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ALC Game #24: Hammurabi/Babylon

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Sisiutil, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. popejubal

    popejubal Emperor

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    You're at 40% science. Trade away 4-5 fish/clams/etc and you'll see that science percentage shoot up significantly while only losing about 2 food per city. Even if you have a courthouse in every city, the corporate maintenance costs are staggering when you add it up across your empire.

    Nippur has a population of 19 and a maintenance cost of 4. Babylon has a population of 26 and a maintenance cost of 48. What's the difference? Two corporations with too many of the indicated resources. You get 15 gold per city per corporation. If you are spending 40 gold on the city through increased maintenance, then you're not getting such a great bargain for that increased production and food.

    Get those costs under control!

    It's like going conquest crazy with one of the Caesars when you're just learning on Noble and watching your science rate go into the toilet while you try to figure out what went wrong with the game you look like you're winning.

    Edit: Also, it's worth a check to make absoltutely sure that each and every single city you own has a courthouse. It's possible that some might be missing one and that is an enormous waste of money each turn. I'd prioritize a courthouse over even a factory in cities with corporations in the current situation. Unfortunately, my DVD drive is busted, so I can't play a game to do that check myself. Otherwise, I'd trade away all but a couple of each seafood resource and drop the Mining Inc resources a small amount too so that I could post a screen shot of the disgustingly high research per turn and gold per turn that I think you should have at this point.
     
  2. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    WoooHooo we gots us some warrin goin on. I assume Industrialism is the next tech in line after Electricity. Justinian has artillery and Pacal will soon be giving arty to mehmed as well. I suggest mucho macho marines to avoid the inevitable Ai arty barrage. Taking out Pacal first then Mehmed's core cities.
    If you decide to take Justinian out first (since Mehmed is the only one currently pleased with you) Then an amphibious assault on Upsala will secure that choke point and protect the new viking lands. And due to the layout of several nicely placed mountain ranges you can seal off the Babylonian core by taking Amorium. It is a lightly defended city NE of medina. Justinian's only other land access is from Basra but it will require troops to be sent over via transport first. That avenue of approach can be stopped with a small stack of guerrila promoted units on the desert hill SW of basra. This allows you to fight the entire war on Byzantine land.
    None of the potential victims is a cakewalk @ this time. I think a brief period of consolidation and troop build up is in order. Particularly spamming sushi/mining execs to all your cities.
    It looks like you're running engineers in Mecca to try and get a GE. Broadway? i don't think you have a shot at 3GD as several AI are already researching Plastics. Once the GP pops in Mecca. You might want to run spies instead and build an intelligence agency.
    It would appear Mr hannibal has no oil. Izzy has a single source he can take from her but it can be sabotaged/taken away. From his tech speed we can assume he is making a late game run at a cultural victory rather than a space race victory. I checked the log and there was no civics changes noted for him.
     
  3. Dresden

    Dresden Emperor

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    Regarding Hannibal's power drop, it looks like it happened at just about the same time Pacal renounced him as a master and vassalized to Mehmed instead (approx 1780.) But I didn't think vassals had any real impact on power and that's still a crazy big power drop (Wild Guess: ~600k "soldiers") during peacetime; that's a lot of units to disband. If you happened to have before (mid-late 1770s) and after (early/mid 1780s) saves from the time of his power drop it'd be interesting to compare them and see what happened, although it probably wouldn't have any bearing on future plans.

    Also, if you spread Sushi to Hannibal, he'll probably stop supplying you with the clam and fish you're getting right now, meaning Sushi will provide a little less of a benefit to you. Although he is running Environmentalism which means his maintenance would be quite high. However, as you'll see later in this post, there's a very good reason to keep Sushi far, far away from Mr Hannibal.

    Onto more pressing issues, looking at the Event Log, Hannibal completed the Apollo Program a couple turns before the set ended (1792). I didn't see that mentioned in the recap and it's definitely important. But...

    I think he's not actually shooting for space but is instead heading toward culture! (EDIT: Seems CivCorpse has already mentioned this) This is based on 3 pieces of evidence:
    1. Around 1768 Hannibal's culture per turn went through the roof and has maintained the same high level, as one would expect if he's pushed his culture slider way up.
    2. Your espionage says that it's gonna take him 134 turns to get Plastics and he's not in Anarchy. That's a long damned time for a large, Financial, tech-leader. Again, further evidence that he's tilted the slider away from research and toward culture.
    3. He's the top dog in the cultural victory condition with 26k, 23k, and 18k in his 3 best cities; and the capital is the third one on that list.

