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[BTS] An attempt at 15XX AD Deity Space

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Anysense, Mar 20, 2018.

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  1. Dhoomstriker

    Dhoomstriker Girlie Builder

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    You are correct in your understanding.

    Some thoughts on how it might be corrected in the code:
    1. You simply lose the Hammers, since there was an invalid-to-build build item in your build queue. This approach seems to be what was used in Vanilla when a captured City first comes out of Revolt, where, if you don't select an item in your build queue, you don't get the Hammers from your first turn out of Revolt.

    2. You get the Hammers, but the game automatically selects a build item on your behalf, much how the game will automatically dump Flasks into a Tech if you haven't selected a Tech by the end of your turn. Note that for the first 5 turns of the game, you can get around this enforced Flask-spending by unselecting your Tech selection, but as soon as you end your turn with a Tech selected or you reach Turn 5, whichever comes first, the game will start automatically dumping Flasks into a Tech on your behalf when you end your turn without a Tech being selected.

    3. You get the Hammers and the game forces you to choose a build item before you can end your turn. Implementing such a check would probably affect the performance of the game for every game that you play, on every turn, even in games where you don't encounter this situation, and when you do encounter this situation, this check might need to be repeated each time that you try to end your turn with an invalid selection at the start of a build queue, and thus such a fix might come with noticeable a performance cost.


    Good luck with playing Hall Of Fame games! A few newbie pointers:
    i. When creating a Single Player -> Custom Game, double-check that the Lock Modified Assets option is enabled. I even uncheckmark it and recheckmark it before each new game since I find that when I switch between BtS BUFFY Mod versions, sometimes the options can appear to be checkmarked but aren't really set for that version of the BUFFY Mod. Another handy way to check is to save a game with the settings that you want and have the saved game's settings get checked for validity with the Hall Of Fame by uploading it to the Start Saved Game Checker page.

    ii. Ensure that you save a copy of your Turn 0 saved game before moving any of your Units, as you'll need to submit it as part of any valid submission. If you don't manually save your game, you don't use MapFinder to save your game, and you don't enable the BUFFY Mod's "Create Starting Save" option on the BUFFY Option's General tab, and instead you just rely on an Autosave existing, make sure to copy your first-turn Autosave somewhere before it gets overwritten by your next game. Personally, I recommend one of the first three options, either manually saving the game, using MapFinder to save the game, or using the BUFFY Mod to save the game.

    iii. Watch out for subtle, but invalid settings on the Rules page, such as using a disallowed type of World Wrap setting, or accidentally uncheckmarking any of the Victory Conditions. Again, using the starting-saved-game checker from point i. above will help.

    iv. Spend the time to set up MapFinder. Although some people use it to generate hundreds of maps and then pick from them, I find that process to be tedious, as it takes away from playing time. But, I will use MapFinder's Regenerate Map hotkeys of Ctrl + Alt + g to Regenerate a map and then add the Shift key, i.e. Ctrl + Alt + Shift + g, to stop generating maps, which allows me to quickly visually reject a starting area and regenerate a map a few times, then start playing. It may take a bit of playing around for figure out the best timing values to set for the Regenerate Delay, Skip Delay, and Save Delay values in the Mod's Options (Ctrl + Alt + o -> Map tab), since each computer will have slightly different amounts of lag, but this bit of effort will save you some frustration and should increase your playing time on maps that you feel are sufficiently reasonable to play.

    v. Before launching Civ 4, it is a wise idea to customize your CivilizationIV.ini file, which is probably found in \My Documents\My Games\Beyond the Sword, with these values:
    MaxAutoSaves = 0
    AutoSaveInterval = 1

    The first option means that the game won't delete autosaved games after you've played a few turns. The second option means that the game will autosave the game at the start of every turn. While the policy for dealing with game crashes is pretty strict, if it does happen to you, you're going to be totally out of luck if you only have an autosaved game from 3 turns ago.

