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Leoreth Plays Japan

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall - Dawn of Civilization' started by Leoreth, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    No detailed report for the moment, but things are going pretty smoothly. It's the 1850s, I basically caught up in tech and this is my empire:

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0252.JPG

    Basically I collected the first goal by playing passively, then immediately landed in Korea and collapsed China, and also conquered Hangzhou and Guangzhou. Then I took a break to consolidate and slowly pushed into the rest of China to utilise my limited military and not destablise myself too much.

    Should have maybe gotten Xi'an quicker, it's insane with an Armoury and four settled great generals (this is a 3000 BC start). But now I am ready to industrialise and shift into all out military production, which should neatly dovetail into taking the rest of the territorial requirements. France and Portugal are present in Indochina, and I will probably take care of everything else first. A quick surprise attack against Spanish Philippines for example. This will also require some naval buildup.

    As I said, I have tech parity already and most of China isn't really even online yet. So I am not too concerned about the tech goal.
     
  2. freethink

    freethink Prince

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    How did you get the tech? That is always difficult for me
     
  3. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    Yeah, I overestimated my position. I only kept trailing behind the others, especially America.
     
  4. Genghis Khaiser

    Genghis Khaiser King

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    Did Korea not build Pyongyang or was it razed?
     
  5. Gritzeldrei

    Gritzeldrei Warlord

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    They're probably too close for each other to not have been built.
     
  6. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    See. You would not found Nagasaki on the same spot you placed it in 1700 AD scenario. But the rest of us need to live with it!
     
  7. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Gamewise I am waiting for 1945ish. Indonesia will reborn a turn before your territorial UHV is due.
     
  8. Zaddy

    Zaddy Warlord

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    Yeah, Japan simply does not have the modifiers to compete with America/England for the tech goal in my experience. It basically requires you to do cheesy stuff like collapsing them as early as practical by capturing their cores.
     
    YelCinist 2000 likes this.
  9. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    I didn't raze it, and though I didn't have vision of it I don't think it had ever been built. But Korea was successively conquered by Mongolia and China, so it's possible.

    I will review their modifiers. I think there is room for a buff because it's not like the AI is doing exceptionally well. The UP is nice for catching up but doesn't help to overtake the leaders.
     
    freethink, Zaddy and YelCinist 2000 like this.
  10. TsarAndreas

    TsarAndreas Chieftain

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    Any reason for Edo over the city north of the river?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
  11. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    Because that's where Edo is.
     
  12. DanLT3

    DanLT3 Warlord

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    Japan does not have poor Tech modifiers, England simply have too good. Maybe America too, I don't know (I doubt it though).
     
    BaneFire, 1SDAN and YelCinist 2000 like this.
  13. Crimean Lord

    Crimean Lord Warlord

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    I am 100% agree that America have good modifiers (their technologies 30% cheaper that cost for most of other civs) but its rapid development is result of powerful Individualism' Civic and perhaps huge concentration of rich coastal cities // So it's not only about modifiers :king:
     
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  14. TsarAndreas

    TsarAndreas Chieftain

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    :) That’s good to know. I asked because I was wondering if I was missing out on an obvious in-game benefit. Is there a gain from missing out on the silver and overlapping BFC with the capital?
     
  15. freethink

    freethink Prince

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    Ran the same civics as Rome, and they still were far head in technology in the 20th century.
     
  16. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    I adjusted some of Japan's modifiers to be a little more inbetween Europe and other Asian civs, which I think is fair. I think when I first introduced their UP I made a push to nerf their modifiers to more accurately model the historical catch up Japan did, but I think this went overboard a bit. At the very least, AI Japan currently is not ahead in technology either way, so there is room to improve their modifiers. And in human hands the UHV still replicates this effect. Maybe I was a bit too generous now, but let's see.

    I also made some improvements to the resource trade AI that aren't directly important to Japan but that I noticed when playing. I will talk about them in more detail later on.

