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Guide to 500k+ scores through Huge map domination on Immortal difficulty

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by VirusMonster, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    nice post, oyzar... thank you for your corrections... I'll look up what you said about prerequisite bonus arithmetic and update the article soon... proofreading & editing this article took me forever, so I really appreciate your feedback :)
     
  2. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    I rearranged the :commerce: to :science: conversion ratio discussion to include a (+12%) spy maintenance modifier. I also changed the cottage +3 commerce to village +3 commerce. At that point in the game, this excess citizen will most likely work one of the weaker tiles, since other tiles will be already occupied through other citiziens, thus no riverside villlage.

    Then, I run out of character length in the 3rd post of the article :)

    I might rearrange the 3rd post to include:

    • Small empires benefit more from Bureaucracy effect to higher :commerce: to :science: conversion ratios (your 2.262 ratio is very realistic I think, so on small maps, manual research>>EE)
    • Bureaucracy is not the best large&huge map size civic, since to dominate a larger map size, you'll need more than a single production center.
    • Along with the previous point, Vassalage might be the better civic than Bureaucracy in large&huge maps and if empire land size is among the largest
    • On a large&huge map, if you are stuck with a relatively small empire, manual research is still makes more sense than EE
    • EE has more luck component than manual research, thus increase your espionage power rating for less variance in EE results. Either go pure EE or go pure Manual Research.
    • Vassalage+Organized synergy helps to cut down total expenses by 6-10%. Assuming early game 1:1 :gold: to :commerce: conversion rate, an organized leader is better off with Vassalage and EE.
    • After Nationhood, stick with Nationhood for the +25% :espionage bonus and drafting. Also switch to almost pure EE at this point.
    • After Nationhood, focus research Constitution as soon as possible to make the EE shine and to be able to assign 3 spies per city with Courthouses and Jails.
    • Holy cities are very important for EE, ie focus warmongering to capture holy cities. Holy city = 2.95 :commerce: to :science: ratio, highest in the game
    • Early game infiltration missions are imba, because it gives immense espionage power superiority that cuts your espionage costs and reduces spy detection chances. Don't settle, don't build the ScotlandYard, infiltrate instead! :)
     
  3. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    Oyzar, thank you again for your feedback. The 1.2 prerequisite modifier does make the ManualResearch significantly better against EE. Average case of EE still outperforms ManualResearch, but as you pointed out, in a hybrid EE, the variance in the mission success rates can be risky. A (mainly) pure EE then becomes much more preferable than a hybrid EE to reduce spy detection chances even further.

    I have updated the article to include considerations to the poinst you raised. Check the new table of contents here:

    • technology cost explained
    • espionage base cost of technology stealing explained
    • city revolt base cost explained
    • espionage mission cost modifiers explained
    • espionage point spending modifier explained
    • arithmetic of the espionage mission cost modifiers explained
    • religious modifier arithmetic explained
    • spy detection analysis with links to game mechanic articles
    • mission success rate analysis with links to game mechanic articles
    • tips for low spy casualties
    • spy production costs for the average Medieval scenario
    • spy maintenance costs for the average Medieval scenario
    • total mission overhead
    • luck factor in EE
    • :commerce: to :science: conversion rates for EE and Manual Research
    • Bureaucracy effect to EE and Manual Research compared
    • effect of larger map sizes on Bureaucracy economy
    • Vassalage+Organized+EE synergy
    • summary comparison of conversion rates between EE and Manual Research
    • most effective way for generating :espionage:
    • pure EE vs. hybrid EE

    edit: spread culture mission effect to mission cost modifier added. Each spread culture mission adds +5% to city culture. 5 consecutive missions reduce the mission cost roughly by %5*0.5*5=12.5% Spread culture missions make the EE even stronger, since they are very cheap, and their effect carries over to future missions at no cost.
     
  4. ck07

    ck07 Mud Mover

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    I began with the assumption that if I caused a revolt all the defending units would take 50% damage, just as they do in 'normal' revolts. But when I did it they took no damage.

    Have I missed something?
     
  5. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    Spy revolt nullyfies city defenses for 1 turn. Say city had walls(+50%) or cultural defense(+60%). When you use the spy for a city revolt mission (base cost 500 :espionage: points), these defense bonuses don't apply to the defenders. Without these defenses, it becomes much easier to capture the city.

    Units take no damage from the city revolt mission, but their ability to use the city cultural or walls defense goes away for 1 turn.

    edit: I updated the section on "capturing cities with minimal losses" to include what city revolt missions do.
     
