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Immortal Game: Saladin


Feb 11, 2011
Seattle, WA
A pretty cheeky start, with interesting bunch of neighbors and another weird map on Pangaea, as Saladin. Just finished the game again, and wanted to see how others would approach this game.

This time, it is just a straight up 4000 BC Autosave on BUFFY on Immortal. That way, more lenient and more possibility for more interesting approach instead of the much more limited Deity.
Standard Pangaea, No Huts/Events as usual, and this time, Choose Religion is on, as I was initially looking to play a religion game of sort with Islam playing a major role instead of the usual boring Buddhism/Hindu/Judaism dominance.

No need to add Barbarian techs, since this is just a straight up 4000 BC Autosave on Immortal. If you want a World Builder save instead for maybe vanilla or Deity, let me know.

First, what we see from the opening:


Minor spoiler: Moving the warrior reveals....

Spoiler :




  • AutoSave_Initial_BC-4000.CivBeyondSwordSave
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T0 opinion
Spoiler :
I think you should go 1W. Yes off the river, but the extra :hammers: is much stronger than +2:health:. 1SE or something does claim lots of river tiles, so maybe if you want to play a really long game. But it's pangaea, why play a long game? Gold and tons of forest allows you to fastplay.

T50 opinion
Spoiler :
I think every reasonable plan will win. I want to win quickly so I oracled math to go for construction war. You could try to save 160:science: by oracling construction but just didn't want to risk it. You will lose a bit more if someone beats you to it. Gifted stone to the southern guy who will build walls with it yes, but also near guaranteed Mids.

I think you can also play it as a builder if you want to. Very easy to get a religion on pangaea, SPI so you can alternate caste+paci / slavery+orgrel, probably will win Mids every time you try to and so on. You are PRO with stone so getting plotted on early shouldn't be a big problem.

Spoiler :
Posted the map after finishing the game not the way I wanted to play. Seeing Shaka to the west immediately put me on war mode and killed him with Construction, the rest of the map mop up starting with Camel Archers.

It has been a long long time since I played any kind of religion/culture game, and I was thinking perhaps this map might serve well for that purpose.
Spoiler :
I wouldn't worry about Shakaboy and would just start from the wonderbuilder. Yes SPI to me is more of a builder trait (mostly due to org rel) and of course stone/marble also point towards that. It's just that the pangaea is broken...
religion economy... :twitch:

I know you did a religion-based game with Sal in recent months, so this might be repetitive? I am going on vacation, but I am trying to find time to attempt somewhat of an unconventional approach in which I hoard as many religions as possible, while generating as many Great Prophets as possible and settle them all in my shrine city. I have done such a thing at Noble and below in the past, but never at Immortal. Not gonna be optimal, but wanted to see if it is feasible.
...and then make AP declare war on the infidels!:hammer: Not sure what exactly is meant by feasible, but I do think it's possible to win.

Spoiler :
I made a few attempts last night for about half hour, and each and every time I go for Polytheism, I get beaten by Wang. I got success when I go for Meditation instead.

Only Wang and Mansa seem like the major players in terms of religion game, but since Wang has a bad starting location and is almost always such a horrible AI, he is gonna get creamed between Shaka and Stalin. Mansa, meanwhile, should be the target for that infidel, which means it should be a high priority to convert Hammy and Sitting Bull to my Islam. Not sure about Shaka and Stalin... would surely be nice if I could somehow manage to have them fight between themselves to keep them busy.

I know there is some really good prime real estate to be had here, but wonder hoarding almost certainly means sacrificing expansion. I hate getting boxed in.
Polytheism/meditation is really rough to go for in high levels. For a feasible religion econ approach I would rather oracle code of laws- then you get a free missionary to guarantee infecting someone, you got time to get a couple food techs first and you get useful stuff like working towards civil service. Also passive prophet points for your shrine to come faster and spread more. Then you can very easily win from there.
Polytheism/meditation is really rough to go for in high levels. For a feasible religion econ approach I would rather oracle code of laws- then you get a free missionary to guarantee infecting someone, you got time to get a couple food techs first and you get useful stuff like working towards civil service. Also passive prophet points for your shrine to come faster and spread more. Then you can very easily win from there.

Of course, that is a very logical approach. There is one slight problem. You see... I wanted to be the champion of Islam... but if I do the Oracle --> Code of Laws approach, certain someone would almost surely nab Islam away from me, and I cannot allow that to happen! ^_^ Unless of course, I "could" consider making him a Christian.....

