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Inca Religious Victory Games Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Hall of Fame Discussion' started by Firmlife, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    I didn't have any choice in the title and neither did Firmlife. The first post generally gives an idea of what the thread is all about and I believe that is the case in this thread.

    You are welcome to express opposing views.

    Just don't expect to me accept challenges you pose. "I have enough on my hands."

    This thread is more about taking action than debating points.

    You are welcome, but I'd prefer that you join us rather than make our quest more difficult.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  2. Ozbenno

    Ozbenno Fly Fly Away Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    If you want the title changed let me know what to change it to.
     
  3. Firmlife

    Firmlife Chieftain

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    I don't have a problem with the title of the thread, the posts being made here, or with anyone, including WastinTime, trying to best my dates. In fact, I would welcome attempts, especially against my three stronger games (the epics and the 45 turn Quick) because I am curious to see just how resilient the dates I'm posting are.

    While I never like losing a slot, I appreciate that the atmosphere here is one that favors challenge and competition, and I think doing anything to jeopardize that is very dangerous and counterproductive.

    A couple thoughts on huts.

    You'll notice I didn't try to handicap popping mining. While on the surface, it may seem like popping mining on marathon saves you the ~17 turns it takes to research it, the reality is that this is not so. What advantages do you gain from popping mining on the 2nd turn? You can't use it until you get a worker which, even under the best conditions, is probably about eight turns in. You do save ~90 beakers, but by the end of the research phase you should be getting ~18-20 beakers a turn, so it only save you ~5 turns of tech.

    Masonry I think is easier to handicap. Religious games are three phases. A research and pre-chop phase that last until the simultaneous completion of Monotheism and the Oracle, a build phase during which the AP is constructed, and a wait phase after the AP is constructed but before the first non-election vote takes place. If you've done the pre-chop phase well, the build phase only takes a handful of turns as workers complete the last chop on all the pre-chops. Both the build phase and the wait phase, then, are more or less fixed in length. In these optimized games, it's only the research phase that makes any significant impact on the end time.

    Popping Masonry does make it unlikely that doing something like chopping a library is going to quicken the game, and it does add to the potential that your pre-chops are not done in time (especially for non-Inca). But it is one of the last techs you need, and popping it pretty directly quickens the research phase of the game. Any claim that it doesn't speed up a victory by approximately the number of turns it would have taken to research it minus one or two requires evidence.

    That said, I do think some of the claims being made about huts are blown out of proportion.

    ***********

    Further, I think abandoning any games that don't give you a desirable tech pop is not only a good idea, but close to a logical imperative. Let's do a thought exercise to see why.

    Map finder is a necessity for religious games. Any starting position without two commerce resources is a waste of time. We could, obviously, play all those maps we discard, and we might even win a bunch of them, but we know for HoF purposes that it would simply be a waste of time.

    So we use map finder. I personally play about ten to twenty maps for every game I submit, and of those maps, I might play three to completion. So what about the other dozen or so? In some, I lose my first Quecha at 75-90% odds. In some, I can't steal a worker quickly enough, so I abandon them. In some, all the AI cities are on hills and I know building extra Quecha will kill my time. And, of course, in some I screw up and forget Open Borders, or skip writing, or finish the Oracle without getting Monotheism, or who knows what other inventive ways I have of wasting my own time.

    But the point is, the moment I know that a game is not better than the last one I played to completion, I abandon it. Just like the maps we never play because of map finder, to continue playing is a waste of time, a sure way to generate a game I won't submit to the HoF.

    I submit to you that, like it or not, playing a religious game without popping Mining or Masonry falls into the same category.
     
  4. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Praise the Lord! Someone is seeing it my way. I love your entire post. I think I'll read it again :D

    One advantage of Qin and Bismarck (over Inca) is that they can pop Myst, masonry, OR BronzeW as critical techs. Any one of these, it doesn't matter which, probably effects the win date about the same because it simply speeds up tech so that workers/chopping is the critical path.

    And I have to mention again that it takes very little repetition to get one of those free techs. 2-3 starts should do it. As you wrote, there are a ton of other abandonment issues. For example, if I choose the wrong east/west direction and run into Hatty instead of DeGaulle...abort.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    It's still inexplicable why people don't see this as a serious issue though. Must reroll many times as often ---> more barrier to compete :sad:. Barriers to compete at this stage of HoF are worse than ever!

