Discussion in 'Civ4 - Game of the Month' started by ainwood, Mar 8, 2006.
correction--was 300AD not 300BC at end of war
This was a hard GOTM, and I think deliberately so. As many have pointed out it was resource rich, but if Alexander proved a pain early on, you were on the back foot from the start.
The thing that I learnt from this game was there was no reason to be on the back foot. After replaying I have found many tricks to disposing of a close neighbour. Stealing workers is important and nothing can cripple an enemy more than killing a new enemy settler. Protect those areas you wish to settle in!! It means you need to stay at war longer, but if your capital hasn't been pushing settlers then you should have some spare military units.
I've ruined my record with this GOTM, but it's proved to be the most useful of the 4. Thanks to the staff as always and I hope this remains just a rare shock defeat!!
I won this on adventurer with at cultural win (see previous post on first page). Knowing the map I went back to try a contender start. This time I did not worry about Alexander at all to start with. I instead aimed for the Civil Service slingshot.
With this build plan: warrior, fish boat, worker, Stonehenge, oracle
And research: fishing, meditation, priesthood, writing, code of law, civil service (from oracle).
Only then I started to plan for an attack against the Greek!
This netted me in many ways a stronger start than going for the Greek right away as I did on the adventurer start.
Contender. Cultural Victory in 1720 AD, score – 40k.
I wanted to adopt a peaceful strategy this time, I was tired of constant wars in GOTM2 and GOTM3.
That was the first time I played for culture.
Thanks to pnp_dredd and AU_Armageddon. I wouldn’t believe it is possible to build almost all Wonders on Emperor.
My research path was:
Fishing – Polytheism – Bronze Working – Priesthood – Masonry – Writing
My build order was:
Warrior – Warrior – WokBoat – WorkBoat – Settler – Temple – Warrior
In 3520 BC my warrior stole a Worker from Alexander. Of course, my warrior was killed by his archer, so it was not easy to regain peace.
Many people complain that Alex settles first in a place where our city should be. I adopted an interesting strategy that helped me to avoid such an early city from Alex.
I built two warriors in the beginning, the first of them moved immediately in the south of Athens’ borders. Soon one of Alex’s archers saw him and the chase began – his archer after my warrior following west. Through this chase I made contacts with all civs except Hathepsut.
Unfortunately after meeting Saladin my warrior was killed by a barbarian acher. But he did his job really well.
I suppose that when one of his archers came away Alex decided to wait to build another unit to support his settler and that was the reason of his failure to build the town before me.
At first my captured worker had almost nothing to do – just building one mine. My second Warrior fortfied in a forest near Alex’s land. He gained some experience there by defeating animals. There was no warrior in Delhi, I built it only when I needed a happy face.
OK, in 3240 BC, Hinduism was founded in Delphi and I converted.
After discovering bronze working I adopted slavery. Nevertheless I used it only once and not in my core cities.
After bronze working was researched my worker chopped three trees near my capital in order to build a settler quickly. I settled on marble in 2280 BC (Bombay) and there was no Alex nearby. Now my goal was to build four wonders in Bombay – Stonehenge, Oracle, Pyramids and Parthenon (in this order). And yes – I succeded. I built Oracle the same turn as I finished writing and took Alphabet as my free tech.
By the way, I made peace with Alex when I began to build my second wonder.
After alphabet my workers started to improve land, joining recources. Bombay was a nice productive city and after building all these wonders it created barracks, some swordsmen, an axeman and 2 archers. In 675 BC my second Greek war was unleashed.
As I told, I wanted to be a peaceful guy but I needed 9 cities for my cultural victory.
In 625 BC I easily capured one of Alex’s coastal cities meeting only acrhers. That was the time when Alex surprised me as one of my swordsman was killed by his phalanx. I didn’t expect Alex to build them so early. Fortunately that was his only phalanx.
In 450 BC I captured Athens and sued for peace as I needed time to gain forces to conquer Alex’s 3 last cities.
Meanwhile I was building all Wonders. Athens turned out to be an excellent place, surrounded by woods. I chopped everything to build the Great Library.
So, my 3 cultural cities were Athens, Bombay and Delphi. And these were the only cities, creating Great People. Especially Delhi became a GP farm.
I destroyed the Greek civilization only in 300 AD. That was my last war in this game. At that moment I had a total of 8 cities (I built only 3 of them).
