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Histograpgh attempt - Close but no cigar

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Hall of Fame Discussion' started by Scratcher, Apr 26, 2020.

  1. Scratcher

    Scratcher Emperor

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    Milking a game is really not my play style. In fact, in nearly 2 decades of playing Civ3 I have only ever attempted one milked game, on a standard map size, for my HOF ranking. With this lockdown I decided to attempt a huge map, Emperor level and after 2 months of playing I have fallen short of the number 10 position by about 500 points.

    At the mid-point of the game I was so confident that my score was going to make the table, but then the scoring decay set in, and the score per turn tailed off until the end of the game. It led me to investigate how the scoring system works and now I understand the mechanics of the scoring system, and at least I have a good set of score data through this game to be able to determine early enough if my next attempt is worth continuing.

    Now, before I grit my teeth and spend the next 2 months grinding my way through another histograph game, I would appreciate some feedback on the advised tactics for such a game.

    I don't have any utilities (God, how I really miss CivAssist) so I just randomly started a few maps until I had a river plus cow start - it is not possible for me to determine if a map is good for number of domination tiles. So here comes the questions:

    Map type - Obviously I went for Pangaea 60% water, and I selected climate normal, temp warm, age 4 billion. What settings would do you recommend and why?

    Civ - I took the Russians. Using scouts to pop huts I could get to Republic quickly and get out of AA. Beeline to Military Tradition and use the Cossack to clear the map. I hit the domination mark of 65% around 1300AD and had my map fully developed hitting max score per turn at 1490AD - which now I find was too late.
    So which Civ to choose and why?
    And any recommendations on the AI civs?

    Government - I went straight for Republic - was at war constantly through the game, managed war weariness by usual tactics - so this was not really a problem. But I never changed from Republic. In a milked game is Republic the recommend government throughout - or a later switch to Democracy - or Communism? Did I miss a trick here?

    Research - I kept research spending high up until I had Cossacks, only then reducing spending and increasing the lux slider to 30% for happy faces. Should I have spent more money in the early game on maximising happy citizens?

    Wonders - I didn't get a SGL so there was no early wonder rush. I built the Pyramids as early as possible (with my second town), but missed out on the Temple of Artemis - I later captured this but I know getting this wonder earlier is necessary.
    Any other wonders I should consider, specifically for a milk run?
    What about Longevity? Late in the game a lot of my cities were always expanding and then shrinking due to the 2 pop gain. Is this wonder really any benefit or just a pain in the arse for micro management?

    Any other tips?

    Scratcher
     
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  2. Scratcher

    Scratcher Emperor

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    A few more questions....

    To keep or raze? I pretty much razed all captured cities to resettle with my own settlers. This removed the risk of cultural flips, and gave me a large work force of slave labour. Was this advisable?

    When is the best time to trigger the GA? With Cossacks I had a mid to late MA GA - but really, at this point I had the AI near to me beaten down and it was now just crank out Cossacks and clean the map. Is an earlier GA advisable for a Milked game?

    Scratcher
     
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  3. ignas

    ignas kunigaikstis

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    Hi Scratcher,

    Good to see people still playing. I also have 2 games at the moment running: Sid Tiny 20K and Chieftain Tiny 100K.

    Game score mailny consists of the score received from the land and happy population. The key to getting highest score is getting to the domination limit and maxing happy population ASAP. The bigger the world - with more points you end up with in the end, so you might want a map with pretty decent domination limit. I use MapStat for game statistics and MapFinder to generate the maps.

    Map: archieplago maps have the highest domination limit. Also, wet warm 5 billion year world to have more food (less hills, mountains, tundra)

    Civ: definitely an Agricultural one for more food. Industrious is also good to develop land faster, so many people choose the Mayans for histographic attempts.

    Governement: Republic, not worth switching to other governments as you lose production/food when in Anarchy.

    Wonders: early Pyramids would have an enormous impact on your expansion, so you might consider looking for a game with an early SGL. ToA might help to get to domination limit faster, you might want to conquer it if built by a civ nearby. IMO Longevity is irrelevant as comes too late, the amount of the points will be decided by how fast you can reach the domination limit and then irrigate/railroad everything.

    My histographic game plan would be something like this: 1. Peaceful expansion phase (settlers/workers until no room to expand); 2. Expansion by sword until domination limit is reached and all 8 luxuries under control (conquering other civs with knights, using Golden Age and iron connect/disconnect trick to get to good numbers quickly); 3. Maximising happy population (researching to SP and Replaceable Parts for railroads and fast workers, building settlers/workers, settling on fertile land, irrigating/railroading everything, building marketplaces).

    Hope that helps and happy playing.
     
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  4. ignas

    ignas kunigaikstis

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    I like keeping the AI cities. You can always conquer it back after it flips.

