Report from some games playing on Sid

SuedecivIII

Warlord
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
135
Hey all. I'm more of a multiplayer guy, but lately I've been interested in improving my single player game. My goal is to be able to sit down, choose favorable settings, roll a decent map, and play a game on Sid from start to finish with no reloads or exploits. I streamed a game last weekend, here's my report on my progress.

Settings: Large, arid, 70% continents. No barbs. Playing as Dutch, vs Civs that don't start with alpha.
You can see the game in question here.

New Strats:
-
Idk if this is common here, but do you guys do chain slaving? It's something I brought over recently from multiplayer. Let's say you want to slave a temple, but only have one shield in the box. That would require having 6 citizens, because the game won't allow you to slave more than half the population of your city. Instead, you can do it stages with only 4 citizens. First slave archer, switch to barracks, then slave again. This gives you 40 shields in the box, allowing you to switch to temple and slave that.
-This was probably a first for me. I deliberately emptied certain cities, in order to make arab boats path into my land. I then bought a tech off them in exchange for gpt, baited them into declaring war on me, and netted about 2200 gold due to cancelling my gpt payment to them.
-I'm realizing that it's not even worth trying to compete in culture ratio. The relevant AI will always be 5 to 1ing you, so I can potentially skip libraries and universities.

Tough moments:
-Being literally one turn away from the Great Library and losing it.
-I left one single tile open in my outpost wall off of the southern section of my empire. This let the arabs run over 3 cities, giving me war weariness for days. I also lost a city to a flip which was taken by the Zulu, which I could have avoided if the Arabs were dead by then.
-Chain slaving is good but I completely screwed myself by using foreign citizens to do it. I lost the city containing my only 2 sources of dyes, which broke my trade reputation, as I had been exporting the dyes. Between chain slaving, and outpost walls, I'm realizing I need to build more granaries post expansion phase to have an abundant supply of workers.

Things I'm improving at:
-I've heard for a while that on Sid, players don't tech, they just buy techs. That never made sense to me, but in this game it finally clicked. I think the size of the map (large) and land mass (continents) make the strategy more viable. But it just makes it so much easier to manipulate tech trades into n-fers this way. Otherwise you have to predict 25 turns in advance, "what tech will the AI not have?" With tech buying, if you notice a discrepancy, you can just buy that tech and sell it to other civs. And with the bigger map, discrepancies are more likely to exist.
-I'm getting better at diplomacy too. There was a long convoluted exchange at the end where my trade rep was broken and I wanted to raise Babylon to the industrial era in order to trade for his bonus tech. I had to get Babylon at war with the civ who I betrayed to even get him to consider taking my GPT.


Questions:
Is it cheaper to tech or buy? Like, all other things being equal, assuming no markets or libraries, and you're paying up front and not in gold per turn. If an AI wants 2000 gold for a tech, would it cost more or less than that to just tech it yourself?
 

jarred!

Prince
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
591
Location
Antrim, MI
Idk if this is common here, but do you guys do chain slaving? It's something I brought over recently from multiplayer. Let's say you want to slave a temple, but only have one shield in the box. That would require having 6 citizens, because the game won't allow you to slave more than half the population of your city. Instead, you can do it stages with only 4 citizens. First slave archer, switch to barracks, then slave again. This gives you 40 shields in the box, allowing you to switch to temple and slave that.
This is a common way to play 100k culture games to rush coliseums (and then the lower cost buildings. Feudalism is an awesome gov't for this strategy). But, I guess most SP players here use Republic so we're cash-rushing unless in a Despotism. And, while in a Despotism, I don't pop-rush as a strategy (maybe I have in a niche situation), preferring to use population as workers, settlers and laborers. My experience is on Emp/DG, culture flips are probably much more of a problem when the AI can easily build all culture buildings in most cities on SID.

It's maybe more common to do the opposite of this strategy: when a city makes e.g. 20spt, with some shields in the box, you can rush a 60s temple and complete an 80s cav next turn.

