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I came, I SAW, I ...

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

  1. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    Sorry I was late to see this thread. I can't remember everything that was written in it, so if I overlooked something, forgive me.

    Anyway I just wanted to mention that prior to 1.22 you could always get to Philosophy first and choose Lit as your free tech. After 1.22, I was no longer sure to be first. but I still had time to get the GL first with no real prebuild.

    The value of going the Philosophy route is you may get an SGL or at least reduce their chances of getting one. SGL is the main way for them to beat me to the GL.

    I often do not even need to start with Alphabet to get the GL. The way I do it is to crank out extra workers from my second town and eventually even later towns.

    I take those workers and start to move them to the capitol when it is around size 5 or 6. Those workers will road and mine tiles and then join the city to drive it up to size 10 or better.

    This city will be much larger than any AI city and can use a simple 3-5 turn prebuild to jump start the GL.

    If you are using a no alpha start for the AI, you should not have any problem being first to Philosphy on an archipelago map. I would add that I have not tried this on a standard map, only large and huge, so the cost of research could make it harder to get to Philosphy first.
     
  2. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    The early 1700s are very straightforward. The American horde moves on Atlanta, with armies again leapfrogging the cannon stack to heal and protect the stack. Almarikh continues to show spears, spears, spears. I kill 4 in 1705, 6 in 1710, and none in 1715, although I do land a 2-cav,2-knight mixed army on Mongolia to help out with the interminable siege.

    Things get really interesting again in 1720. I’d been shipping troops from Arabia to Japan forever – well, since before the final destruction of Arabia, at least. I could land them safely on a hill, which was protected by my knight army originally and by a 4-musket army later. I had planned on establishing a beachhead here in about 1745 or so, when another dozen or so boatloads of troops arrived, but the Japanese troops got a sudden call to move (I believe when a ship enters a city, every single “spare” AI troop will move towards that city to try to board the ship and go sailing for adventure). The time was ripe. I could form the city and not be attacked in the vulnerable turn without walls. I don’t think that opportunity will last.

    Kawauka 2, future site of so-much bloodshed, is formed innocently in 1720. Walls are rushed via worker. I don’t have the troops I would like in place – only the knight army, the musket army, a 4-cav army I’d just formed, 15 or so cannons, and another 10 or so muskets. Many more troops are en route, though, and I think I can hold it until more troops arrive. The musket army will defend with strength 18 (8 base + 50% walls + 50% hills +25% fortified), which will take a lot of troops to kill.

    The area around Kawauka 2 wasn’t entirely clear of enemy troops. I had to kill 6 Japanese troops next to it, to provide my one-turn cushion. Cannons and MDI/longbows take care of most of them and the knight army takes the last one. I want the knight army out of the city, as I don’t particularly want it defending. Plus, out of the city, it can slow attacks and use ZoC. Oh, the cav army also takes up a position outside the city, to slow the in-coming troops, to not get attacked…and for another reason.

    I also reached the borders of Atlanta, so I can attack. Bombardment injures a number of units, and the armies pour attacks on the city. The defenders were 6 spears, 4 horsemen, and 5 longbows (in that order), but all 15 fall to the mighty Iroquois horde and Atlanta is razed. America is down to 4 cities. Next up is New York and the Sistine Chapel, Magellan’s Voyage, JS Bach’s Cathedral, and the Knights Templar.

    Oh, and 3 more spears die at Almarikh. Is there an infinite supply there?

    The interturn is reasonably interminable. The Japanese have four stacks that extend beyond a screen on right-click, when they’re done. Another 8 stacks have at least 6 units in them. And that’s just visible from Kawauka 2.

    1725 sees a few reinforcements arrive at Kawauka 2. A single spear in the open is killed near the city. And the cav army goes after Osaka. The army is quite injured, but it kills all 4 spears and razes the first Japanese city on Japan. This will give me a bit of cultural breathing room (not much, but a bit), as well as cut down on Japan’s production power. It also opens up a shorter route for a number of Japanese stacks to reach Kawauka 2.

    Also, good news in Mongolia. After 61 spears (4 more this turn) killed in and around Almarikh, it’s finally out of spears to defend with, at least temporarily. I actually get to kill 3 warriors in Almarikh. Only another 40 units or so and maybe I can raze the city. :boggle:

    Magnetism is due next turn, too, so I get to change a whole slew of scientists into taxmen for a one-turn boost in cash. That’s good, as beachheads are expensive. Rushing the barracks in Kawauka 2 was absolutely essential this turn and not exactly cheap. Time-consuming to change all the specialists but it’s essentially free cash.

    The musket army doesn’t defend as well as I’d hoped. In fact, after only 23 attacks on Kawauka 2, the elite musket on top generates a MGL for me…another one in defense – I think I’ve had more MGLs in defense than on offense this game, which is very unusual. 8 more units attack Kawauka 2, but I lost none. 9 were warriors, 2 longbows, and 20 archers. And stack after stack moves, two at a time, taking forever even with the Shift key held down. At least the wounded cav army is left alone.

