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Civ III Newbie

GeneralZIft

Enigma
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
349
Hey lads

I started with civ5 and civ6, I'm fairly well adjusted to those games.
Yesterday I went on a journey of discovery with a copy of CivIII that I owned, that I hadn't played.
So apparently, there's no tutorial, so I kinda of just tried to do what I'd normally do in Civ5/6.
I hit quickstart and I got the Romans!

Now some really funny realisations:

1. the cities manage themselves
This is so intriguing? They'll autoqueue stuff and move stuff around? I feel like it's much more convenient to just hit "Okay" on the drop-down list, rather than having to scroll and such.
Although, I don't know if it's just Romans but their default option is almost always more military.

2. The city zoom in, the palace, the citizens
This is so incredibly cool. I love seeing a little map of my town. I like upgrading the palace that's just good flavour. And the citizens! I much prefer the little icons that tell me how they feel and what their job is simultaneously! That's such good design by saving design space. Although I wish whether or not the town is on the verge of unhappiness is actually shown on the town.

3. Governments matter more
I do just generally like this idea that some governments have like various secondary effects like, more corruption, less upkeep, more forced labour, etc.

4. Instant city deletion.
Alright this part was fairly negative, a warrior simply "walked" into a city and deleted instantly. I was NOT prepared 😭
I guess in this game you just need sitting army on them.
I thought I had walls on there too but I guess that doesn't matter.
After this, I did definitely alt+f4 😂
No clue if there's autosaves.

5. Unit movement & combat
I haven't exactly deciphered how the units move in this game but it appears to be different? Like they have movement points shown by the bar but sometimes they don't use all of them.
They also fight in this kind of strange back and forth way until one of them die?

6. Autofill Cities
Best way to explain this is, that feature where building a new city might sometimes latch that extra territory between cities? I think that's quite cool and convenient


So, can't think of too much more to talk about since I did quit early but so far, pretty good!
I think I'm pretty impressed by the amount of effort the older games put towards ease of access in playing the game for beginners.
I love the bars that show you literally how much food you're making and how much you need for the next citizen. I think it's really self explanatory. Same for production (shields is such a weird name haha)

The pace of this game is quite slow. In some ways that's quite nice? It's like marathon speed by default, which maybe newer games should come back to. It gives me a lot of time to enjoy building up my empire.
Although I'm certain after 30 years or so, there's probably optimal routes to reach next eras fairly fast, but for now, I'm concerned that you'd basically fill up the whole map by the time you hit whatever age comes after Middle Ages.
 
So apparently, there's no tutorial, so I kinda of just tried to do what I'd normally do in Civ5/6.
First of all, welcome to the Civ3 Forum!
[party] :band: :beer:

Civ3 does have a tutorial mode, you can turn it on in the Preferences menu (Ctrl-P). It will only teach you basic game-mechanics though, not the optimal choices!
1. the cities manage themselves
This is so intriguing? They'll autoqueue stuff and move stuff around? I feel like it's much more convenient to just hit "Okay" on the drop-down list, rather than having to scroll and such.
Although, I don't know if it's just Romans but their default option is almost always more military.
Up to a point!

Though the choices made by the City-Governors are also frequently... erm... suboptimal. So it's usually preferable to make your own build-choices (and worked-tile assignments), at least within your "core" (low-corruption) towns.

And yes, the Roman AI does like to build military units.
2. The city zoom in, the palace, the citizens
This is so incredibly cool. I love seeing a little map of my town. I like upgrading the palace that's just good flavour. And the citizens! I much prefer the little icons that tell me how they feel and what their job is simultaneously! That's such good design by saving design space. Although I wish whether or not the town is on the verge of unhappiness is actually shown on the town.
It's relatively easy to install a graphical "popheads" mod that adds smiley mood-badges to the city-screen, which makes tracking unhappiness a lot easier.

If you have Civ3 via GOG or Steam, you might also want to check out the .exe patches from @Flintlock. One neat function of which is, when you hit End Turn, to give you a warning about any cities which are in imminent danger of rioting.
4. Instant city deletion.
Alright this part was fairly negative, a warrior simply "walked" into a city and deleted instantly. I was NOT prepared 😭
I guess in this game you just need sitting army on them.
I thought I had walls on there too but I guess that doesn't matter.
After this, I did definitely alt+f4 😂
No clue if there's autosaves.

Yes, unlike in Civ5+6(?), towns in Civ3 don't defend themselves automatically/ autonomously: you have to post a unit(s) there. Any unit garrisoned in a city will defend to the best of its ability (based on "D-value" which can be multiplied by various defensive bonuses, and Hit-Points remaining), but if all the defenders are killed, the city will get captured (and possibly razed).

