Nobles' Club 299: Pacal II of the Mayan Empire

AcaMetis

Emperor
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May 21, 2018
Messages
1,552
The Nobles' Club series started out as a way for Noble-level (and below) players to improve their game. Most of the original participants now play at much higher levels, so this has become a way for advanced players to help others learn to play better. You can play your own game at any level and with any mod, but it would be nice to comment on the games of other players and give them advice.

Our next leader is Pacal II of Maya, whom we last played in NC 220. The Maya(ns?) start with Mysticism and Mining.
  • Traits: Pacal II is Expansive and Financial. Expansive adds +2:health: to all cities, gives a +100%:hammers: bonus to Granaries and Harbors, and a +25%:hammers: bonus to Workers (note that the worker bonus doesn't apply to excess :food: directly converted to :hammers:). Financial adds +1:commerce: to any tile that already produces at least 2:commerce:.
  • The UB: The The Ball Court, a Colosseum with +3:) instead of +1:). Combine Ball Courts with Pacal's Expansive trait to grow your cities to massive sizes, or whip them into the ground to the point where even Montezuma would call you crazy :whipped:.
  • The UU: The Holkan, a Spearman that does not require a resource and is immune to First Strikes. They're reasonably effective defensive units, but Axes will murder them. Their immunity to FS will generally come into play against Archers (particularly PRO archers and Skirmishers) as well as Keshiks, which trade in the HA's own immunity to FS for +1 FS instead.
And the start:

Spoiler map details :
Inland Sea, Tropical Climate, Medium Sealevel. +1 AI to balance the board.
Spoiler edits :
A few strategic resource swaps to give AIs nearby strategic resources, and one AI was moved a few tiles further away from your starting position, as said AI ended up starting much closer to your capital than the AI's other neighbour. I figured it's bad enough if an AI decides to settle in your face, the map RNG doing so is another matter.
The WB-saves are attached (zipped; they are bigger than standard saves). To play, simply download and unzip it into your BTS/Saves/WorldBuilder folder. Start the game, and load your favorite MOD (if you use one, if not, check out the BUG MOD), select "Play Scenario", and look for "NC 299 Pacal II Noble" (or Monarch, etc., for higher levels). You can play with your favorite MOD at the Level and Speed of your choice. From Quick-Warlord to Marathon-Deity, all are welcome! We stuck with the name "Nobles Club" because it has a cool ring to it.
Spoiler what's up with specific difficulties :
In each scenario file you can select your level of difficulty, but that doesn't give the AI the right bonus techs by itself. Use the Noble save for all levels at and below Prince. The Monarch save gives all the AI Archery. Emperor adds Hunting; Immortal adds Agriculture; Deity adds The Wheel.
Spoiler what is demigod :
The difference between Immortal and Deity difficulty is akin to the difference between Noble and Immortal. Players eventually reached a point where Immortal was too easy, but Deity was still out of reach, and so neither difficulty provided a fun experience. "Demigod" is an otherwise standard Deity game where the AIs are only given their Immortal level starting units, in an attempt to bridge the gap.
Spoiler for players on Monarch or above :
You should add archery as a tech for the barbarians (if you don't, the AI will capture their cities very early). This cannot be done in the WB save file and must be done in Worldbuilder as follows:
Spoiler how to add techs to the barbarians :

  1. Zoom in all the way so you can't see the rest of the map.
  2. Use the CTRL-W key (or the menu) to enter the worldbuilder. Avoid looking at the mini-map in the lower right corner.
  3. By default you're in "player" mode (look in the box in the upper right; the icon that looks like a person should be selected). You'll get a drop down menu labeled with your leader's name. Barbarians are at the bottom, so cover the rest of the list with your hand if you don't want to see who else is on the map. Select "Barbarians".
  4. Select the "Technologies" tab in the box on the left.
  5. Find Archery (the arrow head icon; 8th row, 3rd column from the right) and click it.
  6. Exit the worldbuilder.
  7. Zoom out again after the map fades, and start playing.
If you're playing at higher level than Monarch, consider also giving them Hunting at Emperor, Agriculture at Immortal, and The Wheel at Deity.
Spoiler huts and events :
Note: The standard saves have no huts and have events turned off. If you want tribal villages and random events, choose the saves with "Huts" in their names. If you want huts but no events, select the Huts saves and use Custom Scenario to turn on the option that suppresses events.
 

