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Checkmate

Discussion in 'Civ1 - General Discussions' started by Posidonius, May 17, 2016.

  1. Posidonius

    Posidonius Chieftain

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    Original idea was to do this, then just paste the picture up here, saying "Betcha can't guess how i did that?"

    But ran into a bunch of trouble and got great help here, and thanks to all who helped, but now you already know how i did this. The element of surprise is gone, but the element of WTF should persist. Look at the screenshot. Civ1 is nearly 25 years old, and i may be the first player ever to do this with the game.

    I'm yellow, it's 620 AD, and this is Trap Island. It's like a La Brea Tarpits, only instead of trapping mastodons, mine traps whole civilizations. I didn't use any cheats to do this. Have a world map because i played this game up to 1906 AD before i realized my terrible mistake, but i think that i earned that world map with 294 wasted turns, so no guilt about using it this time around.

    Combining three game manipulations, i have a single Militia of NONE keeping four whole civilizations in a docile bunny hutch. The game's most lowly unit, a Militia of NONE, and he's not even a veteran after 4,000 years in my service since i bought him off Alexander. But there he stands, with dominion over four Emperors Of Snow, each the second of their color and first of their name.

    The central manipulation is using the presence/absence of cities on various combinations of landmasses to control when and where a respawned civ will appear. Took a hundred playtests to nail this down. If i wanted to, now i could trap each of these four larvae on four separate islands, but why would i want to? When i first explored Trap Island, i saw the potential value in that vast tract of Arctic wastes.

    Second manipulation was two facts: an opponent's Settler will never found a city on a 0-food square, nor found with a rival's unit adjacent to it. Hard to tell in the image, but all four of these larval civs are on Arctic squares.

    The third manipulation was the turn order. In this game, it's me, then Gray, then Pink, Light Blue, and lastly White. So i herded them into the bunny hutch in reverse order: White, LtBlue, Pink, Gray. Thus i don't need units to guard the White, as long as the LtBlue is adjacent to him. Don't need to guard the LtBlue if the Pink can't move, and the Pink Settler can't move because the Gray Settler is there. And... yes, the Gray Settler will always be there, because i have a Militia of NONE who prevents him from ever, ever moving.

    Now that i know how to do it, believe i could restart this game in 3980 BC and stuff all six rival civs up there on Trap Island. But four should be enough to make my point.

    It's all sewn up and it doesn't cost me a single shield. I can force a conquest win at any point. Subtler, i have the opportunity to irrigate every single arable square on the map. There are Five living civs, but four of them will never eat a single blade of grass. Thus, have over 300 turns to do just that: develop every single blade of grass.

    I claim this and christen it The Bunny Hutch Win.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. darkpanda

    darkpanda Dark Prince

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    Very nice indeed ! Do you still keep defensive units in your cities against barbarians ?
     
  3. Posidonius

    Posidonius Chieftain

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    For now, yes. And there are more units on Trap Island to protect my Bunnies from the Red Wolves, but i moved them off to take a cleaner screenshot. Tried (30 times) to get the Gray Settler to nestle right into the hutch 1 to the NE, but every single time, he moved onto the goldmount instead, so their moves are not random. Think i know how to get him to move 1NE, but have to get some Settlers of my own up there.

    From the previous run of this game, i know there comes a time when i cover enough territory with cities, that the only Barby incidents are a "Citizens Alarmed!" warning mentioning my southernmost city, then the briefest flash of red on the South Pole, then they're gone. Once i get to that point, finish all trade routes and have the whole planet irrigated, i will only need this one unit.

    The planet will have 5 civs and five units: the four Bunnies i'm keeping on ice (literally), plus one Militia serving as Commandant of Ice Stalag Zebra.
     
  4. Planetdune

    Planetdune Chieftain

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    Interesting!
     
  5. Posidonius

    Posidonius Chieftain

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    And about to get much more interesting ;)

    Not just a curiosity, there's a reason why i did this, and turn-by-turn this game is inching towards a wholesome conclusion.
     
  6. Lord.L.

    Lord.L. Chieftain

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    But how have you forced them to appear exactly on that island?
     
  7. Theov

    Theov Chieftain

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    Oh the day you invent nukes...
     
  8. Lord.L.

    Lord.L. Chieftain

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    inventing nukes is too long​
     
  9. Lord.L.

    Lord.L. Chieftain

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    How to control AI respawn place? I really want to try this...
     
  10. Posidonius

    Posidonius Chieftain

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    In another thread you put up a picture, so we know you're playing Civ-1 in DOS. If you play the CivWIN version, you can actually SEE the place where the AI will spawn the next replacement civ. But you don't need to see it, as long as you know it exists. In fact, was trapping spawns for years before i understood what that special square in CivWIN was for.

    Here's how you do it.

    From 4000 BC to 0 AD, the game will respawn in any suitable area. From 0 AD to 1750 AD, a respawn will only happen on a landmass which is both "suitable" and also contains no cities. After 1750 AD, no respawns will happen.

