No SOI Challenge: Game 2

Stalker0

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So after the success of the first game, I did another one. Was the first one just a fluke, or are Sphere's of Influence just an unneeded mechanic?

The answer.... DV on Turn 355! This was on Standard Communitas_79 Immortal as Siam.

Ultimately this game was a bit harder than the last one. I had a lot of fierce competition for CS in the mid to mid-late game even though there really weren't a lot of civs I would consider "strong DV civs".

The big play this game was my great war against India. Naga Malas are just insane right now able to kill even Riflemen. And so after years and years and years of warfare, I finally ground down India and took a few key cities, making them my vassal. Morroco declared on me next, but at this point I had dominant tech and artillery, so it was a quick one to vassalize them.

The main other opponent was Ethiopia this game, pushing for a CV. My culture was pretty solid, so it was going to take some time for Ethiopia to overtake me...but the clock was on.


This game I decided to try Industry and Freedom to see if I could replicate my success with a different ideology. Ultimately I didn't miss the MIC cost reduction, I had over 50k gold by the end and literally bought everything in sight, I couldn't spend gold fast enough. The biggest loss was the double paper. I had more production than I could ever need, so it was paper that limited how fast I could churn out diplo units. However, the biggest boost for freedom was in the double coups. Almost all of my coups were 99%, so I basically just left 8 spies in 8 CS. They just kept rigging elections and couping when needed all game, effectively putting this 8 CS on lockdown. The rest I took care of with endless diplo units.

The AI tried to flip a few CS in the lategame, but I just shut down any opposition, and ending the game with 63/45 votes needed for hegemony and all but 1 CS.


The biggest "loss" from not having SOI was how strong decolonization can be, and the AI continued to use it very well. When I proposed UN, a decol along with it. When I proposed World Ideology, yep another decol. Ultimately I was able to split my votes effectively (and buy votes from my 2 vassals) to weather the storm, and came through it easy peasy on Turn 355.

Conclusion
With a second game without SOI....honestly I'm not missing them. The game is a bit more dynamic, and I haven't had any trouble leveraging my industrial might to take the CS I want. Now...the one thing might be the fact that coups are so strong right now (and will probably be weakened). Will I say the same thing without coup power backing me up? Maybe maybe not, but I don't feel I am even have to leverage my full industrial Diplo unit power to win these games, so even with less coups I could probably hold them with a bit more diplo unit power.

I am pretty happy with the results, things are looking good that SOIs could be greatly weakened (or maybe even removed) and a player can still remain competitive in the race.
 

CrazyG

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I don't know if I'm missing something but diplomacy without a SOI (thats sphere of influence, right?) seems like a small variation to a normal game. It's not a bad proposal by any means but I often want to spend votes on stuff like sanctions or world religion instead.

=I think the key to city state play is spies endlessly performing coups. You have access to so many spies and the opportunity cost is pretty low, spy missions to regular civs take forever. Also the quest to pull a coup gives crazy rewards.
 

nekokon

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Do all of your game end with you running away from mid game to late game ? These kind of game aren't very accurate to gauge the correct balance, I was hoping you can try a closer game after your last DV.
 

Stalker0

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I don't know if I'm missing something but diplomacy without a SOI (thats sphere of influence, right?) seems like a small variation to a normal game. It's not a bad proposal by any means but I often want to spend votes on stuff like sanctions or world religion instead.

=I think the key to city state play is spies endlessly performing coups. You have access to so many spies and the opportunity cost is pretty low, spy missions to regular civs take forever. Also the quest to pull a coup gives crazy rewards.
This challenge started because I have long believed that without SOIs, a human player would not be able to maintain large number of CS allies under the pressure of AIs massive production bonus to generate diplo units. So these games was a test of my assumption. And so far, I think my assumption is false, it seems pretty easy to do even without SOIs
 

Stalker0

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Do all of your game end with you running away from mid game to late game ? These kind of game aren't very accurate to gauge the correct balance, I was hoping you can try a closer game after your last DV.
This game isn't a true runaway, Ethiopia is remaining fairly competitive with me. Last game was a true blue runaway, this one I'm just doing "very well"
 

nekokon

Prince
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How was Ethiopia doing when you won DV ? Are you the only civ left he hasn't won against ?
If that's the case then nevermind my last remark. Just kind of surprising you can dominate WC that easily, able to get both UN and WI even when splitting votes to repel decol at the same time.

Now I think about it, maybe DiploV is actually the one with highest snowball potential, not CV. Controlling WC and having similar military power of a runaway warmonger so once you're rolling it's hard to do anything to stop that, even more than CV. Pretty much a direct race between DipV and CV if both are top of the game.
 

Stalker0

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How was Ethiopia doing when you won DV ? Are you the only civ left he hasn't won against ?
Yeah I am the only one left, with a 120k tourism gap. He's gaining roughly 2k tourism (over my culture defense) per turn, so we are talking a 60 turn gap at the moment. I got great firewall at the very end and we put up a Travel ban, which I think put a nail in his CV play.

By the way, i will note that the AI seems obsessed with Order right now. Pretty much every AI picks it in every game I play.
 

Recursive

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This challenge started because I have long believed that without SOIs, a human player would not be able to maintain large number of CS allies under the pressure of AIs massive production bonus to generate diplo units. So these games was a test of my assumption. And so far, I think my assumption is false, it seems pretty easy to do even without SOIs
It was the case prior to my implementation of scaling Influence decay at higher levels to counter the AI's bonuses. As things are now, it could perhaps be removed.
 
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