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Maximizing Your Score

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by SirPleb, Mar 19, 2002.

  1. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    Score calculation

    The scoring works by averaging your per-turn scores throughout the game. For each turn a (hidden) per-turn score is calculated as:

    (Territory + HappyCitizens*2 + ContentCitizens + Specialists) * Difficulty

    The total of all your per-turn scores is divided by the number of turns played so far to get your actual game score. I.e. your actual score is the average of your per-turn scores.

    "Territory" is the number of tiles which are within your sphere of influence.
    "Difficulty" is 1 for Chieftain, 2 for Warlord, 3 for Regent, 4 for Monarch, 5 for Emperor, 6 for Deity.


    Early win Score Bonus

    If you win before 2050AD, you get a bonus which is added to your regular score. The bonus is calculated as:

    (2050 - FinishYear) * Difficulty

    If you finish before 10AD, use the year as a negative number in the calculation.

    Example: Winning in 310BC in a Regent level game would get a bonus of (2050-(-310))*3 = 7080.


    Other Factors in Score

    Almost nothing else affects your score. Wonders, cultural value, military size, science learned, etc. - none of these affect the score. There is one tiny exception for learning "future tech" but it counts for so little in score that it is not worth devoting any energy to it.


    Maximizing Score

    There are basically two ways to maximize your score:
    1) Win as early as possible to increase your bonus.
    2) Play till 2050AD building up as much territory/population/happiness as possible.

    On tiny maps and some small maps it is often possible to get a higher score with the first approach than the second. On some small maps, and almost all medium or larger maps, the score which can be had with the second approach will be highest.

    It is of course possible to combine the two goals. When going for an early win bonus it helps to have a higher base score to add to the bonus. But generally I think it will work best to go flat-out for one of the two goals. If going for an early win, try to increase territory, population, and happiness along the way, but don't slow down for them.


    Milking Tips

    The remainder of this note is about getting more out of a "milked" game. Some people think that milking is tedious and don't like it. I find that it can be interesting. It includes some planning in the early and mid game stages to maximize the long-term result. It has an end game "builder" phase after I finish war-mongering. There are a number of trade-offs in it, in building sequences, in trading early gains of one type for later gains of another, etc. I think it is a bit of an art form, not just a simple formula. I won't address those types of trade-off issues here, the following are just general tips.

    To maximize score you want to maximize territory, population, and happiness. And you want to maximize them as early as possible. The earlier you add each increase to your per-turn score, the more impact that increase will have on the averaged result which becomes your actual score.

    To maximize the scoring factors of course requires lots of land. So to get the highest score possible one must begin with a conquest approach to the game. You need to have the majority of the world's land under your control, and as soon as possible, and you will need to boot someone else out to get it. :) After conquering everyone else (and leaving just some weak and controlled Civ or Civs to keep the game going) you can then of course work toward any of the game's victory conditions, timing your victory to happen in 2050AD.

    You want your territory to be the largest possible without triggering a domination win. There is no easy way to tell where this limit is from the game's information windows. For HOF submissions it is legitimate to keep expanding till you hit domination accidentally, then reload to the prior turn and stay under the limit now that you know where it is. For GOTM submissions this kind of reloading is not allowed, so you have to guess where the limit would be and stay well under it.

    Edit: description of sea tiles below corrected, 2002/6/3
    There are 3 kinds of water tiles: coastal, sea, and ocean. Ocean does not matter here, it is not included in your territory nor in the domination limit. Sea can be important - citizens working on sea tiles count as happy citizens and produce food. But sea tiles do not count toward your territory score nor toward the domination limit. (They do count in your land area as shown on the F11 display, but not toward score.) Coastal tiles can be worked and count toward territory score and the domination limit.

    When milking I build the following in every city: Aqueduct, Marketplace, Hospital, and Mass Transit. (Except cities with limited growth potential of course.) Many of them also need temples for a while, to expand the sphere of influence. While milking I run a Democracy and buy all these improvements.

    I irrigate all previously mined tiles. Production is no longer important, increasing population is.

    If you automate workers, it is important to use shift-A from the very start when you first automate them. Not the simple "A" command. Workers on "A" automation will run around re-mining some of the tiles you irrigate at the end. It is a major pain trying to find them all and stop them. Better to use shift-A from the start to avoid this.

    I often disband factories during the milking phase. I'd rather have less pollution and don't need the production.

    I minimize the military, keeping just enough to safely enclose the last captive rival Civ, plus some to "patrol" the wild lands to stop barbarian camps from popping up. No point paying more wages than that.

    It is possible to speed production more (in addition to buying improvements) by transferring shields, e.g. building Modern Armor in core cities and disbanding them in developing regions. This is a nice boost for building but I find it tedious and generally don't do this, I just wait to generate cash and buy improvements.

    After purchasing all improvements (or near the end of that phase) it is time to maximize happiness with the luxury slider.

    If you want to really micro-manage, adjusting each town's specialists frequently can give quite a score boost. The silly city governor frequently changes your settings, making entertainers (which you want for maximum happiness) to scientists or tax collectors. Although resetting these guys frequently can have a significant impact on score I find it too tedious and usually just maximize the luxury slider and let the specialists be allocated badly.

    It is important to avoid an accidental cultural win. You need to keep an eye on your total culture and ensure it will not pass 100,000. I usually find it necessary to sell off most temples fairly early. I almost never build Cathedrals or Colosseums - they just increase the cultural victory problem. Later in the game after researching everything I usually find that I also have to sell off most libraries and universities.

    Two wonders which are especially nice for score are JS Bach's and Cure For Cancer because they boost happiness, without requiring any culture-producing city improvements. Smith's Trading is also especially nice on large maps because it makes the Marketplaces maintenance-free. Longevity is another nice one, dramatically increasing the rate of population growth during the expansion phase of milking.

