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Food is good for growing your stomach, not your brain

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Hall of Fame Discussion' started by jesusin, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    I have been trying Cultural Deity games in Quick speed and Large maps, to try the "bostich strategy" to the last consecuences, as suggested in http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=4825720&postcount=45 . The idea is maximize food and stop research after CoL, Philo and maybe CS are known, while production goes only to granaries, theaters, one monastery and the National Epic. Religion is ignored, but for Pacifism. I have used Peter in all of them, he is philosofical and healthy.

    The first try, Continents map, I had 2 silver and 4 sea resources in the capital. I didn't make a single cottage, all land was farmed and I tried to maximaze the number of Great Artists. Without the silver mines my research would have stagnated before Alphabet. I won in 1615 having farmed 22 GP, all of them artists (the next one would have cost 2613GPP, please remember that the first one in Quick costs 67GPP). Research stopped in 290AD, when CoL, CS, Philo and Drama were known. There was no difference between running 100% science or 100% culture, since all the commerce I had came from the trade routes and the river tiles. In my game there were no cultural multipliers at all, every city was adding only around 100cpt at the end.
    IMHO this game demonstrates that food can win you a deity game, but can not compete with cottages and cathedrals.

    The second game, GreatPlains map, the capital had 2 cows and stone. No cottages either. It gave me the opportunity to try a mix between the food strategy and godotnut's strategy. I built the Pyramids, which slowed the building of cities in the early game. Then I researched with artists. This game was a complete failure. I resigned when I popped my fourth Great Engineer.

    The third game, GreatPlains map, the capital had 5 cows and 2 gold. I had decided to cottage the capital, but the terrain wouldn't allow it. My second city was a GPfarm, its FP were farmed. The third city's FPs were cottaged, although somewhat late. A goody gave me HBR, so trading was specially good in this game. On the other hand, Gandhi (yes, he) dowed in 790BC. After losing 10 of his 15 units in my capital, he razed 2 gold mine and 1 pasture, before agreeing peace was a good idea. Also, I farmed an scientist first in order to found taoism, but ir arrived 1 turn too late. I built 7 cities and 2 cathedrals. Research stopped in 90BC, when CoL, CS, Philo and Drama were known. Well, things didn't go as expected. My first two cities produced more culture than the cottaged one for the whole game. Since I won as late as 1675AD, I had the time to farm 21GP, 20 of the artists.


    Well, I should play two more games, one in which only the capital was cottaged, and all the useless hammers were producing temples, so that the capital had several culture multipliers; the other with Marble, to build the Parthenon and try to win with food only. This way my experiment would be complete. I have the feeling, though, that food is not the way to go. Culture multipliers (from Liberalism, Music and Nationalism) are needed. And, if you plan to research so far, you can't do it without cottages. Trying to find the correct balance between multipliers and Great Artists is my next step now, on my quest for :culture: :culture: :culture:.
     
  2. Xin Yu

    Xin Yu Chieftain

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    Wow that's a lot of work! I hope I can have your energy to do the same tests. Anyway here are some thoughts:

    Let's first fix the number of cities to 6. We don't consider the extra burden to get more settlers (just assume you get them from huts). Under this condition I think 3 cotttage cities + 3 GPFs is the best setting. This is because extra GPFs have diminished returns. Also in the 3 cottage cities we can build the Pyramids, Oracle, etc. as far as they don't have enough GP points to generate a GA. Also 6 cities allow you to give up the early religions and concentrate on alphabet -- you need only 4 religions to build 4 cathedrals in each of the 3 cottage cities (i.e. culture cities). It's a lot easier to get a 4-religion city than that with 5 or more.

    As for leader traits, the best combination is financial (for early research benefits from the cottages) and spiritual (for easy revolution and cheap temples). Namely, Mansa Musa.

    The best research path:

    1. Pottery (granary, cottage)
    2. Bronze working (slavery, chopping)
    3. Writing (library)
    4. Alphabet -- trade for ceremonial, masonry, meditaion, poly, animal husbandry
    5.1 Mathematics (just for 2 turns, then switch to 6)
    5.2 Mono (after trading the prerequisites from AIs, religion #1)
    6. Mathematics (better chopping)
    7. Priesthood (temple)
    8. Drama (theatre, adjust culture bar)
    9. COL (caste system, religion)
    10. Civil Service (bureaucracy)
    11. Music (Cathedral)
    12. Philosophy (religion, pacifism)
    13. Theology (religion)
    14. paper
    15. education
    16. liberalism -> nationalism (hermitage).

