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Let's Play: Deity BC Space: Strategies from a 10 year veteran

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by WastinTime, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Settler

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    Then again, with Terraces building culture is still nice but not utterly crucial as it would be with other non-CRE leaders.
     
  2. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    Courthouses are an important early build. There are both good reasons to never build them (game is over before investment is recouped), build enough to unlock Forbidden Place (geometry of the empire is such that Palace, Forbidden Palace and optional Versailles hold down city maintenance enough), and build them in nearly every city (large and long lasting empires plus any that spread corporations with large numbers of corporation resources).

    The value of a Courthouse depends on how many turns it will save -50% maintence times the average savings per turn. The life span of a Courthouse is the winning turn minus the turn of completion. The Courthouse has its greatest value in larger empires where city maintenance can be very high and last a large number of turns.

    The opportunity cost of a Courthouse is 360 hammers. There are only a few things that might be of more value this early in the game. Wonder Fail Wealth, military units, Lighthouses, Libraries, and Settlers. We assume that a Granary/Terrace is almost always built first, if it does not already exist.

    Wonder Fail Wealth can be very appealing with the various wonder resource multipliers, but eventually the wonders run out and there are only a handful of national wonders that can be used indefinitely. In a game where Courthouses will become a critical building with Sid's Sushi and Mining Inc corporation spread, Courthouses in all corporation cities become more compelling; if one needs to eventually build a Courthouse in a city, why wait to to build it?; build the Courthouse as early as reasonably possible and save more wealth (wpt/gpt). If one has more cities than wonders to build, building Courthouses in those other cities likely be the optimal choice, unless your empire is small, compact and short lived (early victory).

    Building military units is a judgement call. Just enough military of the types needed to complete the upcoming military tasks with a reasonable margin to mitigate bad luck is what is needed. This is fairly clear cut (to an experienced general at least); prioritize needed military units over Courthouses; otherwise, strong consideration should be given to building Courthouses when conditions warrant them.

    Lighthouses should be build in cities with multiple seafood plots. Cities with a long shoreline, enhanced by The Colossus, are another good target. They are good in cities with many lake plots (3F). They probably should not be built in cities with few sea and lake plots. Despite the above considerations, I will often prioritize a Courthouse over a Lighthouse.

    Libraries should usually be built in high commerce and high science cities (Scientist Farms) as soon as possible. It would be unusual to prioritize a Courthouse first, unless the commerce and science rates are marginal.
     
  3. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    While building culture to expand borders to the fat cross is nice, I see little value to researching Music in a Space Colony game, unless the free Great Artist will be used to start a Golden Age.

    Building culture is nice in cities that lack a Terrace; popping borders to the BFC can be quite fast with a high hammer plot. Even cities that have a Terrace will take 15 turns (assuming no religions) to pop borders to the BFC at Marathon speed, so building culture can really help speed this up, without resorting to CS Artists.
     
  4. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    @Stw

    But Courthouses slow down mid-game, the part of the game that is most difficult to accelerate. In early game you expand and use AIs to catch up, in mid-game you struggle to maintain the slider and have little to no help from the AIs, and in the late game you get one tech per turn no matter what. You can also build Courthouses in Mining-Inc cities when it doesn't hurt your research pace as you get one tech per turn and they will still manage to pay-off with two corps per cities, leaving you more money to rush-buy executives. Wonder Bread Economy is probably that powerful because it allows you to maintain the slider in the mid-game.
     
  5. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    Courthouses have a 360 hammer opportunity cost, but once they are built, they will save 8 Wpt and more per city, especially distant cities. This will in turn, make it easier to run the research slider at 100% longer than otherwise possible. What would you spend those 360 hammers on other than Wonder Fail Wealth?

    I already said I would prioritize Wonder Fail Wealth first. I would build Courthouses in other cities which have no wonder to build. Maximum overflow from Courthouse builds would go into Wonders consistent with WBE strategy.

    I don't see why one should wait until Mining Inc spread to build Courthouses. That is way too late in my opinion. The Courthouse is the only economic building that should be considered early in nearly every city in large empires that last a reasonably long time, especially with corporation spread planned. I'm not saying Courthouses must be built early in every or even most cities; I'm just saying they are often one of the best buildings that can be built early to help maintain a high research rate (100% research for longer than almost all the alternatives).

