1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Rating the c3c Civs by DocT

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

  1. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,763
    It is a bit surprising, but discussing how to evaluate different civs and how to compare their relative strengths gave me really some new ideas to see some civs in a different light and the idea to focus next time perhaps a bit more on commerce.

    Still looking for someone to derive 10 golden rules for success or something like that from the system and ideas presented here. :)

    (I am sure someone will say "it depends" and blow up the "by far too general" rules to 100) :)
     
  2. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    4,263
    Location:
    Check Six!
    @DocT: Regardless of any nits I might pick with your conclusions, that article was well put together. I like the fact that you considered trait synergy; there's a huge difference between the PTW and C3C Vikings for that very reason...

    I'd like to offer this thought, to you and to all: DocT supported his conclusions, other have offered differing opinions that are also supported. The result is that the rest of us have some high quality, well considered opinions to review... Any idiot can have an opionion. Having an educated opinion, that is the nexus of critical thinking. Valuable Stuff.

    As far as "ranking the civs" goes... it's clear to me that you are writing for a more advanced level player than the rank newbie. Somewhere I posted something of a recommendation for new players... I can't remember whether it was in S&T or in one of Ision's review threads...but it went something like this:

    For newer players, I recommend a civ with any combination of Industrious, Religious, Commercial, and Scientific; not because these traits (or civs) are "better", but because they lend themselves to a more general style of play. Some traits (Expansionist, Agricultural) require skills needed in certain aspects of the game (early expansion, tech trading) that newer players usually lack; these skills are needed to realize the full potential of those traits. Other traits (i.e. militaristic) require a certain style to "play to the strength" of the trait.
     
  3. zerksees

    zerksees in remission

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,639
    Location:
    Wadsworth Ohio USA
    DocT - Very interesting read, thanks for your effort.

    I see you are taking some heat for attempting the near impossible. Everyone should take this work with a grain of salt. After all the list is not called "the all time list of best civs for C3C". It is a list of the best civs as DocT sees it.

    Suggestions:
    Did you weight the different categories? Maybe the traits should weigh more than the UU?

    Perhaps there should be some adjustment factor for style of play. Rate each item's relative value for builders, war mongers, culture builders, etc. This would allow the list to adjust to a person's style of play. The same could be said for difficulty level and map size, as surely these affect how well a civ will do.

    I guess I must be a war monger, and I think Egypt is pretty solid, even with toned down industrious in C3C.
     
  4. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    3,722
    Location:
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    I few nit picks here and there. I agree with about half of what is writen. However I think you draw some wrong conclusions here and there. Yep its virtually impossable to define a best and worst list. A top 5 civs and worst 5 civs would probably be easier.
     
  5. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    3,778
    Location:
    Illinois
    I'm shocked that nobody else has stepped up to defend agricultural. A lot of this has been discussed ad nauseum before.

    Let's look at the claim that an agricultural civ won't do well with an all-tundra start. Fine. No one will. Celts? Not a prayer -- no iron in tundra, so they're even worse off than the agricultural civs. Etc. etc. No civ will do well in an absolutely abysmal starting position on a tough difficulty level. Given a "bad" DocT start, though, I'll pick agricultural most of the time.

    Like with water and no two-food tiles around -- like the DocT SG or some of the other starts. Seafaring gets one extra commerce for being on the sea, true. But agricultural civs, for the vast majority of the game, will have an extra food. That's an extra half-person supported, which is an extra 1.5 commerce from a sea tile or an extra 1.5 shields from a hill tile. Note this trumps the seafaring commerce bonus and the industrial shield bonus. This doesn't consider the extra ease in building workers, the potential of earlier settlers, etc. On a dry start, agricultural is about as good as any other trait.

    On a wet start (about 40-60% of the maps, depending on settings), agricultural is far and away the best. The extra food, even if there's no other food bonus around, gets an extra population three turns earlier, leading to a much earlier second settler or even just more commerce and shields from the capital earlier. The extra population so far outweighs a single extra commerce that there's no comparison to be made. Yet, for some odd reason, the extra commerce of seafaring is considered significant. I don't get it.

    Another thing to look at -- the high-level games. Pick a high-level HoF game or a successsful Sid SG or just about anything else. What do the games have in common? An agricultural civ to start with and not much else. Coincidence? I think not. It's just that powerful.

