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OCC in Civ6 (One City Challenge)

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by hollus, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. hollus

    hollus Chieftain

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    Hello everybody. First post here, long time lurking (since the amazing Civ3´s War Academy). And now that I’ve conquered deity, thanks to the excellent help to be found over here, it is time to explore more creative versions of the game.

    I’ve searched and read everywhere and I cannot find anything of substance about One City Challenges, games in which you found your first city and never build nor capture another one (another set of rules limited it to not ending a turn with a second city, capturing and trading immediately was OK). Most of us have played this at some point, right? And they used to be popular in this forum, somewhat popular at least.

    Why the silence? Civ6 has made OCC very difficult, but that has never stopped anyone here.

    Obvious difficulties:

    Other Civs can sprawl at will and in Civ6 your first city no longer has special economic status, it is virtually just an ordinary city with cheaper city state boni.

    Barbarians won’t leave you to build in peace.

    Tech can no longer be traded. City size no longer translates directly into beakers. Thus, you might start ahead in tech, at least in lower levels, but as you reach a beaker limit which is kind of hard limit for a single city, you’ll eventually fall behind. Veeery late in the game, you can steal tech, well, half of techs, but you can only have so many spies operating.

    Eurekas and their culture equivalent are often taxing for a single city to achieve.

    Culture and money also have caps of sorts, although with city states and trade, money can maybe somehow be sorted out.

    The biggest bummer of all, of course, is that everything occupies a hex. You want to grow your single city, you want to build lots of districts on it, you want to build lots of wonders in it to work as multipliers (not half as good as those multipliers used to be)… but there are not enough hexes. If you build districts and wonders, you are limited to about 20 hexes for production. If you want 30 pop, it will be a very dull 30 pop city.

    There is a last, more subtle, bummer hidden in the rule set: you cannot raze an original capital. If you conquer it, you have to keep it, breaking the one city rule, meaning that you cannot completely take away enemies… I’ll return to this later.

    So does anyone have experience with OCC in Civ6? What levels have you managed to win, which victory conditions? Any interesting tricks, strategies (without the obvious exploits that also apply elsewhere).

    I’ll confess to having played only one OCC in Civ6, when I wanted to try a “fast” game, hoping to learn something new along the way. Standard speed, Prince difficulty, tiny world (4 civs), everything standard.

    It was before starting to read this Civ6 forum, with a limited understanding of the rules and mechanics, so I did lots of mistakes. Still, it started well enough, with a solid large city, a healthy tech and civic lead by turn 100, good exploration of the world and still a poor understanding of how little science and culture a single city can provide in Civ6. So I was still confident in my science victory, somehow I’d stay ahead… but the peaceful plans would have to give way to a military, since the enemy would come knocking with up to date units. Around that point the lead stalled, then started to shrink, and by turn 200, it was no more. They had 5-6 cities to my single one and my city could not grow much more, my military could not grow much more, tech could not grow fast enough, culture neither… it looked like a sure, slow defeat.

    Then the light bulb struck, OCC is after all playable and winnable in Civ6 at a decent level of difficulty. It started as an extension of the defensive military plan, if I was going to lose, I’d try a last hurray with my military (it wasn’t the most refined military either), I’d attack until it was expended, learn in the process and move on to normal games. So off I went with all my units, to discover that in Civ6, the opponent civs suck at military, even in Prince level. My group could stand their armies, slowly wear them off, then slowly raze city after city, moving to whichever rival was looking like it could become a runaway. “Soon” (hundreds of turns carefully micromanaging the maneuvering of 10+ units back and forth across two continents, did I mention it was going to be a “fast” game?), only their capitals were left standing. It turns out that even then it doesn’t have to become a level fight! You can pillage around their capitals to paralyze them and, oh surprise, they are unable to recover, as at some point they get engulfed in a sea of barbarians!

    So, slugging to a score victory by year 2050 it was, a victory by a large margin after all!

    I made lots of mistakes, and surely other victory types would have been possible, not least by realizing this strategy earlier when the enemies were smaller. I think I could pull it up in a standard map, and probably one difficulty level up from prince in a standard map, two in a small map, but maybe not much more. Anyways, this is the first I heard about this type of strategy for OCC. Not growing better than them, but instead keeping them smaller than you!

