[BTS] BOTM 224: Zara Yaqob, Prince - Final Spoiler - Game Submitted

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Game of the Month' started by DynamicSpirit, Nov 5, 2021.

  1. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

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    BOTM 224: Zara Yaqob, Prince - Final Spoiler - Game Submitted



    Use this thread to tell us what happened in your game, particularly anything after 1AD

    Did you win?

    Reading Requirements
    If you are participating in BOTM 224 then you MUST NOT read this thread unless
    • You have submitted your entry

    Posting Restrictions
    • Do not post any savegame file from the game. Discussions and screenshots are fine but not actual games.
     
  2. Xcalibrator

    Xcalibrator Ultraviolet Catastrophe

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    My Deity-lite game was looking good, but I couldn't afford the time to finish. I vassaled HC with Oromos a turn or two before he was going to get grens, leaving him two cities. Really would have liked to finish him off and take his lovely capital, but Sury Dow'd me (and he DID have grens). I rushed units to the northern front and built walls in the hill city he was attacking. Oromos with one or two or three guerrilla promos (and some cultural defense) can really hold their own against grens! :) Sury lost his stack of nearly 40 in a rushed attack, while I only lost 2. I took one city while he was licking his wounds and grabbed peace while I could, buying time to upgrade trebs to cannon, and research MilTrad and trade to HC for MilSci (and my own grens). I Dow'd after the peace expired with a lot of cannon, took two cities, and vassaled him in 1430 (and submitted). By then I had 16 cities and had been first in score for a little while, and a space win was pretty well assured. Thanks very much for the game, DS. I'm looking forward to the Small map on BOTM225, and will do my best to finish that one.
     
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  3. Powerfaker

    Powerfaker Warlord

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    Well, as careful I played the BC's, as clumsy it went sometimes in the AD's,

    Moving on towards cult vic, for example I didn't realize you don't have to build temples in your to-be legendary cities in order to build cathedrals there, building them all elsewhere is fine too.

    And I learned using spies for culture isn't all magic, you have to do it ''the right way''.
    I was able to gift Huayana a city in a peace deal. I had raised the culture in there to ±10000 with the help of 2 artists. Producing the espionage points was quite a burden though. It cost me 500 culture per turn in my capital to produce nationwide ±400 esp/turn, while spy mission cost kept rising from ± 350 to 800. Gladly my 2nd city didn't suffer because its culture was based on wonders/buildings/hammers
    Of course I had built (org) courthouses everywhere. Because I didn't build/get Mids I had Libbed Constitution for Rep. Luckily I could build jails now in my 2 commerce centers. Interesting here is that with the slider dedicated to esp points, commerce outside your 3 culture cities is actually doing something useful, so developing a few more commerce centers could pay off.
    I broke off the spy missions at ± 38000 and recaptured the city. That may have been a mistake, the biggest points come at the end. At that point I just thought I had started all this with too low base in the target city and just needed to produce more culture in the capital. In the end all the pieces came together within 7 turns or so, because I had produced plenty of artists, so that made it a good call after all.
     
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  4. MarleysGh0st

    MarleysGh0st Prince

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    Continuing with my Contender save report. As I said in the First Spoiler, it wasn't likely that I'd be in competition for a fastest finish, so I was planning to drag the game out for a cow. I was particularly intrigued by the restricted victory conditions of this game, which would allow me to conquer all of the AI without ending the game.

    Sury declared war on me in 200. I conquered all of his cities by 1100. The Inca were my next target, attacked in 1160 and conquered by 1430.

    At this point, Joao and Willem were pleased with me, while Sitting Bull was cautious. Given the longer shared border, I was leaning towards attacking Joao next. That was when Joao offered to peace vassal to me, in 1440. I debated whether to accept his offer. In the long term, it would interfere with my plan for total conquest, but having a trading and research partner would speed up my spaceship research. And there might still be ways... :mischief:

    I accepted Joao's vassalage, and we went to war with Sitting Bull. When he offered to capitulate, I rejected the offer and pushed on to complete his conquest in 1590. Then we went to war with the Willem, conquering the Dutch by 1655. During this time, two of the cities I had captured (one Khmer, one Native American) revolted to the Portuguese, which annoyed me. Then Joao captured Maastricht from the Dutch (I neglected to order a diversion of his attack until he was on the verge of capturing it), which annoyed me some more.

