MRG's Random Game of Randomness


Aug 24, 2013
It's been a while since I've been around here. I got the itch to play Civilization III again and enjoyed the time I played a few succession games. I'm looking to play a Conquests game where most settings will be set to random. World size is going to be huge, but everything beyond that will be set to random. Land type? Barbarian aggression? Opponents? None of which we'll know. The civilization we play will be random too, but we'll get to pick out of 3 randomly generated starts. So we'll know who we are and can discuss pregame strategy before settling the first city.

Difficulty level can be discussed later depending on who wants to play. Victory conditions as well. I prefer domination to be turned off but am flexible about that.
Hello again MRG!

It's also a while since I last played in an SG (the last one I was involved in was back in early 2020, but there were only two players and I was compelled to drop out for family reasons), and random-everything-except-map-size is how I usually prefer to play — so (with minor reservations; see below) count me in!

Re. Difficulty level:

I've played most of my recent solo-games at Demigod, but I've also lost (or given up on) most of them.
Spoiler Full disclosure :
Out of several dozen (mostly-random) starts to date, I have only 3 DG-wins under my belt, as the Sumerians, Mayans (both Spaceship), and most recently the Celts (Domination). And for both the latter 2 games, I chose my Civ myself, rather than letting the pRNGods decide — that they were (also) Agricultural is purely coincidental, honest injun... :shifty: ;)

My most recent abandonment was as the Aztecs. That game came down to me (>25% land and >20% population), the Inca and the Celts, but the Celts were already a monster (>55% land and >60% pop) and more advanced than either of us. Shortly after I gained Replaceable Parts (but before I could build many Guerillas — I had no Rubber — or upgrade my meagre Cannon-stack), Brennus declared on and wiped out the Inca remnants within only a couple of turns, then immediately turned on me, using Tanks, ToWs, and large stacks of Artillery*. It was clear which way the wind was going to blow :cry: so I started a new game...

I'm now trying as the Romans, but though I got Iron and Horses close to Rome, my core was/is full of Mountains and Marsh, so it has been hard going; I'm still a couple of turns from finishing the Ancient Age, but the Japanese already have Cavs... :scared:
So Emperor is still my comfort-level, especially for all-random games.

Happy to go with the team's preference here, though, and Monarch might be better for a Large/Huge map (see below).

Re. Map-size:

Not counting the 2020 SG (played on @Marla_Singer's [PTW] Earth Map; which is installed with Conquests by default, but for some reason seems to be missing from the DL-database), and one solo-game on @LKendter's adjusted version of @Yoda Power's(?) 256*256 Earth Map (which I also abandoned, despite it being winnable), I think I've only once played a Huge map.

I have also played a couple of Large maps. But even those games I finished, still got pretty draggy towards the end.

The main thing on Large+ maps is the slowdown in (early) tech-pace due to the map-size factor increasing the beaker-costs and (on Continent/Archi maps) the usually later contact with the overseas Civs (early ships are more likely to be lost while crossing the much wider Oceans). OTOH, the longer early expansion-phase also means that the AI's DoWs usually start a little later.

With the turn-documentation, and delays in uploads/downloads usually associated with an SG, the game will already take long enough to play as it is, so a Standard map is usually the preferred option.

For an SG on a Large/Huge map, it might therefore be necessary to enforce a much stricter 24/48 (or 72)-hour rule for gottit/play — as @LKendter does for his SGs (most of his recent SGs have been played in CCM 2.50, where Huge maps are 265*265 tiles, IIRC) — and/or maybe also shorten the turnsets (e.g. 20–10–5) as the game goes on.

If you really want to go larger than Standard, then my preference would be for Large, rather than Huge.

Re. victory condition:

Not sure about turning off Domination: if we decide to go for a military win, Domination can be reached (much) sooner than Conquest. Mopping up every last AI-town for a Conquest-win can get tedious even on Standard maps, never mind on Large/Huge.

Either way, "AI Respawn" should definitely be turned off...

Game version:

*I am now playing with @Flintlock's patched (GOG/Steam) .exe, mainly for the bugfixes and QoL improvements.

If the other SG-players are also running this patch, we would all need to agree to use the same release-version and a common config file while playing our turns, so that the AI acts the same way for each of us (I just installed v.10 on the desktop upstairs, but have not yet started any games with it; the old XP-laptop is still running v.9).

However, if any prospective SG-players can't (or simply don't want to) use the patch, then we would all have to agree to use the unpatched Firaxis-version of the .exe.

I can easily revert to that version, but would then have to either remember to switch back and forth between .exe versions, depending on whether I wanted to play solo or SG; or restrict myself to playing only the SG on the unpatched .exe for the duration of the game. Knowing me, the latter course of action would likely be 'safer'... ;)

One last word:

To cast the net wider, you might want to also post an alert in the stickied thread:

...and maybe also in the main CivIII forum?
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Hey, haven't played an SG for ages... I would be tempted.