    With those changes, I started another game, and also adjusted my strategy from what I had learned in the previous game:
    1. Most of the early game is decided by how you balance the first goal with building up your infrastructure and military. The goal should be to return to teching asap and having a military ready to expand right after the goal is met.
    2. I started by going min/max research for Guilds -> Feudalism -> Fortification -> Civil Service. Guilds is to switch to Regulated Trade asap, which helps a lot with a strong Kyouto. I combined that switch with Organized Religion to help with building construction. Feudalism is for Himeji Castle, and Fortification to unlock Castles to get another +25% culture in combination with the wonder. Civil Service is to build Samurai right away for later. You want to build and fortify units in Himeji Castle early on to help with culture. I also got Machinery in trade which allowed me to build Trebuchets as well, but I don't know if it is crucial to get early.
    3. I also think GP generation is crucial for the goal. I don't think it's possible to meet the goal without at least one great artist, and each additional great artist cuts down on time you have to spend running the culture slider, and is probably more valuable than any other great person for that reason (it frees more commerce for science than you could get from a Great Scientist, in particular). I switched to Monasticism when I had most important buildings in place (combined with Tributaries for better unit production) and with that it seems you can get four great people before 1600. For me, those were 2x great artist, 1x great scientist, 1x great engineer. One scientist is not too bad, they can go build an Academy in your best science city. I saved the GE for a later Itsukushima Shrine. Unfortunately engineers aren't that useful for Japan because most wonders aren't very useful and you lag behind in tech anyway. I culture bombed Kyouto with one artist and decided to save the other to build a Museum when possible, which is very powerful after you had to build up culture anyway. I think the optimal combination is 3x great artist, 1x great statesman (to build an Admin Center on the mainland asap), but statesmen are impossible to force before Paper and impractical to force before Statecraft.
    4. I focused Kyouto on production/military and Edo on commerce, although in effect Kyouto is also a commerce powerhouse. Nagasaki doesn't really matter and mostly exists to grab resources, get some trade routes, and build some ships. I also geared Kyouto a bit more towards culture and Edo towards science, but you want Theatre, Weaver and Himeji powered Walls and Castles in both of them asap. I sometimes ran dual scientists in Edo, which maybe was a mistake as per the above. Both of them often ran an engineer because production matters a lot.
    5. Kyouto started building a Barracks + Samurai as soon as the required buildings were in place, Edo later helped out with Trebuchets. Of course, everything went to Kyouto to produce more culture. I think this time I had about 8 infantry and 6 siege units by the time I met the goal.
    6. There is a lot of room for optimisation with the first goal that probably requires some math to do. Once you know how many GAs you want to spend on the goal by 1600 AD, it is actually not ideal to meet the goal quickly. Because all the "free" (i.e. non-slider) culture you get from buildings and Himeji Castle is wasted after you meet the goal. So if you math it out right, you could get a photo finish for the goal by switching back to science even earlier and win a few turns to catch up in tech.
    7. The main thing holding you back from conquering Korea is that owning Seoul makes the goal 33% harder. I wonder if there is a break even point to capturing it very early (besides Seoul's own culture output it opens the possibility of building a cathedral, which might make it worth it), but from the 1400s onward it is a loss investment probably. The other impediment is that China or Mongolia can conquer or vassalise them, in which case you have to hope for them to collapse. I blitzed them after making the goal in 1540 AD or something.
    8. I was lucky in that China collapsed shortly after I conquered Korea. I did not repeat my mistake from the last game and immediately began conquering its cities instead of restraining myself to the coast. Overexpansion is rough while you are still in the medieval period, but it should come with economic growth and Japan has a decent domestic stability with its civics. Taking over China partially also carries the risk of a Chinese respawn, wiping out all your progress, that's not worth it.
    9. Then I focused on getting all medieval techs with science back on. It's a rough trading situation with almost everyone ahead of you, but you can catch up quickly. Reaching the Renaissance eases the expansion stability problems a lot.
    That's where I am currently (about 1700 AD). Plan for the future is to research opportunistically with Modernisation but generally focus on Academia -> Physics for better science modifiers (and Cannons). I will also make detours for Heritage and Statecraft to get a Museum and maybe generate a Great Statesman. That would help a lot in China.
     
  17. Genghis Khaiser

    Genghis Khaiser King

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    What city's the best for an Administrative Center? I believe it's Xian since it's a good city in general and will be your westernmost city unless you feel like conquering more.

    Also, not sure if I saw it right but I think AI Japan doesn't switch its capital to Tokyo anymore, and I've never seen a real reason for human Japan to do it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  18. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    I intend to pick Kaifeng/Luoyang to minimise the distances for Chinese/Korean cities. I don't think it's worth taking the more southern cities into account.
     
    YelCinist 2000 likes this.
  19. JHLee

    JHLee Prince

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    I agree with DanLT on that Eng/USA have way too good modifiers. Not only tech, but hammers as well IMO.
     
  20. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    So I finished the Japanese UHV just now:
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0266.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0258.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0259.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0260.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0261.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0262.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0264.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0263.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0265.JPG

    Just as a reminder, this is with the changes I discussed above, including somewhat improved modifiers for Japan. Considering that it took me until 2004 to complete the tech goal, I don't think I have gone too far, and as you can see in the tech graph I only pulled ahead of everyone in 1900 and didn't achieve too much of a lead, just enough to get most techs first. And that's with seriously prioritising expanding research. By the way, even though I didn't make a screenshot, Kyouto was producing almost 1200 beakers without a GA at the end, pretty great.

    In addition to the above, I also improved the congress logic a little. I noticed that congresses are a major obstacle for Japan, because the European civs whose cities you conquer usually have a better claim than you on them and they tend to stick together when voting against faraway civs. This gets you in a situation where you either have to accept demands and reconquer cities continually, or be at war with most of the world continually, which is very annoying.

    In fact, I had to reload this game to go back 50 years because I mismanaged congresses and was bogged down in annoying wars that didn't really stop me but made conquest of SEA very tedious. In the second attempt, I instead beelined Civil Rights and rushed Palace of Nations to keep my cities safe. Pretty useful wonder if you are Japan.