    We invaded Japan and conquered it by 1710. If the victory condition had been enabled, a Conquest victory would have been achieved on this data (with Domination coming somewhat sooner). But by the rules of this game, I continued with the space race. My space ship was completed in 1840...and then I let it sit on the lauchpad, as I worked on the cow. I had founded Sid's Sushi in 1655 and Mining, Inc. in 1700; I spread these to all of my cities.

    And, with nothing much else to do, I started sending spies into Portuguese territory to spread my culture. It was a slow and tedious process, but I hoped to get those cities to revolt to me. And if captured spies annoyed Joao enough, he might reject his peace-vassalage, in which case I could go to war and sweep him aside.

    It was a very slow and tedious process.

    Joao agreed to liberate the two cities that had revolted to him. Then, after a long, long time, his own cities began revolting to me. As for my failed spy missions, it was a remarkable case of Joao deliberately choosing not to notice something that he did not want to notice.
    Spoiler :

    upload_2021-11-18_9-44-35.jpeg

    A net relationship of -49 (pushed up to -50 on the final turn), and Joao was still Friendly! :rolleyes:

    Now, I hadn't been closely following the discussion about using espionage to achieve a cultural victory, but in this game I inadvertently discovered the basic concepts. Guimares revolted to my side in 1947, and I discovered that it was now my #2 cultural city. Oporto revolted in 1949, and I discovered that it was already at Legendary culture! Approaching the cultural victory conditions, I decided to finally launch my spaceship in 1956, with the plan of using a GA to nudge Guimares to Legendary and thus achieve a simultaneous spaceship/cultural victory on the last turn.

    And then, in 1965, with the spaceship one turn away from Alpha Centauri, came a diplomatic message I'd never seen before. Joao offers to give Lisbon to me "as a sign of his respect". And when I accept, I see that I've really been pumping a lot of culture into that city! :crazyeye:

    Spoiler :
    upload_2021-11-18_9-58-41.jpeg


    On the next turn, the world celebrates the unveiling of Lisbon as the epitome of Ethiopian culture by handing me a Cultural Victory.

    Spoiler :
    upload_2021-11-18_9-59-22.jpeg


    And, overlooked amidst the celebrations, my spaceship arrives at its destination.

    Spoiler :
    upload_2021-11-18_9-59-39.jpeg


    So...I don't know if it was worth all the playing time, but that was entertaining. :lol: I recognize that I've left off more than 80 years of further future teching (at the rate of one tech every turn), so there's an opportunity for someone to raise a fatter cow. I'll just have to wait for the results, now.
     
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  5. Powerfaker

    Powerfaker Warlord

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    @MarleysGh0st
    Ah, here's the origin of your remark in the starter thread. And to correct myself => you cannot do spy missions on a vassal when you do not put espionage points on him :hammer2: a silly statement is made so easily :)

    Looks like you had more stamina than I had too producing spy culture. Nice job.
    This also gets me wondering,, how did you get that initial portion of culture points in the Portugese cities without ever owning them? You cannot do that with spies right?
     
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  6. MarleysGh0st

    MarleysGh0st Prince

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    Spoilers are not permitted in that thread, so that was generic information about game mechanics, only. :shifty:

    You're right. I started my espionage campaign against cities on the Portuguese border, which already had some small amount of my culture extending from my own nearby cities. Only being able to add 5% culture per mission meant that the early missions were only having a tiny effect, but they accumulated over time. Joao didn't have his cities closely packed along the border, so as my territory slowly expanded and isolated his front line cities, I was able to settle three or four new cities in that area. Spreading Sushi to those new cities would pop their cultural borders in no time!

    I have no idea what my total number of spy missions were, by the end of this game, but this screen about the number of spies I built gives some idea of that.