    Mathematics may be pushed back a bit if drama is needed early for city growth.
     
  3. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    Thank you for your kind words and your ideas, Xin Yu. I pretty much agree with everything you said. There are only some minor differences I would like to point out, but I suspect that they come from talking about different difficulty levels.

    - I you play Deity and you are able to get Pyramids and Oracle, then you will certainly need some settlers falling from the sky or you will never get even 4 cities!
    - In a standard map you will be able to build only 8 cathedrals (almost 3 per legendary city) if you have 4 religions and 6 cities.
    - My ideal tech path for Deity is Pottery-Writing-Alphabet-Drama. I trade BW and IW for Alphabet. I trade Maths for Drama. I think tech trading is the key to Deity.
    - There’s no trait like philosophical for a cultural game.
     
  4. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    Parthenon has potencial.

    I have played a new game, I regenerated till I got a marble start.

    5 cities. Parthenon. Not a single cottage. Never revolted to slavery. Peter, continents, large, quick, Deity. 1595AD cultural victory. 20GPs, all of them artists, bombed 5, 7 and 8 in the legendary cities.

    Building the Parthenon is a pain, because it delays your research a lot. You have to tech yourself Mysticism, Masonry, Wheel and Polytheism. Then my research pace was very bad, so tech trading was poor. In addition you delay your building settlers, so you could be left without convenient sites to settle. On the other hand, once you have built it, you get more GPs and you get 20cpt in one city.

    This was a very bad example of a game, because of the following reasons:
    - Food poor countryside. I was born in the North pole, never got 2 resources in a city, but the capital.
    - I had to lose 1 turn before settling the capital. Only 1 sheep and 2 marble in radius. Scout moves and sees a pig. Settler moves to include the pigs in the fat cross. It doesn’t sound like much, does it? But you have to consider that 1 lost turn in Quick equals 9 lost turns in Marathon!
    - Far away capital. The rest of my cities were far South, thus increasing maintenance.
    - No Gold, Silver or Gems, so bad research pace.
    - I wanted to lightbulb Music with an artist and get the free artist. But I researched Drama the very same turn Gandhi researched Music. 1 turn late.
    - Small number of total resources, so bad income from trades.
    - The fifth settler wandered around the continent for centuries, only to finally come back and settle right next to the capital in the hope of stealing a corn resource from my neighbour.
    - The final starvation phase started 1 turn too late. As a result, I found myself 2 culture points short in the expected winning date, thus delaying victory one turn.

    As a result I researched Philo as late as 200AD. So late a date meant that in the end I got as many GPs as I had got without Parthenon in other food games.

    Stubborn as I am, I will try one more Parthenon+food game. I hope readers enjoy my experiments. Comments and critizisms are welcome.
     
  5. Xin Yu

    Xin Yu Chieftain

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    jesusin you were absolutely right in that I was thinking about a low difficulty level (actually Settler).

    From what we learned so far, bee-line to alphabet is one of the best strategies. What else do we know for sure? :)
     
  6. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    No, it hasn’t.

    As promised I kept on trying the Parthenon strategy. In 3 consecutive games I failed to build it. In the third one I decided to keep on, after losing the Parthenon due in 3 turns, in 1300AD. As I played, I kept parallel accounting, imagining I had been able to build the Parthenon. This parallel accounting demonstrated that I would have lost against Moonsinger’s current best date by 3 turns. At least it demonstrated that you can rely on a wonder if you want: if you fail to get it you don’t need to restart, you will win the game anyway, it just won’t be a fast finish.

    After all this failed “transform food into culture” attempts, I played one single game based on cottages. It was a sharpless game, plenty of misshappenings:
    - The first city after capital was supposed to get corn, gold and stone. Corn felt into Cyrus borders and my culture didn’t retake it until 1200AD. It was a useless city all game long. Think of the inefficiency of the first built settler!
    - I had planned to share my continent with the great techers, and to mix peacemongers with Monte in the other continent. But, alas, Monte was my neighbour. Can someone know which civs will fall in your continent? What does it depend on?
    - Tech trading was poor and badly timed. I never got to trade techs on the critical path.
    - Researched Nationalism-Print-Liberalism instead of the usual Liber-Print-Natio. It was detrimental.
    - 8 cities.
    - First GP as late as 470AD.
    - 1 single religion spread to me.

    Well, the result of the game follows. I took number one position in HOF:

    jesusin, Deity, Quick, cultural victory, 1495AD, Large continents. Elizabeth.
    15GP, all of them artists, joined 3-5-7, 1 religion, 8 cities, 2 cathedrals.
    Trades were not brilliant, Alpha in 1660BC, Liber in 1025AD (soooo late!). Final culture per turn 500-350-250.

