Gauntlet Three

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Hall of Fame Discussion' started by Dianthus, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. Dianthus

    Dianthus Small but hardy Retired Moderator

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    While the general Hall of Fame is an ongoing competition, we like to run time-definite competitions between updates that we call Gauntlets. Standard Hall of Fame rules (*) still apply, but any games meeting the settings will be counted towards the Gauntlet.

    [size=+2](*) Please read the >> HOF rules << BEFORE playing!
    [/size]​

    Any submissions meeting the following criteria will be considered Gauntlet entries:
    • Difficulty: Emperor
    • Mapsize: Small
    • Victory: Cultural (though ALL victory conditions must be enabled!)
    • Starting Era: Ancient
    • Speed: Any
    • Submitted on or before: January 24th.
    • Patch: 1.52 (Please note that there are new settings with this patch, and there are HOF rules about them:

    Whichever game has the earliest finish date will be declared the victor. The winner (and settings for the next Gauntlet) will be announced with the next Hall of Fame update.

    While each map can only be played once, players are more than welcome to generate new maps and submit multiple games. Also, as everyone is playing their own distinct maps, there is no need for spoiler limitation within the forum. In fact, we encourage detailed posting of strategy and gameplay, although all conversation about this Guantlet should stay within this thread.

    Any games not finished before the submission cutoff may still be submitted to the Hall of Fame as general entries.

    New players:
    Please note that we need two files for Hall of Fame submissions. A save from your initial 4000bc turn, and the turn after you win. For the last file, when you win the game, you'll be displayed your sequence of victory screens and then be prompted if you wish to exit or play "just a few more turns". Select just a few more turns, and then save the game immediately without playing further.
     
  2. Orca

    Orca Warlord

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    This one looks very interesting :)
     
  3. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    Yeah unlike the space victory I don't think you'll be able to completely prevent the AI's from making war with you unless you have your own continent. Generally the AI's don't like when their borders are getting crushed by extreme culture.

    I don't think continents is the way to go, though, since you can tech to liberalism faster if you are in contact with everyone. Although, a faster tech pace means fewer wonders. There's definitely a lot of challenges and tough choices to make. I think it will take us many many tries before we nail down the best way to do it.
     
  4. Quantum7

    Quantum7 Warlord

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    Alot better than the previous gauntlet ;).
     
  5. walkerjks

    walkerjks King

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    It's actually really easy. In all of my HoF culture attempts (including the 1448 AD small Emperor culture game), I only was attacked once, and that was my own fault. If you trade techs, relationship management is easy, despite having a -1 or -2 for close borders.

    It will be interesting to see how this will be done. I will start by simply optimizing my basic strategy (which is obvious enough by looking at the 1448 game). What I don't know is if any of these alternative strategies might work better:

    1) Build more wonders. From a cultural perspective, 2 wonders (or one wonder that has doubled culture - say +16 culture/turn) is equivalent to financial. So is Ghandi or Qin a better civ to use?

    2) Get more religions. You can get 5 religions to spread to you without founding any. But 6 or 7 religions would mean an earlier win. Is it possible at Emperor?

    3) Build more great artists. This one seems the least likely approach to me, but with a very fast win (say 1250 AD, which I suspect is possible - it certainly is on low difficulty levels), there is less time for cottages to develop, so relying on commerce to win may not work as well. That said, an artist specialist is +6 culture/turn if you build Sistine Chapel.

    4) Go to the media techs. I stop before the late culture wonders. Is it optimal to go for them?

    and the most intriguing approach to me -

    5) Conquer your way to a cultural win. Incans seemed particularly well-suited for this.
     
  6. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    Maybe with the reduced number of opponents the AI's are less likely to go to war due to close borders since they have enough cities via expansion but I know when the map is tight they will declare really early. Just another reason to require the default number of opponents.

    1) I think philosophical is equally valuable to industrious.

    2) Easily possible if you choose your opponents carefully and with only 3 of them.

    3) I think this is how the winner will do it. At least 2 high food cities and probably 3 generating artists all game under caste system.