    I also like having Golden Age at the end of the peaceful expansion phase so the increase in the commerce/production helps with unit upgrade/production. This usually happens with me having around 10-15 towns and near Chivalry (if the plan is to conquer with knights) on the standard map.

    You might want to check and analyze the intermediate game saves of the top histographic games in the table.
     
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  5. Takeo

    Takeo Shogun

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    Do you have a new computer and the older utilities won't work?

    Most, but not all, of the top scoring games usually go with Archipelago. An Archipelago will give a lot more scoring potential, with maybe around 500 more domination tiles, but you will have to ferry around workers, settlers and your combat troops and any luxury trades have to wait for the AI to build a harbor. A Pangaea allows quicker conquest to help with the score and a possible trades for a luxuries(before you're ready for conquest) that will also help keep people happy. Go with 5 billion on the age.

    Expansionist will help in Ancient Age but then gives no benefit the rest of the game. Scientific is a good choice for the cheap libraries and 3 free techs, but you could make your opponents Scientific and get the free techs from them. One of your the traits should always be Agricultural or Industrious, then maybe add whatever your favorite trait is.

    A lot of the top scoring games have conquered the world by 1000AD and some are much earlier than that. So speed in conquest/domination phase is a must.

    I'm usually going to beeline to Republic and stay there. A possible 9 turns of anarchy later in the game, during the milking phase, is NOT attractive to me.

    Some players spend a lot of gold on luxuries to keep their people happy early on and 'acquire' tech from the AI. Others will buy/research their way to Hospitals and Replaceable Parts as quickly as possible and usually at that point they will have access to all 8 luxuries and at that point worry about keeping all happy. Balancing between these two is the trick.

    Pyramids for growth.
    Hanging Gardens, JS Bachs, Cure Cancer all will help with happiness and thus score.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
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  6. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    60% archipelago gives the most amount of tiles, and the number of tiles under your control is what counts towards your score. Wet, warm, 5 billion. 5 billion for fewer mountains, since hills have more food for more citizens. Wet and warm minimizes desert tiles, and increases jungle and marsh tiles. Jungle and marsh tiles once cleared become grassland tiles, which increases the number of possible citizens. The number of happy or content citizens is another factor that increases your score.

    Agricultural enables more citizens. Since the number of citizens increases score, agricultural beats out any other trait in terms of importance. Industrious makes it so that your city's tiles get irrigated more quickly (or mined when you need mining for military expansion). Thus, the Maya make for the best choice for histographic games.

    I've usually preferred scientific AIs for their free techs to help the tech pace move faster.

    Republic. Commerce helps with research, and I think a little happiness due to less corruption. I don't think a second anarchy is worth it for Democracy.

    Maybe. That's something to consider. But, you do want to get to hospitals and replaceable parts as fast as you can usually.

    My recollection is that there's an old thread by SirPleb (unless it was Moonsinger) where he analyzed the use of Longevity in histographic games and found it actually decreased score given enough time, because of the extra starvation incurred because of it.

    Keeping cities and genociding an empire as soon as possible gives you more happy or content cities than razing and replacing. And the more content and happy citizen you have earlier, the higher your score will be. So, capture and keep in most cases. That said, you'll need to reposition some cities since the AI isn't going to put those cities in spots maximized for histographic score. As a general rule of thumb, cities jammed into coastal spots as much as possible work as best. Like jammed all the way into corners. Why? Cities jammed into a coastal spot have more sea squares. And sea squares do NOT count towards your domination limit. Thus, you can have more happy or content citizens for fewer tiles taken away from the domination limit with more cities jammed into the coast.

    Probably as soon as you become a Republic for faster military expansion. Though, Drazek I think didn't trigger his in his 93k game until the industrial era. Also, when playing as the Maya, taking the despotic GA via The Pyramids I would guess better than waiting, since The Pyramids gives you more production earlier and faster growth.
     
  7. jarred!

    jarred! Prince

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    @Spoonwood, I remember reading a thread from a decade ago where you and @killercane discussed building the pyramids in a histo game (albeit Deity/Sid instead of Emperor).... IIRC you were of the opinion that capturing was better than building (probably hoping it was built by a neighbor so you could get the benefit as early as possible, and you had religious civ(s) in your Sid games so no try for an early SGL via CB either), and used your GA for military production. Would you build them if you were to try another Sid game?
     
  8. Scratcher

    Scratcher Emperor

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    Thank you, some very good replies and lots of things to change for my next attempt. I appreciate your time.

    I was really surprised about the 60% archipelago maps being better - I just assumed that this map type would take longer to conquer the 65% territory and therefore would give a lower total score.

    I think I will play a few smaller maps for fun before my next attempt.

    Again thanks,

    Scratcher
     
  9. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    I don't think that I would. The AI expands fast on Sid, and I'd rather have more cities earlier than the Pyramids I think. There does exist that point about Golden Age production also.
     
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