    For the point scale, make agricultural about +6 points and maybe you'll have some results that make sense.

    I also tremendously disagree with the rating of the Mayan UU. Free workers for the entire game are tremendously valuable. Slavery is good. So many things to disagree with and so little time. Agricultural is just the biggest.

    A nice numbering system doesn't mean much if all it does is codify a bunch of false assumptions.

    Arathorn
     
  6. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,032
    Location:
    Köln, Cologne, Colonia. Finally.
    Sorry Arathorn, but I fail to see where your argumentation is supposed to lead.
    Yes, give any AGR Civ +10 bonus, and let's agree on China, Greece and maybe France left for the first tier. How many people will step up and name other Civs that should also be 1st tiers?

    If you consider my rating as completely broken mostly because not all AGR Civs end as 1st tiers...Ision 'dared' to not even see Sumeria there. But I don't see you that 'upset' about this...:p
    And, Ision has 11 Civs in the 1st tier. If I'd do the same, I'd have 5 AGR there as well.

    Be assured I see you as probably the "best" Civ player still active, but let's simply agree to disagree in one point:

    For you, Growth is everything. For me, Growth is 'only' tremendously important.

    I simply think this only applies for Domination and fast Conquest victories. What makes the Mayans superior to Spain for 20k? Or to any Civ for Diplo? To Byzantium for Space?
    And HoF games are something I refuse to consider. Running Map Finder over night and then only continue with that '3 Cows at a River start' that turns out to have even more Cows or Wheat nearby plus hand-picked opponents is as extreme as picking only starts where you controll all Ivory, Horses and Iron vs only Civs with late-game/resource-dependant UUs. Or using only cold 80% archipelagos and thus claiming Scandinavia is THE strongest Civ.

    The JT? Ision rates him as 2nd tier UU instead (and you as well ;) ) - but then, Cossack and Musketeer as 3rd tier? In c3c??? That's blatantly wrong...
     
  7. Darkness

    Darkness Shadow creature

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Messages:
    6,755
    Location:
    Rotterdam, the Netherlands

    Look at post #57 of this thread... ;)



    AGR is the most powerful trait there is. I'm not going to explain my reasoning, 'cause Arathorn just explained it perfectly

    FWIW: No not all AGR civs should be ranked 1st tier. The Inca have a louzy UU, that really destroys their expansionist trait, but the Iroquois, Sumerians, Maya, Dutch and the Celts should definately be considered as 1st tier civs, IMO. Then add the Chinese, Arabs and the Ottomans (nice traits, except the Arabs and fast MA UU's) and that's about it (again IMO)...


    And Doc, what's with the attitude against the HoF style of play? You don't have to like it, but why are you so degenerating about it?
     
  8. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,032
    Location:
    Köln, Cologne, Colonia. Finally.
    :hmm: Sumeria, Dutch, Iros and Celts are 1st tiers.

    No, I have absolutely nothing against HoF style playing. But while I see no problems in restarting several times until you get an acceptable start, I think using MapFinder is as extreme as if someone finds out how to extract the next set of Random Numbers, and only play on when you like them...
    Could be worth a bonus point for the 3 best Milking Civs (Maya, Celts, Iros; correct?)though...

    Btw, can anybody supply me with a link to an interesting Maya game? So far, I've seen nothing but outstanding starts with them played...
     
  9. punkbass2000

    punkbass2000 Des An artiste

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Messages:
    7,230
    Location:
    A(sia) Minor
    I think he just means that when you're ranking civs overall in a general way, looking for best starts, etc. somewhat defeats the purpose.
     
  10. kryszcztov

    kryszcztov Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    2,423
    I have to disagree with Arathorn about the Javelin Thrower : this is a mediocre UU at best, and it's any good only on maps filled with barbs. The JT's upgrade path is the worst you can imagine, with longbowmen having only 1 defense point (to the JT's 2 points), just like Babylonians. They are expensive to build, though AGR+IND will help. C3C being broken at the moment (and forever), the industrious is even more toned down for the Mayans because the slaves they get aren't industrious, thus making the JT rather ineffective. the Mayans will build many JTs to captures some ineffective slaves, while other civs will produce swordsmen at 30 shields too, something is wrong there. So the Mayans are really saved by their AGR trait, period. Fix the IND trait (IND slaves being indeed industrious), and the Mayans can't be seen as a bad civ, rather fine. Get IND back to its PTW level and the Mayans are a strong civ : the JT would then be a controversial UU, being really good for early warfare and early development, but with a deadline for usefulness. But the AGR+IND combo would probably make a 1st tier civ. As for now, the Mayans can't be a 1st tier civ on any given map. They are well in the 2nd tier.