    4) Every time I've tried this it's been a huge waste of time. First of all, you tend to start falling behind in techs at this point. Then when you get to the tech those wonders take a ton of hammers to build. Then you end up getting beaten to them by the AI's half the time.

    5) How does this work? What can you gain by attacking other civs when going for a cultural victory? edit: After thinking about it some more this has great potential. You can take out 2 civs so that's 2 less civs to compete with for wonders and religions. You also get 3 capitals to be your 3 culture cities. I'll try this one out in my next game.
     
  7. walkerjks

    walkerjks King

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    If you factor in The Kremlin and rush buying, it might make sense. I suspect not, but I would have to do the math. You have to consider the extra time it takes to research the techs (where you aren't running at 100% culture) against the extra +100% or so culture you will get once you are there. But yeah, since you will already be at +400% or so just from Cathedrals/Free Speech, delaying the 100% culture seems unlikely to help.

    But perhaps someone running a specialist strategy will be using Representation, thus getting science and culture simultaneously.

    Two things - possibly faster expansion (quechas are easier to build than settlers and workers) and better city sites. AI capitol locations are often ideal sites for either cottages or specialists. My fastest Monarch cultural win (not submitted to HoF since it's not eligible) is, by a small margin, with the Incans on a tiny, very overloaded map. <edit - I see you figured it out while I was typing>
     
  8. MaskedFrog

    MaskedFrog Chieftain

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    What speed do you think is going to work best?

    I have won culture victories on both norml and epic speeds. I got a faster victory with epic. I know you need more culture to win on Epic but if you can get developed quickly you can overcome that deficit. I am leaning toward trying Epic speed.

    What does everyone else think?
     
  9. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    I think just like all other games you get the most benefit the slower the speed. So marathon would technically be best. But since I think marathon is way too slow I'll be playing on epic regardless.
     
  10. walkerjks

    walkerjks King

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    Marathon or Epic. Winning with 100 turns left on Quick is pretty good, but 100 turns left on quick is a lot later (by calendar date) than the equivalent 400 turns left in Marathon.

    Quick does have one strange property though, that does affect cultural games - While the speed moves at 67% of normal, you only need 50% of the culture to win (I took advantage of that in the deity HoF games).
     
  11. LulThyme

    LulThyme King

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    I think you have the right idea but the way you explain it is sorta weird.
    The number of turns left doesn't really matter, its the number of turns played that is most important.
    Some related calculations (It would be nice if someone could check a little bit, eventually I'll put in all in Excel or something) :
    Number of turns to reach certain key dates on different speeds ( Q / N / E / M) :
    2000 BC 40 50 50 200
    1000 BC 60 75 90 300
    0 BC 85 115 140 400
    1000 AD 110 160 230 600
    1250 AD 120 185 280 725
    1500 AD 130 210 330 850

    The last two dates are where I expexct the finish dates to lie between.
    The way the earlier goes is somewhat important though, because of culture doubling which is happens after 1000 years for culture buildings\wonders (except palace) if my testing is right.

    Now suppose I use the normalization factor of .67/1/1.5/3 (I know this is a big approximation, but it gives a rough idea)

    2000 BC 58 50 33 67
    1000 BC 90 75 60 100
    0 BC 127 115 93 133
    1000 AD 164 160 153 200
    1250 AD 179 185 187 242
    1500 AD 194 210 220 283

    Interestingly, I had done a brief testing for this in the game, and found that I could get much further at a certain date in Quick mode.
    I didn't check further and expected the tendency to continue so did most of cultural practice in quick.
    It seems that the tendency reverses itself.

    Now what approximation have we made.
    On slower speed, you get more unit production and a LOT more unit moves per normalized turns.
    So faster workers and settlers production and movement but also potentially more war.

    There is also that weird fact (that walker pointed out, but I had noticed before and was an extra reason to test on quick) that culture needed is actually (.5/1/1.5/3) so quick has a small advantage there, but most culture comes at the end so is not such a big deal in terms of sheer number of turns saved I think.
     
  12. LulThyme

    LulThyme King

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    Regarding starting civ.
    Spiritual and fast workers are greatly weakened at slow speeds so I think Gandhi is not that strong.
    I will take Qin or Elizabeth, so basically Philo vs Industrious.
     
