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Planning the start

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Offa, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. Offa

    Offa Bretwalda

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    Obviously the start is vital, and I am sure many of the more fanatical players plan this pretty carefully. I have started using a spreadsheet, which certainly helps me:



    offa start planner

    This is still pretty intensive as I have to write in the food excess, and shield production of the worked tiles, but it does calculate a fair bit automatically (ie shields and food per turn, shields and food in box and city size). The figures in at present relate to a slightly flawed plan for gotm38, leadingg to a 4 turn warrior settler factory.

    However, I am sure lots of you bright people have better spreadsheets (or other programmes), or can improve mine, so please share your knowledge.
     
  2. Admiral8Q

    Admiral8Q Chieftain

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    Whoaha!!!! :ack:

    I like to plan ahead, but I don't take the game this serious! :wow:

    Looks like you did alot of work on this though. :goodjob:
     
  3. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    Whoa... :wow:

    Congratulations on your new level of fanaticism!
     
  4. WackenOpenAir

    WackenOpenAir Chieftain

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    Ah an automated one ? :goodjob:

    I think it would be nice if you could enter the tiles in the radius with what they provide and then just select the tiles that you use instead of entering the values of the used tiles.
    Would be even nicer if you asign a tile to the worker jobs and then have the sheet include the bonus from it for the tiles automatically.

    If you make it an option to enter all tiles within the radius or all tiles that you think are significant, you can also make it calculate the bonus at growth.

    You could include an area with a 21 tile radius, numbers in the tiles, a list of numbers next to it and then allow the user to enter the name of the tile in the list. Preferably the name and have the sheet calculate the yield or else if you want it easier, enter just what the tile provides manually. (If you use the name, you can use listboxes from excel, you can also use the IF function to read names but that would require the user to use the exact correct syntax)

    Now you could for example let the user enter numbers of the used tiles in the collumns and have the sheet calculate what comes from it with the worker improvements on them.

    You could of course also let the user insert codes like "bg" in the collumns, but then again it would require exact syntax from the user.
     
  5. IbnSina

    IbnSina Former Lurker

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    No wonder they call it civFANATICS!
     
  6. Admiral8Q

    Admiral8Q Chieftain

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    Aye!!! :crazyeye: :lol:
     
  7. gmaharriet

    gmaharriet Ancient Crone

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    Wow!!! I can see you've put a lot of effort into this. :goodjob:

    I work with huge spreadsheets ALL DAY at the office. I wouldn't have the patience to even look at one on evenings and weekends for relaxation. ;)
     
  8. Admiral8Q

    Admiral8Q Chieftain

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    I hear ya! :( I stare at a computer all day at work. :coffee: The only thing that keeps me from even not turning my home computer on is the big monitor and the fast CPU :goodjob:

    Yeah, that... and the bottle of wine in the fridge... :mischief:
     
  9. Vegasgustan

    Vegasgustan Chieftain

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    Jesus Christ!

    Now that is some true dedication and love for the game!

    Great Job, but I will never use it!

    Thanks though!
     
  10. Offa

    Offa Bretwalda

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    Thanks guys. I don't use spreadsheets at work (well not much) so they are still a bit of fun for me :crazyeye: . Making a spreadsheet is much like playing civ really. This is pretty crude and really didn't take very long to do, honest, it really didn't. I'm not that bad, I could stop tommorrow. It is certainly quicker than creating a dummy start and playing it out.

    @WOA, I agree with your ideas about the spreadsheet, and had intended to do something like this. However, it is a bit of a fiddle, and I really did this as a temporary measure waiting for your settler factory programme :mischief: . Maybe I will do it later.

    BTW the spreadsheet does give bonus shields on growth, but it does assume you have set the governor, food surplus and lux slider to make sure the right tile is used.

    The culture column is there just to indicate when the outer tiles can be worked.

    This sort of attention to detail is probably mainly used by GOTMers, but I really believe "lots" of players are doing something like this, even if they are "just" using pen and paper. For example, SirPleb's latest pre game assessment exactly agrees with my sheet.
     
  11. Skyer

    Skyer Chieftain

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    Great! Thanks!
     
  12. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    Here's how my spreadsheet looks, as I had it for gotm38:



    The blue columns are calculated info, black are filled in. Mine is less sophisticated in that I just enter for each turn the total food and shields the city will get at the end of that turn. But it does the trick for me and allows me to see overruns and adjust sequences fairly quickly.

