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I came, I SAW, I ...

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Stories & Tales' started by Arathorn, May 28, 2004.

  1. t3h_m013

    t3h_m013 Prince

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    yes... to be honest a sid aw game where the player lost within a few turns wouldnt be interesting.
    do you intend to try a non deck-stacked sid always way game at any point?
     
  2. Tappara

    Tappara Coffee? Yes please.

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    This is just amazing and very interesting to read :) .
     
  3. t3h_m013

    t3h_m013 Prince

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    yup... only game ive ever followed as it went along... tis good to see.
    could be interesting if he starts loosing (e.g. when riflemen come) and he has to claw his way back up... interesting for us:p
     
  4. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    In 1530, only a few Arab troops are around and I only kill 3. With two Americans by New Gewauga, that’s only 5 kills this turn, one of my lowest totals in recent memory.

    Anyway, the next several turns are a pretty straight-forward cautious advance on the Arab holdings, as well as some :smoke: thrown in for good measure. I kill a number of Arab troops every turn, while moving on Anjar, but I stupidly load 3 knights into an army on SE America. I don’t need an army there, although I will try to set up a lure so that I can at least use it occasionally. But a 3-man army counts as four spots in a boat, which means I can’t ship it until I get Magnetism, which is at least 2 techs away, since I’m still finishing Metallurgy. And it will be 3 techs, because I’m going to get Military Tradition first.

    Cavalry are very nice – 6 attack vs. 2 defense is a very good thing for me, especially since I’m facing lots of defensive bombard and spears fortified in cities have an effective defense of 3.5, which is troublesome even for armies. Plus, the holy grail of the Military Academy will increase the power of my existing armies tremendously. I don’t care about building more armies, but I do care about 6 attack vs. 8 attack (a 4-knight or 4-MDI army before and then after the Academy). 12 attack will 4 moves will be even sweeter, and some of the existing armies will be saved for that.

    Anyway, things continue apace. I wrap around my cities again, founding Salamanca 2 as the first city on Southeast America in 1540. Anjar is the first of the “next set” of Arab cities to burn, going in 1545. Another city burns in 1545, this one a bit more interesting.

    I’d shipped 2 knights in an army and 2 additional knights (standard pillaging group) to West America, but they had too few land improvements to require pillaging. They needed something else… So, I attacked with the knight army – it attacks with strength 6 after all. San Francisco, dangerously close to iron for an AI city (thank goodness they’d spent hundreds of years without hooking it up!), was defended only by 2 spears and a longbow. Heck, that only took one turn with the knight army (which got quite injured but did its duty just fine). West America is starting to burn...beginning appropriately enough with San Francisco.

    I pause in some of my advances to upgrade trebuchets to cannons. The extra bombard strength is reasonably handy and the upgrade is very cheap, thanks to Leonardo’s Workshop. I try to build a barracks on essentially every island, so I can do necessary upgrades.

    Cleaning up various Arab riffraff nets me another MGL on Arabia. I turn him into another army, but I don’t fill it. I’m not quite sure where it will be needed, but I know Arabia is just fine with units/armies on hand. For now, I just make the army to free up the spot for another MGL.

    The Americans had a couple spare settlers on West America. They try to move them near the ruins of San Francisco and my knight army kills the guardians and enslaves them. Unfortunately, my ships were all busy elsewhere and slaves can’t keep up with the three moves of an army of knights, so many were, regrettably, put to the sword. A second army, this one of the much cheaper MDIs (same attack strength but one fewer attack), also is formed on West America.

    The upgrades (and necessary healing) slows my advance significantly. Still, by 1565, half the world’s population is Iroquois. I’m making tremendous progress and will have to start thinking domination vs. conquest at some point. With half the population, I still only have a fraction of the production due to corruption, but it is a pretty powerful position.

    The razings start again in 1570 AD. Houston on West America is the first to go. It was defended by 3 spears and a longbow, but the 5 attacks of my two armies were sufficient to raze it in one turn. Healing will be required, but I’m in no hurry. Even if they refound a city, it will lack in infrastructure and will be tiny, so it will be a complete non-threat. This is sideline action, primarily, anyway.

