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[GS] Planning my next game

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by MiniatureDeathRobot, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. MiniatureDeathRobot

    MiniatureDeathRobot Chieftain

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    I'm currently wrapping up an Emperor-level game set on the Greatest Earth Map with True Start Locations enabled. I let the game select my civilization randomly, and got a bit lucky playing the Romans with Western Europe mostly empty. I've been snowballing towards a Domination victory ever since crushing the Russians in a holy war, and have also consistently led on science in spite of only building a couple Campuses (the AIs suck at scoring Eureka moments IME).

    I'd like input on what my next challenge should be. I want the difficulty level to harder than the previous game (maybe even hard enough to compensate for the AIs seeming inability to boost anything!) but not totally impossible. I also want my next game to make as coherent an alternate history story as possible—I've found using True Start Locations to help with that, but my current game did have some oddities, such as Australia existing without England, and falling behind in the tech race to the point I could launch a launch a Colonial War against the land down under.

    I'm contemplating doing a late start in the Medieval era (because a fair amount of the game's content is anachronistic before that), and hand-picking civs so that only Eurasia and North Africa are initially populated. I kind of want to use as many civs as possible given said geographical constraint, but am worried about crowded start locations causing loyalty problems from turn 1. I've heard late starts make the game easier, so I'm thinking of skipping Immortal and going strait to Deity. On the other hand if I deliberately crowd my own start location a lower difficulty setting might be hard enough. So I'd very much appreciate thoughts on the difficulty aspect.

    I'm also not sure what civilization I want to play as. Part of me wants to see if I can win with a relatively peaceful style of play, which makes me incline towards India, China, or Sweden. I'm also interested in possibly playing as a historical underdog, which has me thinking about India (again) or maybe something weird like Georgia? Of course choice of civilization will also affect the difficulty level.
     
  2. Ownsya

    Ownsya Warlord

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    Funny enough, I designed a game for myself with some of the same desires as you described. For me, I mostly wanted a true-start map where the civs included ensured good distribution of land and hopefully a good mix of peaceful/aggressive leaders. Not sure if it'll scratch your itch, but this is the game set-up I came up with (ie. leaders I chose).

    Spoiler TSL-Europe Setup :
    20190930143632_1.jpg


    For added difficulty, I'd bump disasters to lvl 3, maybe play on immortal. I find the jump to immortal from emperor to be quite noticeable. Alternatively, you could try an AI and/or difficulty mods like Real Strategy. Some people only play with a combination of Real Strategy + Difficulty smoothing mod.

    Consider swapping Kristina for Harald. Germany for another 'mid-western' european civ: France ,Wilhemina, or Rome; or leave that area empty and instead add england/scotland (but not both).

    You could also swap Ottomans for any of the mediterranean leaders: Greece, Macedon, Dido.

    Another potential swap could be Poland for Hungary
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  3. MiniatureDeathRobot

    MiniatureDeathRobot Chieftain

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    Oh, the Real Strategy mod seems really useful. How much of a difficulty boost is it? Theoretically a strong enough AI could make the game a challenge even on Prince, but that might be too much to ask. I also wonder if Real Strategy would tend to negate the effect where late starts are easier.

    I'm conflicted about Greatest Earth Map vs. Play Europe Again. Play Europe Again obviously excludes some pretty important parts of history from your simulation (everything outside Europe / the Mediterranean!) but might avoid some issues with game balance and crowding. Plus, "conquer all of Europe" is a plenty difficult goal historically. If I do Play Europe Again, I might either use a mod to add more religions, or else fiddle the maximum number of religions down to four so that most likely only the three versions of Christianity and Islam will exist (most likely, unless the AI makes an odd decision about what religion to found).

    Civs I'm especially likely to include:
    • Russia, Germany, France, Spain, England, Hungary, and Norway.
    • Probably Rome, unless I use a mod to replace them with Italy or the Papal States (I'm a little worried about the quality / balance of those mods though).
    • Either Egypt or more likely Arabia. (Or both if I can tweak the Arab start location to be Mecca rather than Cairo?)
    • One or more of Macedon, Greece, and the Ottomans.
    • If using GEM rather than Play Europe Again, China, Japan, India, and Mongolia.
    "Maybe" civs:
    • A number of civs could be represented as a full-blown civ or a mere city state. That list includes Korea, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland/Lithuania, and Indonesia.
    • Scotland (feels like a bad idea to include both Scotland and England but I'm sorely tempted to do this anyway)
    • Khmer (but again I'm worried about making that corner of the world too crowded)
    • Persia (maybe find a mod for Muslim Persia, complete with Shia replacing Zoroastrianism?)
    • Maybe find mods to add more Muslim civs.
    • Scythia if I forgo a medieval start
    • On GEM I'm worried that Mali or Nubia would take over sub-Saharan Africa too easily. But they could work on Play Europe Again.
    As you can see I'm leaning towards making my world somewhat crowded. If I play as India I throwing in everything and letting chaos reign in Europe and Korea / Japan might be amusing. Conversely paying as Korea or a European civ under those circumstances could also be an interesting way to up the difficulty.
     
