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[BTS] If you may begin a game with a free Great Person of your choice, which one will you choose.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by mangamancer, Apr 19, 2019.

?

Which one.

  1. Great Artist

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Great Engineer

    22 vote(s)
    68.8%
  3. Great General

    2 vote(s)
    6.3%
  4. Great Merchant

    3 vote(s)
    9.4%
  5. Great Prophet

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Great Scientist

    3 vote(s)
    9.4%
  7. Great Spy

    2 vote(s)
    6.3%
  1. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    FTFY Personally if i was the first person on a forum of reasonably experts playing the game, to choose an option, I'd go back and rethink why I thought so.
     
  2. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Depends a bit on difficulty level, too, I guess. Outside deity, espionage is not very useful, as AIs tech so slow. I still think a settled GE beats espionage, since, well, the first war will be a cakewalk.
     
  3. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    Sampsa, what the hell are you trying to say, that you are such a awesome player that you have almost never had the AI out tech you (have a tech you don't have) short of deity level difficulty? We can't all be as flawless a player as you.

    Moderator Action: Please direct your comments to the topic and not the player. leif
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2019
  4. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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    Spies are filthy and dirty!

    Plus, knowing what the AI are teching all the time feels like cheating.

    The AI are capped at 20% espionage slider.
    How can they compete if the player goes 100%?!

    Finally, I'd add that people hate playing civ 4 with a calculator, which is handy for espionage economy.
     
  5. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Moderator Action: Please cease the discussion of each other and discuss the topic. Posting that you are putting someone on your ignore list is trolling, please do not do it. If you think someone is a troll, please report the post and let staff handle the issue.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  6. drewisfat

    drewisfat Chieftain

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    Yes well, rudeness aside, I actually did read this thread. You'll see several of the better players considering espionage, hence my surprise at it not being picked. You'll also see a bunch of people yourself included admitting that you just really dislike espionage. You'll also notice some people admit to piggybacking on the general thread consensus.

    I'm not wooed by the difficulty level argument Sampsa. It assumes a constant, high skill level in the player while varying the difficulty levels. I assume Deity players play on Deity and Emperor players play on Emperor, and that an Emperor player playing on Emperor isn't outteching the AI like a Deity level player would. It seems especially weird to play DOWN a couple levels AND give yourself a free great person. And in general you can make adjustments. With an espionage economy you can afford to be more war focused and trust espionage to maintain parity, while also using points to revolt cities if need be.
     
  7. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    OK. I understood the question in the most literal way: If I could choose a GP to start the game with, what would it be? I do play many levels, though mostly the two highest ones and my remark meant that I think I'd gain something from a GSpy only on deity.

    Recalling some threads a few years back, I'm assuming your win% on deity is very high, close to 100%. Typically, when a player wins most games, the losses come mostly from unavoidable early war declarations or in other ways very rough starts. My assumption was that settling a GE gives you the biggest gain in the early game (mostly compared to Mids, I admit I didn't consider settling a GSpy seriously) and thus it will help most in such cases.

    I'd be delighted if you could expand your thoughts on GSpy-strategy as much as possible. :) Maybe I, and most people on this thread just have no idea how strong espionage can be.
     
    krikav likes this.
  8. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I think that espionage would get a huge gain in popularity many of the arcane things that are in theory knowable for the player, but requires a rather extensive notebok and a pocket calculator handy where instead incorporated in the bug/bull/buffy mod.

    I'm also very interested in learning more about espionage, as it is a huge blank space in my civ4 knowledge.
     
  9. drewisfat

    drewisfat Chieftain

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    I haven't played in years, so take this with a grain of salt. Like everyone else I don't really like espionage. But I valued the great wall way more than the avg player, so I've gotten a lot of early great spies and they were indeed very powerful. I'd suggest that the reason GSpy yield are so dramatic: (3 beakers and 12 esp pts) or +100% espionage or +3000 esp points, isn't just because the designers knew it was terrible compared to other resources. That would be an odd admission to make while designing a feature. But rather, they assumed that the vast majority of players wouldn't get a great spy til late in the game, typically communism. That tech is where the good espionage buildings start to be unlocked. Prior to that courthouses allow you to run a single spy specialist, the Forbidden Palace gives a whopping 1 great spy point and Castles give you +25% esp. It's very tightly controlled early game. And all 3 of those buildings are terrible choices on higher difficulty levels, unless you're playing a huge map. It's really great wall that enables caring about espionage at all early game. Typically if I expected to get one GSpy in the game I'd just infiltrate. If I wanted to try to get more, then I'd start settling and Scotland Yarding. It's very difficult to get gspys, but they lead to absolutely exponential growth when you start dropping +12 esp points and +100% espionage. These modifiers blow away all comparable modifiers. With only +2 great people points, it takes forever to get a 2nd and a 3rd gspy unless you risk pollution and that's what keeps the espionage economy in check. I strongly suspect starting with a free gspy basically breaks the balance and makes the espionage econ OP. I think this is a different level of game changing than a settled great engineer, which is more comparable to starting with an extra good resource tile.

