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GOTM Techniques, Cheats, Rules & Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Game of the Month' started by starlifter, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    It was Brian's decision when deciding how to solve some of the "shortcomings" of Civ 1. Short answer: "The Poor Get Richer."

    What does that mean? Let Brian Reynolds explain why he did it, in his own words:

    Source: http://www.gamespy.com/devcorner/april01/reynolds/index4.shtm

    The "rubber band" is the Key Civ concept, which adjusts Civ science outputs based on dynamic references. If you get ahead of the reference civ ("Key Civ"), your cost goes up even more, and those that are behind see their costs go down.

    BTW, the credit for discovering just how Civ 2 adjusts tech costs is an guy named Samson (Apolyton) who figured it out when playing OCC last year. People had a general idea before, and I remember just giving everything to everyone to speed science in the "old days", but now it's much more useful with the "Key Civ" knowledge.

    Samson's Discovery of Key Civs (at Apolyton):
    Samson's follow-up:

    Samson's post discovering How Research is Computed (at Apolyton):
    Sources:

    Samson discovered how Cost of Research is computed; his name, and terms like "purple", "gift*", "research" are good ways to search. Names like Smash, Sodak, and Starlifter are good ways to narrow searchs at CFC. Here are some source links:
    Apr 2001 Key Civ (Samson)
    Apr 2001 Cost of Research (Samson, Apolyton)
    Jun 2001 (Caravans, purple civ, etc.)
    Aug 2001 (Cost of Research)
    Oct 2001 (Cost of Research)
    Jan 2002 (Key Civ)
     
  2. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    When searching CFC for some things today, and also other BBSs, I've noticed that several items have been discussed in non-GOTM forums. Since GOTM palyers may come from any background, I'll add these five for reference. I will also add my 2 cents after explaining them and giving the facts.


    25. Missile Patrol - use Cruise & Nuke Missiles to explore, patrol. Yup, you can fly your missiles around to explore and patrol. Most people probably know about this, but I found some old posts that were surprised about it. As a real-life missile tester (USAF), I can say we don't launch missiles, nor can the perfrom recon missions.... but the big picture is that this is a game, and the units are not 100% accurate with real life anyway.... we even don't launch them to new cities for depolyment, after all. So if you want to patrol with 160s nukes instead of 60s Fighters or 80s Stealth, go ahead... you only get one space of visiblity, which is not much in late game, LOL.

    Summary: Allowed, and well known. Hilarious, in my book, when you think of it. But it's an air unit, and air units fly :lol: in Civ 2.



    26. Incremental Rush Buy (IRB) - Buy cheap unit (like warrior), switch (e.g, Phalanx), buy, switch (archer); buy, switch (e.g, engineer), buy it. This incremental process saves gold, compared to just Rush Buy (RB) all unit shields (to 40s, in this example) at once. This only works with units, not improvements, wonders, or SS parts (cost is fixed for these). This is a common practice, but at one time, people used to discuss whether or not it should be done. The only real disadvantage is the amount of "real time" to micromanage it. The AI does not RB or IRB; it has special rules for how it generates production, so it's not comparable. All human players should know how to do this, but it's listed for completeness anyway. Follow the link in my Signature block ("Acronyms") for even more info ;).

    Summary: It's a known, approved, and widely used technique in GOTMs, and I personally do not consider it any more shady than founding your capital city, LOL



    27. ZOC Avoidance (Zone Of Control) - Move ground units thru a ZOC with the help of a dip, spy, caravan, freight, plane, partisan, missile, helicopter, paratrooper, explorer. Most gound units are blocked from moving freely in congested areas of non-allied players. However, the listed units can be used to "lead the way" and let units like Crusaders, Armor, and Howies to slither into an area. At one time, some people were discussing if this was intentional. I'll add two things. First, the AI can't do it... actually, it "could", but does not intentionally do it. Second, I'm personally convinced this is an intended use of tactics (e.g., not a bug of any sort). But in case anyone did not know you could do this, I'll add it.

    Summary: It's a known, approved, and widely used technique in GOTMs, and I personally find it no more questionable than building your first settler. ;)



    28. Double Left-Clicking Explored Terrain - use the mouse left button to double click terrain that you have explored. Normally, a terrain status pops up if the terrain look empty. However, if seemingly empty terrain does not respond with a popup window describing the terrain type, then a city has been built in that location sometime since you last explored it. I was unaware of this, and so I tested it today, and it worked in 5.4.0f.... so it's a working technique. I've never used it, and don't plan to personally, but it sort of falls in with Map Clicking.

