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Ials pbem #1

Discussion in 'Civ4 - PBEM Games' started by ParadigmShifter, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    Just finished the UN ... and now I take the time to count how many votes I have (192) and Japan has (160-ish) ... out of the 786 available ... so Tigranes has about 430 ... more than enough to block any victory vote.

    At this stage, I am proposing that we call this game as complete with Tigranes winning.

    Thoughts?

    Edit: Just cracked open the 1900 turn (before ICBMs) and my population was 460 (out of 1095). So I lost about 60% of my population and my economy went from +1900g per turn to +190g per turn.
     
  2. sinimusta

    sinimusta el capitano

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    I'm fine with that rather than seeing the Japanese lands nuked too in a futile war effort.
     
  3. sinimusta

    sinimusta el capitano

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    So congratulations to Tigranes!
     
  4. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Link to video.

    Well, thank you! Thanks to all the players past and present who made this game record breaking longest running game (5.5 years of real time) and currently having the most replies on Civ 4 PBEM forums.

    I took over Portugal one year ago in 1400 AD, with Byzantium having 7 techs on me, and Mali having 8 and soon winning the Liberalism race. I was just starting to research Gunpowder :crazyeye: It is easy to describe the outcome of this game with one single word -- nukes. :nuke: However I would like to offer another word -- strategy.

    We do chose tо play a strategy game, after all. One can loose a battle but win a war, nay, one can loose a war but win a game in Strategy game. Sometimes it takes a year of real time planning and aiming in order to witness who's strategic thinking would carry the day ultimately.

    Basically, using chess language, whereas chess opening theory changes frequently, giving way to middlegame positions that fall in and out of popularity, endgame theory always remains constant. Everyone keeps an eye on F8 screen with the addition of human player elimination Victory, which is the most common way for human PBEM games to end. Just like in chess most games among advanced opponents are not won with check-mate, they are won with one side conceding the game. So nukes are the part of the strategic planning in Civ games, just like Pawn becoming a Queen can change things instantly in chess. On the other side -- one can still lose even with an extra Queen. If the planning to check mate your opponents King goes one step ahead of him getting extra Queen and "throwing the game out of balance", that is.

    Two graphs really tell the story here:






    So its 1800s, Portugal owns entire continent, while Mali's power is superior, there is a huge tech lead and GNP (even with culture component subtracted) is triple of the Portugal's and all the critical Wonders belong to Mali. The vast ocean separates the continents. What can be possibly done by my Portugal? Well there is a C in ICBM for a reason. In the battle of continents someone has to deliver an intercontinental blow. With the great tech lead Mali could have get there first, but they went to the places like Medicine or Mass Media instead. Even with Mass Media, if nukes are not your favorite endgame scenario, one has an option to get UN early and ban the MP outright or make the nuke focused country a villain. Instead even in the modern warfare Mali was betting on Power graph -- more Tanks, just like more Knights, represents the linear path to victory. But life is not linear, and creators of BTS had to reflect it somehow. SoDs become useless in Modern Warfare, two nukes can annihilate the entire stack, so the new wisdom is to spread your units around instead of keeping them in the same stack. Lacking in GNP Portugal leveraged the resources of the entire continent into the Production, outproduced Mali 2 to 1, built science, built Nukes and .. well there is no such a thing as excessive nuking :mischief:. Nuking stops as soon as your opponents surrenders ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  5. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    Tigranes ... excellent post and, again, congratulations on your victory. :goodjob:

    I'm not sure that the Mali tech lead was that strong. You obviously had a hammer advantage (that graph of yours ... that block at the end was from a golden age?). How many hammers per city were you getting from Mining Inc?

    You also took over your civ trailing a number of techs. I would say that your position on the other continent (which you eventually fully controlled) allowed you to catch up.

    It would be interesting to go back and look at some critical numbers with and without cities building science / gold (beakers at 100% science, gold at 100% gold, breakeven research percentage, hammers). I am thinking that Portugal / Mali would be much, much closer than we think. Pre-ICBMs obviously :).

    Anyway, let me chat about nukes for a minute, then I will post again with a post game review. Finally, I will post about how I was able to track your navy.

    Nukes ... no, I want to separate ICBMs from tactical nukes ... ICBMs are a winning ploy. They have no counter. None. While they are in the game, I think the lack of a ICBM counter is a critical flaw in Civ4. If you have ever been on the receiving end of a ICBM barrage (and I have a few times) you'll understand what I mean.

    As such, most of my pbem games have been played assuming no one would use ICBMs. Similar thinking to not voting for an AP victory (but that is to remove the cheese factor more than the 'cannot be countered' factor).