    Finally, something I like to do in milked games which has nothing to do with score, but seems right to me for this kind of game: Improve the landscape. After the last war I use my military to destroy all the so-called "improvements" in territory which I won't be settling. I then use workers to plant forests, create a simple rail system, and create lots of paths (roads) through the woods. It doesn't take much longer to do this and the end result seems more satisfying to me. :)


    Links

    See http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17439&highlight=chiefpaco+domination for a detailed discussion of the Domination victory condition and some useful analysis.

    See http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17550 for a calculator which can estimate your current hidden "per-turn" score.

    Edit: See http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=18243for chiefpaco's MapStat utility which can be used to determine the domination threshold for a map.
     
  2. spork

    spork Chieftain

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    SirPleb, this is really great. After following the links I can finally see why you consider successful milking an art. In particular, avoiding domination victory looks to be a black art. I still think it's too bad that the game scoring is balanced to encourage milking. However, since it is, your advice is very useful.
     
  3. chiefpaco

    chiefpaco Emperor

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    Cool stuff. It's good to see all the hard work you & everyone has done all centralized to help those new (& those who easily forget too). Good work & well presented!
    :goodjob:
     
  4. Beam

    Beam Beat 'm up Scotty! Retired Moderator

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    SirPleb, this is a great overview, my respect also for all the work that led to this knowledge! :goodjob: :goodjob:

    There is one additional aspect I like to mention and that is the importance of luxuries and an early access to them as soon as possible. Combined with marketplaces this gives an enormous happiness boost that increases progressively with the different number under control. Max. output can be 20 happy faces.

    Are you already working on a new game SirPleb?
     
  5. Badluck

    Badluck Warlord

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    really we can reload once we see the domination?!?!?!


    IF i had knew that for my game, i would have been less afraid to continually expand!!!!!
     
  6. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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  7. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    Yes indeed, see this thread: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=11834&perpage=20&pagenumber=5

    Duke of Marlbrough says in that thread, regarding checking the domination threshold the hard way (by running into it):

    "Reloading is allowed to a degree. If you want to check things, reload, if you want to redo a combat, you shouldn't reload.
    The rules aren't as strict as the GOTM because in tthe GOTM everyone is playing the same game so they have to be sure everyone is playing on a more fair level within the fixed time frame. In the HOF, if someone outscores you, you just have to eventually play better to beat them."
     
  8. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    It would be curious to see how much the tedious things would actually improve score. Since I could never be able to get to the conquest stage on Deity, I was wondering what score would be possible if SirPleb played Deity until he had the opponent knocked to one city, then gave me the game to do all the tedious things to milk it even more (of course this won't qualify for HoF because of teamwork).
     
  9. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    Ok Bamspeedy! I'll send you a PM when my current game reaches that stage. Probably a few days from now. You might not want to do this once you've seen it, there are an awful lot of cities in this one :)
     
  10. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    Ok! Sounds great! Send me the saved game, then you finish it your way, and I'll finish it doing the minor tedious things and we'll see how much of a difference it makes.:)
     
  11. Badluck

    Badluck Warlord

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    that would be funny if sirpleb had a higher score....
     
  12. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    Knowing my luck I'd probably screw something up, and somehow lose the game, or mis-time the completion of the spaceship so I end up with a histographic score.
     
  13. Mîtiu Ioan

    Mîtiu Ioan Deity

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    Yes, Sir Plebs - you're completely right !!

    My maximal score until now was obtained yesterday on a tiny map, Iroquis, Deity level - something around 13300 points on a victory before 1 AD ( 70 BC I suppose, but I'm not sure ... :) ).

    I never have enough patience to play on huge mup until 2500 - micromanagement really kill me - and also ( and even more important ) the duration between turns.

    Regards,
     
  14. Matrix

    Matrix CFC Dinosaur Retired Moderator

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    Nice lesson, SirPleb. Only I'll never milk the game. Totally boring, but if you want - go ahead. :p ;)

    Anyway, it's quite clarifying. Thanks for the info. You're da man! :cool:
     
  15. sysyphus

    sysyphus So they tell me

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    One quick question, granted it may be a dumb one, but what is meant by "milking"?
     
  16. Special_O

    Special_O Godlike

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    Running the score as high as possible even though you know you'll win.
     
  17. God

    God God

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    Well i'm not entirely sure what miliking means, but its like even though you totally dominate the world and with a few nukes can anlihate the remaining civs, or have built the UN and are waiting till 2050 to vote or having your spaceship ready and launching it at 2050.
    Just trying to have your cities max out and build all the wonders and improvements even though they don't make much difference.
     
  18. King Of America

    King Of America Warlord

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    Is there supposed to be a bonus if you win via culture or spaceship before 2050?
     
  19. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    Yes there is. The bonus is the same regardless of how you win, it is based just on the date and the difficulty level, using the formula in the note at the start of this thread.
     
  20. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    It is as Special_O and God described :)

    The easiest way to milk a game is to leave just one town belonging to one opponent, surrounded by a square of Mech. Infantry. (If it is coastal, block the water access with naval units.) Eliminate all other opponents. Get a Right Of Passage agreement with the remaining opponent as part of the peace deal when you've finished hammering them, so that you don't need a larger number of Mech. Infantry further away from their town. I try to give them a town in a desert or tundra somewhere so that it will never grow. Once you've done that you can take your time improving the rest of the world :)

    A harder way to milk a game is to take as much land as you safely can (without triggering a domination win), then improve your land without taking out the Civs inhabiting the other parts of the world. This is harder because you have to ensure they won't build a spaceship, or the UN, or get a cultural win, or mess up your finish by starting a war!
     

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