    I'd say you rush the great wall at all costs, settle, scotland yard, and then settle again or put SY in any decent commerce city. "gspy does nothing til alphabet while 3 hammers lets you snowball" isn't the whole story. Espionage has passive effects, which while normally aren't worth any kind of investment, in a scenario where you're starting with at least 4x anyone else's espionage, it's just free maphack. Great for optimal settling (staking out the land you need when you need to and not earlier). Also good for worker stealing. Steal 1-2 workers, run back to your base, and milk double exp with great wall. This allows you to get an extra great general, so you can afford to start with a super soldier instead of the usual super medic. Espionage economy is a war economy. A deity player can tech steal on immortal if they're attacking enough. You can maintain economic parity with virtually no economy. Also you can city revolt. As far as trying to get win % close to 100%, I'd say one cause of losses is terrible barb rng or spawn busting holes. Secondly I'd define a hard game as one where I'm unable to secure enough good land to win the lib race and rush cuirs AND I also don't have an obvious early break out, like a UU or finding copper/horses early in my BFC. Gspy/wall helps in both of these cases. I know I'm not the first to say that medieval warfare is simply the worst. However, when you can stay afloat tech-wise while going all in on production AND you can city revolt, AND the enemy is revealed, medieval war not so bad. You don't need liberalism, the only priority self-tech if the game goes long enough is communism, which is the espionage tech but also the tech for state property - which is the exact type of economy you're running in an espionage game.

    I'd say the weakness in Gspy is if you have a weak start, no stone, no IND, starting with neither mining nor mysticism, and then getting great wall depends on RNG on deity. I still think 3000 esp points is comparable to settled GE if you wanted to be cautious. It's apples to oranges but that's like 10 free techs after Alphabet.
    Settings ofc also matter. Gspy strongest on pangea, weakest on isolated, though idk that GE would be optimal on isolated either. Personally I either play Pangea, or fractal and reroll iso starts.
    Speedwise, I assumed normal, but I think longer game settings make gspy even more favorable. Whipping / chopping is more important, which means you should always be able to secure great wall from the AI 100%. And the delay in moving spies back and forth and then waiting 5 turns is a proportionally smaller cost.
    Also, if you turn tech trading off or play Always War then there is no question that gspy is the best.
    GE may be optimal if you *knew* you were PHI for rushing the mids, or if you *knew* you were on an archipelago for rushing TGLh. But I think these conditions are much rarer than not being able to secure TGW.
     
    gavenkoa, Qactus, Major Tom and 2 others like this.
  10. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    I still think the game is about snowballing and the extra hammers and beakers early start the ball rolling a lot earlier. What you do before alpha can determine whether you win or not. And nothing irritates me more than watching all the esp points I put to my closest neighbor disappear when I eliminate them. And I don't play Deity that often so the AI rarely gets that far ahead of me tech wise.
     
  11. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @drewisfat Thanks for a very thoughtful post! I did not consider the option "take the GSpy, and then always beeline TGW, but it doesn't make 100% sense when you lay it out like that.
     
  12. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    I was assuming normal speed too, probably fractal since I think it's most commonly played (?). In isolation GSpy would certainly lose to a settled engineer, but that doesn't mean that a free GSpy wouldn't be a huge bonus there, too. I understand that stealing techs means you don't really need to tech anything yourself (steal something big and trade it around) so you can gear your empire more towards maximizing :hammers: output. Still, the reality might be that all roads lead to Rome.
     
  13. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Chieftain

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    AIs that you have a ton of :espionage: on (from, say, an early Great Spy) will generally increase their espionage spending to try and close the gap. Which will gradually make your missions more expensive and your spies more likely to get caught...but it will also slow them down. Possible clever use of an early Great Spy, maybe?
     
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  14. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Chieftain

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    Me too!
    I still have the original link saved.
    http://www.civfanatics.com/civ4/reference/leader_picker_bts.html
    If there is a way to dig it up in the archives, please do. I always wanted to learn how to update it over the years for various mods I have tried out, but it went away and never asked how to regain access to the archived links.
     
  15. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Thread Killer Moderator

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    Try here:

    Leader Picker

    It's for 3.17 and it's an oldie, but it is the same file as near as I can tell. Try it and tell me how it works. :)
     
  16. Drakarska

    Drakarska Epic Dadness

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    Took the GE option here, if we're talking about vanilla. As others mentioned, 'Mids beeline is the way to go for the difficulty level I play on.
    If we're talking modded, well heh, that's an entirely different beast all together, as certain mods on these parts certainly favor a selection dependent on the mod your playing, as well as the options you have selected.

    As for the GS selection, there are several Mods the have included the Adv Diplo and Adv Espi modcomps, and those have actually made Spys worth while, and even more important, a heck of a lot of fun :D.
     

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