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GOTM with 10 Cities

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Game of the Month' started by WildPony, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. WildPony

    WildPony Warlord

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    I love the concept of GOTM, but never feel i can invest the time to play an unlimited city game. It seems that there are many others who feel the same way. Therefore, in this post, i wish to explore whether the gotm community would prefer playing the game with a 10 city limit instead of unlimited and if the time has arrived for such a change :wavey:
     
  2. TheViking

    TheViking The world is not enough

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    I remember a GOTM where you were not allowed to have more than 9 cities if memory serves. This made the game more difficult for militaristic players who love conquering enemy cities. I got around this limitation by razing every enemy city except for one :D.
     
  3. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Well, you can play with as few cities as you like, but obviously your score will suffer. Perhaps a way of weighting more perfectionist games can be devised that would reduce the score gap. I would be opposed to eliminating any such gap entirely, because I think that expansionism is still a better strategy, and, the GOTM being a comparison mechanism, that should still be reflected in the score hirearchy.

    Of course, perhaps those who have played the GOTM longer than I have might have some better insights.

    PS. Nice to see The Viking.
     
  4. WildPony

    WildPony Warlord

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  5. grigor

    grigor Prince

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    We have a one-city star - it was not added to the GOTM until around GOTM20 or so (??) - why not add a 10-city star? It would require 3 people interested in playing that way.
     
  6. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    How about this: take the AD 1000 score for population, multiply it by the aproximate GOTM turn penalty, and use that as the population score when figguring out the total score, instead of the actual population. (i.e., add the wonder, spaceship, polution, etc. to the adjusted population score; then apply the GOTM calculation to that). Of course, this would only be useful for large maps, where expansion seems a reasonable expectation throughout the game.

    This method, providing that AD 1000 population scores are comperable in perfectionist and expansionist games (I would think that they might be close, as perfectionists would be growing upward, while expansionists outward), would cut the score penalty for not expanding, but still give the expansionist that is able to expand faster than the penalty rate an advantage. Or we might say that it should take an arbitrary 100 turns from AD 1000 to land a spaceship, and give back a 100 turn penalty bonus directly, re-introducing the speed aspect to the game.
     
  7. WildPony

    WildPony Warlord

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    I might have been unclear in what i was saying.

    I guess i'm more interested in surveying people to see if they would like it better if ten cities became the standard by which all played so there could be an unextrapolated way in which to compare accomplishments against other fine players... in a setting where hopefully a lot more individuals would be able to "join in" since game time would be exponentially shorter.

    I believe with a 10 city limit (never allowed to have more than ten cities even for a second) many more players would be able to find the time most every month where now, using myself as an example, unless i play it as a occ, i can't ever play even once. The couple of times i started and had my 50 or 100 or more cities, i always stopped because it was going to take too long to finish. Wondering how many other players this may be true for and if a ten city standard would make it more fun for the majority.
     
  8. WildPony

    WildPony Warlord

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    Grigor, a fine idea to be sure. If i am shooting for the stars and settling for the moon, this would be the moon. Would love to see the entire league play the gotm as a ten city game, to compare apples to apples the accomplishments of all the best players... but yes, if that was never going to happen, this would be a great consolation prize.
     
  9. Magic_gorter

    Magic_gorter Moderator Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    I don't like the idea to play with a max of 10 cities. To do it once in a while is fine but I do like to build big empires. The option to play different styles with the GOTM's is great and shouldn't be disallowed. (But that's my opinion)
     
  10. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Maybe what could be done is to have a "Game of the Quarter," where players have three months to complete a game on a large map, and do Games of the Month with variations or special rules designed to save play-time.

    I agree with Magic gorter's sentiments that the different playing styles are a great part of the GOTM. WildPony's proposal would turn the GOTM into a comparisson of players' ability to play perfectionist. I'd be more than happy to play such a game from time to time, but not to change the game fundamentally.

    Of course, Duke's opinions will have to be taken into account, when he returns.
     
  11. WildPony

    WildPony Warlord

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    Fair enough Magic, good points. I actually like unlimited city games too but have come to like the limit games more. Thanks a lot for the feedback! :wavey:
     
  12. WildPony

    WildPony Warlord

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    Great points also Prof Garfield. Thanks for your feedback too. :wavey:
     
  13. Old n Slow

    Old n Slow Emperor

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    I recall a number of games with a five city limit (although they weren't part of the GOTM.) I also recall Elephant discussing the one city challenge with a smaller size city (I think I owe him a one city game with either a size five or a size eight limit.)

    I'm up for a ten city limit option. ;)
     
  14. WildPony

    WildPony Warlord

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    haha, at last, somebody :clap:
     
  15. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    Searching for something else I ran into this thread today. With a 2.5 year delay, as others have mentioned, we did play one such GOTM. It was GOTM 57 where you would get penalized for cities over 10:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=130332
    13 players participated including me. I truly enjoyed that game and wish we could play similar ones more often.

