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Fastest Science Victory so far? Turn 99 SV at standard speed

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by ATEX, Oct 9, 2021.

  1. ATEX

    ATEX Warlord

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    Some time ago we started discussing at the HOF-forum how fast you could get a science victory if you tilted the settings as much as possible in your favour. Quickly we saw that Khmer, Ethiopia, and probably many other civs could get times in the 120-140s. As always Norway and Babylon work a bit differently, so they could for sure be much faster if you played a game of flip cities and pillaging.

    Since we got so close to turn 100, the idea of getting a sub-100 standard speed Science Victory became tempting. As the pillage-flip city games are not that fun to play, Matthias with an agressive wide game came up as a candidate (@Bangau had already shown that this could work). I was not convinced, but decided to give it a go, and Matthias did not disappoint. The speed at which he can conquer the world is amazing.

    Setup:

    The first task at hand was to find the optimal settings.This is not as easy as it sounds! My first test was at a normal size map, but you run out of cities to pillage and conquer, so I ended up with a huge map with max AIs. I choose only Kristinas as my opponents, as early gold from trades should speed it up, and also she seems to build campuses and not so many encampments and holy sites.

    Since the idea is to take many cities fast, you want many cities close together, so the map type became pangea with max water. Old world, as I could not have mountains blocking my troops.
    Settings.png

    I ran with Heroes, SS, monopoly, barbarian clans, apocalypse and heroic ages. Heroic ages can be questioned, as there are both pros and cons, but I think it's fun, so I left it on. CSs were also maxed. Natural wonders I dont think matter that much, but I see some were poorly chosen. Not sure what I thought about there…

    A fun thing about the game plan is that your capital means almost nothing. So rolling a map is not about starting location at all. In this game I ended up walking for 7 turns and settled a city that basically had no impact on the game. What you care about is a source of gold. (This could be settling on a lux, which was my original plan, finding Kandy and a natural wonder, having workable gold tiles or getting a relic from a goody hut.)

    Also another key point is that you need a good tech tree. A normal tech tree will just be too slow. To illustrate why this is so important, you need to understand that in the middle to late game, a science victory boils down to how fast you can get to Offworld mission, and you are more or less stuck on one tech per turn. In this game, the tech tree allowed me to skip 11 techs, shaving off 11 turns.
    Tech tree.PNG


    Game mods:

    Barbarian Clans: Activated to allow recruiting of barbarian troops. Had little impact, but somewhat useful.

    Monopolies: Does not really have much impact in this game setup, but gives some boost to the economy.

    Heroic ages: Pros: Gives you some boost and flexibility with allowing to use Free enquiry and Mandala state, and improved Monumentality. Cons: Takes up a policy card space.

    Secret Societies: This gives one early governor, which is super helpful. When it comes to what SS to choose, I figured Voidsingers would be good just because of the obelisk and the fact that you will have so many cites (50+). Owls should also be strong though.

    Heroes: In this setup, Himiko is an obvious great fit. However I did not go recruit him first. The reason for that is quite simply that early culture gives me even more benefit, so Anansi was my first hero. The reason I don't need Himiko straight away, is that I have gold to levy the troops from selling a relic. So no need to wait to finish a monument, and walking Himiko over. Also with the fast culture, I get some free envoys that I can put anywhere on the map, and diplomatic league, which is crucial as the AI will have 3 envoys in many CSs already when I meet them. Himiko was hero no. 2, and the plan was to get Hercules after that, but I lost him to one of the Kristinas. In the very end I also got Maui, just to see if I could spawn some more deers. That did not really matter.

    Apocalypse: I wanted to test forest fires. It did not really matter much, but got one proper fire out.

    Religion and wonders:

    Religion was not prioritized at all, and I don't think it fits in with the strategy. I went with Lady of the Reeds and Marshes, as I knew I would build Etemenanki. Etemenanki gives a good contribution to science when you get enough cities.

    Other wonders were pretty standard. Oracle, Kilwa, Pyramids, Bolshoi, Oxford, and some that the AI built that made no impact. I did build Machu Picchu since I wanted to use Commercial Hubs and Free Inquiry to boost science and gold yields. I don't think it really made much impact though, as it comes in too late.


