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No SOI Challenge: Game 4 (Could this be a "definitive" game?)

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
11,016
So this is more like Game 7, as I had several games that I just won really easily (I am either really good with Portugal or she's a lot stronger than I gave her credit for). So for this one I took it up to 11, and finally got a "worthy game"

So not only did I choose Egypt (not a DV civ). I went artistry (not statecraft), I went Order (the worst of the 3 ideologies for DV) and no coups/cs rigging. I basically handicapped myself a LOT for this challenge. With all of that, did I manage a DV?


I rode high in the early game. Doing Egypt things, getting wonders, science, culture, you know...the things and the stuffs. I managed to grab 2 +6 happiness monopolies, so I expanded hard this game. I had Shaka to my right, so of course it was going to be a war game. Ultimately he and I traded blows 3 times, I used skirmishers to really good effect in this game, slowing down and weakening his forces, he would pillage a bunch of tiles, we would peace out, rinse and repeat. By the time he got to Impi I was well prepared with 3 citadels, I would take no chances with Zulu's might. Eventually my superior tech won the day and I vassaled him.

Meanwhile in the northwest, the great Indonesian empire grew ever stronger. They gobbled up their continent, eventually snagging 22 non-puppet cities! Though I had superior tech (and far superior culture) he's might was not to be forgotten. Funny enough Indonesia went Fealty and also went Order, yet we both decided DV was going to be the play. And so...the great diplo war began. This was finally a real test, an AI gunning for DV, throwing everything they had at me. And I returned in kind. Sofia would become our main battleground, both of us flipped that CS more times than a coin in a coin flipping contest. Ultimately I was limited by cities and paper. I could only make so many diplo units at a time, and I can't having to wait for buy cooldowns to come back. But I was able to manage a small lead in CS over Indonesia.

The turnaround came when I proposed World Ideology Order to move into DV. Like clockwork the AI did a decol on me (this has now happened so often I just assume its hard coded behavior, the AI will ALWAYS put up a decol when you try for the united nations or the world ideology....assuming its not on cooldown. I have no issue with that, tis smart play, but for those who haven't tried a DV in a while you have to assume it). I underestimated the hate against me, and actually got decoloed. And suddenly Indonesia swelled, ballooning to like 46 votes. Where I was once in the driver's seat of a DV victory, now suddenly Indonesia was poised to take it.

I went into full diplo fury, and managed to secure 4 CS in my near area....but I could push no more. My engine could not compete with Indonesia's past this point, he just had too much influence power.

So I committed a full military invasion of Indonesia, and timed it just as I snagged a 5th CS, right before he would instantly take it back. I declared war, locking those CS (and putting him at 44 votes, just 1 away from the 45 hegemony needed!!!).

The war went alright, I secured too cities, also nuked him a bit:) I weathered the hegemony vote, ok 20 turn breather. At this point I realized DV was not in the cards, but if I could hold him off I still had a solid tech advantage, and could go for SV. I even thought about CV, but there was a travel ban in place and I was still a decent bit away from Indonesia's culture defense. Once we peaced out I did send musicans his way (as I had artistry for faith buys) to keep that option open. I didn't think it would work, but you never know.

In the next round a decol against indonesia failed, but World Ideology was removed, so I was like "alright I can do this". Fast forward a bit, I was looking to push into the very late game....but then realized that I was an idiot, and World Ideology WAS NOT REMOVED, it WAS STILL IN PLAY! I realized this far too late, and Indonesia took the hegemony vote with 46 votes (Lost to DV on Turn 372). Good game! hehe what a goof on my part, but this was a very fun game, and really showed me what the AI's engine looks like when it "commits" to the play.

So what do I now think about no SOI?

Spoiler :

Screenshot.png


The Verdict
It would be easy to look at this game and go "well yep its just like you had originally thought. AI is unbeatable at influence." However, that was not my takeaway. The AI had double my number of cities and therefore had the dominant production. With those resources, he should be able to out diplo me. Though I couldn't win diplo at that point, I felt like it was for good reasons, I simply didn't have the bulk Indonesia had. However, I felt like I could maintain a certain number of CS, and I felt like I could still hinder his hegemony plans.

Also the influence numbers stayed fairly reasonable. Even our big showdown in Sofia only got up to about a 1000 influence (which by the way decays 33 a round, effectively you lose a diplo unit worth every 4 turns). That shows how much the new influence decays is influencing things, I no longer see 5k influence numbers that are absolutely unstoppable. I now feel I can make a dent when I need to, and had it been reversed, where Indonesia was my size and I had 22 cities, I think I could have taken it. Or...if I had actually played with real DV tools, like statecraft and autocracy, I feel confident I could been competitive.

So...I think I was wrong. Honestly playing without SOI is fun, and I feel competitive on Immortal. I think DV is viable without SOI, at least for wide. You could argue Tall wouldn't really stand a chance for DV without SOI, whereas before Tall could get in some votes with power embassy play and use that to secure some early SOI to keep the momentum going, now maintaining CS late game requires pure hammer and gold, which only wide will really compete with.

I will say decol is very strong in a world without SOI, and perhaps could use its own adjustment. Maybe it could just drop every civ down to 50, effectively a reset of the board, but doesn't heavily favor any one player.

If someone wanted to propose its complete removal....at this point, I would probably vote yes.
 
I will say decol is very strong in a world without SOI, and perhaps could use its own adjustment. Maybe it could just drop every civ down to 50, effectively a reset of the board, but doesn't heavily favor any one player.

If someone wanted to propose its complete removal....at this point, I would probably vote yes.
I've allowed myself to be sanctioned in multiple games to avoid being decolonized, it is a crazy powerful proposal.
 
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