Blackbetsy HOF Attempts

@Spoonwood, yeah I put that profile statement up for you. :cool: But honestly I never really thought about it when I created the name at the time other than using it for anonymity, as I used it elsewhere on the Interwebs. And I really don't care what people call me as long as its QUARTERMASTER.
 
Well, I am going through a HELL of a slog for Conquest on Demigod level Huge with the Iroquois. I wound up killing the English early in the Medieval Era and then the Americans, Scandinavians, and Spanish later in the Medieval / early Industrial Era. The Portuguese were on an island and my first invasion force of 28 Cavalry and 20 cannons was wiped out by very aggressive counterattacks by what I thought was a weak Portuguese military. I had to regroup and sent 40 Cavalry, 24 artillery, and 8 infantry on a second attack, which succeeded just as much because the Dutch piled on an wiped out the northern part of the Portuguese island.

Now I'm down to the Byzantines, Germany, and the Netherlands. Germany had a pretty decent size tech lead since it stayed a Democracy while the Byzantines (old tech leaders) and Dutch went Fascist as a part of the Portuguese War. I can't screenshot now, but I was set up to take on the Germans next because they bordered the Dutch and Byzantines, but not me. I let my MPP and RoP agreements with the Germans lapse and was waiting for my troops to re-assemble when the Byz (who I had a MPP with) irrationally attacked the Dutch (who I had an MPP with), triggering a war with the Byz.

This was a really bad choice by Theodora. She didn't have oil or rubber, and therefore she couldn't build any more infantry than those she built while she traded with someone else for rubber. No tanks, no planes (she didn't have mass production). She snagged a few border cities from me, which I retook, except for one the Dutch got to first. With my tank forces already in her territory ready to spring on the Germans, I didn't need to do much positioning to start taking her cities. Pumping out 4-6 tanks per turn from my core meant that I pretty rolled through her core (in an earlier war with the Byz triggered by the Dutch, I stabbed into her territory and took Constantinople). The Dutch took her entire Eastern province in a few turns, and now my Iroquouis tanks and artillery are racing to take what's left of the Byzantine territory. I'll probably win about 50% of the remaining cities.

Amazingly, even though they aren't a part of this war, the Germans flipped to Fascism. They have Space Flight and Computers on me, but I'll be able to get both once I finish Ecology. The Dutch have a pretty sizeable tank force themselves, and it will come into play nicely when I get Bismarck to declare war on me. The Germans have a big army, but they have to go through Dutch territory to get to my core, and everything in between is railroaded. Best case scenario the German and Dutch armies decimate each other while I burn down German city after German city with a vanguard force of tanks, tank armies, bombers and artillery.

The last piece of the puzzle will be to RoP abuse the Netherlands. I should be able to wipe out the Dutch core in a few turns, but cleanup for conquest is going to take forever - the Dutch and Iroquois have been allies in many wars of conquest and we have a long, long border (probably 8 of my cities have flipped to the Dutch) and the Dutch have over 100 cities (I have 250), which will take a LOT of time to roll through. The good news is that with only the Dutch left, I only have to take a city once, since I don't have to worry about any other civ getting furious over my city razes.

We are about 1500 AD?
 
These Huge games are such a slog. The Germans got wiped out by the Iroquois/Dutch alliance over 25 turns or so. On turn 1 of the German War, we took their only Oil resource, meaning that we wouldn't see any new Panzers. I had traded the Dutch Synthetic Fibers so that they would also bring Modern Armor to the party. I never did lose any cities to the Germans, as there was a pretty big Dutch buffer between me and the Germans. The Dutch chose to raze a lot of the German cities rather than keep them, although we still had a patchwork of borders. The Germans had built about 4 spaceship parts before the war started, but we knew it would never launch.

Importantly, I took and kept the two German sources of Uranium, meaning that I had 4 Uranium sources while the Dutch had 0. That meant that I could Nuke Dutch cities with impunity at my leisure. Keeping the Dutch close with luxury trades, I was able to build up a force of 26 ICBMs and Tactical Nukes. If the AI was smart, it would understand that when I built an ICBM and re-named it "ICBM The Hague", trouble was on the way. Unfortunately, I lost a source of uranium to random chance and it popped up near Breda, meaning the Dutch in a matter of 5 turns had 7 ICBMs. It was time to attack.

