[BTS] News: BOTM 264: Taylor Swift, Monarch - Starts 22 December

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BOTM 264: Taylor Swift of Spain.



2023 was enough, so the Time Magazine's person of the year is here to peacefully usher out 2023 and bring you a victorious 2024. In this game, Year 2023 is represented by a Minor Civilization, which is basically like a barbarian civ (everyone is always at war with them). Tier 1 victories will be counted for medals and awards first considering all of the submissions which have eliminated 2023. Only after that, if any awards remain, will victories where 2023 is still alive will be considered. Another thing to note... if any civ loses 6 cities by military takeover from the Minor Civ, it will be wiped off the map. That includes the player. All victories are enabled, and may even all be possible despite the Always Peace condition. Also note that you will play on Epic speed to give you lots to do over the holidays. Enjoy!!!

Game settings:
Playing as: Taylor Swift of Swifties
Rivals: 6 AIs
Difficulty: Monarch
Starting Era:
Ancient
Speed: Epic
Options: No barbarians, permanent alliances, always peace, no goody huts, no random events
Victory Conditions:
All enabled

Map settings:
Map: Mystery
World Wrap: None
Mapsize: Standard
Climate: Tropical
Sea level: Low
Map latitudes: -90°S to 90°N


Taylor Swift is Spiritual and Expansive, and you start with Mysticism and Fishing.

The Spiritual trait gives no anarchy and double production speed of Temple and Cristo Redentor

The Expansive trait gives +2 health/city and +25% hammers for worker production and double production speed of Granary and Harbor

Unique unit: Conquistador (replaces Cuirassier)
The conquistador has +50% strength against melee units - very useful, provided you can build them before the enemy reaches the gunpowder age! And unlike the cuirassier, the conquistador receives defensive bonuses.

Unique Building: Citadel (replaces Castle)
Besides the usual benefits of the castle, the citadel gives +5XP to siege weapons built in the city.

Starting screenshot

This is the start of the game (click for a bigger image):



Adventurer Class bonuses:
You get an extra settler and archer.

Challenger Class Equalizers:
You play at Immortal difficulty but AI start with Monarch level units.

To Enter the Competition:

This competition will open at 00:01 am on 22 Dec 2023, server local time (UTC-6:00). From that date and time, you'll be able to get your chosen starting save >>>here<<<.

Submit the save after your victory (or defeat) here, by 30 Jan 2024.

Here is a link to a list of the differences between Vanilla, Warlords and BtS.

Software Versions

Windows: This game MUST be played in Beyond the Sword (NOT Civ4 Vanilla or Warlords), patched to version 3.19, and with the BUFFY mod version 3.19.005 installed. You can download the BUFFY mod here. Players using Windows Vista or Windows 7 are encouraged to read the notes on Vista fixes here.


Macintosh: This game MUST be played in Beyond the Sword (NOT Civ4 Vanilla or Warlords), patched to version 3.19, and with the Mac BUFFY mod version 3.19.003 installed. You can download the Mac BUFFY mod here.

While playing...

Remember - for your entry to be accepted, it MUST be your first attempt to play this game, and you MUST NOT replay any turns. If you make a mistake while playing, you have to live with it, learn from it, and carry on the game without replaying.

We will open 'spoiler' threads during the month for players to discuss what happens in their games. Do not discuss any details of your game outside those threads.
 
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What does this mean? I've never heard of such a mechanic in the game.
Normally, this is set to zero, which disables the function. It is a setting most often used for Multiplayer games so that there are not remnants of those civs who's player has left the game from skewing the field for the remaining players. It can be set to any number of cities, and I chose 6... mainly to make conquest a possibility where otherwise domination limits might interfere.

Note, I do not think gifting cities would count as cities lost, but I have not actually tested that. But if a civilization loses 6 cities by culture-flipping or loss to an attacking Minor Civ, all the cities still held by that civilization will auto-raze, and that civ will be defeated and removed from play.
 
Normally, this is set to zero, which disables the function. It is a setting most often used for Multiplayer games so that there are not remnants of those civs who's player has left the game from skewing the field for the remaining players. It can be set to any number of cities, and I chose 6... mainly to make conquest a possibility where otherwise domination limits might interfere.

