Discussion in 'Civ4 - Game of the Month' started by neilmeister, Sep 12, 2019.
Soooo... did you win?
Did you manage to beat the team or the Uber 'gawa'?
Urrrgh..... Religious loss to Elizagawa in 500 AD.
No fair no fair no fair! I don't think there was anything I could reasonably have done to avoid that loss - I mean, I didn't even know where Elizagawa lived until the post-defeat game replay showed me the map! At the time of the loss, I had 10 cities, was one turn away from engineering, was having a very successful war with Tokugawa (his fault - he started it!), and it seemed like I was completely on course to win the game (eventually). Elizagawa had just built the apostolic palace and gone for a religious victory vote, but I abstained, and scarcely gave it a second thought because I'd never known an AI come remotely close to winning a diplo vote so early in the game. But evidently I'd reckoned without that AI-love-fest caused by them all apparently starting with a common religion and as the same leader. And next turn, it suddenly came up that Elizagawa had won.
Well that was certainly an unusual map, and an interesting scenario!
Final map and defeat log....
I've just finished my game. While I don't have time to write a detailed report, tonight, I'll say that your early loss was a mercy. You had just begun to scratch the surface of all the obstacles the evil mapmaker had put in the way of Gandhi's victory.
So. last night I mentioned how evil neilmeister was when creating the map for this game. Genius-level evil, which led to an epic (and epically long!) game that led to situations and surprises I've never seen before. My reactions to these had to adapt in ways I've never tried before, too.
As I said in the first spoiler thread, at 1 AD I was at war with Tokugawa. I completed the GLH (my last world wonder aside from Mining, Inc, as it turned out--Elizagawa would spam nearly all the wonders in this game). Hammy and Hatty would join me in the war. After I took two more Japanese cities, Hatty captured the last one to finish off Japan in 500.
One huge concession neilmeister gave us compared to that SGOTM game: not insisting we adopt Hinduism. With all the AI on good terms with each other, I decided going Buddhist was the only rational choice for the diplomacy bonus, even though Kyoto was my only city with that religion at the time. I began considering going for a cultural win. As Elizagawa began signing defense pacts will all the AI, it looked like all of these "aggressive" AI might just take a peaceful path through the rest of the game. Yeah, this could work! In 1070, when I switched to running 60-70% culture, I also signed a defense pact. Elizagawa thus became the guarantor of world peace; by having defense pacts with everyone still in the game, anyone who broke the peace would face her wrath! And she was the clear leader in both science and culture. (She'd come very close to a religious victory, too, with "The Team" as her opponents. As I spread Buddhism to more of my cities, there were just enough votes to stop her victory, there.)
My plan went well for a century, when I noticed Hatty was plotting. I begged 1 gold for a peace treaty, which bought me two more centuries of peace before Hatty started plotting again. This time, she turned down my begging. She was still pleased with me, but I was her obvious target. In 1370, I decided I had to switch from Caste System/Pacifism to Slavery/Theocracy in order to build up a defense force. And then I noticed that my expanding cultural borders had triggered the "close borders" penalty with Elizagawa. She was now down to cautious with me, and she was plotting, too!
If Elizagawa attacked me first, I'd be dog-piled, and the game would be over. But fortunately, Hatty attacked first, in 1520, and so Elizagawa honored her defense pact and became my ally. Hatty bribed Cyrus to declare on me, but he never got any troops into action, aside from an explorer or two, before we made peace in 1590.
And now the military situation became far more interesting! 1590: Genghis attacked Elizagawa. 1615: Shaka declared on Genghis, and Cyrus declared on Shaka. 1625: Hammy declared on Cyrus. Now all the world (except the team) is involved in a mixed-up war. And in this war, Egypt is conquered by 1650, with six cities falling to me and two to Elizagawa. She's been my ally in this, but I still see that long-term she'll have be my target, otherwise she can easily win either a cultural or space race victory. But she's still too strong to attack now, so who should be my next target? Genghis would be the easier target, with my army next to his territory, but I decide he might be a useful ally against Elizagawa (who he's still fighting, and losing to), later on. Instead, I use my newly built railroad to shift my army west.
In 1685, I attack Hammuragawa. I capture five cities, while an AP vote ends the war against Cyrus. And during this time I research combustion and scientific method and discover another evil trick that neilmeister has built into this map. Apparently, there's no oil. Anywhere. I get a GE and found Mining, Inc. but now I realize I desperately need a GS for Standard Ethanol, but my earlier attempts at a cultural victory has polluted the great person pool, and I won't get an GS for the rest of the game.