    Click here if you'd like the actual Excel spreadsheet.
     
  13. WackenOpenAir

    WackenOpenAir Chieftain

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    Sorry offa, i don't think i am ever really gonna create the program :(

    One reason is that my interest in civ3 is fading now. enough is left to keep playing sgotm with the team, but probably that will be the only thing i keep playing. Next week i will be playing World of Warcraft. Also planning to use some more time on productive things instead of gaming.

    Second reason is that for myself i don't need the program, as you said, it doesn't take too much time to do it manually. Once you have experience with it, it takes mere minutes to fill out the spread sheets.
    Also would it be very difficult to make the program work correctly with the many different options possible. Especially factors that will change your game later than the first turn i feel would make the program rather unusable, you might obtain a slave that you can join to your capital, you might find fresh water that was not visible in the first turn etc. All these things would make the program rather useless unless.

    I know the program could be usefull for many others, but i am sorry that is not enough reason for me to build it. In fact, if i could make it perfect and everything i just mentioned included, i think i would find it too powerfull a tool. I think games should be played by players that depend on their skills not on tools. I also think civassist and mapstat are much too powerfull tools and i do not celebrate their existence.
    It is similar to building and setting SCV/drones/probes to work manually in starcraft. Everyone agreed that it was best to build them continuously, that you could almost never produce too many and that you had to set them to work asap after production. This is a very tedious task and many players would have liked to see it automated. However, this task was in important part to seperate the bad players from the good players and the good from the godly ones. Automating it would have made the game too easy. I think the same about the civ3 tools.

    All these reasons however i must admit are inferior to the primary reason: My lazyness.
     
  14. Sparta

    Sparta Chieftain

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    Wow, this is impressive. I must admit I spreadsheet for civ as well, despite having to use spreadsheets constantly at work too. The engineer in me perhaps. I hadn't made a starting spreadsheet though (mostly just short-rushing stats and to-do types). Thank you to both of you; I'm going to make something based on the two you were kind enough to post. Cheers! :goodjob:
     
  15. zerksees

    zerksees in remission

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    I now now know what "the next level" of civ player is. Aye Carumba!

    And I thought I paid attention to detail!
     
  16. Offa

    Offa Bretwalda

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    I am pleased to see that the idea of using a spreadsheet is endorsed by "the man" himself.

    Anyway, goaded and inspired by all these comments, I have just tried out the help function in excel, read about vlookup, and have come up with the following:



    new start plan


    Now all you have to do is write in the names of the tiles to be worked, when things are produced, when forests are chopped and tell the sheet when a granary is made and hey presto. I guess I could automate it more, but really I would probably be better off playing civ.
     
  17. Offa

    Offa Bretwalda

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    I know I am talking to myself now, but this just calculates the granary column automatically and gives a new blank worksheet template.


    new version
     
  18. Renata

    Renata homicidal jungle cat GOTM Staff

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    <--- Will be greedily downloading ASAP. Thanks, Offa. :)

    I have something that looks a lot like SirPleb's version. Most things are autocalculated once I enter in the net food and shields for the current turn. It took me ages to figure out all the details -- the lag between production and movement turns complicates things like forest chops, new worker improvements, and growth bonuses, and I had all kinds of misconceptions about those things to begin with. Anyway, I've been using it for about my last three GOTM's to investigate different options for the start -- even with the flaws in the first couple of versions, it made a big difference. But it does take time.

    More automatic = more better, in my opinion! :)

    Thanks again,
    Renata
     
  19. Offa

    Offa Bretwalda

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    Here is my updated version. It has quite a lot of conditional formatting (i just found out about this) and calculates more automatically, eg it will assume the city is founded when something is added in the space for the first worked tile. Hopefully all is clear when anyone uses it. It helps me.

    opening planner
     
  20. Furiey

    Furiey No Longer Just Lurking

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    I'll be looking at this with interest, I did something similar when I started to look at mm more seriously and was trying to work out things such as build a Settler or Granary first, or to time Settler/Worker production with growth, so I was focussing on growth and production and did not record what my workers were doing, just marked which tiles were being worked. I learnt a lot doing it such as how growth occured before production, so also had to include what tile would be worked next to get the production to come out correctly. I can't remember what I did with it though, as much as anything I learnt from doing it. I'll have to have a look.
     

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