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Future GOTM Map Suggestions

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Game of the Month' started by LordValuna, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. Inkerman

    Inkerman Engineer Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    The sentiment behind limiting RT would certainly seem to fit a familiar theme, one I know our current setter is very conscious of. Coming to mind I think of: more smaller maps, limiting numbers of cities (especially the limit of one), and stopping when an intermediate target is reached - such as that one where we had to deliver one freight between each pair of our four cities.

    And it is true that the core group for GotM is not now very big - maybe there are five of us at the moment. There are a few silent partners who intermittently submit games, and we occasionally enjoy a visit from experienced and talented others - such as yourself Professor. Also veteran Civ2 enthusiasts wander by, but myself and the Major were probably the last of those to stay, and that was a couple of years ago now.

    Of the current three active games two have limiting RT in mind - 145 is OCC and 146 says no cities on the main land masses.

    Counting and maybe scoring RT would be a step further. I would share obvious concerns about moving too far from what sustains the current core group, and I think we are agreed that mixing things up with the games is the best way, but I would try and support a one-off.

    I have never tried a game like that, and maybe I am being ambitious or naive, but I would expect it would go very much quicker than is my usual way.

    I think a simple record of the game is needed because the point of a GotM is to have something fun to discuss. I will try and fit with any guidance offered. We might all also want to make saves at specific times (every hour?) that can be checked later.

    I think the time should be from first loading of the game save file to the display of the results screens.

    But the usual game definition info is provided to allow unlimited pre-planning before first loading e.g. difficulty level, civ, number of opponents.
     
  2. Major Advantage

    Major Advantage Chieftain

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    This idea of scoring real time is interesting, but I would say that it is not appropriate. Most of all, civ2 is turn-based, so I think that everyone who is still drawn into the game after all these years loves this style of games, so hunting through the game for fast RL-time would kind of OOC (=out of character). Furthermore, how should the time be kept? Civ2 allows you to stop and check mails or browse the web for anything or hit the bathroom, and during all this, you still can think about what to do next.
    On the other hand, some kind of challenge might be interesting, such as "highest gamescore after 15/30/60 minutes of play". Or even some kind of game finish, but I don't think it is appropriate for GOTM. To cut down RL-time, I would rather prefer to have a game with special victory conditions. I already have some ideas about that.
     
  3. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    Interesting idea. Here are my thoughts:

    I doubt if anyone is playing on an older machine than I (power mac from mid 1990s) and I can tell you this is not a concern.
    Part of the fun and learning is reading other people's log. The logging however could be done differently. For example, we could have a rule of 30 minute play time followed by 5 minutes of logging.

    Overall, I think this is an interesting idea worth pursuing.
     
  4. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Chieftain Supporter

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    I understand where you are coming from; I like the turn based aspect of the game and the fact that I can stop and start how I like (and I agree that figuring out exactly how to keep time will be important).

    Personally, however, I find that managing caravan deliveries and doing IRB gets tedious after a while. It's fun in the early to mid game, because you are getting relatively large rewards for your effort. As the game progresses, I find that it becomes a chore. This is why my favourite way to play has been succession games. My turnset was usually about as long as I really enjoyed working to get every last bit out of my civ.

    If we rank based on real-time, I think that if someone finds an aspect of the game to be tedious, there is a good chance that they can eliminate it (or at least reduce it) from their gameplay and it will have a less significant impact on their final outcome.

    Specialized games and victory conditions are good and interesting, but can they change the fact that in Civ 2 a bigger civilization is better? (Maybe a 0 luxury rate game could do it.) A real time rank would change that, and I think it would allow a lot of strategy discussion because it will not be obvious how large you should make your civilization. Larger would mean more production but also more time to manage.

    Another option for changing the bigger is always better dynamic would be to introduce a scaling system into the GOTM score that reduces the score as you increase your city count (although this might unfairly impact conquest players).
     
  5. Inkerman

    Inkerman Engineer Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    Not a very busy thread recently! One suggestion, one question...

