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Cookbook #1 (Sally, Immortal)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Fippy, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Seconded on the no academy thing. If you're going cuirs you'll have plenty to bulb; if you're going astro, well you'll have even more need for GS because the 2 GS for astro is a must but also might want some for other things (philo? edu? etc.). So especially if you're not PHI GS are precious resources and hard to come by, and blowing one to get +25bpt in your cap, MAYBE, is a hard sell.

    It's also highly unlikely immortal AIs will need more than cuirs to handle so you can sorta stop teching after astro and MT in these situations. If I'm not mistaken in most immortal games the AIs get rifling 1300-1400AD at the earliest, and that's if they have decent starts and are not too busy bashing their heads in. So getting anything else - cavs, cannons, rifles, is overkill (and besides, you probably won't reach them, because once you start whipping and taking cities left and right your economy WILL start tanking). Accumulate spy points for some nice revolts, instead.

    My preferred bulb path for lib cuirs is 1 GS for philo, 1 GS for edu, and 1 GS for lib itself (do note you'll have to tech metal casting to bulb lib but not machinery as then you get shoehorned into printing press).
     
  2. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    If you are not fin, it really doesn't matter much if you put your cottages just on grassland or riverside. As long as the total number of tiles you are working still include the riverside ones with their free 1C.
    In some ways, I prefer farming riverside and cottaging other grassland, because riverside is likely to change more during the course of a game.

    The problem with grassland cottages is that they are so annoying the first 10 turns.
    Once they reach 2F2C they are perfecly OK, and when they are at 2F3C they are really nice.
    A 2F3H tile is awesome, and 2F3C beats that due to multipliers if the only thing you would do is build reasearch/wealth, which do you do parts of the game.
     
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  3. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Pretty good points here. For me, it was a close call whether to go non-river grass cottages or try to work lighthouse coast. If we were either ORG (cheap lighthouses) or FIN (coast 3:commerce: vs. non-river cottage 1:commerce: for the first 10T) I'd prefer coast and build at least one worker less. Of course, the longer the game the better cottages will be.
     
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  4. Samuel_996

    Samuel_996 Chieftain

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    @sampsa

    Spoiler :
    Ya, you're right RE: Academy. It's definitely my intention to try and put up a strong early Oxford to compound the beakers, otherwise it's very wasteful. Either way, the Astro route will surely get a faster finish date via domination. On most continents maps I tend to autopilot and take over the continent before rushing to space, so that's what I kind of instinctively geared my game towards. We're definitely on divergent paths, so it'll be nice to see how our saves progress but difficult to truly compare them (unless you pivot to space or - less likely - I pivot to domination).


    As far as cottages go, I was fairly short on workerturns in my turnset because I settled more jungle than some other saves, so I didn't get to cottage my non-riverside grasslands down south. Ideally, I would have done so, but in my case the gains from this would probably have been fairly incremental anyway compared to just stagnating on specialists because - with the exception of the capital - I'm planning to farm most of my tiles as soon as CS comes in. Whipping cuirs in Police State (especially as dropping Rep will make all my extra citizens angry) is just too nice to pass up on. Throwing down a bunch of 5T farms is no easy task though, so as I allude to in my report, I'll definitely be squeezing out some more workers. Still, it's very impressive how many cottages some saves have managed to not just build but also mature. I may have miscalculated somewhere between T45 and now.
     
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  5. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Samuel_996
    Well... I have a whole lot of matured cottages around my capital. I had a horde of workers to do that, and I'm getting 76 commerce from working tiles.
    But that will not get me anywhere anytime soon.
    I think you chose wisely when staying abit more lean when it comes to workers.

    @sampsa @Undefeatable @Samuel_996
    More academy talk! (Or is it capital talk?)
    Whenever I have a capital that start with either 2-3 commerce resources, or a bunch of river tiles which happen about every third game, I tailor my game around having alot of cottages there and I also focus commerce-multipliers there. This saladin game I think is such a game.
    Thats why I went pottery first in my original T45 save.
    And in most games, the academy is well suited there.
    This enables me to keep the rest of the empire more lean, and I think that is worth alot.