    1730 sees the Iroquois begin their last required Middle Age tech, Theory of Gravity. I could, maybe, stop researching all-together and accumulate cash, but I still think I may need/want artillery and infantry before all is said and done. Rails are always handy, too, for a number of reasons.

    I also have to decide what to do with the MGL in Kawauka 2. After seeing how quickly the lone musket army was red-lined, I decide to form up another musket army in Kawauka 2. The big stacks haven’t arrived yet. There’s one where simply the archers take up a full screen, which ignores warriors, longbows, and spears, of course. I also bombard and counterattack spears and other units. I get to kill 7 more Japanese with no casualties. Oh, and a harbor is rushed. I need/want resources here, too.

    Almarikh continues to bleed troops. A new spear appeared on top, but he’s dispatched, along with two more warriors. I hope all the Mongolian cities aren’t this well defended (in fact, as I thought about it, what probably happened was most of the Mongolians moved into Almarikh back when Mongolia had a boat and was sending units to die on Main Island, following my earlier theory about AI movement on islands. Thus, the other cities will only have the troops produced in the last 50 or so turns. Still an insane number, any way you look at it).

    Only 25 troops attack Kawauka 2 this turn. That’s 5 warriors, 4 longbows, and 16 archers, in pretty random order. The armies absorb all those troops with no difficulties.

    Still on the Japanese front, 6 exposed troops are bombarded and killed for no losses in Iroquois troops. Even more reinforcements are dropped off, including most of the remaining MDI from Arabia, giving me slightly better counterattack ability. Three very large stacks are near the city, though. I wouldn’t be surprised to lose one or even both of the armies in the interturn. The horde will decimate my superior troops, eventually. And two or three lucky rounds in a row might be enough to finish off the army, since they’ll be top defenders for a LONG time. And the temple is rushed as the final beachhead necessity. The year is 1735.

    North, in America, the stack has reached New York. The cannons fair poorly against the wonderful city, only 5 of the 12 hitting targets. A crusader (at 5/3/1, the toughest troop I’ve allowed the AI to have) is the top defender, but he dies easily. 12 spears and a horsie also bite the dust, but New York still stands. I think I can get it next time, though.

    The Mongols are reinforcing Almarikh, well, trying to, at least. I kill another spear trying to reach the city, as well as another 5 troops in the city. Troops from main island, not even in armies, are hiding behind the army and occasionally attacking, then shipping back to Main Island to heal, and returning to fight again (in theory). That gives me a bit more attack power. Since the Mongols have 7 cities, I need to kill 7 units/turn to be sure of making progress. I’m not there yet, but I hope to be soon.

    In the interturn, the Japanese attack, and attack, and attack, and attack. I have about 30 defensive bombard units, which help slow the inevitable damage early on. They keep coming. About 70 attacks in, both the musket armies are redlined and plain old veteran and elite muskets are called on to defend the city. They do well, losing occasionally, promoting occasionally, but after about 100 attacks, elite pikes are the best unit in the city, kept around in hopes of producing a MGL. The Japanese attacks keep coming. One army is down to 2 hp and cowering in a corner. Then the other gets sent to 1 hp. And more attacks comes. 3 hp muskets start defending, often for two battles, as they promote to 3/5, typically, after one defeat. Attack 129 is against a 2/4 musket who ends the turn at 3/5 and my top defender. 32 warriors, 11 longbows (most of them in the scary time after ~100 attacks), and 86 archers were my final count. 125 of them now lay dead. And 4 Iroquois muskets died, too. WHEW! I could’ve probably survived another 30 or so attacks without resorting to using MDI in defense, but my casualty rate was about to take a dramatic upturn.

    That was probably the biggest attack stack Japan will be able to muster. If they would have waited another couple turns to get everybody in place, I would’ve lost a lot more units. They were almost to the point, too, where attacking with spears would have made sense. Sure, strength one attack is a poor move, but it was their only realistic chance to remove me from Japan. I also got a bit lucky neither army bit the dust. A short streak, which is actually reasonably likely, in their favor, and an army (or both) would have bit the dust. Now, though, the Japanese front has distinctly turned to my favor.

    Arathorn

    Sorry for the lack of pictures...I was too into the game to remember to snap pictures and save them. I could go back and take pictures, but....
     
  3. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    The Americans still aren’t attacking, but they do found St. Louis near the ruins of Washington. I’m really not worried.

    My counterattack in 1740 isn’t nearly as impressive, in terms of sheer size/numbers, but it is more effective. I kill 11 more Japanese units, with no losses. That brings the total, in the not-quite-5 turns since I formed Kawauka 2, to 205 dead Japanese and 4 dead Iroquois. According to my military advisor, my army is now strong compared to the Japanese. I wonder why….

    Back north to New York, where bombard shows 6 units – a spear, a horse, and 4 longbows as the best defenders. The knight army kills three and a cav army finds a regular longbow cowering in the corner away from bombardment as the seventh unit, but it doesn’t matter. New York, with its four wonders, burns very brightly and colorfully into the night. I have no hope of defending it, either militarily or culturally, so it had to go. And, honestly, at this point, I don’t even really need the happy faces. One cav army is dispatched to St. Louis, to raze that ugly blight.