    Show your justification for delaying Courthouses until Mining Inc spread. I just don't agree with such a long delay in building Courthouses; they are useful a soon as one completes building them. The opportunity cost without the Organized trait is relatively large, but so are its benefits under the correct circumstances.

    Every Courthouse not built early in this game must have its effect compensated for. WBE can used compensate for the missing Courthouses' Wpt savings, but that reduces the research that WBE can support. The 2 Ept of the Courthouse will have to be compensated by running a Espionage slider a small fraction of turns at perhaps 10%. There is a heavy cost in not building Courthouses early in long games that really do benefit from its early construction.

    Even in games where State Property is planned long term, Courthouses still save 3.5 Wpt (gpt) while State Property is active. Of course, Courthouses have to be used much longer in State Property to gain a return on investment. I probably would not build Courthouses when already in State Property for the rest of the game, unless the game would clearly be long enough for the investment actually paid off with a significant profit.

    Its simply a matter of how many turns a Courthouse is saving us wealth, generating espionage and whether the Spy specialist slot is useful to have. Large empires and relatively long lasting empires will most likely gain a return on investment for early Courthouses. Other types of empires may not, depending on how large and long lasting they are.
     
  6. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Correct, I would only do Music if I wanted the GArt. But I was just saying that if I'm eventually doing Music myself, then why not do it sooner for the ability to build culture.

    I'd still rate 'build culture' a bit more than just 'nice' even with Terraces. I'm planning to settle a lot of islands and there probably won't be any forests. So the only way to get a Terrace is to get to size 4. Try doing that with most/all of your seafood in the 2nd ring.
    Even if you have 1 forest, how long would it take to get to size 2 (for a 1-whip)? Answer: as much as 66 turns.
    ...and then on top of that, you wait another 15 turns for the borders.

    Strongly agree. This is the reasoning that I used when deciding not to build Mids in my 10M game. It's just too much lost opportunity. 1500:hammers: that could be spent elsewhere. I would not be building Mids this game either if it weren't for that darn GE.

    If the courthouse pays for itself after 80 turns that just means I'm even. I'd rather invest in something that puts me ahead.
    My WBE philosophy tells me that a ch mainly provides wealth, and I don't need wealth from weaker sources.
    ch does not boost research....unless you count the 2 EPs. That's actually the only thing about a ch that might accelerate the game--assuming you steal tech (not wealth)--which is likely.

    Bottom line for me is that it's more than a 3 population investment. 4 pop with no forge. At best, it might break even on wealth by the time I get to Corps, but it will surely cost me in research speed--possibly delaying Corps by a turn. Twenty ch's might cost me more turns.
    The best thing to do with ch is maybe whip them after Kremlin.
    For now, I don't have CoL, so it's a moot point.
     
  7. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    If you whip Courthouses, you get something you don't lack with WBE (money) and lose on working more commerce tiles or building research - when you need more research. You are better off building research or running scientist right away. Crucial bit is understanding that you can get the most turns for BC landing in the mid game because of max 1 tech/turn rule.

    In general when you try to judge return of investment on Courthouses, you should think how many turns you need with some future average savings to cover (hammer cost + not building research cost + delayed benefits like Kremlin or Corps as you'll get those quicker by simply building wealth or research). I am very consistently finishing my games well before T200/500 (40%) on normal speed and don't miss Courthouses at all. Only build them in a few most critical cities. This game is much faster than T200 with the limit set to T344/1500 (23%). So, if I am misjuding a bit, WT's game is still almost twice as fast. I don't think I can misjudge that much. I am less certain that I should skip CHs in my games (which I do) than that WT should postpone them in this game. :) When corps come into play, CHs are almost a must. Also, food at that time is very cheap with Sushi and you get Kremlin. You get a lot for nothing.

    The main point is that you can't win BC Space Race with money. You need bpt in the mid-game.
     
  8. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    About how many cities will you have when Code of Laws is acquired?

    About how many wonders can you utilize WBE with at that time?

    So, you don't like early Courthouses. Assuming all WBE wonders are being built, what will be built in the other cities? Research? Wealth? Libraries? Settlers? Workers? Military Units?

