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Rating the c3c Civs by DocT

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Doc Tsiolkovski, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Chieftain

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    I like the idea of ranking the civs with a point system.Of course it is always subjective and can be critizised.Depends on playing style.However, a great addition to the reviews and the tier based system.

    I'm not suprised the Greeks are best, I like this civ, too.Always nice to see attacking AI units perish as a more peaceful builder :D


    ...move 4 for a Panzer? Reminds me strangely of RaR ;)
     
  2. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    I'm not convined my rating system worked (Greece and Rome ended much better than I feel they should), but what's wrong with the above? For DG+, this simply is the truth.
     
  3. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Fantasy Warlord

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    While I applaud the effort that went into this, I feel that any tier system that attempts to press the civs into one single system for all playstyles is flawed from the outset.

    The attractiveness of any civ is mostly dependent on 3 factors: world type, difficulty level and playstyle. No matter how you weight your system, a classification that works for one combination will be totally wrong for another.

    More helpful would be a differentiated tier system, e.g.

    Ranking for conquest/domination on Pangaea/Continents DemiGod+
    1st tier: China, Ottomans,....

    and so on for the different permutations...
     
  4. troytheface

    troytheface Chieftain

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    Greece always comes out ok in everyone's "system' or by simple intuition, even me ol self...no surprise there...i was a bit intrigued by the Hittite placement as i have always maintained they were much better than these various rankings seemed to place them...based on experience rather than analysis...i would add that this "synergy" word that is tossed about seems to make written sense...but in life it is Compensation that oft times makes the man -and in this regard synergy would acually be a drawback....
     
  5. Jopedamus I

    Jopedamus I Immortality is reality

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    @Doc: Demigod+pangaea/continents, I would take Maya anytime comparing to England or Byz. Biggest problem in your ranking-system is that you put too little emphasis on early expansion which is THE most important part of the game in any level. That is why those results where surprising...and wrong. To make it work right, you should change it so that things that affect most in the outcome of the game have biggest value in that ranking system.
     
  6. MikeH

    MikeH Chieftain

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    Interesting article, Doc, thanks for posting it.

    One quibble, though, I actually think COM/REL is a more powerful combination then you rate it. Cheap temples, cathedrals, marketplaces, banks and stock exchanges mean that unhappiness and cash are unlikely to be problems after the AA, even running luxury at 0%. It also means that anything you are likely to build in the first 3500 years is cheap, with the exception of barracks, which are hardly expensive in the first place.

    As a result I'd probably rate India higher than you do. War Elephants are cool as well :) .
     
  7. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

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    Mike, there is no discount on Marketplaces or Banks.

    I always thought that Commercial gives half-price markets, but it is simply wrong. I just always had the same idea as you, it sounds so logical, but it still is not true.
     
  8. MikeH

    MikeH Chieftain

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    Thanks. for that, Longasc, I'd assumed the same. You know what they say about 'assume' :).
     
  9. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    If I see that correctly, there's no review of the Mayans so far. :confused:

    Guess I need to write one myself ;)
     
  10. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Chieftain

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  11. kryszcztov

    kryszcztov Chieftain

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    While I'm sure it's impossible to draw an exact ranking, I still think this exercice is interesting. I'll post my comments and thoughts.

    I'm not sure why you don't count single traits. For example, I'm sure that everyone would have rated IND as the top trait in Vanilla/PTW and give it 1 point. You do it for AGR now, but maybe on the whole (since this is your wish) some traits are just better than others. Then you can add the combo synergy, etc...

    I don't know why you give 1 point for multiplayer (MP ?). Your purpose is to rank the civs on the whole, so that must take MP into account within itself, not with an artificial point. A better way to do would be to see if any civ performs well in human hands AND in AI hands. For human, it would be to weigh if the civ on the whole is even better because of the human brain (I'm thinking of fast UUs eg.) ; for AI, it would be to weigh if it understands how to play this or that civ characteristic, or this or that general stuff which appears to be more important for the civ (SEA civs aren't played well because of suicide runs, etc...).

    I think it would be better to clearly indicate that this ranking is for Emperor or above. As a Deity player, I now find it difficult to lack Alphabet at the beginning, not just because it's the most expensive initial tech, but because it leads to Writing and then very interesting and numerous techs. I think the point for Alphabet is deserved. We could even give it 2 points, and give 1 point to civs which can immediately research a non-initial tech (call that starting-tech synergy ;) ).

    While I understand and agree that MIL/SEA wastes part of the traits (cheap harbors), I don't know why EXP/SEA and EXP/MIL are antagonisms. EXP/SEA can play very well on a real continent map : first you get free towns, techs, contacts and no barbs from huts, and then you're the 1st to discover the other continent. I say tech lead there ! So there are maps where this combo is good. As for EXP/MIL, I don't understand the comment. I don't see why you can't build a few scouts to find your foes and get an early tech and city lead, and then build barracks and military. Surely the few missing warriors won't make that of a difference ? Of course on Deity the EXP trait is well wasted (see other stanza).
    Another remark, in the opposite way : COM/SEA. I'm not sure if both gold bonuses end up in one bonus or not. I don't think so, but otherwise there would be an antagonism there.