So my goals were to consolidate, to build my last city and to spread my religions. My Greek cities got taoism and confucianism somehow.
And of course I built military in order not to be attacked by my neghbour - Victoria.
It is not very interesting to tell about the middlegame and endgame when going for culture. I continued to build all Wonders including national in my 3 cultural cities. I missed only Angkor Wat and Hagia Sofia only by several turns.
My last tech was Pringing Press. After that I turned my culture slider to 100 % in 1210 AD.
I had enough money and income to live without taxes all the game till my victory.
I am pretty sure it won’t be the fastest cultural victory this month but I hope it will turn out to be in TOP 30.
Excellent job Sarum. Obviously, I myself pursued a little too peaceful of a strategy, and I wouldn't have believed it possible to build so many wonders on Emporer. Just out of curiosity, how much differently do you think your game would have been on Challenger class?
I have been able to win my games at Monarch and was getting ready to step up. I played all of Doyen's practice games (thanks for posting those) and, after failing in all my attempts, for a variety of reasons, came to the conclusion that Emperor is much, much, harder than Monarch. I also added the Adventurer benefits, and while that helped, it still was much harder than a normal Monarch game.
So I went with Adventurer, planning to probably go for culture. I stole a worker from Alex (a great tip I learned form other GOTM write-ups) This left him weak and Vicky and I later divided his cities. But, as seems to happen on Emperor, my economy tanked after taking the Greek cities and I fell behind on tech. I figured that I would just play it out, and build enough defense to lose to a spaceship.
Shocked, shocked... I went into culture mode. My economy recovered, and I got two great merchants, had four religions. It still looked hopeless, but the AI was very slow with the SS. It wasn't untill the 1930s or so that I thought I could win and Athens hit influential in 1961. I would never have thought that it would be possible to win a cultural victory that late on Emperor.
I think Ainwood said in another thread that the next GOTM will be easier; I'm glad to hear that.
I played on Adventurer. This is the 3rd Civ4 game I've played, first Civ4 GOTM (won Roman on easiest level, lost badly on Noble), and I'm still trying to figure it all out.
I founded Buddism in my capital and then immediately founded my second city on the copper near alexander. I think I had an atypical game as with Missionaries I was able to have all of the Greek and all of the English cities (and the odd Egyptian) be Buddist cities and maintained positive relations with the English and the Greeks (even when they were at war with each other, and mad at me for being friendly to their foes I had >+6 with Greeks and >+3 with the English). I also managed to basically wall of the Greeks near their capital. I basically had a wall from the Wheat in the north coast to the oil in the middle down to near the iron south of their capital.
I generally cruised around 4th best civ. Buddism also spread to the 2 Spanish cities on the other cont nearest my capital. Spain never liked me (different religions). Generally I was 3 or 4 techs behind Egypt, 1 or 2 behind the next 2 best, and about even with the rest in techs. I built oracle and a number of other good wonders but lost one wonder. But that gave me the gold (combined with a great person merchant) from then on to stay the wealthiest country and research pretty fiercely.
In my game Egypt was the early leader. Then the Greeks declared war on the English and took about 2/3 of their Empire and was neck and neck with the Egyptians and gaining ground. I got in an early war with Spain (when they attacked my work boats) and fought back and took a city on their continent closest to my capital. We then made peace and didn't like each other, but didn't go to war.
In terms of culture I was number 2 (to the Egyptians) for most of the games. With the number of wonders I was able to build and my strong 4 or 5 citier (with a weak 4 or 5) I felt culture win was my best chance.
I started working on cultural buildings and once I got representation and communism I built the Kremlen (I think I was first to get Communism, and I used a GP to rush the Kremlen) I was then able to max out culture buildings in all of my large cities to have 4 cities go for it (I had between 2500 and 5000 gold thanks to all the great merchants that I got that I was sending to Paris for trade). I had signed a mutual defense pack with Greece, who were the strongest country in the game and right next to me to protect me.
