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Beware The Ides Of March - writeup

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Hall of Fame Discussion' started by drewisfat, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. drewisfat

    drewisfat King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    630
    I got my first record bringing St/N/D/Dom down 200 years to 300AD dethroning Julius Caesar and replacing him with our rightful Caesar, Augustus. Poetry that today happens to be March 15.
    Sorry @Anysense I was trying to further the fall of the Inca by going for Kait's conquest, but the last war failed and I had to salvage what I could :love:

    As an S&T player I've spent the last month transitioning to a HoF player to go for the record that is most relevant to the way I've always played: non-cheese victories on standard/normal. Since this is my first record I figured I'd live it up with a writeup.

    Leader choice: I went with Aug. Originally I tested some farfetched Ram plan, but I never could get lucky enough for a game to proceed. Figured I should at least get some experience with what had been proven: Rome. I've always been a big Augustus fan and I prefer him to Julius. ORG's power is in big and late games, but I think IND can outperform here through stuff like Oracle -> MC/forges and failgold.
    Settings: Deity/Normal/Standard, No Barbs, AGG AI. Micropangaea size. Nanos should have faster potential, but I struggle to build more than one city, so I'm fine with giving micros a chance.

    T0-50
    Spoiler :

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0069.JPG First hurdle: T8 worker steal on Gandhi. Bit far, but good time. Only got one hut, a scout. Didn't get a single positive event the entire game either come to think of it.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0071.JPG T17 second worker gets a steal on nearby England. Off to a nice start.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0072.JPG There are only 3 tiles worth speaking about in the capital. But I went with it because those are the 3 best tiles. Since those are gems and not gold, wet corn is plenty food. I prefer forests to floodplains, so I like it even without river or ph.
    Agri -> TW -> Pot on the way to an Alpha rush. Settler at size 2 looks questionable with gems going unworked, but it made sense to me with IMP and working timings.


    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0075.JPG
    Second city isn't amazing but it sure beats Atlanta. Marble nice for Oracle.
    Went writing and with Atlanta's proximity I can get instant trade routes :thumbsup:


    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0077.JPG This steal is only possible because I just got writing. If I couldn't OB with Wash I'd be trapped lol

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0078.JPG
    Confession: I was the school bully.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0080.JPG :cringe:

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0083.JPG I steal a third worker from Gandhi. His response is to feed me another worker. That third archer in Delhi is very sus though. I decide not to take the bait. I don't benefit from a 6th worker. I don't have many tiles worth improving lol. At one point in this game I disband my scout and use a worker to scout. I have no idea how Gandhi can take a big score lead while bleeding workers.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0084.JPG 4th city looks pretty nice though. I SiP with oasis and cows. Preconnected to the road network, because I've got worker turns to burn.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0087.JPG Alphabet comes in and I can immediately get the cows up and running. (no horses revealed).
     
    lymond, Anysense, Qactus and 2 others like this.
  2. drewisfat

    drewisfat King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    630
    T50-80
    Spoiler :
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0088.JPG Made some deals with the frenchman.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0089.JPG
    Well there goes the Oracle plan already. It's actually good that it went this early before I committed to teching or trading for the religious techs.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0092.JPG We get the obviously vital IW also from DeG. Iron appears in the third ring of the capital and the workerforce hastily moves to track it down.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0095.JPG Antium is more than ready to whip praets. I'm very forest heavy so getting math asap makes sense. It's sad to watch Antium suffer here without masonry though. Need the AIs to stop refusing to trade it.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0100.JPG Lincoln finishes TGLh and is finally willing to hand goodies over.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0102.JPG There are intruders. Multiple intruders.....
    I send a couple of praets to knock out this wouldbe city as soon as it's founded. Only defender is an archer advertising his destination.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0103.JPG After a great first battle, I take and hold this city. I quickly ceasefire Gandhi as I heal/maneuver praets in for the knockout blow on Delhi. I redeclare a few turns later. What even is diplomacy?
    I quickly move every Praet south.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0108.JPG Oh look at what my hands have done now.... So that unescorted settler had an escort. It was just late. Like *scrolls* 10 turns behind the settler. And they didn't turn around even though the city was razed, because ofc they didn't. This was totally visible last turn. There's a reason I don't like HoF.... I'm sloppy. This is a dire situation. There is a sole warrior in Neapolis. That's a fresh praet in queue. Can't whip anything this turn. The warrior is not promoted. There is no wall. There is no hill. There is no culture.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0109.JPG :bowdown::bowdown: :spear: :worship::worship:

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0111.JPG First Praet wins with 27% odds. I take his walled capital city with only one casualty. This is the luckiest turn I've ever had.
     
