it.

Unfortunately for me, happiness became a big problem as I finally started to get influenced culturally, and I had to switch to Freedom, enduring 2 turns of Anarchy.

At the end, my capital was size 35 and my 9 other cities were size 25, a huge empire...

10 cities Liberty worked pretty well, but I still think one city should have been coastal for Sydney opera house, or perhaps to have available in case Prora could get built (super unlikely, but still...)

This map is quite difficult, but I finally learned to win this type of map. In my opinion it can be quite a good training because of how rough it is.
 
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