    Inca can still pop the techs if you get sufficiently lucky, but they *also* have that unique "kill with warriors" ability.
     
  6. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    I know I'll never convince you (and you'll never convice me), but its inexplicable why anyone would see this as a serious issue. Mapfinder gives you a bunch of starts with almost no effort/time invested. Attempting to get a tech from a hut requires 2-3 "rerolls". If you think that qualifies as "many times", and you think that is a barrier to compete, then you are welcome to your opinion, but it defies logic.
     
  7. Firmlife

    Firmlife Chieftain

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    I have to side with Sun Tzu here, especially when you use such strong wording as "defies logic". It is without question a barrier, and I have to say logic--and the common meaning of words--is on the side of anyone who says so. Is it an insurmountable barrier? Just the same, no, it is not. Is it a serious issue? Well, that is where there is room for debate.

    I don't like map finder. But it is inescapable. Different starting positions are an inherent, inseparable part of the game. And the process is largely automated. I don't like popping huts. Huts are NOT an inherent, inseparable part of the game. In fact, we've been given the option to turn them off. And restarting due to bad pops is not fun or interesting. My estimates for Inca are that a good hut pop game for religious purposes is more like 1 in 5 or 1 in 10. If I were designing the HoF from the ground up, I would allow mapfinder and disallow huts, and I don't think there'd even be much discussion about it if the decision were made today.

    That said, they're here to stay. They can't be turned off pre-Warlords, and pre-Warlords games, as well as Space Race victories, are not going away. Thus, while I agree that huts are incredibly stupid and wasteful aspect of HoF play, arguing about them is beyond pointless.
     
  8. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    10% chance of popping a technology and roughly a 1 in 3 chance that it is directly useful does not seem to translate to needing to start 2-3 games. Looks more like needing 25-40 games before one gets a start with a directly useful free technology on t0. That is simply too many re-rolls for my tastes.

    As a result, I'd prefer to use No Tribal Villages and ban them from Hall of Fame play among other exploitative settings. I completely agree with TheMeInTeam on this subject.

    Firmlife, you can delay commiting to researching a technology until t5. Thus, you have until t5 to pop the full value of a technology such as Mining. Be sure to select a technology on t5, otherwise your deferred Research will be applied to Archery (or maybe Hunting, the prerequisite of Archery) automatically.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  9. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    I see no reason why the HoF can't ban Tribal Villages. There are extremely few people playing Vanilla where they can't be turned off. Warlords can still be used with the No Tribal Villages option to play Space Race games.

    As I've said before just ban Tribal Trillages from HoF play as well as other exploitative settings that make a level playing field for competitions for HoF slots difficult to acheive.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  10. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    Thanks for the offer, but the title is fine as it is. I just wanted the quest that Firmlife and I have embarked on to remain the focus. I'm quite open to discussion of that and everything HoF related to it.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  11. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Your the one that keeps mentioning t0 hut pops. What does t0 have to do with anything?.

    Hitting 3-4 huts per game, you should get a tech in 2-3 games, but you're correct that I implied a critical tech would be found. The chance is better than 1 in 3 to get a useful tech. The truth is, you can save turns with several non-critical techs too (Animal Husbandry, Fishing, wheel) all can help, but nothing like (mining, Myst, Masonry, Bronze)
     
  12. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    You can enter a Tribal Village on t0 and if does not provide a useful technology, regenerate the map. You explained this as the reason why many of your games have so many bonus log entries for t0. You are the one that seems to have a trade mark on the tactic.

    "(Animal Husbandry, Fishing, wheel)" are practically useless technologies. What possible use could Fishing be? These are at best indirectly useful. Animal Husbandry would be Writing faster to research with the directly useful tech Priesthood. The Wheel might be useful for building roads, but that is very situational.

    Bronze Working is only possible for Civs that start with Mining and that excludes Inca.

    The only directly useful technologies for Inca are Mining and Masonry from the list:

    Fishing
    The Wheel
    Animal Husbandry
    Hunting
    Masonry
    Mining

    That is precisely 2 of 6 or 1/3, exactly as I stated. How do you get more than 1/3? 10% * 1/3 = 3.33% chance of getting a directly useful technology.

    3-4 Tribal Villages is fantastic for Inca or Qin Shi Huang, which have only a Warrior to enter them. My average is 0-2 Tribal Villages per game = average of one per game.