A surprise first strike leveled 25 cities in the Dutch core. Amsterdam had nearly 50 Modern Armor + 6 Mech Infantry in it, meaning that I needed a force of 15 Modern Armor (including an Army) to take it after it was nuked, assuming at least 50% of the Modern Armor were dead, to be safe. The Dutch spaceship, which had been building up since the end of the German war, was destroyed. All 7 Dutch ICBMs were destroyed on the ground in core cities, saving countless Iroquois lives. Wave after wave of Modern Armor follow up the nuke strikes by mopping up remaining troops, leaving slave workers and donut holes of radioactive wasteland. All but 1 of the cities was razed; a too small force of Modern Armor couldn't take one Dutch town. We cut off or pillage every source of Dutch oil in this turn, meaning no new Tanks, Modern Armor, Bombers or the like. They'd be fighting with other kinds of units.

The Dutch army had been cut in half, leaving force numbers about the same as my own. Interturn, the Dutch amassed a force of nearly 70 Modern Armor and Mech Infantry near one of my most product ex-Byzantine cities. Did you notice I built up a force of 26 nukes but only used 25? The last tactical nuke was reserved for follow up; I used it to kill the Stack of Doom just outside the city. The Modern Armor used to raze the Dutch cities was re-assigning to mop up what was left of this force. Another tactical nuke a few turns later reduced a 50+ mech infantry stack into 8 weakened units.

Over the course of wars against 7 other civs, the Dutch and Iroquois had created a very, very long boundary. This boundary was defended largely with barricades thrown up by hundreds of slave workers, defended at key points by draftee Mech Infantry. The cordon defense - famously only useful against smugglers - worked pretty well against the Dutch AI, as their hasty counterrack got re-directed from the Iroquois core. The former lands of the Spanish were poorly defended by the Iroquois on account of a choke point between Iroquois territory and the Dutch core manned by a Dutch mech infantry. Troops and supplies could only move in/out by airport or sea, so we simply didn't spend effort defending them. The Dutch capital jumped to near the Spanish core, meaning that I'll have to likely engage in a real hot war to finish off the Dutch core.

Right now I am cleaning up the remaining cities in striking distance of the Iroquois core, as well as cleaning up the western part of the continent in what was formerly American territory. San Diego was a tactical nuke target, and now Radar and conventional artillery are wiping out the Dutch frontier cities. Once we clean up the west, we will clean up the former Byzantine cities that fell to the Dutch and then move from West Germany through to the (new) Dutch core with some selected additional ICBM strikes. Likely the game will end, as it always does, on a Dutch island south of the former Scandinavia. Unless, of course, I demand the turnover of that city as part of a false peace.

Turns are an hour long or so, endlessly re-positioning defenses and mustering up Modern Armor scattered throughout the wasteland of the former Dutch core. I am not stressing over losing non-core cities for a few turns, as the mech infantry defenders usually can bleed off the Modern Armor that the Dutch can't afford to lose. The Dutch are about to link up an Oil resource that they captured from me in the former Spanish core, so they will be able to build Modern Armor again, but they won't be able to match my production levels. I think they have maybe 50 cities left, spread out across the world and likely very corrupt on distance. I am razing a few per turn at this point, which should accelerate as I can concentrate forces on fewer fronts. We've got an East American front, a West American front, a Northeast Portugal front, a West Byzantine front, an East Byzantine front, a South Byzantine front, a West German front, and a North Iroquois front. Taking out the American fronts and closing out the 4 cities in Portugal to free up troops for elswhere is my curren priority, although the West Byzantine front needs clean up as Dutch and Iroquois cities are too intertwined for my liking.
 
Your former Dutch core, a smoldering wreck.
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In the world view in bottom left, you can see the crazy map. The island in the Southwest is former Portugal, where 5 Dutch cities cling. The Dutch core, as you can see, is empty. Scandinavia was the dense island in the Northwest. Former Spain is the more densely populated subcontinent with Dutch yellow in the north-center of the map just north of the ruined Dutch Core. America is the densely packed subcontinent far west on the Pangaea. England was the southwest below America a long, long time ago. The mishmash of cities in the east is the old Byzantine territory, and the Northeast which is mostly Iroquois territory is former Germany.
 
