[NFP] Maya First Look

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by bite, May 14, 2020.

  1. Mr Jon of Cheam

    Mr Jon of Cheam Prince

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    True but the best spot for luxuries + adjacencies was on the tile I moved to and I figured Maya are the only civ where that could be applicable.
     
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  2. lotrmith

    lotrmith King

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    IZs, Dams, and Aqueducts all come too late... empire building is best done with massive early city spam (or conquering), which I have found Maya suffers from significantly.
     
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  3. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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    Okay, I know here are the internet we all love to be devil's advocates, contrarians, apologists, and generally derive validation of negging someone else's negging. Hey, I feel you! But....Maya does seem to be a civ you only play if you're looking for a handicap to overcome, not a specialty to explore and exploit.

    The observatory is a campus replacement that takes all the yummy bonuses for mountains, fissures, rainforests, and coral, and then swaps them out a big bonus for plantations and a meager bonus for farms. That ain't the way uniques are supposed to work in Civ VI. In the final tally, they're actually supposed to be an improvement over what they're replacing. And all the canard arguments about map dependency, but you ultimately have to simply determine one thing: should a Maya player ultimately be expected to come out ahead with the their adjacency bonuses in a way that makes this an appealing alternative to a campus?

    Now, if you want a civ that is supposed to be small and compact, it's cool in principle to provide an alternative way to get housing. By cutting off the fresh water bonus (rather than merely reducing it), it kind of liberates the player from the familiar trap of feeling compelled to choose river adjacency over all other considerations. That's all right. But you can't have the compensating factor be farms while the design is also suggesting that empires should be small and compact. You just run of places to put them. It would have helped if city center adjacency to luxuries provided extra housing, instead of extra amenities--which, after all, a small empires doesn't really need.

    The worst failing of a small/tall civ in Civ VI is there just isn't anything to do with population, certainly not if you're squashing all the cities and they have to overlap their access. And man, +10% for cities within six tiles, but -15% for those not? Again, there does not seem to be upside there, just handicap to try to break even with.

    Unless I've missed some huge benefit--and if I have, I'm all ears--Maya is just a civ for those looking to have a hand tied behind their back, not play devil's advocate for its own sake. And that's fine, but let's try to land on a consensus. I get that some folks want to give Maya a fair shake, but sometimes giving the waiter a thumbs as you fish the the hairs out of your soup and then apply extra elbow grease to cut the shoe-leather steak isn't the fairest thing to do. Sometimes you just gotta send things back and let the kitchen know there's a problem to fix.
     
  4. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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    Just notice that building an observatory with +4 adjacency did not earn era score. Bug, I should hope.
     
  5. Guynemer

    Guynemer King

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    That's true of all unique districts; you don't get a high adjacency era score.
     
  6. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    I've had no problems finding big adjacency observatories. One thing to note is that it's not +2 for having a plantation but +2 per instance (or should I say +2.2).
     
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  7. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Yes, that seems fair, at least if played as a 'tall' civ - it's a reason to like them since nothing else in Civ VI incentivises you to play a specific strategy or risk failure. As an update on my current game, even once I had my cities established I'm a long way behind where I would expect to be at this game stage (now mid-Industrial Era) and my science output is half that of Kongo. I might reasonably lose this game - Cree took Ruhr Valley before I could start it, and Kongo got Oxford University 4 turns before I would have. My capital never developed because it got hit incessantly by withering and major droughts (there was at least one point where there were three active at once) long before I could get Dams. I also made a serious mistake in neglecting culture and I'm painfully crawling towards the Enlightenment. I was slow to take Antioch and didn't in the end go for a prolonged war with Arabia to clear them from my borders as I didn't have enough units or bombards and they were able to destroy catapults with ease.

    Basically, my sense is that - play mistakes on my part aside - the advantages you gain from going tall just don't adequately compensate for the slow start, and you can't easily go that tall anyway. Mayan farms don't provide any food bonus, and 10% bonus to food yields simply doesn't matter until you already have a large population to work all the food tiles (and if you do, you have low production). Too many of Civ VI's systems are built around going wide, including ones that Maya will need to succeed easily such as Great Scientist points. Maya tend to have poor production anyway thanks to their start bias and need for farm tiles, and you simply don't have enough production slots especially as you need a lot of builders, as well as duplicates of all the important districts.

    To be fair, you could make a similar case about the Seowon - that has a good bonus but it will still be lower than an optimal campus. I have liked the fact that the Maya are relatively free from placement restrictions with Observatories - ultimately you get more science from the buildings than the adjacency bonus, so being able to build observatories in cities that aren't suitable for campuses and still get decent adjacency is a plus. The problem, of course, is that while you eventually get more science from buildings you get the campus bonus early, when +2-5 science is much more important than it is later in the game.