Note, I do not think gifting cities would count as cities lost, but I have not actually tested that. But if a civilization loses 6 cities by culture-flipping or loss to an attacking Minor Civ, all the cities still held by that civilization will auto-raze, and that civ will be defeated and removed from play.
😮
 
Taylor Swift is clearly hell-bent on cultural domination. The question is, does she have any spies beneath her tights?
 
Society has reached its nadir :lol:
 
Does Always Peace apply to all of the major power AI, so that none of them can attack any other? Or does it only affect relations between the AI and us?

With everyone permanently at war with 2023, it would seem a forgone conclusion that 2023 will be easily eliminated. Unless, that is, if the mapmaker has improved the power or strategic position of this player over what might be suggested by its "minor power" status. :evil:

While I'm all in favor of terminating 2023 with extreme prejudice, I do have some existential dread about what 2024 might bring us. :eek:
 
I expect to learn a lot about permanent alliance and peace vassal mechanics over the next month.
Good call about Peace Vassalling. Doing so sure sounds easier than Culture-Flipping every AI City like we had to do to win Conquest in an Always-Peace game in Civ 4 Vanilla.


If you like Wonders, on an Always-Peace map, it may be wise to plan to self-build a lot of them. Even if you do not like Wonders, it can become a lot easier to Culture-Flip AI Cities if we hog all of the Wonders to ourselves.

Hence, a capital with a lot of Hills squares can be quite important.


It's a tough settling decision.

1W PH Riv looks tempting, as it keeps the visible Food. But, we give up 3 beautiful Grassland Hills squares to the east which might otherwise go unused due to a possible lack of other Food Resources near to them, leaving us with only 2 Hills squares to work. It may be one of the times where moving to a PH square is NOT that strong of a play.

Settling in-place gives us 3 Food Resources plus 6 Hills, which can make for a very strong Wonder-spamming capital.

Settling 1S on the Banana could also be feasible; less Food in the longer term, but still getting 5 Hills squres plus earning a Forest. I cannot tell whether the squares to the south of the two Peaks might also be Hills squares or not.

1E gives us 6 Hills and 2 Food Resources, plus 4 Forests. Using those Chops at an opportune time might mean earning a couple of extra Wonders.


No Barbs means that 2023 is the primary attacking force. We may want to help 2023 to be successful against the AIs.

Will the 2023 Minor Nation also die if it loses 6 Cities?


The Map Type is a "Mystery," but can we at least be told whether all of the players are on the same landmass as each other?

If another AI is overseas, we'll need to know that fact early on if we plan to target a Conquest Victory, while there is still time to settle at least one City on the other landmass.
 
This game is going to give quite a dilemma about wonders. On the wone hand, as @LowtherCastle says, building high culture wonders in outlying cities is going to be good for capturing - and indeed, I think is almost the only way we'll be able to capture AI cities - and for that, the earlier we can build the wonders, the better. But on the other hand, it'll be a race to fill as much land as possible in the early game before the AI gets it - and that suggests an early focus on building settlers and workers to the exclusion of almost everything else.

I think I'll also want to prioritise finding out where the minor civ is - since their cities will provide almost the only easy means to capture anything. Assuming the minor civ doesn't turn out to be on our doorstep, it would be nice if we can encourage it to harass a few AIs and limit AI expansion for as long as possible during the initial land grab - so I'm wondering if there's any game mechanic by which we can help it? Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything. (Although we do ultimately want it to be us, and not the AI, that eventually gets the minor civ's cities)
 
This game is going to give quite a dilemma about wonders. On the wone hand, as @LowtherCastle says, building high culture wonders in outlying cities is going to be good for capturing - and indeed, I think is almost the only way we'll be able to capture AI cities
I think one needs to be more active than just wonders to flip cities fast enough for conquest/domination => culture bomb and send spies on culture missions (move the palace to border locations too maybe)
I would definitely like to try this on at least one opponent.
 
I think one needs to be more active than just wonders to flip cities fast enough for conquest/domination => culture bomb and send spies on culture missions (move the palace to border locations too maybe)
I would definitely like to try this on at least one opponent.

That's true, you're going to have your work cut out to achieve conquest/domination with Always-Peace. We did have an Always-Peace game a long time ago in which if I recall correctly, @WastinTime managed to do just that, and I imagine it'd be well worth reading his write-up about how he did it. I'll see if I can find it - unfortunately I can't remember what game it was.