    Less say you do manage to get 3.5 Tribal Villages per game at 3.33% each. For a small percentage (3.3%) we can fairly just multiply 3.5 x 3.33% = 11.66% each game. That seems to suggest on average 8.6 games need to be played while entering 3.5 Tribal Villages per game to get a single directly useful technology.

    For my games where I'm getting just 1 Tribal Village per game on average, 30 games need to be played on average to get a directly useful technology like Mining or Masonry.

    I'm inclined to just play with the "No Tribal Village" option and not worry about this exploit. If other players resort to using an exploitative method of getting a free directly useful technology in every game they continue playing, so be it.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  13. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    You must have misunderstood. I don't do that as a plan, and that's not the reason for the log entries you questioned a while back.
     
  14. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    When one settles a capital on t0 and one regenerates the map that log message remains for t0. When a Tribal Village is entered on t0 and one regenerates the map that log message remains for t0.

    That was the reason, I was given when I questioned why one of your games had 3-4 log messages of Tribal Villages being entered on t0 while no Tribal Village was entered on t0 of the submitted game. Surely you remember that.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  15. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Correct. Everyone now and then you will get this log msg from settling or a t0 hut, but you extrapolated that into some "evil strategy" of obsessively popping huts on t0. It is simply a byproduct of manually regenerating instead of using mapfinder. There isn't any 'tactic' going on there. I don't abandon games because of a hut on t0. 99% of the time, what happens is you plant your settler to reveal more tiles. Maybe looking for a 2nd commerce tile in the fog for exmaple. Occasionally you will settle on or next to a hut. You can never even get a tech from that hut!
     
  16. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    Does it really matter how you do it? You seemed to get a directly useful technology from a Tribal Village in every one of your current Deity Inca RLDV #1 games as far as I could tell and sometimes even a second free technology from a Tribal Village. The pattern seems to be abandoning games that fail to get a free technology from a Tribal Village relatively early (when there are likely no Tribal Villages left). The game starting process also sees to involve manual regeneration with Settler and Warrior movement, including founding a city, before another optional manual regeneration.

    Well some of the Tribal Villages are entered on t0, so it is at least plausible to regenerate from there. Yes, I can see that it's not a sustainable tactic, but loading a t0 save to regenerate from after abandoning an attempt doesn't take much longer and that is sustainable.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    It's definitely a barrier. I wonder what % of the HoF uses it AND plays for lucky huts? I bet it's less than 50%.

    Map finder is something used to reduce the #attempts needed to get a competitive start. Huts do the exact opposite. Comparing the two and considering them to serve the same role is the inexplicable thing.

    Seeing as your play patterns suggest this is the case, there is considerably more time investment than you allude to initially. Map finder was implemented explicitly to avoid having to do this manually, and yet here we are allowing a setting that forces players to do mundane, low-to-no strategy steps repeatedly!
     
  18. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Knowing what starting area is good and choosing the right settling location is a HIGH strategy step. One of the highest.

    RE: barrier
    You're right that people may perceive re-rolling the start on Religious games as a barrier. Even if I feel it is a small one, it is still a barrier. The size of it depends on the individual.

    Outside of religious games, % of the HoF games that purposely try for hut tech <1%. (even less if you don't count me :mischief:.) It's not necessary for most games and would have little effect on the outcome. Religious games are so short and have only two critical needs: a brief, but fast tech surge, and workers.
     
  19. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Well, I didn't get one in every game, so you didn't look too hard. You also might want to study some hut-to-results correlation. Example: Huge/1750BC is easily beatable with huts turned OFF. In my game, I got free Mining and Bronze! That tech boost apparently didn't matter because a Huge game is more about chopping the wonders and missionaries and missionary travel, and getting the votes. In this case, huts were as trivial as they are in the other 99% of games (space, culture, diplo, conquest, etc)

    The point is: look how easy it is for anyone to do it. I cranked those games out in about 10 days. That is how mapfinder and a small amount of re-starting levels the hut-effect for religious games. This is why casinos don't care if you think you're 'lucky'. Thru repetition, it all evens out.
     
  20. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Your often trying to twist everything I do into some evil exploitative strategy. Mapfinder is sometimes seen in this light for producing the best starts, but it's just leveling the playing field.

    Now, you're implying the fact that I'm NOT using mapfinder gives me some unfair advantage. I occasionally manually regenerate for one innocuous reason. It's fun! I like to roll the maps and see them pop up on the screen. It's like a slot machine! Mapfinder is certainly the more competitive choice.
     

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