    Governors:

    This game revolves entirely around Amani, while the other governors play smaller roles. Compared to a normal game the biggest difference is that Pingala was not used. Basically I had no cities big enough for him to make an impact.


    Early game:

    The obvious way to start is to find a CS, send Amani, levy the troops, scout, kill the nearest AI, find a new CS and repeat the process. As long as you can get the first 200 gold, the snowball gets going. With the levied troops, you will get the gold you need as you can pillage and meet new AIs(trade on the first turn before they hate you). Doing this you can levy a new CS every 4th turn.


    Middle game:

    The middle game is by far the most difficult. At the same time as you need to conquer new cities, there are very many boosts that need to be achieved. I think I will make a separate post about how to plan boosts, because there are some good pointers on how to do this effectively. Matthias has a way easier time though than most other leaders, because of the Pearl of the Danube. It just makes many of the boosts way easier to chop out.


    In this game, The main problem was warfare, and specifically loyalty. With so many civs, there were capitals all around, so my cities kept flipping. At some point I considered abandoning the game, because I thought it slowed me down too much. I even tried recruiting Victor (for the first time ever). In the end I just had to conquer some cities many times. Maybe a map with a bit more space would be preferable. A breakthrough came with using swordsmen, and later MEN-AT-ARMS. Even with the loyalty issues, the extra movement, and strong troops just makes Matthias a monster. 20 cities by turn 50, and 67 cities by turn 74... At that point I needed to leave some cities for the AI, because I could not eliminate all the AIs. I needed some for warfare.
    Turn 74.png

    Late game:

    The late game SV is normally quite chill. You chop a spaceport and the two first projects, then use builders to boost the two next, and finally chop out the boosts required. The one turn per tech sets the pace, so the time frame is set, and it's just getting the right amount of workers to the right place, and triggering the boosts required.

    In this game it was not so much so. Since there was so little time to finish everything, all the turns had to be planned out. As always with speed games, timing is key. In this game getting enough culture to get to Synthetic Technocracy in time was the bottleneck. In the end I got there on turn 96 instead of 95, but that was good enough.

    Also in the final 15 turns I had to resort to selling off some of my cites to get pillage gold and faith. The faith was needed to buy builders, and the gold for boosts, and buying tiles. Also Reyna and Moska had to buy two spaceports each as I had no Hercules.

    For the laser stations, different methods will work. I normally have one good chop city with Magnus in it. I chop everything on the first turn, and allow it to power down. Then I have one or two support cities that use alu and windmills and not power down. It gives a travel time of 3-5 turns normally. In this game it ended with 4 turns.

    In the end the game finished on turn 99, and I think this is the fastest SV currently online (Not counting games that use bugs). If someone knows of faster games, I would love to check them out.
    won99.png
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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  3. tobols

    tobols Chieftain

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    This is amazing, well done!
     
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  4. EscapedGoat

    EscapedGoat Warlord

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    Oh wow that's fast extremely fast, congrats! I usually like to "copycat" these fast wins to see if I can get close, but the sheer number of cities involved here just makes me not ever, ever want to try to "copycat" this - could imagine each turn taking literally hours :D Surely for CIV VII they could come up with some concepts that make optimal play less... painful? :D
    .
     
  5. ATEX

    ATEX Warlord

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    Hehe. Well it becomes a bit of a grind in the end. But it was actually fun to see how insanely fast Matthias could blitz. I agree that they should make "tall" more viable again for Civ 7. Preferably both wide and tall work equally good.
     
  6. Minou

    Minou King

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    Congratulations ATEX! I have spent a lot of time trying to get a sub T100 Science Victory with "cooked" settings.