    As for the Egyptians, they aren't in the top civs anymore too. I've already written about them, but : they aren't AGR, they are IND which isn't a great trait anymore, they are REL which isn't great anymore, they have a decent UU which isn't as powerful as before because of the traits' toning down and the apparition of AGR civs.

    I agree DocT's ranking system should weigh the different categories. I'd give more importance to AGR than to Alphabet for example. And it would be best to do a ranking for many level+map combos. This would be better, and nothing could prevent you from summing it up at the end.
     
  11. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    3,778
    Location:
    Illinois
    Probably nothing...if that's your goal going in, Mayans are probably mid-tier.

    Larger cities, better developed land, more free labor, larger land from the grab, more specialists supported, etc. Easily first-tier in this regard. Absolute best in a narrow sense? Quite possibly, but not definitely. One of the best of being in a position to win in those ways? Without a doubt.

    No, there is no civ that is the BEST at all things. I'm really glad of that. Heck, I'm even willing to say that no civ is better than any other civ across the board -- in certain circumstances, one could probably make a case for ANY civ being the best (some are definitely harder than others, but if you play a 5CCC variant disallowing ground combat on a pangea, one can make a reasonable argument for America as the best civ). All Civs have strengths and weaknesses.

    My general thought is given a random map on deity or Sid (or beyond/between), what civ will be most likely to give me a good chance for a win -- any win? That's my take on tiers and it's dramatically different from yours. For most people, I think that's a fairly accurate representation of the game goal -- get a win, one way or another.

    Sure, if you're talking fastest domination or earliest conquest or quickest launch or ...., then priorities may well be different. Any time you add variant thoughts, things change and relative values of certain things change.

    As for Ision, I disagreed with him on a lot of things. I didn't see his Sumerian review so I can't comment on it, but you can see I posted disagreeing thoughts on his UU list. But, heck, I don't claim to know EVERYTHING about Civ and strategies. There's always a place for learning new things. The problem I have is that I see your list as teaching things that are inaccurate enough to really lead people astray. And that I don't like.

    For all the talk of how the agricultural proponents aren't giving details, there are almost no details about why traits X and Y are synergistic or why X and Z aren't. There's no talk of why this value should equate to that value. Just a bunch of random numbers with very little reasoning. Does nobody any good, IMHO.

    The little things at the end are the worst -- starts with Alphabet? So? That's just giving a bonus to certain traits (Commercial and Seafaring), but has little bearing on how a typical game will play out. WAY too much consideration here. Best choices for 100K and 20K but no mention of space, diplo, domination, or conquest? Extreme bias alert. Sets off the scanners, even if there is a reason. I completely disagree with the 100K list, too, as the easiest way, by far, to get 100K is with a bunch of cities and Temple of Artemis....once again, growth wins. But that's almost beside the point, because the lists aren't balanced to begin with. And there's no explanation of WHY you feel certain civs are best at this, just a list. Plus, when that list disagrees with an expert like T-hawk's list (20K), I know who I will tend to believe. And "MP" -- what role does that have here? Especially without a HUGE discussion of agreed-upon legit behaviors? BAH!

    Arathorn
     
  12. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,032
    Location:
    Köln, Cologne, Colonia. Finally.
    Several rankings for different maps/strategy approaches and then summing up...good idea; looks like quite some work, though. But I promise the result will be even more controversal, since some AGR Civs will score worse when we look for Archipelago maps, 20k culture victories, "bad" starts, space races instead of concentrating on the middle of the road (Continents, nice start, fast Dom/Conquest victory).

    Psst...that's how Arathorn ranked them elsewhere as well ;)
     
  13. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    3,778
    Location:
    Illinois
    Just one note, the longbowmen still has a bad rap from PTW, where it was essentially worthless. There are good reasons to PREFER the longbow to the MDI in C3C (defensive bombard), so I can't see the problem. A slow-moving stack of extreme doom of pikes, longbows, and trebuchets is incredibly powerful -- much better in most circumstances than pikes, MDI, and trebuchets. Can't see the argument against the upgrade path.