    Summary: Allowed, by default. I presume most don't know about this, since I didn't until now. Somewhat shady in my book, but not be of practical value to me personally.



    29. Paratrooper Scouting - Use the paratrooper arrow (the cursor) to "see" if unit is on a land tile. You hover the paratrooper arrow over the drop zone (landing tile) --- if it becomes an X, then an unseen unit occupies that tile. I tested it today with 5.4.0f, and it does indeed work, so this is another new one one me, too. This one might be of slightly more tactical value than #28, but to me personally, not at all since I don't think I've ever reached full modern combat in a GOTM.

    Summary: Allowed, by default. The secone new thing I learned today. To me, it's in the category of Map Clicking and Double Left Clicking.... somewhat dubious, but I'm personally not on a crusade about it.



    Well, none of these new 5 are "hot potatos", but might be of interest to some players.

    :cool:
     
  3. GaryNemo

    GaryNemo Settler from None

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    I use #26 IPRB also to build improvements. Usually the Barracks is available, or maybe Harbor, or Colosseum. When a few production has accumulated from the first turn, the cost is low. Then I let normal production finish the job. When you say it does not work with improvements, I guess you mean there is not the same dramatic cost savings as with regular units.

    Also, I am leary of upgrading my civ2.exe - I know it.
     
  4. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    by Gary Nemo:
    Actually, there is probably some slight confusion about the difference between RB, PRB, IRB, and IPRB. I've got a lot of exact details and examples posted in the link in my Sig. Block:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?postid=365092#post365092



    The IRB refers to saving money by incrementally buying one row (sometimes two) of shields of a unit at a time. This is because one full row (10s) costs 25g. Buying 2 rows at a time costs 60g (compare to 25g+25g). So you save gold by buying in the smallest increment possible. So the cheapest price per shield is 2.5g for unit shields.

    BTW, the IPRB is just the IRB, but not buying the unit to completion... you let the city's natural shield production finish the unit, thus saving the 1 turn of wasted output that is inherient in the IRB.

    On the other hand, there are 3 other categories of production: Improvements, Wonders, and Spaceship Parts. Assuming there is at least 1 shield in the Prod Box, one shield costs 2g for Improvements, and 4g for Wonders and SS Parts. This cost does not change no matter how many are bought at a time. Hence, IRB and IPRB terms are meaningless, unless someone just likes clicking the mouse and passing the time. The 2 terms that apply to these 3 categories are only the RB and PRB. The RB buys the whole set of shields to completion (thus wasting the regular city's production for 1 turn), or the PRB which does not.

    The RB and PRB can also apply to units, but since they usually buy shields in lots greater than one row, these 2 methods waste gold, but save some micromanagement and "real time".


    So it sounds like alphabet soup, but when you see me personally refer to the 4 terms RB, PRB, IRB, and IPRB, I try to use them in the right context, even though they are frequently used without precise distinction in many posts. Once in a while, I've been known to make a slip too, though ;).
     
  5. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    30. Double Growth - Cities can grow 3 ways:

    1. Join.
    2. Filled Food Box.
    3. Republic/Democracy Celebration.

    Cities can be joined up to size 8 in one turn. And with enough excess food, #2 and #3 can occur in the same turn. It probably has happened, but gone unnoticed, in most people's games after Refrigeration at times... it's just a function of obtaining enough food to fill the food box while R/D Celebration growth is occuring (you can also get the food from a Car/Frt).

    Summary: Allowed... it is normal game behavior (however, if the FCT is used to force it, then not allowed; but the Double Growth itself is just fine).
     
  6. Old n Slow

    Old n Slow Emperor

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    Searching for that last ai city --

    I recall re-looking at open terrain & seeing an irrigated spot -- later found it to be an ai city. Don't know if this is always the case, or a sometimes the case (ie does the irrigated grid show up only on Prince or lower, only after n+1 turns, only if a second square is irrigated etc.).

    Similarly, barbarians land & seem to attack obvious targets first -- ususally cities.

    I don't think that these are cheats, but intermediate & newbies may want that kind of information. :scan:
     
  7. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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  8. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    Added Rev. 1.06 24Jul02 - Added #31 (Andu Indorin [via Starlifter], Post #28).