    Around this time, I raze my science pretty high to get Military Tradition ASAP, at the expense of my treasury. Gold is absolutely necessary for founding a beachhead, but my next beachhead is probably a century away. Rushing stuff in corrupt cities only interests me if there’s an invasion and I don’t see (m)any coming (although the Arabs are sailing around Southeast Island like a very small pack of vultures, I have enough troops there, I think, to kill any two-man landing party they may try). So, gold is good for science and Military Tradition is nice. 60% science got me the tech without going too far negative, which I hope to prevent with some fancy footwork at the end.

    Damascus is next to go, in 1575. Cannons softened the defenses here significantly, and the wimpy garrison of 3 spears and a longbow fell quickly. The new capital of Arabia, Najran, is the next spot on the island. After that, it will take a while, as the Arabs left a TON of wetlands – both jungle and marsh – on this part of their island. Long slogging and I may have to leave the cannon stack behind.

    Najran proves to be a much tougher nut to crack. I kill 4 spears right off the bat in 1580 and then lose a knight and see another vet spear on top. With large cultural borders, my armies aren’t quite up the task without help. Then Arabia reinforces with another large stack. It take until 1590, and the death of another 10 units before Najran falls. Yet another MGL appears in the year of its destruction. But this MGL doesn’t form an army. He’s got another purpose.

    West American forces are kept busy with healing and picking off the occasional settler the Americans try to send out to reclaim the island. Silly Americans – this land is no longer yours – it is to be razed clean! Spear/longbow/settler trios do injure whichever army I attack with enough that I feel the need to heal before advancing, however.

    1590 was also interesting for another reason. At 40% science, I could get Military Tradition in one turn, but at –71 gpt with only 58 gold in the treasury. Aaargh! It took a long time and a number of cities on partial starvation diets to get the budget to balance. Everything works out in the end, though, and Military Tradition comes in on time and under budget, with no real starvation.

    Right away in 1595, I use the MGL on Arabia to rush the Military Academy is some two-bit town that needs a cultural expansion. Yeah, I won’t be able to build armies there, but I am getting sufficient MGLs to fuel my army lusts anyway. And I’m not sure I’d want to spend all the shields on an army anyway. If I get really desperate, I can accumulate cash and rush an army that way…or even abandon the city and rebuild the Military Academy closer to home. The immediate boost in army strength is what I was looking for, though.

    Physics is the next tech. Science spending is back to 0% and another fully painful round of city micromanagement gets it due in 16 turns with 234 gpt income, to be used for upgrades, primarily, and to build back the war chest. (Note: I check every city every turn, but usually only two or three need adjustment. Painful MM is when 30 or so need to be fiddled with.)

    I start in on Miami and kill a single spear. America responds with their strongest naval landing in quite some time – 3 spears, 3 longbows, and 3 horses on a single square on North Island. Well done, AI!

    I have to scramble troops from Bapedi Island, delay knight upgrades that I’d had scheduled on North Island, attack three times with my two-knight army there, and use a couple other tricks to destroy that landing force. I was in danger of being attacked again! On a core island. Hmmph.

    For that, I raze Miami from its remaining three spears. Only a single American city, Buffalo, remains on West America. Both armies are a bit injured, though.

    And, well, it’s 1600, so time for a status update.
    China – 4 cities – down Monotheism, Gunpowder – my military is STRONG
    America – 8 cities – down Military Tradition, up Music Theory, Navigation – my military is AVERAGE
    Japan – 6 cities – down Theology, Chivalry, Gunpowder – my military is WEAK
    Arabia – 3 cities – down Gunpowder, Banking, Astronomy – my military is STRONG
    Mongols – 7 cities – down Literature, Monotheism, Gunpowder – my military is WEAK
    Iroquios – 77 cities – par – 285 units costing 93 gpt in upkeep

    I’m at 53/55 on the domination scale – 53% of the land and 55% of the population.

    Arathorn
     
  5. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Back to the warfront, circa 1605 AD. I finally reached Kufah and dragged along the cannons and slow-movers. The armies weren’t exactly healthy after Najran and dealing with Arab incursions, so I waited for the cannon stack to arrive. It goes 9 for 13, allowing the various MDI and longbows in the stack to raze the city.

