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

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

  1. NickTrofimuk

    NickTrofimuk Chieftain

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    I don't think they did. Open borders is sometimes hit and miss for me, even if I get open borders, I find that often they're trading with someone else so I dont get the benefit. I'm not usually clever enough to destroy roads to cut off trade routes or anything like that.

    I didn't actually know there was a higher chance of being detected - how does that mechanic work?
     
  2. Fine_Distinction

    Fine_Distinction Prince

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    Exactly, I saw your previous games, if you used spies more fully, you would likely beat my time, especially with my spreading culture snafu ;).

    The last tech I actively pursued was Constitution (for jails), but I skipped Liberalisms, just manually researched it. I got more techs because I was generating a lot of research from running spy specialist and later artists using Rep, I also stole and traded some techs to keep my military up to date and improve score a bit. I built 1-2 Oromos in the end, but never used them. I did get Philo but to run Pacifism only, not for Lib.

    Stopping at Const is also what @NickTrofimuk did. I would not stop at Alpha+CoL+Music since I was mostly relying on GSpies, not on slider to generate EP points (although I was running EP 100% as long as I had enough gold since getting Consitution). Would be interesting to compare my game with @NickTrofimuk since he apparently used a different implementation of spy economy but arrived at a very similar finish date. I conquered only Inca since maintaining Open Borders with Khmer was important in my strategy. I was generating much less EP per turn than Nick (650 vs. 1000) but ended up with very similar results so I guess I got more GSpies than him. I was also probably getting better espionage discounts since I had open borders with Khmers so needed less EP overall - but gave up conquering Khmers to achieve that.

    If you reply, it may be enough to just go back to the time when you got 38k culture in a city and then conquered it again. At 38k, you are just 6 successful spy missions away from Legendary! Spreading culture is very slow initially, but accelerates a lot at the end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  3. Fine_Distinction

    Fine_Distinction Prince

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    Why would you destroy roads? You get espionage cost discount because your city is having trade routes with target city. I was achieving this by closing borders with other civs until that happened. Of course, it is somewhat inconvenient but worth the discount imho.

    It is hardcoded in the game, there is check every turn, with closed borders there is higher chance of spy dying. Table below from the great espionage guide by @Kaitzilla. As you see, especially later on it does not matter much, but I am a bit of perfectionist and this game I decided to do everything to optimize spy economy :).

    Spy_detection_chances.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
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  4. Fine_Distinction

    Fine_Distinction Prince

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    Hi @nocho, thanks for chiming in, and thanks, but I think we will see much earlier finishes than mine, spy economy is really powerful way to get culture victory :)

    I am very impressed you achieved space win that quickly! I never managed to achieved a space victory in BOTM, I tried once but have to switch last minute to diplo to submit in time. We ended up well, since I got an award for diplo, but would not for space. Part of the problem is that on Mac playing civ is slower, less automation is available.
     
  5. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    How many spies would you guys and gals need to pull off something like this, given a bunch will get detected and fail too?

    Some of the spy games in the HoF have crazy early finishes, like 600AD.
     
  6. Fine_Distinction

    Fine_Distinction Prince

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    @Pangaea I produced -93 spies total, -59 alive at the end, turned out I had -12 too many, I was losing much less than expected due to the spy detection (only 1-2 per turn for a 50+ stack!).

    I was converting established cities to Legendary, so after single-bombing they were -5k so I needed -48 successful spies per city, which translates to 57 total with my success prob of 84% plus a couple extras to account for detection losses.

    HOF games are known to use completely optimized leaders, opponents etc and starts re-rolled hundred of times, so that is a bit different category. Since they are going for the early finish only, I expect they strategy is different, they probably whip spies in the end, and may be trying to get all the Legendary cities at the same turn. In contrast, I thought my finish date would not be that competitive anyway so I did not want to sacrifice my score too much to get there couple turns earlier: I did not whip, but manually build my spies, I also “recycled them” I.e. I was converting cities one at the time using the same spy stack. I ended up with 1430AD finish but could finish -15 turns earlier if my first Legendary city attempt was working (similarly to @NickTrofimuk). More broadly, I could finish earlier if I deviated less from pure EP strategy (i culture-bombed one city twice instead of once to flip a neighboring KHmer city). While waiting for my EP to accumulate I was also involved in some spy shenanigans that were not worth it in terms of score or finish date - but were a lot of fun :D. Like keep spreading 5-6 culture points to a neighboring Khmer city, that costed me many spies, but finally the city flipped :D. Or stealing techs I did not need at all, like Theo, just because I could :D. In terms of mistake, in addition to LC#1 snafu that caused me to end with 10k extra EP, SIP was a big mistake and going for very early cottages probably was, I also produced 12 extra spies and a lot of extra EP. Double-bombing my first target city was a big mistake, it took forever to get the last GA and turned out to be the main bottleneck in the end.
     
  7. NickTrofimuk

    NickTrofimuk Chieftain

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    Ahh i should have explained that better. So often I gift a city, I have open borders, but that city isn't trading with me, it's trading with some other civilization far away. So then all the work of maintaining good relations, not taking their cities, etc, seems a bit fruitless. My diplo is usually not good enough to force anyone to stop trading with my target (or my target to close borders with others). So I thought maybe severing roads between target and his allies would mean his city couldn't trade with others, and maybe then his city would trade with me.