In the late 1800s I was moving up and things were looking good. Unfortunately Alexander decided to finish the English (I reluctantly joined the war in name only). This was bad for me because, next to the English, I was the weakest military country. Also, this canceled our treaty. I had my cities defended with max buildings plus 1 or 2 riflemen and the odd old unit like a swordman an axeman or longbowmen. France, who never liked me but didn't really hate me (we had open borders for some of the game, but different religions) didn't like the English and were boxed in by them (France was also technologically backwards). But France got along almost as well as I did with Greece and had open borders with them. This means the French used the Greek's RR system (neither France nor I had RR discovered) and move a couple stacks of death my way. Rifflemen, cav, and bombardiers so much so that even the compact mouse over had "...".
Even trying to bribe them or anyone else wasn't going to be enough and I tried changing civics to draft defense and went to 100% money to buy defense but once the first city fell it was going to be all over. So once that city fell (and the French were raising the city not keeping it) - taking dozens of French forces with it, but still leaving the stacks of death in the "..." state I had nearly nothing left and Retired in defeat.
I might have been able to keep the city on the Spanish continent (shared with egypt) and the 2 cities I had on the continent to the south east of the capital, but all of my good cities and all of my cultural cities and all of the wonders were toast.
Still making it to post 1900 AD and not being the first out is pretty good - even considering Adventurer - considering my utter defeat in 0 AD on Noble in the previous game.
I think the main differences of challenger to contender this GOTM would be no early religion, because Mysticism is out, so no hope for hinduism or buddism. And a delay by 20 turns to everthing else, 'cause I would have had to research both missing techs before Alphabet. I suppose it is still available to build all Wonders on challenger.
But, of course, I need to try playing challenger to prove this.
Adventurer class, won Diplomatic victory in 1944, scored 26K.
My Civ IV background:
After learning the game, I won 2 games on Prince.
Then I lost a bunch of multiplayer games
My first monarch game was GOTM3 and I lost.
This was my first emperor game.
My previous victories were always with spaceships. I planned to win with conquest or diplomacy in this game, but I'd keep spaceships as an option. I know very little about cultural victory.
I explored using both of my archers AND my fast worker. The worker would run ahead looking for huts, and an archer would pop them. I always left the worker a move to step back if he saw a wild animal.
I popped 4 huts: 1 had gold, 1 gave experience, and 2 had baddies (I lost an archer on the second).
I didn't know how worker stealing works, so I didn't attempt it. Now that I've read the GOTM posts I'll add it to my arsenal. It would be great if one of the experts wrote up an article about this.
I knew from the pre-game discussions that happyness was a limiting factor, so I tried to research Polyt first. Of course I lost the race, because:
1. my second town, which was founded early, couldn't generate commerce
2. without fishing, my first town couldn't generate commerce either. DUH!
Early research path:
polyt (until beaten to it)
then, aiming for cottages:
the wheel --> pottery
then, aiming for happyness (without a religion):
resume polyt --> priesthood --> monarchy
Researching bronze working early was a good decision. After building a granary in my Bombay and a second settler in Delhi, I had nothing to do with those cities so I pumped out some axemen. It was more by default then by design. Before you know it, I had 6-7 axemen, so I though, what the heck, let's get Alex. Indeed, this force was enough to obliterate him early on, taking:
Athens (1360 BC)
and Sparta (1240 BC)
Post-war financial trouble
When the war was over, I was burning my conquest money and down to 20% research. Still, I wasn't in the red. My money sources for supporting 6-7 rather distant cities, with no courthouses, came from:
1. very early cottage spam
2. conquest money of Greece
3. conquest money of two barb cities, one of which I razed
4. Losing the race for the Parthenon, gaining me 63g
I built stonehenge, but lost the Oracle (1680 BC), and I lost the great library. I got metal casting late but still managed to build the Colossus (560 AD).
Vicky was big and eventually attacked me, but I was ready and fended her off. Saladin also attacked me at times. Luckily, they never did it simulataneously. I had a big tech advantage vs. both the whole game:
Cavalry vs. Knights
Infantry vs. Cavaly
Tanks vs. machine guns
Meanwhile, Egypt and Spain kept to their islands. Both grew really strong. At 1350 AD, Isabella forced me to convert to Hinduism, which was probably the wisest thing I did in this game. She bacame the friendliest Friendly ever, and I knew my Eastern border was secure. Egypt took up free religion and was always Pleased with me, so that worked out well.
Going for victory
I build the UN early, I forget when, but I was clueless about how the votes would go. Turns out Isabella was larger than Egypt, which was a shame, because I was running against my best friend, which would have supported me. The actions I took in an attempt to win the majority:
1. Gifting medicine to Egypt, hoping it would turn more populous than Spain. This didn't work, and I think Egypt even traded medicine to Spain (oops!)