    Spoiler :
    upload_2021-11-19_10-47-52.jpeg


    The real question is, was this strategy worth it? This was a learning experience, but I think the answer is almost certainly not! Although accepting Joao as my vassal ended the military phase of my game faster, time wasn't an issue, when I was aiming for a cow. In the end, I invested a massive amount of gold into espionage/culture, which could have been put into researching future tech as I ran the clock out all the way to 2050. The game does seem to limit us to achieving only one tech breakthrough per turn, while the end game economy was capable of exceeding that, so the real question is how soon one can max out the research (along with maxing out population and land, of course).

    If anyone has written a thread about the mechanics of peace-vassaling and when a vassal will end that status, I'd love to read that. With vassals that have forced by warfare, there are balancing factors that control that: keeping the vassal below 50% of your own land and pop, but also keeping the vassal from dipping below 50% of their original land/pop. If I'm not being a benevolent overlord, as I clearly wasn't here, they have cause to break away. Fear might have kept Joao in line, but I'd at least expect him to be annoyed/furious about it!
     
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  7. mscellaneous

    mscellaneous Prince Supporter

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    After 1 AD I continued research towards Lib and MilTrad. Incans where conquered with Cuirs, immediately followed by the Khmer and Portuguese with Cavalry. After taking Joao as a vassal I decided to stop warring, though Dutch and NA could easily be conquered since they both lacked gunpowder units. Not a fan of very big empires. Pretty uneventful game afterwards, too lazy to optimize and specialize cities for optimal space ship construction. Just cruised along till the glorious Ethiopians set foot on Alpha Centauri on 1812 AD.

    Though I am not a fan of space race wins, I must say I greatly enjoyed this BOTM. The map with lots of room for early expansion, good land plus the AI roster made this a very enjoyable game.
     
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  8. jnebbe

    jnebbe Warlord

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    I hate this game so much
    Spoiler :


    Not pictured is losing another probably 6 parts over the past 15-20 turns
    Really enjoyable game up until this, had to overcome all kinds of obstacles to get this close.

    anyways I'm gonna go uninstall for a few weeks

     
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  9. kcd_swede

    kcd_swede Jag är Viking!½ GOTM Staff

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    My goal was just to finish a XoTM game for the first time since the summer. Getting back in the saddle... I played the Contender save and did the "least effort" standard cultural victory (did not build any spies). Stayed peaceful all game, as I forgot to go after an early religion, got spread of Hindu from the Inca, and then my whole continent besides Sitting Bull was in Hindu all game. He was everyone's worst enemy, so I made generous tech trades and gave in to all requests or demands, except those that would join a war or lose diplo with my friends. When I met the Japanese, I was just selling techs for cash to keep the slider at 100% culture. I took Printing Press from Liberalism, since I'd already had Nationalism, so not a standard tech path for this type of VC, but whatever works...

    Self-critique: I was unfocused at the start, and expanded faster than I should have. I didn't spread religions very fast, didn't build temples very fast, and only managed 2-3 catherdrals where they could help (in legend cities). I lost maybe 1-2 turns near the end because of a Great Spy at 2% odds instead of a GA. Happy enough though, as my goal of a completed game in time for submission was acheived with 2 days to spare. And now I have a taste for it, I hope to become a regular submitter.

    Spoiler result :
    Game status: Cultural Victory for Ethiopia
    Game date: 1720AD
    Turns played: 254
    Base score: 1985
    Final score: 31677
    Time played: 9:47:35
     
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  10. NickTrofimuk

    NickTrofimuk Chieftain

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    I really enjoyed this one. I like playing Espionage Victories, so it was nice to play a game that excluded Religious/Conquest/Domination victories to give a good chance of winning. Zara was great for this too since the creative trait and stele help with culture points, and the organized trait is great for building courthouses quickly.

    I was able to harass Khmer and stole a few workers early on. Founded Confucianism with code of laws (for the holy city spy bonus). I also built an army and stole some cities to keep Khmer small, then went over to take some cities from and eventually vassal the Inca. This gave me a good base of cities, eventually generating 1000+ espionage points per turn.

    After getting 3 cities around my capital (for low spy distance penalty) seeded with culture (some wonders, but mostly a great artist bomb in each from a caste/pacifism burst during golden age) I gifted them to Khmer, got them up to legendary with spies and invaded (with my force left over from fighting the Inca) to take them back. I was on track for a great finish date of a 1330 AD victory.