    Pangaea likes this.
  3. drewisfat

    drewisfat King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    630
    T80-114
    Spoiler :

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0119.JPG
    Mids went incredibly late this game. I was able to put a few hundred hammers into it from multiple cities by the time it finally went. This failgold powered me all the way through construction and meant the next war would have catapults. I got this trade off to help push me towards currency.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0123.JPG I took all of Gandhi's cities except Bombay (holy city + hill + wall) and took what techs I could.

    As if he knew my mind, almost immediately DeG attacked Gandhi :thumbsup:
    I'm so happy with him that I trade him Meditation for Priesthood.
    I saw Lincoln was teching currency, I traded it to him for 160g.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0132.JPG The pyramids were built in Philadelphia, which is just absolutely amazing. I felt this game was a winner now. This war is incredibly easy with catapults.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0134.JPG Liz gets a really early Feudalism. This luck is incredible!! She's immediately next door, only 3 cities, and my relations with her were already shot from the whole worker stealing thing.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0139.JPG I demand gold from the other AI and immediately attack her. All these units are well promoted from multiple GGs and prior victories. England falls quickly with not enough time to spam longbows. Minor losses taking my first hill city. She handed me feudalism and I left her with one city.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0146.JPG
    I move to kill Washington after the truce. He's built SoZ now.
    DeG is really just reading my mind. He took Bombay (and I had a little pillage fun there) and then quickly attacked Frederick while I was preparing to attack him :backstab:

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0151.JPG This feels great, bringing in just the right number of troops. Rest of my army has already begun invading France.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0155.JPG After taking his capital Wash becomes my first vassal.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0157.JPG Meanwhile DeG was already losing the war HE started with Freddy, who simply walked in and took his northern city while French troops were on the other side of the map. I came in taking the two middle cities when DeG's stack finally came to confront us.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0158.JPG And perfect timing, DeG is willing to surrender. I could not have done this game without him :beer:
     
  4. drewisfat

    drewisfat King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    630
    T115-End
    Spoiler :

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0163.JPG As soon as I was able attacked Freddy. Half my forces are by Berlin, the others are going for Tours, the city up north he just took from DeG. I just can't stop talking about how great DeG has been. Look! He's actually helping!!

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0167.JPG I was also finishing up Liz with my leftover forces on the right. I have more troops than I need over here, as there's no time left to move them to the left side of the map. Liz also had several HAs that gave all my vulnerable cities over here a bit of a scare.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0168.JPG DeG softens up Berlin for me making this war a breeze. I kill a few more troops in Berlin and before taking it check to see how Freddy's feeling.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0170.JPG Freddy's peace terms are very generous. Every turn counts. I accept and throw everything to the western end of the map where Lincoln's 3 cities remain. <375AD conquest looked to be in sight. I give vassals generous tech trades to boost their power.

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0175.JPG This is the moment where my amazing combat fortune took an abrupt turn. I did not win this battle. Lincoln's morale was boosted by multiple victories. My vassals were nowhere to be seen. I eventually took this city and had a large force near Boston, but he had an equally large stack of longbows. If I attacked I might be able to vassalize him even without taking Boston. But it was risky. He wasn't even willing to talk to me. I realized I had actively delayed a dom victory by a turn already to keep the conquest open. But how many turns am I willing to gamble like this? Had I already crossed the Rubicon?

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0178.JPG Nope, that was a different leader who did that. I took my 300AD time and I'm very happy with it :)
     
    krikav likes this.
  5. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Welcome, glad to have you here and thanks for the write up!
     