    That said, I won't make that mistake again. All of my future games will either include an explicit ICBM ban or I will play in such a way that no one gets to ICBMs.

    The broader civ4 game is set up with offensive units and counters. Most counters come a little before or just after the unit they are countering. Look at Crossbows and Mace. Spears and Horse Archers. Catapults and SoD. Horse Archers and Catapults.

    ICBM, on the other hand have no counters. There is the star-wars / SDI project but that is several techs after ICBMs and isn't a real counter. It has a 75% chance of knocking the ICBM down ... which means you just have to build more ICBMs.

    I suppose the only real counter to ICBM is another ICBM.

    Why am I separating ICBM and tactical nukes. Tactical nukes have a range of 4 tiles. ICBMs can be launched from anywhere and hit anywhere. You can sit in your cities guarded by your warriors and launch ICBM after ICBM at not cost.

    Tactical nukes, on the other hand, have to be carried to the location where you want to use them. The counter is stopping the unit carrying the tactical nukes. You see a sub, you better blow it up because it probably has 3 tactical nukes on board.
     
  6. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Yes, it was my second Golden age in the entire game, only used 2 GP. 21 :hammers: at it's peak.

    And yes, just like in real life the counter to ICBM is your ICBM. I was still in Golden Age when you belatedly started to nuke me -- and you can see the effect on my graph. Now imagine a game when you do it before I nuked you 24 times already? A game were I build MP, but since you play before me -- you rush buy 500 :hummer: IBCMs and nuke me just before I do it to you? BTS IBCM effect is already nerfed compared with real life. Again a single Warrior can raze a city, while IBCM cannot erase another IBCM. Without IBCM the linear increase in Power (traditional units) basically means that you will pwn your opponents, assuming both sides are equally matched tacticians. With prolonged nuclear exchange Japan could have emerge as a winner :) My war weariness was already huge and Global Warming was getting on me. Banning IBCMs means banning Modern Warfare. Nuclear winter and going back to Stone Age city sizes may be very annoying but not unreasonable or unrealistic, then the question will be which Stone Age sized cities will win? :)
     
  7. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    Mali Game Review

    Background / Initial Planning

    I, too, took over an existing civ in this game. I came into a continent with four players, each fairly evenly matched in tech and power. My first observation was that Mali wasn't in Bureaucracy and had a comparatively poor teching capital (inland sea with Moai Statues).

    So ... I looked for a new capital (food, hills and flood plains) and started that build process. I also swapped to Bureaucracy so that I could get out some wonders with the hammer bonus while the new capital was being built.

    The previous Mali player had invested nicely with EPs and I had visibility into all of my continental opponents (Greece, Japan, Byzantium). Thus I was able to build just enough military to keep them honest and not too much.

    NAP with Japan

    Japan and I signed a fairly long NAP and spent some time discussing future wars, opponents, etc. The split between Japan --> Greece and Mali --> Byzantium was settled fairly early.

    I was aiming for a rifle, cavalry, cannon invasion with the rifles being drafted. That required some planning and most of my NAP with Japan was spent lining up those ducks.

    Japan decided to jump in a little early that I preferred and found himself in a two sided war. That was his decision as I had said that I wasn't completely ready for my Byzantium war at the stage he wanted to start it.

    War with Byzantium

    Obviously, I was ready for the Byzantium war when I did start it. I also have a very small border with Greece and I was not going to find my self in any two-sided war.

    The war against Byzantium was fairly clinical with two main thrusts followed by opportunistic invasions as I observed Byzantium moving to react to my main invasions.

    EP War with Japan

    Japan was running an EP economy against me, stealing tech left and right. This sort of EP mission doesn't directly hurt me. My civ situation doesn't change pre and post tech theft (except for having someone else know a tech that I already know). However, you don't have to completely like it. I put a spy in every city (small increase in the chance of catching a Japanese spy), I ran the anti-EP mission regularly. I did miss that one of the EP buildings raised the chance of catching a spy and also increased the EPs required ... but noticed that when my anti-EP mission cost when up one turn to the next.

    In the war with Japan (more on that below), Japan did bounce me out of my preferred corporation civic. It only costs me 1 turn of being in the 'wrong' civics as Mali is spiritual and I had build Cristo Redentor. Next turn, I swapped back and bounced Japan from one of its civics (drafting I think).