    Doc, why Spain and Arabia as top civs for 20k ?

    Greece rated so high ? I think the system isn't perfect, though I'd like Greece to be the best civ of all. :goodjob: I'm happy to see Byzantium so high, but I hope that the dromon not being a top UU has to do with the general scope of this ranking (includes pangea maps).
    Why is Egypt rated so low ? In Vanilla/PTW it was clearly one of the top civs, because of its traits, the synergy between them, and a decent UU. Read Sullla's games, and he clearly states that Egypt is maybe the best civ all in all, and the AI played it well. But in C3C, IND was well toned down, and REL was a little toned too (anarchy). Add to that a war chariot which has to face ancient cavalries, better gallic swordsmen, etc... and AGR civs ! Egypt isn't a top civ anymore.
    As for Maya, well I've never really played them, but we know IND isn't the top trait it used to be. They're AGR, which says they're a decent civ. But they have a very mediocre UU, let's face it. At least it could have been quite nice, but it was poorly implemented. Javelin throwers enslave units, are a decent early unit, even if a bit expensive. But the price isn't justified : enslaved units become slaves which don't have the IND tag. This means that the IND trait is wasted with them !! Mayans still have to build their workers, otherwise the IND trait is wasted. This is nonsense. And of course the Javelin upgrades to the crappy and poorly thought longbowman, which is a serious drawback. All in all, AGR/IND looked very promising (no doubt about that), but the civ representing this combo and C3C's flaws made it mediocre.
     
  12. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    @Pfeffersack: Thanks for the link; I expected Ision did wrote a review, but I couldn't find it on the 1st pages like any other review.
    Well, then I guess I have to write an alternative review, since this one time, I couldn't disagree more with Ision :lol:

    @kryszcztov: Thanks for you elaborate comment. Nice that finally someone agrees with my points an Alphabet and the Mayans (I think we both see this Civ exactly the same way).
    Considering the AI use of a Civ is an interesting idea; Sumeria, Celts, Incans, Aztecs, Mongols seem to shine out here - other candidates?
    Fast UUs (especially early move 3 UUs, like Ansars or Riders) may be worth a bonus as well, agreed.
    Spain and Arabs for 20k: IMHO REL is a must-have for high-level 20k. Both will have well-timed GAs (Spain from Colossus/MoM and Sistine's; Arabs from Ansars most likely, Oracle and Copernicus otherwise). Both can start with Curragh/Scout-Temple-Settler, so while building the Temple you can make contacts and/or pop GHs. Who should be better suited? Byz usually gets an ugly-timed GA from MoM or Colossus/Great Library. Celts and Egypt need to get their GA (unless you go for TGW with Egypt) via UU, but at that time you usually cannot afford a war when focusing on one city. India is worse than Arabs or Spain (neither fast Curraghs nor Scouts). Russia maybe; but from my experience (and I tried for Deity 20k quite often; at first with Byzantium, but that simply didn't work well), it can be surprisingly difficult to get CB in time - while you always get BW soon.

    COM/SEA boni are cumulative.
    MIL/EXP: With an EXP Civ, I prefer to focus on expansion early; in other words, Granaries and Settlers, not Barracks and units.

    Dromon, and extra bonus for starting with Alpha and Pottery: I do agree, but I didn't dare to suggest that :D

    @troytheface: "Compensation" is an excellent thought. Something along the line "Russia isn't MIL, but the Cossack with Blitz helps a lot to get Elite units", "Arabs are not great for research and commerce, but GHs and early contacts make up for that", or "Ottomans are not great for warfare at first sight, but with the Sipahi, they rule during late MA/early IA". Is that what you meant?
     
  13. IbnSina

    IbnSina Former Lurker

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    I think kryszcztov makes a point that should be explored further. It seems clear that the civs perform differently in the hands of experienced players than in the hands of beginners, or even intermediates. For example, beginners usually expand slower and consequently can afford (and need) less aggression early in the game. For them, the Celtic UU is almost useless, and indeed, the MIL trait might be essentially useless. Likewise, at low levels EXP seems useless, especially in light of beginners typical poor use of (and need for) trade. At e.g. monarch level it begins to be useful, but then becomes fairly useless again at high levels. It might be interesting to bifurcate the rating into 2 or 3 assessments, making different assumptions about level of play.

    On the other hand, it is amusing to see what agreement there is with my own experience: I have never had a bad game as the Greeks :)
     
  14. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    My first Regent game was with the Greeks. I lost.

    My first Monarch game was with the Greeks. I lost.

    My first Emporer game was with the Egyptians. I actually won. Then my second Emporer game was with the Greeks. I lost.

    My first Deity game was with the French. I won. Now I'm too scraed to use the Greeks again!

    They were my first favourite civ though. :)
     
  15. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

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    I read now about the Synergy of the Greek traits, their great UU, and it is all... :)

    I prefer the Iroquois at any time over them. Their UU is more useful.