Regarding Flintlock's Patch: I don't have the Steam or GoG version, just the plain old CD version I bought 20 years ago. (Ok, I bought the Chronicles version for 5€ in 2009, so that I would also have an English edition of the game, as the German one had trouble with English Scenarios like The Great War and Age of Imperialism, etc.)
In any case: I think the Flintlock Patch cannot be used with the CD versions, right?

Difficulty level: Demigod is fine with me. If you are up for a challenge, we could also try Deity.
I'm not much of a technical person. I've attempted to install the 2021 mod on my computer with the steam version and can't quite get it working. I *think* I followed all the instructions in the notepad but can't be 100% sure. I've also attempted to get CivAssist II working and can't seem to get that one going either. Might be safest to just do regular Conquests.

I'm also flexible about the huge map. We can do standard size if that's the general consensus.

I wasn't sure about that thread because the last post was in 2016. But it couldn't hurt to try.
In any case: I think the Flintlock Patch cannot be used with the CD versions, right?
It certainly can't be used with the SecuROM'd .exe files from most older CDs, and I think also not with the non-DRM'd Civ Chronicles CD-version (IIRC, @Civinator tested this).

I tried the patch on the no-CD DL-version of the .exe that I bought from GamersGate in 2013, but unfortunately it wasn't compatible.

AFAIK, no-one has tested Flintlock's patch on the no-CD .exe in the patchpaket from the German PCGames magazine, but I'm guessing that probably won't work either.

I'd already re-bought CivIII from GOG — for about €1.50! — because I discovered that GamersGate had taken it out of their catalogue at some point after I'd bought it from them (they later put it back, but their new DL-package was also now Steam-dependent), so I junked my GG-installation and re-installed from GOG, just so I could use the patch.

And. It. Is. Glooorious! :rockon:
It certainly can't be used with the SecuROM'd .exe files from most older CDs, and I think also not with the non-DRM'd Civ Chronicles CD-version (IIRC, @Civinator tested this).

The Flintlock Patch is not able to detect the Civ 3 Complete Chronicles C3C exe for the upgrade - but if you have a C3C exe updated with the Flintlock patch, you can copy it into the C3C Chronicles version and, if you have all the other needed files from the Flintlock patch in the Chronicles C3C mainfolder, you can run C3C with the updated Flintlock exe and the Civ 3 Complete Chronicles version without any problems. At least these are my experiences with the Civ 3 Complete Chronicles version and the Flintlock patch.

So you need a C3C exe, upgraded with the Flintlock patch to copy it into the C3C Chronicles version. In my case I have also installed the GOG version of Civ 3 Complete on my pc where I made the upgrade with the Flintlock patch. So if you get no upgraded exe "donated" you have to buy the GOG or the Steam version of Civ 3 Complete, as both versions will be detected by the Flintlock patch for the upgrade of the exe. Better is the GOG version, as the steam version has a bugged labels text file and with Steam you are not safe from receiving silly upgrades during your game. The GoG version is on sale every few weeks for € 1,29. In that case do the offline installation from GOG as here you don´t receive automatic updates, that can play havoc with your current succession game.
I am using the Chronicles version with the PCGames no-CD exe. If one can simply replace the exe with the Flintlock-exe, I would give the Flintlock patch a try. If someone can give me the necessary files & instructions.
(But I need to remember to restore the exe after each session, so as to not mess up my current COTM game I'm playing. I think it would not be eligible for submission, if I'd play it with the wrong exe...)
However, the regular Conquest version would also be fine for me, if MrRandomGuy can't make the Flintlock patch work.

I'm fine with a larger map size, Large or even Huge, I don't mind. Might be a nice change from the usual Standard...

So we are waiting for 1-2 more people to join, and then get started? Everything random, and then we decide on a victory condition, as we go along (and depending on what the RNG gods hand out to us...)?
I had to switch to the GOG version because the steam version quit working on me. I seem to remember having to just use the original CD last time as well. Though nowadays laptops don't come with cd drives anymore so GOG version it is!

Anyway, yes 1-2 more players is what we're waiting on. In the meantime I've started 6 games. 3 on standard map, 3 on large map. I feel like standard or large should be what we do. All difficulty level Demigod. Standard rules with AI restarts turned off.

Large Map 1

Large 1.png

This first large map I did made me not want to do the other 2 random start locations. This is a really good start with a cow next to a river and 3 bonus grassland tiles and a few mountains for possible future resources.

Large Map 2

Large 2.png

Definitely not as good of a start as the first, but there's still a cow we can use. The barbarian hut could be something useful or it could be an early barbarian attack.