    I've just finished the "no wonder" GotM 155. I didn't play as well as I might but I found the condition led me to some new things that I found interesting. Particularly the absence of happiness wonders at emperor level made the game different. For example there was some discussion in the spoiler about which wonder was most missed, and about how the "normal" pattern of city building that I fell into might have been improved with the different circumstances. Since I joined, which is three and a half years ago now, we normally play that all wonders are available to the player. I can see looking back from before then that there were games with intermediate positions - e.g. choose one wonder at the start, e.g. choose one wonder plus Apollo all game. I would be pleased to have a few more games on these lines. I would suggest one wonder from each age, or no wonders before 1000AD (with one of the typical slow start constructions we often use I think we would not need a big map or a high difficulty level), or locating the happiness wonders in remote civilizations.

    Magic has just published results from GotM 148, which was a composition using "barbarian wrath" - the super level of barbarian activity. Again I did not play so well, but I found the play more interesting as it was a bit different. Ali noted he did not get to "enjoy" the experience of a massive outpouring of barbarians, perhaps because the map was too small. Would there be interest in another wrath game, on a normal size game generated map, and if so what other options should be chosen? Is locking the barbs into democracy to stop bribery a feature to include?
     
  6. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    It has always been my intent to introduce elements into the games that force original thinking and a somewhat different strategy. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not. This one was definitely a success. I too missed the happiness wonders but I missed Marco and Leo even more. Interestingly, I did not miss my favorite wonder Colossus at all.
    I was thinking along the same lines. I too had the idea of one wonder from each age. Another idea I have is that you can not build more wonders than all your rivals combined.

    I am for it. The democracy for barbarians and existing barbarian cities were both a nice twist but I will take it either way.

    Here is a similar idea I just thought of: a custom designed map with a continent than spans the width of the world east-west. This continent would have numerous barbarian cities. Human player will be on a separate island on one side of the barbarians and all rivals will be on islands/continents on the other side of the barbarians. In other words, you have to cross/conquer barbarian territory to get to your rivals for conquest or trade.
     
  7. Inkerman

    Inkerman Engineer Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    I am grateful to our friend Ali for setting the games, and as I think most of you know I make the occasional composition/suggestion which may or may not lead to something.

    Virtually a year on from the last post in this thread, I have an idea that can I think benefit from everyone's thoughts.

    When I discovered you can have two human players I thought that must make the game very easy. But when I tried it I found there was not as much advantage, at least in the earlier turns (which are all I have tested) perhaps because, in a sense, we have got so good at using the AI to help us when playing on our own.

    Also I found it needs more concentration to play because of constantly switching; it is trickier than single player. I think that makes it unattractive for games with many cities controlled by the player. At least one, and possibly both of the civs should be small, such as one city.

    In such a game, the problem, essentially, is how can you play, co-operatively, so as to take advantage of the situation? So it should be a challenging position, in which the co-operation, if done well, may make a significant difference. One big area is tech development. Others are wonders and trade?

    The situation I have been testing is the Pentagon map of GotM 135 and 137. 135 was the OCC version, and a very challenging OCC, such that only Ali himself was successful. Others may hate the memory of this map, and indeed haleewud may have strong feelings about the evident cheating of the AI!

    But I thought what if the Americans were to help the English, under the human player's control, by providing tech assistance and a military shield, maybe it will be enough help. Maybe it won't? Also like in the gotm 137 non-OCC, the American civ has quite a few choices the player will enjoy considering and want to try and plan out.

    The challenge would remain to win as OCC English, but you have control of the Americans too.

    I think it works as a good problem partly because the Americans do not have a good start position, and must be weak for the early turns when some important things happen. Perhaps the English can help them during that period?

    Or perhaps rather than the Pentagon map, we need a new position, perhaps both human civs restricted to one city in a more normal situation on a game generated map.

    If so which colours should the human civs be?

    Any thoughts most welcome.

    thankyou, Inkerman.
     
  8. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    I have given it some thought and here are some notes/observations

    If the two human players are not next to each other in the play order, it will probably be less confusing because some AI will play in between.

    How will this be graded? Sum of the points of both civs? Or just the point of one civ.