    Almarikh’s troops need rest. I’ve not been having the best luck, even attacking units with only one defense. All the defensive bombard from longbows has to be to blame, at least in a fairly large part. That’s OK. The 3-knight mistake army from Southeast America is en route, too, to give me a fourth army on Mongolia, which will hopefully help with kill rate.

    Japan’s offense is starting to get gassed. Only 9 troops suicide against Kawauka 2 this time. That barely dents the fully healed armies. On the not-so-warm-fuzzy side, all those troops that have been attacking had a spear with them. I see what must be 100 spears move into Kyoto. With more on the way. Finishing them off will require massive firepower and, probably, some additional treachery.

    1745 sees action on all three fronts. I mount my first strong counterattack in Japan. I kill 19 units, but I lose one of my few attackers. It was an elite MDI who’d already produced a leader, but it still hurts to lose a troop. Small attack parties are easy to redline and completely destroy. Killing spears in the open is much easier than killing them when they benefit from defensive bombard and city defensive bonuses.

    Six more troops die in Almarikh. I’m seeing horsemen die now. All the warriors are gone. Won’t be TOO much longer now, I hope, and I will actually be able to raze this city.

    St. Louis is better defended than I’d expected. I kill 4 troops with the cav army and it’s still standing. Bummer. I’ll probably have to heal before hitting it again. I also make an interesting tactical decision, one which is usually a no-no. I split my forces. One army starts escorting the cannon stack towards the major metropolis and capital city of Boston. The rest of the armies will work in conjunction with a couple regular troops being landed from Southeast America to cross the mountains and take out the two “fringe” cities of Chicago and Seattle, hopefully to reunite with the main stack for the final destruction of America.

    And I’d done such a good job cleaning up the trash around Kawauka 2, it wasn’t even attacked in 1745. What a deal.

    Things are starting to really slow down around 1750. Or speed up, depending on how you look at it. But Iroquois forces, despite taking only 2 years to accomplish a goal instead of 5, don’t do a whole lot. An even dozen Japanese troops that were exposed wither under bombardment and die to bows, maces, musket balls (a musket army attacks with strength 4), and rifles. Attack 11 produces an MGL whose name escapes me, who immediately forms an army. Attack 12 produces Tecumseh with a cavalry unit named Tecumseh’s Team. Apparently, Tecumseh was part of this unit when it was a knight unit and his spirit lives on the cavalry! The cav army in Japan goes off SW for explicable reasons. No losses for the Iroquois. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite quick enough to record this momentous occasion in a picture….

    The first army will be a second cavalry army for Japan. I’ve got a lot of troops to kill and not a whole heckuva lot of offensive firepower. The second will be shipped to Mongolia, as the Mongols are now the biggest “threat” to Iroquois sovereignty in the world. And I can’t seem to raze Almarikh with troops on hand.

    Almarikh loses another 10 defenders. Armies, regular troops, you-name-it, and the city continues to shrug them off like a cork hitting a dangling one-ton anvil. The effects may not be visible, but repeated enough times, they will have an effect.

    It’s only 1752 before Iroquois forces are ready to march again. And march they do. In Mongolia, 4 more troops in Almarikh die. In America, St. Louis’s three defenders fall and the city is razed. Detroit, another newly-founded city, loses 3 defenders but seriously redlines the knight army, so I have to detour a cav army earmarked for the north to cover him. The northern troops, minus an expected cav army, still destroy all 11 defenders in Chicago, and raze it. The Americans are now reduced to Seattle in the tundra, size-one Detroit, and Boston. I see no settlers in their stacks still scattered randomly around what was once their territory.

    The Japanese, too, are attacked. 14 more of their finest troops die. Four of those happened to be the defenders of Satsuma…the only defenders of Satsuma. Scratch one more Japanese city. I’d sent the cavalry army SW earlier to get to remote cities, which had emptied to attack Kawauka 2. The cities on the “front” are getting seriously reinforced with spears, but I’d hoped/figured that the cities in the rear would still be only lightly defended. I was right.

    Another small stack (~100 units, half offensive) is in position to attack Kawauka 2 this interturn, too. I’d seen it coming, so the musket armies are both fully healed and fortified. I’d been using them for the occasional attack earlier, but now they need to fulfill their primary purpose.

    The two armies, alone, were not enough to defend Kawauka 2. Once again, some of the elite muskets in Kawauka 2 are called upon in defense, as the armies redline. The attackers consisted of 11 warriors, 37 archers, and 3 longbows. That’s 51 more troops suicided against the walls of Kawauka 2. I wonder if the bodies alone are enough to form a ramp up the hill and up the wall to negate the defensive bonus. :) No more MGLs, though. And I think that was the last of the primary Japanese offensive – they’re gassed to a trickle now.

