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How to Play a Succession Game

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Succession Games' started by CommandoBob, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    (Note: This is meant as a follow up to Pggar's thread What is a Succession Game, not a replacement of it.)

    So now that you know what a Succession Game is and you've gotten signed up for one, now what? Let me suggest some general rules.

    General Rules of Conduct
    • Be civil and considerate.
    • Don't be rude.
    These are really two sides of the same coin.

    In the discussions that are part of an SG there will differences of opinion. Accept it. Learn to deal with it. Listen to your teammates. Disagree, but don't be disagreeable. Their intent is the same as yours; to play a good game. You may be convinced that Monarchy is the best government for the game, but the rest of the team favors Republic. Disagree and debate, but if the team still favors Republic, well, then let it be Republic. And who knows, you might learn something about Republic, too.

    If you find you made a mistake in your assumptions/analysis/calculations, confess it and fix it as soon as you can.

    Rudeness has many forms. Dropping out a game and not posting that fact in the game thread is considered rude. So is not playing your turns when your it is your turn. Again, the remedy is the same; let the team know.

    Granted, you might be in car accident and stuck in a hospital without a PC/Internet for several weeks, but this is rare. Many folks just drop out of a game. If you have to drop out, be courteous enough to inform your teammates.

    Another form of rudeness is to harass the current turnplayer when they are running behind. A gentle prompt is okay; a rant is not.

    Remember, you are playing with other adults (regardless of age) who are at least as mature as you are. Treat them accoridingly.

    Eight Things You do NOT want to do in a Succession Game

    Abuse the Deadlines
    Whatever the time table is for playing the game, stay with that schedule or ask for a swap/skip. If the SG has a 24/48 schedule, but it takes you a few more hours to play, no one (generally) will be too upset. But if takes 72 to 96 hours, let the team know. Or post what you have done at the 48 hour mark and let the game go to the next player.

    Now, if you played some turns and needed to ask for help on something, then it will take longer to play the turns. But once you get an answer to your question, the play clock starts up again.

    Automate Workers
    Even in a solo game this is a bad idea. Humans do a better job of assigning worker tasks than the game does. So just don't do it.

    Auto-Moving Workers/Units
    This is fine on your turns, but you don't want any auto-moves to overlap into the next players turn. Auto-move happens at the game's discretion, not the players. The Spear you have heading south may need to be moving north due to a threat that showed up on the IBT. With that Spear headed south with auto-move 1) it is going the wrong way and 2) it will probably move on it's own before the next player has a chance to move it.

    Rally Points
    Unless discussed by the team, these are probably not a good idea. Once your empire is well railed and if you are making a lot of units, this can be a time-saver. But again, this is really a team decision.

    Poor Turn Logs
    This is rather hard to pin down. It is not about the amount of detail in the log, nor the formatting of the log. It has to do with the task(s), if any, you were expected to do on your turns and how well they were/were not accomplished.

    If your capital was to build Theory of Evolution on Turn 3, but your turn log does not mention that fact (or the two free techs you learned from building the ToE), you have a poor turn log.

    The purpose of a turn log is to keep the non-players and team up to date with events in the shared kingdom. In the early game details (worker moves) are important; in the later years such detail is a bother. So the game logs will flex and bend as the game progresses.

    Ruin Your Trade Reputation
    In order to make trades you must establish that you (your civ) can keep your trade agreements. Things that break your trade reputation, and make it harder, if not impossible, to trade later, are breaking your word. In the early game, feel free to trade techs and lump sum gold to get techs/resources the AI has. By and large, don't have a trade where you are sending gold-per-turn or resources/luxuries to the AI. It is very easy for a trade route from your captial to their capital to be broken by a wandering barbarian or roaming warrior from another civ. However, your civ is held responsible for that break. Don't trade to AIs via harbors until your boats can safely survive a turn in a sea tile. Don't make a trade with an AI where only one road connects your two capitals.

    If you are buying a tech for gold or swapping techs for techs, then one trade route on this turn is fine. It is when a 20 turn deal is made/being considered that your reputation could be trashed easily.

    This is not the only way to ruin your trade rep, but it is probably the most common.

    Make BIG Decisions on your own
    You can't help it if the AI declares war on you. But you should never declare war on another Civ without discussing it with the team. The same is true for making a big tech trade, learning the next tech, or deciding what to do with the first MGL/SGL. Changing governments is not a decision to be made on the fly. It is far better to put the game on hold and get the team's input than forge ahead on your own.

    Abuse the Last Turn
    Remember how you got the game, with the little message in the bottom right hard corner of the screen that said 'Press Enter to continue'? On your last turn, you want to save the game at that point.