2. Trying to win Egypt's vote with presents. They stayed Pleased, but still absteined in the vote.
3. Not warring with pesky Louis, who was Egypt's best friend.
4. Warring with Vicky and Saladin, taking their towns, thus increasing my population. This was important, and part of the eventual victory.
5. I finally figured out how to get Egypt on my side. Bribe them to war with Saladin (who they hated), and join in. This was enough to get +2 for being a war ally, and eventually Egypt voted for me. Had I known this, I may have won 20-30 years earlier.
- All the cool kids steal workers
- In the earliest early game, fishing --> polyt may get you to polyt faster than researching it directly
- Early cottage spam will support you at war time and in peace
- You need Gunpowder for Cavaly. Yes sir, they have guns, they aren't just pleased to see you.
- Getting a level 5 unit, for West Point, requires planning from day 1 but it's worth the effort. I built West Point hundreds of years after Mil. Trad. because I didn't know about the level 5 thing.
- You can win over the vote of a Pleased AI through a joint war effort
The Adventurer bonus made the difference between winning and losing. Let's face it, we Adventurers were playing an entirely different GOTM.
Edit: One last comment, I got a small scrap of information from the first spoiler, that shouldn't have been there, but it helped me. At the time, I knew the Spanish existed but didn't know they were right across the pond. Someone mentioned this in the first spoiler. After reading it, I looked closesly at the fog of war in the east and saw that indeed, there were some pale orange tiles over there. This prompted me to go without a religion in order to prevent an angry attack from Isabelle. This incident shows that the rules about the information in the first spoiler are right on the money.
Wow, I gave up in this GOTM after an ugly war with Alex, but in reading the spoilers now I might have been able to salvage more than I thought. Early on I stole a worker on Alex' cows that made it home. Peace was declared very early and I think he was delayed just enough that I got the choice of the marble city. The worker-stealing warrior beat Alex Archer , kept exploring, and was able to steal an English worker as well that made the trek back home (love those fast workers).
I had 3 cities (Delhi, marble, copper) and 4 workers but I didn't think I'd be able to get any of the early wonders as my first goal was expansion. Instead I tried to kill Alex with ~6 Axemen. Athens was way to strong so I killed off his 2nd and 3rd city but had horrible luck and lost >10 CR & Combat I/Cover axemen. He counterattacked with chariots and the entire war bogged me down so much that I didn't think I'd be able to dig myself out.
I quit before 1AD and didn't think about it again until reading spoilers today. Congrats to all that stuck it out and even succeeded with a small empire.
Late space victory in 1870AD, still looking for what I did so fundementally wrong. Its tru I was taken off track by some less than optimal choices like Communism (to get Kremlin I never used). I also to the Democracy route in order to be able to get representation, emancipation and statue of liberty.
I havent played enough games to know how to compare standard with epic type games. I thought research would be quicker in normal games so I must have done something really wrong.
At least I managed to squeeze quite a few GPs out ot it:
In addition to the 4 scientists I showed in first spoiler (ended 25AD) I got:
5 scientists, 4 merchants, 2 engineers and 2 artists. So all in all 17 GPs. This includes the 3 freebies from research (think its Economics, Physics and Fusion).
I tried a new approach now after somebody mentioned it in previous game spoilers. All the scientists and merchants were joined to Delhi instead of spreading academies and doing trade missions. Delhi had some very healthy science output with oxford university. Each of the 11 super science specialists gave 9 science + like 235% from govs and buildings.
PS. I noticed during my game that Representation did not give me the +3 science bonus on specialists in the capital (super scientists got it YES but normal scientists NO). I am not hallucinating. In the other cities all specialists got the bonus, but not Delhi! Did anyone notice something like this?
I have completely changed my mind about great merchants. I saw them as a minor nuisance before but will from now on be really happy to get one. Joined to the city with Wall Street they can really help your economy. Of course I was stupid enough to join them to Delhi where I quickly found out I could not build Wall Street since it already had 2 national wonders before.
During the game I conquered Alex, Vicky baby and Saladin. Final score was around 60k.
I thought it was a tough map too, personally. It lacked very many ideal locations for huge commerce cities, because there just wasn't a lot of grassland. Research was much slower than usual.