    In all games where you get the chain-vassaling going nicely, the academy wasn't of much use, but in other games where you only get a few AIs under your boot, I find that I often need to pause and tech to the next wartech in the line.
    Now this might only be that I need to tech 500-1000 beakers to enable a trade of steel for rifling with one of my newly aquired vassals, but often you need some ability to tech.

    90% of all my cities (or most of the time all but the capital) are piling up an ungodly amount of whip-anger and are operating at a 4->2 whip cycle. Keeping the capital with a lot of cottages unharmed helps you stay well afloat economically during war at 0% research.
    And when you do get a breather, you can simply focus all the lesser cities on building wealth and the capital can help you slog along to the next tech.

    Do you guys agree with me on most of this reasoning, but it's just that you think that an academy-less capital does the task almost as well?
    Or is it something in the reasoning that you see as flawed? Do you aproach the problem differently?
     
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  6. Powerfaker

    Powerfaker Warlord

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    2 saves are looking particularly good to me for being so tech advanced, the ones from Sampsa and Samuel.

    I’m also impressed that they managed keep peace with only a handful of warriors on the board. Being pro-active like Sampsa with gifting is an aspect I need to improve a lot myself. I always find it hard to judge what is needed to raise relations. That makes me worry if I should try anything at all, or better prevent gifting stuff for nothing.

    This is how it went this game. After Writing I piled up gold till I had Madrassa’s in Mecca and Medina. Then while going for alphabet Shaka’s red fist appeared. Gifting it thereafter seemed to do nothing at all (no +1 fair trade or anything). Gifting a resource on top of that was too late too of course. Usually I try to have some quality units, like axes/spears or in this case chariots to drive AI attention away. Didn’t work either, and thus I’m at war now. And I did end up gifting alphabet for nothing.

    As for my save
    Spoiler :

    I tried to leave it as flexible as possible.

    I left options for the next tech open by piling up gold the last 5 turns. I let OF beakers go into Construction. I’m more leaning towards going for CoL and CS now though. Better to strengthen the economy with bureau and more caste specialists (I need to do some catch up here) and just defend against Shaka and get only Hunting for spears against his HA’s.

    Most moves of this turn still need to be made. Two settlers are out, one in place next to silk and one a turn away from PH north of Mecca if it were up to me. This would complete the base empire for a while till conquest is affordable. Maybe snatch the barb city when the danger of Shaka has decreased.

    Several builds are at the point of whip with max OF (not that there is a wonder for failgold available).

    I’ve also started a spy with the intention to try steal MC from Qin. The GE has started to look more convenient now with the possibility of Mach bulb that I hadn’t thought of yet.

    Overall building both Pyramids and GLH felt like quite a burden on the expansion/development rate of the empire. Cottages/GP/citypop are still a little less developed compaired to sevearal other saves, but not at all as badly as I feared. And I do enjoy a little extra’s now………



    @sampsa
    The Colossus hammers are not lost when you reach Astronomy. The icon disappears from your build options, but as soon as an AI completes it you will get your failgold !!
    The remark about getting citites to max popsize => Very true
     
  7. Samuel_996

    Samuel_996 Chieftain

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    @Powerfaker RE: tech gifting/diplo

    Spoiler :
    I usually find (others please feel free to disagree with me) that gifting a technology never really gets me any diplo - and if it does, it's almost never close to the maximum of +4. Weird, because I much more often find that *selling* a tech (obviously not possible in this case due to no Currency) for a pittance seems to more often yield a bonus. Maybe I just have a weird sample bias though so curious about the thoughts of others. Gifting resources I usually find acceptable because it very often costs the player nothing, while gifting a city is less risk provided you can find the hammers because it's a guaranteed +4/5 and the player can quite often put the city somewhere terrible (AND maybe kill off an actual good settle spot for the AI in the process. Can always raze and resettle later, right? :D).

    I'm almost always very wary of gifting techs, though, especially stuff like Alpha, because it a) doesn't very often seem to improve diplo, b) provides the AI with a measurable and substantial boon and c) is one less tech you might need to buy peace with when the time comes.