Elizagawa completes the Apollo Project in 1755. Genghis and Shaka make peace, and I'm on the verge of capturing Babylon when an AP vote tries to stop my war. I defy the vote and become a "villain" in order to continue the war. Elizagawa and Genghis make peace I take Babylon, but now Elizagawa is plotting and I'm the likely target.
In 1806, London become legendary and my airships finally get a glimpse of Malinese territory. In 1808 Elizagawa and Cyrus both attack me. I bribe Genghis to attack Elizagawa and I bribe Shaka to attack Cyrus. I capture the last Babylonian city in 1812 and begin shifting my forces back to the east. Genghis needs my help because his cities are falling to Elizagawa. He has only two cities left before I turn the tide. First, I take the two Egyptian cities under English rule, and then in 1832 I take Tabriz, the nearest of the Mongolian cities in Elizagawa's hands.
And here, I follow a strategy I don't think I've ever followed before. I give back that city to Genghis, even though he's only an ally, not even a vassal. I need that territory to flip back into Mongolian cultural borders so that I can continue my advance as rapidly as possible, because Elizagawa is getting close to a cultural victory. (Incidentally, the AP is now obsolete--Elizagawa must have Mass Media.)
This strategy works well, as I liberate four more Mongolian cities (while Elizagawa capture one new one in the west). Shaka and Cyrus make peace in 1852, so I make peace with Cyrus, too. But now I notice that Elizagawa has sent an army all around the west to attack my Babylonian cities! I divert reinforcements to that front, but now my depleted forces in east can't withstand a counterattack from Elizagawa. She recaptures Ning-hsia. I take it back (and give it to Genghis, again), but she recaptures it a second time.
And now my ally Genghis loses heart and makes peace. At first glance, that's not bad news. He didn't have many units in the fight, and now she can't move into his territory to attack my units there (except for nuisance airship bombardments). But then I notice another detail: Elizagawa's price for peace was the city of Old Sarai, which lies right on the railroad line leading from my territory!
Oddly enough, Genghis was able to give away that city even though the only troops occupying it were my own! And they weren't teleported away when the deal was made. Okay, I move one of my units out and back in, recapturing the city. And I give it back to Genghis. Problem solved.
Only...it's not solved! When Genghis gave away his city, he also gave away all of his cultural points in the surrounding cities. So now Old Sarai is his, but the surrounding squares are still English, under Ning-hsia's influence. That means all of my reinforcements need three extra turns to crawl through those squares.
So, I slowly gather my reinforcements in Mongolian territory. Genghis and Cyrus sign a defense pact. Cyrus also signs a pact with the team. And now the team, who have built the UN and been elected overwhelmingly as Sec. Gen. find a new way to slow me down. First, they pass Environmentalism, which drastically increase my corporation expenses, then they pass Universal Suffrage, which increases my war weariness and loses me the production bonuses of Police State. In both cases, I couldn't afford the happiness cost of defying the motions. I notice they've also finished the Manhattan Project and haven't called for a Non-Proliferation Pact, and I file this thought away as a future problem.
In 1888, I resume the offensive, retaking Ning-hsia starting with a massive artillery barrage. This finally opens up my railroad line again. But now Elizagawa has Mech. Infantry (which somehow don't need oil like every other mechanized unit does) to defend against my infantry and artillery. I keep this city, this time, but liberate three more cities for the Mongols. If there's a path open for a diplomatic victory, he'll be a vital ally. But meanwhile, in 1896, the team is reelected Sec. Gen by a slim 2-vote margin.
Finally, my offensive pushes into the English homeland, with Coventry falling in 1906, Hastings in 1911, Warwick in 1912, and the great prize, London, in 1915. London had 13 wonders plus Creative Construction, which had been spread to so many AI cities it was raking in 132 gpt. By this turn, York had become legendary and London was "double legendary" with 102,627 culture points! York is captured in 1917 and Nottingham in 1920.
Now I notice a curious thing. Although the AP had become obsolete when Elizagawa learned Mass Media, it had become active again when I captured it, since I didn't have that technology. But the team is still considered the AP Resident and the polls show I'm still ~300 votes short of what I'd need for a religious victory. No help there. And while England is no longer a threat, my time pressure hasn't gone away, since the team has been busy building their space ship. In fact, by 1914 they had already completed all of their components except for five SS casings. I don't know why those parts have been delayed, but they might finish these and launch their ship at any time. I'm about 100 votes short of a diplomatic victory in the UN, but how can I get those in time? If I attack Shaka, I may not be able to capture enough cities in time. If I attack Cyrus, it will bring in Genghis into the war against me. And Cyrus only has about 50 pop, anyway. Not enough!