    But from what you say, am I correct in understanding that I could probably also force these trade routes by closing open borders with MY own allies? ie if my cities can no longer trade with far away guys, they will then trade with the closer recently gifted cities? That makes total sense, and is actually super handy to know haha

    @Pangaea, I'd say I probably produce 70something spies? Between 50-100 depending on the game I'd guess. It sounds like I do the same as @Fine_Distinction - try to get enough so that I can have my whole stack in one city, gift that away, and then the next turn run spread cultures all the way up to legendary, then move them all into city number 2 and five turns later gift that away and do the same. I don't think it would be practical to have 210 spies (or whatever the number would be) to run all your spy missions at exactly the same time.

    Also I often don't have enough to get it up to legendary all in one go (I should probably start producing spies earlier but I often get carried away trying to get a few more vassals haha), so once I've run my spy missions I figure out how many more I need (sometimes 10-15 spies) and move them back into city 1 to finish bringing it to legendary, then move the rest to city 2 and start working on that.

    I think this one city at a time approach is a fine way to do it, since I gift the first city well before I have enough espionage points to do all 3. And by the time you're ready to do city 3, your espionage points have hopefully caught up.

    @Fine_Distinction, I agree it would be fun to compare! I play a lot of espionage games, so I certainly have the idea down, but it would be really interesting to see how others play it differently. I'm sure there is a lot I could improve on - I've never been able to get an earlier date than 1300 on any difficulty (and I know there are some BC finishes in the Hall of Fame). Would anyone be interested in perhaps starting the same game, all trying for an espionage victory, and giving a play by play as we go so we can compare? (like a GOTM basically)
     
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  8. Fine_Distinction

    Fine_Distinction Prince

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    Hi @NickTrofimuk, good to hear from you.

    .

    I'm not a TR expert, but my understanding is that TRs are not symmetrical in civ. I mean, city A has a trade route with B does not mean that city B will also show a TR to A. Look at your save when you had visibility on the target civ. Therefore, I was stressing that the multiplier is based on the trade routes in your city.

    .

    Yep, that is what I was suggesting :). it is super easy, although it costs a bit in terms of diplo and lost trades. This game, at some point I had to close borders with everybody else to get TR with my target Khmer city, some AIs would not re-open borders (for some time).

    @Pangaea, I'd say I probably produce 70something spies? Between 50-100 depending on the game I'd guess. It sounds like I do the same as @Fine_Distinction - try to get enough so that I can have my whole stack in one city, gift that away, and then the next turn run spread cultures all the way up to legendary, then move them all into city number 2 and five turns later gift that away and do the same. I don't think it would be practical to have 210 spies (or whatever the number would be) to run all your spy missions at exactly the same time. [/QUOTE]

    This seems to be the most natural and enjoyable approach for me, but whipping spies an mass may sometimes make sense if you only care about the finish date. I never tried it, but if I have had a bigger empire, maybe. BTW, @MarleysGh0st produced 292 spies this game :)goodjob:), but looks like he didn't use them all at the same time.

    Also I often don't have enough to get it up to legendary all in one go (I should probably start producing spies earlier but I often get carried away trying to get a few more vassals haha), so once I've run my spy missions I figure out how many more I need (sometimes 10-15 spies) and move them back into city 1 to finish bringing it to legendary, then move the rest to city 2 and start working on that. [/QUOTE]

    same here, my first legendary city was double-bombed, so required less spies, so I started on it while keep building spies for other cities.

    @Fine_Distinction, I agree it would be fun to compare! I play a lot of espionage games, so I certainly have the idea down, but it would be really interesting to see how others play it differently. I'm sure there is a lot I could improve on - I've never been able to get an earlier date than 1300 on any difficulty (and I know there are some BC finishes in the Hall of Fame). Would anyone be interested in perhaps starting the same game, all trying for an espionage victory, and giving a play by play as we go so we can compare? (like a GOTM basically) [/QUOTE]

    I would gladly play with you :thumbsup:, but let us do it during one of the future BOTMs. BOTMs have amazing tools for side-to-side comparisons and replays, will be much easier that way. I was also thinking of trying an espionage victory on lower diff BOTM but since it is a same category as a culture here, but I have never played it since I did not want to ruin somebody's traditional culture game. BTW BOTM staff, @DynamicSpirit can we please have a self-declared Espionage Victory category in BOTM? It is a honor system anyway, but it does not make sense to have culture and espionage games competing in the same slot. Under current system, a culture game that would normally win automatically loses if somebody decides to play espionage-culture, seems unfair and not fun.

    I have actually only played espionage-culture one and another BOTM that I abandoned in the middle, I think it was also Zara Yaqob, or maybe Gilgamesh. But I generally like espionage and when espionage victory was introduced I was reading a lot about it and was thinking of trying for a HOF espionage slot - and then realized they do not accept Mac games :cry:
     
  9. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Many spies.jpeg
     
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