    Japan bounced me some time later and I decided that enough was enough. I swapped to the starting civics and bound Japan into all of them (5 civic swap missions required). Then I swapped back to my preferred civics. All up it cost me 2 turns (1 turn from the Japan bounce and 1 turn in base civics). I expect it cost Japan 8 turns (5 between civic swaps, 3 turns of anarchy to get back to preferred civics).

    After that, Japan and I agreed we wouldn't use the civic missions again.

    War with Japan

    Portugal was providing some assistance to Japan but I don't really think it had much of an impact. I think I saw a Japanese ship sailing to Portugal and I expect that Japan picked up some techs via EP. The city gift to Portugal obviously made the EP missions much easier (and less costly).

    This war was bloody. Japan's protective trait didn't help. But the threat of large numbers of cannons (and then artillery) backed up by infantry and anti-tank units was certainly a major concern. Splitting my first tank stack was a mistake. I think I learnt that lesson with my second stack ... including throwing in a moderate number of machine guns (no collateral, hard to kill).

    Losing the second stack of tanks was fine ... no other way to beat Japan here ... it was always going to be a war of production and I think I was able to generate superior production to lead to an (eventual) victory over Japan.

    Portugal

    Given the length of time that the Japanese war would take, Portugal was in the box seat and it was free to do what ever it wanted to do. I expected it to tech to space. If Portugal went that way, the only real way to beat it would be to tech to space myself and pull off a very lucky 'kill the capital' attack once the Portugal space ship was launched.

    Portugal decided to tech to nukes (see above posts) and left me and Japan with no option except concede the game.
     
  8. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    21H from mining inc .. raw, pre multipliers? I was only getting 4, maybe 6 once I controlled Japan. I went back and forth about Mining Inc or the Corp I did take. Seems I made the wrong decision.

    Your continent might have been more resource rich.
     
  9. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    Finding the Portugese Navy

    I remember picking up Physics early as I wanted to be able to build airships. I build about 12 to 15 of them and scattered them into my coastal cities. Each turn I would run a series of recon missions.

    I put the pics in spoilers and they are large.

    Here is F5 before running any recon missions ...
    Spoiler :

    Here is F5 after running recon missions in the north east ...

    Spoiler :

    You can see how much ocean I can see. You can also see the airships on their recon missions. Also ... the destroyer hiding in the northern ice is clearly visible.
     

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  10. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Sorry, which interface mod were you been using? Those icons on the left right... never saw them in BUG....
     
  11. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Yes, raw. Japan was the huge factor in my strategy. I REALLY hoped you will invade Japan instead of focusing on me. sinimusta is brilliant at war but he would not attack you first in his position. While you been building units against him, I was building research.
     
  12. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    I don't think this is that cut and dry. Banning IBCMs but allowing Tactical nukes will have an impact on SoD composition (as you mentioned in your post above). It will force the SoD to spread out and thus they will be subject to more traditional Civ4 tactics.

    Modern warfare with no nukes is a very drawn out, slow affair and is no fun at all ... unless you have an tech advantage (but that is true of all Civ eras).

    I suppose this is a counter ... someone has Fission so your only defense against ICBMs is to not build the Manhattan Project, have a stack of gold ready and be in Universal Suffrage (or be able to instantly swap into it) and wait for them to build it ... then you rush buy ICBMs and nuke them.

    That seems fairly 1-dimensional. But ... it does arrive at the conclusion that the only winning move is not to play.
     
  13. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    This isn't BUG. You can't play a mod in a pbem game unless everyone is playing that mod. And BUG isn't that stable for multi-player.

    What icons on the left? Or do you mean the right? Those are tech / build pop-ups if you select the 'minimize pop-ups' option.

    Japan and I did discuss extending our NAP which would have left us to 'concentrate' on you ... but I felt that I needed to full production power of my continent to 'fully' counter you.

    Yeah ... I was watching.
     
  14. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Remember your poor Great Engineer killed by nuke? You might find a delight that I had much more painful loss. I have spent a great deal of planning and hoping to inspire a Great Merchant in London to found Cereals Corp. in my WS city. To my great joy he was born with 34% odds and I sent him in a 2 turn rail voyage towards the Oporto. His first turn ended near Uxmal, quite unremarkable city, compared to larger NE city Evora. Having NE in the city were I can employ just 1 specialist was a constant source of grief to me, to the point that I secretly hoped you will nuke Evora and if I loose NE it will be rebuilt very fast in more appropriate city. However you have chosen to nuke ... Uxmal! And my Merchant dies from radiation :cry: What made you to chose Uxmal over other larger targets and which was your IW city? Same as HE, the one west off your capital?
     
