[NFP] Community Monthly Challenge

Congratulations to our winners for the month of February - @enKage (deity level) and @AriaLyric (prince-immortal level)!

I will update the first post in short order to showcase your accomplishments.

Challenge for the month of March

Achieve the highest possible combat strength for a single vampire unit by the year 1800. There is a challenge for deity level and another for prince-immortal, as with the last time.

Stipulations: This challenge must be played on standard speed. Otherwise, the rules are relatively flexible. You can play any civilization, any NFP modes, any map size, and use the city-state/natural wonder/leader pickers. As usual, you may not use any glitches/bugs/exploits, use any non-Firaxis mods (except those which are only visual/cosmetic/UI in nature), and you cannot artificially decrease the number of city-states/civilizations (although you may increase them). Although I probably won't think to mention everything, please play fairly and ask if you are unsure.

Further Info: Combat strength is shown when your unit is preparing to attack another unit - you will see a combat strength number and it will say major victory, decisive victory, etc. This is the number. You can raise the number in a variety of ways, such as using policy cards, or using civ specific bonuses. You can use flanking units as well. Vampire strength is increased by proximity to defeated units, and your own army strength, as well as other variables. This is your chance to be creative. I can see several ways of going about doing this - tactics and strategy should both be important.

Good luck everyone. Let me know if you have questions!
Ooh boy, this one looks fun! I've been writing down a checklist and trying to figure out what civ/leader i want to play as, what city states and natural wonders I wanna get, etc.

I do have a question tho. I'm considering using Gran Colombia but I don't know if save scumming for Comandantes Generales would be against the rules? I'm assuming something like rerolling maps would be fine as long as you don't use the map builder to make yourself the perfect map to easily win on, but I don't know if that same logic applies to reloading a save from just before an era transition to ensure I get Manuel Piar, Santiago Mariño, and Mariano Montilla as the first 3 Comandantes Generales, in that order, probably? I think it might be fine, but considering just how much deliberate save scumming it'd necessitate I figured I'd ask first.
"You can play any civilization" Unrestricted leaders, namely Montezuma of Mongolia/India allowed? - anyway, is there a mod allowing mixing uniques?
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"You can play any civilization" Unrestricted leaders, namely Montezuma of Mongolia/India allowed?

You can only play official civ and leader combos.

Aria, going for different RNG is okay as long as you are operating within intended parameters. Some people will do this and I don’t see a way to police it, so you may as well.

I am open to hearing your thoughts and suggestions on this matter tho. Thank you!
Started a game for this challenge that I think I'm gonna run with, and I figured I'll share now what my plan is going in.

Spoiler click if you wanna see my strategy :
First of all, I'm playing Gran Colombia, for a variety of reasons
1) Bonus movement will help my vampire run around and wreak havoc very quickly, racking up plenty of kills, and allowing ranged units to quickly get into place to kill units next to my vampire also.
2) Great General CS bonuses will stack together with Comandante General CS bonuses (+5 each)
3) Comandantes Generales will allow me to buff my vampire as much as possible very soon, facilitating further kills. 1st, Manuel Piar for +7 to just my eldest vampire. 2nd, Santiago Mariño for +4 to my eldest as well as any other melee and anticav within 2 tiles. And then, at some point before the year 1800, Mariano Montilla for +4 vs District Defenses to all units within 2 tiles - this is important because of Akkad. More on that in next section.

As for picking City States - I hand picked each one that appears in the game, but only a few are really important. The two most important by far are Lahore and Akkad, though Yerevan is also potentially very important. Here's why:
Akkad - Allows melee and anticav (including vamps as melee) to attack walls for full damage - I'll be getting the combat strength possible by attacking a city's walls.
Lahore - Once I get the Nationalism civic and build a Military Academy, I'll be able to outright faith-purchase a Nihang army, setting my vampires' base strength at 87 (25+15from barracks+15from armory+15from military academy+17from army)
Yerevan - Ensure I can get an Apostle with Chaplain, to help with the atrocious healing speed of vampires

I also picked all 5 wonders (I'm playing on a standard-sized map) - Giant's Causeway for +5, Matterhorn for +3 on hills (so I'll measure the combat strength of my eldest vampire attacking a walled city on hills), Fountain of Youth to even further supplement my vampire's healing (+10 healing per turn), Zhangye Danxia because it'd be a nice bonus to have but I won't be terribly upset if someone else gets it, and Bermuda Triangle to help with exploration, and because its science would be nice to have, but I probably won't have to worry about the AI exploiting it very well to their advantage.