    However after I captured LC3 I realized I made a HUGE MISTAKE (screenshot attached). I usually play with no city razing on, so city size wasn't something I thought about. But once I captured the city I was surprised to see it got razed! Would have been easy to avoid if I had been paying attention, since it's no problem to get a city up to 2-3 pop before gifting. Anyway that was a lot of seed culture and spy points down the drain haha.

    That was a real setback, and I had to start all over to get another legendary city. I eventually got a final great artist and bombed that into an existing city. Waiting for the great artist and for Native America (who Khmer was vassalled to) to make peace meant it took a while before I could gift away that city. Once I did, enough time had passed that I had enough spy points to get it up to legendary pretty quickly. Then I just waited my 10 turns for the peace treaty to end, and declared war took it back. I think the actual end date was late 1400somethings. Still a pretty fun game for me all around.
     

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  11. Powerfaker

    Powerfaker Warlord

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    @NickTrofimuk
    You got another legendary city up in 15 turns? :eek: That's powerful.
    If you kept your date in 1400's you will beat me, if not you will be very close to my date......
    Oooff, and speaking of painful mistakes, razing that city was an awful one.
     
  12. donsig

    donsig Low level intermediary

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    Oh, this was my kind of game. Low difficulty and I could make a huge empire without worrying about triggering a domination or other victory before my empire was complete. I don't remember the details but I conquered the whole world. Had lots of fun with great generals. Montgomery was a modern armor unit and Horatio Nelson a destroyer. He sank so many NA caravels it was embarrassing. Wars in all ages culminating in modern warfare against the Japanese.

    Was a bit late getting Sushi because most of my great people were engineers. Since even time victory was disabled I was able to sail past 2050. Finished the game with a cultural victory in time to submit. Fourth legendary city was due next turn and the spaceship would have landed the turn after that. Could not find a spot to build another city.
     
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  13. Conquistador 63

    Conquistador 63 Deity

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    I also enjoyed playing this game.
    My goal was a fast space colony finish, and I was cruising for a decent date. IIRC it was the late 1300’s and I had already conquered the entire starting continent and was about to settle/conquer 3 offshore cities for the increased trade routes and also connect a silver resource, getting around 50 cities.
    Techwise I was close to get superconduction for the laboratories tech, had already plastics and was a few turns from completing 3 gorges dam wonder.
    I was planning to finish and submit it today.
    But…..my 6 year old laptop just decided to die. Truth be told, it had been showing lots of signs of malfunctioning in the last weeks, just hoped it would last long enough to finish this one last game. Oh well…
    I’ll have to wait for the new machine I just ordered to arrive so I can try my hand at the new available BOTMs.
     
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  14. Fine_Distinction

    Fine_Distinction Prince

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    I really enjoyed this game - thanks @DynamicSpirit :). As @Xcalibrator and @kcd_swede, my main goal for this game was just to finish to submit in time, I have also wanted very much to try espionage victory for a while, I even started it in one Emperor BOTM (also with Zara iirc), so I was happy to see this one and decided to join couple days ago. I was researching espionage victory a lot, but never played a cultural game, so with no time to do sandboxing or testing, I decided to focus more on not killing my score for early victory time (e.g. whipping spies). As expected, I blundered a lot, both in BC and AD, but end up with apparently competitive finish date in 1400s :D. I initially planned to focus purely on espionage - which I later relaxed, running more artist specialists and even building culture and some selected non-GSpy wonders. I also assumed - now I think incorrectly - that commerce not food would be a bottleneck for this type of victory, so my development was suboptimal. I also SIP - don't remember why anymore - but wished I moved south a bit, the capitol never had enough food.