    What is "suitable"? Darkpanda, bless its heart, has gone through the game and posted discoveries here, including how the AI decides where to place a respawn. In a nutshell, the process is an algorithm which runs a maximum of 200 times. The algo finds a random square, checks whether it is plains, grassland, or river, and if not the algo iterates its counter and starts over. If the square is plains/grass/river, then the AI checks the surrounding terrain and tallies the potential productivity of the area accessible to a city, if one were placed at that square. Then it compares the potential productivity to a benchmark value hard-coded, and if the square doesn't pass muster, then the algorithm iterates the counter and starts over again. Also checks to see how far away the nearest enemy city is.

    Therefore, if the AI can do it, then so can we. If you play a bit of Civ-1, then you know the feeling, penetrating an explorer unit across the black squares, uncovering an area where you think "wow, that's a great place for some cities." The AI thinks the same way, when it picks a respawn spot. Find those places, and you know where to watch for a respawn. Or, you know where to found your own temporary city, to block respawns. Or, you know which rival city would be best cocooned, preferably land-locked.

    If you play a bit of Civ-1 then we can assume that you're familiar with the idea of Cocooning a rival civilization, conquering them and then leaving one surrounded city alive. Usually, you do that to preserve a set of good trade routes. But there's another reason to cocoon a rival: making sure that they don't die too soon. One game, had to insert an army between the Zulus and Gandhi, just to keep them from tearing each other apart.

    You have to find the rivals fast. You have to get up to 5 cities as fast as you can. Your second Tech Choice screen often lists Horseback Riding. Take it. After that, your further techs should aim towards Navigation as soon as possible. I know it's a point of argument here, but a Cavalry is cheaper than a Diplomat, and uncovers new territory at the same double-move rate. Cluster your cities tight, thus linking them is 3x faster, so you only need 2 Phalanxes and a Chariot to defend 5 cities.

    Prime directive is to explore, it is critical that you meet every rival as soon as possible. When you meet them unit-to-unit, they stop expanding and start fortifying. They stop building Wonders and start sending units your way. Distract each civ from grander plans, stall them until you have them surrounded. Cocoon each rival, position your encircling units on production points, like hills or forests. Those are better defensive spots, and starve the rival civ of shields.

    When seeking to contact rivals ASAP, a good pattern for unit builds:

    Militia
    Settler
    Cavalry
    Trireme-Settler
    Settler-Cavalry
    Phalanx-Trireme-Settler
    Settler-Diplomat-Cavalry-Trireme
    Phalanx-Diplomat-Diplomat-Cavalry
    Settler-Diplomat-Chariot-Diplomat-Settler
    Diplomat-Diplomat-Diplomat-Diplomat-Diplomat
    Diplomat-Diplomat-Sail-Sail-Diplomat
    Sail-Sail-Diplomat-Diplomat-Diplomat
    Knights-Knights-Knights-Knights-Knights

    At that point, the world is your oyster. 2 Settys rolling around doing good public work, centuries of tourism by intrepid Triremes, by now you should know where all 6 rivals are. And you should know, by their profiles, which rivals you oughtta start pestering first, shipping an endless stream of Knights overseas. 7 boats by this time, so relay chains should be easy to set up. Destroy or sabotage all the rival Palaces, bribe away all their Settlers, prune back each of the rivals to a single city, then wait.

    Once you've got the rivals cocooned, build and deploy a web of units to watch over the "suitable" respawn spots. Before 0 AD, place sentinels on non-suitable squares, all 2-move units, positioned so they can see all the suitable spots in one move. Then kill a rival and use the sentinel network to find the respawned Settler. After 0 AD, you only have to make 1 suitable landmass uninhabited, then place sentinel units on it. Just don't place a sentinel on a plains/grass/river square, since it winks out of existence if a respawn happens on top of it. In certain cases you can get control of that unit back, but it just introduces instability into a game which is not unknown to crash now and then ;-)

    To do the 4-Civ Trap in the picture at the head of this thread, i waited until after 0 AD, founded temporary cities on various other "suitable" landmasses, then one-by-one, i killed off the caterpillars i had stored in various cocoons. Their only possible respawn spot was the Southern portion of Trap Island, where nobody had cities but i had plenty of units to shepherd the larval civs Northward onto the glacier fields!

    If you want to store multiple civs long-term, as docile bunnies on the tundra, then you want to do the Trap before 0 AD, when you have more control over where respawns happen, unless you have a perfect Trap Island, which is rare. If you find a perfect Trap Island, with one half habitable and one half terrible, then you can still force respawns there before 0 AD, but you have to plant a bunch of temporary cities in far-flung river valleys to block respawns in other places. When you find a respawn, shepherd it out of the area before killing another caterpillar because now you know, this spot is a likely respawning area after future kills. Do the kill, herd the new bunny out of the way, reset the sentinels, then do the next kill.
     
  11. Lord.L.

    Lord.L. Chieftain

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    But why are you saying that before 0 AD you have better control? After 0 AD you can just build a city on all landmasses except one island. Before this it's not that obvious... Anyway waiting until 0 AD is very long actually, you can win a lot before even without using these tricks.
     

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