For Pantheon, I actually chose Initiation Rites for once - again, Vampires are terrible at healing, so being able to use a barb camp as a quick heal in a pinch in nice, and is almost essential for quick early leveling off of barbs.

For government, my path is without question going to be Oligarchy (to Monarchy) to Theocracy to Fascism - Oligarchy and Fascism for the combat strength bonuses (+4 and +5 respectively), Theocracy for cheaper Nihangs.

I'll be founding a religion, hopefully with Crusade (+10), and also with Wars of Religion (+4) slotted in (so I'll measure the combat strength of my eldest vampire attacking a walled city on hills following my religion but belonging to a civ that follows another religion)

Can't think of anything else right now - so in all, I'm expecting to get 87+5+5+7+4+4+5+3+4+5+10+4=143, and on top of that, +10 from barbs, so 153, plus however many non-barb units die next to my vampire.
Assuming I can get to Fascism by 1800.
And assuming Akkad applies to Vampires.
And assuming that the encampment building bonuses on Nihangs apply towards the combat strength of the unit upon purchase, so that it counts towards my vampires' base combat strength (the army bonus counts so I'm expecting this'll work, but who knows if this was considered in the coding).
And assuming neither Akkad nor Lahore gets razed before I can find & defend them.

Still tho... a GDR has a base melee combat strength of only 130. Talk about a weapon to surpass Metal Gear, eh?

edit: Buktu pointed out Akkad doesn't affect combat strength, credit to him for helping me w that
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And assuming Akkad applies to Vampires.

Akkad does not change any units combat strength, it just removes the 85% damage penalty (not CS!) against walls.

I have one or two different theorycrafts in mind which should be less RNG dependant while having even more combat strength potential. Im am not sure if I should post them now though since I think everyone who wants to participate (probably not me this month, got a lot of stuff to do for uni...) should have a chance to make up their own ideas.
Akkad does not change any units combat strength, it just removes the 85% damage penalty (not CS!) against walls.
ah, ok then, that makes sense actually. I'll keep that in mind going forward, thanks for helping me out ^_^

also your point about letting ppl make up their own plans made me realise I should put most of my post into a spoiler tag so ppl don't have to see it if they dont wanna, adding that rn
Got my run finished up! Ended up with a Combat Strength of 152.

Standard Map size, disaster intensity 2, Prince difficulty

Compared to my strategy I already posted, I ended up not having an opportunity to apply both Crusade and Wars of Religion, so I went for Crusade and lost Wars of Religion's +4 bonus. I also realized that save scumming only sometimes let me alter which Comandante General appeared, and when it did I could only make it vary between two of them, and for none of them could I get Santiago Mariño to show up, so that's another +4 bonus lost. And for some reason, I couldn't get the bonus from an adjacent Great General to apply, even though it has definitely applied earlier and was at that moment applying to other units, so that's a +5 bonus I missed. Every other bonus I laid out in my strategy post I managed to get, so that put me down to 140 combat strength. And then on top of that, I got +3 from diplomatic visibility, and +9 from non-barb units that died next to my vampire, giving me my final 152 CS.

Here's the screenshots of the Combat Strength and all the modifiers. Note that one aesthetic mod I'm using renames Comandantes Generales to Libertadores.
Spoiler screenshots :




I could easily still make this combat strength go higher by fighting more civs/city states, having a spy in India running Listening Post, and prolly some other things, since there's still 39 turns before 1800, but I have enough irl responsibilities to deal with that I've gotta make myself put a pin in this and just submit what I've got. This was a very fun challenge though, looking forward to seeing other people's submissions!
@AriaLyric Thank you so much for your submission. I wouldn't want to think I'm causing anyone to stress, so I'm happy you're finished for the month. As it stands, you're in first place, and, well, win or lose, having fun is the most important part.

Still, it sounds like you did a wonderful job and gave every aspect a great deal of thought. The bugs are a shame.

I promise, next month is going to be much more chill. Hint: It should bring you happiness, or at least, it will have something to do with happiness!