  13. Masquerouge

    Masquerouge Deity

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    So I did a test game, with Qin, three civs (Mali, Egypt and Persia), continents, no barbs.
    I waited until I had stone to get a game rolling.
    Since I had a lot of forests, I started right away with a worker, and then rush-chopped a settler to go get that stone. My first techs were Bronze working ( and I got half-lucky because I popped it out of a settler's hut while I had it halfway discovered :) ), wheel to get some roads and Masonry to build a quarry.
    My strategy was to go for early wonders and great artists, with a couple of religions if possible : that's why I went rapidly for Code of Laws, giving me a religion, and a nice civic (caste system) for those great artists.

    I settled only three cities, and built only two warriors for the entire game. That's why I picked the other civs, they are usually not aggressive, and are not industrious.

    I managed to get the Pyramids, Stonehenge, The Sixtine Chapel and the one that gives you 25% defense in all your cities... Darn I forgot its name :)

    Thanks to a great religious leader that I saved, I was able to discover Theology and get a second religion. Then Cyrus and Mansa Musa, who shared my continents (Hatty was all alone), were kind enough to send some Jewish and Taoist missionaries, helping me with temples, monasteries and cathedrals.
    I got beaten by two turns on philosophy (nice civic plus religion), and lost two wonders by 1 or 2 turns (and I lost Notre Dame but that wasn't even a contest)
    Once I got to Education and the universities, I discovered Printing Press and then switched to 100% culture. Well, 90% actually... I won the game in 1949, with a score in the 6,000ish.

    Since this was a learning game, here's what I think I learned :)
    - Three cities are enough if you've got great spots. Building more to get Oxford or Shakespeare isn't worth it IMHO because you'll waste a lot of times building settlers. Plus on a small map size it's kind of cramped anyway :)
    - Maybe I should have built three workers. There are going to be useless by the end of the game, but a third one would have been nice to get a fast start going : two is not enough to build infrastructures for three cities really quick.
    - Getting the Pyramids is great because it gives you a lot of culture point, and allows you to grab a nice civic really early on (representation). You don't have to go to constitution to get it.
    - Maybe I should have switched to max culture earlier. I did it in the late 1600, but I'm not sure getting education and Printing press are really worth it. What do you think ? At what point should the switch be made ?
    - I focused on great artists and that is a must. I got somewhere around ten of them, and they helped a lot. I culture-flipped one of Mansa's city, only to destroy it because I really did not need it.
    - I avoided all marble-based wonders since I did not have any marble. I think a game where I would have had both would have been a killer, and that's what I'm going to aim from this gauntlet, if I keep with Qin : Fin/Phi is a deadly combo too...

    For the first time ever, not one but TWO AI civs gifted me tech ! That was weird. The first time I thought he was asking me tribute, and had to read it twice to be sure it was a gift :lol:
     
  14. MaskedFrog

    MaskedFrog Chieftain

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    I am going to try a game tonight. I think more than 3 cities are going to be needed to get a good tech pace going so you can switch to 90% to 100% culture faster. I have not played on a small map yet so I may have to revise this opinion. I am going to shoot for 4 to 6 cities. I am also leaning towards Pangea or Balanced type maps to make sure I have contact with AI for tech trading.

    I think your choice of opponents is good. I was thinking about Mansa Musa, FDR, and Asoka. I really think non aggressive AIs without Industrious are they way to go.

    I am torn between starting with Elizabeth or going with the Incans and an early Quechua rush to get some enemy capitals. I may try both options and see how well I do with each.

    I will report back with my findings.
     
  15. pnp_dredd

    pnp_dredd civ junkie

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    I did a similar calculation for game speed - you need much less culture per turn on Quick, just taking number of turns and required culture into account.

    I'm not quite sure what changes between Quick and Marathon - other important per-turn factors are:
    *Speed that cottages develop
    *Points required per GP
    *Spread of religion
    *Speed of wonder production

    Anyone got the low down on the ratios of those things for each speed?