    The above - which is more a string of thoughts rather than a criticism - aside, your game is looking strong. Definitely worth talking about the benefits of GLH though I agree finding hammers for that (esp when non-IND) as well as the Pyramids strangles the early game a little bit.
     
  8. floydmcw

    floydmcw Warlord

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    Reply to @sampsa:

    Spoiler :
    This is great to know! I had a vague idea that giving resources boosted relations but didn't know the details.

    (I assume that the quality of the resource doesn't matter? Crab is the same as iron?)

    How much do techs contribute? +1 per gifted tech?

    I need +5 total I think, since there's the hidden low peaceweight penalty?

    My aim is purely to take one city so he'll stop bugging me. As you noted the war is not scary, but it's distracting, and would be much worse if Shaka dragged Qin in.
     
  9. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Are you 100% on this? Could have sworn it has happened to me... Easy to test of course. :)

    Yes, I agree with your reasoning. I just view earlier astro as very powerful on maps where all AI can't be otherwise reached.

    Indeed, impressive that Powerfaker got the GLH. It's not showing full power now from having only continental trade routes, but will shine post-astro. Those :gp:-points should be useful, too.

    That certainly is a sample bias. What matters is how long you have known the AI and how much "fairness" has there been in your trade interaction. Screens from my game
    Spoiler :

    I met Shaka only T56 (later is actually better here, not sure by how much). The first turn you meet someone even 10:gold: gift is enough for +4 fair trade I think. T66 our trade network is connected (=he has sailing) so I gifted crab immediately. T87 I get alpha, so no prior gifting except crab and Shaka is already +2 from fair trade. Gifting meditation bumps it to +3. Pretty sure gifting alpha would be insta +4 even without resource gift, which would be enough to get him pleased (Shaka needs +5 to be pleased, because of hidden -2) as +1 years of peace comes on T60.

    Can't get even sailing for alpha+medi from Qin, so he's nearly at alpha. :wallbash:

    Civ4ScreenShot0054.JPG

    T96 still no further bonuses, got silver for crab now and gifting the currently useless stone+horse (well, could fail Moai or put some :hammers: into walls)

    Civ4ScreenShot0052.JPG

    Next turn resource gifts hit 50T and OB hits 25T. Probably only needed one of them though. Canceled stone+horse gift immediately when available.

    Civ4ScreenShot0053.JPG

    Soon afterwards their border tension reached -2 and Shaka dropped to cautious towards Qin. Cmon Shakaboy.:whipped: OB +1 will come in a few turns I suppose, religion will spread but right now he has a good window to start plotting...


    Yep, crab counts the same as iron. Actually I worded it poorly earlier, you don't need to gift the resource necessarily, trading is as good. So total 50T resource trading/gifting for +1, 100T for +2. So trading/gifting 4 for now useless resources will get the max +2 diplo in 25 turns (and it doesn't wear off I think). Especially useful for expansive leaders.

    Shaka has -2 towards human player, yes. BUFFY shows these hidden diplo thingies and I'm liking that very much.

    Ah, yes. Ending the war is a big priority. Probably you don't need to take a city and can just take peace when he's willing to talk if he has slammed some melee units to your walled archers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  10. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Tested Astro vs Colossus failgold, and yup it arrived (not lost).

    AI starting diplo modifiers can also be seen here, all red ones have -2 towards humans.
    (-1 is considered standard in that file, which can be a bit confusing..so -1 actually means -2, grey = -1)
    Spoiler :

    Diplo from tech gifts, as Sampsa wrote 2 factors (when did we meet the AI, and how much value is in our gift) matter. Can be seen in Lain videos i.e. how he gifts AIs small gold amounts, after meeting them with Caravels in Iso, and yup instant +4.

    Cheap techs will likely not give points after 50+ turns, would be interesting to know how those multipliers increase as turns pass by, but gifting 500+ beakers as big example should still give +4 fair trade very often.
    (worth mentioning that while Alpha shows as 500+ beakers for us, it's cheaper for AIs cos of difficulty level discounts, so we are not giving a full 500 beakers)
     

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
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  11. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    @krikav on expansion costs
    Spoiler :

    My rule of thumb is that 8th city costs roughly 8:gold:, 9th 9:gold: and 10th 10:gold: (I didn't invent this, just read it somewhere years ago). Let's compare the costs of our empires.