    vi. To reduce the amount of crashes that you experience, especially if you play in Windowed mode, regularly open up (Windows) Task Manager, then select the game window, which seems (at least on Windows 7) to reset the paged memory being used by the game and may temporarily boost the performance of your game. You may have to explicitly click on the title of the Task Manager window just to bring it into focus in order for the memory-resetting process to properly work. I find that I have to close Task Manager before I repeat the tactic.
    EDIT: Also, I think that it is a good practice to manually save your game before you open up Task Manager, just in case, while clicking around in different windows, you accidentally close the Civ 4 window. I got burned that way once, so now I take the extra time to manually save my game first before opening Task Manager.

    vii. Again, on the issue of crashes, if your computer has a decent amount of RAM, look into using Radeon RAMDisk, which has a free version for up to about 4 GB of RAM, which is more than enough to fit all of the game's expansions and some of its Mods, as well as the BUFFY Mod (for Beyond the Sword) and the HOF Mods (for Vanilla and Warlords). Running the game from RAM will speed up performance, but it's only really workable if your computer already has a decent amount of RAM. If you have less than 8 GB of RAM, forget it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
    elmurcis and Anysense like this.
  2. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

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    Thanks, Dhoomstriker, that's all very helpful. The readme file that comes with Map Finder is apparently not up to date, because it said that the hotkey is Alt-M, which actually is a hotkey for reminders in BUFFY. BTW, how do I start playing with Map Finder? I just load a save it made and play as usual, then use the save created by Map Finder as a starting save for submission?
     
  3. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    Yes, start playing from the save it made and submit that save as starting save.

    Playing from mapfinder saves is usually safe, because they are saved in a separate directory and never automatically overwritten. If you do manual regeneration, then make sure you backup the starting autosave as soon as the game looks remotely like a keeper. I've lost too many game for losing the auto save. One that I played all the way to the end and several that I realized halfway through that I didn't have the starting save anymore. :hammer2:
     
  4. Dhoomstriker

    Dhoomstriker Girlie Builder

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    For Vanilla using the HOF (Hall Of Fame) Mod, Alt + m starts up MapFinder and Alt + x stops MapFinder. I agree with you that it's unfortunate that this information wasn't updated to also provide details for the changed hotkeys for BUFFY.


    What elitetroops said is correct--if MapFinder saves a game for you and you start playing from that saved game, then simply use that saved game from MapFinder as your first saved game on the Hall Of Fame game-submission form.

    Now, that's assuming that MapFinder is configured to save the game--which games get saved depend upon which MapFinder .rul (Rule Builder rules) file you use. If you launch the MapFinder application, you can go to File -> Rule Builder to create your own custom set of rules.

    Personally, I have two main different approaches:
    A] If I want my computer to generate a lot of maps and then let me pick from them, I'll use a relatively strict set of rules. I'll let MapFinder run on its own with the game window maximized (otherwise the screenshots that get taken are of other programs that are running on your computer, and the screenshots of the starting area are the most helpful way of reviewing a long list of pre-generated saved games to see which ones you would like to try playing). I'll let MapFinder generate a bunch of saved games and then I'll copy the ones where I like what I see in the screenshots over to my My Documents\My Games\Beyond the Sword\Saves\single directory.

    B] If I want to get playing quickly, I'll manually regenerate the game using Ctrl + Alt + g, then almost immediately stop the map-generation process with Ctrl + Alt + Shift + g. Usually, MapFinder doesn't have enough time to save the game on my behalf, so I must manually save the game. If I like what I see, I'll manually change my Leader Name slightly via the Game Menu (click on the computer icon at the top right of the map worldview screen) -> Your Details -> Leader Name, say, from "Anysense Lincoln A1" to "Anysense Lincoln A2," click on the OK button to accept the change, and then press Ctrl + s then click on the OK button to manually save the game. I'll then play the game out for a bit. If I don't like what I see after settling and I am still on Turn 0, I can press Ctrl + Alt + g again and repeat the process, and the next time that I spot a starting area that I like, I will again change my Leader Name, say, to "Anysense Lincoln A3," and manually save the game again.