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AcaMetis

Emperor
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May 21, 2018
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I, eh, I'm thinking SIP in this situation :rolleyes:.Yeah, SIP seems like a good strategy :lol:.

Although I don't expect there to be much competition this time around I've been surprised before, so I'll ask anyway: Have any experts noticed a potentially better opening move that I did not :)?
 

Qactus

Romani ite domum
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Jun 30, 2012
Messages
459
Location
Bismarck's BFC
Awesome start! Warrior can move SW to check out those western tiles that would be gained by settling on the bananas. Would have to be gems or something to keep me from SIP though... And even then, EXP bonus and absence of a 3H tile makes the PH hill much more attractive than the bananas
 

AcaMetis

Emperor
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
1,552
Added the actual maps to the OP because someone, not naming any names, forgot about that little detail :hammer2:
 

chinemol

Chieftain
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
38
Location
Argentina
t82, inmortal, nh, ne

Spoiler :
over expanded a little bit, but blocking land in these sort of maps seem s a must. should I gift a city to augustus?[/ATTACH]
Civ4ScreenShot0001.JPG
Civ4ScreenShot0002.JPG
 

konata_LS

Prince
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
370
Like many other FIN leaders, Pacal is one of the good choices for people who move up to a new difficulty level. Mining is decent with so many forests as Mining leads to BW, but Myst is much less useful than Agri when there are two corns near the initial settler.

SIP is decent. The starting place looks good with high :food: and high :hammers:, though a little low on :commerce: - it's even impossible to put riverside cottages before BW. On lower levels this is not an issue, as techs are cheap. OTOH, maybe some Deity players might research Fishing before BW...? as without capital gold or gem, 16 turns BW would be very long :think:. 3:commerce: from FIN water tile is quite good in the early game. The downside is Fishing ruins Engineering bulbing.

Near that rice up north would be a potential choice for the second city. But this plan may change, because after BW if I find Copper nearby, I might send a settler to grab Copper.

From 4000BC to 100AD:
Spoiler :

Settings as below, no huts:


SIP. Agri-BW-TW-Pot. After BW, no Copper, and the barb warriors started to show up :hmm:. Since this is Inland Sea map, barbs are quite troublesome, tech Hunt to build some UUs. Then AH to improve the cow, also in hope of finding horse. Luckily, the only reachable horse was on the south-west of the capital.

After necessary working techs, decided to go Writing-Alpha. It was funny that Sury and I finished Alpha the same turn.
Tech situation after Alpha - Sury had no Agri and Monty even had no TW. It's something that we can only see at Emperor level and below, because from IMM all the AIs have Agri, and Deity AIs have TW.

But I have to say it's a little hard to understand an AI who teched Alpha before getting Agri :hmm:. I still remember in an off-line game at Monarch, I sold Agri to Genghis for 30 :gold: in 1AD because he didn't research Agri even in 1AD :crazyeye:.

Had 9 cities in 100AD (and yes, as some of you have noticed, the scout in Calakmul was due to a misclick :o I wanted to click building wealth but the mouse moved to a scout :blush:). There were at least two spots for me to backfill. Lakamha would get the first GScientist soon.


Self-tech Calendar because there were at least 4 Calendar resources (banana, sugar, dye, spice) in my land and I couldn't get it through trade. Traded Calendar to Capac for Monarchy. Also got IW through trade.

The tech situation in 100AD:


The religious situation was chaotic: 6 AIs had 4 different religions :crazyeye:. I was not sure if Capac founded Hindu and Judaism, or he only founded Judaism. If Capac only founded Judaism, it meant Hindu was founded by the unknown AI and these 7 AIs had 5 different religions :crazyeye:.