Lots of hard fighting. I have previously underestimated the value of Radar Artillery to shoot & scoot or enter enemy territory & shoot (makes range +1 over regular artillery). There is no more West American or East American front, no West Byzantine front, no East Byzantine front, or South Byzantine Front. The West German front is now the East Netherlands front and the Northeast Portuguese front is 2 turns away from being resolved.

The Dutch have oil and have been able to produce 2-5 Modern Armor per turn, but I'm killing that at a faster rate. We went from being weak against the Dutch to strong against them in 3 turns. Should be a pre-1900 conquest....unless I can't get to those island cities because of the huge Dutch navy of 80+ destroyers (which shouldn't be supported by 4 island cities)

View attachment 691457
 
Here was the image:

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That was before the last phase, where massed Radar Artillery on a small front (old Spain) paired with 10+ Modern Armor armies made the final phase really fast. the first Marine unit I built in the game did the trick:

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520 hours! Obviously I left the game running for sleep, etc.. But there were just countless Advisor screen crashes along the way (separate threads) and shut downs just to leave the game and do something else. All told, I've probably been on the game the better portion of a month.

Once you get use to using nukes, they just get too easy to use. I didnt bother at all cleaning up the wasteland with hordes of slaves, and I wound up using the "skip all" on the last three turns as I was just waiting to activate my landing force. Obviously, I could have finished many turns earlier had I cared about speed.

Demigod level doesn't have the vast Sid stacks of AI armies, but man, you do not want to go into a war lightly. I don't understand how someone wins one of these pre-1000 without massive AI fights against each other that wipe out civs without player work. Here, the Dutch did a lot of damage to other civs but there weren't any pre-emptive fights that took down existing civs without my involvement. The Spanish were very weak from wars against the Germans and Dutch but it still took a massive invasion force + a military alliance with the Dutch who took the best Spanish city (Madrid - Sun Tzu's) for themselves.
 
At the end of the game, the Dutch had 5 Modern Armor sitting on an island (I did the "Steal Plans" espionage for funsies) where I had captured a German city but then abandoned it the moment the Armor landed. Despite numerous transports, they never did pick them up, and I wonder where the last Modern Armor was for so many turns.

I had never done a mass "Draft Citizen" in a game like I did in this one. It's super laborious but I went from a world where the Dutch had 200 Modern Armor and 450 Mech Infantry and I had 180 Modern Armor and 120 Mech Infantry to a world where I had 180 Modern Armor and 380 Mech Infantry. Since I didn't defend behind the front like the AI was, my force was way more able and those draftee Mech Infantries generally funneled the Dutch or fought them off/wounded them so that the war was very one sided.

I re-learned that cutting off railway paths are the best way to stop counterattacks even through a nuclear wasteland, and that barricades with massive numbers of slaves at choke points are a good use of time - getting that extra turn to notice an AI threat stopped on a barricade and rush artillery to destroy it is under rated as a strategy.
 
Why in the hell am I dragging these Emperor AI through the Ancient Age with research?

I'm guessing you know the tech path to research in the ancient age (what they won't research), and have a fairly powerful start. If you had a start without any food bonuses and focused on military/resource based research early, I think things would be a different story.
 
I'm guessing you know the tech path to research in the ancient age (what they won't research), and have a fairly powerful start. If you had a start without any food bonuses and focused on military/resource based research early, I think things would be a different story.
Since I'm the Russians, I've popped a lot of techs. On Huge, it's min progress towards Alphabet, and then trade like crazy for techs you popped. I only researched Writing (got there 2d behind Babylon by 1 turn), Philosophy + free Construction because it's the most expensive tech. Then I researched Code of Laws to get to Republic, which was a 32 turn research at max rate. I popped the Wheel, Masonry, Horseback Writing, and Warrior Code. Traded for Poly, Mysticism, Math, Iron Working, and Map Making. Held back CoL for a Currency trade to head into Medieval but the AI haven't even hit Currency in the time I've researched Republic, and I've given them all Math. Mostly I wait until they have 50 gold to give them a tech.

We are in 400 BC ish and we aren't in the medieval era and 5 turns away from the Republic. They are all going to do Monarchy, I'm sure, so I wonder if doing the Republic as a non-required tech was the right move vs. just going into the Medieval Era. The problem is that if I don't have the Republic, I can't trade for the starting Medieval Techs. Ugh. I'm not sure if I could have hit the Republic Slingshot b/c Code of Laws before Philo would have been 13 turns and they AI does go for Philo.