    Buffalo loses a single spear but will be attacked in a bit more force soon. The Americans have other concerns. A 4 MDI army was added to the 4 knight army on American home soil. They attack Philadelphia, with one to provide cover for the other, if/when injuries occur. OK, I expected injuries, but the demonic spears of Philly are scary. The knight army kills two and loses 11 hps. The MDI army kills one spear and loses 7 hps. OUCH! Should be safe from counterattack, though, while they heal.

    It’s 1615 before the two armies on West America are ready to roll. They kill the rest of the defenders in Buffalo (didn’t note the number…definitely less than 6 and greater than 0, but the details are lost in the mists of time). West America is now a bare island.

    I should point out, too, that South Central Island is no longer bare. In fact, it’s getting pretty well covered by Iroquois cities. I just have a couple cities in the southeast of the island to go, and it will be all mine. The landgrab phase of this game just will NOT stop. And, after the initial excitement with the Japanese settler pair, it’s been pretty quiet there.

    Picture of West America, after suitable “improvements” by the Iroquois forces…

    Arathorn
     

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  6. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    The last two cities on Arabia are Khurusam and Basra. In 1620, I have forces in place by both cities. Khurusam is defended by three spears and Basra by four, but neither is sufficient to defend against the hordes I send. In a last gesture of goodwill, the Arabs offer up one last MGL to me. Sitting Bull appears in the battles, giving me I-can’t-count-that-high MGLs from the invasion of Arabia. THANKS!

    I capture both cities, to keep some population and since I don’t really have the settlers currently on hand. Their position is definitely sub-optimal, but I don’t need to cover every single square of land at this point. Plus, it gives me two more cities (not towns), so that’s worth 8 gpt in unit upkeep. Add in immediate silks (luxury #7) and I had spent the time to get forces in position to capture both the same turn, to prevent flips.

    Basra, in particular, bugs me, as it completely wastes the silk two north of its current position. I captured with the intention of possibly disbanding it later, but it comes with a courthouse, barracks, marketplace, and a number of useful improvements that make it produce 3 spt – good enough for me to keep even with its poor placement.

    Prevent flips? That requires Arabia’s elimination. But I don’t get the message about destroying the Arabs. Curses! :gripe: The Arabs must have a settler out on a boat somewhere. I must find him and eliminate him.

    Arathorn
     

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  7. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Of course, a seventh luxury, worth 4 happy faces to most of my cities, makes We Love the Chief Days break out all over the empire. A bit of additional micromanagement for the loss in waste, will be called for.

    In the 1620 interturn, an Arab galley attacks one of my caravels and loses. The game pauses….
    .
    .
    .
    But the Arabs aren’t eliminated. A different galley drops off a longbow by an undefended city on Arabia. Troops are nearby, though, so I’m not worried. Where’s the settler? I only know of a few more Arab ships…

    I off the longbow right away in 1625. Another MGL? No, but I’ll keep fishing. One Arab boat is nearby. I redline it with cannons and sink it with a caravel.
    .
    .
    .
    Nope! Not that one. Guess they are still around.

    Two armies are on Mongolia now, so I’ll try using them in the West America style. One is four knights and the other four cavalry. That means I can kill seven spears in Almarikh this turn. I do so. All seven had longbow support for defensive bombards. Another vet spear shows on top. The armies in America kill three spears in Philadelphia but will need more healing again.

    1630…I can kill three more spears in Almarikh, but they seem to have an infinite supply. Another one shows on top. I found another Arab galley. First caravel attacks and
    .
    .
    .
    sinks. Sigh. A second caravel in the area attacks and
    .
    .
    .
    sinks the galley. And
    .
    .
    .
    FINALLY!

    Arathorn
     

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  8. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    That's why I didn't write those games up. This was FAR from my first effort at Sid Always War. I had quite a few games that ended rather poorly for me. This was the first one where I actually got the Great Library, at which point I decided I could start writing it up.