    Note that he has built Rock n Roll in Carthage, has founded one of the culture-generating corps (Creative Constructions), and is running both Free Speech and Free Religion. This is the primary reason to keep Sid's Sushi away from him as you don't want to help him beat you. One thing I would do immediately is note the culture for his top 3 cities from the Victory Conditions for two consecutive turns so that you can see what his per-turn generation is for each and gauge how big of a threat this is.
     
  4. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

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    Your idea of quickness is ridiculous. You trade a 25% bonus to every defender in Ragnar's capital for two turns, but meanwhile have a stack with 75 units in it. Here's an idea. Attack with fewer units. Babylon was built on a river, but leveraging attacks across rivers is not a leader trait.
     
  5. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    OK, You already saw the strategic advantages to Upsala and amorium.
    I am still in favor of corps spamming. Especially mining inc. Spreading mining inc to a few of those dog crap cities you love to build in the south and then just have them build wealth for the rest of the game. Also dropping the espionage slider to 0 will help. It might be nice to see what they are researching but at this point it is not a huge factor.
    I think a surgical strike at paccy is still the next order of attack. With Hannibal going culture. (his science plummeted) Pacal is the tech beast. Without him, Mehemed will fall farther behind. You know Pacal is his little techy love slave. Mehmed, rosy cheek fat older man...Pacal effeminate half naked teen wearing women's jewelry...you do the math.
    Two quick punches and Pacal's core cities are gone. He only has 4 cities total and the other two are pretty lame. Mehmed does not have infantry OR artillery. As a matter of fact, he just sent me an email saying the scandal of being gay has given him cause to hate life. he respectfully asks that you come kick his @$$.

    Note: hannibal's culture cities are coastal...no big rush to deal with him just yet. It is actually to your advantage to allow him to fall behind in techs. If you take a culture city now he will gear up for a space win instead. Once you have tanks and bombers you really have all the techs you need to win this game. The massive production advantage will mean you can just throw troops at cities with abandon. Think Russia in WW2 crappy outclassed units, but lots and lots of them. This means you can afford to drop the science-o-meter all the way to afford the corps and new cities.
     
  6. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    Because it justifies the previous trade for theocracy
     
  7. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    This is the sort of post that makes me wonder why I bother doing these threads at all. :cringe:
    And this is the sort of post that reminds me why. :lol:
     
  8. Leventis

    Leventis Warlord

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    I think the outcome of this game will be decided in the next round (or two), assuming you go after Justinian. By the looks of it he will be pretty tough to take down, moreso due to the geography rather than his power, especially with that long border you're both sharing now. Personally, I doubt it's possible to take him out in a single war -- I'd probably try to take 4 or 5 of his NW cities whilst protecting the SE border. After a few turns of peace I'd hit him again, maybe going for an amphibious assault on his core cities, as by this stage any counter-attacks he throws at you will be more easily repelled. Curious to see how this one pans out because it looks like Hannibal is also looming as a winner here. Good luck with it :D .
     
  9. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

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    In all honesty, the praise and appreciation far surpasses any posts which are critical so I really feel no need to add to the pile. In fact, those kinds of posts are so widespread that the posts which are interesting, either because they offer strategic outlook or entertainment, are far between at some stages in each game. Were you to get few suggestions, or posts of appreciation, I would have an opportunity to give them.

    So don't be discouraged, otherwise I'll be forced to load up my posts with emoticons and felate you like everyone else. And that's not as entertaining as rhyming quickness and ridiculous to some people.

    Much love.
     
  10. patagonia

    patagonia Emperor

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    If you're going for a domination win, you really don't need to worry about the possibility of Hannibal building a spaceship because you'll already have built all the invasion troops necessary to capture his capital if/when he launches. It's really just a case of warring this to a successful conclusion now.

    You only need 4 more techs this game - electricity, radio (bombers), industrialism (marines/tanks/battleships) and refrigeration (+1 naval movement). After that, nothing's really going to benefit you so more infrastructure's a waste of time unless you have cities seriously struggling for health. It also means you don't need to worry about ramping the slider right up to deal with unhappiness or WW. You should be building units or mining Inc executives everywhere from now on so you can get a couple of stacks launched against Darius ASAP.

    Congrats on the win. 2/2 in Immortal ALCs now :goodjob:
     
  11. oynaz

    oynaz Prince

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    Hey, Sis, could we get you to do a step-by-step of a modern combat? I do not think that this has been done in an ALC before with flight units, and it would be educational (and entertaining! :)
     
  12. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Corporation-wise I think you need to start making some foreign branches. It will slightly restrict trading for seafood to spread Sushi, though you'd only lose a couple of clams/fish by spreading it to Carthage, and you haven't maxed out alternative sources of seafood yet.