(With a few edge-case exceptions) "Autorazing" happens when a foreign city with only 1 citizen and no prior Cultural border-expansion gets captured.
5. Unit movement & combat
I haven't exactly deciphered how the units move in this game but it appears to be different? Like they have movement points shown by the bar but sometimes they don't use all of them.
If you mean the green/yellow/red bars, those show Hit-Points (=unit-health), not movement. The small green/yellow/red dot above the HP bars show whether a unit has used none, some or all its moves for this turn.

All the basic land-units have an "M-value" of 1, 2, or 3 movement-points per turn (Armies get a bonus +1MP based on their slowest unit), but these are also affected by whether the unit is travelling on friendly roads/rails (which increases the number of tiles they can travel per MP), or the ruggedness of the unroaded/enemy terrain they're crossing (which reduces the travel-distance, e.g. Forests and Hills cost 2 MP per tile, Jungles and Mountains cost 3 MP).
 
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Welcome to the forums.

Although I wish whether or not the town is on the verge of unhappiness is actually shown on the town.

There exists a utility program called CrpMapStat which has a happiness tab to help determine this. If the name of a city has a red face next to it, that city is anticipated to riot after your finish your turn.

Mapstat also serves as an extremely useful resource for seeing information about trading opportunities with AIs.

I thought I had walls on there too but I guess that doesn't matter.

Yes, walls do not block enemy units from attacking. They do increase the defensive effectiveness on units in towns below size 7 though.

No clue if there's autosaves.

Autosaves do indeed exist.

They also fight in this kind of strange back and forth way until one of them die?

Yes. Tjs mentioned hitpoints above. I haven't watched battles closely in a while, and noticing timing of events visually has often been a struggle for me. So, I'm not sure about how closely the animations match the bars disappearing. I don't remember them quite matching, but perhaps they do at least sometimes. However, during each battle if you watch the bars with marks in between them, you might see those going down in succession or remaining constant. Basically, there's a calculation for the battle strength of the defending unit in battle which is always greater than what it tells you for that unit in the city screen. The attacking unit does attack at what value it shows you. And there exists a random factor for whether a hitpoint gets removed or remains.

I think that, more precisely, the back and forth battle sequence involves the comparison of the strength of attacking unit and a random factor, against the strength of the defensive unit and a random factor.

For better understanding, we'll consider an archer with 4 green hitpoints and a fortified spearman with 3 hitpoints in a town at size 1 on flatland. The archer has strength of 2. The spearmen does not have battle strength of 2. But, every spearmen has 2 assigned to it before any defense multiplers apply. Since the spearman is on flatland, it's strength number gets 10% of 2 added to that number. Since it's fortified, it gets 25% more of a bonus. Does the city have walls also? We'll assume the city does not.

So, our spearmen has final strength of [2 + (2 * .1) + (2 * . 25)] = (2 + .2 + .5). And (2 + .2 + .5) = 2.7. So our attacking archer has strength of 2, and our defending spearmen has strength of 2.7.

BUT, there's the random number generator at work also. We'll call each random number generated an "RNG".

So we have 2 * RNG_1 compared to 2.7 * RNG_2

or, I think more likely, the comparison get put in this form:

2 * RNG_a compared to 2.7 * RNG_a. Based on that comparison, a hitpoint gets removed from the attacker or the defender. If 2 * RNG_a = 2.7 * RNG_a, then we have another random number use for another comparison.

We can suppose that if 2 * RNG_a < 2.7 * RNG_a, then our attacking archer loses a hitpoint. If 2 * RNG_a > 2.7 * RNG_a, then the AIs spearmen loses a hitpoint. Supposing the archer won, has 4 hitpoints and the spearmen has 2 hitpoints.

With that calculation done, we get another random number.

2 * RNG_b gets compared to 2.7 * RNG_b. Either the archer or the spearmen has less strength, and whichever does, it loses a hitpoint.

And so on until either the archer or spearmen has 0 hitpoints, at which point it dies.

If you check the civliopedia, you probably can find more information about the multiplers for all terrains and types of cities.
 
This interpretation of RNG seems a bit complicated. In your above example of A=2 and D=2.7 for each battle round the attacker has a chance of 2/(2+2.7)=42.55% of destroying a hit point of the defender. If this does not happen, then the defender will destroy a hit point of the attacker. So that is 1-2/(2+2.7) = 2.7/(2+.2.7)=57.45%.
 
