[BTS] News: BOTM 264 - Taylor Swift, Monarch - Final Spoiler (game submitted)

kcd_swede

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BOTM 264: Taylor Swift, Monarch - Final Spoiler - Game Submitted



So... did you successfully eliminate the "Bad Blood" of 2023? And how did you peacefully usher in the New Year?
Use this thread to tell us what happened in your game, particularly anything after 1AD
How did you win???

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With this star filled ensemble I thought it adecuate to go to space, which I guess will be the majority VC of choice this game. I ended up expanding the full corridor to the west between Ed and Bruno, with the nice elephant spot on the coast with 4 food sources, that became my NE city. I also got a city on the coast between Ed and Harry, but the latter closed off the connection to the rest of my cities with something mediocre in between. I eliminated 2023 with cats and elephants mainly, aided by some maces. I got settlers closeby to resettle the land, when it became clear that 2023's cities also autorazed upon capture (like a city of mine had when 2023 attacked it in the BCs). I ended up with 39 cities in total. I played around with Ed a bit to flip some of his cities, but wasn't succesful. Two cities were fully surrounded by my culture in the end, but both had only revolted once but never flipped. I also used spies to keep the AIs in caste as I was building my space parts, it seemed the Hollywood mob had their woke ideas about emancipation, yuck. :mischief:

With all the greenery it looked like a nice map for a communist run to space, but somehow the date was slower than expected. Maybe the lack of conquest cash was to blame, although of course didn't have to build much of an army either. The city count looked ok enough, maybe having to build everything ourselves from scratch does slow everything down though.
 
Space race 1871, i am upset i lost a city to a chariot though in the early game

I think the 2 browns confused me, i must have missed having an enemy near my border

fun map with the fish!
 
I got confused by the browns too. Did the scoreboard name colour match the cultural border colour perfectly? I spotted the corner of Mongol territory early on without making contact. I thought it was 2023 so I set up my units for that orientation.
 
I started out aiming for a possible domination win, but my early attempt at pushing my borders far out slowed my expansion and I only got to about 40% of the available land anyway. Thus, I changed my target to Astro and got a somewhat late victory in 1744 AD. On this green map a 16xx victory seems like the competitive date.

In hindsight, domination might still have been possible, although hard to achieve. A permanent alliance with Harry would have brought the land percentage to 57% and gaining the remaining 10% through cultural pressure seems hard, but maybe not entirely impossible. It will be interesting to see how many players got the domination.
 
I suffered an extremely embarrassing early conquest loss. :hammer2:

I usually don't find the time and stamina to replay GOTMs. But as I found this map setup very well designed, I did it this time.
Well, partially, at least. At 1320AD I had 29 cities and 40% land, was ready to found Sushi for some 40 :culture:/turn, I have Sistine, and can adopt FS for 2x culture and still get a PA and/or peace vassals if I begin to build troops to increase my power ratings, so I guess domination would indeed be possible.

Thanks for the game!
 
Contender Domination Victory.

the nice elephant spot on the coast with 4 food sources, that became my NE city.
That location became Moai + Heroic Epic for me.

National Epic at that location would have been nice, but would have conflicted with Moai, and thus my National Epic went to a weaker location with only 2 Food Resources but with enough Buildings to hire full Specialists when the National Epic was completed.

I eliminated 2023 with cats and elephants mainly, aided by some maces.
Similar for me with Catapults and War Elephants, except I used Knights instead of Maces.

Near the end of the fighting with 2023, a defending Dog Soldier would have held off my Axeman and 2 Spearman, but a Knight had used Roads to sneak into play. I had 2 Promotions for the Knight, but I dared not to take the Shock (Anti-Melee) Promotion, in case the Dog Solder would no longer be the top defender. A Combat II Knight squashed the Dog Solder, leaving my Spearmen and Axeman to take down the wounded Archer and Horse Archer, thereby finishing off 2023's 6th captured City.

It was a bit disappointing that Cities could not be captured, as 2023's capital looked pretty nice. And, as you say, not being able to capture Buildings in addition to a City's Population makes for quite a different situation from Non-Always-Peace games.

I think the 2 browns confused me
Agreed! I turned on the Game Option of Show Friendly Moves as well as Show Enemy Moves and thus I got scared a few times when I saw Genghis' Units moving close to my Cities.

Did the scoreboard name colour match the cultural border colour perfectly?
It seems that the Scoreboard colour for Genghis is not a great representation of his Cultural Borders. I fired up a new game and it seems to be the same situation. I believe that 2023's Scoreboard colour is the colour the Genghis used to have in Vanilla, but perhaps as new Civs and Leaders were added in the expansions, they had to alter the colours a bit (such as when adding in Sitting Bull aka 2023).

In hindsight, domination might still have been possible, although hard to achieve. A permanent alliance with Harry would have brought the land percentage to 57% and gaining the remaining 10% through cultural pressure seems hard, but maybe not entirely impossible. It will be interesting to see how many players got the domination.
I didn't make it far enough in the game for Permanent Alliances, as I would not normally make it that far in the game in a Cultural Victory type of a game. Playing like a Cultural Victory felt like it might be a good style of play to help with Domination on an Always Peace map.

Were peace vassals possible in this game?
I tried to get a Peace Vassal, but the only player who was temporarily interested was Hammurabi, although his reason for refusal was that I had grown too powerful for him. I admit that I don't know much about this aspect of the game and would like to learn more.

