Nobles' Club 343: Darius of Persia

Everything is about calculated risks so I wouldn't be too results-oriented.

I imagine that deity difficulty requires some risk-taking. In Lain's game, he was hoping that nothing will spawn on that tile until another warrior can move there. What was his probability of success?
Lain didn't make an assessment on the risk there. He wasn't familiar with the obscure barbs entering borders prematurely mechanic, and in his defense usually it happens from an AI unit getting attacked on your borders which you can't really counter. The odds of escaping unscathed for 6 turns are certainly not in the high 99%.... nor is the risk limited to 6 turns depending what he does after farming the corn. I'd guess he roads somewhere while waiting for AH and then after improving pigs would move to the cow. Lain would have never taken a ~10% risk of disaster for no real upside if he had thought about it, which is basically my point. Game is complex, early scout/warrior turns aren't simple and do matter.
Immortal. Domination 1615 (T233).

Fun game, and a good map for the leader and traits.

Spoiler :
SIP, AH, Min, BW, Myst, Wheel. Built to 4 cities which blocked off Sury and the Incans and then spammed Immortals to destroy a very weak Capec, used the money to tech for Horse Archers and then destroyed Sury. 125AD with 15 cities and a crashed economy but FIN for riverside cottages and ORG for cheap courthouses pulled the economy back and was able to take Lib for Mil Trad and used that to kill Joao. Upgraded to Cavalry and beelined communism whilst stomping Pericles.

The fighting was all over by 1550 but needed culture pops to get to the Dom limit.

Screenshot 2023-12-09 205853.png

Note about the map.

Spoiler :
Our continent has enough tiles for Dom limit without needed to invade the other continent...but only just (I had 6 tiles without culture when I popped the Dom limit). Had I taken the time to count the tiles I would have shaved several turns off the end date by building culture instead of transports.

Note about Barbs
Spoiler :
I used 5 warriors to spawn-bust the back-lands, never had any issues with barbs once they were correctly positioned.

Thanks for the map!
He wasn't familiar with the obscure barbs entering borders prematurely mechanic, and in his defense usually it happens from an AI unit getting attacked on your borders which you can't really counter.

Stop scaring us! What is the "barbs entering borders prematurely mechanic"? What is the absolute earliest that a barbarian warrior can appear and enter your borders on deity difficulty?
Stop scaring us! What is the "barbs entering borders prematurely mechanic"? What is the absolute earliest that a barbarian warrior can appear and enter your borders on deity difficulty?
I think when a barbarian is next to your borders but not originally pathed to your city, and you provide it with a target, it will cross and take your target anyways.
1AD Immortal

Spoiler :

Settled 1N. Tech went AH -> Wheel -> Pottery -> Writing -> Alphabet. Unusual for me as I almost never self tech Alpha, but somehow BW just wasn't tempting.

Has worked out okay. Hindu lovefest on the continent. Used Immortals to capture a couple of barb cities in the W/SW.

Up to 9 cities (42 pop) with space for one more, but not sure it's worthwhile. Cap is size 13 with an academy. Happiness and healthiness about to be restored with fur and fish.

Got a bunch of fail gold from Mids and used to tech to Phil and Paper (both monopoly techs currently). 9 turns to Education. Planning on Lib -> MT because I'm so original...


Immortal. 1310AD Domination.

Spoiler :

Read Choggy's note about the map mid-game which helped the finish date...

Peacefully teched with 9 cities. AP was Hindu so whipped a bunch of Temples and Monasteries as well as the normal stuff.

Lib -> MT in 660AD. DoW Inca in 800AD.

Did a bad job of managing great people and only ended up triggering first GA in 840AD with Taj Mahal (didn't build any other wonders). Conveniently, captured MoM from Inca one turn earlier!

Inca peace vassaled to Sury in 900AD which meant a bit of scrambling / Immortal upgrading to fend off Sury's stack (only 10 units or so thankfully).

Inca dead 920AD (nice shrine, thanks!). AP forced peace with Sury in 980AD, but managed to kill his stack and snipe four cities (sadly not his cap) beforehand.

DoW Joao in 1010AD. Joao dead in 1110AD. DoW Sury 1120AD. Sury dead 1160AD. DoW Pericles 1170AD. Pericles dead 1230AD.

Rifling arrived in 1030AD and sped up the last couple of wars significantly. Ended game with 95 cavs. Tech eventually got through Communism and Biology by 1240AD, then turned up Culture slider.

Spawned a couple of Great Artists to culture bomb and avoid waiting for the longest city revolts.

Domination 1310AD. Score 336k.

Will try Demigod for the next map. Feel like this didn't exist last time I was on the forum...
The idea of a difficulty level between Immortal and Deity was done before, but not added as a standard feature until NC 272. You can read more about it at the start of the current NC Bullpen.
From T13 to T182
Spoiler :

Settings as below, no tribal village:

For a long time, I thought there were only 3 in our continent. Some far away AI oracle Confu in 1000BC. All these convinced me to lib astronomy because I needed to know if there were some run away AIs on far away land.