    In 1754, I kill 9 more troops in Almarikh, 6 outside Kawauka 2, and 3 in Detroit, with no casualties. I’m up to 63/72 and I really hope I won’t get surprised by domination. A few temples are still completing here and there and cultural expansions give me more land. 3 per cent is both a lot and a little. I’ll try to keep an eye on it.

    I guess I was wrong about Japan being gassed. They mustered up a warrior, three longbows, and eight archers. The musket armies yawn and blow them away. Maybe these were injured units earlier? Or are they the remnants from far-away cities? I dunno, but it’s barely a nuisance attack.

    Arathorn
     
  4. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Sure. Or I can at least try.

    The AI doesn't have any workers. Workers are one of the first things to go when you lose units due to upkeep costs and all the AI civs are running negative cash all the time. Thus, no improvements can be rebuilt.

    Silks do provide additional commerce, so they're like a bonus square. An extra silk in range would probably be worth an extra single gpt. But, really, it was a comment on the foolishness of the AI's placement. With 3 possible in range (really, two cities in this area would have made a LOT more sense), it's a foolish waste. Plus, it wastes a bunch of squares. And I was stilll kinda thinking Domination when I wrote that.

    Depends on the turn. 20-30 minutes/turn is fairly typical, since I go through every city every turn. Some of the LONG ones during the Japanese invasion took over an hour, with some calculations. A lot of the time I spend "on the game" is thinking about future plans while driving to/from work or doing some other semi-mindless activity. I'm probably only around 200 hours in, at this point.

    Hard to say. As long as the E/Z continent had no iron, most of the early game would've been the same. By the mid- to late-game, it was the armies that made all the difference -- would iron help if it was pillaged? Certainly, 100+ swords attacking is a fate worse than 100+ archers attacking, but I'm not sure that's the exact trade-off.... I mean, even a Sid AI takes a bit of time to build some of the more expensive units. Plus, attacking a stack of swords/spears is much less dangerous than attacking a stack of archers/spears, because of the defensive bombard.

    My best guess is that the AI with iron would've slowed me down a fair bit on land progress, but that I would still be in a reasonably dominant position. I might be seriously looking into researching Replaceable Parts, though, as a needed tech to finish the game.

    I save pretty much every turn, 2-3 times some turns. I fear power outages and my kids have been known to push the power button on the computer.... I have ALL KINDS of saves. I will happily provide pretty much whatever is requested...except for the very early turns (and given enough time). I played a fair number of disaster starts, so I didn't save a whole lot in the beginning, as it was kind of pointless to save a lot for a game that was doomed anyway.

    Arathorn
     
  5. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    Ok,I just ran a test with the same settings as this game and was able to get Philosphy first and build the GL by 570BC with a fair city. It was making 21 shields with size 12. Only 2 bonus grasslands.
     
  6. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    I’m going to concentrate on efforts on the various fronts, grouped by the fronts instead of by years. The reports will all cover 20 years – 1756 through 1776. One report for Japan, one for America, one for Mongolia, one for China, and one for the home fronts.

    I think this might make the story a bit clearer to read. All the action on the various fronts makes for some confused reports, in my opinion, and I want to concentrate on the ebb and flow on various landmasses without pulling in potentially confusing information from elsewhere.

    Of course, the game doesn’t PLAY like that, and I was keeping all of these balls juggled at once, but I think reporting them this way will make things a bit clearer. At least, that’s my hope.

    Arathorn
     
  7. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    The final Japanese attack on Kawauka 2 was in 1756. They brought a warrior, and longbow, and 13 more archers to splatter against the walls of this fine town. By my count, that’s 268 units who attacked Kawauka 2 and died. Musket armies on a hill with walls provide pretty good defense, especially against mostly archers. The cannon/longbow first strikes and additional troops were also necessary and helped. 272 attacks and only 4 were successful. “OUCH!” for the AI.

    I could probably let more troops attack, but I want to start killing spear escorts, too. So, in 1758, 15 troops near Kawauka 2 are killed. But that wasn’t all. The knight army and the second cav army had slipped east and reached Tokyo. ZoC and limiting flow to Kawauka 2 was no longer important, so they’d been on the move for a little while. Some of the cav were reinforcements from Main Island and some were cash-rushed there in Kawauka 2. Anyway, only 5 attacks were required (I had 7 available) to eliminate the defenders of Tokyo. It, along with the Great Lightouse, burned.

    I also reached Kagoshima in the south with the first cav army. (I have 5 armies on Japan. Two musket armies, two cav armies, and one knight army. The musket armies and in Kawauka 2, one cav army with the knight army is out east by Tokyo’s ruins and the other cav army is in the southwest by Kagoshima). I only kill two defenders with limited movement, but the city is in deep trouble.

    By 1760, I feel comfortable moving the two musket armies, the cannon stack, and most of the offensive units OUT of Kawauka 2. It’s just a quick walk and I’m by Kyoto. I need to start hitting the Japanese capital. I expect 200+ spears in this city. Oy. There’s gotta be something different that can be done.

