[BTS] Prepare to DIE! #2

Fish Man

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And finally, the ending save and analysis.

Spoiler :

This map becomes quite a lot easier, almost like a regular deity iso with some drawbacks but also major advantages, if you manage to take out JC as early as possible. You have the land of 2 civs (and good land, too), to eventually fill out, and at least a few squishy targets beyond. Mansa is easy, Lincoln or probably at least 1 other peacemonger will avoid rifling like an idiot, and Pacal will fall ridiculously behind because of the aforementioned peaceweight + religion diplo issues. Even Gandhi is a pushover if you happen to either manipulate RNG to get him to avoid rifles (you can "re-seed" an AI's tech choice by giving or receiving a tech trade, settling a city, researching something else yourself, giving them some tech, or something similar...do that enough times and you can 'make' AIs like him avoid rifling until well into the modern era, though I didn't even have to do so for Lincoln)...or, if that feels too cheaty, get lucky to catch him in a medicine + mass media beeline, or go for the small fry first until you have 30 cities to spam units from, and so on. JC is the true roadblock here, as you all have surmised. Expend maximal effort to get rid of him as soon as possible, or better yet beat the crap out of him and extort tech to "tech" your way to the optics beeline (before finishing off), and you are well on the way to winning this game. I cheesed a warrior rush to make this work, but if you're not a fan of this extreme RNG-manipulation, you can limit him to just archers with some sort of choke, and then finish the job with HAs or perhaps even brute-force axes. Something you could try as philosophical is math bulb + construction to rush your way to catapults, at which point his archers will be free kills. Since you don't care about making him super mad, and nobody's around to care about "their friend", I would say you can abuse ceasefires and even sacrifice bait-workers, especially ones you capture (maybe with a woody 2 warrior/axe, if you are lucky), to pick off his isolated archers outside of the cities.


Thanks once again for the map, @Gwaja ! It was a blast, and the first time I won deity sub-t250 conquest or dom under such difficult isolated or technically semi-iso circumstances.

Spoiler :

upload_2022-6-21_0-8-41.jpeg

 

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Gwaja

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@Fish Man

Very impressive showing there, with a nice early completion date to go along with it! Thank you for the detailed write up, as I am sure many will study it for a long time.

One thing to clarify though. This map was NOT doctored by me in any way, except for the fact that one extra AI was added in at the custom game setup. As much as it may be hard to be believed, it truly is so. The first "Prepare to Die" with Wang Kon was heavily doctored to purposely create a severely unfair situation. This second one was a naturally generated map that happens to be quite evilly charming in its own way without my personal manipulation. Once I was done with this map, I knew I needed to share it.

Spoiler :
I agree that the real true test is getting JC out of the way ASAP. Whether that be in peaceful fashion or via conquest, he needs to be dealt with, and sooner the better. I am not sure how realistically reliable the peaceful option could be though, because leaving him with all those nice strategic resources for him to build shiny weapons and many cities under his belt may be too much to overcome should he decide to declare. Having him at "Pleased" does drastically reduce the chance of his DoW, but not completely. Plus, his land is just so much better. Once we have his land, only then, our continent becomes a good one. Without it, we are stuck with small area around the capital and the large portion of the rest filled with desert and tundra.

Settling on marble initially, popping the horse, and settling about 2 more cities at max while teching HBR and going straight for Horse Archer rush is an idea, but I'd think that it needs to happen in conjunction with earlier choking to stop JC from utilizing his resources. I'd much prefer that he develop his land for me to use upon capturing his cities, but that too needs to be a balancing act, I think.

As for the rest of the world on other continents.... we are lucky not to have another aggressive AI that could have become a runway superpower. And poor Mansa with such horrible start. I guess that is due to adding an extra AI. Pacal did start with 2 gold mines, but the rest of that continent shared with Lincoln and Liz isn't all that great to be honest. Lincoln does seem to be pretty boxed in his little corner as well, though not as horrible as Mansa. It is Hatty and Gandhi that had the unfair chunk of land mostly free of conflict, all to themselves... really unfair that one.

If I want to "dcctor" this map to be harder, I would adjust the starting position for Mansa and the other 2 AI on that continent, as well as replacing some of the AI to a more aggressive and "capable" ones. Or maybe connect the other 2 continents into one giant continent and place Mansa in the newly created bridge area with some good land and resources? Imaginations are running wild and free. ^_^
 

Fish Man

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Feb 20, 2010
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@Fish Man

Very impressive showing there, with a nice early completion date to go along with it! Thank you for the detailed write up, as I am sure many will study it for a long time.