I'm probably in a different situation - I usually go for space, and I'm thinking that, without capturing at least some AI cities, it's unlikely I'd be able to grab enough land to support all the commerce and hammers needed for an early-ish space win, so will likely want to capture at least a few AI cities. On the other hand great people are very useful for golden ages, so I'm a tad reluctant to 'waste' them on culture bombing :-( Culture missions and moving the palace both sound like potentially good ideas though if there's a good border high commerce location to move the palace to. Confession: I've never really figured out how to do espionage effectively, so usually end up just leaving the espionage slider at 0% and wasting the few espionage points that you get anyway from buildings.
 
Normally, this is set to zero, which disables the function. It is a setting most often used for Multiplayer games so that there are not remnants of those civs who's player has left the game from skewing the field for the remaining players. It can be set to any number of cities, and I chose 6... mainly to make conquest a possibility where otherwise domination limits might interfere.

Wow, as a mapmaker, I had no idea that particular game mechanic existed! I'll have to have a private chat with you about how to set it for use in future games. It would definitely add an interesting twist.

Note, I do not think gifting cities would count as cities lost, but I have not actually tested that. But if a civilization loses 6 cities by culture-flipping or loss to an attacking Minor Civ, all the cities still held by that civilization will auto-raze, and that civ will be defeated and removed from play.

I guess a more pertinent question for this game is, are you sure it includes cities lost to culture flipping - as opposed to cities lost in battle?
 
We start with Mysticism so one way to “fight” AIs is to hoard Holy cities, starting with Buddhism.
 
Settling 1S on the Banana could also be feasible; less Food in the longer term, but still getting 5 Hills squres plus earning a Forest. I cannot tell whether the squares to the south of the two Peaks might also be Hills squares or not.

One issue with settling on the banana, is there won't be any 3-food+hammer tiles you can work for the first 5 turns until your cultural borders expand. For that reason I think I'd give it a miss.

I'm not even much enthused about that plains hill 1W: You get a worker 3 turns faster but lose a turn moving to it, and then another worker-turn walking to the pigs. The only other benefit I can see is, more riverside tiles for cottages.

What's with the no forests anywhere around the immediate likely settling area? Mapmaker - that's just MEAN!
 
.
One issue with settling on the banana, is there won't be any 3-food+hammer tiles you can work for the first 5 turns until your cultural borders expand. For that reason I think I'd give it a miss.

I'm not even much enthused about that plains hill 1W: You get a worker 3 turns faster but lose a turn moving to it, and then another worker-turn walking to the pigs. The only other benefit I can see is, more riverside tiles for cottages.

What's with the no forests anywhere around the immediate likely settling area? Mapmaker - that's just MEAN!
If you’re building a worker, settling on the bananas is the same as settling in place for the first five turns.

Settling on the plains hill continues to give an extra hammer for the rest of the game.

Thing is, with epic speed, we can consider a bit of a walkabout.
 
Wow, as a mapmaker, I had no idea that particular game mechanic existed! I'll have to have a private chat with you about how to set it for use in future games. It would definitely add an interesting twist.



I guess a more pertinent question for this game is, are you sure it includes cities lost to culture flipping - as opposed to cities lost in battle?
Ooops... I should have sandboxed that. No, the Max City Elimination only seems to occur if its a military takeover. So in this game it would have to be the Minor Civ. Unlikely, imo.
 
Thing is, with epic speed, we can consider a bit of a walkabout.

Oh I hadn't noticed epic speed. That makes a difference:

  • Settle in place: 23 turns to build a worker (90 hammers at 4hpt)
  • Plains hill: 18 turns to build a worker plus 1 turn to move to the PH
  • Banana: 8 turns (not 5) till borders expand, so 20 turns to build a worker (8 turns at 4hpt then 12 at 5hpt). Note that settling on the banana loses the rice from the BFC.
  • EXCEPT: What's the tile 1S of the mountain? Is it plains-hill-forest? My fog-gazing skills aren't sufficient to tell. If it is PH-forest, then with the expansive trait, the banana becomes: 8 turns at 4hpt then 10 turns at 6hpt, total 18 turns.
Unfortunately this is all moot for the pigs: From a quick test game, 8 turns to research hunting plus 18 to research animal husbandry = 26 turns (add 1 turn due to loss of commerce if that tile is plains-hill-forest and we use it)

I see no good options here. We could do agriculture first (13 turns) but improving the rice is marginal, so I'm not sure how that stacks up against delaying improving the pigs.
 
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