    Offensive UU +1. Now they have 10 points, too.

    All that arithmetics - I see not even any reason to play them instead of the Dutch or the Iroquois, and you love them... ts... :)
     
  16. romeothemonk

    romeothemonk Order of the Engineer

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    Hmm. After playing a bunch of Games with DocT, I have come to agree that his rankings are fairly accurate. My personal play level is Emporer, but I play no armies and no artillary (personal games only). This balances the gameplay quite a bit, and in my opinion, really makes it more fun. I agree with Docs ranking of the Hittites over the Maya, and in general with his rankings.
    And yes I have set off a golden age with f-16's. Air superiority rules. In my opinion the Chasqui scout is the only 4th tier UU, with the f-16 beling a 3rd tier.
    Portugal has given me my "best" win. It was a totally peaceful 20k emporer win. I fought 1 war, took 1 city and killed 8 units all told.
    The use of armies and mass arty makes up for real deficiences in gameplay for certain races. Without Armies and arty, I have noticed that the maya really suffer under human play. Just my 2 cents
     
  17. punkbass2000

    punkbass2000 Des An artiste

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    Have to disagree here. Although there are circumstances where England and Byz can be weak, they are formidable on Pangaea and dominant on any other landmass type. Going from exp to sea was huge for England, as well as additions to their UU. Babylon, OTOH, I think is somewhat weak (personally I think one is better to have rel or sci, both is just overkill and neglects other areas) while the bowman is not particularly strong. I do think the Maya are a little underrated here, but not much. Egypt has also fallen a fair way, they are not too strong anywhere any more.

    I agree (with DocT et al.) that Industrious is not too great. I don't rank it last, but its not a top trait anymore. Also, it's a trait that has advantages that any civ can easily gain and should, by building tons of workers. The industrious advantage, IMO, is much like exp. in many ways now, in that it is primarily an early game advantage and soon goes south. I'm sure we can all generally agree that the extra shield per city is not a significant advantage in the late game.

    I also agree that Alph is a huge advantage. It is a preq for about half of the AA techs and writing is generally the only second tier tech one can have any assurance of achieving. IW and Myst. are always researched quickly, Math is a possibility but is usually N/A and requires Alph anyway and no one can research HBR right off the bat. There are exceptions of course (I'm in a game right now where I'm Arabsl and got Myst on the first turn allowing me a huge jump on poly.) but these sorts of things are not to be depended upon. I don't know that you can judge a trait based on it, however. It's a tough call. For example, I really don't believe Rome should be tied for #2 overall. It's really my only quibble with the final rankings. Mil is weak, IMO, the Legion is not amazing and Commercial just doesn't do enough to save it. I'd like to see Rome getting about 6-7 point, personnally.
     
  18. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

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    The synergy section just puts too much emphasis on the Commercial trait in nearly any combination.

    7 times Commercial!

    Rel/Sci has no synergy and gives +1 instead of +2. This is a bit hard to accept. Babylon is a discount wonder on culture, but here it is not seen as not really so worthwhile to mention. This is balanced a bit by adding "best for 100k"... +1.

    Then England and Byzantium get a +2 bonus because of powerful ships? I can do with transports only on 80% Archipelago maps, and the Age of Sail gets overestimated with this evaluation.

    As the value of various traits and combos have been discovered during gameplay and then these experiences have been transformed into a rather mathematical model, I would say...

    just scrap the whole +2, +1 stuff. The model works fairly well, but as I already said: You can come to MORE accurate observations if you leave out all the artificial mathematics. This whole point system is often used in Marketing for predicting market success of certain products, and it lead to some utter failures (Americans probably do not know the SMART car).

    Civ3 is a bit too complex for this well-meant model. I respect Docs observations, the most interesting thing that came out of this model was the rating of the Mayans. Their trait combo has not been seen as too valuable, and they got

    It also showed a strange love for the Greek Civ and too much emphasis on ships and commerce in any forms (SEA/COM). While the besides the Man-o-War unique ability to create free slave workers of the Javelin Thrower did not stop it from ending up third tier.

    They are excellent spearman substitutes early on and can later one be transformed into Longbowmen, not too strong, but they are basically weaker Medieval Infantries. I think that defensive units have been given too much credit.
     
  19. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    Personaly, I don't really like Greece. And defensive unique units per se are not seen as advantage; only the fact that the 3 Civs with defensive UUs are builder Civs granted a bonus.
    I think you should distinguish between commerce (I do agree I may over-emphasizing this), and the COM trait, which is widely considered the most important trait on Deity/Sid.
    What did you mean regarding the Mayans? Seems like there's missing a part of thesentence.
     
  20. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

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    Sorry, I must have deleted a part of the sentence by accident... but it does not matter - just ignore it. ;)

    Perhaps we will one day see a DocT strategy guide? Maybe this will give me a bit more insight how to use commerce to maximum effect. Right now I am more trading on the basis 2 techs for 1...
     

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