    This game has to have some good things to have taken #1 position. I think the good things are careful ordering of GPs, and lots of cottages: 11-14-10. It should be very easy to improve this record, though.

    Traits: if I wasn’t philo, I would have gotten half the GPP, which would have translated into 4 less GA. I revolted 6 times, so it translates into more than 6*(500+350+250)/2680, that is, some 3 GA. Healthy would have allowed more pop in 3 cities, one of them the GPfarm, so it would have meant a slightly superior cpt and 10% more GPP globally. I estimate each factor in less than 1 GA. I think philo and financial are superior to other traits for cultural victories.

    Finally in this game the GPfarm was not one of the 3 legendary cities. The pro is that the third legendary city concentrated on cottages, thus reaching a superior cpt. The con is that all the culture generated by the specialists in the GPfarm went to waste. I haven’t reached a conclusion regarding this matter yet.



    Well, my little experiment has allowed me to learn a few things. The principal conclusion is that the title of this thread is correct, all farms is not the perfect strategy for a cultural game.
     
  7. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    Hi guys,

    By the next HOF update, I should be on the #1 Deity table as well. I don't like marathon games and I don't like Quechua rushes. I've always liked the cultural win condition and I'd like to get in on this discussion. I'm assuming you've tried to replicate your strategy on other speeds and had no success, true?

    I suspect that quick works because they set it to be 66.6% of normal speed, but somehow decided to make 25,000 legendary instead of 33,000.

    Your farm strategy might be solid, but because of Bureaucracy, I think the capitol has to go cottages. This makes it the ideal place for a non-artist wonder. It will never produce a GP.

    Another question. Do you find that the map size affects your strategy at all?
     
  8. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    Hi WastinTime, I am happy you are interested in cultural peaceful victories too. Most of my #1 games are easily improvable, please take as many of them as you want, I will try to take them back. Part of your questions have already been discussed in other threads, follow the links in my #1 games if you please.

    No, I haven’t tried any of my strategies in other speeds. I have not time for that. When it comes to trying different strategies, Quick is the best speed for quick RL answers. My interest in my “quest for culture” is to find the perfect strategy, not to play the perfect game, which would probably require Marathon speed.

    So far, I have got to the #1 position with 3 different strategies (none of them are 100% "mine", by the way):
    1.- All food, as in this thread.
    2.- No wonders, all cottages, maximum number of cathedrals, no rushbuying but slavery, stop research after Liberalism, Nationalism and Print. Some games I have tried emancipation in top of that.
    3.- Quechua rush, followed by strategy nº 2.

    The games reported in this thread have convinced me that the first strategy is not the best, so I won’t follow this strategy in the future.

    With the exception of the third strategy, which involves moving units, Quick speed is more or less as good as Marathon. You are right in that Quick speed is not 66% of normal speed. I wish they would fix it, so that every speed was perfectly comparable. The main differences I have found so far are:
    - 25000 culture points required, instead of 33333.
    - Chopping post-Maths with a forge brings in 24 hammers, instead of 25.
    - Trade agreements last 10 turns, instead of 6
    - Peace agreements last 10 turns, instead of 6
    - Slavery is slightly less beneficial, since you have less precision regarding when to whip.
    - Revolutions: changing civics is more expensive in Quick.
    - Revolutions: when changing several civics in Marathon it always takes several turns, so you can change a single civic whenever it is available without considering the “optimization” of changing two civics at the same time. In Quick you usually have to delay the use of a Civic to save 1 turn.
    - Movement: taking your settlers to the desired locations takes more time (as was to be expected, this is not something to fix).


    Finally, no, I haven’t noticed any difference between map sizes. Well, the 1000AD turns take much longer when I press enter in large maps, but that’s another question. Maybe I have seen not much difference because I have played pangea in little maps and continents in large maps, thus having the same number of opponents in my landmass and the same area of territory, more or less.

    May I ask you a question? If you put all peacemongers and one warmonger in the mix, does the position in which you select them determine where the warmonger is born? Can I be sure that the warmonger will start in the other continent?
     
  9. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    I'm not sure about whether you can control where the warmonger starts on Continents. IIRC, the Oasis map has something like that. I think it alternates putting the first player on top, the 2nd on the bottom of the map, etc. I seem to recall a gauntlet on Tiny maps that had 2 continents and 3 players and I was able to control which AI shared the continent with me. maybe experiement with Tiny and see if you can figure out the pattern.
     