    Remember you can also spread Mining Inc abroad - you wouldn't lose any trades if it was spread to Carthage for example. Isabella also looks a good candidate for corporation spread as she's probably out of the game already - it doesn't matter if you strengthen her a bit. While the slider doesn't tell the whole story thanks to specialists, dropping down below 50% in this kind of set up is an alarm bell you need foreign spread. I would rethink the 10% espionage rate as well - that's a fair chunk of commerce being burnt up, so what exactly are you getting from it?

    I'd check round your cities - there's a lot which seem to be running specialists when there are good tiles unused - I find the governor tends to get a bit carried away with specialists when presented with Sushi.

    There's loads of time left for a domination win. For starters Flight lets you move a whole lot faster since you can just damage coastal cities with coastal bombardment and airstrikes, and then attack from the sea. No more waiting for slow artillery. Tanks and paratroopers are also showing up. There is obviously a long way to go though - I'm not sure taking out Mehmed and Justinian will give you enough land area. Carthage would probably need to go as well.

    That said, Carthage now seems to have turtled up and is waiting for a cultural win - which means they've researched their last tech. As usual the AI has done this far too early, so you have plenty of time to intervene with technologically superior forces. That does mean that preading Sushi to him is probably the last thing you want to do. I think Darius is going to present more of a problem. The alternative seems to be space, which should also be viable. Get some foreign spread on the corporations (particularly Mining Inc) so you can push the science rate back up, and you should be able to push for the tech lead. Carthage is now out of it, Isabella was never in it, and Mehmed and Justinian can be dealt with rapidly by force if necessary. That leaves Darius, and I suppose Pacal, but surely he doesn't have enough production to be a serious rival in the space race?

    Remember Sushi is essentially reducing the slider to run more specialists, ideally at a favourable conversion rate. If Babylon is costing 21 gold from Sushi. that's working out at 9gpt cost when you allow for HQ gold, and you're getting enough food for 6.5 specialists in return. Assuming you're running Rep (I hope Sisiutil is), that's 6.5*6 = 39 base science per turn. Alternatively you could run merchants and get a mix of gold and science. That's before modifiers are applied. Now allow for say Library/Observatory/University - You're up to 65+ bpt for that 9gpt.

    It's not actually quite that favourable, because you're reading the gold cost off the wrong place. The values in the corporation panel do not allow for inflation, so the real gold cost is somewhat higher. I doubt inflation is high enough to make Sushi unprofitable though. Kind of the key question - is Sisiutil generating more beakers now than before Sushi - the slider is not in itself important.

    Spreading a corporation to your own cities and then deliberately restricting its resources really is a waste. If I was playing this, I'd actually be looking at buying up the remaining tradable seafood with plain gpt. You do want some foreign spread though (and I think Mining is preferable to Sushi in many cases) so you can puh the slider back up and get the best of both worlds.
     
  13. SnowlyWhite

    SnowlyWhite Emperor

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    hanibal is going culture

    so spreading sushi to him would be an... interesting move :p

    researching something in infinite turns is pointing exactly to that; that and combined with the fact ais don't switch to representation and stay in US while going culture plus they usually don't use artist specs. anyway.
     
  14. rddc05

    rddc05 Warlord

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    Diplomatic Win seems like the way to go, especially if Pacal builds the UN. Don't see you beating Hannibal to the culture in ~100 turns.
     
  15. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    Actually could we see a conquest win? We've only had one in these series.
     
  16. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Diplomatic looks unlikely - maybe if Sisiutil switches back to a religion and tries to run favourite civics, but even then I'm not too convinced. At the moment no one is Friendly (and few are even pleased).

    Domination looks most promising. Justinian is the obvious target of course. Carthage isn't even half way to a culture win yet - should have at least 100 turns to deal with them. I notice you could bribe Mehmed to attack Hannibal at this point - that would slow him down a bit. Space Race is probably doable, but the other civs are a bit far ahead for comfort at this point. Superconductors will be around soon, and a couple of civs has Rocketry, so you're at least 3 techs behind.
     
  17. popejubal

    popejubal Emperor

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    Im not advocating shutting down the fish faucet entirely. I'm just saying that going after every trade possible and snatching up every unclaimed seafood resource possible is a bad idea and that limiting yourself to a rational amount of the resource is a good idea because the benefits to the corporations are linear while the costs of the corporations are quadratic.

