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Dramatic Age discussion

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by mad hadder, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

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    Just finished my 3rd or 4th dramatic ages game. This time I did it on Island Plates, as Norway, on emperor. I never declared war on anyone (I did kill a civ early becuase they tried to invade me, but besides that, all peace) and won a science victory very early. The free city blob had a lot of coastal tiles to raid with naval melee/raider units and occaisonally land units, combining that with grandmaster's chapel and appropriate policy cards got my science skyrocketing. I was actually friends with everyone the whole game, except at the beginning, becuase I was technically very peaceful. No penalty for pillaging unaffilitated cities! It was pretty funny. Still, gimmick strats like this aside, I don't think I really enjoy dramatic ages that much. I find it a bit too stressful to have to recapture my own cities two or three times. I don't think I'll play with it again for quite a while, unless I think of some other gimmick to do. So far secret societies is the only mode that I think I'll keep active frequently, although still not all the time, since the AI clearly doesn't know how to use it (especially cultists) so I feel a bit cheesy taking advantage of it.
     
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  2. Hatchie

    Hatchie Chieftain

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    I'm halfway through my second game of DA and the experience is about the same as everyones here! First game I won relatively early religious victoriy with Byzantium - I managed to convert most cities before the freecitypocalypse and since free cities don't care about religion theose cities remained faithful to the one true religion (Eastern Orthodoxy ofc), reduced the number of cities I had to convert from other civs and destroyed many civs that started other faiths, so overall easy game!
    Now the second game on the continents map where everyone starts on the same continent, it's industrial revolution and only two civilizations remain on the world - me as China and Gaul. Gaul did conquer couple of cities, I didn't (just former Sumeria flipped to me) but most of the other civilizations just imploded into free cities.

    It's funny once or twice, but in order to be more repeatably playable, this mode needs some serious balance pass (which is a shame because some ideas like the golden age cards are amazing)! The best solution would be clusters of free cities orming new civilizations, but I don't think we will get that...
     
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  3. RollTheDice

    RollTheDice Chieftain

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    I am trying it out on a Emperor game with Georgia and really enjoying it so far
     
  4. James_Champagne

    James_Champagne Warlord

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    Funny thing happened to me a few days ago. I had wiped out one of my competitors (Spain) earlier, but then I noticed they were suddenly back in the game. Confused, I then saw that on a small island there was a free city that had once been a Spanish city, but had rebelled and rejoined Spain, thus putting them back in the game. So I wiped out Spain yet again and got the +5 era points. I already had more than enough era points to make sure my next was Golden, but I wonder if that's something that could be exploited for gaining era points. Like, wiping out a civ but keeping one of their free cities around, then liberating that free city, only to wipe out the civ in question a second time for a big point increase.
     
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  5. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    Just had my first big change in a dramatic ages game. After chaining all golden ages early (just barely in the medieval - I wiped out Norway with like 2 turns to go in the era to just give me enough score to get over the top), I got the notice that we were going to the industrial era and I was still like 30 era score short. So I pretty much resigned myself to going into a dark age, although got a few nice score pieces, and ended up on the last turn about 4 points short. I could buy a great person, and upgraded a unit to get my first oil unit, but ended up 1 turn short. And because of that, I lost 7 (!) cities flipping free, all with 2 infantry troops. Most were expected (a couple recent island colonies, a couple somewhat freshly conquered cities outside my empire), but I did lost 2 cities somewhat near my core.

    In some games, I'd probably be quitting right away from that, but I'm still decently ahead in the game, so it adds an interesting mid-game twist. Without the dramatic ages, I probably wouldn't have cared even if I did fall into the golden age, and frankly might have welcomed it if I could float into a modern heroic age to end the game. But losing a portion of the empire that I have to try to win back certainly adds a twist, never mind having 2 eras in a row where I was barely gunning to see if I could hit the golden age threshold since I know the dark age was going to be punishing.

    Overall, I feel the golden ages do seem a little less golden than before, since you have to use policy slots to make use of the bonuses, although it's certainly nice to mix and match. But dark ages are definitely tough. Not sure I'll want it on every game, but it's an interesting twist at least.
     
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  6. c4c6

    c4c6 Prince

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    I'd like it, if the game could do the bookkeeping over several dozens (all played as of yet?) games and care that a self-defined quota (say 60%) is randomly met in the long run for such severe dark ages (and harmlesser variants the rest). With the player knowing that quota, but not the distribution between the individual games - even less for a specific dark age.
     
  7. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I do not play game modes as a rule but I did play the latest GOTM and I founf it funny that at the beginning of an age you stress and plan but they by the end your points are way over, at least for a few ages. The cards are powerful and you can get great combo's. It's just another souped up version of civ. A multi flavoured ice cream some love while I sadly just like vanilla.
    It seems clear to me they are pretty much done with civ and delivering a few new spicy civs with some alternatives modes to keep the game interesting. Certainly people seem to be liking secret societies, this one is more high powered that punishes the less advanced.
    It seems if you attack someone about mid-age and pillage the hell out of them you can come back next age and take the free cities.
     