    I did not have time to test, so decided to play it by the ear and solve problems on the go. I roughly planned to focus on getting GSpys only except for 3 Artists, since GSpys are much more valuable for culture/espionage victory. Initially, though, I generated a GA easily from "contaminated" GPP pool and since a Khmer city was nearby and close too revolting I decided to deviate from the plan and double bomb a nearby city (instead of single-bomb) just for lolsies - and it was fund to watch the city yearning to join my "illustrious empire" and eventually I got a decent city out of it - but I lost many, many turns trying to generate the last GA :cry::cry::cry:. On the top of it, I misunderstood (?) how the plot city culture works - or it was just too late at night? - long story short, when my "aged" (50% waiting discount) spy contingent that was more than enough to bring a city to legendary was ready to act and city given to Khmers it was somehow 100% Khmer so culture spread mission was not available. I panicked and walked out all the spies :)cry:) from this double-bombed city and started to work on another one, needing even more artists :cry::cry::cry:. Later, when I culture-bombed a nearby city I finally got a culture-spread mission in my original target city, so I walked my stack of spies there again :mad:. Later, I had similar problems with other city, it was becoming later and later and I was becoming more and more determined just to finish and kept culture bombing and generate ESP points - and it all worked out in the end, but much later than should be. Initially, I thought I was on track to finish a bit after 1250AD - and I did not think it would be competitive with a BOTM crowd :crazyeye: - so I just kept generating ESP since there was nothing I really needed to research or buy and I was not sure how many spies I would use or if Khmer would not close borders with me.

    As for others, it all worked out in the end - but is there an award for unused ESP points? If so, I am definitely getting it :D Somebody mentioned having 4000+, but is nothing compared to mine "safety margins" :lol::crazyeye: Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 5.04.22 PM.png

    Yep, those are mine leftover points after getting all 3 cities to legendary. I generated about 650 EP/turn late game, so that equals finishing about 15 turns earlier, as roughly planned initially
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
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  15. Fine_Distinction

    Fine_Distinction Prince

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    oh, I am so sorry :hug:it sucks big time ... happened to me while finishing lockdown special - still hurts ...

    BTW, I never met Japanese - where were they located? I traded maps with most AI, I forgot that there was one AI left unmet
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
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  16. Fine_Distinction

    Fine_Distinction Prince

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    That is the power of spy economy - 15 turns is about what it takes (generate EP, move and station spies, GA), or even faster. I thought I would need to start from scratch with one of my legendary cities, and ended up with ~10k EP points, which is about what you need to get a city to legendary with all discounts. So if you have enough spies - and a great artist to seed - you can get a legendary city even in one turn.

    Looks like mine is a bit earlier finish, but there is also a couple of early submission from players like @Jovan Kukic and @nocho, based on early submission, probably not space games, I expect them to get even better times, my game was far from optimal, so it will likely not be me.

    And razing legendary city must be heartbreaking and some would rage-quit
     
  17. Fine_Distinction

    Fine_Distinction Prince

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    Great catch - I completely forgot what Stele does (facepalm). I was also initially not planning to build any culture, just pure spy economy.
    I also really liked this game, hope we get more games like this.

    Impressive EP/turn, I think I only got it to 650/turn. Did Khmers opened borders with you afterwards? if not, do you think conquest was worth lost spy discounts and higher chances of spies being detected?
     
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  18. nocho

    nocho Deity

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    I did go to space, so that's one less you're competing with for the cultural award! ;)

    It's been a while indeed since I submitted, IIRC I reached the stars in 1650AD, which isn't all that bad, but I don't expect to be the fastest either. I remember hoping for a pre-1600AD victory but somehow it dragged on a little longer than expected. I took the whole continent, but probably mistakenly accepted Joao's offer to be my vassal, rather than just taking his land. Didn't bother with the Japanese, basically felt it wasn't worth building a navy to ship over the veterans. Very enjoyable game however!
     
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  19. Powerfaker

    Powerfaker Warlord

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    It's good to know the costs and benefits better now, will sure handle some things differently next time. Think I will replay this and see what it leads to.
    How far did you tech? Could stop at Alpha + CoL / Music + Philo / Lib + Constitution?
     
  20. NickTrofimuk

    NickTrofimuk Chieftain

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    I don't usually go for Lib. For me so far Constitution is a must. I basically beeline for that so I can get jails out. Go full gold while the jails build, then move the slider to 100% espionage for the rest of the game. I forget if I teched to Engineering before or after (If I do it after, sometimes it is just with the Rep specialists) to get the castles. I might have done it before in this one so I had trebs to take out the Incas.

    I've always been curious about stopping at Alpha+COL but never been bold enough to try it haha.
     

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