    The changes I made are:
    • Other civs are much more reluctant to reassign cities that the claimant has only recently lost, unless it's a post war congress. The reluctance gradually expires but should effectively stop immediately losing recent conquest to congresses.
    • The chances of a civ going to war after a refused demand increased with every civ that voted yes. This didn't take into account that half the civs in the congress already needed to vote yes for things to get this far, resulting in a very probability for this to happen. I think it's been everyone's experience that it's almost guaranteed that all civs that agreed with a claim will also go to war over it
    • I added completely new logic that makes a civ decide to go to war over a claim that only increases for every civ beyond the minimum number required to approve the assignment, and is also sensitive to their opinion of the owner (worst enemy, defensive pact, attitude, peace treaty). This had been completely irrelevant before.
    • There was a bug (I think?) where the owner having defensive pacts increased the probability of other civs joining the war, instead of decreasing it. I think defensive pacts should be a deterrant.
    • The probability of a civ joining the war over an assignment decreases based on how many civs already joined in. This should limit the overall number of belligerents. Civs that have the highest desire to go to war will be checked first, so most likely it will be them, with the others staying out of it. Your defensive pact partners will always be checked last and should therefore usually remain loyal.
    With this, refusal will still lead to significant wars without resulting in frustrating dogpiles by literally everyone, followed by those annoying congress world wars triggered by cascading alliances. But please keep me updated about that, I did not encounter much of those situations in the portion of my game with these new rules, because I still kept trying to avoid them with Palace of Nations. It could be that it's still too much, or that suddenly nobody is willing to go to war, both of which would be undesirable to me.

    Overall, thanks for making me play Japan! I didn't want to say that in the voting thread so as to not sway votes in favour or against, but I really like Japan. The concept of the first goal is quite unique and I like the different direction it throws the game into. Even though it's been a while that I last played it I think it still does its job for what it was designed for. It's definitely the most interesting part of the game because doing it right sets you up for the rest of the game, and provides many opportunities for optimisation that are a lot of fun at least for me, as you can tell from my earlier post.

    There is not much to say for the expansion goal. I wish it was a little bit harder, to be honest. Your timeline is quite tight still, but often not for military reasons but because you have to manage your expansion stability. The way things usually play out, you have to go to war with a bunch of European powers (for me it was Spain, Portugal, France, Netherlands, Russia). This would be more of a challenge if the AI was capable of managing remote reinforcements and invasions, both France and Russia were much more powerful than I was at the time. But the wars mostly resolved themselves by defeating their local garrisons and riding that warscore and some waiting time until they are willing to make peace, with some tribute even. Serious wars that require you to e.g. have a strong naval defense or real fights with Russia would be so much more fun and engaging. Unfortunately, not much I can do until the mod gets better AI.

    Lastly, the tech goal: as I said above, from a time horizon it seems to be tuned right now, but it definitely needed work, so it's good I got to that. Obviously, the most important challenge was becoming tech leader. If you can't, it's a lost cause. Even with my lead I lost a few modern techs to other civs, so it wasn't an entirely foregone conclusion, and you also have to accomplish it before 2020. The way to get it becomes less interesting once you are a tech leader (basically just stacking commerce and research modifiers) but before that there are still some interesting decisions around tech trades and the UP.

    Speaking of the UP, it is useful, but it's not that useful. And it's somewhat underwhelming to have a UP that you only benefit from in a transitionary stage, and that is absent from the game both when you are very much behind and very much ahead. One thing I have considered in the context of this is to make the Japanese UP a general mechanic available to everyone to help with catching up and tech diffusion. One way this could work is that the overall diffusion rate would be lower than what Japan currently has, but there is a civ modifier to allow some differentiation. That way Japan, and other civs that are historically known for catching up in technology, can still have a stronger benefit from it.

    If anyone has ideas for an alternative Japanese UP, just let me know. But I don't think this change is urgent, and I won't get to it immediately as part of working on Japan now.

    Another thing I wanted to hear everyone's opinion about is civics. As described above, I went Regulated Trade and Organised Religion asap, then later Monasticism. I also used Tributaries for unit production. I did not use Absolutism, even though Kyouto is a very good spot for it, because the Vassalage happiness seemed more valuable with my large cities. Was that a mistake? When I could, I switched into Monarchy + Constitution + Egalitarianism + Free Enterprise + Secularism + Nationhood, but I am not sure if that was the best combination. Monarchy again seemed necessary for the happiness requirements, and I had a lot of specialists and fewer towns so Egalitarianism won out over Individualism.

    I hope everyone who wanted me to play Japan to deal with the issues they had with the civilisation got what they were looking for out of this. If you have critiques of Japan that I did not address here, please let me know. I really want to find out if I just did not encounter those problems in my game or if I just have a different perspective on the situation.

    Finally finally: look what America did in this game, I've never seen them do this before:
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0256.JPG
     

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