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[C3C] how long does it take to complete a game

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by robbus, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    For the last couple of years I've almost exclusively only played the GOTMs, so that would be 8 games in 2019, 2 this year, currently working on my third. An average GOTM takes around 30 hours for me, a bit less if it's a quick'n'dirty Domination game, a lot longer, if it's a time consuming 100K or Space Race. These usually take around 60 hours.
    But the GOTM games are all very interesting at the moment: several different people are setting up games these days, so we get quite a variety of different maps, special "challenges" and "surprises" each game! It's just a pity that so few people are still competing. The games and the effort it took to design them would deserve more participants.

    As to Civ3 and Civ4: I didn't really like Civ4 when it came out. Did not really feel like Civ, especially the way "artillery" worked in Civ4 seemed like a real step backwards to me. So after playing 2-3 games in 2005 and being greatly disappointed, I uninstalled it again and went back to Civ3.
    But the two expansions really improved it, and when I revisited it in 2011 (because a few friends wanted to play multi-player and they didn't like Civ3) it was "ok". But I still like Civ3 better.

    The other sequels are easily summed up:
    • I was immediately hooked when Civ1 came out in 1992! A milestone in the history of gaming... In fact, Civ1 was the reason I bought my first IBM-PC (up to that I had still been using my C64), and it delayed my degree by at least a semester...:mischief:
    • Civ2 was even better. It did only minor changes to the rules (so I could play it right out-of-the-box), but it improved everything. Better graphics, wonder movies, advisor movies, more of everything. It was just great.
    • I first played Civ3 on my young brother-in-law's PC, and the first experience was a bit, ahem, "what the heck?" :confused:
      I had built a couple of catapults (as I was used to from Civ1 & Civ2) and sent them out to conquer my neighbor, but when I tried to attack the enemy city with them, nothing happened... A bit confused I thought to myself "perhaps they need full movement, in order to attack" and hit next turn. Imagine my surprise, when interturn a warrior came out of the city and stole my catapults!! :eek:
      So I went back to square one, read the manual cover-to-cover, and then really loved Civ3! "The best Civ of all times", as it said on the CD!
    • Civ4: see above. In my opinion the weakest installment of the series.
    • Civ5: I really liked it right from the start. The combat system and the promotion system were a huge improvement over everything from Civ1-Civ4 so far. Also lot's of other great stuff. However, it also had a lot of shortcomings:
      - the game is too strict in "punishing expansion". Especially the global unhappiness is just ridiculous. When you get caught in a war, your population keeps growing unhappier the more you win, and becomes happier and happier, if you lose...! :crazyeye: It is so difficult to successfully set up a large empire.
      - the AI is completely incompetent in all aspects, and doesn't put up a fight. It probably has a hard time coping with the one-unit-per-tile rule, which makes warfare more challenging as it requires real planning, strategy and logistics. For this reason, warfare is more "chess-like" and we know that it took a lot of excellent researchers and programmers several decades to come up with the first strong chess programs. Naturally a gaming company would not spend that much time and effort on their AI...
      - multiplayer was completely unstable in the beginning
      The two expansions improved it a lot, though (except for the AI, which is as incompetent as ever...), and I still like it a lot. It brought the "civ fever" back to me (something which Civ4 completely failed to do) and I played it with great fun for four years. But mostly multiplayer, so the lousy AI did not matter...
    • Civ6: a vast improvement over Civ5. It fixed most of Civ5's shortcomings (large empires are possible again!) and only introduced a few new ones... But lots of new and interesting concepts, which all make sense and play out well (at least after the expansions -- I remember that in the vanilla version some concepts were still a bit unbalanced or not working right): districts, religion, tourism, tribes with very different capabilities. Lot's of good stuff that requires you to make many strategic decisions and weigh up different factors against each other. (Of course it makes the game quite difficult to learn.)
      A few minor shortcomings:
      - in some situations, the "loyalty" can become a similar problem as the "unhappiness" in Civ5. But only very rarely.
      - they artificially dragged out the space victory in the last expansion
      - some tribes are too "overpowered", so they are unfair in multiplayer
      - and of course the AI is as incapable as ever...
      But all in all a great game. Me and my buddies are playing it in multiplayer every Monday evening for 4 years now...
     
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  2. Takhisis

    Takhisis Jinping, wer fragt uns?

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    What's this? You read the manual?
     
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  3. Jivilov

    Jivilov Prince

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    Me too. Didn't know about the Forums until 2011 so reading the manual was ineluctable. First game ever was apparently an Archipelago map where I started on a pathetically small, dry sand-spit (practically all Plains terrain). of an island. Couldn't think of anything except building Settlers, Workers, Warriors, Towns, Roads and Mines. Exploration didn't concern me. Diplomacy seemed too complicated so had any friendly Civs been encountered they would've been ignored. Solitary befuddlement was rudely interrupted around 1600 AD by a landing of hostile Knights, who proceeded to stomp my hopelessly backward Civ (forget which one) into oblivion.