    The more I think on it, and based on my experience, the more I think that you aren't supposed to play tall with the Maya. You will quickly have half a dozen cities that compare favourably with most early capitals in their production output - they give you most of your production, but at the same time you still need more population and more districts. Even for typical civs, you end up with a lot of surplus cities that are there mainly to boost resource yields a bit but which are never particularly important and I think the Maya should be pressing for a lot of these satellites - my mistake was not doing that. Especially if you get those cities by conquest, where you often have a number of districts and several population already in place that mitigates the downside of the resource malus.

    One thing I noted was that the entire area with city spots within 6 tiles of my capital contained a grand total of one banana resource (and it wasn't in the capital). All my other district adjacency has had to come from farms and districts.
     
  8. bengalryan9

    bengalryan9 King

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    I'm just here to say that "Lord Chocolate" is the greatest name for a spy in the history of Civilization.
     
  9. OmegaDestroyer

    OmegaDestroyer King

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    I got a big chuckle out of that when I came across it.
     
  10. Casualty of war

    Casualty of war Prince

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    I'm happy that I haven't solved Maya yet. They force me to look at the map with an entirely different set of priorities.

    The need for Granaries and desperate need for Builders jumbles up your build queue. You get deep into the Medieval and realize you've skipped Monuments in some of your cities and your Culture is anemic. Plantations are great for Gold and Food, but Hammers are scarce.

    I've held off Pitati Archers easily, on Deity, with Maya. The AI doesn't seem to assess their strength properly. When you get the estimate of how damaged an opposing unit will be, it doesn't seem to incorporate in the bonus versus wounded and the proximity to capital bonus. I feel pretty comfortable with one Garrison-promoted Mayan Hyper Archer defending my inner circle border cities. If city walls soften up the target, the Archer will clean them up. Yeah, I'll learn the real name eventually.

    Temple of Artemis is a godsend, and you want to research Archery anyway. Get it!
     
  11. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Emperor

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    Yeah, as I noted in my post I usually stick to 4 cities, so those are pretty quickly spammed out even with low-ish hammers.
    My current build order (again, only playing on King) is Builder -> Settler -> Monument -> Archer -> Settler -> Settler, and with a bit of luck I can grab the last one via Panteon instead. Tbh, it might be even better to just skip the early monument and get those cities up asap. I guess I'll try that next time.
     
  12. Casualty of war

    Casualty of war Prince

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    Also your Holy Sites and Campuses aren't fighting for the same real estate.
     
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  13. Mr Jon of Cheam

    Mr Jon of Cheam Prince

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    I've only had one game with them so not enough to be conclusive but I found it easier to get excellent adjacencies for the Observatory than a regular campus - for half the price and without having any useless mountain tiles in my territory. Whilst I agree with the general sentiment that Maya are probably a fairly weak Civ, I like the Observatory.
     
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  14. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Emperor

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    One thing the Observatory taught me was how well off the Inca are thanks to their mountain affinity. During my first game I found it to be a pretty disappointing downgrade, given that I am used to easy 3+ adjacency for the Campus - and then I realized that it is probably pretty unlikely for any other CIV to get that on a regular basis. And the Observatory is indeed quite flexible, making it a bit easier to plan for farm triangles & carpets that will be built later down the line.

    edit: FWIW, I think I am starting to get the hang of the Maya. I finally managed to get a T300-ish victory, about 40-50 turns less than with my usual Inca approach. Granted, the start was good, but it probably amounted to only half of the time saved.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  15. kb27787

    kb27787 Deity

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    The Seowon gives + 1 science to surrounding mines, which basically a perfect seowon surrounded by 6 mines equal to +10 campus. It is actually one of the best UDs in the game.

    The Observatory on the other hand... let us do a head to head comparison:

    Both half price and unlocked with the same tech

    Seowon starts with +4 science. Observatory by default has none.

    1 builder charge gives either +1 science (mines) or +1 food (farm) to the city with the Seowon. 1 builder charge gives either 0.5 science (farm) or 2 science (plantation).

    In other words a Seowon with three builder charges spent on mines (7 science total) is still slightly better compared to an observatory with three plantations (6 science). Moreover, the tile improvements themselves give +3 production for Korea and +6 gold +1.5 housing for Maya. I already know which set of bonuses I prefer....

    Mind you, it is much easier to find a hill with 3 adjacent hills than a tile with 3 adjacent plantation resources!

    Otherwise an observatory surrounded by 6 farms still loses to a naked Seowon!

    Ironically, as to growing tall, Gran Columbia does it better than Maya. Their haciendas (1 housing each) can be placed anywhere, give adjacency bonuses when clumped (double housing than outback stations) and next to each other (as opposed to Mekewaps) for massive production and gold. If Gran Columbia gets a grassland start they can grow amazing cities with huge housing and production per tile.