  6. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,082
    Nice game! Next time with a bit you may get 300AD Conquest. It seems fairly solid, although delaying second gems is debatable and I'd rather settle Neapolis and Cumae 1W - a chop into granary is a huge boost. Usually I wait until Construction, because fighting without cats feel wasteful, but one should always be on a lookout for exceptions.
     
    drewisfat likes this.
  7. drewisfat

    drewisfat King

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    Thanks! To respond to your points.
    - Cumae 1W would have left enough space for Gandhi to potentially found a city between Cumae and my capital, maybe even on a hill.
    - Neapolis 1W makes sense to me, but it would have left me without mines til border pop, and I feel at least one mine is efficient there. Also wouldn't be connected for 2 more turns.
    In general with rushing Alpha>Math I like to wait for the +10 hammers that are coming very soon, and to help build in bursts for maintenance reasons. In Cumae's case, since I didn't get BW til trade it wouldn't have been a very early chop/1pop whip timing anyways.
    - On settler at size 2: It would have been working unimproved tiles for a while at size 3 even with two worker steals. But I also committed to it before I knew when I'd get the second worker steal. It's trading a lot of income for faster expansion, but I figured that faster expansion would offset the income hit a little bit with faster trade routes. Also there was concern that Washington would just take the city spot instead of settling for the dud Atlanta. IIRC I would have just edged him out in a race for it if it came to that. A lot of this is from playing nano maps, and admittedly gold starts instead of gems.

    I think theory-wise the optimal run here requires fighting one war before construction at least with this tech route. With math chops coming in before construction, I would have had a large force of Praets idle for a while, or I would have chopped less aggressively. There's also the consideration that 1-2 cats aren't taking walls down fast enough, and waiting for 5+ cats meant a significant delay in the conquest chain. There's also the hope that if you go early enough you won't encounter many walls yet. Also I needed city-capture gold just to be able to make it to construction. It also worked really well with IMP GG timing. I was able to get two GGs from beating up Gandhi, the first bringing 10 3/2xp praets to the second promo, and the next bringing 8cats/2praets (IIRC) up to two promos so they could barrage down walls in one turn flat. But yes obviously you need a weak target and decent rolls to avoid heavy losses. Ideally the AI you cripple the most with worker steals doesn't have any hill cities, which is what happened here. I'm ok with a run requiring some good luck in the first battle. That's par for the course and is early enough that you'd still expect to abandon a fair chunk of games at that point.

    I'm curious what you think about golden ages. Every similar run I looked at had a GA, but the only way I can see it coming quickly and efficiently enough is with Oracle>MC / forge engineer.
     
  8. Anysense

    Anysense Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
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    Yes, it all makes sense. I remember that I did not like selfteching BW on Normal speed either; I only got into habit of early chopping on Marathon where explosive early expansion pays off. I forgot how to play on Normal speed, everything happens so fast it gives me a headache.

    I think the best is t100 GA with a great prophet from t50 Oracle. The alternative is AI's city with a couple of wonders or whip a library and hire 2 scientists at t70-80. I doubt that early GA is worth the investment as its power depends on the number of worked tiles. On the other hand, latish one brings loads of hammers and commerce and helps to pay for your overlarge army. It is a kind of thing difficult to calculate - you need experience. You could try Egypt to experiment with early GA (obelisk or library with Hatty).
     
  9. drewisfat

    drewisfat King

    Joined:
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    I see problems with threading the needle with every option though. T50 is when I got Alphabet. Still have to trade/tech for the 3 religious techs and build the thing. Rushing Alpha is not something I used to do, but it's made such a huge improvement I don't want to give it up.
    To get a T100 GA, I'd have to take a city with two wonders (if one even exists and is nearby), and have it come out of revolt by T75. That seems really dubious. I took my first city T74 this game.
    To get 2 scientists going in the T70s it would have to be one of my own cities not one I conquered and don't really care about. 90 hammers + dooming it to run two scientists basically means that city isn't producing units for me. That'll hurt the success odds of an early attack, and begs the question if a GA is even going to adequately compensate for taking a core city out of commission for that long.
    I think having the capital run an engineer for 20 turns is less costly than the library route, though still costly. I'm also thinking as the end date moves earlier that I might prefer a T95 GA which is still doable with Oracle/forge. Got to take into consideration the GA lasting 8 turns, it taking ~10 turns for units to get to the other side of the map, and the end of the game being a blaze of whipping/strike economy that a GA doesn't really help.
     

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