    Discussions such as this have surfaced from time to time. There is no doubt that the amount of time it takes to play is a major factor in how few people play. However, no one has yet come up with a satisfying solution. It is worthwhile to note that OCC has long been a viable but not very popular option.
     
  16. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    Civ 2 has proven to be an amazing strategy game, one that has stood the test of time over three generations of computer evolution; this alone is remarkable. Even today, I teach it to kids as young as age 8... and in many cases, parents ban their kids from playing it because of the amount of time it can take :).

    Early GOTMs
    The original iteration at the beginning was essentially a potential HOF game every month, and all that implies. Transformations of mountains to grassland. Resource swapping. Hundreds and hundreds of engineers. Hours of tedium. And GOTMs themselves have evolved. Players and playstyles have improved. Many things were learned.

    In late summer of 2001, the largest single change in GOTM history occurred, with the introduction of the GOTM formula. That transformed the focus of GOTMs to not just playing Civ against the AI, but playing against an equation with a time factor. Though I have not yet had time to look through the last 10 years of games (but eventually do indeed intend to do so), I presume that most GOTMs have been judged on the GOTM formula ever since.

    GOTM Purpose
    Some questions that GOTMs answered included how different approaches to the game gave various results. Especially in many of the first approx. 20 GOTMs that I have a recollection about, there was a lot of fun in looking at how players did certain things, and funny things that could be seen in various states of save, like polar explorers etc.

    But the underlying idea was to let the game run its natural course (with rules which also evolved), with game conditions and constraints that could change. For instance, limiting the government choice, or wonder selection, or map issues.

    Real Life: Time
    Civ 2 is a game that can really suck up lots of RL time, and its always a battle to produce results with the limited monthly time. Probably most GOTM games ever played were not really completed the way the player would have liked, if real time were not a factor. Doubtless many if not most results from the very beginning were affected by lack of player time, and few outside of the presumed OCC games and maybe some early conquers could say "yup, I played that one to my best and could not have done any better".

    But, there are lots of ways that are possible to reduce this.

    Game Plans
    For instance, quarterly game patterns, or even yearly game plans. For instance, an sequence of OCC, a "special" game, and a moderate "full" (e.g., a 'normal' and hence potentially long) game. Or, in keeping with Civ 2's patterns of base 2, maybe a sequence of 4 game types in a short - long - short - medium plan.

    I think the objectives for games can be specifically stated, and individual GOTM "win" conditions need not necessarily even be based on the highest GOTM score.

    Two or three "special" GOTMs which are set to provide an extra dimension, such as potential combat on a large scale (e.g., a scenario variant), or goals to fulfill (like the
    WW II scenario as Russia Communism, or German Facism).

    It could be that a 6 or 12 month road map is laid out, for upcoming GOTMs. The month and general type of game would be known, e.g.,
    September: an OCCC-20 due in October
    October: a "full" classic GOTM due in December
    November: an OCC-4 SS due in December
    December: a "special" rules GOTM (e.g, like GOTM 68, or a scenario, etc.).
    January: an OCCC-4 due in February
    February: a "full" classic GOTM due in April
    March: an OCC-1 SS due in April
    ....

    OCC & Its Variants
    Prior to GOTMs, one of the single most effective sources of my own learning when I first played Civ was the OCC, starting over a year before I even heard of CivFanatics or GOTMs. OCCs are one of my personal favorite, and within OCC, I especially think that fight oriented games are the most fun. In OCC conquer (OCCC), which as far as I know is not and never has been particularly popular, Civ 2 becomes a totally different game compared to normal GOTM methods. Ali is making an OCC (SS) guide, and I think that when its done at least one or two Full SS OCCs each year would be good "short" GOTM games, and at least one size 4 SS OCC & one size 1 SS OCC.

    A gamut of three OCCC's (OCCC-20,OCCC-4,OCCC-1) would fill the short/medium game lengths. If players have not tried conquering the world with one city, then you might be surprised to find that its not necessarily a short game like OCC-SS games are, but it is nowhere near as long as full 'normal' GOTMs.

    An obvious advantage to any OCC game is that each player should likely be able to play it exactly as they want, and real time will not be a factor or cause a truncation of results.

    Game Variations
    There are other options to make things interesting for a given game. One is to restrict certain forms of government for the human, or award them to the AI. Likewise, units, wonders, and even city improvements and techs can be restricted (or given to the AI).

    Some of these variants may have been done before; players that know about these and what worked well, and what was maybe not as fun, should fill in the gaps. In the first GOTMs, variants with real world maps, wonder modifications, government restrictions proved popular and interesting. Though I've only played 3 out of the last 100 GOTMs, the ones that I did were fun (68,121,122) and not a "standard rehash", though all 3 were "long" games.