    The two can certainly cooperate by swapping techs but this is not significantly different from a normal game. How can they possibly cooperate in Wonders? The benefits of the wonder go to the Civ which built it. You also mention trade, but I do not see how that is different from the normal game when the rival civ is friendly (and thus will not attack your van).

    The biggest area of cooperation may be warfare, where you can gang up against a mutual enemy. However, this arrangement will likely descend into a master-slave relationship where the salve does the fighting and the master reaps the benefits. For example, the master can be in Democracy while the slave is in Monarchy. The slave does all the fighting (with help from master via donated money/techs/units) freeing the master from senate interference. However, let say the slave takes over a city with a wonder the master would rather have. How would you turn it over to the master?

    Another idea would be to have the two human players start at two opposite ends of a large map and go after a very powerful enemy in the middle. However, this prevents early contact. Furthermore, we have figured the AI so well that it is hard to come up with a set up so powerful that you need two human players to beat the AI.
     
  9. Inkerman

    Inkerman Engineer Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    Hi Ali, as our venerable game-setter, and others,

    In the notes at the time of GotM169, "Red Cloud", I mentioned that a game that put a lot of barbarians between the player and the AI civs was in the works. I now have that ready. I don't want to say too much about the detail in advance of a game thread, but to give an idea it is a normal sized but flat map, and there are 70-80 red cities already present but not visible.

    In fact initially it doesn't look so different from a game without barbs - there is just a bit more map to see including an AI city and a few huts, and a barb warrior.

    Both conquest and spaceship are playable, although restarts are off, and five of the six AI civs are distant, so the game is particularly suitable for early military activity on a large scale. Lots of red cities for you to tackle! As usual with the compositions there are some early strategy decisions that I don't know the answer to and I expect you to enjoy thinking about.

    I suggest we use a moderate difficulty level, probably King. I note we often have an easier level of game at this time of year, so if the schedule has a free slot then that would match. Also I don't envisage any extra difficulty with the barbs such as giving them a democratic government.

    But any of your thoughts are most welcome before things get finalised. Thanks.

    Inkerman
     
  10. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    Thank you Inkerman. Game submission ideas are always welcome by anyone. My general requests are:
    1. Play test the game a bit to make sure the opening years work as expected.
    2. As much as possible, design and divulge in such a way that you can join the game yourself.

    Sounds great. Looking forward to it. I too have had that idea for quite some time now but never got around to design the map. I was going to call it the Bad Lands. I will put a brief description of my idea in the next response.
    That is a good idea. Most of my games are Emperor.
    No problem. Pick your time. I think we should wait till at least March for people to have time to comment on this.
     
  11. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    This idea is still rough and I have not had time to develop it. Comments are welcome.

    The world is a 40x250 round map. The player would start near one of the poles with access to good but scarce land.

    Then there will be a strip of inhospitable land (first of 2 badlands) across the globe somewhat populated by barbarians. This will be out of trireme reach. Then comes a hospitable strip home to 3 aggressive rivals, then a second barbarian badlands strip, and finally another hospitable strip home to 3 rational and civilized rivals.

    Will a superpower emerge from the warring rivals in the middle? Will cooperation and peaceful coexistence coupled with fast tech advances take root among the rational rivals? Will you decide to prosper in isolation (OCC or more likely nCC with n being a small number)? or will you cut across the bad lands and conquer your middle rivals? Can you reach the rational rivals before they reach Alpha Centauri?
     
  12. Inkerman

    Inkerman Engineer Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    I agree.

    I know you try and make it so we don't get two too similar games next to each other (which I think is a good idea) so if it is sufficiently different to whatever delight we are being served next month (February) then March, but if not, then April, or May fine with me.

    I meant to ask people one question: do you think MPE should be available? My feeling is not, that is to put it out of reach of the player. Although there are many choices in the game I would like a common point to reward exploration of the barbarian lands. Obtaining MPE would mean this need not be done; the player could develop in splendid isolation, or more likely with a pet AI nearby, whilst a lot of interest is on the far side of the red cities.
     
  13. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    February game will be a normal game on a game generated map. So March it is.
    Interesting. I suppose the map is custom designed. Is the map known? (Can we open it in map editor?). I am trying to figure out if you want Marco off because of tech trade or map exchanges?
     

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