One thing to clarify though. This map was NOT doctored by me in any way, except for the fact that one extra AI was added in at the custom game setup. As much as it may be hard to be believed, it truly is so. The first "Prepare to Die" with Wang Kon was heavily doctored to purposely create a severely unfair situation. This second one was a naturally generated map that happens to be quite evilly charming in its own way without my personal manipulation. Once I was done with this map, I knew I needed to share it.

Spoiler :
I agree that the real true test is getting JC out of the way ASAP. Whether that be in peaceful fashion or via conquest, he needs to be dealt with, and sooner the better. I am not sure how realistically reliable the peaceful option could be though, because leaving him with all those nice strategic resources for him to build shiny weapons and many cities under his belt may be too much to overcome should he decide to declare. Having him at "Pleased" does drastically reduce the chance of his DoW, but not completely. Plus, his land is just so much better. Once we have his land, only then, our continent becomes a good one. Without it, we are stuck with small area around the capital and the large portion of the rest filled with desert and tundra.

Settling on marble initially, popping the horse, and settling about 2 more cities at max while teching HBR and going straight for Horse Archer rush is an idea, but I'd think that it needs to happen in conjunction with earlier choking to stop JC from utilizing his resources. I'd much prefer that he develop his land for me to use upon capturing his cities, but that too needs to be a balancing act, I think.

As for the rest of the world on other continents.... we are lucky not to have another aggressive AI that could have become a runway superpower. And poor Mansa with such horrible start. I guess that is due to adding an extra AI. Pacal did start with 2 gold mines, but the rest of that continent shared with Lincoln and Liz isn't all that great to be honest. Lincoln does seem to be pretty boxed in his little corner as well, though not as horrible as Mansa. It is Hatty and Gandhi that had the unfair chunk of land mostly free of conflict, all to themselves... really unfair that one.

If I want to "dcctor" this map to be harder, I would adjust the starting position for Mansa and the other 2 AI on that continent, as well as replacing some of the AI to a more aggressive and "capable" ones. Or maybe connect the other 2 continents into one giant continent and place Mansa in the newly created bridge area with some good land and resources? Imaginations are running wild and free. ^_^

Thank you! Full disclosure, my playstyle is unique in that it reloads severely and games the RNG to the maximal extent without outright giving ourselves the automatic best outcome every time with the "new random seed" option. Most other people don't play this way, so in all likelihood, straight-up warrior-rushing is not viable unless you want to restart like 100 times. Though, philosophically speaking, when does reloading/map knowledge "cross the line"? I would say everyone has a certain tolerance for that...and mine just happens to be set at a far higher level. Already, others are starting over quite a few times here, replaying turnsets, etc.

I don't doubt that the map was generated naturally tbh, my statement was meant as a half-joke of which I wasn't sure whether or not it was true at this point. I believe you!

If you want to make this map harder, it's simple.

Spoiler :

Replace JC with Augustus (low peaceweight gang), and move him to a place where he has contact with the other AIs, then make our island full iso and make it garbage to the point where it can barely even get to something like astro/steel. Maybe even replace Pacal with Willem (a far more friendly dude). The Lain Tokugawa isolation game is a prime example of why this is bad - the starting island was so garbage and the rest of the map so OP that even without any edits, Joao was going superconductors or gunships or something while Augustus had 17 cities and a vassal by the time he had just started crawling towards artillery. On a deity map where AIs get 1200AD infantry, it's hard if not impossible to win iso normally. I myself eventually managed to "beat" that game, but only by turning fully to the dark side and turning on "new random seed". I then reloaded 6000 times to pop gems in my capital, which along with the silver gave enough commerce and happiness to just barely tech to cuirassiers before people started getting dangerous stuff (and astro without the super costly monarchy detour). I launched an intercontinental invasion with cuirs, which went 100% successfully because I reloaded every single fight, and capped Joao and Asoka, which then gave me enough commerce to push towards nukes and thereafter finish the game without much more ultra-cheese reloads. Other AIs having land is for sure dangerous, but the biggest obstacle you can give is consigning the human player to poor land, and small amounts of it, while giving the AIs better land and several times as much of it. All the games that Lain has lost, if I recall correctly, were starts where he was literally stuck on 3-5 cities - and iso or not, that eventually spelled doom for even perhaps the best player on the forums. It is for this reason that I suspect, at least with my playstyle (and certainly with Lain's, as he flat-out won it without a single reload), even the first "prepare to die" is not that impossible. By giving our neighbors so much land, you gave us the land too, when we eventually took it with an early attack.
 
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Gwaja

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@Fish Man

We should play the game the way we enjoy for ourselves. After all, it is a "single-player" game. It is also fun and refreshing to see different styles of play. As for the map generation, I hope it wasn't... as Lain gently put it in the Wang Kon map... "It's so unfair".... ^_^ I am happy you liked the map though. Gives me motivation to make more.