    Depending on the answers, the relative importance of GP to cottages to temples(cathedrals) will change.

    It's possible that Mansa Musa (spi/fin) may be a good leader - if you have 6 cities and want to build 5 temples in each, then spiritual becomes useful. You could still have a GP city, and would get maybe 70-80% as many great people as a philosophical leader.

    Plus skirmishers look to be decent for an early rush, should be able to capture 2-3 cities (maybe not on Emperor?)

    Opponents should probably be spiritual, as they are more likely to go for the religous techs.

    I'm thinking quick speed, battlegrounds map, keep restarting till an early rush yields 3 extra cities (worker->barracks->10-15 skirmishers). Settle another 2 high-production cities for production of military units. (I've tried this a few times, but haven't got lucky yet - the third enemy city usually has >60% defence bonus and ~5 archers)

    Beeline for drama then music, hope for lots of religious spread, pump out the temples, and cottage everything in 3 cities. Go high-food GP farm in another city. Try to get at least 2 cathedrals per city, 4 would be optimal, but would require 6 religions.

    Maybe just stop research with music and hit the culture slider really early? Cities would only be around size 8-10, so producing 50-100 commerce as cottages improve. Double that with 2xcathedrals, and it would only take ~100 turns to get to 15k culture. Less with a few great artists thrown into each city.

    Skirmishers with a few city defence bonuses are quite good defenders, especially in high-culture cities.
     
  16. walkerjks

    walkerjks King

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    The ratios more or less work for everything, except for:

    1) The amount of culture you need.
    2) Anarchy (all the 1 civic changes that take 1 turn on Marathon, take 1 turn on quick).

    Otherwise, cottages run 33% faster than normal. GPP required for great people is 67% of normal. The amount of culture you get for a great work is 67% of normal. Wonders cost 33% less. Etc...

    I don't know if religion spread is an issue or not. Interesting question if that is scaled.

    When calculating quick vs marathon, you'll want to target 1400 AD or better, I think, in your calculations. The problem as I see it is that gives you 125 turns at quick to do the same amount of work (less since you get the cultural discount) as 800 turns of marathon play. I'm not sure it's competitive for most strategies. I've got one idea I'll try at quick, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
     
  17. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Ghandi absolutely dominates at quick with those fast-chopping workers. But Saladin is temping too...
     
  18. pnp_dredd

    pnp_dredd civ junkie

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    what about the culture given from a great work? Or a super specialist? Do they change with game speed? I would imagine that they would be constant, which means that on quick it is better to create great workss rather than super specialists.

    Looks like marathon will be the way to go then, with lots of GP artists. It's unlikely that any quick strategy will beat that. *sigh*


    Fast chopping vs. half price temples is an interesting issue. On emperor and a small map, with teching stopping pretty quick, I think it's going to be a big advantage to have an early UU, and that might tip the balance.
     
  19. walkerjks

    walkerjks King

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    Artist super specialists give +12 base culture/turn at all speeds. Culture from the great worked is properly scaled. So something like 2680 at quick, 4000 at normal, 6000 at epic, and 12000 at marathon. So the super specialist vs. great work decision remains exactly the same - based on how many turns you think you have left and what your multipliers are going to be, you can determine if you should go the super specialist route or not.

    Maybe. In my typical games (commerce based, with a healthy dash of great artists), I might get 12 great artists. That's "only" around 30% of the needed culture.

    Another way to look at it is based on how much culture my cities are generating at the end of the game. In a good game, I might be getting 2000 culture/turn between the 3 cities combined. So each great artist (used for a great work) let's me win 6 turns earlier. Significant, but hardly the dominating factor.

    The real key is how high you can push the culture/turn and how fast you can get to that point. Great artists are just gravy.

    But I think the idea of a quick game beating 1400 AD is unlikely (of course, I haven't beaten 1400 AD on Emperor yet - nor have I managed to replicate the 1448 AD win in either of my early attempts at this gauntlet).
     
  20. Craterus22

    Craterus22 King

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    since culture victories have variable requirements (other than 100k) do you think it is worthwhile changing the graphic in the hof from 100k to something non-numeric?
     

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