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High Score - 15M+ : Pre-game Discussion

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by WastinTime, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Based on 'the most important post' above, I realized that I don't need 300 cities and every single seafood super early (like pre-T300). So I don't need to go crazy with settlers like I was planning to do after Kremlin. Then it hit me...

    2nd most important post...

    :devil: No Kremlin before Sushi
    In my space race, I regret skipping Kremlin. I feel like the savings that StateProperty gives plus the massive cash from kremlin whips makes up the extra beakers you need to research Railroad manually (because you use liberalism on Communism.)
    But score games are different. I've already said how the GS bulbs are the critical path. So, to speed them up, I'd want Merc, not StateProp.
    Space doesn't have GS bulbs in the critical path because Mining Inc does not require Biology.
    Then the final nail in the coffin: Medicine.
    If I do Kremlin (I have to do Liberalism->Communism). That means not only are GS bulbs for Biology several turns late, but I have to manually research Medicine...for possibly 10 turns!
    If I skip Kremlin, I can get Medicine free. Completing Liberalism only 1 turn after the final GS is born.
    This is what I did in my last score game. IIRC, I used massive beaker overflow on Liberalism to get Communism in 3 turns, Kremlin 1t.

    I know, this changes almost everything I've been planning so far, but I'm locked in now. No more debating this for me. I promise :mischief:
     
  2. Macksideshow

    Macksideshow Prince

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    Thanks. I didn't consider using both, that's clever. And I get now that islands = more cities not more land.
     
  3. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Was away for about a week and then was playing the SGotM this past week. Let's make some progress.
     
  4. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Opponents
    What are the best 17 opponents for Hi score?

    All of the Protective leaders are out.

    The usual suspects
    I've used this list, give or take, for years. They're mostly the 'creampuffs', but now that I war so hard so early it doesn't really matter if my opponents prefer war. In fact, I find it easier to manage -diplo when you mix the warmongers and creampuffs.

    Mansa (no-brainer)
    De Gaulle (eveyrone hates hime and he's quick to talk cease fire)
    Darius (economically good AI so one can trade gold from him and he techs quite acceptable)
    Elizabeth (very good techer, builds few units, also builds gold)
    Frederick
    Hatty
    (CRE may not be ideal but it's easy to get her to friendly, she builds only few units and she spreads religion well)
    Lincoln
    Pericles
    (good techer, easy to trade with, not ideal because of CRE)
    Peter (best teching bad-AI, also easy to trade with)
    Roosevelt (again very weak, but IND = early henge/gw)
    Victoria (good techer, builds Gold, IMP
    Washington (weak, not perfect but ok)
    Joao : IMP, I like his usual tech choices.
    Suleiman
    Justinian
    Willem
    (good tech trader)
    Gandhi (con: quick to anger from -2 diplo for each DoW on friend, pro: the common hate-target for all bad-AIs, also has the lowest unit-build-rate and one doesn't need to fear negative diplo from denying his demands)
    Huayna

    That's 18 above, but we're probably playing Suleiman leaving 17.
    Done!
    Not so fast.

    Also Considering:
    Zara
    Alex
    Asoka
    (high wonder-build-rate namely Oracle)
    Isabella - oracle threat
    Brennus (the common hate-target for all good civs because of his ultra-low peaceweight, this allows to trade with the other bad AIs without fearing negative diplo from worst enemy)
    Cyrus: I used to love him in Vanilla Civ. Why not him?
    Sury
    Mehmed
    Ramesses
    - IND
    Augustus - IND
    Bismarck - IND
    Hammurabi - Con: bowmen (not good for Incans, but not a problem for mounted)

    Wow! 12 more options.
    So what would be a good criteria for score games?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
  5. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    :devil: I have a Top Secret new way to pick my leaders from the 29 acceptable options in the previous post (out of 52 total leaders. I had to look that up. 52 seems like a lot).

    Mansa is a given.

    Challenge: Who can figure out why this group of 16 was chosen to join Mansa for a High score game?

    Bismarck
    *Boudica
    *Brennus
    *Cyrus
    DeGaulle (yay)
    *Isabella
    *Joao
    *Mehmed
    *Napolean
    *Pericles
    Shaka
    *Suleiman
    *Washington
    *Willem
    *Peter
    *Hammurabi

    Bonus question: Why do some of the leaders have * ?

    The answer (and other possible opponent substitutions) here.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  6. Mitchum

    Mitchum Deity

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    I know the answer about the *.

    It's because you held the Shift key and pressed 8 before typing the leader's name.
     
  7. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Wrong. I did copy/paste :p
     
  8. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Warlord

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    I see a whole lotta Favorite Tile Improvement: Farm (100%, actually). Starred leaders also enjoy windmills. Also, a very high incidence of expansive trait. Looks like these AIs are overall likely to grow large cities for you to acquire during the final conquest.
     
  9. 2popbulb

    2popbulb Chieftain

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    Any chance we'll see some of this on YT? Things you do in this game is simply outrageous. I would like to see how you did it.
     
  10. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    YT isn't really my thing. I'd need some coaching to attempt that.