  6. killercane

    killercane Chieftain

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    I think I will try to play some of these. What were your experiences with Darius? I dont know if someone else asked but why not continue on to Biology and milk a bit before victory?
     
  7. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    I am currently trying a HOF Deity game (small size, continents map) with Darius. I'll post a writeup if I succeed winning :) There is a thread I recently created where I asked for feedback before the game is over.

    Could I have milked this game with Biology? hmm tough question... I might test it out and report how much higher, if any, I could get with Biology. I was losing 1-2k score per turn at end game, so I thought waiting for Biology 5-6 more turns would only reduced by score below 500k, but again, I could have gotten Biology much earlier. My goal was crossing 500k, not particularly milking.

    I also tried to be honest with my suboptimal play in this game. For example:
    • late first GP and consequently late academy
    • had too many GPs waiting, doing nothing. when game ended I had 2 extra GPs and was in the middle of a Golden Age
    • did not switch to Mercantilism for no reason
    • missed to build the Great Library, because I traded Aesthetics with the Marble trading AI before my chops were over, etc...)
    • could not declare war on Peter on time, lost 10-15 turns because his vassal agreed to one of my demands (probably a gold demand)

    I could have probably scored a bit higher, 550k? 600k? :) 600K would be my future goal if I ever attempt again... I want to give other leaders a chance before I try Caesar again.
     
  8. killercane

    killercane Chieftain

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    Well your article certainly points out some interesting and enlightening things. I am playing Darius, and find him quite effective at ******ing the first 8 or 10 AI. I have 17 cities at 500 BC, just revolted to CS, and am running at about 10 turns to acquire paper if the gold holds up. Still no courthouses as we are not at 0 gold flow yet. Currency is really a key tech, and allows for 100% research for quite some time selling to the ******ed AIs.
     
  9. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    17 cities at 500BC? :) what difficulty and expansion pack are you playing? and what mapsize? I only had 10 cities at 500BC in this game.

    edit: techs researched at 500BC in my game were CoL, Literature, Calendar, Currency, and Monarchy. I did not switch to Caste System, because I wanted to utilize building poprushing in my recently developing cities. What techs did you have at 500BC?

    2ndedit: I agree getting Currency early and trading for AI gold reserves is very important. I remember doing something along the same lines in this game as well.
     
  10. killercane

    killercane Chieftain

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    Those +CS. Immortal of course. I didnt super expand until after alphabet and math. BTS AI is pretty terrible in the early going.
     
  11. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    What is CS? civil service or caste system , can you be more exact with your terminology?

    edit: your game sounds like you'll beat my 500k score :) tell me more about it :) are you sure it is 500BC and not 500AD? What are the map size and map type? Did you not have trouble conquering with Immortals? and I am curious how you got that many cities even though you said you started conquering later than I did.
     
  12. killercane

    killercane Chieftain

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    Civil Service. Yes, 500 BC on huge pangea. Immortals are great :); the key is to never let the AI hook up metal. Send the first 8 to capture workers and pillage everything on the surrounding 8 or 9 civs. I produced 2 warriors first to capture workers, you have to get to them in the first 40 turns or so or they will cover the workers with archers. Its slow going but effective. Im sure a better player than I can score 750K at least once the optimal strategy is figured out.

    Theoretically, you only need about 9 civs' land for domination. So if you leave the other 8 alone, they should be able to fund your research to biology via trade. I might try to figure out if the corporations are worth the research. Certainly from a score standpoint, BTS is a far different creature than previous incarnations of Civ 4.

    Here are some autosaves, Im not much for writeups. Your writeup is quite excellent and inspirational, I know I couldnt compare to that.
     

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  13. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    Dude, I am sure you'll pass my score this game :) I have looked up at the 1000BC save, we seem to have same number of cities at 1000BC. I had 10, you had 9, but you have alphabet, mathematics, construction, and priesthood, whereas I only had Alphabet at that time. Your 1AD score is 60k more than 1AD score of this game.

    Your starting position is insane :) 4 gold hills and 4 foodplains+cow :) Persians get the +2 health UB, so chopping the forests shouldn't be a problem. You got the first GreatScientist much earlier than I did (1310BC vs. 510BC), so the early academy helped big time with classical era research.

    True, domination land requirement is 51% with 17 AIs, so beating 9 of them should be enough. Playing Low Sea levels will also give you more land at the end to milk with Biology.