    So I am curious about what some god-like players over here can make of it. Would this still work in a standard map with 8 civs? Can one move and raze fast enough to slow them all? How many bands of units are needed? Which unit mix, considering the very special mission? Up to what level? Can one do it without barbarians? I’d put up a monument for anyone capable of winning an exploit-free OCC in Civ6 in deity, especially now that the opposing civs build up somewhat of a military after the patches. Maybe by going religious, actually?

    Are there any other practical OCC strategies at fair or higher difficulty levels?

    Do tell, because playing like this takes dozens of hours per game. Not you old school OCC!
     
    Nigel_Tufnel2 likes this.
  2. Arent11

    Arent11 Chieftain

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    The major problem is housing & sadly, there is no early wonder to alleviate that problem. For example, it would be nice if there would be an early wonder that acts as a ~neighborhood before you actually develop neighborhoods.

    The obvious solution is to go cultural & beeline neighborhoods/Mbanza.

    Additionally, I think religion could be extremely good with an OCC. Some founder beliefs would lend themselves well to such a playstyle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  3. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Civ IV Emperor EQM Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter

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    That's awesome - what did your culture look like by the end, wondered if you might have accidentally triggered that victory?

    Sulla played a Civ 6 OCC, you can read about it here.
     
  4. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    We have done OCC in other threads for culture. Certainly I have done on the lowest 2 levels standard map standard size as Pericles. So have others. Mvemba is much easier and he did not have to cheat on a tiny map. OCC should be standard size, speed continents and then move out from there in my opinion.
    Not sure Pericles could be done on prince but maybe Mvemba if really pushed.

    Dom is a interesting one. Being able to keep science up is the tricky bit
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  5. Odin's Eye

    Odin's Eye Chieftain

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    I've tried a few games, having been an OCC fan going all the way back to Civ II. It is definitely a lot harder this time around, both because there are few benefits for growing a tall city and because the districts take up a lot of land. A few stray thoughts:

    Obviously everything is harder to come by with one city, But my biggest problem so far has been keeping up in science. A lot of the later boosts require multiple buildings/districts/etc. which are impossible to get. Culture is a little easier to come by: there are more buildings and policies for it and great works add to it. You can also play as Pericles for more culture, but there isn't a great science-based leader/civ counterpart.

    For leaders, I like Greece/Pericles (wildcard slot and good culture generation), China (flat +10% for boosts and early wonder rushing), Germany (military slot is nice and extra district at given population is helpful), Kongo (haven't tried but seems like the easiest to grow tall), and Arabia (you have to push their religion, but it can give you some science in return).

    City states and great people seem like worthwhile places to invest because they don't scale as much with extra cities (great people do, technically, but on Emperor I have had success grabbing most types of great people). Certain ones in particular are really helpful in OCC (like the merchant who can help you grab luxuries outside your 3-tile borders or the one who gives an extra economic slot).

    For wonders, I think Oracle is important (you can get early great people and they help a lot), Petra (obviously situational but could make the right city work), any of the wonders that add policy slots, and Oxford (about the only one-city science boost there is). Ruhr Valley might be nice too if you need production for the spaceship parts. Other wonders might help for a specific victory, but every wonder you place is one tile less to work, like the districts.

    Another random thing I've noticed is that you might actually want at least one water tile for a harbor. The main reason is that certain eurekas depend on you building sea buildings/units, and city states will ask for them too. If you are landlocked and a nearby citystate wants you to build a caravel, you are pretty much done with sending them delegates from quests.

    As for victories, science feels harder than previous games due to the difficulty in getting beakers. Religious might be possible with Arabia (maybe Greece or China too if you can use their abilities to get a prophet), but you would have to get a little lucky with a good source of faith, whether your neighbors found a religion, and what beliefs are left when you get yours. Culture with Pericles or Kongo might be the best bet if you can snag the right wonders and great people.

    Ultimately, I feel like even more than past games, your success is very situational to your starting land. If you don't spawn close to mountains or fresh water (or even ocean for that harbor), it may be difficult/impossible at high levels.
     