  4. Nigel_Tufnel2

    Nigel_Tufnel2 King

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    I have started perhaps 100 games with GEM - the amount of replayability is amazing! Rather than using Play Europe Again, I prefer to customize the full GEM map with N, S, E, and West boundaries. You can really tweak it how you like it (it will help with graphics performance as well). I believe in the base Ynamp mod you can also select which CS to have... If you do limit the map, be sure to adjust the number of AI and CS accordingly.

    There is so much space, I like to set up pairs of civs (or triads) who will create friction with each other. But I also like to leave them some room to expand away from each other, or else they get slowed down. This is why I rarely use England and Scotland together. If you have Spain and France, Spain seems to take a long time to colonize Africa.

    Knowing your geography, you will have a tremendous advantage, which is worth an extra difficulty level if you choose to start somewhat remotely or plan to explore quickly (you have good sea routes available). I enjoy the extra NWs in the Terra Mirabilis mod, but parts of the map have a lot of NWs (esp SW USA), which can also give you an easier time with Golden Ages. Likewise being Australia or sailing early with Nan Madol and Auckland in the game is a huge boost.

    I usually play with the additional religions mods (can't remember the name), which allows for 12 - which is very handy with so many AI players. That mod has a belief like the bonus culture for Shrines/Temples, except it's science, which is my favorite to pick. I don't like too much science early, and I love Holy Site play, so Campuses don't start rolling until much later.

    I have probably played Rome most of all on this map, and I love to rush some frontier cities ASAP to keep Germany and France away (thanks Alps!). Then expand into Africa, or wherever I have designed MY expansion and/or path to the oceans.

    One of my favorite games so far in GS was a Mali game with GEM. You can really get things rolling quickly (you start by a NW, so early Astrology), and you don't have early rush worries from the AI.
     
  5. MiniatureDeathRobot

    MiniatureDeathRobot Chieftain

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    I think I might go with this civ list on the GEM: Arabia, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Khmer, Korea, Mongolia, Norway, Ottomans, Persia, Poland, Rome, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden. Tried picking one at random and the RNG said "Korea", which is a civ I like anyway, though I'm a bit worried about being squished between Japan and China. The GEM makes Korea pretty large though so it might work out.

    Questions about difficulty level: I've gotten really good at grabbing boosts for tech and civs, and I've got military tactics down pretty well, but want to force myself to get better and actually planning city development and building wonders. Will Real Strategy + Smoother Difficulty + Emperor + medieval start accomplish that, or should I bump things up to immortal?
     
  6. Ownsya

    Ownsya Warlord

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    The thing with difficulty bumps is that it mostly makes the early game harder. Usually I'd say that try it, and if it's too hard you'll find out fairly early in the game, like before T100. But if you will be using Smoother Difficulty then that changes things since it removes the starting advantage and spreads out AI boosts more over the eras. It's just that you're changing too many variables at once to make it easy to predict (Real Strategy + Smoother Difficulty + Immortal).

    I'd go with Immortal and see how it goes if you want to challenge yourself, maybe see how you're doing by T100 in terms of yields compared to the AI and if you're far behind on both science and culture compared to how well you usually do then you might consider starting a new game on Emperor.
     
  7. MiniatureDeathRobot

    MiniatureDeathRobot Chieftain

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    Possible city-state list: Amsterdam, Antananarivo, Armagh, Bandar Brunei, Bologna, Brussels, Cardiff, Carthage, Fez, Geneva, Granada, Jerusalem, Kabul, Kandy, Kumasi, Lisbon, Mexico City, Muscat, Preslav, Valletta, Vilnius, Yerevan, Zanzibar. This list is mostly "cities that still exist in 2019", filtering out ones in the Western Hemisphere, with the exception of Mexico City (which is literally just Tenochtitlan after the Spaniards renamed it). I considered including Nacza as a stand-in for the Incas, but "befriend the Incas and get the ability to create Nacza lines" is just bizarre from a flavor perspective.
     
  8. MiniatureDeathRobot

    MiniatureDeathRobot Chieftain

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    Does anyone know if Gathering Storm is compatible with Play Europe Again? It's technically slightly larger than "Enormous", but I don't know if the difference is small enough that it doesn't matter. Otherwise I may look at playing with a subset of one of the larger earth maps if I want to do a game that's mostly just Europe.
     

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