    This made me laugh. Ineffective slaves? When most people consider a slave to be a big bargain at 120 gold, capturing slaves is HUGE. A half-dozen slaves (random estimate -- often more, often less) from my UU is worth 720 gold, early in the game -- a couple techs at least. And that's ineffective? :lol: Just because they aren't super-slaves doesn't mean they're not incredibly valuable. I would prefer a JT to a sword in 95% of the positions -- the chance for a slave is simply that valuable. [Edit: JT vs. a sword UU is a different question, of course. Top-tier? Probably not but certainly nowhere near the bottom.]

    Now that is something I think we can agree on. Quite possibly add in difficulty level, too, as certain strats become more/less valuable on different levels. The hard part is knowing where to stop, as variants cause new factors, also depending on everything else....

    Arathorn
     
  14. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,032
    Location:
    Köln, Cologne, Colonia. Finally.
    Arathorn:
    Ok, when we only consider this, I think we can go to the editor, and disable 'Human Player' for everyone except Iroquois.
    But I believe most players start games to either reach a specified victory, or to play a Civ the way its traits/UU benefits the most - and then, we will see someCivsdoing better than others.
     
  15. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,763
    The ranking list has another problem: Players will probably have a certain goal in mind when starting a game. So they probably know the landform, mapsize and climate they are going for and select the Civ according to this parameters.

    On an Archipelago map, one can try to rule the seas with Dromons early on.

    Then someone can easily say, Naval UU's are a waste, better expand and recommend the Dutch.

    The next step is to set the English against the Byzantines: The Manowar is really powerful. Byzantine players can say, it comes too late, the Age of Sail is too short, while the English player can say, there is no need for a big navy at this early stage of the game at all.

    If we rank Byzantines, English or the Dutch as the best civ on a 80% water Archipelago is up to personal taste. Everyone has a different playstyle, and what finally matters is how you make use of your traits. A ranking would suggest that someone found the ultimate truth, for example that early growth (AGR) is everything, while someone else prefers the Commerce monster England.

    Some players might also come to the conclusion that any Civ with the seafaring trait will have an advantage on archipelago maps.


    So why not review the strengths and weaknesses of different civs, why the need to put them in a ranking?

    You would then have to do:
    Archipelago, Pangea, Continents, Random (4)
    Warmonger Approach, Builder, Allround, ...? (3-4)
    Climate warm, cold, normal (3)
    Map rocky, flat, normal (3)

    We can even throw in the usefulness for beginners and make a second set of tables for higher level players, and I will tell you that I stopped right now in counting how many "Best Civ for X,Y,Z" rankings that would be.
     
  16. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,763
    ... and a multiplayer ranking table for the various options should of course be included, too.
     
  17. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    3,778
    Location:
    Illinois
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/archive/index.php/t-67724.html

    is a semi-interesting Maya game, as per DocT's request. We certainly didn't have an uber-start. Grasslands, primarily, with plains and hills. Had to stretch to get iron and horses. Demi-god level. Ended in cavalry age.

    Perhaps the Mayans aren't the most focused, but if you're going to only allow the most focused civs, you have to be extremely clear what you're focusing on. If I want to win space race the fastest, that will have different tiers than winning space race by the largest margin which will have different tiers depending on the map I require, etc. etc. etc. If you focus in on one thing, you have to do 50 million reviews and rankings. Doesn't help much.

    If you want to play a general game and have some options on winning (what most of the people do, right? The vast majority of players, even on CFC, are regent-level and struggling at it some), then civs that tend to do well across the board will do well. If you hyper-focus, things change. If you hyper-focus on space and culture, yeah, Mayans are probably second-tier and Greeks might deserve that first-tier spot. But if you don't hyper-focus on a narrow area, things like QUITE different.

    Still no comment about giving arbitrary points for 20K and 100K victories and no others? Or about what led you to those particular civs for those victories?

    Arathorn
     
  18. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,032
    Location:
    Köln, Cologne, Colonia. Finally.
    Longasc:
    Let's see...if we set MP aside, we'll only need 144 reviews :crazyeye:; but you forgot arid/normal/wet! So we'll end with 432.