    I do raze Kagoshima, though. It took three more attacks, but that’s another Japanese city crossed off the list. Only Kyoto and Edo remain. Kyoto is facing a LOT of pressure and Edo is the next target for the cav and knight armies out east.

    The Japanese respond to my threat on Kyoto by moving approximately a zillion units OUT of the city. I’d been covering workers with the western cav army but they were now close enough to home that I felt I could leave them. The AI views that as good capture fodder. Each unit, independently, thinks “Hey, I can capture that worker!” and goes off in quest after it. I don’t like abusing the AI this way, but I honestly want those slaves and I honestly needed to move the cav army where it went.

    That means my cannons can perform poorly (and they do) and still redline all the defenders in Kyoto. Only 5 spears remain and I fish for MGLs against them, instead of taking the ultimate paranoid safe route. No luck on the Great Leader front, but Kyoto (and the Oracle) burn brightly.

    I had plenty of spare troops (once the AI is gassed, it’s GASSED) to send another contingent towards Edo. The cities aren’t THAT far apart and I have some move 2 and move 3 units (musket army and cavalry) who can help supplement the armies who move up from the destruction of Tokyo.

    That left more workers exposed, so hundreds of Japanese spears do the stupid dance, causing my interturn to be long but that’s it.

    Edo also got up to 5 defenders, which is good, as it gave me an extra leader-fishing opportunity and Red Cloud appears on the penultimate Japanese unit. Sweet! One more army for Mongolia! Edo has the Mausoleum of Mausollos but I don’t want to capture any cities. I’m in raze-only mode, so close to domination (64% of land area).

    That means (see pic)...

    Arathorn
     

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  8. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Detroit is the first target in 1756. I only have minimal troops there, so I only kill 3 in the initial wave. This was with a cavalry army, who had covered the knight army, so I had to be a bit careful with it, as the knight army wouldn’t really provide cover. It also furthers my chances of successfully razing the city in 1758. I also find a settler/spear/longbow trio and off them, not for the slaves so much as to try to limit the number of cities I have to raze. The cannon stack moves on Boston, however, as the cav army was able to defeat the trio and still move with the stack.

    Indeed, the attacks in 1756 weakened the resolve of the Detroit folks and I raze the city in 1758. There were only 4 defenders left. Many of the defenders in Detroit were crusaders, which taxed my forces. I’m going to need to rest a LONG time with these troops before I can send them to Boston.

    The desolate tundra fishing village of Seattle (hey, the AI names SOME things appropriately :)) was the target of 1760. It had 5 troops, which falls to the cav army and assorted troops, leaving the MDI army as cover.

    I’ve been using a number of galleons to ship out American slaves to Southeast America in preparation for rails. Some are also stationed on West America on an interim basis. I also have been using these galleons as a safe place to heal for regular troops and to keep the AI off-balance. Most of the slaves from Seattle load up, but one does not have a place. The Americans are a long ways away, though, and it will take them some time to reach him.

    The Americans do get some revenge for my destruction of their empire. I was using the troops on Southeast America all over the place and it was getting denuded. I wanted to fully protect it, so I’d built some frigates to sink America’s ships. Well, the theory may have been good, but my admirals stink. I redlined the caravel with cannons and attacked with the only frigate in range and sank. A couple years (one turn) later, two other frigates reached the caravel…also to sink to the bottom of the ocean. Bah! Good thing it doesn’t really matter but no style points here.

    Meanwhile, America is an OCC. Boston alone survives. But the troops around it are THICK. I can’t move the cannon stack directly towards it. The cav army helps to clear a path occasionally, but it’s very slow going. And everybody was terribly wounded from earlier fighting.

    It takes many long years, until 1768, before troops are in position to do anything valuable again. Boston proves to be too easy. Maybe I should’ve just sent a cav army without the cannons. Four defenders fall easily. But America’s not destroyed. I see their settler in a huge stack. I am able to kill 7 of the 10 settler defenders easily, but I can’t get troops to finish off the job.

    In the interturn, the Americans found New Orleans. And out of it POUR units, including two settler pairs? What? Oh, bother. Whenever an upper-level AI founds its “first” city, it gets all its bonus units. Not only do I have to do with the remnants of the stack, I have to deal with all the Sid-level bonus units – spears and longbows fortunately, but….

    In 1770, I kill both the settlers out of New Orleans, along with their escorts. New Orleans also loses 6 troops. The cannon stack and protection army move north, for other lands. A cav army, a knight army, and the cav army from the north are the primary role-players in this attack.

    More AI :smoke: ensues as America does not apparently wish to see a revival in 1776. More troops pour OUT of New Orleans. That darn slave in the tundra I couldn’t rescue is drawing quite a crowd! :lol:

    So, in 1772, I destroy the last two defenders of New Orleans and raze the last American blight. :suicide: go the rest of America’s units and…
     

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  9. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    In the beginning, a siege was declared on Almarikh. The siege was good and many Mongolian troops fell. As time wore on, the troops outside Almarikh grew tired. Every few years they would organize for a bloody sortie on the city, or on troops trying in vain to reinforce, but the effects of their labors were not to be seen.

