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Asterix the Gaul -- Or: How to get the biggest bang out of the Gallic Swordsman

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Succession Games' started by Lanzelot, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    A Training Day Game based on the Celts

    When I was a little kid, the most famous comic book series in Western Europe (second probably only to the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck series) was The Adventures of Asterix and Obelix. It is 50 BC. Imperator Iulius Caesar is ruling the entire known world. The entire known world? -- No, there is a little Gallic village still refusing to buckle down to the Roman Rule! Asterix and Obelix are two Gallic warriors constantly defying the mighty Roman Legions that are sent forth to subdue the rebellious village.




    In their daily life, they encounter many exciting adventures involving lots of barneys with the Romans and lots of tasty wild boar...







    A while ago, the idea for a new Training Day Game evolved out of a discussion about how to best implement an efficient early war-mongering strategy based on the Celtic unique unit, the Gallic Swordsman. As we will be exploring some special Gallic Swordsman strategies and tactics, I thought that Asterix and Obelix and their struggle for freedom from the Roman Empire would be the perfect motto of this game.

    So fellow Gaulish brothers in arms: come and join our noble cause!

    What is a training day game? CommandoBob has just published an excellent description of how it works. I wouldn't be able to express it as well as he did, so I take the liberty to copy his description over here:
    This is basically, what we are going to do. However, for this particular game there will be a few more extra points or modifications:
    • Every player will always play his set of 10 turns (20 turns for the very first set) take notes during the game of what he/she did and why, and then turn the save and the notes in for review. Then we will discuss the results in the team, the experienced veterans will give feedback and tips to the novices, and then, when proceeding with the next set of 10 turns every player has the choice to continue from his own .sav or from mine.
      Why don't we just pick "the best" .sav and all continue from that point? The reason why I don't want to do it this way is that sometimes a decision, which appears not so good short-term, turns out to be very powerful long-term. So something that looked very strong during the current 10 turns or even during the following 10-20 turns, may be strategically inferior to something that looked very weak during the first 10 turns.
      To give you a simple example: in some starting locations it is better to build an early settler, in others it is better to build an early granary. If you pick the wrong choice, your initial REX during the first 30-40 turns may look much better than the other choice, but after that time the long-term potential of the other choice may start to unfold and leave the original choice crawling in the dust...
      By playing the game "my way", the novice players will have the chance to compare the effects of certain strategic decisions over a long period of time. They can see first hand, how their game would have developed, if they had taken the other path some 50 turns in the past, and this should be a very instructive learning experience for them. You don't get the effect of learning long-term strategy by only concentrating on the very small time window of the current 10 turns.
    • As the purpose of this game is to explore the power of the Gallic Swordsman, the victory condition will certainly not tend to be going to Alpha Centauri... ;) This is more likely to be a quick and dirty Domination or Conquest victory condition.

    Ok, I hope that besides the topic of "how to whack your neighbors with Gallic Swordsmen", the student will also get some learning-by-doing experience about the following general early-game topics:
    • assessing the start position and selecting the best capital location
    • efficient early worker management
    • setting up a settler factory
    • managing the "Republic Slingshot"
    • getting the most out of trades with the AI
    • expansion and city placement
    • military tactics
    • making the most out of a Civ's traits (in this game "The Celts": agricultural and religious)
     
  2. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Participants:
    Puppeteer
    Lanzelot
    splunge the 2nd
    creamcheese
    Aabraxan
    Glasnost
    Freeven
    Sparthage

    Lurking:
    darski
    Elephantium
    AnthonyIII
    Desertsnow
    Arexander
    Pacioli
    RickFGS
    Bowsling

    I will keep this list up-to-date.
     
  3. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Ok, I took a random generated map with default settings (standard, continents, 70% ocean, everything average). However, I made two small modifications to the game:
    • I changed our starting position just a bit, so that the game will be as instructive as possible and some of the standard early game stratagems can be illustrated clearly and implemented smoothly.
      (No, I didn't beef up our start... In fact, quite the opposite: I removed a cow, so that this game will not be too easy for you... ;))
    • I made sure that the Romans will be one of our opponents, and that they have access to iron... :D

    So here is our start position:



    Our opponents:



    Oops, no, wait a minute... Got something mixed up here... Let's try that again...

    Our start position:



    Our opponents:

     
  4. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Ok, for now I would like all active players to check in and at the same time indicate their preferred difficulty level.
    At first I thought, we should do this as a quick and dirty Warlord game, but now it looks like, most of the contenders would like to have it a bit more difficult. Perhaps we should just play it a whee bit above everybody's usual "comfort level"?


    I'll take down the votes here.
    Puppeteer: Emperor
    Theov: Monarch
    Lanzelot: Warlord (or Demigod)
    splunge the 2nd: Emperor
    creamcheese: Demigod
    Aabraxan: Anything is fine. Comfort level: Emperor
    DeXteR_: ?
    Glasnost: Emperor

    Once we've decided that, I'll post the start save, and then all of you got one week to try your hands on the first 20 turns and hand it in.
     