To everyone else, please consider making a submission between now and the end of the month - don't let "perfect" be the enemy of "good" - give me what you've got!
Does it mean I can continue my game of Aztecs for +16 luxuries + 10 crusade + 5 soothsayer if my laptop agrees to cooperate with cciv6 again?
Does it mean I can continue my game of Aztecs for +16 luxuries + 10 crusade + 5 soothsayer if my laptop agrees to cooperate with cciv6 again?
If you're asking if there's still time to be able to submit, then yeah, there's still like 9 days left. Also you'll probably snag first place if you're playing Deity, since I did my run in the lower level bracket, unless someone else shows up with a steel chair to yoink it from you
I wasn't sure whether many people would respond to this thread (thank you so much to those of you who have). Not every idea works out. There was only one submission for March so far.

The challenge for April is quite a bit simpler in hopes of getting more participants. Unless four or more persons submit an entry, next month will probably be the last challenge.

Challenge for the Month of April

Are your citizens happy? I mean, really ecstatic? How happy do you think they can get? Your task is to grow a city to the largest possible size with the most possible amenities. Your score will be the sum of the amenities and the population in a single city of your choosing. Will you choose to settle only one or a few cities, in order to concentrate your luxuries? Or, will you sprawl out across the land in hopes of unlocking new ways of growing your cities and entertaining your people before time is up? Either way, you might want to look into Temple of Artemis.

As before, you can submit an entry for prince-immortal difficulties or deity level.


The time limit for this one is 150 turns on standard speed. Otherwise, the rules are relatively flexible. You choose the map size that you like. You may increase the number of civilizations and city-states, but you may not artificially decrease them before the start of the game. You may use any of the NFP modes that you like. You may use any standard civ/leader combo. You may utilize city-state, natural wonder, and leader pool pickers. As always, please play fairly and refrain from using any mods/glitches/exploits that would create an unfair advantage. Please feel free to ask for clarification if you're unsure.

One further note. Please do not give away your cities at the end. If you can somehow induce someone to conquer them, that should be okay, but don't just give them away in a trade deal. That would be kinda cheap.


Thank you so much to anyone who decides to give this a go. Special thanks to ongoing participants AriaLyric and enKage. You have my enduring gratitude.

The March winner will be confirmed tomorrow.
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As suspected, AriaLyric is the winner for March (prince-immortal difficulty). They absolutely killed it with their vampire boasting a combat strength of 152 in only 231 turns.

I was particularly impressed how multiple bonuses were stacked, such as oligarchic legacy and fascism, to achieve maximum potency. Congratulations!


There was no submission in the deity category.

Updating the first post now.

(One further note, if anyone has any helpful suggestions as to how to make this thread better, please feel free to share here or send me a message. Thank you.)
Looking forward to trying this month's challenge! I've added a link to this thread in my signature too to hopefully get more people to click thru and participate. I really wanna help this thread do well so I'll keep trying to think of things that might make it perform well.

Off the top of my head I think it might do better if we somehow credit people who help engage in theorycrafting how to maximize the score for a challenge, instead of just the people who take the time to go thru with executing a plan. As is, people are incentivized to keep quiet about their ideas on how to get a good score, and people who come along after someone else submits a really high score aren't incentivized to try, because it'd take a lot of effort to simply match what someone else accomplished.

It's kinda like how in speedrunning, some popular games like Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom and Super Mario 64 disincentivize new players from trying to grab leaderboard placements because there's so many highly specific techniques that people have adopted to get better scores, that newer players have to spend months practicing weird strats just to catch up. But in speedrunning, there's still an active (albeit niche) community, because people who only find new techniques without actually submitting runs still get recognition in the community, and even sometimes get whole techniques named after themselves.

So maybe making these challenges less of a pure competition and more of a collaborative community effort might lead to better engagement? We could hand out credits to people who work out certain strategies, and who share map seeds they found that seem really favorable to maximizing the score for the challenge, instead of just the people who submit finished runs.

If we do end up running with that suggestion I'd be more than willing to be one of the people who tests out putting other people's strategies into practice and submits runs. Either way I'll stick around for as long as this thread's open ^_^
Here's my current plan for this month's challenge.