    Corporation costs go up in proportion to population. The also go up in proportion to the number of resources that the corporation consumes. This isn't such an issue with Mining Inc because it doesn't increase your population directly, but when you have Sid's Sushi and Mining Inc in the same city, your costs go through the roof.

    If you scale back the sushi just a bit (again, I'm not talking massive changes), then you'll save significant amounts of cash while not taking a huge loss on the population growth for your empire. I really regret that my CD drive isn't working right now because I believe that the number of beakers per turn at a break-even cash point would go up significantly if some of the seafood were given away and I can't supply the screen shots because I can't load the game. (Plus, Sis can net some cash or a little good will from the neighbors for doing so.)

    Edit: Also, don't forget that the biggest cities (i.e. the ones with Sid's Sushi in them) will also be bumping up against the :health: cap soon if they haven't already. That means you're paying 3 food per turn for each extra citizen instead of the much more favorable 2 food per citizen.
     
  18. Peachrocks

    Peachrocks Too Fast For Blazing

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    What I find funny is that Carthage could very likely win by space within 50 or so turns, but no, they pursue culture :|. Just watch out for Pacal shooting into the stars I suppose but I guess you already know this, being Mehmed's Vassal makes him more protected than his size would usually allow.
     
  19. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    You're basically correct a corporation's benefit goes up linearly with number of resources, but a corporation's costs are nothing like quadratic. Each additional food is very fractionally more expensive than the previous, but only due to the increase in city size it permits. Since the city size modifier is calculated as (city pop+17)/18, this increases very slowly. Some numbers:

    If a size 21 city with a courthouse under the conditions of the current game has 10 resources, the cost of Sushi would be 15.57gpt. 12gpt would be recouped from the HQ, so you're paying 3.57gpt for the food.

    Suppose we now add 4 more resources (so 2 food, and one specialist's worth). The city goes up to size 22. The cost is now 20.48 - 12 = 8.48gpt. So this specialist is costing an extra 4.91gpt. Is a specialist worth more than this? Yes - assuming representation and/or science multipliers.

    Add another 4 resources. City now at size 23. Corp cost is now 25.67 - 12 = 13.67gpt. So this specialist costs 5.19gpt, so yes, more than the last one, but not drastically so.

    Crunching the numbers the next specialist costs 5.42, and the next 5.66gpt.

    At this point you're at 26 resources, i.e. 13 food, which is where the game currently is. Yes, you will eventually (and at a number of resources impractical in most games) reach a point where the specialist is worth less than the additional maintenance cost. It is a case of (very slowly) diminishing returns. This game is still nowhere near that threshold though.

    If you were to cut the Sushi by 4 resources, in the current game you'd save ~50gpt in maintenance costs. On the down side, you slow the growth of all your corp cities slightly. None of them have yet hit the food cap, so you don't actually lose any specialists yet. In the long run, you lose out in this trade as the specialists are worth a lot more than this. I suppose if you're getting near the end of the game you might prefer to keep maintenance low now.

    The health cap is of course another issue - but one very few of the cities have reached yet. There's also a lot of plains cities where this will never be an issue (and that can make better use of food than just specialists).
     
  20. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    If Sis was going for a space win, then the long term costs of all the corporations would be a more important factor. But he has 3 more techs to have bombers and tanks. Refridgeration might be nice but it isn't really a "must have" tech. At this point the only infrastructure sis needs in any city is granary/barracks/forge/courthouse. Any city that has these already should be either spreading corps to all the other cities or producing units/wealth.
    Espionage is basically worthless at this point. Drop the espionage slider to 0 and up the science until you get the 3 techs you need.
    Once those 3 are researched Sis will be able to run the gold slider anywhere he wants. This game is in the bag. Impressive when you consider Sis has never had the tech lead and the late spread of Islam to his land which kept diplomacy rather dicey.
    You might consider saving the next 2 GP's for a golden age to make a couple civics changes for the final war push. Police State and Nationhood. Representation loses it's luster when you no longer need the beakers and Nationhood allows you to draft defenders in newly captured cities. Police state/jails/Rushmore(which will be completed in 10 turns) eliminates WW completely. If you decide not to go the nationhood route then 3 turns of anarchy would be worth it to increase troops production and eliminate WW.
    In closing, spam your corps everywhere while researching the final three techs. If you are concerned about the impact of those corps-costs on getting those final 3 techs then spread the execs to every city and let them sit there. then do a mass spreading when the techs are finished. I am not sure what the cap on execs is so you maye have to actually use the exec before the techs are done. But I don't think it will hurt too much. You have some leeway once you drop the espionage slider to 0.
     

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