    Huts
    In general, I think huts can have a couple variations. First, is wiping huts from the map. This allows for less variations, esp. in early game; this variant is one that I think should be commonplace, though not exclusive. Second (and to my knowledge has not been tried in a GOTM) is the polar opposite: allow as many hut reloads as a player desires, to fit outcome to the playstyle. One will may learn a surprising amount of info by noting the hut outcomes of many attempts. And of course, players should explain their rationale for their outcomes and see how it affects the course of their game.

    Map Reveal
    This can be an interesting variant, esp. if testing some specific issue for comparison in that GOTM.

    Comment on variants of "10 cities"
    This could be a "special" GOTM topic, but even as this was discussed 10 years ago, would not work to be a normal GOTM rule. XX cities limit really has no meaning, nor even point of regular comparison. OCC stands alone in city restrictions in part because of the Civ II history of this for nearly 15 years. But for a one time game, its certainly and option, and part of the fun in making "special" games is to test some aspect of the game, and compare how different approaches turned out.

    Combat
    It might surprise many that my own favorite style of play is conquer and combat, and massive invasions, battles, etc. In GOTMs that I have seen, there is very little combat -- I dont even recall getting nuked even once. Never has an AI arrogantly told me "Our words are backed with nuclear weapons". Never have I made a Nuke Trap. Never has my stack of AEGIS fended off 20 Cruise Missiles. Never have I used task forces, swept the enemy from the oceans, etc. In GOTMs, I have never had to fight for survival, and come from far behind with things like suitcase nukes just to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

    Archivists
    If you have been playing GOTMs in the last 100 or so especially, what are some of your own favorites? What made them fun for you, or what was significant? What were your own "Top 5" or "Top 10", and for each one, why? What did not work, and why?

    Viewpoints
    Certainly, all Civ 2 players and lurkers who read this thread should comment and give views and ideas, even if you don't play Civ 2 GOTMs. If you dont currently play, then what would you suggest to make it interesting for you? After all, you probably would not be reading this if you didn't like Civ 2!
     
  17. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    This is a great idea. Both the plan-ahead part and the inclusion of short games every once in a while.
    Very interesting. As far as I know this has never been tried either.
    This is my favorite variant. I think this should be standard on all custom designed maps.
    Good point. Most conquests are over in medieval period; the ones that last till modern era are usually among superior human and back ward AI. I have experienced modern combat in Civ2 in the following situations:
    1. OCC particulary playing on large earth in middle east, Europe, or north Africa. Near the end you typically have to fight for your survival against several well armed fairly advanced (if not fully advanced) rivals.
    2. A random game, which was the second or third game of Civ2 I ever played, where I started with 2 settlers on the North Pole! It took me a while to find an island off the Pole and settle. It was a rather small island with mostly forest. By the time I made it to a large island there was very little room for expansion and I faced advanced rivals. Being inexperienced at Civ2 (though very experienced at Civ1) compounded the problem. I ended up with a massive modern war and was nuked right before the end in 2019. I did eliminate several rivals by then but one or perhaps two I could not get to in time. We did play a GOTM like this not too long ago where we started on the North Pole with 2 settlers.
    3. Special maps that give a serious advantage to the AI over human player. Unfortunately, the AI often does not use these advantages as well as it could.

    I am all for playing massive modern combat. I am sure there are scenarios out there designed for this purpose we can use in a GOTM.

    This question has been asked before and people tend to remember the special maps.
     
  18. Magic_gorter

    Magic_gorter Moderator Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    I am at holiday right now and will think about the ideas Starlifter mentioned. Also more input would be nice. Starlifter would like my first organized gotm....nr.93 iirc. The players had a tough fight....
     
  19. Inkerman

    Inkerman Engineer Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    I've been around six months and am enjoying the variety Magic is coming up with and don't personally feel the need for an advertised calendar. In fact I quite like opening the monthly gift to see what's inside. Of the recent games I thought 121 (Sherwood Forest) and 122 (Accelerated start) were really good. I also liked 120 with a smaller map and harder terrain. OCCConquest, had I known about it at the time, might have helped rescue my 123! The large maps 119 and 124 I am personally less keen on, but that may be because of what I am doing, and I appreciate these are popular so it is good they are there too.

    Before I started with GotM I tried not to play maps with a lot of potential city sites because of the time they took. If random generated I would choose at most a normal map with small land mass. But more usually it was what GoTM calls a "special", that is one with human input. I also tinkered with rules.txt (I expect most of us have played with a slower science rate or altered building prices?), but I think that is impractical for GotM.

    If there were more "special" maps that would appeal, and the one preference I have is to prefer not to have the map revealed, so exploration is a factor. But again exceptions are OK. In fact just thinking back now, prompted by the earlier posts and writing this, it was a hidden special map that brought me in - I randomly selected GotM 100 from the archive one idle day late last year, just to see what a GotM was like, started it and got drawn in.
     
  20. prettytease

    prettytease Chieftain

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    I agree with Magic gorter's sentiments that the different playing styles are a great part of the GOTM. WildPony's proposal would turn the GOTM into a comparisson of players' ability to play perfectionist.
     

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