This interpretation of RNG seems a bit complicated. In your above example of A=2 and D=2.7 for each battle round the attacker has a chance of 2/(2+2.7)=42.55% of destroying a hit point of the defender. If this does not happen, then the defender will destroy a hit point of the attacker. So that is 1-2/(2+2.7) = 2.7/(2+.2.7)=57.45%.

Thank you for pointing out the above as an interpretation.

I do believe it possible that the execution of the code could compute a floating point number by a ratio, and then compare against a single random number. But, I'd expect that the random numbers generated are all natural numbers. So, whichever RNG got selected would need put into a similar form as the computed floating point number that replaces the ratio. Otherwise, we'd have the paradox of every battle as lost (when the attacker has less strength than the defender) since any number less than 1 is less than any positive integer.

For the above example, we could have .4255 computed and let us suppose 54559911 got produced. Then either we need some computation on .4255 yielding 42550000, or 54559911 going to .54559911. Then, since .4255 < .54559911, the attacker has lost, and consequently loses a hitpoint. OR since 54559911> 42550000, the defender has won. So, the attacker has lost, and consequently loses a hitpoint. Or two other possibilities.
 
I believe there there is another outcome for the result, since sometimes only the defender loses a hitpoint, sometimes only the attacker loses a hitpoint, and sometimes they both lose hitpoints at an equal rate.
 
I believe there there is another outcome for the result, since sometimes only the defender loses a hitpoint, sometimes only the attacker loses a hitpoint, and sometimes they both lose hitpoints at an equal rate.

If they each lost a hitpoint at an equal rate, then there would exist some battle with a 1 hitpoint attacker and a 1 hitpoint defender such that the result consists in both the attacker and the defender dying. But, I have never seen that happen. It strikes me as absurd also to think of how both the attacking unit and the defending unit could both die.
 
Thanks for the replies!
Don't have time to reply to everything, but I did recall something I was curious about.

That colony feature seems pretty cool, how does it work exactly?
 
If they each lost a hitpoint at an equal rate, then there would exist some battle with a 1 hitpoint attacker and a 1 hitpoint defender such that the result consists in both the attacker and the defender dying. But, I have never seen that happen. It strikes me as absurd also to think of how both the attacking unit and the defending unit could both die.
I don't mean they lose the hitpoints at the same time, they do take turns while losing them, but at times one doesn't take any damage before the other one does. But in any case, I think I misread your point anyhow, so this is all moot.
 
Thanks for the replies!
Don't have time to reply to everything, but I did recall something I was curious about.

That colony feature seems pretty cool, how does it work exactly?
You move a worker to a tile with a resource you want to have and use the worker function to create a colony. That colony has to have a road to the trade network for the resource to be available. If that is the feature you mean.
 
Usually it is better to simply get the resource tile into your culture. In Civ3 there hardly is a penalty for spamming cities. Yes, there is corruption and it does encourage to keep the amount of tiles per city reasonably high. But there usually is no sensible reason to not get a tile into culture. Once a colony is absorbed into your culture it becomes absolete and ceases to exist.
 
Since a colony must be roaded to in order to be beneficial, you might as well send a settler instead of a worker and build a city there.
The added bonus is that you can then defend it.
 
Colonies can be useful in modded games where Settler-production is limited, and/or where fewer terrain-types are available as town-sites.

But in unmodded Civ3, yes, building a Settler to grab a resource with a new town is a much better investment of population-points than building a Worker just to form a resource-Colony.
 
Quite interesting! I do like the idea of colonies though, it would be nice if they came back.

Like a non committal version of cities that may switch sides or something, that allow you to grab out of reach resources, that would be a very neat feature.

Like for example in Civ5 you get penalised for each new city. (I guess unlike this game)
So in that game colonies would work much better than this game. Since you spam in this game.
 
Like for example in Civ5 you get penalised for each new city. (I guess unlike this game)
So in that game colonies would work much better than this game. Since you spam in this game.
Civ5 is definitely the outlier, with penalties for lots of expansion. Civ3 rewards expansion!

Units (especially foot / melee) mostly move only one tile, unless on roads. But units stack! You have an incentive to keep your army grouped together, and the strongest defender will defend if something tries to attack. Nearly all battles are "to the death", unlike Civ5 or Civ6. In certain cases, horsemen/knights/cavalry can retreat, but most unit-to-unit combat are resolved in just one turn.

Building a road increases the base commerce of the tile, so you'll benefit from building roads on every tile that a citizen is working. Mountains are *not* impassable in Civ3! You may build roads and even railroads over/through a mountain range.
 
Battles to the death is an interesting concept that I haven't seen in the modern 4X games.
 
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