    If, instead, I've played past Turn 0 but I don't like what I see, I'll exit the game to the main menu: Game Menu (computer icon) -> Exit to Main Menu -> Yes, then I will load one of the Turn 0 (usually 4000 BC, unless you are not playing an Ancient Era start) saved games and start the process again by pressing Ctrl + Alt + g. I find that this process is faster if you aren't very picky about your start, but you also have to be extra careful to make sure that you're both saving your game manually before playing and are not accidentally playing the same game again when you load a game.


    Yes, and that approach would match approach A] that I mentioned above.


    In my opinion, setting yourself up with a good Rule Builder rules file takes some practice and is also a personal experience, since it depends upon your personality and level of patience/impatience... set one up, let MapFinder run with it while you sit there and watch what happens, then see if too many of undesirable starting areas are getting saved or if too few of desirable starting areas are getting saved, and then be prepared to tweak your Rule Builder rules file again.

    Sometimes, a good Resource won't be in view, but may exist in a square that his hidden, while MapFinder only works with the Resources that are in view. So, if I want Gold + Marble + 2 Food Resources, I might set up a rule grouping that only ask for 2 or 3 of those things to appear then ask for that rule grouping OR another similar rule grouping OR yet another similar rule grouping etc to be matched, hoping that after I settle my City, the missing Resource or Resources will appear. In this way, I get more maps to try out, but I also have to try out more maps, since a lot of the time, the Resources that I was hoping to appear in the hidden squares do not actually appear. You can also just be really restrictive with your criteria and let MapFinder run for a longer period of time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  5. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

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    I use first approach. Just ask Map Finder to find 2 commerce or 1 commerce + food/floodlains/marble and make it run for a few hours. Then I sort saves by size and delete smaler ones, because I want at least 900 tiles, ideally 1000+. Then I look through the pictures, try a few that look very promising and delete the ones that look plain bad. Then just load the remaining saves one by one.
    Discarded several starts because either I was squashed between the AI's, or the land around the capital was too poor, or there was no marble that I could possibly claim; Finally, I've found exactly what I need.
     
  6. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

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    Unstable size of pangaea type was a bit of problem, they are mostly in range of 800 to 900, and 1000+ land tiles is rather rare. WastinTime mentioned that Big and Small does not depend on sea level, that was curious and I started experimenting with B&S. Turned out that standard size B&S is very stable 1200-1350. That's about 30% more land than the largest pangaea! There are some problems though, like 2+ continents ocasionally.
    Found a curious start. Would you kill the corn?
    Spoiler :

    Civ4ScreenShot0001.JPG
     
  7. Dhoomstriker

    Dhoomstriker Girlie Builder

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    No, because it's a really solid square. When I evaluate a square, I mentally subtract the 2 Food that gets eaten by the citizen who works that square. You do need to ignore the City Centre square in such an analysis, since it can make you feel that you shouldn't subtract the 2 Food, but you'll do yourself a disservice this way.

    Instead, just think of the City Centre square as being something that you'll always get (just like you'll always get a Palace's Commerce), and only consider the "extra bit" that you can get, such as the +1 Food from settling on a Corn Resource.

    So, here we actually have 4 Food + 1 Commerce from a Grassland Riverside Corn square. Compare that to 1 Hammer from a Grassland Forest square. Assuming a rough calculation of Food = Hammers = Commerce in the early game, that's 5 times as good of a square.


    Of course, you have other factors to consider, such as the fact that if you settle in place, you won't be on a River, so you won't get a Levee, which is a bit of a shame. You can always move your capital later to get a Levee in your capital, especially if you capture a solid City from an AI, as you'll still get the Health bonus from settling next to a Lake, making the square equivalent to settling on a River up until Levees are unlocked.


    Settling on top of the Gold is a possibility if you really want a Levee and a ton of Food + Cottages, and which also gets you +1 H and +1 C at the cost of not working a really strong square. I'd normally only do so when there isn't a lot of Food around to be able to be consistently working a Gold Mine with a citizen, but in this case, with so much Food, it doesn't feel like the best choice, for a similar reason as not settling on a Riverside Corn square.