  5. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    Checking in and looking for my Zaubertrank. :D
     
  6. darski

    darski Regent in Training

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    lurker's comment: Here I am with my :popcorn: all heated up and ready.

    When I get my comp back from the shop - I may dl a set here or there. Your method is different from what I expected but I'm still better at lurking. :D

     
  7. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, we will definitely need some of that Zaubertrank... :D



    ("Zaubertrank": magic potion)
     
  8. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    I'm well comfortable at Emperor, and capable of DG in solo play. When this first came up in the other thread, I thought that this would be Warlord/Regent and I didn't actually expect to be a trainee. With that said, I'll play at whatever level, and in whatever role the team needs from me.
     
  9. splunge the 2nd

    splunge the 2nd Chieftain

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    I'm in. I play myself at Emporer. If we're working on new strategies, Emporer works, but I'm willing to work a bit. The one SG I played before was higher, if I recall.
    By the way, that starting position isn't pretty (groan)
     
  10. Theov

    Theov Chieftain

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    Regent is easy for me.
    I can beat monarch.
     
  11. AnthonyIII

    AnthonyIII Chieftain

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    Following this one. :)
     
  12. Princeof Persia

    Princeof Persia The Empire wasn't bad

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    Man, those comics are good.
     
  13. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Chieftain

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    Checking in. I play solo at Emperor, but in solo games I usually get bored with empire management in the industrial ages if I feel like I'm in a winning position.

    I think I can learn something at any level.

    My early babbling analysis:
    Spoiler :
    At first glance I wasn't fond of the start, but I see a river 2E of the settler. I think our second city will be a settler pump.

    My first thought is that there is no compelling reason to move the starting settler. Worker 1E to mine the BG for strong early production, settle in place if the worker move turns up nothing.

    Since we're agricultural, putting a city on the river will give us 3fpt on the city center, and if we have the irrigated deer that's 4fpt; that will get the city to +5fpt for a 4-turn settler factory in despotism. I expect there will be enough shields to manage that.

    For a food bonus near the capitol I'll often get a close second city to take advantage of it to leave the capitol. If the city crowds the capitol or other good city sites it can be a temp city.
     
  14. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Well, only if you have to work really hard and need to press the last grain, the last shield and the last coin out of your starting position, you'll learn the "high art of MM"... If you always play starts with two wheat and three cows in the BFC, you never have any incentive to improve, because the game "plays itself" on auto-pilot so to speak, and you would win even if you let the governor do the tile assignment... ;)
     
  15. splunge the 2nd

    splunge the 2nd Chieftain

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    I was just looking at the thumbnail. I thought it was mountain and jungle! From what I read above, it's not bad.
    My MM is admittedly poor. I don't count shields and have only accidentally stumbled on settler factories. I look forward to some helpful guidance. I'll prob start playing tonight.
     
  16. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Chieftain

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    At first glance I wasn't thrilled, but this is actually a very shield-strong start, both very early and after government change. At start we have (in despotism) the 2f2s forest deer and a BG we can mine for 2f2s immediately. In my mind, the second city is a settler pump--probably a temp city since it will necessarily crowd the capitol. However, once the empire is established and worker/settler production is moved elsewhere, the then-5fpt irrigated deer and the city center food production will allow the capitol to work the hill and all three mountains. Every other worked tile will be 2fpt and at least 1spt, so we're looking at 20spt at pop 12 until rails, allowing for 2-turn GS until Feudalism.
     
  17. Desertsnow

    Desertsnow πr²

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    Lurker's comment: I'm here. :popcorn: Maybe I can learn a thing or three myself. :)
     
  18. darski

    darski Regent in Training

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    I can't read those graphics any more... is there a bonus grass anywhere in there?

    I admit I would not play that start... too dead for me:scan:
     
  19. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Chieftain

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    It's not the sea of BGs, rivers and cows that gets one excited, but there is nothing wrong with this start. At first the capitol is going to be making a settler as it reaches size 3, so only 2 workable tiles are needed for a while. There is a BG 1E, and it will be mined before the second pop point arrives. And as I have shown, there is a very high probability that we have a despotic 4-turn settler pump as our second city.

    By the time the capitol is ready to grow itself, the plains can be irrigated (witness nearby river), and there is enough food bonus to work the hills and mountains. It's a near-term and long-term win. After Republic (or Monarchy) the capitol can switch from high-shield production (hill, mountains) to high-commerce production (harbor and coastal squares) as we need. Very powerful indeed.
     
  20. splunge the 2nd

    splunge the 2nd Chieftain

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    Remind me never to try to evaluate a start looking at a thumbnail on a smartphone. I can just barely make out the river on the PC screen.

    When do we play?
     

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