I think I'll just restart and hope to pop an early settler and crank out more cities early. My QSC only had 11 cities, and that's not good enough. I started with a river cow which I irrigated because I had river forests with it. It was a 5 turn settler factory at size 3-5 with a bit of waste, and I had two other slower settler factories going.
 
Started a new game. This time, got a start with 3 plains cows, which I watered each to get a 5 turn settler factory, size 2-4. Built city #2 on the nearest cost just 4 tiles away and built the Colossus. Unlike the prior game, took a long time meeting other civs so there was very little early trading. Did pop Horseback Riding again, as well as Philo, which I learned gets you whatever you are currently researching (CoL). At the time, I literally had a 50 turn research to Republic at max rates. I did hook up 4 pretty far flung luxes and once we hit the Republic with Currency (popped), we traded Currency for Construction to get us to the Medieval Age. Even started to get some good gpt once we hit the Medieval Era on trades and exited the AA with 2200+ gold, which is probably the most I've ever had exiting the AA.

The bummer about *trading* into a new Age is that you DO NOT get the chance to break into the "New Age" screen and trade tech with the AI to get your starting tech. As soon as I traded Currency for Construction, Engineering popped up in my Technology trading options, meaning I couldn't get a free second level tech (I saved Republic to trade for a first level tech). There is a huge advantage therefore to researching your way into a new age - but another 12 turns wouldn't have been good.

I may dump this effort as well since I am once again dragging the AI. I wound up completing Sun Tzu's when it was meant as a pre-build for Copernicus, which is a mistake. Or I may decide that my new tech pace and friends the Babylonians could make good progress. Only 11 cities with 2 settlers walking at 1000 BC. Those are rookie numbers, gotta pump that up.
 
Kept playing this game and researched my way into the Industrial Era and very, very much lucked out with Electricity! I wound up trading for Democracy when I was putting the AI into the IA, and that was enough to score me all the first level IA techs in trade, giving me Electricity as my free IA tech. ToE got me Atomic Theory and Electronics of course, but I still am on 6-8 turn research to close out the IA. My empire isn't big enough for 4 turn research on Huge - I only have 60 cities. I have Colossus / Cope / Newton's in City 02 so it is pumping out over 200 beakers per turn and I've got libraries and universities in all the core cities and running 90% science / 10% lux (I have 5 of my own luxes, 1 traded), but it's not enough - I need 100+ cities with scientists outside the core. Got a well timed Golden Age with Newton's but never did get 4 turn research - just 5 turns on a couple of early IA tech. I still need to finish Combustion, Mass Prod, Flight and Moto Trans. Figure 30 turns?

Rich AI had me more than +1200 gpt per turn but I think I got too nervous about troops around my empire and I entered into a couple of MPPs and .... the Greeks attacked me even though they were 2 civs away and it triggered a world war. That is going to turn all the AI fascist and poor and I'm going to have to distract myself running Cossacks, infantry and arty around. The good news is that Korea is close to my core and I can take it out when my MPP is triggered when it attacks Persia as it is required to do under its own MPP with Hammy. Scooping up Korea and ICS-ing it will help my beaker production a lot.

I'm not going to put up a very good score but I'm having fun. I'm not sure what year it is (I'm at work), but its somewhere around 1050-1100 AD? 1100 AD is turn 225, #5 on this HOF table is 1640, turn 318 (93 turns). I'm dicey to beat that here - I'll have to have some luck entering the Modern Age and get Miniaturization and build the Internet. I think its 7 techs if you get Miniaturization or Space Flight as a free tech? At 8 turns/each since the tech costs go up, thats 56 turns if I'm lucky. 86 turns is REALLY close to 93. No margin for error...and if it takes me 10 turns each no way I hit 1640. And if I'm actually in 1200 AD not 1100 AD I'm just dead either way.

After playing Demigod for a month, hard to believe how useless the Emperor AI is. Japan is on the same damn continent as the rest of the civs and is so far behind I can't even. Sumeria, on its own island, still didn't have the Alphabet when I was in the middle of the Medieval era. The Alphabet! Epic fail, Gilgamesh.