    I've been refining my "cooked" Babylon game and recently managed to get the Mars Mission chopped on T92. I had 3 cities ready to chop Exoplanet and Lasers, but then was horrified to find the late game tech tree required literally every possible tech (e.g. every tech in the tree except Stealth, Telecommunications, and Future Tech). I had completed Predictive Systems and Advanced AI, but the remaining late game techs were going to take ~5 turns each. That was a bummer - with a better tech tree I could have probably hit under T100. Now, I remember to check the tech tree before starting an attempt. Its kind of a shame, but I feel like the tech tree can make up to 15 turns difference in this type of game, more powerful an influence than starting next to a natural wonder or getting Religious Settlements. At least now I know how to partially scope out how good or bad the tech tree is at the start to avoid wasted effort.

    I should say I have banned city flipping or gifting. It would have been possible to get down to T95 or less on that map by pillaging in all the late game techs with flip cities, but as you say that's just so tedious.
     
  7. ATEX

    ATEX Warlord

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    Thanks. I think for most of the scenarios we have discussed the main issue that restricts you is the one turn per tech. So when you shave off 10 techs that you do not need, it is just plain 10 turns better time. Or even more if you cant one-turn them. So if you are going to do a sub-100 you need that perfect or close to perfect tech tree. But babylon without pillage end seems hard. Do you take all the cities in the game to get enough Spt? Are you playing HOF or with save and load?
     
  8. Minou

    Minou King

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    I was playing “semi HOF” in that I will reload if I straight up misclick but not if I make a bad decision or forget to do something like move a Governor. Also my own personal rule of not attacking City States (I just like them so much I never want to kill them). To be clear I was not doing any flipping / gifting cities for pillage but still pillaging AIs if the opportunity arose.

    I had a great game with a natural wonder start and pretty good luck warring and with City States. Played very carefully and got Hercules early plus later Himoko, Anansi, and Sinbad. Most of the early cities I captured though had no districts and no lucky wonder captures which was a bit of a drag.

    Of course most of the techs were completed by boosts and I even managed to secure Da Vinci for Chemistry and Radio (what a pain in the ass with escalating cost, I did not realize he would cost 610GE points but luckily he was the first GE of the Era). My science was actually pretty lame, only 500spt at T95 which is normally great but not so impressive with Heroes and other crazy modes on.

    There were still so many Campus on the map I was getting about the same amount of science pillaging as from domestic production for a while, but ran out of things to pillage on T96. At the stage I had completed Smart Materials, which required Nuclear Fusion (boosted by chopping a Nuclear Power conversion project) and Robotics (had to hard tech it since culture was obviously behind science).

    Then I was horrified to see Offworld Mission needed all 6 of the possible future era prerequisites. I had three Laser chopping cities (thanks to Hercules) ready to chop a million lasers, but with weak science and no Campus left to pillage I realized it would take at least 15 turns more to complete the tech tree. If I had rolled a perfect tech tree, I would have been able to hit Offworld around T90 and chop enough Lasers for an easy sub T100 win.

    I think it is actually possible to also skip Nuclear Fission and Combined Arms in some trees, which would make the tree even more critical, since the first is impossible to boost and the second pretty much impossible too since culture will likely be too far behind to get armies by then.

    So, I guess I need to check that tech tree at the start next attempt and only pursue a HOF run if it is better. With Babylon at least Nuclear Fission and Lasers don't really matter because they are easy to boost if you plan ahead, but being able to skip Robotics, Guidance Systems, and up to 4 Future Era techs can make a massive difference - 6 turns if you are teching 1 per turn but more like 12-18 turns since I find it extremely hard to get to one tech per turn before T100 with Babylon's -50% penalty.

    Guess I will be rolling maps all Thanksgiving weekend!
     
  9. ATEX

    ATEX Warlord

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    Babylon is quite special in this regard, as you theoretically only need three techs before the future era. Everything else can be skipped. In a fast game though it will be very hard to get those boosts, so you need a bit more. But even for a normal civ we are talking 9 techs of the modern, atomic and information era that can be skipped with a good tree.
     
  10. KKirrin

    KKirrin Chieftain

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    Daaaaamn that is insanity, congrats on the game! I’ve been trying to pull under 110 on Peter peaceful and it’s starting to seem impossible, it’s amazing that you were able to knock off another 11 from there
     
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