    Someone give the balance team a whack on the head for me... They basically release a very top tier civ and a very bottom tier civ in the same patch.
     
  16. GrumboMumbo

    GrumboMumbo Warlord

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    If this is Firaxis' idea of balance, it doesn't give me any confidence for the future patches. I just don't think they have any staff that know the game well enough/can play to a high level (the livestreams are always evidence of this). Or perhaps they do, and balance doesn't matter, all the fluff is more of a priority. Make stuff look cool, that sells games i guess...
     
  17. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I've been pretty happy with Smoking Squirrel.
     
  18. Wyvern_Parade

    Wyvern_Parade Warlord

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    I know for a fact that Carl from Firaxis frequents TheGameMechanic's (an almost exclusively Deity player) streams and even participates in chat a bit. So at least he is aware of how high level players play the game. Many of the typical balance concerns (ICS, weak Specialists, useless late game buildings, etc.) are brought up there constantly. I believe the previous removal of Goddess of the Harvest, coastal city buffs, and production balancing all were at least partially influenced by that stream. I don't think it's purely from lack of knowledge.

    My hope is that they have some balance ideas that they are holding back and planning to roll out piecemeal throughout this year in the off-month free updates. Throwing out all the balance changes at the beginning might leave them without much to show for later in the year. (Although I was slightly disappointed we didn't even get any new policy cards or Era dedications with the initial dlc).

    As for the Maya, I don't think they're as weak as some people here are making them out to be. I've only played one game and they seemed decently strong, but I think everyone here including myself needs to play them more to truly make an informed opinion. I'll give you that they certainly are map dependent though.
     
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  19. The Highwayman

    The Highwayman Prince

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    I second this. I'm sure they're very knowledgeable of all the mechanics but don't know how to convert that to high level. Carl's justification for GC's +1 movement is....zone of control. "Yeah but look at ZOC from the city center" ignoring the accelerated carpet bomb of units across the map and the units that ignore it to begin with. With double general movement stacking with the +1 movement bombards can literally dance around units and still get a shot off thanks to 6 movement points. My promoted Cavalry literally had 10 movement points at the start of their turn in home turf. Also, now I'm not sure if he's joking, but I think he believes stone circles is a viable pantheon (it's terrible).

    As far as the Mayans go, my early impressions aren't too positive. I appreciate the idea of strategic city placement, but too often the map scripting kills the dream. I rolled a bunch of starts, and while plantations were prevalent in more than half the games, the land was pure garbage overall:
    • Excessive amounts of flat land (production is king). Does L6S have a flat land starting bias?
    • Coast (lol)
    • Mountains and deserts blocking expands within the 6 tile radius (12 buffed cities around the capital is max....can I even get 6-8 buffed cities that aren't total dumpster fires with this terrain?)
    • City states just outside the range or within the range but I don't want to kill them because they'd actually be very useful for science victory. But they're blocking me either way.
    • Simply superior city spots outside the ring. Sure you can settle these anyway, and I would but what if they block the 6 ring city locations?
    Getting lucky with one or two +6/7 campuses with the rest being +3 or worse due to no plantations doesn't sound like a great science civ to me since all other civs are either Korea or can take advantage of mountains/reefs/fissures, which are often plentiful. At the very best it seems the adjacency will even out. 1/2 cost is really good, as well as the +5 combat strength, so it's not all bad. It will be interesting to see what unique strategies can be adapted with them. However, in the current state I don't see what TGM calls a "specialty science civ" being too noteworthy at science.

    What's been everyone's experience with AI Maya? She didn't build any of her archers in my game and was way past the tech. She also didn't build one of her campuses until her sixth city - which I conquered and razed before she could even complete. She seemed to focus on holy sites, encampments, and also built an entertainment complex. But no campus in the first 5 cities.
     
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  20. bengalryan9

    bengalryan9 King

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    I haven't played against an AI Maya yet but this was one of my concerns before they released... how eager was the AI going to be to build a low/no adjacency campus compared to other districts? I doubt the AI does much in the way of planning to raise the bonus in the future.

    The main issue with comparing the Observatory to the Seowon is that the Seowon is just OP in the first place. Not sure I'm willing to hold that against the Maya... they're still pretty good and this is more in line with how a unique campus district *should* be done.

    Let's say Ethiopia were to get a unique holy site... if we all rush to compare it to the Lavra (which is also pretty OP) it's probably going to end up being somewhat disappointing.

    It's interesting, too, considering all the talk of "power creep" that's going on. If Maya or this hypothetical Ethiopia had UDs that were better than the Seowon/Lavras they'd be completely broken. I think the observatory is fine.
     
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