    A decent option is settling 1 W of the Gold on the G Riv For, since you're still keeping the best 3 Resource squares and are earning some extra Flood Plains squares that you can Cottage.


    Another decent option could be settling 1 S on the G Riv For, as it looks coastal, would give you the Levee, and keeps the best 3 Resource squares. You'd be passing up on the Flood Plains squares, but if you end up next to an ocean, you could build a Lighthouse to turn the Lake into an Oasis-equivalent square, while also being able to build a Harbour for stronger capital Trade Routes. If you choose to send the Settler south, first send the Settler 1 SW G Riv Cow for an extra bit of visibility before deciding where to send the Settler. In this way, you can still move 1 E G Riv For on the same turn as you would have by moving directly 1 S, but you also have the option of only losing 1 turn and retreating back to your starting spot, or moving 1 NW G For (1 NW of the Cow) so that you can still settle on the square that is 1 W of the Gold as you would have been able to do had you instead moved to the Gold square on your way to the square that is 1 W of the Gold square.

    Recall that for the HOF, if you're playing on a Big & Small map, you cannot use the Flat World Wrap option that is available for a Pangaea map. If you had planned to play with the Cylindrical World Wrap option, this fact won't affect you at all, but it is one area where a Pangaea can shine--why pay for the higher City Distance Maintenance of Cylindrical if (for a Pangaea map) you probably won't make much use of boats for the Circumnavigation bonus?

    I'd imagine that Big & Small would have a lot more Seafood Resources for Sid's Sushi. That said, some players would argue that for a fast Space Race, you don't really need Sid's Sushi and can just focus on getting Mining Inc, with Sid's Sushi being nice for boosting your Score, but not necessarily leading to a faster end date, due to the extra costs of Sid's Sushi and the relatively longer time for it to start paying off (Hammers arriving immediately can be used immediately--Food arriving immediately costs you immediately but requires many turns to "actualise" into a gain via population points growing over time and being put to good use only when the squares are available or when Specialist-enhancing Civics are in use and sufficient Specialist slots exist to ensure that the extra population points aren't just working marginal squares).
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  8. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

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    That's pretty much what I thought. Then I calculated SiP and settling on the corn and changed my mind. Settling on the corn makes for a much faster start. First settler's 4 turns earlier, which may as well let me claim another corn or even double food spot, that otherwise would go to an AI; and gold is worked 8 turns earlier, which gives a nice commerce bonus. Then there is a possibility of having free trade routes via river.
    Oh, I forgot about Flat for pangaea, used Cylindrical just out of a habit. Something to keep in mind if I turn to pangaea again.
     
  9. Imploding

    Imploding Warlord

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    @Anysense how about killing the gold?

    Extra hammer, extra commerce in cap, gives river for levee and 2 more floodplains.
    Maybe more important it keeps the 2x corn for fast improving, rexing and sharing of the food in the early game.

    Would make 2-3 warriors and with the amazing growth started a settler at size 4-5 working 2-3 floodplains. counting the tiles and the setteled gold that will give nice + 5-6 commerce in the early game. I think that will be good enough for oracle.

    Seems like you went for the corn? how is the game developing?
     
  10. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    I wouldn't pick pangaea for a space game, it doesn't have enough land. If you want a single landmass map, then flat scripts like lakes or inland sea are better. Or go with terra.
     
  11. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

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    @Imploding I really need that gold, if there were two then I'd rather settle on gold than corn. The presense of cows matters too; without cows I'd keep both corns, because just one corn would be not enough. I settled on the corn and it looks pretty good, I've nearly finished the most tricky and luck dependent part. Need ~10 turns to be absolutely sure that this is the one. It's definitely worth playing to the end, anyway.
    @elitetroops Haven't played those much, just a few games which I don't even remember. There so many things I don't know... And yeah, pangaea is too small, even at its max size.
     