Knock knock especially to: @Fippy, @lymond, and @drewisfat ... did you hear that? **cough**

Spoiler :
Making our start complete iso with barely enough room for maybe 5-6 subpar cities, especially in combination with mediocre capital, would surely make any game harder. I think it would be too evil even for my standard. You are right... land is king in this game. Especially on Deity, with AI having large chunk of good land, it makes games so much more difficult.

I think I remember that Lain game. Pretty brutal if I recall it correctly. I don't think I would have had the patience to see through the game to the end. Kudos for his and your patience.

Now I may have to add you to my list of potential victim for Round 3. ^_^
 

Fish Man

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Feb 20, 2010
Messages
1,533
@Fish Man

We should play the game the way we enjoy for ourselves. After all, it is a "single-player" game. It is also fun and refreshing to see different styles of play. As for the map generation, I hope it wasn't... as Lain gently put it in the Wang Kon map... "It's so unfair".... ^_^ I am happy you liked the map though. Gives me motivation to make more.

Knock knock especially to: @Fippy, @lymond, and @drewisfat ... did you hear that? **cough**

Spoiler :
Making our start complete iso with barely enough room for maybe 5-6 subpar cities, especially in combination with mediocre capital, would surely make any game harder. I think it would be too evil even for my standard. You are right... land is king in this game. Especially on Deity, with AI having large chunk of good land, it makes games so much more difficult.

I think I remember that Lain game. Pretty brutal if I recall it correctly. I don't think I would have had the patience to see through the game to the end. Kudos for his and your patience.

Now I may have to add you to my list of potential victim for Round 3. ^_^

While we're at it - make leaders who are good techers and prefer military techs, the opponents. People like Mansa and Gandhi are too much of pushovers. A 15-city Hannibal + Justinian + Zara + Saladin + Isabella + Joao? Just give up on t0 :crazyeye:.

(And yes, these are some of the best techers in the game, who also ALL have medium or high military tech preference and are high peaceweight buddy-buddies, according to the "know your enemy" guide. No radio beeline to save your hide this time!)
 

Gwaja

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@Fish Man

I agree that the most dangerous kind of AI are the ones that tend to stay somewhat peaceful but pursue military techs at a good pace as to stay relevant in the tech game. Mindless cavemen style warmongers aren't the biggest threats. I have that "Know your enemy" article bookmarked and refer to it all the time... such a good guide that one.

Now, if you will excuse me, I will go back to making Part 3, just for you. ^_^
 

krikav

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@Gwaja Low sea level fractal map with an isolation start is really tough as it is.
If you have a rough start, and with AIs ready to snowball... Well. Thats already bordering impossible. :)
 

Gwaja

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@krikav

Ouch... yeah. An isolation with a bad land is bad enough already, but having an AI or two that can sweep the boards and grow to be monsters even before we are able to do anything, let alone be aware of it until Optics... that is indeed going to be hard. Should that really be the theme for Round 3?
 

krikav

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@Gwaja Well... Probably not. :D
It's just so depressing and soul-crushing that most people won't even try it.

I just rolled such a map here:
https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/prepare-to-cringe-bad-maps-deity.647427/page-8#post-16295757
Not only does it have all the other usual bad stuff, but you will also be set back by barbarians too, with low sea level your island is bound to be more problematic to handle from that perspective.

Come to think about it... I don't think I have ever even won a game with low sea level with a strong leader/start. Haven't played much low sea level though.
It was @Pedro78 that introduced the concept to me in the deity iso workshop thread:
https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...rm-fractal-nh-ne.612863/page-31#post-14973220

Made a playthrough here:
https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/a-fun-game-of-kublai.666850/

I'm not sure one can call it "fun" really though. :D
The justinian map is harder too I think, mainly because of a slower start. Don't know the situation overseas yet.
 

Kaitzilla

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America!
Difficulty: Deity
AI: 7, instead of the normal 6
Map Type: Continents
Map Size: Normal
Speed: Normal
Chosen Leader: Random --> Frederick

The Start: At least the capital site is quite good. It will be a great capital. But that is all the positive I can say about the surrounding areas.

Blindly forward I will go!

*Edit*

Thunk!
BAT Mod 4.1 huh
Looks like Lemon Merchant's signature has it.
 
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Gwaja

King
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
825
Location
Seattle, WA
Blindly forward I will go!

*Edit*

Thunk!
BAT Mod 4.1 huh
Looks like Lemon Merchant's signature has it.

Next time I will be sure to not post any saves made while already played using BAT. I always use BAT for my offline games, but I realize it is just too troublesome for many.

There is a WB save a few posts down, but barbarian techs need changed and the national flag colors will come out funky.
 
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