    I was really close in another game, but I was unable to handle the 7 sword + 7 impi landing at that point in the game. I had almost survived that landing when a second one came and I went down in flames. That was my last try as Rome, BTW. Iroquois also had some painful games.

    I try not to say Never, but I really doubt it. The stacked-deck game has been hard and long and stressful enough. I will probably just REST for a while if/when I finally win this one (realistically, it's when now, not IF, I think). I also really question whether SAW can be done without SOME deck-stacking. Again, I hate to say "NEVER" but it would be awfully AWFULLY hard. Just surviving the starting units of a Sid foe on a shared island would be a major accomplishment (NOW-style without signing an alliance, for example).

    This game has been a LOT of fun, but it's also very draining. Baby-sitting 80 cities or whatever I have is very time-consuming and tiring. Other things, like maps of where I've chopped and where I've not, and minimal distance chains and the like, just really make the game take a lot of investment. For me, it's probably a one-time thing. Finishing it may even mean a hiatus from Civ for me. It's about that wearing. But it's also definitely that addicting and fun and exhilirating.

    Arathorn
     
  9. t3h_m013

    t3h_m013 Prince

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    you mention attack boost with military academy? ive never heard of this?
     
  10. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    In C3C, armies get a number of bonuses. They get an extra movement point. Blitz. Free pillaging. But they also get a boost to their Attack and Defense numbers.

    Pre-Military Academy, the boost is equal to the sum of all the attack (resp: defense) values of all the units in the army divided by six and rounded down. So a 4-knight army gets a boost of (4+4+4+4)/6 = 2.67 rounded down to 2 boost to its attack and a (3+3+3+3)/6 = 2 boost to its defense, so it's effectively a 6/5/3 unit.

    Post-Military Academy, the denominator is changed to 4, so the boost is (4+4+4+4)/4 = 4 boost to attack and (3+3+3+3)/4 = 3 boost to defense for a 8/6/3 unit. WOW!

    Mixed armies are a bit trickier, but a two MDI/two musket army gets a pre-MA boost of (4+4+2+2)/6 = 2 boost to attack and (2+2+4+4)/6 = 2 boost to defense. So it attacks for 10 hps with attack value 6 and then with attack value 4. Similarly for defense, but multiple attacks get very tricky. Mixed armies aren't much in vogue, although I did use one in Arabia, due to units on hand.

    My 4-cav armies (4 cavalry) are essentially a 12/6/4 unit -- a super-tank, if you will. This bonus is one of the reasons (although not the biggest one) that many of us are becoming disenchanted with C3C -- armies are broken.

    Arathorn
     
  11. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    It’s 1630 AD.

    Domination? I’m at 57/61 and have all of West America open to be settled. I have a number of cities requiring border expansions and one more city to found on Arabia. There’s another small island west of West America, all tundra and ice, but I could plop down a couple settlers and get more tiles. Domination would be easy and straight-forward.

    Space? I can research in about 14 turns at 0% or maybe 8 turns at break-even cash. I’m on turn 316, so I have 224 left. If I could keep up the same research rate (reasonable assumption with universities to be built, irrigation some places increasing my scientist count, etc.), I could research 28 techs before the end of the game. There are 19 techs required to just get through the Industrial Age from my current position. Space is not a good option.

    Diplomatic? :lol: Umm…I don’t think anybody would vote for me.

    Cultural? 20K is out of the question. 100K might be possible. I’m well over half of America’s culture, so I won’t lose that way and I’m around 20K. I have a LOT of cities and could rush a lot of cultural buildings. But, why? No way. This is not for me.

    Conquest? This is kind of the default, expected win condition. I mean, to truly say I’ve beaten SAW, wouldn’t I need to kill everybody? But there is the not-small issue of the approximately 1000 troops I would need to kill. Not to mention the logistics of setting up three more beachheads. And can I do it before the clock runs out?

    :confused: :undecide: :hmm: :confused: :twitch:

    I’m not sure how often this has been said, but Domination feels like a cop-out. I’m going to go ahead and put some settlers into position on West America (and maybe other places), but I’m not going to found the cities. It just doesn’t feel like Domination if my military is still weak compared to others. I started out with some assumptions of doing this the right way and I’m going to continue to do this in the way I see fit. And that means Conquest. All the way. Domination is for losers. I will conquer all the Sid foes – hopefully well before time runs out!

