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Observations on Huge/Marathon

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by CivCorpse, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Interesting. I'd definitely dial it a level down (I'm a Prince/Monarch player normally) just to deal with the added numbers of AIs. I figure my PC has the horsepower to deal with the giant map (albeit slowly). But conquering/domination on a map that size seems like it would be a really long slog - your religious win sounds a lot more practical.
     
  2. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    The dominations are really long but the thing that surprised me in this style game was how much fun just warmongering was. It almost feels like a different game when you have to defend that much territory against evenly matched enemies. In normal games when I'm defending a border that big its because I've already won and have a massive tech advantage. On huge and the GEM specially (with so many other civs) ... everyone has that much territory and its just part of having to deal with it. Like I said in my list ... fast units are a huge part of your homeland security even in the early stages of the game. Oh and if you play an exposed race (I played mongols first time through) you will need a border security force to handle the barbs. I think I had 6 or 7 independent border guards spread across my northern border at the height of the barbarian invasions. This turned out to be a perfect training routine though and I used those upgraded units to help invade the chinas (in GEM there's two chinese races), Goujan, Korea, and then finally push westward for the Russians and Europe.

    The one criticism I have of the GEM is that there's an overabundance of resources. To be fair the creator tried to emulate real world resources (which are plentiful) ... but it kind of deflates their value a bit.
     
  3. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I haven't played the map, but if you have 36 civs on it, even having 18 copper squares on the map means that half the civs wouldn't expect to have any. With such a big map and with so many civs, if you limited the resources to scarce quantities, you could see big imbalances.
     
  4. sinergistic

    sinergistic Chieftain

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    South America from the Giant Earth Mod. North America has a similar amount of copper on the west coast, and none (iirc) on the east coast.

    Europe, on the other hand, has like 8-10 spots total, and not all the civs get one near them.

    Africa has 5 total, one for egypt, and 4 down near the bottom. Middle East gets 2.

    India has zero copper spots, same with japan. Australia has at least one, I think.

    'Asia'/'Russia' has some peppered throughout.

    :)

    Edit: To be a bit more on-topic, I've found that building the Forbidden palace isn't an option on huge maps (and especially on GEM): it's a requirement. And that 'useless' Divine Right tech that people seem (to me) to avoid becomes a tantalizing beeline target, or at the very least, something seriously worth considering.

    While playing GEM, I've been trying to find a way to maximize the returns I get from building just the Forbidden Palace while my empire is still expanding, and the best I've been able to come up is this.
    1: Build the FP near one 'edge' of my land. Preferably an 'edge' that I won't be moving anytime soon. For example, a continent that I control completely, like Africa or Europe or near Japan. My borders can't go any further than that unless I go overseas. Build it slight inland from that 'edge.
    2: As I continue to expand away from the edge, and away from the FP, I move my capital in the direction that I'm expanding.

    In doing so, I should be able to balance where my 'maintenance reducers' go for the 'best' return possible. One might even consider building Versailles first, and saving the FP for future expansion, but I don't think that is realistic.
     
  5. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    Okay, that's a little insane. Have 4 coppers along the coast, sure, but come on. If you're going to make copper that abundant, every square on the map should have a resource.
     
  6. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    I know that may seem like a lot of copper but until you see just how big the map is its not properly represented. That said there IS a lot of resources but again the map is attempting to simulate earth ... hence the name. Again part of the strategy is resource control. If you own the middle east you really do own *most* of the oil and can trade it to oil starved countries for a premium just like the middle east currently does.

    Regardless, back on topic indeed, yeah for huge (or larger) maps placement of forbidden palace and Versailles really is a big deal because state property comes VERY late. You can move your palace so you can be somewhat flexible with placement of it but you really have to think long term when you drop the forbidden palace and Versailles. In my GEM game (not trying to get off topic, but just for example) as the mongols obviously my palace started in Karakorum ... which in the massive scale of things isn't a very good spot. Well my plan was to take over all of southeast asia stopping short of the Kmer and Asoka (who along with Japan would be my game-long allies) before turning west with my sights on carving a bloody path all the way to the atlantic. Well I took southeast asia (well really all of eastern asia), dropped the forbidden palace roughly in the center of china. I dropped versailles in what would roughly be the dead center of russia, and then eventually ended up with a palace roughly near istanbul (My aggressions started to turn towards the middle east and africa at this point). Of over the course of the game I think I had changed my palace location half a dozen times as my advance moved forward. Thats the key ... knowing that you can move the palace with you but the Forbidden palace and Versailles are a one shot deal.

    Part of what makes these types of games entertaining is this kind of long-term planning required to eek out efficiency over the long haul. I will say this though ... I think it took me a week playing 2-3 hours a night to make it from the middle of russia all the way to Paris. That map is ridiculously huge and there's about 15-20 civilizations in the Eurasian/Asia Minor area. It was tons of fun because the combat was so wild but still ... its a very different game. At times playing Huge/Marathon, and specifically the GEM, almost feels like a more exciting Europa Universalis.
     