    <F2> screens shows the following:

    Your save:
    Civ4ScreenShot0055.JPG



    My save:
    Civ4ScreenShot0056.JPG

    By looking at these numbers, a lot of insight can be gained.
    1. There is a massive mistake in your save that is costing you 10:commerce: per turn. :ack: Hint: "foreign trade" (means :commerce: gained by trade routes).
    2. You are generating more raw :commerce:
    3. Expenses is the most important column. Unit cost 9:gold: is just too much for your empire to handle. I'd delete as many warriors as possible.
    4. City maintenance+civic upkeep+inflation is 29:gold: higher for you. I'm currently not in slavery, so that's an extra 2:gold: saved, so 27:gold: is the real difference I think. That's incidentally exactly what my rule of thumb predicts ;) (8+9+10=27)
    If aiming for a swift astro or racing to lib, I think those extra cities (8-10) are just slowing you down. In Samuel's save, 8th city to claim iron+silk+forest will be slightly :commerce:-negative initially, unless he is willing to build wealth working improved iron, which makes the city already :commerce:/:gold:-positive. +1:commerce: city center, +4:commerce: trade routes, +1:hammers: city center and +5:hammers: from iron turned into +6:gold:. Thus I think it's fair to say that only the extra trade route and the ability to build wealth (=currency) makes these cities beneficial.
     
  12. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @sampsa

    Spoiler This Saladin map :

    Thanks for looking closer on my save!

    First of all, yes city settling got way out of hand, and it would have been wiser to calm down abit. But I wanted to push the expansionist aproach to it's limits and beyond. So this save is more an exploration of what can happen if you go in this direction, than it is me trying to play in an optimal fashion.

    Alot of things could be improved, and your suggestions are all spot on.
    I was in panic mode for some time, due to shakas red fist, so survival was the high priority.
    It was only one turn since he declared on Qin something that made me so relieved that I didn't have the mental pressence to clean up the mess before submitting.

    Regarding foreing trade...
    Earlier in the game, sailing was a moot point, since I had barb cities spawned on both sides of the coast it wouldn't get me traderoutes anyway.

    And to sum up what you said about recovering this economy, and to add some other point:

    Two warriors up north scouting can be deleted, and a chariot as well, but that is probably best left for scouting.
    All excess units should probably be deleted, either just right away, or the stack of archers in "Turtleshell" sent south to replace warriors acting as MP, delete warriors as they archers come along.
    Already this unit deletion and switching out of slavery would up sustained BPT from 12.5 to 23.5. (Double techrate!! WOOO!)


    But the best solution to dig oneself out of this hole is probably to use the GSci in Mecca for a GA, that paired with the other suggestions would bump up sustained BPT to 68.

    With that we reach alfa in 3 turns, and can build research.
    Trade routes with shaka can probably be gained within 2-3 turns.

    This screenshot shows what can be done at T110:

    Spoiler :

    Civ4ScreenShot0045.JPG


    And with some tile optimization we can get abit higher still, perhaps 75 or so.

    So the economy is really less in shambles than what it looks like at first glance.




    Spoiler Pace of expansion in general... :

    Your answer was very timely, since I'm currently focuing all of my civ4 energy on replaying the NC202 map over and over again from T0 to about T120.
    Using this thread abit like a guide: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/fastest-worst-case-isolated-play.460072/
    Although I'm also trying out @Olafeson's nice marble aproach.

    As you perhaps recal from my posts in LHC Hammurabi a couple of months ago where I was so proud of getting 16 cities by 1AD... :)
    I do have a habit of wanting to overexpand. This is perhaps a bad habit of mine from playing lower difficulties.

    The nature of city upkeep, commerce and teching is imo much more difficult to get a full grasp on, compared to the pretty straightforward calculations you can do on hammers and food.

    A optics beeline in isolation seems to be a perfect trainingground to to grapple with these matters.