Now if you think the map looks enticing, please give it a try. I just didn't want you to feel bored because you recently did a similar game with Sal.
off beat strategies on immortal are always fun. lain-style deity grind maps with very minimal variety are what lead to boredom and burnout. your hannibal map was awesome, one of my top 10 most fun games.

I am happy that you enjoyed it. I agree that Deity can get very limiting in variety... game can punish you for attempting many gameplay elements available in game, yet made nearly useless due to some silly mechanics in Deity as well as unreasonably insane AI bonuses/player penalties.

Now about this religion thing. If you are wanting to do it, I'd appreciate seeing either this map... OR... a game setup like the following:

1. Pangaea with all standard settings, but Choose Religion would be more fun.
2. Pick Hatty as the leader for her awesomeness and run priests from the get go with Obelisk(s) in a food rich city or two ... just because... it is something rare and funky to do. ^_^ And that would mean that wonders like Spiral Minaret and Angkor Wat would actually get some love!
3. Handpick 6 of the most religious AI in the game that are not overly peaceful. My picks would be: Brennus, Isabella, Justinian, Monty, Sal, and ... Mansa just because he is special.

I'd personally love to see a mass army of settled Great Prophets in our holy city and making it a mega rich super capital full of gold and culture. Don't even have to stay completely peaceful... could go to war in the name of religion, or maybe even just to grab a holy city. Unlike Sal who feels out of place other than Islam, Hatty could be more flexible, so Oracling Code of Laws for our own religion would not feel out of place.
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I think what both of you say is just nonsense. ;) Look at Lain's games. Where exactly is the minimal variety? Are you talking about tech choices, build choices, interaction with the AI... To me every game is different. I don't think strong play has anything to do with boredom or burnout, but I'm not a professional on that field.

A good strategy game should allow you to make mistakes. That means there needs to be a lot of choice, and many of those choices need to be mistakes, and those mistakes must be punished by the game, otherwise your choices are meaningless. Maybe the game doesn't work exactly the way you'd want it to work. Is "religion economy" supposed to work as well as something else? I don't think so. Can it be "fun" to do it? Sure.
@sampsa Nonsense? I mean, if all you play is deity, then you are just going for cuirassiers or cannons 90% of the time with an odd elepult or horse archer rush. You're building wealth the entire game until you beeline one of those techs that allow to stomp the game or get enough land to keep up with the 15 city monster that you finish with tanks.
You don't get to explore building more than 3-4 wonders, using religion economies at all, or other units across the tech tree without severely crippling yourself. I have made engineering and flight rushes work to give that difficulty a little more life and variety but its not always applicable.

Good on you if spamming cannons and cuirs doesn't get boring to you, but it sure does for me which is why I drop to immortal and have fun doing niche strats. I can feel myself burning out and losing all interest to play/record after killing my neighbour with the same unit on deity 3-4 games consecutively. I look at Lain and I see someone with no desire to play the game anymore, he is probably having fun playing something else.
Let's say those units do most of the warring. That doesn't mean that there is no variety, because there is much more depth than war in the game. As we have discussed, there are many "styles" that beat deity and there is no clear consensus on many things.

Yes many of the wonders are quite bad, but only some of them totally useless. If you cannot make "religion economy" work, maybe it just doesn't exist as a reasonable strategy? Seems convenient for you that Lain has stopped uploading and posting here, now you can just say he has burnt out to shamelessly prove your case. ;)
As a viewer I like the difficultly drops because then I get to see other things happen. I like seeing things I could try to attempt at lower difficulties. I want to get better and go up in difficulty, but sometimes I also want to get 7 religions with ghandi and pop great prophets. I like that Henrik changes it up.
Lain is a formulaic player. He chooses to never go early wonders, never go espionage, and never use the non-meta UUs. That's his choice, but it can give a false impression that the game is more one path to victory than it is. Obsolete showed that you could often beat deity with settling great people - aka total nonsense to how most of us play today. I think it's weird to speculate that he stopped uploading games cuz of too many tough grinds. Could also speculate that it's because you started uploading a lot more often than he could. Probably though, his life just got busier.
Yeah obsolete was something, assuming it was real. "Here I settle some great people because it's stronk, while others light bulb fishing. Here I win conquest in 1900AD with cavalry."
Deity was super exciting in the early days, winning felt like really achieving something against the odds :)
Now we know everything about Civ4 and whatever keeps the fun in for peoples works.

I liked heavy micro, mostly cos i felt like that benefits us in sgotm games.
Others would prolly find that totally boring.
Losing a deity game now and then kept me motivated..not much bores me more against AIs than easy wins.
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