However, when I expanded towards the north-west horse spot, Sury's culture showed up. Shortly after that, Peri's work boat appeared in my coast. It turned out that we were on the bigger continent :whew:, which meant the Buddhist AI and Confucian AI were semi-isolated. This situation largely reduced the importance of Astronomy, and MT became quite tempting.

There was some good luck in my early game, as Sury aggressively settled towards the east and south-east (that was why I met him quite late even he was my neighbour), which gave me enough space for 10 cities. But bad luck existed as well: HC's wonder-spamming largely slowed down his expansion. As a result, the area at the north of Capac was settled by Sury. Sury became a 10+ cities monster while Capac only had 3 cities.
Of course, the annoying peace-vassal happened again: :gripe:

Our continent was in the Hindu lovefest; Capac built Hindu AP as well. Got Sury and Capac to Friendly via shared religion and their favourite civics.
Unfortunately, the lovefest meant little for a backstabber who could plot war at Pleased :backstab::

Sury DoW Joao in 880AD. My scout near their borders saw Sury's scary stack of Elepults + Mace while Joao didn't even have CS :(. The nightmare scenario would be Joao's capitulation to Sury. After Joao lost a city, I had to give Sury Paper + Music + some :gold: to bribe him out of the war. Giving Paper to Sury put Sury close to lib, but risking the lib race was still better than letting Sury get two vassals.

Attacked Joao with Cuirs. Didn't choose Sury as the first war target just because Sury was too strong - he had a stack of 40+ units while I only had 20 Cuirs :o. Joao capitulated after only losing two cities - judging from such a quick capitulation, bribing Sury out of the war in 1010AD was probably the correct choice. If Sury had kept fighting, Joao surely would have capitulated to Sury after losing another city.

Sury has a giant stack of Knight + Ballista + sieges. Both him and his vassal Capac tech like crazy. Now I have to think about how to deal with the monster Sury :sad: . Maybe it's time to take a break and look for some inspiration in LP videos.

From T182 to T268
Spoiler :

Sury was really annoying :mad:. He built Sistine in Nagara Jayasri

And that city was right on my border. Sury's culture started flipping my tiles :gripe:

In my game Sury almost kept plotting, which made him build a large stack. The war planning also led Sury to ignore SMethods or Constitution; he beelined steel then Rifling 🤬.
The war against Sury and his vassal was tough and long. Reloaded once during the war because of my tactics mistake: I split my stack when marching towards Sury's capital, thus most of my units were heavily wounded, flanked, or killed by Sury's cuirs + cannons :wallbash:. So I reloaded and combined my whole army in a single stack; this time the result was much better.

Look at Capac's capital :eek: Look at all these wonders :eek:

After Capac was wiped out, Sury capitulated in 1665AD, when he was only 3 turns away from getting Assembly line :whew::

Killed 35 Cannons, 36 Cuirs, and 20 rifles. Also a dozen of Ballista that Sury didn't have enough time to upgrade. All from the war against the monster Sury.

Many players know that Sury is usually a very competent AI who often gets large land, tech fast, and has a large army. In my game, Sury performed surprisingly well. He went straight for cannons and rifles. Unlike Pacal or Willem who tech physics or plastics during war-time, Sury was researching AL during the war with me :eek:. Sury almost acted like a human player: he knew which techs should be prioritized and which tech could be delayed :salute:.

Pericles' army was completely a joke compared to Sury's. Peri got AL and combustion but he ignored rifling for ages :shake:. Apart from a few machine guns, Peri's best units were longbows and maces. Peri disappeared in 1770AD:

Unfortunately, after conquering my continent, I didn't have enough land for domination. So I must build a fleet and attack far away Giggle and Izzy :o.

From T269 to T299
Spoiler :

Giggle's stack in 1800s looked quite pathetic compared to Sury. Sury had a larger and more advanced stack 300 years ago.

Giggle got replaceable parts for a long time but he valued Physics higher than Rifling 🙄. As shown in the screenshot, a conga line of Sumerian Cuirs and longbows were moving towards the front :eek2:

He indeed got Rifling a few turns later. However, when Giggle's capital was under siege, why he was building Broadway remained a mystery for me :eek:.

Giggle and Izzy were backward, but Giggle had many cities + PRO units. Cre culture also slowed down the movement of the army. Had to capture Giggle's cities one by one.
In the middle of the war against Giggle, domination:

I must admit that I didn't play well :o. I was too greedy with land grabbing in the early game and forgot to build enough workers, thus many of my cities were still working unimproved tiles in 1AD. Also I started pre-building war elephants too late: by the time I got MT and Gunpowder, I only had 7 or 8 WE and was unready for the upcoming war. AI Sury played much better than I did :salute:.

Thanks for the map 😀
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