Genghis declares against Elizagawa in 1920, thus ending his defense pact with Cyrus. That's one obstacle removed from my plans. I capture Canterbury in 1922, finally destroyng the English Empire, and finally eliminating my massive war weariness. I go to war against Cyrus. The team honors their defense pact by declaring aganist me. And then the team completes and launches their space ship in 1925. This is it: 10 turns to certain defeat in 1935, unless I can find a path to victory before then. I bribe Shaka to stop trading with the team; now the team is only one point higher in Shaka's estimation than I am.
Cyrus hits one of my stacks with a tactical nuke, which moves Shaka to WHEOOHRN. My deeply injured and radiated units are still able to capture one of Cyrus's four cities in 1927, while my second stack captures another. I bribe Genghis to join the war against Cyrus.
In 1929, I'm elected Secretary General. The next vote will be just in time, if I can persuade Shaka to support me. But he's still at WHEOOHRN, and thus can't be bribed to act before he's ready. I capture Tarsus in 1930 and Persepolis in 1931, destroying the Persian Empire. I'm still 33 votes short of a UN victory, with the next vote 2 turns away. He won't be bribed to join the war against the team. I save my money.
In 1933, Shaka will finally be bribed to join the war, for a mere 7800 gold. He launches nukes at Mansa's territory.
In 1934, I call the UN vote for a diplomatic victory. And now the polls show Shaka is voting for me! That's it! I've done it! All I have to do is click the button to end the turn and...
Stupid computer! Who are your going to believe? The voice of a united planet desperate to end a nuclear war? Or a faint radio message claiming to be from a space ship on Alpha Centauri? We all know Alpha Centauri is four light years away, right? So if they've just arrived there, any signal we're receiving now has to be fake!
Oh, well. Maybe my score will be enough for a cow.
Wow... just wow. Epic game and a really fantastic write-up!
It sucks to lose the way you did... but you got a moral victory!
And a sincere thanks for reading my report. I had to get that off my chest, but when it was done I was afraid the reaction would be TL;DR.
It's a common occurrence in the game to trip both the conquest and domination limits at the same time when a final opponent is vassalized, and the computer appears to randomly decide which category of victory to award the player. The score's the same and a win's a win, so what does it matter, except when we're hoping for a particular award in a GOTM. But, anyway, I guess it shouldn't be surprising when the computer flipped a coin in this situation, too. Did the game designers even conceive of the possibility of different players achieving different victory conditions on the same turn?* I doubt it.
In trying to analyze my game, the biggest failure was my gambling on culture. Using those turns to build up my science and economy, instead, would have helped my military campaigns, later on. And I desperately wanted a GS for Standard Ethanol! Perhaps I should have given up on using any city with a polluted great person pool and used a newer city to guarantee a GS, even if it came very late in the game. On the other hand, Elizagawa had the required tech much earlier than I did, and if she had gotten Ethanol...it would have been very messy, indeed.
I'm also curious what was going on with the team, who were plotting for the entire game, but never declared on anyone until I triggered their mutual defense pact. I understand the practical effect--they couldn't be bribed by anyone to emerge from their hermit kingdoms--but what was motivating their unending plot?
*Since I can't get this experience out of my head, even though I've started BOTM184 now, I've been wondering if it's possible for more that two players to get simultaneous victories? I'm imaging an "Everybody Gets a Trophy" Challenge: start a game with five opponents and go for a conquest by vassalizing them all. But on the same turn, generously vote for one of them to win a religious victory and vote for another one to win a UN victory. And on the same turn, one vassal should win a cultural victory and another lands on Alpha Centauri. And finally, before clicking the button to end the game, give away the bulk of your cities so that the last vassal crosses the domination limit. Everybody gets a trophy!
Should be a piece of cake, for our deity-level players.
It was one of the best write-ups I have ever read for a GOTM, seriously!
The split result is almost certainly a result of the team.... usually the human player is "Player 1" so if you and an AI both build a wonder, you get it... same applies for victories, but I am guessing that teams comes before individual players so that's why they 'won' and not you. Still sucks!
ps. I remember years ago there was a saved game in the S&T forum where you could win 4 or 5 different ways 'the next turn' depending on what you did.