  6. hollus

    hollus Chieftain

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    Ha, interesting! When I played I didn't really know the mechanics of a culture victory yet,so didn't worry about it much... now that I reloaded that game, I had 80% of the needed tourists and the target was hardly moving at all, and only Pericles was preventing the culture victory. I still had 2 empty great works slots, hadn't worried about archaeologists (as the last maaany turns were just cruising) and Pericles still had 3 great works which I didn't know I should have demanded in peace negotiations. And still, I was en route to triggering a culture victory before year 2100. So yes, I almost had to sabotage myself (LOL) to avoid triggering that culture victory!

    And thanks for that link to Sulla. So it looks like OCC in a standard world with a non specialist civilization and a non special starting position is a terrifying thought even for the semi-gods over here. Both Sulla and Victoria seem to think it might not be doable in higher levels! (And I tend to agree, but experience has showed that there is always a way).
     
    Noble Zarkon likes this.
  7. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Well @agonistes has a theory on a deity culture vicory via conquest but I guess it came to nothing as I heard nothing back.... Its an intriguing thought there may be a tricky way. Religion is a possibility... I may try it sometime on emperor.
     
  8. Arent11

    Arent11 Chieftain

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    I don't like religion so much, but I think pilgrimage/2 faith per city that follows your religion might snowball quite fast. It might allow you to buy loads of missionaries even with one city. Of course the ai also spams missionaries, but combined with scythia/healing this could be really strong.
     
  9. agonistes

    agonistes wants his subs under ice!

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    Sorry, busy at work, and then played some NWN. Two failed attempts so far.

    But its not by conquest. Its a one city challenge.

    I expect it would be much easier on smaller maps, but I want to do it on standard everything.
     
  10. agonistes

    agonistes wants his subs under ice!

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    My thinking is that Persia is a good occ contender.

    Persia has a culture/gold improvement that also adds appeal. And is brutally wicked at war. Its improvement comes early.

    My thinking is to use the Paradizea (sp) to up tourism. But coastal resorts are late game, and by then the ai has many cities. So I need to play with this some more. Still think its doable.

    Obviously a dom victory is too easy, and I don't see religious as much of a challenge.

    A Sumerian science victory might be a nice challenge.

    Persian cultural victory appeals to me the most. Resorts, Paridezea, and Eiffel. No razing.
     
  11. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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  12. Bobfregman

    Bobfregman Chieftain

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    I don't think anybody can win a OCC at all on Diety.
     
  13. Arent11

    Arent11 Chieftain

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    Eh, guys, what kind ot "domination victory" are we talking about? In an OCC you are not allowed to capture cities. To win a domination victory you need to capture enemy capitals.
     
  14. agonistes

    agonistes wants his subs under ice!

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    You would have to capture every capital in the same turn - the last one.

    Just like the Patriots in the Superbowl. Well, I call them the Pats. You should call them "BEST TEAM EVA!"
     
  15. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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  16. agonistes

    agonistes wants his subs under ice!

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    @Victoria hmmm... it would give me another free test of some tourism ideas without calling it a loss, too.

    Frkn tourism rules. I think I have to have every civ under siege and being raided. Gotta keep their culture down. Damaged monuments, pillaged theaters, acquired works.

    You don't want Russia or Persia as opponents. Nor Kongo or Brazil. Without picking opponents, an occ culture win could take a lot of attempts.

    Wow. The more I think about it, the more I see it as the Holy Grail of civ6. That's the goal to shoot for if you want to consider yourself a good civ player. Its entirely doable, but requires ... some requirements.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  17. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Yes, ofc you can raze... it's in the rules... go for it.

    I am tempted myself... but I think the real issue will be science and barbs
     
  18. WildeComputers

    WildeComputers Chieftain

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    Any chance you'd create a video of your OCC? OCC is something I've missed in Civ VI but I thought someone made a MOD for it. Just not sure if it allows you to instantly raise capitals.
     
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  19. Arent11

    Arent11 Chieftain

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    Well, a good compromise would be to say you are allowed to capture capitals, you just may not produce anything worthwhile.

    I think lots of pillaging might make a pangea scythia horsemen rush doable.
     
  20. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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