  8. Abaxial

    Abaxial King

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    Logically if a civ has a single city and goes into a dark age, the capital city should rebel and the civ dissolve. That doesn't seem to happen though.
     
  9. TolkienBard

    TolkienBard Chieftain

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    I have now played about a dozen games using the DA mode. At first, I thought I was going to really like the mode. It sure made playing as a warmonger rather easy. Basil+DA is a steamroller to victory. However, once I stopped playing as a hyper-aggressive civ, once I tried playing peaceful games, I found that DA mode can be immensely punishing. Without DA mode, I can play through a one-city challenge and at least keep myself from slipping into a dark age, even if I don't chain together golden ages throughout the game. However, on DA mode, I have only once ever managed to successfully complete a one-city challenge. The only reason I was able to manage it is that Tamar was my neighbor and she kept trying to attack me. That allowed me to spam era score by getting unit promotions and also by converting her cities with apostles. The total era score from converting cities and from unit promotions was easily 75 or so. Without all that, I would have easily fallen into the dark ages and likely would have never been able to crawl back out.

    I find the mode to really punish turtle strategy as well. Staving off the dark age the first time isn't too tough if one is paying attention. The second time, there are usually some easy era score bumps, such as lucrative districts and first unique units. After that, it can get out of hand in a hurry. Lately, I have been trying my hand at building a high population civ, going all-out on population growth. Previously, this was not necessarily difficult, it just took a while to really get going. Until one develops Urbanization, things tend to get a bit bottlenecked. Now though, I blow through the firs two ages. I even go out of my way to set aside some low level tech and culture advancements so I have them available for quick era score. But then, I found two or three cities and hit a new age and suddenly I need 90 ERA SCORE IN ONE AGE. I had 2 +6 campuses, a +5 campus and a +4 campus. I had Hildegard giving my two +5 holy sites and my +4 holy site science bonuses for their adjacency. I had science coming out my ears and the second-highest culture of all the AI civs (damn Scots). Even churning out science techs like they were nothing and making a fair run through culture, I still came up about 20 points short (anywhere from 16-26 depending on how I played). BOOM! There go two of my good cities. Oh, and now they have three military units better than most of my military and they are focused entirely on military production and causing as much damage to my civ as any barbarian ever thought about doing. They have heavy loyalty, especially since my neighbor also slipped into a dark age. So now I have an uber-powerful neighbor looking to harass me and they have enough loyalty that even my strongest combinations for applying pressure don't seem to bother them. Taking those cities back does tend to result in some era score coming my way, but not nearly enough. Furthermore, it requires essentially going into a truly aggressive posture in order to create a military capable of fending off the free cities that do not spend any time building infrastructure and revenue.

    All-in-all, the DA mode seems to be hyper-oppressive to peaceful gameplay. Growing a large(ish) scientific civilization capable of competing on the world stage in diplomacy, science, and culture/tourism, is now exponentially more difficult and requires more than a little luck. Even without the loss of a WC government policy slot to use to help the science growth (if you want your golden age card), peaceful growth is about the worst of both worlds in DA mode. The growth increases the score one needs to avoid a DA (even if your civ is a full age more advanced than the nearest AI civ), while remaining peaceful eliminates an entire stream of era score (military advancement).

    With the free cities working together as a single civilization, getting a massive loyalty boost, and a steady stream of high-end military units without the need to invest in any sort of growth or infrastructure, I am finding the DA mode almost broken for non-aggressive play. That, is a shame, as I sort of like the concept.

    I do think there needs to be some sort of hard cap on how many era score points need to be achieved in order to avoid a dark age. Either that, or perhaps have a small window of score where a normal age still exists. The gold and dark policy cards are gone in that instance, but the cities don't go from solidly full loyalty to suddenly flipped with full loyalty and a strong military going the other way just because a civ is only mildly overpowering instead of fully overpowered.
     
  10. 8housesofelixir

    8housesofelixir Emperor

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    How many cities do you have in that game?

    I agree that the Dramatic Age mode doesn't favor peaceful gameplay. But, it first and foremost doesn't favor a peaceful wide play since every city will adding more Era Score requirement (+3).

    If you need +90 to reach a Golden Age, then you probably have a massive amount of cities - definitely more than 10 - in that game, something that the DA mode clearly punishes.
     
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  11. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    I haven't been able to try Dramatic Ages yet. I think one of my mods is screwing it up. When I start a game with Dramatic Ages checked, I just get a Normal Age every era, and every AI civ gets a Golden Age every era. I use a lot of mods, and there're 1 or 2 that are more likely to be the culprit, but if it isn't one of those, experimenting with deactivating all of the mods one at a time is too much of a PITA. If I can't figure it out in 10 minutes, I'll just skip it and try Dramatic Ages again in a month, just to see if the modders have updated their work to accommodate them. Otherwise, I guess I'm SOL. (At this point, playing Civ VI unmodded just so I can play with Dramatic Ages really isn't an option for me. :lol: )


    Well, that should satisfy the people who've long wanted a compelling reason to play a "tall" nation in Civ VI.
     