  7. kazapp

    kazapp Emperor

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    That picture just goes to show that the GEM map creator hasn't understood Civ.
     
  8. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    Where is the food? Can you eat copper? I agree with Kazapp. Basing any strategy on that map is pointless. As well as when you disable space/diplo wins. It further handcuffs the Ai by making you safe from them getting the voctory.
     
  9. sinergistic

    sinergistic Chieftain

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    Or maybe their idea of civ is just different from yours? :confused:

    The picture doesn't show it, but that is just the... general resources option, not all of them. And we weren't basing strategy off the map, feralminded mentioned being annoyed by the overabundance of resources on GEM, UWHabs responded to it, and I responded to him to illustrate just how many there are, and how they where spread out. This is very nice thread, and I would hate to take it off topic anymore than I (apparently) already have, apologies.
     
  10. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Or maybe you just didn't understand the point of the GEM. Regardless I guess this thread is now officially derailed (and I certainly have my share of guilt in this). Its a shame too because this style of play (huge map, marathon) is pretty cool all things considered.
     
  11. Calder

    Calder Warlord

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    As a fan of playing huge maps (my computer has the grunt), I'm quite keen on giving GEM a go. Had a quick look in the map forums, but can't find any screenshots. Do the civs start in their real locations? My experience of playing mod maps (a long time ago) is that none of the civs start in their true Countries (Only ever played the Europe map). What's the best earth map to play, with BTS 3.17?
     
  12. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    GEM has real world starting locations and real world resource distribution. Its also larger than huge by a fair amount.
     
  13. CivSetä

    CivSetä Warlord

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    I tried planet generator and Huge+ map (~12500 tiles). I aimed for a peaceful builder game, so I tuned difficulty down to Monarch (normally I play immortal) and selected raging barbarians. Well, I shouldn't have done that. =) Pericles was destroyed in 2000BC, and other AIs suffer too. I decided not to build GW, but because I found stone nearby I couldn't resist! Well, game is in the bag because AIs get huge hordes of barbarians all the time, I have all the wonders. Maybe I should increase difficulty, add 1-2 more AIs and a smaller map.

    One interesting option when playing big maps and raging barbarians could be allowing more XP from barbarians, and maybe even GG points?
     
  14. J-man

    J-man Deity

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    XP from barbarians doesn't count toward GG points
     
  15. CivSetä

    CivSetä Warlord

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    Yep, but I suppose that can be changed in XML. Anyone knows which file to modify?
     
  16. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Yeah from what I've seen on huge maps the AI really doesn't know what to do with raging barbarians and huge endless borders. Kind of cool when you think about it. A part of me wants even more savage barbarians to create really hostile place but I know the AI wouldn't know what to do about it.
     
  17. dr_s

    dr_s Prince

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    Quick question. Inspired by this thread, I'm playing my first marathon game. Huge map, monarch, vanilla. I'm wondering---is whipping strategy any different on marathon? I can't seem to bring myself to whip much because city growth is so slow, but maybe I'm just not used to the slower speed yet.
     
  18. Kesshi

    Kesshi Emperor

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    dr_s,

    Whipping is far more useful on Marathon for two reasons. One, due to the hammer bonus units receive on Marathon, whipping units is 50% more effective on Marathon than other speeds.

    Two is a little complicated but bear with me here. On Marathon one whip is 90 hammers. If a (hypothetical) building takes 100 hammers to build, and you want to whip it right away for 2 population, there's a 50% hammer penalty. So while you may whip 2 population away, you're spending 150 of the 180 hammers on the building and you're left with only 30 overflow. However, you can easily build less than 10 hammers on that building for one turn. Lets use 5 hammers for an example. Now you have 5/100, and the difference is 95. Since 95 is greater than 90, you need to whip 2 population away. When you do, you are left with 85 hammers overflow, for maximum whippage overflow. This can be incredibly useful for churning out a quick army of low level units or using a heavy overflow to build a wonder.
     
  19. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Chopping is similarly stronger on Marathon as well. That said you do need to alter your build orders slightly because techs come slower than the units. For instance it takes MUCH longer to go mining->BW than it does to build a single worker. You can actually afford to build a warrior or start a barracks or go with a settler (and tech into religion or something) instead of immediate worker->chop.
     
  20. dr_s

    dr_s Prince

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    Interesting. How do you deal with the following:

    (1) The small number of buildings you can build early in the game. Do you adjust your teching/trading so that you get more building-enabling techs sooner? In this game I purposely traded for Meditation so that I could build monasteries, something I ordinarily would never do.

    (2) Because of hammer bonus for units, you can't whip any units for 2 pop until you get macemen or war elephants.

    At least for me, this seems to cut down the opportunities for whipping a lot.
     

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