    Correct! They are all the 'farmers'. Windmills are probably too late in the game to matter, but yea, that's the *.

    The final conquest cities are probably not too important since I have to kill all the original opponents and leave only an AI colony. That AI will likely NOT be a farmer...although I could make sure it is.
    My idea was simply to have as many free farms as possible since that's about the only improvement I'll use.

    edit:
    Some opponents don't prefer farms, but they also don't prefer cottages. They're neutral on that subject, so they could make for good substitutions in the farmer list. The more usable ones are:
    Justinian
    Hatty
    Roosevelt
    Sury
    Alex
    Asoka
    Zara
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  11. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    I'm playing a tiny test game (not for score) with Sully to see how IMP feels.
    I have 4 cities, about 8 population at T100. 6 workers captured. I've got about 3 1/2 granaries, so the cities are ready to put out a small army (axes + chariots).
    I can imagine capturing 2 AI (+8 cities) by T150 and the 4 core cities should all be able to whip one more settler by then.
    16 cities by T150.

    My tech is lagging a bit cus I played with only 1 gold and didn't get any more commerce tiles to settle nearby.
    I also wasn't able to get another +happy resource yet--which hasn't hurt me the 1st 100 turns, but now I could use a couple.

    update: captured 1st city T117 (it's garbage and I'll give it away soon), but it does have forests, I'll try for Oracle there.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  12. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    The test game showed I can probably form a nice empire in the 1st 150 turns with the help of IMP. I'm not sure how it compares to the best Incan ones I've had in the past. It certainly has the advantage of having more cities settled in carefully selected spots. I didn't study it close enough to know if the empire is as well developed. The Incans can get a lot of free granaries, free population, and improvements. The terrace pops borders so fast it could make a difference when trying to get that critical first failgold from Oracle.

    I abandoned the game, and it has reminded me how I need to make an effort to get marble. Most importantly, I was reminded that one gold is not enough. If I don't have at least 3 gold/gems in the immediate area, forget it. There's a certain amt of research that has to be done before failgold/wonderbread can start.
    I think IMP could really shine here. With the Incans, I often have golds or even marble right next to me, but I don't get it working for me because I never build settlers. Sometimes have 3+ gold in the BFC, but rarely work them all. IMP can build suburbs close the capital to share all those awesome tiles mapfinder got for our start area. Keep the gold online more often. I might be able to work some magic with a 5-gold/gem start. Gems are probably better for score games.
     
  13. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    I would tend to think that Joao is superior to Suleiman for this kind of game. The benefits of PHI are limited here because you'll get 10+ GPs anyway & they're twice as expensive after the 10th one. OTOH, EXP allows every new city to start building units extremely quickly. With the help of gold / huts, you can get a granary up extremely early in your high food capital and get to 5-6 cities in no time via 2pop whipping settlers. I'm pretty confident that the huge early benefits of EXP outweigh the extra one or two GPs you'll get from PHI.

    Edit - or even Pacal, who isn't IMP but has the advantage of being FIN. Not sure how to weigh FIN against IMP as both have huge advantages here.
     
  14. Mitchum

    Mitchum Deity

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    WT, why don't you open up your latest Space Colony attempt and compare your empires circa T150? Also, don't under-estimate the fact that with the Incas, you get city-capture gold to make up for not working the gold resource and you're often conquering capital cities which are better than your average city.
     
  15. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    You're correct that EXP has the early benefit of the quick granary. However, I'm not sure you're considering bigger picture--which is earliest possible sushi and not long after, mining Inc is needed too. I don't think you're giving enough weight to the power of PHI. It's not that PHI gets you more GP beyond 10. It's that you get each GP faster, and it gets you the GE for mining at 100% odds. I'd like to hear a plan for how a non-PHI leader can manage that and not delay the GS's needed for quick sushi.

    5 turn delay = -400,000 score.

    You still may be right. The first goal is jump-starting the wonderbread economy. If Suleiman is just too slow to get Oracle whip/chopped in 8-10 cities, then Joao could be the solution. But if either leader can get the economy jump started by T150, then I'd rather have a trait that helps me get thru turns 150-250.
    I'll do that once I get a 'real' attempt. This first test game was on a tiny size map. That makes tech cheaper, but distance costs go way up, and there are far less golds/gems clusters. Not a good comparison. I'd like to get the Oracle completed.
     
  16. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    Hmm. Assuming you want to bulb at least 1*Edu+1*PP+1*Chem+2*SM+3*Biology, 10 GPs by ~T260 is the very minimum (8 bulbs , Mining GE & 2 GAges, assuming you get the GPs from Music&Economics). The "early" bulbs (Edu, PP) come from cheap GPs so they shouldn't be a bottleneck, and getting 10GPs by T260 doesn't look too hard even without PHI if you can grow your GP farms early enough.