    #31. The Emissary's Ploy

    (Andu Indorin's "Emissary's Ploy")

    For those that hate senate interference in a democracy, this pretty much overcomes it. Normally, you cannot allow any face-to-face contact with the enemy after capturing a city of theirs, or the Senate my interfere and put an end to the war, like it or not. With the "Emissary's Ploy", the the human may approach the AI again, whilst keeping a state of war.

    Here are the steps:

    1. Possess the UN.
    2. Capture an AI city.
    3. The plundered gold comment is now onscreen (close the popup).
    4. The City Status screen pops up (close it).
    5. Immediately after closing the screen, press F3. (".... chatter. Now begone!").
    6. Now you may have face-to-face contact with no interference.... attack, capture, or whatever you want.

    Status: By default, Allowed. Personally, I still use the classic methods of fighting an all out war under Democracy (let the AI backstab you, clear out AI ground units, prevent Partisans, etc. etc.).
     
  9. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    Here is more clarification in one place for the FCT, Food Caravans, Food Freight, and Unnaturally Large Cities....

    Note: This thread that Old n Slow started is now the best (and most current) place to post general questions & discussion about the FCT, FC/FF, and Unnaturally Large Cities.


    The FCT

    FCT - Delivering Food Caravans/Food Freight (FC/FF) without the -1 food route penalty in the home city. The FCT is not merely getting a city to grow by filling the food box with FC/FF!

    If you add a FC/FF and it does not take -1 from the source city, then do not use that city as a food source. To my knowledge, any city will properly credit the first food route (you will lose a trade arrow route if you have 3 trade route in the source city already). The second route may or may not be credited properly in the source city -- if you deliberately add routes when you know thay are not crediting, then you are using the FCT, which is disallowed in GOTMs. Accidental, or mixed up, food deliveries don't DQ a game, but continuing 'accidents' in a game would likely require an explanation to the Admin (the Admin makes the rulings). FWIW, I have rarely noticed a city credit a 3rd food route properly, even if the 2nd food route was properly credited. In any event, the game is not even theoretically capable of crediting the 4th and succeeding routes, since a source city can only track THREE (3) total routes (of all types) max. A destination food route city can track more than 3 incoming routes. Further testing is needed to clarify the exact behavior of food source cities with the 2nd and 3rd FC/FF deliveries... most people that use non-FCT simply never even try a 3rd or subsequent FC/FF from the same source city, since it really ain't going to work. BTW, it is OK to rehome and deliver a FC/FF... just don't start a FCT system with it.

    EDIT: Added test summary from here.

    There are many "systems" of implementing the FCT, like:

    1. Rehoming lots of FC/FF to a single city and delivering them all over (Classic FCT).
    2. Setting up a FC/FF swap between two cities.
    3. Creating lots of size 1 cities, deliver FC/FF without the FCT, kill the cities, and repeat (routes die when the source city dies).
    4. Having one or more cities produce and deliver lots of FC/FF (either through shield production or RB/IRBs).
    5. The 3-city rotation descrbed by Ming.
    6. There are likely other variants of the FCT.

    All such FCT systems are disallowed in GOTMS. However, the FCT is allowed in some places, like the Civ 2 HOF and mega games. Shadowdale's 26,271 game used refined FCT techniques... the FCT is the only way to achieve mega-scores (above approx. 16,000 on random maps).



    Full Food Box Growth

    A full box can be obtained by (all 3 ways are permitted in GOTMs):

    1. Adding natural (including food routes) food surplus until the food box is full.
    2. Adding FC/FF until food box is full (never takes more than 2 to fill a box).
    3. Reducing city population (thus decreasing box size, rendering the smaller box full).

    Note: #2 is not (necessarily!) the FCT but... #2 is related to the FCT if the sources caravans are repeatedly from the same city.



    Unnaturally Large City

    Unnatural City - A city whose size exceeds that which can be supported by the combination of it's own food plus the incoming food routes. Also, any city growing with a food deficit is quite unnatural.

    Note: with proper incoming food routes, a city can be larger than it would be without them (e.g., a +4 could support 2 more citizens). A proper incoming food route will add a food route to the source city, including a -1 food and replacing an existing trade route. A city can have only 3 routes (food or trade), max.


    :)
     
  10. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    I disagree. I tried this multiple times this weekend and the city size I got from Supply&Demand was the same as the outdated one on the map. I did this right before moving a unit adjacent to the city. As soon as the map updated so did the Supply&Demand screen.
     