    As time passed, the defenders in Almarikh begin to look a bit different, wielding different weapons, but always they appeared whenever an attack was made. Lone units from Main Island would occasionally appear to reinforce the armies attacks, making single attacks and then boarding a boat to return to Main Island to heal.

    Occasionally, as in 1756, one of these units would actually fall. Only four Almarikh defenders fell, so it was a bad year for the Iroquois forces. Eight more fell in 1758, almost exclusively archers. The news from other Iroquois battalions was that this was a good thing and the defenders were now almost eliminated. The entrenched forces on Mongolia, having slaughtered 110 troops to date, naturally disbelieve this report.

    They shouldn’t have. In 1760, after slaying 11 more arrow-slingers, Almarikh finally falls. The troops are confused. What should they do? What purpose do they have? Although they try to disband upon the news that they can no longer attack Almarikh, the generals manage to stave off chaos and preserve the armies. The attacks started in 1625. 135 years to kill 121 units. What a siege! One Mongol city is finally razed. Will the rest be faster?

    After the destruction of Almarikh, the troops move due south towards Hovd, the other Mongolian city on their eastern seaboard. It actually is putting a tiny bit of cultural pressure on one of my towns, but it’s never been a major concern. One of the nice things about Hovd is once I set up outside it, no reinforcements can reach the city – it’s past a one-square neck.

    In 1762, I kill a spear/settler pair outside Hovd and already start the killing in the city, 6 spears fall. Really fast units are very cool. I expect Hovd to be very well defended also, but I hope to draw even more Mongol troops east.

    Why east? Well, then the new army coming over from Japan will have an easier time razing the backline cities, of course. Not only will the army come, but as many troops as I can send over as quickly as I can will also be shipped. A few galleons can be dedicated to that goal.

    1764 is mostly a move and heal year. Only one attack on Hovd, but the army is formed in one of the small cities out on my old western island holdings and is sent on its way to Mongolia.

    Things pick up against in 1766. Hovd faces pain and suffering. 9 troops die. Cavalry are great as they can attack and load up on a boat the same turn. It’s exactly four spaces to one of my cities, so I can unload them in the city for fast healing and load up. A few galleons are also tasked to this duty. It gives me a bit more firepower against the Mongols, who are the biggest remaining threat.

    Hovd isn’t as bad as Almarikh, maybe because I kill more troops/turn. I kill 11 in 1768, 8 in 1770, and 20 in 1772. The troops on the western part of Mongolia were originally targeting Tabriz on the southern part of the continent, but it would need to kill ~60 troops just to reach the city. The stack moved north along the coast, while Mongol troops moved east (and some north). A lone spear on Almarikh’s ruins had lured many troops away from their cities.

    1774 saw Hovd lose another 8 troops and the western stack reach Karakorum, the Mongol capital. 1776 was a banner year on the Mongol front, as the 9 defenders killed in Hovd were the final 9 defenders and it was razed. Only 64 troops there. And MUCH faster than Almarikh (many more troops dedicated to the task, as well as the fewer units and no possibility for reinforcement). The Mongol unit stream east had left Karakorum poorly defended, too. Bombings and regular troops, plus the 4-cav army easily killed the 9 defenders (some of whom were horses recovering from ZoC hits near Hovd) of Karakorum. Thus was the Mongolian capital razed. Only 4 cities left for the Mongols.

    They have at least two settlers running around, though. One is up by Almarikh’s ruins with just a horse defending it, but I can’t get an army out past the wall of troops to kill the darn thing.

    Arathorn
     

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  10. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

    Joined:
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    Illinois
    Speaking of civs with four cities, China has a LOT of units – probably in excess of 200 – for never having more than 4 cities. They got caught up in the great race across ex-America for a lone American slave, too. Horsemen, en masse, and archers, and spears and all kinds of troops started streaming west. Too bad they won’t make it in time.

    China also sent out settlers for the unclaimed land. Unfortunately for them, their running too high a science and having too many units came back to bite them. Settlers would appear and start to move into position and then disappear – disbanded due to upkeep costs the AI couldn’t pay. I did off one settler (with accompanying horse) in 1774, but it was the only one I could see that survived the AI's incompetence long enough for me to kill.

    After Boston’s destruction in 1768, I’d begun moving the cannon stack, along with its protective army, north towards Canton. This city is the gateway city to the Chinese lands. Once it’s gone, I think I might park two armies across the narrow choke near the rest of China. That will keep most of their troops out, will let my non-army troops have a purpose, and hopefully trap any additional settlers the Chinese might have in their core, where they will be easy to kill.

    The troops are finally in position in 1776. The horde of Chinese moving west had caused some problems for some of my armies still returning from the icy wastelands that used to be Seattle -- you can't move past 20 units in a square very easily -- you either have to kill them all which takes forever or try to move around. I don’t have everybody assembled, but I’m ready to start hitting the Chinese fairly hard in 1778. These troops took out the Americans pretty handily, so I expect very little trouble from China, especially after their wild-goose chase west.