    The next player is going to examine how you left the game. Build orders may need to be changed, tiles may need to be swapped between cities for maximum growth or production, the smart and happy sliders may need to be moved; there are a lot of things that are best done before the next turn begins.

    If you spot a big trade deal on the last turn, don't make that deal. Include that information in your turn log or hand-off notes to the next player. Also, even if the trigger event for a change of government or declaration of war occurs in your last turn, let the next player do the deed. Such events will affect his turns a great deal, and your turns not at all. Don't force his hand. Allow him the responsiblity/pleasure of making the big decision and dealing with the consequences of it.

    Exploits and Cheats
    Different people view different tatics, well, differently. In some games, using F10 to see all the AI is a no-no; in others it is fine. By and large, most SG follow the lead of Civ III Hall of Fame in determining if a tactic is an exploit or not.

    The Allowed HOF exploits are >>HERE<<.
    The Borderline HOF exploits are >>HERE<<.
    The Disallowed HOF exploits are >>HERE<<.

    Some players prefer the Game of the Month (xOTM) standards of good play.

    The Allowed and Disallowed exploits are >>HERE<<.

    And if you are not sure if something is an exploit, ask the team.

    Game Setting
    Be sure the line 'NoAIPatrol=0' is included in your Civ3.ini file.
    Check the 'Always Wait at End of Turn' box in Preferences.
    Don't mess with the Governors. Let the game starter set those.
    Be fully patched. Vanilla: 1.29f; Play The World (PTW): 1,27f; Conquests/Civ 3 Complete (C3C): 1.22f. C3C contains all three versions, fully patched. Be aware that while Conquests can open a game saved in Vanilla or PTW, the reverse is not true.

    Also, most Succession Games are in C3C, but not all. If no game version is mentioned, assume C3C.

    Use your favorite terrain mod pack, or not. I don't; some do.

    This set of smiley icons by Puppeteer, popHeads Smileys and CivColors Complete: All Epic, Scenarios and Conquests is very helpful to identify happy/unhappy citizens. More than once I have been fooled into thinking that content citizens were really happy citizens. These popheads help to prevent that mistake.

    Utility Programs
    Dianthus' CivReplay Suite (CrpSuite) and ainwood's CivAssistII appear to be the two most common player aids in use. Both default to be spoiler free. These two programs will help you keep track of current trades, trade opportunities, potential city unrest and myriads of other details. These same details are available in-game but you have to do the legwork to find them. Want to find out what trade options exist on your turn? In-game, you have to open the trade advisor and speak to each civ. With these programs, that is done by the software and presented to you. Much easier and faster.

    Moonsinger's HoF Map Finder/Generator Utility is another widely used tool that helps in getting a good start for a game.

    Playing Poorly
    Happens. A finger slips, or a move is mis-read or the RNG is very unfriendly. Take your lumps and move on. Don't try to replay the turns; that is a mild form of cheating. Replays are fine in a solo game but are bad manners in an SG.

    Finally
    This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of SG rules of behavior or etiquette. This is just what I have pieced together from the various SGs I have been a part of; of both good things to do and bad things to avoid.

    It is meant to serve as a baseline of good SG behavior, so that the SG newbie knows what is expected of them and what they can expect from their fellow teammates.

    Most SG players already adhere to this things. What I have done is simply describe what they do well.
     
  2. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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  3. darski

    darski Regent in Training

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    Good article and the information should be obvious to anyone who reads through SG's.

    ...but as you say, it never hurts to make it clear, plain and straight.
     
  4. gmaharriet

    gmaharriet Ancient Crone

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    Excellent, well-organized and badly needed guidelines, CBob! If everyone would read this, it would save a lot of writing in the opening posts of each individual game.

    One small correction...
    And a suggestion...
    I think most game rules are based either on HoF rules or xOTM rules. This should generally be stated in the opening post for each game with a link to whichever set applies (as well as any exceptions/additions to those rules) and is the responsibility of the game organizer. It's the responsibility of the team members to read that opening post and abide by its rules.

    Thanks, CBob, for putting together such a comprehensive guide. :goodjob:
     
  5. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    Oops!

    I thought I had caught that typo. :eek:

    Fixed.
     
  6. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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  7. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    I will add xOTM exploit rules.

    I also see that I need to add something about the Civ3.ini file for the barbarians.

    I forgot that SGOTM's had an etiquette page; I saw some items there I should have included.

    EDIT:
    Added a link to the xOTM exploits.
    Added the eighth point on 'Things You do NOT want to do in a Succession Game'.
    Added the points on Game Settings and Utility Programs.
     
  8. Greebley

    Greebley Deity Supporter

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    I would send a PM to Padma, Chieftess, and/or Turner to ask to make this sticky. Seems worth a sticky
     

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