    Not building Courthouses means that WBE must work to compensate for ~8 Wpt and 2 Ept for each Courthouse in each city it would otherwise save/produce. There is a cost of 360H for building a Courthouse, but there is also a cost for not building a Courthouse, which is not getting any of the benefits of the building, including a Spy specialist slot (assuming that has any value in a Space Colony game).

    You brought up the topic of Courthouses when you were considering the next technology to research. When considering Code of Laws, you brought up building Courthouses. Why do that if you think early Courthouses are a poor build to use with WBE?
     
  9. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    I should have about 35-40 cities when I get CoL

    At that time, there will be plenty of wonders to work on. And remember, a city can whip OF more than once into the same wonder now that the wonders are bigger than GW and Oracle. Doing a max OF whip for a ch, would likely be after a forge, so It would be about 22/360h, then 4-whip. It takes a while to grow to size 8. For WBE, each city needs to find smaller things to 1-whip and 2-whip. Missionaries are one thing you didn't mention. Maybe some spies too. There are also a lot of workboats and a few galleys needed. I have occasionally built research in a few cities. Usually just 1hpt til I decide what to build. As much as 'build wealth' seems to go against WBE, I'm thinking it might be OK--in moderation. Just to keep the slider up waiting for failgold.

    I wasn't sure money would last until Colossus is done and now I'm thinking of spending $$ to upgrade my very high XP quechua to axes soon. Otherwise, my army is done. That means I'll surely run out of money, so build wealth might be used unless I can come up with a better idea...like missionary failgold--problem being, I don't have OrgRel turned on and it would be 3 turns of anarchy to do so. (plus 2 turns anarchy if I want religion for the building bonus)

    I'm always interested in other opinions and it's good for me to talk thru my reasons for possibly skipping ch's. Your thoughts are much appreciated and thx for bringing up the topic, but shakabrade's comments really hit home with me. I was sorta thinking maybe I'd do the usual 8 ch's + Forbidden...like usual, but this discussion has helped me re-affirm my commitment to the race to corps.
    Remember 8gpt does not apply to many cities. It can be significantly more and often less. I will still look for cities that could really benefit from a ch and if the stars align and the mood is just right, I might whip one. But the reality is: there is probably something better that city has to do. Many cities have to be GP farms. Some might be for military (HEpic). Some just don't have the food to support a 4-whip.
     
  10. Mitchum

    Mitchum Deity

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    It's awesome how every decision that has been the "norm" in a regular space game is being brought up, pulled apart, analyzed from all angles and then turned upside down when seen through the WBE lens. Nice work everyone!!
     
  11. Folket

    Folket Deity

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    It was you who brought out the discussion by asking about feedback for next tech in which you considered CoL for courthouses. I think aesthetics or calendar is the right choice.

    But I would consider monarchy as well. How much would it cost you if the AI happens to be slow at researching it? But it does not give enough wonders. It seems to me that the priority should be to get enough wonders to get wealth to get mining inc at 100%. Any more would be a distraction. Now I convinced myself that calendar should be ignored. But without knowing how unhappy your cities are and how many calendar resources you have it is hard to tell.

    It almost seems optimistic to think you can get both monarchy and calendar from the AI.
     
  12. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Yea, but I hope I stressed that CoL is more important for opening up research to CS and most importantly setting up the AI to bulb Philo. Oh, and it's also got the 40% bonus.
    Funny you should say that. Since I've been questioning every 'usual' way I do things, I was thinking about just going Monarchy because it opens up a ton of things I can research that the AI would never get for me in time. I do have wine. I have no intention of using Hered Rule tho because of anarchy.
    I think because any AI, not just Mansa, will cough up Monarchy, I have to get this free. There is so much tech that I'm forced to research that I normally wouldn't. What's the point of having a super-charged mid game if I'm just going to use all the extra beakers researching stuff I used to get free.

    Forges are helping with happiness. And, I have gems and my eye on Silver (I guess I need to get you all up to speed soon on my progress)
     
  13. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Golden Age Brainstorming session

    It looks like the earliest I will get my first GP is T188.

    Normally (there's that word again) I wouldn't trigger a GAge that early. But should I? Can I afford to 'waste' one this early?