AC and Monty were still Annoyed with each other, even they were in the same religion. Monty was already Furious towards Zara :crazyeye: . In 100AD Shaka didn't meet Monty :hmm:, maybe that unknown AI was again Toku who refused to open borders at Cautious :think:.

With peaceful neighbours like Zara and AC, I think it highly possible to tech peacefully until MT and Gunpowder.
 

konata_LS

Prince
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
370
@drewisfat
Deity is different from the rest. Some choices/decisions on Deity - especially in a hard game on Deity - may seem unconventional compared to what people do at lower levels. For example in the WK game in your signature, you went for Polytheism and won the game. Another example is @ Fish Man researched Meditation in that Boudica isolation map and he also won. Both of you did something that Monarch/Emperor players rarely do. So, SIP is definitely decent, but settling on banana might be one of the good solutions on Deity.

@Fish Man
Settling on Corn is the best option: Mayan people can quickly enjoy beef fried rice, popcorn, and banana boat ice cream. Since it's Tropical climate, banana ice cream is a must :rockon:.

Their immunity to FS will generally come into play against Archers (particularly PRO archers and Skirmishers) as well as Keshiks
Spoiler :

Some people might be scared by what you said on the OP, because we all know that @ AcaMetis provided a brutal map in which Holkans have to fight against Keshiks :lol: . After playing some turns, I have to say this map is much generous than the Pacal map you made three years ago. Here, there are nice rivers, nice land, relatively peaceful neighbours. It's a little amusing that both AC and Zara in my game had no open borders with Monty and Shaka, so those warmongers' units can't even reach me :lol:.


@chinemol
Spoiler :

Before making decisions, maybe send a warrior to scout AC's land and find out his stack? AC might be plotting on someone else. But if his target is you, that would be really dangerous.
 
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chinemol

Chieftain
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
38
Location
Argentina
@drewisfat
Deity is different from the rest. Some choices/decisions on Deity - especially in a hard game on Deity - may seem unconventional compared to what people do at lower levels. For example in the WK game in your signature, you went for Polytheism and won the game. Another example is @ Fish Man researched Meditation in that Boudica isolation map and he also won. Both of you did something that Monarch/Emperor players rarely do. So, SIP is definitely decent, but settling on banana might be one of the good solutions on Deity.

@Fish Man
Settling on Corn is the best option: Mayan people can quickly enjoy beef fried rice, popcorn, and banana boat ice cream. Since it's Tropical climate, banana ice cream is a must :rockon:.


Spoiler :

Some people might be scared by what you said on the OP, because we all know that @ AcaMetis provided a brutal map in which Holkans have to fight against Keshiks :lol: . After playing some turns, I have to say this map is much generous than the Pacal map you made three years ago. Here, there are nice rivers, nice land, relatively peaceful neighbours. It's a little amusing that both AC and Zara in my game had no open borders with Monty and Shaka, so those warmongers' units can't even reach me :lol:.


@chinemol
Spoiler :

Before making decisions, maybe send a warrior to scout AC's land and find out his stack? AC might be plotting on someone else. But if his target is you, that would be really dangerous.
Spoiler :
he was plotting on monty. still gifted a city on his border with sury. ac and zara got on the same religion after that so it was a no brainer on which religion to switch. now I'm massing horse arches to upgrade to cuirs. my natural objective was zara, who is fighting monty with tech and production advantage. on the other hand, sury hates my guts and can't get someone else to keep him occupied so we'll wait and see
 

hankinsohl

Warlord
Joined
Nov 16, 2001
Messages
135
Location
Seattle
Looks like an easy map. We'll see.
Spoiler :

On a plains hill with numerous river tiles nearby and good food. SIP and with financial this map shouldn't be hard. To boot, we have elephants - so an early ele-pult rush is indicated. Maybe I should have played this on Immortal.
 

konata_LS

Prince
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
370
@chinemol
Spoiler :

Agree about Cuirs attacks. You probably can take Zara and AC with Cuirs. Zara's Oromo warriors' first strike is useless against Cuirs, as Cuirs are immune to first strike. If Sury has no open borders with AC, Khmer units won't reach you.
Spoiler after you meet all the AIs :

Sury might hate Gandhi more than he hates you.