I also read (and enjoyed) your entire writeup.
I never play long enough to see nukes. Very exciting!
Shouldn't you have just captured the capital (which destroys the spaceship)
England had to be destroyed first, since Elizagawa had the lead in both the space race and in culture. When that was finally done, I was woefully unprepared for an invasion of the hermit kingdoms. I suppose I should have been building lots of transports on the four coastal cities facing the Incan coastline starting long before England fell, but I was sending everything to the English front. A more realistic response might have been to send spies to sabotage a spaceship part, but once again, I had all of my espionage points going against England. Concentrating on one war at a time like that didn't work in this game.
Which capital would have control of the spaceship for a team, anyway? I was even less prepared to invade Mali, since I didn't even have a city of that coast until after I conquered Persia.
I had built some nukes for deterrence, but I never used them, myself. What I was really hoping for that was the team would hit me with a nuke; that would have been very useful swaying Shaka to my side. But when I noticed the Incans building frigates after they entered the war, I realized that they must not have any uranium! (I don't know if Mali did.) So, if the war had continued, an effective strategy before launching a naval invasion would have to nuke all their cities and then send in the troops to mop up!
Wow, that was some game! I feel your frustration there... I don't think I've ever seen a human victory get trumped by an AI victory before!
If it makes it any less frustrating, I was thinking about the sequence of this, and I reckon Mansagawa/Huaynagawa must have won their victory the turn before yours: That's because I'm fairly sure that on each turn, the human is the first civ to play. So if you win the game, you'll see it immediately, and the AI won't get to play that turn. But if an AI wins, you've already played your turn at that point, so you won't get to see that the AI has won until your following turn. Therefore Mansagawa/Huaynagawa must have won the game the previous turn, so the game awarding them the victory would be correct.
Great write up Marleys Gh0st. I expected that kind of game after conducting about a dozen replays of the original SGOTM 15 game. Of course this game would be easier as Neil made some changes to the game that would only make it easier right?
I had high hopes for this one as I had figured out how to get a great start and keep the AIs at bay until the middle ages when I would start to pull ahead. I wasn't going to try and go for an AP win as I knew I didn't have the experience with the religious victory to pull it off in normal times much less this scenario. I hoped for possibly a space win or perhaps ( shh, domination, shh)
That plan only works if you made it that far. In a dozen or so games I never had to worry about Hatty until the mid point of the game. It was always Tokugawa trying for an earlier war followed by Hammurabi trying to muscle in on the action later. In this game I settled on the stone, then settled south of the Marble, north of the gold, and east of the pigs. Four cities pumping out research, axemen, and wonders. I took TGW as having some espionage points to allow using spys to cause city revolts before attacking with a stack was a way to avoid the huge culture and defensive bonuses that Neil so generously gave them.
I used fail gold from a couple others but built the Pyramids to fuel my rise to the top. Of course then around 600BC Hatty shows up exploring with a couple of War Chariots and promptly attacks the gold city without so much as a, "hey, I don't like you, we'll be coming to visit soon". The two Axemen and a Warrior die, but then I take it right back with a couple of axemen.
I realize that now would be a good time to research Hunting for Spearmen and have a couple ready. I have been thinking that Tokugawa will be taking advantage of the situation but apparently his troops are on vacation. Wouldn't you know it Hatty shows up with about 10 units and takes the city back. I have finished Construction , so a few catapults help take the city back. Hatty refuses to talk even though I have a couple of techs that no one else has, she won't settle.
Hammarabi has decided he wants a piece of me but my recently settled city SW of the northern gold is stocked with enough units to turn him back. Hatty sends an even bigger stack and retakes my city. There are too many units to for me to counterattack right away so I wait a few turns and when they invade I decimate her stack but am unable to retake the city as my units need to heal. She will finally talk peace but only wants my city south of the Marble. NO WAY!! I counter offer her a couple of techs and were all good right? Wait a minute why do I suddenly see yellow borders to the south, I cleared off the negotiation screen, I didn't just give her a city and two techs right ? Well, apparently so. Now she has my second most productive city though my culture will prevent her from doing anything with it before I DOW her in 10 turns.
At exactly 10 turns she DOWs me and has a big stack, this time with Xbows which makes things much tougher, though now I have them too and LBs soon. I am able to take out half of her stack but can't finish them off yet. Tokugawa's troops are finally back from vacation and the combined might of them is too much to resist and I retire.