    Pros:
    - I could take a religion
    - that religion could be only, for example, to match Liz's religion and get her to Friendly for a tech trade.
    - then I could take the religion I really want
    - I could take Org Rel for 25% building bonus
    - build missionaries in preparation for my GP farm/caste era.
    - obvious boost in hammers/commerce
    - 100% boost to the GE birth.
    - I could take HeredRule and/or Representation.
    - If I didn't need to whip for 4 turns, I could do a brief caste window where I could pop borders with artists.
    - more TBD

    Cons:
    - I'd need a way to get 2 GPs for the next Golden Age (Music + 1 more?).
    - I'd want Calendar soon and MoM T188

    Of course there are a ton of Pros. What's not to like about a GAge.
    This one would run T188 - T211. I'd love to run 3 more in a row (one with Taj).
    I guess being able to trigger the others is the big problem. If I get just one GS to go with the Music GArt, now my GE city has to go to 900 gpp :( That's a huge problem cus at ~T210, it's time for all my GP farms to crank up to full speed and they will pass up the GE city.

    In true HoF style, I should just give up my pure GE city let the AI build Mids for me. Then I just run one engineer in all my GP farms. That'd be a ~15% chance for a GE every birth for at least 10 tries. Not getting any GE's would be game over. Getting an extra one is probably fine. 2 extra might be harmful to my race to corps.
    Naturally, once I get a GE, I can stop the engineers and my odds for GE should drop below 10%.

    I'll keep an eye on the AI. If they're for sure building Mids for me and it's an easy capture, I'll do that. The HangingGardens city will still have a 60-70% chance of getting a GE if I have to run some scientists due to not having Mids.

    So I guess one result of this brainstorming is that it might be nice to have Calendar ~T178 so I can get at least 10 turns on MoM failgold. Or can a live with a 16 turn golden age (T188-204) ? if it means free Calendar and capture MoM?
     
  14. Mitchum

    Mitchum Deity

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    Another pro of the Golden Age + Org Rel is that you'll be able to use missionaries for whip OF. You get the missionary too so that you can spread your chosen religion around in time for your GP Farm ramp up.

    Hmmm.... You're right in that the "normal" HoF style is to just go for broke on the GE and hope you get lucky one out of ten 15% chances. I never play my space games this way but this is HoF. The downside is like you said, it's game over if you don't get one. Would you have the stamina to replay these first ~250 turns again? Of course, you'd always be looking back at this game and comparing it to any you play in the future which means that you'll like have a lot more restarts until you get one that is as good as this game.

    Tough decision. How much does going for a 100% pure GE hold you back in terms of GP production?
     
  15. Gr8scott

    Gr8scott Warlord

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    Waiting for someone to research calendar. Waiting for someone to be willing to trade calendar. Waiting for the MoM to be built, and then hoping it is built in an easy to capture city seems like an awful lot of timing uncertainty. How many extended golden ages might you miss with that strategy?

    Some pros for calendar:
    -Confident timing of MoM fail goal income since you build it.
    -Early extended GA (<=== big one for me. Flexibility you get from a GA seems huge in this game, and you can probably work wonders (!) with an extended GA)
    -Calendar resources available early to help with income and relations

    How many calendar resources do you have?
    What would be the exact impact on GE probability if you went this route?
    Can you get started now running an engineer specialist in your GP farm cities to improve their later probability of a GE?
     
  16. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Settler

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    Exactly. But by the time you start GLH-Sushi rexing you will have Music in any case, unless you specifically want to avoid it, or am I missing something here?
    As far as Monarchy goes the AI always techs it early and as it has no associated wonder it will always be up for trade. But how reliably can you get Calendar before the MoM is built? Are there any AIs in your selection (other than Mansa) who would have an affinity for it and would likely NOT build the MoM?
     
  17. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    Regarding Calendar and MoM (or any other technology and world wonders it unlocks):

    When an AI researches such a technology, one can often trade for it, prior to the AI deciding its wants to build a world wonder it unlocks. It seems that in the turn an AI completes a technology, it will not start a world wonder it unlocks. It may be as simple as the AI has no city that completed a build in the previous turn.