    I also, though, plan on acquiring more than 66% of the land the same turn I eliminate the last foe, so I will have a double win….

    Arathorn
     
  12. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    And a bit of destruction.

    Armies killing, armies killing, armies healing. And ships transporting units into positions. And maybe an occasional pillage.

    1635 – 3 in Almarikh. 6 in Philadelphia.
    1640 – 3 outside Almarikh. 6 in Philadelphia.
    1645 – 3 outside + 2 in Almarikh. 0 in Philadelphia.
    1650 – 3 outside Almarikh. 6 in Philadelphia (last of the spears).
    1655 – 3 outside Almarikh. 2 in Philadelphia (warriors).
    1660 – 2 outside Almarikh. 4 in Philadelphia (warrior plus horses).
    1665 – 1 in Almarikh. 5 in Philadelphia (horses).
    1670 – 1 outside + 3 in Almarikh. 0 in Philadelphia.
    1675 – Finally, a breakthrough! I kill 9 units in Philadelphia (OK, I’d moved up more troops, a cannon stack, a third army of all cavalry and such), including two more spears who moved in in 1665 and RAZE Philadelphia. Only had to kill 48 units to raze that one city. Oy. :crazyeye: No losses though.

    I started in on Canton and killed 3 with a cavalry army and then thought better of it. They can reproduce as fast as a single army can kill them. I’m gonna send this cav army over to help out with the rest of America. Then, maybe the troops can go after China. One foe at a time, though. Well, on this continent anyway. Armies are essentially impossible to transport, so once they truly form, they’re stuck where they are.

    I start moving on another American city, and continue the interminable Almarikh siege. None in 1675, 2 outside and 4 inside in 1680. None in 1685. 5 in 1690. That’s 44 spears so far…and more still showing on top.

    I begin my next American siege in 1695. It’s none other than Washington, the capital of the American empire, and home to the Great Wall, Sun Tzu’s War Academy, and Copernicus’ Observatory. Bombardment by the cannon stack (the cannon stack moved every turn. The armies took turns moving to protect the cannon stack and healing, so they were all maxed up at the gates) reveals 9 vet spears defending Washington…but they’re all at least injured now. The troops go in. The 9 vet spears fall, as do 5 horsies behind them. No defensive bombards at all, so no longbows/archers in the city. The AI has troops right next to Washington. Will it reinforce?

    No, it won’t. Bombard reveals 8 horses in Washington and nothing else with more than 3 hps. Knight army kills 3. MDI army kills 2. Lone MDI in the stack kills 1. Cav army kills the last two horsies and … Well, it was much easier than Philadelphia. “PUT IT TO THE TORCH!”

    1700 and America’s capital no longer is Washington – it moves to Boston.

    Status time:
    China – 4 cities – down Monotheism, Chemistry – my military is STRONG
    America – 5 cities – down Physics, up Music Theory, Navigation – my military is STRONG
    Japan – 6 cities – down Theology, Gunpowder – my military is AVERAGE
    Mongols – 7 cities – down Literature, Monotheism, Chemistry – my military is AVERAGE
    Iroquios – 85 cities – par – 327 units costing 117 gpt in upkeep

    Yay! I'm up to AVERAGE with everybody. But my 327 frequently upper-echelon troops probably translates to 400-500 troops that the AI will build. Things will get ugly again soon. Blood will run thickly again, I promise.

    Arathorn
     

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  13. Yaype

    Yaype Me

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    Good choice going for conquest. I would almost have been disappointed had you chosen domination, as that would have meant the game would soon be over. :cry:
     
  14. Sukenis

    Sukenis the J'BOOtian Warlord

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    Arathorn,

    If you could be so kind, would you mind posting a pick of you military advisor screen? I would like to see the mix of units you have. A typed up summary would be just as good, but a pic might be easier.
     
  15. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    I'll try to take one next time I'm on and playing. The actual game varies from 0 to a few turns ahead of the write-up, so it might be a bit in the future. I also have a tendency to get caught up in the game and forget about the story or pictures while I'm playing.