  12. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

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    That game went well even though I messed up a little here and there. Until Elizabeth bribed Frederick against me. For some reason I thought that he can only be bribed at "friendly", wrong, "pleased" is enough. And of course, he just happened to have a 24 units stack at my border... That may not sound like a big deal, but Liz won enough time to get Rifling and Steel.
    Spoiler :

    Civ4ScreenShot0595.JPG

    So, no fast teching vassal. In fact, I failed to vassal anyone else, because they have many island cities. For instance, I took all of Darius'es cities on the mainland and he would not even give a tech for peace! I played to T192 and its just no good. Perhaps I'll finish it later, when I feel up to it.

    I looked through the remaining starting saves and played one of those till turn 64. Expansion seems to be in order.
    Spoiler :

    Civ4ScreenShot0032.JPG
    Civ4ScreenShot0033.JPG

    Tried Currency beeline for a change and ran into an unexpected problem - T64 still nobody's got Alpha!
    Spoiler :

    Civ4ScreenShot0035.JPG

    Is it Deity? It is. Then how could that have happened? I played about 20 sample games till turn 50-70 and I've never seen Alpha later than ~50. Usually at least one AI would have it before T40. Not that it is such a big broblem, Wheel and Agriculture will take only 2 turns of research each, but its just wierd. Now I've come to think of it, in the game metioned above 4 AI's did not have Writing at T60, let alone Alphabet. Still, its very odd that nobody, not even Mansa, researched Alpha by T64.
     
  13. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

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    Finished. Eventually I managed to subdue Elizabeth with infantry, artillery and cossacks. For a ~7000:hammers: investment I gained several strong cities, the Statue of Liberty, Fission and Ecology. It went very fast because I would not stop for healing, just bring new artillery and drag along every unit available except a few for city defence. Lost only 2 infantry at the cost of 22 artillery. Not much happened after that. The only tricky moment was when I had to gift a city to be able to chop 1 more forest into engine.
    Launched the spaceship on T242, that is 9 turns later than with a double plains cows start. Clearly, cows aren't as bad as it's generally thought. Of course, I messed up a lot in this game and made some really bad mistakes with severe consequences.
    I also tested the trick with Task Manager and it seems to work for me.
    Spoiler Pics :

    Civ4ScreenShot0129.JPG
    Civ4ScreenShot0130.JPG
    Civ4ScreenShot0133.JPG

    Does it makes sense to submit with this kind of a result? I might have made a submission just to check whether I did everything right and the game is valid for HoF.
     
  14. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    Absolutely you should submit it. Once you get a taste of HoF play, you'll soon be craving some more, and before you know it you are aiming for QM and EQM. ;) The game still counts towards those in all categories. And it will be the fastest non-Elizabeth Deity/Normal/Standard/Space Colony victory! :trophy: (Also the fastest non-OCC Deity/Normal/Standard/Space Colony victory! :eek::eek:)
     
  15. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

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    Oh, that's unexpected. Better than an unxpected DoW though:lol: It seems that OCC is generally considered best for Normal/Standard and there were very few serious games played in a normal mode. Perhaps, with some adjustments to my strategy and a few more attempts I will change it.
     
  16. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    The top 4 games submitted for that slot are all OCC games, played with Elizabeth and submitted roughly the same time. This most likely means there was a Gauntlet or Challenge with those settings that required OCC. The slots that have featured as gauntlets, especially on deity, tend to be quite tough, as a deity gauntlet usually means a lot of top players want to give it their best shot.

    I don't think it means that OCC is best in any way. It just means that no top player has put the same kind of effort into playing the best non-OCC game.
     
  17. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

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    just have a couple of questions. When an AI gives you a tech like "The Malinese people are feeling quite generous today", does it count as a tech trade for WFYABTA? Does it affect the amount of gold one can beg from the AI in question?
     
  18. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    IIRC counts towards WFYABTA, don't see why it would effect begging.
     
  19. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

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    Well, it does. Can't be absolutely sure though. It would take time to test that properly.
     
  20. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    That is very interesting and counter-intuitive. Can you elaborate?
     

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