Large Map 3

Large 3.png

This one isn't a bad start either, but the cow is on plains instead of grassland. The forest however is useful for getting some shields quickly.

Standard Map 1


Wheat, some bonus grassland, gold, right next to a lake, and a few forests to get shields from. Pretty decent.

Standard Map 2

This one has potential, but similar to the Large Map 2 there are tundra tiles nearby. The tile to the right of the hill hints at a river or coast.

Standard Map 3


Great start for growing the first city and making a settler factory, but may be bad for expansion northward due to the jungle. Looks like it might be a coast to the west as well.
My vote(s) would be for Large1 (if we go Large), otherwise Standard3.
Large Map 2: The barbarian hut could be something useful or it could be an early barbarian attack.

The barbarian hut next to the first city location cannot be an "early barbarian attack" as you don´t have any military units when founding the city.
That's if you found it in place though. It looks like there's a coastline just to the South, so if it was me I'd probably settle either on the water or a tile further inland.

Of course I'd also say that start isn't very good and I'm in agreement with tjs that either Large1 or Standard3 is the best.
Of course I'd also say that start isn't very good and I'm in agreement with tjs that either Large1 or Standard3 is the best.

:yup: Yes, I think this the common opinion.
Large1 would be my choice, even though the Mongols are not really first choice on Demigod: the expansionist trait is basically wasted on DG, as most huts that you find will be empty, and militaristic isn't that great either. So this would probably mean a military game based on the Keshik?!
Looks like either way we're playing the Mongols as both start positions are the best. The large map looks like it will be helpful to have a ring around our capitol and expand N/E/W since we're on the southern part of the map. I'm thinking large is the best option. What should be our starting tech to research? I'm going to start worker off by roading and irrigating the cow then from there it depends on how the other tiles by the river look. Any other ideas on opening moves for the game?
We should in any case move the other units, before deciding where to settle. Worker to cow is a save move, which will uncover the two grasslands, and then move the scout to one of the mountains, e.g. the on E, to check what's there. If we find another food bonus, even if it's only a wine, it might be worth to move the settler to get both into the BFC. Then we have a despotic 4-turner. (And there are chances, that we miss the slingshot on Demigod, then we'll be despotic for quite some time...)

First tech of course Alphabet. No time for anything else on Demigod. (And good luck we start with Pottery, so we don't need to research that.)

It is better to irrigate first, then do the road, because then the town can grow one turn earlier.

BTW: we should determine the roster. The most experienced player should go first, as these early turns are crucial. What is your "comfort level" in single player games? tjs282's is Emperor, I think? Mine is Demigod-Deity, though I have beaten Sid with a good start.
I agree with the most experienced player starting first. My comfort level for single player games is Regent. I think last time I was here I went up to Monarch and did fair. So it would be best for you to play first then tjs then me. We can play while spots are still open I assume and anyone who wants to jump in just has to ask.

Here is the save for large map 1.


  • MRG Large 1.SAV
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Here is the save for large map 1.
I've DL'd that save for my archive, but do you still have the 4000 BC.sav files for the other 5 Starts? They look like they might pose some interesting solo-game challenges.

Last time I random-rolled the Hittites, I also got an Arch-map, and was stuck on a small island (there was just enough room for 10 towns at CxxC, with all of them working ~50% water-tiles at Pop10–12), with the Romans on a Curragh/Galley-accessible island (but with Iron) just north, and the Dutch (also with Iron) over the Ocean to the SE — so, really perfect first targets for my 3MCs...
I went ahead and made the first two moves as indicated. This will give us a better view for the next decisions:


As you can see, no more food bonus became visible, so we could settle in place.
Unless we want to go for a 20K game in the capital? Then I would move 1N to get (at least) one more mountain into the BFC for better late-game production.

So any opinion yet on the desired victory? For any other victory (and for 20K in the second city) settling in place would be ok. Then my next actions would be:
  • irrigate and road the cow, then road and mine the river BG to the NE.
  • research Alphabet - Writing full blast. We can then later decide, whether we want to risk the full slingshot and go Code of Laws - Philosophy, or play it safe and do Philosophy first, pick CoL as our freebee and then do Republic manually. However, with the many nice river tiles, we have high commerce, and the slingshot may be doable here. Depends on how well our fellow civs' start positions are. With more contacts, we can judge, how fast the AI is progressing and whether the slingshot has a chance.
  • Build order: risk the farmer's gambit and start granary right away, or do 1-2 warriors first?
And finally: is the first turnset 10 or 20 turns? (Some SGs do it one way, some the other...)
PS: is it ok to check F10 to see, who our rivals are? If we see, that none of them starts with Alphabet, we'd have a much better chance of getting the slingshot done... That would influence our decision about whether we should attempt it or play it safe.
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