    The rule of thumb you present could be correct, from my testing here city5 costed me 7g, city6 5g, city7 8g and city8 8g. But I didn't take distance maintenence into account. So that could explain it.

    With all this info, I'm still unable to solve the puzzle though... When to stop settling cities?
    If I plan to reach optics at T120, I can't settle a city that cost me 10 GPT at T110, since that would slow me down.
    But I can perhaps settle it at T100 if it is neutral in cost at T110 and contribute more than 10 research per turn at T110?

    After alfa (or writing perhaps), the order in which you get your opics pre-reqs doesn't really matter that much.
    You won't get much utility out of either IW, MC, Machinery or compass, so it's just a big chunk of beakers you need to slog through.
    So it should really just be a question if the city settling contibute positively or negatively in beakers from the turn it is settled and to the turn you land the last tech toward the optics bulb.
    Obviously we can accept a small setback, since a settled and matured city will continue to contribute in the game after optics... but no large setbacks are acceptable.

    Something that I have really managed to hammer into my consciousness is that it is REALLY crucial to settle cities in the proper order.
     
  13. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    @krikav
    Spoiler :
    That's a pretty nice display of the power of the golden age! Even if it probably is rather early to start it. But indeed, your economy is not as bad as it seems at first glance.

    An ORG leader can handle higher early city count, but 16 by 1AD is stretching it quite a lot. :lol:

    Deity isolated workshop -thread has lots of good analysis. I think the consensus seems to be 6-7 cities pre-optics is usually best. Of course, high :commerce: sites won't slow you down really.

    Haven't seen this thread, but when reading these old threads I always get the feeling vicawoo's understanding of the game was way ahead of his time. Even so, the minimalistic approach is not very enticing. Without any other way to raise :)-cap I'd go monarchy.
     
  14. Powerfaker

    Powerfaker Warlord

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    In earlier discussions it seemed expansion was everything. I can imagine that has driven some of us more in that direction than they usually would. :p
    Now we see a bit of a quantification. First an expansion burst, then a tech burst, which all makes much more sense to me.

    It's also more clear to me now why a pack of cities close to the capital works well. It allows you to develop both cottages and GP.

    @Fippy
    In the attitude/peaceweight diagram, what does 'respect warmonger' attitude do? Sounds a bit like I spank them, they like it. :D
     
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  15. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Powerfaker Yes, if you plan on using burocracy for any period of time in the game, a cluster of helper cities around the capital is crucial to develop cottages in time. The capital is so preoccupied in the early game with producing settlers/workers, putting key infrastructure in place and in almost all cases produce some of the first GPersons.
    Helper cities can stay small and only have a granary, if they develop 3 cottages for later that is golden.

    This paired with the fact that you can get cities up and running way earlier if they are close to the capital, and that you can get away with fewer workers is a winning strategy.

    Thats partly why I was abit skeptical about @mscellaneous first save (and others who did the same), where he rushed for the stone.
    I'm not entierly ready to accept that it was worth it in some abstract sense, but in this current game where pyramids went so early, it was clearly the right move.
     
  16. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Earlier in this thread there was abit of discussion around the benefit of PH-mines (0 Food, 4 Hammer tiles)

    I just stumbled on one clear example where they are beneficial:

    This contains spoilers about NC202!

    Spoiler :


    Spoiler screenshot :
    Civ4ScreenShot0050.JPG

    Now... this is past 1AD, and the only PH I had improved before 1AD was the riverside one, and that was only used from time to time sparingly when there was need from either city reaching it.

    But now I have the other PHs up and running as well.
    The situation is that I'm in isolation with marble, and have taken the Aestethics path. In this path you power your research mainly with failgold. My failgold from parthenon is spent and my nat-epic city is abit slow to build it. A 2pop whip of an axeman is happening next turn for 30H overflow.
    This city has 2-4 turns left to slam every available hammer into natepic.