Sooooo much faster to play a science game. I may try again and only take games where I pop an early settler or city. Need high teens or 20 cities at 1000 BC. This game I popped an early city WAYYYYYY far away from my core so as to be not very useful. Other than Republic, I haven't wasted any research on non-required tech. Popping Philo from a hut probably was my biggest issue in this game - that 50 turn research to get to Republic killed me. If I'm at turn 225 I've spent 22% of my turns researching one tech in this game.
 
I'm not going to put up a very good score but I'm having fun. I'm not sure what year it is (I'm at work), but its somewhere around 1050-1100 AD? 1100 AD is turn 225, #5 on this HOF table is 1640, turn 318 (93 turns). I'm dicey to beat that here - I'll have to have some luck entering the Modern Age and get Miniaturization and build the Internet. I think its 7 techs if you get Miniaturization or Space Flight as a free tech? At 8 turns/each since the tech costs go up, thats 56 turns if I'm lucky. 86 turns is REALLY close to 93. No margin for error...and if it takes me 10 turns each no way I hit 1640. And if I'm actually in 1200 AD not 1100 AD I'm just dead either way.
LOL, I'm in 1180 (turn 233), dead either way.
 
After playing Demigod for a month, hard to believe how useless the Emperor AI is.

Yea, it can be kind of surprising. The tech cost at this level is a bit steep, especially earlier. I tried some starts where I would declare on the first opponent, and researching to Mathematics takes a while. I'm not sure how VMXA does it. But, on the other hand, if one just wants to win, probably any start can do fairly handily. I've done some 4-5 turn research here from the save behind this picture, where I had no fresh water to start, until I discovered the river near Munich (and that's been the source of all the irrigation that I've made). Not having multiple river tiles early makes for a big slowdown on research.

No Fresh Water Germany.png

I did build The Great Library, but I think the only technology I got out of it was The Republic. I also got to Theology first.

I thought I would declare on the first contact, but having tried once without a river, I decided to just play without early war.
 
Literature is not a required tech, but you can't build libraries or universities without it, and libraries are essential for fast research. TGL is not essential.
Military tradition could pay off if the expansion in the size of your empire drops tech times down enough. I usually let the AI research it and then buy it, but sometimes they are really slow about it.
 
@Spoonwood are you going for Spaceship? Not sure why you would be doing Military Tradition or bothering with Great Library/Literature as non-essential techs.

Yes, playing for spaceship.

Yea, basically so that I could get cavalry up sooner. But, I think in all the other spaceship games I've submitted, I didn't research it first. I just went with random opponents also, and only have 3 scientific opponents. Greece isn't light green as they seem to be when Russia is around, they are brown. I think skipping researching Military Tradition can usually be quicker. However, I'd say that researching it has more security value to the game overall.

As for the Great Library. Well, two points:

1. What you see there is the cleared land. Here's a screenshot from when I saved in 4000 BC:

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I didn't even see the deer until I had a few cities up. Only having river tiles up near Munich, I was surprised that I managed to trade as much for technology in the ancient age as I did. When I started The Great Library, I though I'd sorely need it, or I'd have to play from behind.

2. I didn't think about it when I started it, but once I had finished it, and it felt useless I remembered The Great Library is a scientific wonder and that once when playing (not for the HoF) in an Always War game my empire had a Golden Age with Germany after our builders completed The Great Library, since we had also built The Statue of Zeus earlier. In this game, since we managed to build Knights Templar also, that triggered our golden age. I suppose that building Newton's could have worked also, but I think that the earlier GA ends up better overall. So, contrary to the point about researching Military Tradition, I do think building The Great Library has more value for someone like Germany who doesn't have a UU until the late industrial age. For anyone with a medieval or ancient age UU, I think just trying to sneak a small war with a UU victory would make more sense.
 
Literature is not a required tech, but you can't build libraries or universities without it, and libraries are essential for fast research. TGL is not essential.
Military tradition could pay off if the expansion in the size of your empire drops tech times down enough. I usually let the AI research it and then buy it, but sometimes they are really slow about it.
Point well taken on Literature. To be honest, in my most recent game I popped it from a hut so I wasn't in a position to make the decision of whether to continue to focus on building settlers while the AI researched it.
 
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