    Thank you for the saves and the compliment :) I hope my writeup would be a good reference people trying to cross the 500k barrier :) I am glad you liked it and hope you pass 600k in your Darius game. Too bad I must deliver my world champion title to you pretty soon :)

    edit: I looked at your 1AD save further. Your research at equilibrium (30%) is 134 :science: My equilibrium research rate at 1AD was 225 :science:, but again you are ahead with so many techs and cities :) once your cities grow to the happy cap, your empire will be very strong. One downside I see is that you control no wonders at this point, but you are about to capture 4 of them at Rome. I had the Pyramids, Shwedagon Paya, and the Parthenon as key wonders in my game, but you'll still do fine without them. You have the Jewish holy city; I strongly suggest you switch to pure EE :) Go Vassalage+EE. You should check out the :commerce: to :science: conversion rates comparison section in my EE vs. Manual Research article, it might convince you further. Good luck :)
     
  14. killercane

    killercane Chieftain

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    Well I hate to hijack your thread but I finished with 704,550. Darn AI declared on me at the end with his 3 vassals so I had to end it. Went from 730k to 692k in that turn :( and it even registered on the final score graph. Luckily I was at 50.1%-50.3% for a long time and only had to take a couple of cities; the score was going up at 4K and 5K a turn so there is no telling what it would get to before bottoming out.

    I think 900k is easily possible, and perhaps even a cool million. I reached Biology in the 800 or 900 range. I lost 7 turns in anarchy post medicine when a spy popped rather than a scientist. Almost all my GPs were for golden ages outside of Sids Sushi Merchant and Academy.

    I disagree about espionage. Normally it is very good in say a multiplayer environment, but here getting to cavalry or curassiers quickly is essential, as is getting to Biology and Medicine. Immortal AI just doesnt research as fast on marathon as you need them to so you have to do most of it yourself with gold from them. Fast cavalry means you dont have to whip as much as you did in your game. No fooling with slow moving units means your war tech milestones are immortals->cats->maces->curassiers->cavalry.

    On Sushi company, it seems much better than Cereal Mills. First it comes much earlier, and second you seem to have many more resources for it. In this I had 50+ resources which gave each city 13 food. For little filler cities and island cities with only seafood the effect is massive with a granary. The only problem is it costs so darn much. Next time a Wall Street and earlier banks will be needed as expenses became pretty tremendous. Timbuktu the corporation headquarters was something like 40 maintenance per turn AFTER court and organized bonus! Probably a golden age at the end to switch to environmentalism for the last push (cant earlier as the +25% corporate costs will kill you) is best.

    So to sum it up: Darius, harass 9 or 10 AI, steal workers as much as possible, expand at a fast and steady rate and research at the maximum (use wealth if you need to). Get to cavalry and finish off everyone.
     
  15. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    Interesting. What map did you play? and what date did you finish?

    Wouldn't an earlier finish date score higher? or is the population boom from bio/sushi just too large.
     
  16. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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  17. killercane

    killercane Chieftain

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    Just pangea. It would be nice to look at other things such as global highlands or some other map to see if you can get a significantly larger domination limit.

    I dont see how winning earlier would help. Pop is your biggest boost, and the score was still going up significantly at the end here, 1155 AD. In just post biology phase it went up 200k IIRC.

    Here is a screenshot from 975 AD and hitting 600k; I dont know what the per turn score increase is but it was pretty significant, a few thousand at least.
     

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  18. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    I believe the domination limit increases if you reduce the number of opponents on the map, but reducing the number of opponent AIs could make a different game, with different diplomacy.

    edit: tested a pangea huge map with 10 AI opponents. The land limit became 56%, 5% increase compared to 17AI opponents.
     
  19. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    Hmm. 17 AI gives you a few more free cities, and workers than only 10 AI, but isn't that much larger drain on your focus? I suppose it adds more resources to the map. More food might look good, but I think it raises the bar on population. A low food map scores better for the same population. But then the corporations are stronger with more food.

    I'd think you'd want to beat them all down and then kill em all on the last turn. Would that give you a conquest? or Dom? Doesn't matter if you're going for score I guess.

    couple quick questions: How much score penalty does immortal get compared to diety?

    Is there a penalty for playing large instead of huge? or is huge just the best way to get a massive population?
     
  20. killercane

    killercane Chieftain

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    Dunno the ins and outs of maps; Im thinking currently Terra will yield a nice score.

    More land and more pop makes huge better than large. I dont know the score penalty for deity compared to Immortal, but the tradeoff there is you would need many more troops and infrastructure vs. AIs being able to help a bit more techwise.
     

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