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  12. TolkienBard

    TolkienBard Chieftain

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    Most of the time, I actually prefer to play tall over wide, though sometimes I do get crazy with city spamming just to test out a particular self-mandated scenario. Though, I do find playing tall less rewarding since Civ VI. The district system makes it far more difficult to pull off. I find it almost impossible without a religion to help boost my science to keep up with sprawling AI civs like Columbia or Rome.
     
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  13. Pistol90

    Pistol90 Prince

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    I started new game without dramatic ages, and probably wont using it anymore .... it brings nothing new to the game, but just take away somethings. I will use mod to make dark ages harder and thats enough.

    This was mod I was most exicited, but brings almost nothing. and totaly no need to use it if you are playing with mods because you can get better experience with out it.
     
  14. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    Right, that's been one of the complaints about VI, I think since the beginning. Tall is clearly sub-optimal, by design, like playing a pacifist game, something you might do to challenge yourself or just something different for the sake of it (or because, like me, the sheer, soul-destroying grind of managing an impregnable 30-city empire while you wait for the game to mercifully end makes you want to punch yourself in the neck). But if Dramatic Dark Ages work as they're described, then there's a brake on Wide nations. Like I say, I haven't played the mode yet. I'm guessing it's not enough by itself to make Tall as powerful as Wide, but more is better than less.
     
  15. TolkienBard

    TolkienBard Chieftain

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    I think that's part of my problem with the DA mode. It isn't so much that it makes playing tall as powerful as playing wide. What it really does is make playing wide far riskier. It does nothing to help tall play. It just penalizes playing wide. But even that is somewhat of a misnomer. It penalizes wide pacifist play. Play wide aggressive play is actually somewhat rewarded, since you get era score for each unit promotion after the first. This becomes really easy to exploit when sieging a city.
     
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  16. c4c6

    c4c6 Prince

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    Right so! The narrative is that historically larger empires have an increasing risk to crumble.
    In terms of game balance having more cities means more potential of generating all the yields, what tends to make the game boring ... so a rebelling province far away is welcome variety.
    If it would help tall, wouldn't that make possessing more cities irrelevant?! How can be playing tall as powerful as playing wide???

     
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  17. King Rad

    King Rad Warlord

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    I'm on my 2nd DA game, and so far I like it. I am a 'wide', peaceful player generally, and I've enjoyed the challenges so far. In fact, I am really enjoying all the modes except the apocalypse [or whatever it's called] since I'm not a disaster fan. I lost 3 cities to a dark age, but recaptured them; and in my current game, Alexander, who declared a surprise war on me, entered a dark age very shortly after it began. One of his cities became a free city, and when I took it, two others started losing loyalty, with one of them becoming a free city. I said I play peacefully, but when somebody attacks me for no reason, like Alexander did, then I do have to sometimes wipe them out, which is my current plan for this game. It also keeps him from asking why I'm not warring with someone - teach him a lesson!

    @Victoria I usually agree with most of your posts, but you just missed it on this one. There's no other ice cream quite like mint chocolate chip!
     
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  18. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    Theoretically, that's where the myriad victory conditions, and the fictional resources - Culture, Tourism and Faith - should come into play. In real life, "wide" nations and empires have obvious advantages that we readily understand and easily benefit from - wealth, military power. But Civ is attempting to create artificial conditions in which countries like Thailand and Scotland and the Native American peoples have avenues to "win" without simply behaving like the Chinese, French or Americans. Theoretically. It hasn't quite struck the balance, military conquest is still the safest, straightest and easiest route to victory, in part because it enables everything else, rather than excluding or narrowing other methods of victory. There's no getting around the fact that there's one "best" way to play this game: Kick the [snot] out of a couple of your neighbors during the Ancient and Classical Eras, then settle down and build out. After that, you can pretty much pick your Victory Condition, except perhaps Religious. Anything else is just messing around, because you feel like messing around. Which is fine, by the way, games are for messing around. I almost never play the most efficient game anymore. I've started using the randomized tech tree just because it's wacky. Although, funnily enough, I'm playing one of those early-war games right now, kind of by accident: Playing as the new Gauls, Russia declared war on me, so I crushed them, knocked them out of the game; then France got incensed and declared war on me, so I crushed them and knocked them out of the game ("Say... Nice Pyramids..."); now Shaka Zulu is grinding his teeth and trying to decide whether he wants a piece of me, too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  19. sethjohnson

    sethjohnson Chieftain

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    has the Automaton Warfare dedication been removed from dramatic ages? I didn't seem to have it as a policy card, i miss the free uranium
     
  20. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    Well that turned out to be easy. The first mod I tried deactivating, which adjusts the costs of Techs and Era Scores to make Eras last longer and map onto real history better, was evidently the one causing the problem. I started a small, short game just to test it and deliberately got myself into a Dark Age just by doing nothing, and it seemed to be working. Hopefully soon I'll be able to start a proper "Dramatic Ages" game.
    :beer:
     

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