    That being said, there's two things I'd consider when weighing EXP vs PHI
    • First, how many turns faster will your GP farms be setup with EXP, i.e. how much more GPs can you get with PHI instead of EXP by T260. It seems to me like PHI is a "comfortable" trait to play with, as it allows you to set-up GP production later and still produce a lot of GPs.
    • Once you've got a rough estimate of the GP advantage granted by PHI, you have to weigh it to an earlier "jump-start" of WBE -- what if EXP allows you to complete the Oracle in 5 more cities? That's ~2000 early gold that you won't get with PHI. And 1:gold: @T160 is worth much more than 1:gold: @T250..
    It looks to me as though with EXP you'd have everything set-up quicker (mostly WBE) and get a bigger snowball effect, which would make it better than PHI in many aspects.
     
  17. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    The Econ GM has to go for sushi corp.
    I'd like to think I can use GP #1 for the GoldenAge and then in those 24 turns, get to Nationalism and build Taj for the 2nd GAge.
    Alternatively, using Music to kick off GA #1 could be a good way to save 1 GP. Then only need 9 instead of 10. Just not sure I can get Music fast enough.
     
  18. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Leader

    Desirable traits for score: PHI, EXP, CRE, IND, IMP
    Other nice-to-haves:
    - Starts with warrior (for worker capture) but you could build a warrior in 6-10 turns and be ok.
    - Starts with good techs: Mining (good for getting free BW), Agri, Wheel. OK tech: fishing. (Kinda bad start techs: Myst, Hunting--means scout, no warrior)
    - useful UU or UB. Immortals, War Chariots, Quechua, musketeer.

    It seems to me that traits are going to affect score the most, and I can't worry too much about the 'nice-to-haves'
    My thoughts on the various traits are scattered throughout this thread so far.

    IND trait, meh
    It gives nice failgold for the wonderbread economy and makes the wonders I need to own easier, but I just need to chop more aggressively to make up for this.
    cheap Forges, meh. For space, yes, but not hi score--They have -1 health.
    I can get by without IND.

    CRE trait (Pericles, Sury)
    The whole core of the game is pretty much BC years, and the first 200 turns does not have caste/artists for borders.
    Incan Terrace usually does the job of popping borders. CRE works even better. Especially in seafood islands. It can take 40 turns to whip a Terrace and pop borders.
    Land-based cities need borders to be able to chop forests and get 2nd ring resources.
    I'm leaning away from CRE trait because all the seafood collected just before sushi can be netted using artists or build culture.
    CRE is really nice to have, but not a very direct effect on score other than possibly getting to sushi faster.
    I just have to rely on the AI spreading religion (or auto-spread) for borders and/or capture Stonehenge.

    EXP trait (Sury, Peter)
    shot down (see link). But it still has value in the early game--getting to sushi fast.

    PHI trait (Peter, Pericles, Suleiman)
    I'm pretty sure PHI is the must-have trait to match/beat the Inca advantages.
    My plan is fastest possible sushi. 8 GS bulbs and an Engineer.
    I had talked myself out of PHI and then back.

    IMP trait
    Not at all what I first thought is good for score games. After studying the other traits, I realized that none of the traits above really help with late-game, post-sushi growth. i.e. the last 200 turns. I thought EXP would, but I worked around the +2 health and fast granaries. It's all about what can get me quick sushi. IMP can be a way to expand more peacefully in the early game as a way to keep up with the Inca rush starts.
    My BC space game was played on Large. Score has to be on Huge. That means there will be space to expand. Inca rush is harder with the distance.
    Then I realized the real reason IMP is good for score. You get to place more (if not all) of your cities. That tight placement could mean an extra 10 or 20 cities in the final score.
    Being able to place cities also means you are less likely to need the CRE border pop.

    Conclusion
    Peter
    was my first thought until I lowered the value of EXP.
    Joao would be the IMP, EXP choice. There are still good things about EXP.
    Suleiman became the best option once I realized how much I'd like to work with IMP. It would be hard to talk me out of PHI after my most recent analysis (above.)
    He also starts with a warrior. Wheel and Agri are nice techs.
     
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  19. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    This whole high-score game is about rolling a huge snowball. EXP is a "snowball trait", whereas in this case, PHI isn't. Playing with Joao instead of Sulei will result in a harder / more painful game because of the extra planning, but I still think it will prove superior. Even CRE might be superior to PHI if you can pop borders many turns sooner in your GP farms (and thus grow a couple of extra pop before golden age).

    Starting techs are almost a non-factor as huts will compensate one way or another imo.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  20. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    I appreciate you continuing to try to convince me about EXP. I see ways around EXP's fast granaries.
    Without EXP, All I have to do is chop 1 forest (and it can even be pre-math 60h), then 1 whip. I should be able to make it so pretty much all cities (pre-sushi) will have a forest. (I won't be going after all the islands yet)
    Both cities grow at the same speed. I'm just out one forest.

    You could argue that EXP (with 90h post Math) could chop a granary and not whip. That saves only 33:food: I'm not blown away by that amount.

    PHI on the other hand, may not have snowball qualities, but it can have a huge, lump-sum savings by cutting off 5-10 turns. Any extra pop you might get from EXP, PHI can make up for that by starting the GAge later. A later, shorter time in caste also means there is time to capture a couple monster AI capitals and get them out of revolt. Fewer caste turns also means more slavery turns.

    I do see your point tho. One extra population almost makes up the difference. Still not sure...
     

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