    At a guess...very rough numbers (e.g. I could be VERY off)
    20 knights
    30 cavalry
    50 muskets
    60 cannons
    20 pikes
    15 spears
    25 workers
    5 settlers
    15 armies
    30 MDI
    35 longbows
    20 caravels
    60 slaves

    That's fairly close to the count and about what I feel like I have in various places around the world. Like I said, though, I wouldn't be at all surprised to be at least 10 off on most of 'em. I'll try to get something a bit more exact later.

    Arathorn
     
  16. Sukenis

    Sukenis the J'BOOtian Warlord

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    Arathorn

    Thank you for the quick response. After I get finished with the COTM (well start it), I will be moving up a difficulty level. I currently play on Emperor and win more games than I loose or quit. I do not seem to be following the heavy artillery trend that many better gamers use and figure I will need to change my methods when I move up. Is having about a quarter of your army in artillery units normal?
     
  17. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Normal? Who's to say what's normal? Artillery are quite common when kill ratio is the primary goal of the army, at a given point in time. AW games tend to require ridiculous kill ratios (I'm probably close to 35:1 in this game) and artillery is a good way to do that.

    Artillery weapons also shine in defense of a city (because they get to strike twice every turn -- once during MY turn when I use them to weaken a stack before killing it and once on the AI's turn when it does a defensive bombard in defense of the city). Any time the front is very slow, artillery are almost a necessity.

    They also shine in island defense -- you always get a chance to bombard the units before they come knocking on your city's doors. A central location lets them reach pretty much any potential landing spot. Bombard before killing with regular units and you get back to my point about kill ratio. (And it saves hp, so I can use a unit two or even three turns in a row without it getting in danger of dying.)

    In wars where something other than kill ratio is the key -- speed of conquest, getting it started NOW (e.g. archer rush), etc. -- artillery isn't as critical. Also, lots of artillery weapons makes war weariness a major problem very rapidly -- it's hard to use LOTS of artillery weapons in a representative government.

    As you move up, a bit of flexibility in your army thoughts is a good idea. In a non-archipelago AW, I might have as much as 50% artillery. Also, if I have no rubber and am going a-conquering with cavalry, I'll build HUGE stacks of artillery. Sometimes I build very little, but I'm probably always at least a quarter artillery. Mind you, I run heavier on artillery than many other players, it seems to me, because I like kill ratio a LOT. Take my comments with a grain of salt.

    Arathorn
     
  18. MjM

    MjM Deity

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    Cats in the bag :goodjob: Great Game only story i have followed from beggingto finish. Beat those Americans :D

    Edit: Whats the seed number for this game? seems like a very good map
     
  19. SesnOfWthr

    SesnOfWthr True Believer

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    Wow. I generally don't read write ups of games much, as they take way too long to do (lack of patience, see below). Case in point: I just sat here and spent 3+ hours reading through this write up. Conclusion: I need to revise my thinking, as this has certainly been hours well spent. Incredibly impressive and informative game.

    I do have a couple question/commments if you've got the time and interest to indulge me:

    I find it amazing that you were able to essentially keep the Amercan/Chinese island completely (or nearly) pillaged with a single army. Furthur goes to illustrate how broken armies are, I guess.

    You mentioned that you were annoyed by the location of Basra(?) because of the wasted silks. The screenshot showed two more silks within the radius. Was this just annoyance at the ai's foolish choice of placement, or did you have some use for the third silks? :hmm:

    What kind of time is each turn taking for you now? I fear this is one of the reasons I will never truly excel at this game. I just don't have the patience required. What are the odds of beating SirPleb's time on his Sid win? (432 IIRC?)

    Do you think the lack of iron by most of the ai's was game turning, or merely more expeditious? It seems to me a bunch of swords and pikes could have made a world of difference....

    Any chance of getting a couple saves from random points posted? Your description are great, but it might be helpful to see the things you manage better than I do.

    TIA
     
  20. downwithgravity

    downwithgravity Zen Rocker

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    very impressive work, arthorn.
     

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