  10. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    Before joining in on the discussion I wanted to give myself some credibility, so I submitted a Standard Diety cultural game and thought I had the #1 slot with 1455 AD victory. Looks like I got beat out before it was posted :-(
    I didn't really try to exploit either cottages or GP. I just used a mix of both. In the past, I had given up on the Oracle CS-slingshot on Diety. Lately I've found that I can get it very consistently. So got off to a fast start with the that old standard. I still managed to never produce a great prophet. I think that hurt me a bit--My capitol never helping out with even one GP production. I made 13 GA's + the music one. I spread them out 0-7-7.

    jesusin - you mentioned you got a new Large Cultural game (and I see that it is true -- congrats) I didn't want to steal that spot before it went up, so after taking the standard spot, I got sidetracked with a few Diplomatic runs instead. I'll have to try again for a cultural spot in the next update.
     
  11. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    Come on, I don't think you are short of credibility!

    :lol: 'sidetracked with a few Diplomatic runs' you say! :lol:
    Congratulations on your impresive results.

    I wish "old Lexad" gave us some clues about his cultural strategy.

    Don't be so considerate with me, just blow away all the spots in the cultural line as you did in the diplo line, the Large Map one should be the easiest.
     
  12. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    This was my thought. I find that on Tiny/Small, it's hard to get enough good sites for your cities. Also, even the peaceful AI's seem to attack more often when it's cramped like that. Tiny is probably better done with Capac (like you did I think), but I'm not into that. Capac has way too many spots already. I guess I like the underdog. That's why Victoria, and Qin are on the high score board now. I'm probably going to go with Saladin for Cultural though.
     
  13. thefrenchzulu

    thefrenchzulu Chieftain

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    Unlike WastinTime, I'm not going to submit any game to give myself credibility, though I will say that I have earned my first Deity win, using Jesusin strategy, going straight for Alphabet then Drama WastinTime, I have since tried your early CoL a few times, but I don’t seem to be getting the same advantage of specialists.

    I have been playing as Liz, War Lords, Small Pangea Map and Normal speed and recently started playing as Gandhi and building the Parthenon with moderate success, loosing to the space race with a few turns.

    I have tried Gototnut Pyramids strategy a few times but find that even though I can get it and maybe two more well placed cities, I get far too many early GE with nothing worth while left to build! I also don’t have the time to regenerate maps.

    In my win, I built no wonders, just three cathedrals and cottages. I joined my GA’s until around 1000AD and then started bombing. Bombing more might have had a better result, though I seem to need to money generated from the early joins.

    My building strategy in my Capital has been, switching my granary to library one writing is known and getting an early Academy. Not that I get to Liberalism first, but it keeps in the race.

    In my first win, I never used slavery, preferring to build my cathedrals. I try to place my cities so that they can work at least two mines and try to place my 4,5 and 6 city so that they can help working early cottages.

    I have not seen anyone posting games or write-up’s for warlords at normal speed. Have you guys played this and what are your thoughts as to a good winning date? (My win came far later than 1400’s.) Also, I am caught in two minds as to what to do with my GA’s. Joining vs bombing. At normal speed, joining them seems better specially with three even four cathedrals.

    I have looked at many HOF games and noticed some players with even three Academies. Any thoughts on that?
     
  14. Lexad

    Lexad royalcrownchinpokomaster

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    Bad random or poor GPP management in getting GA - get mostof GS for culture (+4 from Academy). In G-Major 2 I did something like this, iirc.
     
  15. thefrenchzulu

    thefrenchzulu Chieftain

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    Thanks for clearing that up Lexad. I was specifically looking at your HOF game where you had 3 in your culture cities. (Lexad_Inca_Huayna_Capac_Deity_Standard_1_61_004_AD1476)

    Was wondering if those Academys were needed to get to Liberalism first.
     
  16. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    Even one Academy is debatable. Three is just not a good idea.
     
  17. Lexad

    Lexad royalcrownchinpokomaster

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    Agreed, but once getting them 3 GS playing for culture, that was the best use I could find. Maybe should've spent them for smth like Chemistry and traded for a useful tech like Economics or Corporation, but I was playing much worse then :)
     
  18. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    I recommend that you plan ahead. When you know the turn you are going to win and the cathedrals you expect to build in the meantime, you can actually calculate what is better, joining or bombing.

    As for money, selling out all your happiness resources when in 100% culture should leave you more or less even at 0% taxes. You can also make some good money selling your last techs.
     

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