Spoiler :

  • Play as Byzantium. The Hippodrome is the strongest reliable unique source of Amenities I could find. India can technically get a superior amount with Dharma, but that would be a lot of micromanaging religion and would probably require more than a few resets.
  • Turn on Abundant resources.
  • Build in my capital all the standard buildings that provide Amenities. I'll also be trying to get all the Wonders that provide them. Ease of access to these wonders is why I'll be playing on Prince or possibly Warlord. I'll settle on water, so I can build a Water Park, Seasteads, and (hopefully) the Golden Gate Bridge. Placement of the Temple of Artemis in particular will be crucial.
  • Pick the River Goddess Pantheon, Zen Meditation, and Stupas.
  • Add Buenos Aires, Zanzibar, and Cahokia to the game with the City-State picker.
  • Try to establish a bunch of National Parks in my nearby cities. Considering that the City Park provides an Amenity as well as Appeal, Liang will be important to my strategy.
  • Try to get all the relevant Great People.
  • Rename my capital Cooler Constantinople. It's gotta count for something.
I haven't decided quite yet whether to try and go wide in order to get a lot of Luxury Resources. I do plan to at least settle a couple of extra cities a bit of distance away from my capital. How many depends on necessity and how many National Parks I think I can get out.

That aside, I'll add a link in my signature too. This thread is a great concept and I don't want to see it flounder.
It's a team effort now. I love it. Let's call it something else. Suggestions?
I was thinking about adding "Community" before the "Challenge" maybe, and one of my partners suggested adding the word "Symposium" to capture the idea of people coming together to share theorycrafting ideas on how to get a higher score. So maybe "Francel's Monthly Community Challenge Symposium"? A bit long but it communicates the idea, I think
I would rather take my name out of it, since ya’ll are helping now, is what I meant. Maybe just monthly community challenge?

(Putting my name was partly so people wouldn’t think it was an official forum activity like elim threads, but ya’ll have done a lot already and I would prefer it was about ya’ll at least as much.)
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Ohhh ok, yeah I think "Monthly Community Challenge" would work great ^_^
Also I'll post my initial thoughts on how to tackle this month's challenge soonish, have something to take care of first real quick.
Ok here's what I'm thinking so far:
Spoiler my ideas :
I'm thinking the Māori might be the best choice. Sure they don't get the Hippodrome (+3 base, compared to +1 base from EC) but I feel like that gets offset by getting +1 amenity and +3 housing in the capital, and also being able to quickly colonize a few different continents to get at least one of each luxury without making so many cities that they start to get amenities sucked away from the capital
Since Kupe can quickly colonize far shores to get many different types of amenities, I feel that abundant resources wouldn't be necessary, and thus Kupe's inability to remove resources matters less. (also, since we can keep resources under districts now, does this even matter that much for Kupe in the first place?)
Pamukkale would provide a flat extra 2 amenities, so the wonder picker can be used to ensure its presence. Might take a few reloads to get it near a camp-able resource for Artemis and a floodplains for Great Bath tho.
As Mr. Salt said, Buenos Aires, Zanzibar, and Cahokia are all musts. I'll add that so is Muscat. And as Kupe, finding all of these CSs and getting suzerainty there early will be easy as long as they're nearish the coast, or even just move a unit near the coast at the right time
Audience Chamber is a no-brainer, and putting Liang in the capital allows for the Water Works promotion as well as fisheries and city parks
if another city is close enough, and water parks can be unlocked and built before turn 150, aquarium benefits can stack with zoo benefits. to maximize the chances of getting it up in time, reyna or moksha can be used to purchase the water park as soon as it's available
Medina Quarter, Liberalism, Retainers, and Civil Prestige are all important, but a whole 3 are yellow cards. Building the Forbidden City would allow you to slot all of them in at the same time under Monarchy, which would add even more housing. Big Ben would too, but I'm not sure that could get unlocked and built by turn 150 standard speed while going otherwise so hard for culture.
Zen Meditation and Stupas are good but I'm thinking Feed the World and Gurdwaras might be better. If the scoring is the sum of amenities and population, then is each population is worth more then each amenity, since each two population only removes one amenity? genuine question here, I have no idea.
Though now that I think about it, after a certain point extra housing might be worthless due to not being mathematically able to grow the population by turn 150 to live in the housing. No idea at what point amenities are more important than housing and vice versa.
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Alright, "Monthly Community Challenge" is now live. This isn't set in stone, in case we decide on something with a bit more flair. I may ask a moderator for permission to add CivFanatics' to the name at some point if things start to pick up. I'll work on updating the original post to reflect better a community approach or symposium.

Thanks again!
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