    Arathorn
     

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  11. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    This is probably the most boring and the most important of fronts. Pretty much all of the core cities had long ago been optimized to a good shield configuration (20, 16, 10, 8 for cavs or 15, 12, 10, 6 for muskets or the like) by planting forests, irrigation, test chopping forests to see if there was any bonus grass underneath or whatnot.

    Non-core cities were all irrigated and many had things chop-assisted, especially in Arabia. Any island with freshwater was completely irrigated, including chaining it to where it was needed most. Arabia had a lot of wetlands to clear, but they’re all cleared. Most of the defenders on islands are now superfluous – there hasn’t been a credible landing by the AI in a long time. They still serve some MP value, though, and getting ships to transport units a long distance is hard to do.

    Research-wise, Theory of Gravity came due in 1760. I again convince a number of specialists to temporarily abandon their test tubes and books to go out into public and campaign for more funds. I assure them this will allow their continued existence. They, amazingly, believe me, and cash in the Iroquois coffers gains a momentary boost.

    It’s back to the books in 1762, though, with the Industrial Age having just begun. Although I fully expect it to be valueless, I start work on Steam Power. I just don’t expect to have enough game left for railroads to really pay back. Nevertheless, I get everybody working on it, for the principle of the thing if nothing else.

    Around this time, I also noted South Central isn’t tragically corrupt either. A couple of the cities there are redeemable with courthouses, so they’re started. Again, it’s more for the principle than any expected payback.

    A fair number of aqueducts I’d ordered and chop-assisted are starting to come in. It’s nice for unit support and as a feather in the cap, although it’s also mostly meaningless, at this point.

    What really matters is the core continuing to crank out units to fill the holes on the front and for the armies to do their job. Also, at this point, I’ve mostly discontinued my every-turn city check. Cities can now grow to their food limit, instead of being limited to provide me the best specialist power and most balanced approach. It’s just hard to dedicate the time now.

    A check in 1770 with my military advisor showed these troops:
    8 settlers (waiting for conquest to found to get domination, too)
    15 warriors (shore patrol on small islands)
    11 spears
    36 pikemen
    11 longbows
    52 musketmen
    25 knights
    65 cavalry (my almost-exclusive build of late)
    55 cannons
    5 caravels
    1 frigate
    18 galleons
    20 armies
    2 mounted warriors (zone defense on never-threatened islands)
    32 medieval infantry

    That doesn't include ~100 slaves and another 5 or so captured cannons. Reasonable force, in a way. The key number in that list, though, is "20".

    Arathorn
     

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  12. rbis4rbb

    rbis4rbb Sid

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    935! 935!
    Wow. You will soon win this one. Bravo.
     
  13. t3h_m013

    t3h_m013 Prince

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
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    481
    yup, next update metinks... and so will end the first game ive ever followed
     
  14. SesnOfWthr

    SesnOfWthr True Believer

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    Very impressive Arathorn! :worship:

    As far as the saves, if you have anything around 1000 bc and maybe around 10 ad, those are nice easy numbers to compare to. :)
     
  15. ozo

    ozo Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
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    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    This is truly impressive. I'm still having major problems with Deity, but for someone to beat Sid-level by conquest is absolutely amazing. Great work Arathorn!

    I have to add that not only are your gaming skills excellent, your write-ups are fun to read too.
     
  16. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Eight cities to go. Four each in China and Mongolia. There’s probably 400 enemy units, too, but I don’t expect most of those to matter.

    The first order of business is to take care of Canton in China. My forces are mostly arrayed in position and ready to go. 16 casualties in 1778 aren’t enough to take the city but another 15 in 1780 is enough. This opens up a path to the Chinese core.

    I intend to be the only one to use that path. The Chinese troops are all out west chasing after a slave I haven’t picked up yet. A couple armies still have some movement points, so they form a blockage. The Chinese core is now open for business, for me and only me.

    Ships can drop off on these two squares and units can go east with only minimal fear of reprisal from China. I do this and send my ship in the north (still a caravel) west to pick up that slave before the Chinese can reach him. I want ALL the last laughs in this game. groucho

    You can see the details of the army blockade here – no AI units will pass those two armies so the core is left essentially naked:
     

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  17. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Down south, I finally manage to clear a path to Ta-tu. It takes a bit of doing (15 units killed, maybe?), but the armies could do it while some healed and some provided cover. I reach the borders with a bit of force, also in 1780, and kill 14 troops. In a surprise move, the AI actually reinforces Ta-tu. Accident or a shred of intelligence? I vote for the former.

    Most of the rest of my eastern/southern forces arrive in 1782, backed with many reinforcement single cavalry regiments from Main Island, who have been keeping my ships busy. 19 more troops defended Ta-tu, but that just isn’t enough and it burns, like nearly every other city I’ve targeted.