@hankinsohl
Spoiler :

Pacal is a nice leader for people who want to challenge a new difficulty. The barbs in Inland Sea might be an early trouble, though.
 

sylvanllewelyn

Perma-newb
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
1,578
Hill city defense is a non-issue. If the AI threatens your capital you've dun goofed. Against barbs, we have holkans.
Lastly, I actually had forest regrow on the starting hill on T3. While that's not exactly likely, it's a lot more likely than a forest growing on nanas :)

Is it necessary to go hunting and holkans if we're financial? Yes we will need more warriors to defend and fogbust which will increase unit cost but we are financial. I would instead be tempted to go fishing and work 3-commerce tiles. Fishing also allows workboats to explore and speeds up pottery. If there are hunting resources nearby and we are happiness-constrained, then we can go for hunting after researching writing.

Is my thinking flawed?
 

konata_LS

Prince
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
370
From 100AD to 1340AD :crazyeye:
Spoiler :

The next millennium was full of chaos and confusion. :crazyeye:

Monty started plotting around 300AD. In 540AD, he DoW Zara:


Zara already got longbows and would soon get maces while Monte still used Jaguars and Axes :crazyeye:. Of course, the war quickly became like this for Monty :shake::


Impossible to bribe Zara out of the war :sad:, but I really didn't want Monty capitulate to Zara. So I gave Feudalism to Monty (all the other AIs had that, by the way). Later Monte demanded CS from me, I also gave it to him, in hope that Monty could defend a little longer.

Shaka DoW Gandhi in 740AD: :crazyeye:


And AC DoW Sury: :crazyeye:


Soon after Shaka made peace with Gandhi, Capac DoW Gandhi :crazyeye::


I didn't even find opportunities to bribe AIs into wars, as these AIs just started killing each other on their own :crazyeye: . It seemed Gandhi blocked the land between Capac and Shaka, as a result, even in 1000AD, Monty didn't know about Shaka's existence :hmm:.


Lib MT. Not a very good date, but it's the best I can do at the moment :


My Cuirs attacks were a little premature. I wanted to whip 20 Cuirs to attack Zara, but before I got enough Cuirs, Zara captured one of Monte's city (yes, they were still fighting); Zara had Knights, Oromos, and trebs while Monty didn't even have Machinery. I was afraid that Monty would capitulate to Zara next turn, so I hastily DoW Zara and threw 15 Cuirs onto Zara's border cities :cringe:. Luckily, Zara's main stack was near his eastern front with Monty, and it took several turns for Zara to move his stack to the western side of his empire, which gave me some time to whip more units.

Zara capitulated on T194:


When an AI shared borders with Monty, people often see several GGenerals were settled in this AI's capital. :eekdance:


Pre-built WE and upgraded them to Cuirs. And of course lost more than half of them :o. Had to upgrade a Archer to Longbow, because some Ethiopian Knights sneaked in my land and threatened one of my cities.


TBH, Zara's Oromo warriors were not very effective against Cuirs, as Cuirs are immune to first strike, which made Oromo same as other muskets in front of Cuirs. In my experience, when I do Cuirs attacks, Ottoman janissaries and PRO muskets are much more troublesome than Oromos. Oromos work better against the units who are not immune to first strike. But IMHO Zara's real strengths are his decent starting techs and solid traits (CRE is nice for the early game, ORG is nice for the mid and late game).


The tech situation in 1340AD. It seemed all the AIs were quite far from RP; most of them might go for Chemistry and Grens. :think:


 

konata_LS

Prince
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
370
From 1340AD to 1745AD: :crazyeye:
Spoiler :

Settings, no tribal villages


AC quickly capitulated, because he was already weakened by his previous war with Sury:


Then the situation became chaotic again: Shaka DoW Gandhi for the second time, and Monty DoW Capac. Next turn Capac bribed Sury in the war with Monty :crazyeye:


Sury capitulated after losing one city, mainly because my Cavs cleaned up Sury's whole stack in flad land. Besides, IIRC, Sury's "resist capitulation" is among the lowest.