    Fortunately my eldest son took an interest and proceeded to pick up finer points of the game simply by playing. Rudimentary concepts of Diplomacy, Trade, War, and so on were absorbed and applied so that we managed to win at Monarch once in awhile. But Emperor level eluded us until I joined the forum. Bottom line is: The manual is woefully insufficient. While it tells you what to do, it doesn't tell you HOW to do it. Only the Forums have information you need to play well.
     
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  4. Captain_Jack

    Captain_Jack Warlord Supporter

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    What I am doing now is playing at Emperor level only, and only playing old GOTM saves. By playing old Games of the Month I I know that the opening situation is winnable for a good player, and I can see the posted results to know how those good players won. This is what I have learned:
    > I am not a good player. I win consistently at Regent, usually at Monarch, but I have never won at Emperor.
    > I play the games out if there is any chance I might win. Once I think I was one or two turns short of a spaceship victory. Sometimes I am overrun early. I lose the tech lead by around 1,000 B.C. - 2,000 B.C. and have difficulty keeping up. I'm doing better lately.
    > It takes me about three weeks to finish a game. That is probably 10-13 hours.
    > I have no intention of ever going higher than Emperor. That would be too much micromanagment for me.
    > I agree with Puppeteer that the early expansion phase is the most fun. I have seen others say they prefer the late game. I can't understand why.
    > When I first was introduced to the Civ series I bought III and IV, liked them both, but gave the edge to IV. Somehow I keep going back to III though, and probably prefer that. My present plan is to play Civ III until I am confident in my ability to win at the Emperor level or I burn out. Then i will either quit cold turkey or "graduate" to IV. Like Puppeteer I'm just not eager to learn a whole new set of rules, though I'm sure there would be carry-over.
    > I like some tribes better than others, and some maps better than others, but since I am cycling thorugh the old Emperor level GOTMs I take what is given me. I would love to be a 20k specialist and win that way on any map, but I can't do it. I have also come to enjoy archipelago maps more recently.
     
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  5. Takhisis

    Takhisis Jinping, wer fragt uns?

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    up yours!
    Just yesterday I won the Sengoku conquest on Monarch in 2 hours and 54 minutes. Date, Diplomatic, only three civilizations ever destroyed. Is this weird?
     
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  6. Jivilov

    Jivilov Prince

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    Heh-heh. The late game is when you get to stomp the surviving AI Civs with Tanks and Modern Armor at Emperor and above. Payback for all the sucking up you had to do earlier. Hint: Go for Scientific Method to (pre-)build Theory of Evolution for TWO free Techs. Usually puts you ahead or at least caught up.
     
  7. Takhisis

    Takhisis Jinping, wer fragt uns?

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    up yours!
    I always try to do that on Monarch already, but that's because Pangææ are a nightmare (see this thread for examples of my recent games) in which one AI at the opposite end of it just manages to overwhelm everybody else with stacks of doom. In fact, in my latest epic game the game turned into continual warfare while I got to even the space race to 7-7 before I got tired of having to do over 80 actions of bombardment and then forest-planting and barricade-rebuilding just to keep the stacks of AI-owned Modern Armour pinned down among a series of concentric rings of barricads and planted forests.

    If I hadn't gotten the Theory of Evolution leg-up I'd probably never have gotten level with the Iroquois and they'd've just flattened the entire continent. If it weren't for war weariness I would have expanded into their territory far more quickly instead of having to do it piecemeal, war by war.
     
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  8. Captain_Jack

    Captain_Jack Warlord Supporter

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    Thanks for the tip, I will do that in the future.
    I have moved up to Emperor and it is difficult. I haven't gotten my first win yet, but I am always surviving to the end and getting close. Just this morning I survived an epic Iroquois invasion. I lost a few cities, but I got peace and still have a long shot chance at a space ship victory.
     
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  9. Jivilov

    Jivilov Prince

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    Going for SS wins may suit a more pacific personality yet warfare is the primary means for human success at Emperor or higher. If for nothing else one needs proficiency in the martial arts to provide enough breathing room for your settlements to grow while grabbing resources necessary to keep your citizens happy, and build strong military units plus infrastructure (like Railroads) or SS parts.

    Used to be a SS player myself until my longest-ever game (on Demigod--80 [!] hours on a Large map) resulted in a Cultural loss within a few turns of launching. Threw in the towel for that level until a year or so ago when all the stuff here in the Forums finally came together. One must be determined yet prudent. Going to war can be make-or-break and must not be entered lightly. Have Embassies to enable favorable trades and Military Alliances. Sometimes you have to sit on your hands while waiting for the right moment to strike (and sometimes the AI strikes first). Prioritize killing enemy units over taking Cities [Edit: If you're attacked first. If you start the War, definitely send in a stack of siege and attackers to grab a critical border settlement. You should have all border settlements garrisoned with at least two, preferably three defenders (including siege for defensive bombardment). Then, unless your foe has already been worn down in recent or current wars, stand by for an inevitable counterattack, and slaughter them without remorse :mad: before pursuing further territorial ambitions.]