  11. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    I've gone back and tested, using 5.4.0f.


    Case 1: AI has multiple cities, no contact, no map discovery.

    Result: With Trade, the trade advisor reports the the capital city & size only. It does not matter if the AI has Trade. The size is accurately updated as the city size changes in gameplay.


    Case 2: AI has multiple cities, no contact, I have discovered the capital city.

    Result: TA reports accurate size info of city. The map does not. For instance, when the AI city grew to 3, the map still showed 2.

    In neither case was the TA reporting info on undiscovered non-capital cities. In all test cases, including more varitions on techs, the results were the same. :)

    What exact version of Civ are you using? Maybe zip and attach the .SAV and the rules.txt of the game. If there is a difference in versions, we should make sure people know (even though this particular technique is pretty insignificant in gameplay anyway).
     
  12. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    Rev 1.07 is posted:

    Rev. 1.07 25Jul02 - Added Key Civ, Tech Gift links & info in Post#21; distill Purpose & Scope
     
  13. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    Added Rev. 1.08:


    Rev. 1.08 26Jul02 - Moved Notes & Revision History to next post because newly added links rapidly approacy the 15,000 character post limit; wording clarifications on some FCT items; Added asterisks to #10 & #11; Added #32 (OCC & Paulicy); Added #33 - Zero Turn Revolution (by Xin Yu via SL)


    #32: GOTM OCC & The Paulicy - There are a few special OCC-only rules, which are explained in the Paulicy for OCC games. A GOTM may be played as OCC or standard, at the player's option.

    The most notable GOTM rule exception is game reloading for huts that result in advanced tribes while playing OCC:

    1. Before you enter a hut, save the game.
    2. Enter the hut.
    3. If the hut is an advanced tribe, then immediately reload, and try again. Continue until the very first result that gives anything except an advanced tribe.


    This is the only case in standard gameplay where the game-specific rules not only allow a reload, but require it. This is because in OCC, you are never allowed to possess a 2nd city -- not even for a moment. You can have only one city at all times :).

    Here are the additional guidelines and rules to play a GOTM OCC:

    http://members.home.nl/paulvdb/occ.htm

    It's often called the "Paulicy", after the name of the author.



    The applicable paragraph from the Paulicy:

    Summary: Allowed. GOTM OCC should be played by GOTM Rules, except where the Paulicy requires exceptions. Post questions or PM the Admin (Duke of Marbrough) if in doubt.



    #33. Zero Turn Revolutions

    (Zin Yu's Zero Turn Revolution (ZTR) )

    Zero Turn Revolutions - Using Democracy and the Statue of Liberty, it is possible to deliberately trigger a gov't collapse between turns, when a city hits it's 2nd consecutive turn of anarchy. Whis is called a Zero Turn Revolution (ZTR). How: If the SoL is in the city at the top of your city list, only the SoL city will be affected by Anarchy, and the gov't will be restored immediately. Throughout the following turn you can choose any form of Govt anytime, including Fundy and Democracy. Choosing Fundy will allow you to declare war, do dastardly deeds, and even possibly (with the Fundy tech) have a 20-shield unit (the Fanatic) to use in IRBs. There are a lot of downsides also, including loss of science, gold, and shields in the SoL city and those above it; it will backfire on OEDO years (e.g., next turn will be Anarchy thoughout empire, including loss of all gold & science, plus collection of Anarchy gov't resources); it requires close micromanagement; it is not tactical (e.g, you must plan it ahead of time); on teh following turn you must begin the whole cycle again (e.g., the ZTR cannot be used consecutively).

    Summary: Allowed, by default. Somewhat shady, but not without cost; similar to the Emissary Ploy in Democratic war effect. Personally, I have never used a ZTR in a GOTM (or in any game, except in tests)... I just prefer the built-in challenges of wars & Democracy.
     
  14. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    First, let me thank you for your usual detailed analysis. And while I am at it, also thank you for posting the links regarding key civ. Very interesting.

    I am using single player on Macintosh. My rules.txt has never been changed. The cases I reported all invloved AI cities I had already discovered. I will do more detailed testing this weekend and report.
     
  15. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    #1: You're welcome :).

    #2. Since you are a Macintosh user, I'd like to ask if you'd keep a close eye on my tests, in particular to check for incompatibilities (but also for anything wrong in general), as I am totally unable to test Macintosh stuff. If there is any major differences that come to light along the way (as we collect & post more techniques, etc.), we need to note it. We might even need to make a special code notation on the main list to flag it easily for the applicable items.