It was a very creative map and I won't be surprised if there aren't any domination/conquest wins. In every test game I played Elizabeth was the force to be reckoned with followed up by the team. I may change the WB file for SGOTM 15 and see how much a difference splitting the team makes. Iam not sure how to deal with the advantage that Elizabeth seems to have.
So what are the changes that you made to this game versus SGOTM15 Neil? Was it just eliminating the requirement to be Hindu or were there map changes as well?
Horses would have made a huge difference in this game I think. At least you weren't cruel enough to remove the copper or nearby iron.
Thanks for the interesting writeup, MarleysGhost.
From the point in the first spoiler on, my game didn't went too well...
Capturing Tokugawa's cities worked ok, and fighting off Persia (who captured a barb city) in the NW worked ok... but...
when Genghis attacked on the east, too many units were kept on the north west. he came with just too many.
When I started, I decided to go hindu with the 'easier' save, just to have a taste of the original SGOTM, but this was too big an obstacle for me.
Revolted for Hattygawa to buddhism after capturing Japan's cities, but seems like that was too late then to make them friendly with me...
...in the end they are not that friendly in this even if we share the religion from the beginning, I guess...
Yeah, even if they start liking you, they still like each other more. And they're quite willing to attack someone they're please with.
By the end of the game, I had Genghis up to +17 with me and he still "didn't like me enough" to trade away his map!
I made it farther than DynamicSpirit, but suffered the same fate. In 1370 AD, "the team" won a Religious Victory.
The circumstances of that victory actually point out how dumb the AI can be sometimes. There were many votes for AP Leader/Religious Victory and through all the previous ones Elizagawa split the vote with The Team. In the mid-1300's she teched Liberalism and went to free religion. So all her buddhist buddies abandoned her on the next vote and gave The Team the victory.
For my part, I had managed to kill Toku after 3 wars, but my research was lame and I couldn't get a tech advantage for my soldiers. I was in the process of building another big stack and getting to Mil Sci for Grenadiers. I could probably have taken Hatty at that point, but I'm not sure where I would've gone from there. The lack of money from trade routes was brutal on top of no tech trades (I eventually got to Pleased with Elizagawa, but by then she was way ahead of me).
Btw, I had open borders with Liz, and an open path to her territory, but got no trade routes... I suppose she was in Mercantilism. Should've seen that one coming.
Have we ever had a BOTM (or any version of GOTM) where everybody lost? With two day left to submit the game, I think we're setting a record.
And the associated results and (none-)congratulations thread.... https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/news-wotm-18-results-congratulations.285725/
And this is probably the worst one for a monarch level game (although there were a few victories) ( results thread ). Notice the dates of some of the defeats at the bottom of the list (including my own entry)!
Jeez, I thought lowering it down to Monarch might make it 'too easy'.
There were some minor map changes, these were create different short cuts using the canal and a potential way to get around Toku
Haha! Never under-estimate the power of no foreign trade routes and hardly any happy resources Also, although the level was monarch, did the AI still have the emperor level starting units?
Interesting about the canal to the NE. For my part, I didn't bother settling there because the area was so surrounded by mountains and had so few resources (just one cow, IIRC) that it didn't seem to me like a city there would do any good. Especially when none of the AI looked likely to open trade routes.
By the way, I never posted a first spoiler. I settled on the stone, after exploring revealed lots of rivers around there. Built a settler at size 2 and sent it to settle N of the Eastern gold, which looked a really good high production site. I took a slight risk in building Stonehenge there for border pops (with the nice side-effect of claiming culture from Tokugawa) followed by the pyramids and using scientists to give me a quick academy in the capital. With the great lighthouse too, and two cities on the Western island to give me higher value trade routes, I think that was a sound strategy: It actually did see me pulling ahead of most of the AI in science. It meant that when Toku attacked me, I was basically fighting his axemen with catapults and maces while still able to run most of my cities as science, rather than unit-building, places.That's why I felt that the game was going well and I'd soon be able to conquer my way into a nice lead before heading for space. But obviously that was before Elizagawa got her sudden unexpected religious victory!
Why didn't Jimmy Thunder get a Gold Medal pinned to that Green Ambulance? The GOTM Medals and Awards page says it goes to the "Highest Final Score"; it doesn't say anything about actually having to win the game!
Now, the Cow, which I mentioned earlier, would be out of contention, since that does say "Highest Winning Base Score"
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