That said, it would be interesting to find out if people did manage to see success with a Permanent Alliance and/or a Peace Vassal. I cannot tell from Conquistador 63's write-up whether he managed to actually do one of or even both of those things.


For me, I had settled close to Cyrus (aka Harry) with City 2. When he beat me to settling on the other side of him near Mao (aka Jungkook), I instead opted to form a wall of Cities to block him off from settling westward. He got one Settler out before my Cultural Borders closed in around of him, and that City got settled 4 squares away from one of my Wonder Cities, making most of its City squares eventually belong to me.

A lot of territory in the south was also left available for me to settle.


After moving my Palace, with a lot of gifting of Techs and gifting of Resources over time, I could ask "Could you spare this for a good friend?" and get Cities to be Liberated to me. AIs can even offer you a City, although I think that timing is critical, as it seems to only be possible to get a City offered on the 4th turn after the AI takes possession of the City. Certain tricks were involved.

For example, in a game with Barbs, it is hard to know where an AI will settle. The AIs will move their Units around due to fighting with the Barb Units, and thus it is hard to tell which AI Unit is guarding a settling location versus which AI Unit is busy fighting. But, in a game without Barbs, the AIs will clearly park a Unit in their next settling location. It's then easy to plant a Missionary of a Religion which isn't their State Religion on the same square in anticipation of the Settler's arrival, so that the City would stay at 0 Culture for quite some time.

It's also easy to plan to move the Palace to a nearby City. One of the reasons is that unlike other National Wonders, you can keep partial Hammers in a Palace build. Thus, you can have several partially completed Palaces in various Cities on the map. You can even start rebuilding a Palace in a City which just lost the Palace on the turn after the Palace moves.

Having a Spy around also in place before a City got settled also helped at least once, where I was able to Spread 1 Culture in an AI City with 0 Culture.

Gifting gives you 3 times the benefit as trading. Rather than take 30 Gold or 60 Gold in trade for a Tech, I preferred to take nothing in exchange.

Although I have had doubt on my opinion from SGOTM teammates, I believe that Resource Trades "build up" the amount of "credit" that an AI gives to you. Rather than asking for 1 or 2 Gold per Turn, again, I was happy to give away Resources for nothing, so that would be counted as Gifts. You lack Horses? Great! Have them! (Go beat up on 2023 for me, if you can. I'm too busy building Settlers and Archers for now, anyway.) Similarly, when an AI asks for Help ("You gave us help."), and you agree, it counts as a Gift, as you aren't getting anything in return.

In addition to spreading Buddhism around to my Cities, I had also spread Judaism around, as it was the predominant Religion, and using the Spiritual Trait to switch Religions allowed me to please the AIs, when needed. Since I made Buddhism the Apostolic Palace Religion, I eventually went back to Buddhism and used Spies to get AIs to join me in that Religion.

I think that in an Always Peace game, you cannot Demand Tribute, and the same is almost certainly true for AIs, too. Thus, it was helpful to keep the AIs at Pleased or higher, so that they could Ask for Help. I base this claim on the fact that when I talked with a Cautious AI and I put something from their side of the trading table up for trade, I could only see the "What do you want for this?" prompt. In a normal game, you will also get an additional option of "We demand that you give this to us in tribute."


Of course, many of the tricks used in a "normal" game worked out here, too.

Getting the Great Artist from Music for a Culture Bomb to take over an area of land without other Cities.

Focusing on getting Stone and Marble (I razed a 2023 City and resettled at the same location to get Marble), then spamming Wonders in Cities close to the AIs' Cities.

Ensuring that I was first to Music and that I built The Sistine Chapel for the extra Culture in my State Religion's Buildings, and then spamming Apostolic Palace Buildings to earn Hammers plus a lot of Culture, even in new Cities.

Using the Cultural Slider and then gifting away Happiness Resources for a period of time.

Settling near Forests and then Chopping those Forests to become new Workers, Settlers, and Buddhist Missionaries (to get more Sistine Chapel Culture via Buddhist Buildings in the next round of Cities).

I built MoM, but it was probably mostly useful for its Cultural effects, as I ended the game with 23 turns of Golden Age remaining to be used.

Building most of the Wonders. I missed out on The Temple of Artemis, but at least I got Cyrus' Failure Gold, since he really had been building it, and Hammurabi beat him to it. I got Failure Gold for The Statue of Zeus due to missing it by a couple of turns. Genghis had indeed been building The Hanging Gardens, as guessed. Other than those misses, as well as an AI using a Great Prophet on a Holy Shrine, I had all of the Wonders built in the ADs; even "silly" ones for an Always Peace map, like Chichen Itza.

Espionage helped (an excess of Great People gave me too many Great Spies, so I went with the Infiltrate Mission) with Spread Culture and to watch AIs progress on expanding their Cultural Borders, so that I could settle proactively close to an AI's City before its Cultural Borders expanded. I even Sabotaged the Production of The Hagia Sophia so that I could be the one to build that Wonder.

One area where I failed was not building Cathedrals. Unlike in a normal Cultural game, where you can probably be happy with 9 to 14 Cities, I needed to keep making Settlers, and thus Settlers instead of Cathedrals got prioritised.


Thanks to the staff for yet another entertaining game! Congrats to the players who managed to finish, and thanks for trying to those who either lost or couldn't get enough time to complete the game on this largish, Epic Speed map.
 
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