Also, I like to have a central capital surrounded by rings of cities. Obviously not possible on a penisula start.
Re: Alex's aggressiveness, I always try to start by stealing a worker, building a worker, and chopping a settler. So I got the covetted marble/bronze spot. Had I not done that, I think the game would have really sucked, because if Alex got there first I would have been in big trouble.
Maybe I should have invaded Izzy instead of Alex, but he and I were going at it from the start, so I didn't want to divert resources and build ships to invade her.
In my experience there rarely is much grassland in ice age maps.
contender. the past three gotm didn't really get me prepared for this gotm. this's a very hard game for me. got budhism as some player suggested in the discussion but found it almost completely useless. by the end of the game, i had only two cities in the world with budhism. Greece was weakened due to an early worker stealing. but had a hard time fight with any AI.
was terribly behind in tech most of the game. when i finally researched one monopoly tech, everyone became unwilling to trade with me. such thing persisted until very late in the game and i almost gave up. but all of a sudden Egypt, who i declared war upon early in the game became willing to trade and really saved my day.
finally got diplomatic victory in the early 1900's. it's the 4th/5th voting. for some reason France didn't vote for me though he's always pleased with me and we shared the same religion. fortunately India's population was growing at such a high rate and i could gather enough vote eventually without France's help. i really hope next gotm won't be on immortal.
Contender level, goal: Just Win. I learned a heck of a lot in this game.
The most exciting battle I have ever fought in Civ4
In the ancient era, I stole one of Alexander's workers and starting an early war. This made me very nervous because I was dead last in power and I've never fought in Emperor before. And I had a moment like this, Alexander's archer next to one of only two cities I own:
The most nerve-wracking battle I have ever fought in Civ
(Just after this screenshot I learned that, praise Shiva, unit construction is resolved in the interturn before the next civ attacks. I'm not embarrassed to say that I let out a yell of triumph in the solitude of my computer room.)
I eventually annihilated the Greek Empire in 780AD - fortunately they never got iron or copper, or Horseback Riding. I felt secure in my future - I'm going to beat Emperor!
Stalled in the Dark Ages
However ... my focus on war meant little technological development. When I finally got to see the AI tech status, it was because they had developed Alphabet, not me (I don't mind falling behind in tech as long as I can use Alphabet to trade my way up. ) Worse, my economy was at 0% science so I had a hard time generating anything to trade them, and here's how far ahead the other AIs were:
The scariest part is the scroll bars
Immediately spamming cottages in my enlarged empire helped me catch up, but even more useful was finding out what unpopular techs could be researched and traded to multiple AIs. Civil Service was huge, as was Code of Laws, Drama, and Paper.
Using the AI's dirty tricks
I was steadily moving up in the score ranking, capturing Liberalism and Economics first, and feeling good about things. My Hindu ally Victoria declared on Saladin, and I got a chance to do what I always hate the AI doing: piling on and conquering the cities she attacked.
This worked great. Victoria loved that I was helping her, and I stole the weakened Arabic cities from under her nose. For example, she would attack Mecca's big stack of defenders, losing tons of knights and macemen in the process. I would wait until there were only a few weakened defenders left, and I would sweep in with my forces and conquer the city.
Before Vicky came along, this was a stack of 12 camel archers, macemen, and longbowmen
A long drawn out finale
I used this piggyback technique to take over Arabia and eventually France. With my massive empire, a victory was assured, and I should have ramped up my military and gone for domination by conquering Victoria. However, I feared her power ranking and I sort of had a funny-shaped empire caused by conquering Saladin and Louis IV:
A far-flung empire saved by State Property, Versailles, and Open Borders with Victoria!
I then went for Diplomacy, which didn't succeed because Isabella kept abstaining, and in the end I won a space race in 1970AD, which was really late and really boring, but a safe victory. Base score 5632, final score 21343.
Did you try to replay your game with the Contender version? I did it, and come to the conclusion that the only important difference to the Adventurer game is the uncertainty to grab the marble site. I stole Alex' worker before he completed the pasture, and founded Bombay on the marble. Alex' placed his city between Athens and Bombay. After that, I had nearly the same game as with the Adventurer bonus. I even managed to get one more wonder (GLighthouse), the only early one I missed was Chichen Itza. Diplomacy was worse because Hattys/Saladins/Louis religion didn't spread to me. Nonetheless, in 800AD I reckon I was merely 4-8 turns behind my Adventurer performance, first in score & techs, and up to then had even a little less trouble with English longbows. The greek war went far better, because Alex never got Horse Archers this time.