    For illustration of what War can do here are some saves from a DG level game in progress as Theodora of the Byzantines (Random settings on Standard map), plus a screenie [Edit: This is a double image, dunno why. Sorry 'bout that.]:

    850 AD--This is right after Amsterdam has been captured. Note the redlined units inside and a stack of 14 Trebs plus 3 Cannon under a surviving Medieval Infantry outside. Killing something like 8 (or 10?) Swiss Mercs is a bloody business; even Cannons aren't very effective against them when fortified in Cities so perhaps half of them were still healthy after bombardment. Lost about double the number of redlined units in the assault. To the Northeast Septum and Dyrrachium have replaced Dutch Cities to prevent flipping while securing the single border Saltpeter.

    990 AD--Henry (Portugal) has declared War and drags Willem (Dutch) in with him. Note enemy Galleons offshore from Constantinople where a large stack of Knghts, Muskets and Longbowmen has just been destroyed with emergency help from a Cav Army ( a surviving LB will be dispatched next turn). Meanwhile Willem is losing his last settlements on the Continent. Eindhoven has already been razed and a new town built nearby.

    1315 AD--The First Byzantine-Aztec War has started, 13 Turns after Henry declared on Monty while Theodora was waiting until a Lux deal with him ran out to avoid ruining Trade Rep. Two Cities and a Town have been wiped out in the center to eliminate the salient which Aztecs had projected into Byzie territory. A Settler gets ready to claim a Mountain Gem near Tenochtitlan on cleared (by Aztec slaves, hah!) ruins. Next target is the Coal deposit further North and any Aztec unit or City that gets in the way. Yet the Military Advisor still says our military is weak!

    1415 AD--This is about half a dozen Turns after peace has been declared. Monty's Dyes, Coal and Rubber now belong to Theo while only 2 significant Cities (albeit one a Metro) remain in Monty's once-proud empire. Abu Bakr has lost the race to Theory of Evolution so now Byzantium is well ahead in Techs, has plenty of Resources (including Oil--got Refining free after Atomic Theory), and almost finished Railing the Core. All that remains is to build the Pentagon, connect Tundra Towns to the Rail network and Mine over some Irrigated Tiles in Food-rich Cities to enhance production before having another go at Monty. Not to mention cranking out Infantry, Artillery and eventually Tanks for combat superiority.

    Given that AIs on the other Continent have switched to Fascism as Henry gets dogpiled practically makes winning a slam-dunk. But who was it that said, "You can never rest on Demigod"? [Edit: It was justanick; his actual words were: "You can only rest after you have assured that the AI rests in peace." Amen to that!]


    Thanks for reading and good luck!
     

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    Last edited: May 5, 2020
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  10. Takhisis

    Takhisis Jinping, wer fragt uns?

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    up yours!
    Are you sure that you have to clear the Ruins in order to settle the same tile?
     
  11. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Prince

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    I haven't found it necessary on that rare occasion or two that it's come up. I think you only have to clear away if you're going to use the tile for something else.
     
  12. Jivilov

    Jivilov Prince

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    Not at all. Hoped the Settler would have enough MP left to Build City immediately on moving in but that didn't happen. No biggie.
     
  13. Takhisis

    Takhisis Jinping, wer fragt uns?

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    up yours!
    I just set my workers to build roads and then other improvements on it.
     
  14. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    No. I've played plenty of SS games at Emperor and above where it's peaceful most of the time, or where war is only done to get more territory to pick up the tech pace.
     
  15. Jivilov

    Jivilov Prince

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    True Spoonwood, so have I, and at Emperor won a fair amount of SS games. Don't see how you can do it often on DG though. AI Research and Production advantages plus the extra Settler, Workers, units, and unit support give it multiple rungs up the Space Race ladder. Have you won much at that level?

    BTW in my current game I had to fight Willem initially for Horses and Saltpeter (there was only one of each in our part of the map). Later had to fight Monty for Coal; he had two, nobody else would trade. Even had a trade been available AI bonuses or human handicaps would argue strongly against winning the SS race. For example Bismarck's been sitting up north with no more than 10 dinky settlements the whole game on mostly Desert, Plains or Tundra yet he leads me in Culture. Like, whaddaya-whaddaya?
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
  16. Takhisis

    Takhisis Jinping, wer fragt uns?

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    up yours!
    Basically the strategy is to spread out the workers for building roads, then gather them again to build mines/irrigation/fortresses more rapidly (or plant forests if need be) and then spread out again for another ring of road tiles, and so on.
    I do concentrate workers for railroad building but that's different.
     
  17. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    Yes, I have.
     
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  18. Jivilov

    Jivilov Prince

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    Well you're a better man than me then. Congratulations! Someday perhaps I may try it. Until then it's warmongering all the way.
     
  19. strongreaction

    strongreaction Chieftain

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    Typically, I play 2 games per year and I spend around 72 hours per game. I micromanage the crap out of the game too. I just got the itch to play and reinstalled. I have Civ 4 played less then 5 or 6 times and it just doesn't match up to 3 for me. I Don't have 5 or 6 and I am not really interested.
     
  20. strongreaction

    strongreaction Chieftain

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    Good for you sir, I hope to be playing Civ at 74. This made me smile.
     

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