    A clear example when you need pure hammers, alot of them and quick. :)

    Once natepic gold is spent, heroic will finish shortly. Failgold bonanza! :D

     
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  17. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    I think warmonger respect just means extra positive diplo between them :)
    AIs like Ragnar are less likely to be attacked, more neutral AIs (like Justi or JC, they usually do well) will take into account their unit spamming this way,
    and will drop to annoyed less frequently (which usually starts plotting).

    There was always a bit of discussion between making few cities strong early, and expansion or "rexing".
    Very complicated topic, if you can take developed AI cities via force (increases with diff level), too much rexing would be harmful (if those cities are not super strong).

    Also this topic was sometimes interrupted by "easy maps", okay obviously i can war chariot rush with horsies in my bfc and Egypt..
    but some players would create arguments against expensive wonders like Pyras by using such maps.
    Or even worse, by mixing HoF starts with regular or tuff ones.

    PH mines also were mixed in like that sometimes, if we have great land and lots of freedom,
    "never work brown tiles" holds up well.
    Real talent however, imo, shows when we have to work with difficult starts or situations.
    I have built plenty PH mines for sure, and often i will not care if my mines are green or brown, and worker movement matters more.
     
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  18. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Okay i really need to start with forming opinions on saves,
    will edit here as i move along.

    Sampsa's game
    ..will certainly be top 3
    Spoiler :
    Eying Optics already, meeting other AIs for trading options is game changing :)
    Diplo well under control, ofc this always takes a bit of luck too, but with no -1 from border tension yet we can also see why not settling everything
    has it's advantages for safety as well.
    Gems site for Shaka can be seen as minus, i also think him grabbing that would take much blame for war / plotting (if Shaka would have done so, borders with Basra & Pyras city).
    Floydmcw's game
    ..undecided yet.
    Spoiler :
    Likes: southern cities (Mecca, Medina, Damascus), using nice rep scientists there, overall city amount and their posi.
    Minus: overreaction on units for Shaka, costing 11gpt currently. No Madrassa in Baghdad.
    Tonny's game
    ..
    will not be top 3, sowy!
    Spoiler :
    Lack of Pyras & losing gems site left us with severe happy problems, thou silver can be traded via gpt. Shaka could plot any time, -2 closed borders (Khurasan harmful?)
    Plus for cottage development certainly, cities are mostly doing what they can without happies.
    c^3's game
    ..will not be top 3, sowy!
    Big problems there, Shaka declared & stole a city, no Pyras and happies.

    Powerfaker's game
    ..will likely be top 3.
    Spoiler :
    Should be a case of creative play with enuf focus on progress, GLH was already discussed and yup an impressive achievement ~~
    Great Engi gives some options (Machinery bulb, as for Sampsa?)
    Another metal *plop* lol, gold this time.
    Shaka declaring should be a minor annoyance, compact empire for us..easy defending.
    Samuel_996's game
    ..
    undecided yet
    Spoiler :
    I agree with some comments, looks "pleasing" surely.
    However, i think Shaka not delcaring yet can be seen as luck.
    A little more was possible here imo, keeping GS for Philo bulb would have been better,
    so not fully decided yet (i also have to include luck & safety factors, no Shaka defense and -2 close borders hmm..)
    Olafeson's game
    ..undecided yet
    Spoiler :
    Good city # and placement, imo.
    Mecca big & well developed already. Shaka should suicide units, then offer peace again.
    Confu shrine rather weak imo, i know they are fun to build ~~
    But 6gpt (for now) makes them weaker than an Academy, and even those are not really good picks often. Medina used for heavy reli spread, useful with Paci, but costly with losing rep scientists until then.
    Overall feeling of cities being a bit small for T110, cept Mecca.
    Krikav's game
    ..will not be top3, sowy!
    Spoiler :
    has been discussed plenty i think, too high costs and cannot keep up with some other saves teching.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  19. Olafeson

    Olafeson Prince

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    Location:
    Budapest
    I am rather busy around christmas time, but i think i can make my votes maybe tommorow evening.
     
  20. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,912
    Gender:
    Female
    System was changed, voting comes from me now ;)
    Please see this post for details.

    An outline of my thoughts on our 8 games has been posted above,
    any comments welcome ofc ~~
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
    Tonny and Olafeson like this.

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