One of the luckiest things in this game was Shaka went for Grens, not Rifling. Shaka had a stack of 30+units, mainly Grens and Knights. Even AGG Grens couldn't defend well against Cavs, so Shaka capitulated after losing some cities and his stack. But researching Constitution before RP or MT... is he really Shaka? :crazyeye:


The next target was Gandhi. The situation was completely beyond my understanding: when Indian cities were threatened by 30+ Cavs, the :espionage: revealed that Gandhi turned off research. I guess Gandhi was trying to win culture. Why didn't he research Rifling ? :crazyeye:


With so many shiny wonders, of course Gandhi wanted to win culture :satan: :


Gandhi capitulated on T247:


Then the situation became even harder to understand: Capac finished Broadway in 1690AD,


But Capac defended the Incan city Vilcas with a sword and an axe :dubious: . I thought Capac would have at least put some longbows in each city :crazyeye:


Capac capitulated next turn:


During my wars with Monty, domination:


I really don't understand what these AIs are doing; all of them just go for Grens and ignore Rifling. Zara and Monte have no Printing Press at the end of the game. Capac already got Radio but still no RP :crazyeye:. Some screenshots above show Sury is teching Fission before RP :dubious:. Does Sury prefer nukes to Rifles ?:hmm:


Built many mounted units. Lost some workers during war-time :blush:


The strongest defenders for AIs were Grens, because for unknown reasons they refused to tech RP. Some AIs like Capac or Gandhi are just not military-minded. They often put most of their :hammers: into wonders and missionaries, pursue eagerly the techs which gift the free GPeople or unlock some wonders.


Pacal is a strong leader indeed. I'm not very comfortable with Emperor level yet, but this game with Pacal went quite well.

+3:)- from Ball court is nice, but I built them quite late in this game, usually in the Renaissance era or even later, because 80 :hammers: is still a burden for the classical era, and building 3 warriors is much cheaper (just pillage the iron or trade it to AIs). OTOH, with the workshops after Guilds/Chemistry, most city only need 2 or 3 turns to build the Mayan UBs, and they are quite good for dealing with war-wearness and emancipation anger.


Thanks for the map :)
 

BornInCantaloup

Agent of Chaos
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
4,739
Location
Cantaloupe Island
I played turns on this map.
I had 2 workers before my second city, I was building my 5th worker before I settled my 3rd city.
This is how you combat maintenance in a Deity poor-commerce environment. Now you have Pottery with a FIN character and the ability to terraform the land to your willing.

Spoiler :
 

hankinsohl

Warlord
Joined
Nov 16, 2001
Messages
135
Location
Seattle
1929 conquest victory; emperor; normal speed
Spoiler :

Settled in place. Grabbed a few nearby city spots. Was going to ele-pult but Ethiopia had teched to longbows. Attacked a bit later with better tech.

I honestly don't recall exactly what I did - but I simply pursued military/economic techs of most benefit. And cottaged everything.

Soon it was cannons versus longbows; then artillery versus muskets and so on. When at equal tech, I simply took a break from war to surpass my next target. I ended up with a huge stack of modern armor and mobile artillery versus tanks and infantry.
===
New to me in this playthrough is demanding tribute in order to get a 10-turn peace treaty.

I used a demand against an AI in this game and it worked - he stopped plotting on me.

I'm really not sure how this works though - what constitutes an audacious demand that will be rejected versus a compelling demand that's almost sure to succeed? What are the variables involved?

Usually, I simply ignore opponents if I have a perceived tech lead/military advantage. This doesn't seem to be wise though - somewhat inferior AIs will readily declare if they dislike you enough. At which point tribute demands come into play.

Again - not sure how demands work and what variables are involved. Any guidance on this is welcome.

 
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