    Even if an AI is never willing to trade a technology, because it is building a world wonder it unlocks, one can always just steal the technology and 1t (or few turns) chop the world wonder. Mathematics and The Hanging Gardens are a classical example, though perhaps a bit early, since Spies require Alphabet. Nationalism and The Taj Mahal would be a later example, but the AI will not likely beat the player to Nationalism, if the WBE is working well. As always, one can also examine the AI cities for builds large enough to be world wonders unlocked by technologies the AI is known to have. So, one can know to within a few turns, barring AI chops/whips, of when to complete a world wonder (The Oracle, The Hanging Gardens and The Taj Mahal - wonders one must complete for their benefits to apply) for maximim WBE fail wealth.
     
  18. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    A final word about Courthouses:

    I only want players to really consider building early (or later, if that is more profitable) Courthouses. It really is a building (unlike the Bank) with good value in almost any city, and its value is commerce slider independent! Banks have value only in cities with Corporation Headquarters, Holy Shrines and possibly Great Merchant Farms.

    Perhaps early Courthouses are not a good fit with WBE. There might always be something better to build like Missionaries, Work Boats and Spies (as WastinTime mentioned I omitted) or other previously mentioned builds like Libraries, Settlers, Workers, Lighthouses, and military units. Later, when there are fewer world wonders left, and less need for the builds mentioned above, a belatedly build Courthouse might just be "what the doctor ordered".

    Still as WastinTime pointed out, 8 Courthouses, in preferably distant cities, to unlock Forbidden Palace, might be reasonable in the context of WBE. Whether to build them early or later is likely to be Empire/Map dependent.

    Courthouses in distant cities beyond the 8 needed to unlock the Forbidden Palace might make sense as well. Consider early and perhaps build later whenever that Courthouse becomes the most profitable build (if it ever does).
     
  19. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    Building Research versus Building Wealth:

    Neither Building Research or Building Wealth is affected by research/wealth multiplier buildings.

    We assume we don't have infinite wealth. Wealth provided by WBE can be huge, but definitely finite.

    Assuming researching fast as possible is our goal:

    When the commerce slider is closer to 100% wealth, Building Research is best. This seems obvious for the goal of maximum research. This is the doldrums phase of WBE, where one simply doesn't have enough wealth to run 100% research and may not even able to maintain 00% research. Overflow is being put into world and national wonders, but no wonders have completed recently triggering numerous wonder fail wealth pay-outs.

    When the commerce slider is closer to 100% research, Building Wealth is best. This seems counter intuitive, but the wealth building allows a higher research slider percentage, and the commerce is probably going though higher research multipliers than the built wealth goes through hammer multipliers. This is a reasonable state in WBE to complete the current technology in one turn, when 100% research is no longer possible (without Wealth Building).

    If 100% research can be sustained (for at least one turn), then Building Research is best to maximize research rate. To do this some cities might need to Build Wealth to get the research rate to 100%; there after cities should Build Research. When WBE is being run efficiently, cities should not need to Build Wealth (Wonder Fail Wealth is far more efficient with the Industrious trait and resource multipliers), they should build Research or something else of more value.
     
  20. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    I was talking about my expansion to islands now (trying to set up GP farms). And then more REX to get Mining resources before Mining Inc. Sushi is after all that.

    Liz, Darius, Vicky, and Willy are my research team (w/Mansa). Peter is a good trader, but very slow this game.
    Only Darius has Marble, so I'd have to give Marble to others if I have any hope of them building MoM.

    too much I think. I can get HangingG + engineer online around T165. That's only 5gpp. Mids maybe T190.
    When my GP farms get turned on, they will hit 600 gpp in ~7-8 turns. So, for example, if I get them set up and switched on by T210, I'll need my GE ~T217.
    So if "switched on" means : pacifism, parthenon, GAge, that's +250%. The GE city with mids is 7gpp (+250%) = 24gpp. I'm gonna have to run a couple scientists.

    I have all calendar resources. That's 5 :) + :banana:
    Overall total GE probability is still roughly 96% success. I'm starting to think that a 100% GE will delay my other GP plans too much, so even if I build Mids and try hard for it, the first GE might only be ~95-98%. So if that fails, I go with engineers everywhere. That's what I'll do. Just try and get the best GE odds possible on the 600gpp one and adjust after. So I won't be polluting my gene pool until then.
    I wouldn't run any other engineers now anyway. It's too important to work food and whip.
     

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