    One of the topics that I'm personally just ironing out this week is the nitnoid details of FCT stuff (e.g, exactly when it occurs with mixed food & trade routes). If you have the time/inclination, I have a test file in Old n Slow's "Food for Thought" thread. In particular, it's important to know if combinations of food & trade routes behave the same as what I've posted.


    Thanks :).
     
  16. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    Time permitting I will be glad to.

    Now, let me report on the tests I promised I will be doing on Supply & Demand screen:

    I did further testing. Here is what I have found out:
    1. Before Trade there is no info via Supply & Demand screen.
    2. After Trade the foreign cities in S&D are the capitals and the cities you have had contact with. Non capital cities that possess WOW or are listed among Top 5 do not show up in S&D if you have not had direct contact with them.
    3. Even if you posses Marco and thus know about the existence of all foreign cities, the non capital ones you have not had direct contact with do not show up in S&D.
    4. The city size reported in S&D is the same as the one you see on the map. When you get an update through repeat contact both get updated.

    One exceptional thing I cannot yet explain is this:
    In GOTM 17 after I allied with and exchanged maps with the Sioux, I could not only see the cities on my new map in S&D but also cities that had WOW in them. This was certainly not the case before the Sioux contact and not so in other games.
     
  17. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    You have found the last AI city. Should you take it and finish the game or should you wait a turn or two to finish building that WOW, .... Which way would you get a higher GOTM score?

    First of all, congradulations for having this choice. This means that you are not running out of real time. I envy you!

    Now, to the answer. The GOTM scoring system is complex. It rewards you for a higher base score but it also highly rewards you for finishing early. I just analyzed the formula and here is the answer: For every extra turn you take to finish, you better be increasing your base score by 2% (1.88% to break even) or your GOTM score will not increase.

    For example, if your score as reported by the game is 1000, building an extra wonder is worth taking an extra turn. If your score is 1500, simply building an extra wonder is not worth an extra turn. You need to also add 10 content citizens.
    --------------------------------

    The original posting assumed 420 total turns which is what you get at higher levels. The following is more detailed.
    Code:
    Level      Map size         total turns  GOTM breakeven threshold
    
    Chieftain  ---              570          1.38%
    Warlord    Large or Normal  570          1.38%
    Prince     Large            570          1.38%
    
    Warlord    Small            520          1.52%
    Prince     Normal           520          1.52%
    King       Large            520          1.52%
    
    Prince     Small            470          1.68%
    King       Normal           470          1.68%
    Emperor    Large            470          1.68%
    
    King       Small            420          1.88%
    Emperor    Small or Normal  420          1.88%
    Deity      ---              420          1.88%
    
     
  18. LordValuna

    LordValuna High Lord

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    Since you can ,(another revelation for me):scan: practically make a rough map anyways;
    Why cant the person stetting up the GotM toggle the scenario parameters and reveal whole map, once in a while.
    All the Black on the map is hard on the eyes (not to mention the poor triemes)
     
  19. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    Well, map clicking is still up to the individual. Many of these techniques are not ones people use. But everyone should have access to their knowledge, so they are listed.

    However, we all have our preferences, and the list of what is allowed and disallowed is not determined by me... it reflects the GOTM rules. LOL, if it were up to only me, I'd change a few. I'm sure we all have various ideas about what we'd each prefer.

    Like any idea, if people want the map revealed, they should gain a clear idea, and then take the case to the Admin (Duke of Marbrough), who would then do as he decides (e.g., rule, poll, discuss, whatever).

    At this point, revealing the map is not an option, though it could be for a specific game. However, that is a pretty drastic step, and before that was done even for an individual game (e.g., a special rule game, like Fundy Only, Starting Wonder, etc.). It is my gut feel, but not by any means scientific, that people like exploring.


    BTW, with patience, you can map click the entire map in 4000BC. I think it was absurd to allow this, but they tried to do it as a "feature" in a late revision, and no official Civ 2 patch has been released for over 3 years to fix it.


    You should definitely feel free to discuss anything listed, or even stuff we have not posted yet.

    :)
     
  20. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    If you set up a bunch of food caravans coming from a city and then let the AI capture it, would you still get the food?

    I'm sure this would be way more trouble than its worth but I'm just curious.
     

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