    Victory 15 is special. It gives me what turns out to be my final MGL of the game, Sitting Bull. He heads back to Main Island to form a cavalry army, earmarked for Mongolia.

    The year 1784 is a very gratifying year. It marks great campaigns in both Mongolia and China. In Mongolia, the western forces, having slowly crawled north up the coast, have reached Kazan. The troops on hand are way overkill for the three defenders, so one more Mongolian city burns. They’re down to two now.

    China fares even better (or worse, if you happen to be cheering for this 4-city civ). Nanking had two defenders. A single cav army takes care of that. Beijing, the capital, had 4 defenders, but my attackers outnumber them, and raze the city. I even clean up a few miscellaneous units in the Chinese countryside. New armies take up the blockade location, so my exposed units in China’s core are safe.

    Speaking of safe, that poor American slave I didn’t have space for before is picked up. China loses that race, just like all the others. That slave is MINE and I intend to preserve him. He would get a place of honor, if I had one to spare.

    After the glory of razing three cities (only 3 left) in 1784, 1786 is anticlimactic. The final Chinese city is behind a mountain, so troops move next to Shanghai, on said mountain. The Mongols have far too many troops and I have to kill my way to the next target. Fortunately, both Ulaanbaatar and Tabriz lie west of Ta-tu’s ruins, so I can move all those troops in one direction. The troops up by ex-Kazan can all move south. The great movement year!

    Bummer in the interturn, though. I’m back up to four cities required to raze. The Mongols found Darhan in the middle of their continent, near where Karakorum used to be.

    I send an army from the southern group east and then north to try to get into position to hit Darhan. The rest continue to try to fight their way west, gaining a square and access straight south to Ulaanbaatar.

    In the north, Shanghai is attacked and attacked. I only had a few units actually on the mountain, wounded cavs and a yellow-lined cav army. Fortunately, they had only four defenders, so I can easily raze the city.

    That means…
     

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  18. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Oh, then Steam Power comes in. I like railroading, so I start that a number of places and let the default, AI-handpicked-guaranteed-to-be-silly tech (Nationalism, I think) get started. It just no longer matters. Tech is pointless. Artillery would’ve been nice, but it won’t come. Rifles are not of much use with the current army sweep in progress.

    1790 sees one of the three remaining cities burn. Led by Sitting Bull’s new army freshly returned from Main Island (and then filled), Ulaanbaatar’s four defenders are eliminated and another city burns. Darhan loses two but horribly wounds the knight army (red-lined with about 3 hp left) I’d sent up there. Fortunately, a mixed army was still healing near Ta-tu’s ruins and can reach the spot to protect him.

    I also have a few units who weren’t need to raze Ulaanbaatar that work on clearing a southern path to Tabriz. The northern army group is rerouted towards Darhan.

    The AI hugely reinforces Darhan in the interturn. I wonder what caused the redirection/shuffle this time. It wasn’t that the last coastal city was lost, as Tabriz still exists. I think it was just “time” for a reorganization and the Darhan square happened to be popular.

    I can kill four more units in Darhan and the northern (western) army group reaches the square next to it, for a full-fledged assault in 1794. Tabriz had only four defenders, once the units outside the city were killed (unknown number). It burns in 1792. Darhan is the only remaining city that is not Iroquois.

    For that reason, I settler-abandon a couple of other cites. Oh, wait, that was because I was at 65% of land area and had cultural expansions coming. No surprise domination for me. New Kente and Goigouen were both size 2 and could be abandoned.

    Darhan tries to play Almarikh II, losing 27 units in 1794 and not falling. I attacked with muskets, armies, and everything I had. Oh well. I continue to pound it in 1796, redlining all defenders and auto-razing it, after killing another 11 units. That means…
     

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  19. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    I then found a whole bunch of tiny towns – like 6 or so, to get my land area up to 68%, so it’s a combination conquest/domination victory.

    My final score is 7132 points. I end with 28735 culture on turn 363, so I could MAYBE have pulled off a cultural victory, too, if I had unlimited patience and would have felt like hammering all the Mongol units still around. I’m pretty happy with the militaristic combination, though.

    The replay is reasonably interesting. The main islands of the AI were all pretty well settled by 1625 BC, but other than America settling West America, they really did essentially no additional island colonization. The islands east of E/Z saw a bit of action, but that was late, by the time I was ready to kill them.

    China and America did throw down early. China got two MGLs in the 750 BC timeframe, but no cities changed hands and no army was built (obviously. Too bad, it would’ve been a nice challenge). America led China the whole way (until I eliminated America), though, so I wonder about that early war. China was apparently at war pretty much the whole game, then, and the AI doesn’t always handle that the best…

    Anyway, it was nice to see this…

    Arathorn
     

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  20. anarres

    anarres anarchist revolutionary

    Joined:
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    Let me be the firs to say congrats! (well, the first after you won).

    A great game to follow, and it really shows a hell of a lot about some of the AI limitations and ability to cope with extreme situations.

    Going up against so many units is simply hilarious to watch, it really was funny! :)
     

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