I think the exact date when the AI gets Horse Archers, Longbows and Crossbows was more crucial than the Adventurer bonus in this gotm - at least if you're heading for early domination.
Exactly. I did the same thing Karmina did, and pursued the same victory goal. Instead of picking off Alex early like I did in Adventurer, I took him later, but I still won a cultural victory.
Emperor is just too tough for me at the moment. I quit in frustration in about 1500AD with a score of about 1200 . And this was even though I was playing on the Adventurer level.
Contender. Domination victory, 1806AD, 45 hours, 71619 points, 5051 base points. Could have won by Conquest in 10 more turns or by Diplomacy in 20 more turns.
Not a bright game, I hadn’t realized that you could win by domination with all that ice.
Production: Worker-Boat-Warrior-Boat-Settler-Worker- Settler-Worker.
Techs: Fish-Hunt-AH-Wheel-BW- Pottery-Writing-Alphabet-(trading old ones)-Lite-Maths
1000BC stats: 3cities, 10pop(9rushed), 4worker, 3War, 3Axe, 1workboat. Horses, Copper, almost Marble. 1Lux, 3health. 7+fpt, 17hpt, 19bpt,+0gpt, 6cpt. 6GPPpt. 0GP. 0WW. 0NW. 4cottages,1worked. Box: 38g, 196c. 2Gra, 1Lib, 2Obe, 3Barr. 9Techs: 5 1st level, 2 2nd, 1 3rd, 1 4th. 0religion. 4,5 hours(+4h spreadsheet).
1AD stats: 7cities, 26pop(26whipped), 4worker,1Gal,1boat,13Milit(Swo). Horses, Iron, marble, copper, 3+2Lux, 4health. 9fpt, 37hpt, 69bpt,-29gpt, 35cpt, 31GPPpt. Box: 85g. 1Acad, 8 cottages worked. 20Techs: Calend, no CoL. 0religion. 1WW(GLib),2NW(both Epics),2GP. 13hours.
Digesting the Greek cities was hard, 2 luxuries got by trading plus some more because of Calendar helped a lot around 1AD. Bureaucracy was used too late, 600AD, because I prioritized Calendar luxuries, Catapults and Currency.
For the first time I had the courage to disband units (0 XP warriors), well done! Unit maintenance was high the whole game.
For a long time I only knew Alex, Victoria, Luis and Isabel. The war with Alex was easy, Swords against archers, he was done by 75AD. The war with England was veeeery slow, swords and macemen against longbows, they only were gone by 1340AD.
1000AD stats: 11cities, 89pop, 7worker, 38Milit(Maceman) . 206bpt,+1gpt, 92cpt, 59GPPpt. Box: f, h,b, 164g, c. 1Acad. 18Techs:Educ-. 6/6 religion. 6GP, 3WW, 2NW. 20hours.
Caste system, Free religion and Free market adopted as discovered.
1500AD stats: 17ciu,1000bpt,56GPppt,-77gpt,2000g.
At the end, adopted PoliceState+Emancipation because of War weariness. Also disbanded some workers. Luis died in 1610AD, Saladin in 1680AD. I had never used riflemen before.
Had I known that domination was possible, I wouldn’t have made 3 disembarks in Egipt (two disasters, 1 successful). When I realized I was near, I raised the culture bar and produced 3 settlers to fill empty spaces. At the end, 11 GP had been produced, 5 of them used for GA. I had built 5 National Wonders and 5 World Wonders. 100+ units at the end.
Difficulty? I found the game very difficult, being on a peninsula with Alex closing the way out is not my ideal start.
Your post suggests that the Adventurer bonus (an extra settler) did not have a huge impact on the game. Of course, this was all in retrospect as you re-played the game with foreknowledge of copper location, iron location, horse location, Alex's location, luxury locations etc, etc, etc.
The Adventurer just needed to go out and plop onto the river/marble which would secure the copper, make one more settler to get the spot on the other river for the Furs which just so happened to have the Horse and it was game over for Alex and Vicky.
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