  15. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    Uxmal? No reason at all. I did go looking for your Nat Wonders ... mainly wall St in your Corp central. It was fun zooming in and looking at the city before / after nuking to see what I had taken out.

    My IW was in the coastal city north of my HE city. I don't like having a HE city that isn't coastal. I think I made a mistake putting it there.
     
  16. sinimusta

    sinimusta el capitano

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    Thanks:)!

    I guess I could put up some of my post game thoughts here as well.

    Btw, don't we have kind of an example of the philosophical dilemma of Theseus' ship paradox? At the end of the game, all the leaders of the alive nations are replacements so is it still the original "Ials pbem"? :lol:

    When I took over, it was supposed to be a temporary thing for Luthor, but then he said he wasn't too invested in this game anyway and let me keep it. I saw the nation as backwards in tech which made me want to experiment espionage economy as it had been so much praised in S&T. I thought that with lacking science multipliers (no Oxf. this was almost an optimal case for it).

    Another thing going for Japan was that it was close to getting steel and to me it means cannons. Cannons, samurai and agg/pro muskets for clean-up-> fun :cool:. And also, neighbouring nations that don't have too much military tech. Getting NAP with the most dangerous one, Ruff was my policy. I tried it aswell with Byzantium but wouldn't manage, they were too friendly with Greece.

    One could ask why not try to stop Ruff in this point and ally with Greece and Byzantium. I'm not sure it would have improved my position enough to justify it. If Ruff was the sole runaway, the yes, but there was always Portugal looming in the other continent, claiming to be backwards in tech and not so much of a threat. I'm not sure the dogpile would have been successful, the alliance would have required a lot of coordination and would I have gotten enough benefit? In case of winning, I would have gained land hard to defend, and would have been left between two states which would have been more friendly to each other than me. Trying to increase my land then would have lead to two-front-war.

    So I decided to go for my first Greek war. I though that Byzantiums threat was mostly bluff, they would maybe DoW but wouldn't do anything significant and I underestimated Greeks/overestimated the power of cannons. It was a rushed war, but I feared Greece getting more mil tech/continuing building up his power + the earlier the better so I rushed it.

    One mistake might be rushing for Thebes, which was a hill city and did have defenders/was reinforced heavily. Part of it was that I wanted to kill them with my collateral and overestimating cannons and also Thebes was on the road towards the Greek core. Going for southern cities might have made me some gains but they wouldn't have been so important. Still, I was trading hammers at a rate better than 1:1, thanks to cr-promos and cannons. If I could have directed all my reinforcements south, I would have won. But I had to respond to the potential threat of Byzantium and he sent a force I beat (but made me send those troops north).

    2nd Greek war was easier one, I had numerical and tech superiority and only Greek front to worry about. My main concern was Ruff breaking his nap after finishing Byzantium, I feel that I'd have lost at that point.

    The thing all the game for me was that I didn't want to kingmake and there were two runaways, not just one. My unrealistic dream scenario was Ruff sailing and invading Portugal and somehow getting a winning position out of that.

    I personally liked more my aggressive trait. The benefit of pro is shown during enemy turn and it's harder to see than when the defender can counter attack. Maybe pro got more lifetime to my border cities/coast? Defending coast cleverly is another good question, I did prioritize the capital and other than that just some units or none if the city was just a filler. Keep troops in position to counter attack, but safe from bombarding.

    I felt portuguese help was important even before nukes. My problem with the 2nd stack was the mgs, and Tigranes gave me the means to deal with them with some efficiency: air force and tanks + a lot of other stuff.

    I guess one of my weak points was how to use effectivily air force in defense. Is interception good if you have less production? But how do you control your skies then? Maybe I shouldn't have used interception, at least not as much, it lead to losing my gift fighters too fast.
     
  17. Atticus

    Atticus Chieftain Retired Moderator

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    Congratulations guys!

    For all the game I had the problem that if I'd start a war against either of my neighbours, the other would rear end me. I didn't believe that war against Mali would have been us three ganging up against him, but someone backstabbing. Besides, I had most to lose against Mali with the longest border.

    Then my plan was to attack Japan while it was on a war. I tried to take Tokyo as soon as possible, but Japan wasn't worn out enough yet.

    I'm a bit surprised that Mali didn't continue to take Japan after conquering the glorious Poop City. They had already machine guns, which are pretty much unbeatable.
     
  18. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

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    Japan and Mali had a NAP that took a few turns to run out. By the time the NAP expired, Japan had enough cannons to defend so I teched on to tanks. And it turned into a very long and bloody battle.
     

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