    "Hm, not sure if Byzantium or Spain is better for Archipelago/Cold/Flat/Arid/20k, but at least, we can agree on the Dutch ruling Archipelago/Cold/Flat/Wet/20k..."

    Sorry, couldn't resist ;).

    Arathorn:
    1) I can't see any Civs being candidates for Diplo. Space (=Builder), Conquest, Expansion is already considered in the synergy section. The reason the cultural victories are introduced as an extra category is that culture is no real value for itself, only when you go for those 2 victory conditions (ok, lower flip risk). Would you prefer "Trait Synergy points" for Culture?
    2) The ToA...is that really agreed on? Sure, you'll get a huge culture boost while it works; but you cannot build Temples at that time, nor will it even work for long unless you avoid Education. ToA rocks for Domination, but IMHO not for 100k. And if the ToA isn't considered, I really thought Babylon, Egypt, Celts are commonly considered the top Civs for 100k, so I admittedly didn't put much work in that.
    3) 20k: I did already explain why I made my choices (post #32). And I did that in T-Hawks thread as well.
     
  19. Justus II

    Justus II General Staff

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2001
    Messages:
    1,572
    Location:
    Peoria, IL, USA
    Interesting Mayan Game
    (Admittedly a highly variant game, but it was interesting!)

    I want to chime in here, I'd hope to develop some well-thought out recommendations to the weighting of the various factors, but that requires more time than I have had this week. :( Especially since my ideal system would have a common list of factors (with +0,+1,+2 for each, maybe +3 for AGR ;) but then weight the factors differently depending on the victory goal/map/difficulty settings. I would also certainly like a set of ratings based on how the AI handles each civ. I think with a decent spreadsheet, it could be possible.

    But until I have the time for all that, a few things from DocT’s points jump out at me. First, I tend to agree with Arathorn, AGR should certainly be rated higher than it currently is, it is far and away the best trait, and growth can benefit (or compensate for) just about any style. Talk about synergy, every trait benefits from more citizens/more cities/more workers. Second, I also think you are over-emphasizing Commerce. I agree it’s one of the top traits, but it gets too much credit in the rankings, IMHO. First, it’s listed as having Synergy with nearly every combination (except REL), for an automatic +2. Sure, the reduced corruption and added trade helps most of the other traits, but so does added growth. It just seems to much of a generalization to pair COM with so many other traits. I see definite synergy with SCI, where the added trade is multiplied by cheaper libraries, etc, and maybe SEA, since all the coastal cities can generate serious cash. But the other pairings (to me) are nice-to-have, but don’t really multiply each other. Why do COM and MIL benefit one another, other than the standard corruption reduction of all COM civs? Same with COM/EXP? Related to this is the bonus for Alphabet. I agree with the Philo gambit, Alpha is the best starting tech to have, but giving a bonus for Alpha on top of the high ratings for COM and SEA (which are the traits that get Alpha) is basically double-weighting.

    I would also remove the points for MP, as that would be an entirely separate rating, IMHO. One final point (getting back to the poor, maligned Mayans) is UU synergy. I actually think the JT is a perfect example of UU synergy. With C3C, IND workers are 1.5 times as good as a ‘normal’ worker. Add in the free slaves (whether from barbs or early war) and you have a good old-fashioned PTW-type 2.0 speed worker pair, that still only costs one upkeep, and can irrigate those deserts in 2 turns! :) Take Arathorn’s comments about paying 120g for a foreign worker (which is still such a good deal, RBC limits worker buys). If each JT only enslaved one worker, that’s 120g in value, the same cost it would be to cash-rush the 30 shields to build the JT. And I’ve found they are great MP/city defenders even into the early MA, backing up a pike as a second defender with defensive bombard. GO JAVS! ;)
     
  20. Jopedamus I

    Jopedamus I Immortality is reality

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Menzoberranzan
    Arathorn :king:
    Finally someone thinks same way than me!! :goodjob:
    As I said at the very beginning, this evaluation system didn't work at all.
    Doc, you must know it, right? Don't be so stubborn! ;)
    Oh, and notice that my post account grows slowly but surely... :rolleyes:
     

Share This Page