Questions:
Is it cheaper to tech or buy? Like, all other things being equal, assuming no markets or libraries, and you're paying up front and not in gold per turn. If an AI wants 2000 gold for a tech, would it cost more or less than that to just tech it yourself?
"Research Cost = [MM * [10*COST * (1 - N/[CL*1.75])]/(CF * 10)] - Research done so far

Research Cost and research done so far are in gold.
Square brackets indicate truncation /rounddown"

Here, alexman looked at how AI value what techs to research, maybe helping you choose a tech they wouldn't. I linked to a post where the calculation is described, but the info is in the OP.
 

SuedecivIII

Warlord
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
135
This is a common way to play 100k culture games to rush coliseums (and then the lower cost buildings. Feudalism is an awesome gov't for this strategy). But, I guess most SP players here use Republic so we're cash-rushing unless in a Despotism. And, while in a Despotism, I don't pop-rush as a strategy (maybe I have in a niche situation), preferring to use population as workers, settlers and laborers. My experience is on Emp/DG, culture flips are probably much more of a problem when the AI can easily build all culture buildings in most cities on SID.

It's maybe more common to do the opposite of this strategy: when a city makes e.g. 20spt, with some shields in the box, you can rush a 60s temple and complete an 80s cav next turn.

Glad to know it gets used! I did an earlier republic switch today, but I found it useful for shoring up the phase right after you're done expanding, before you build an army to attack.

Yup! Underrushing is a staple in multiplayer in scenarios that let you play gold rushing governments. Underrushing is also possible in poprushing governments, but between losing the population and the unhappiness, you're not likely to hit the convenient breakpoint you need (10 or 20 shields per turn or whatever).



"Research Cost = [MM * [10*COST * (1 - N/[CL*1.75])]/(CF * 10)] - Research done so far

Research Cost and research done so far are in gold.
Square brackets indicate truncation /rounddown"

Here, alexman looked at how AI value what techs to research, maybe helping you choose a tech they wouldn't. I linked to a post where the calculation is described, but the info is in the OP.

Very handy. So if I'm reading thing correctly, research done towards a tech is discounted at a flat 1 beaker = 1 gold rate. So the two are effectively interchangeable. So if you're teching something, and end up having to buy it, it's basically a wash, nothing lost nothing gained.

But I'd have to do a bunch of math to answer my initial question, about whether it's cheaper to buy or to tech it yourself, in general. But I suspect the answer is, if everyone else has the tech, it's cheaper to buy. If some people don't, it might not be cheaper, but you can farm money from it at least.
 

GrandPhilosopher

Chieftain
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Messages
13
If you research yourself, you build markets, libraries, universities, and/or research labs.

If you don't research, you build markets, banks, and/or stock exchanges.

It's less shields to build markets, banks, and/or stock exchanges, at least for a while, and especially if not scientific.

Consequently, it's less expensive to buy than research.

However, one can sell tech for gpt, or lump sums of gold, especially on Sid. Thus, there exists a bigger profit margin by researching tech yourself, at least when you can get monopoly technologies.

Another strategy lies in taking out loans from the AIs. The gpt for gold rate depends on the aggression level. At minimum aggression, gold is the cheapest (and probably technology too), costing 1 gpt from you, for 14 gold of the AIs.
 

SuedecivIII

Warlord
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
135
Pictures of my empire so far from today's game.

Interesting point @GrandPhilosopher. Do you know, if aggressive AI generally considered to by favourable for the human player? Or is lower aggression AI preferred on Sid?
 

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GrandPhilosopher

Chieftain
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Messages
13
Or is lower aggression AI preferred on Sid?
So, for the record, I'm Spoonwood (my account had some issue with the change, and I can't make posts with it). Lowest aggression is preferred for HoF Sid games. As for non-public Sid games among Sid veterans, that's more difficult to say.
 

justanick

Emperor
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
1,324
Location
Germany
Questions:
Is it cheaper to tech or buy? Like, all other things being equal, assuming no markets or libraries, and you're paying up front and not in gold per turn. If an AI wants 2000 gold for a tech, would it cost more or less than that to just tech it yourself?
Well, it depends. The beakers needed to research a tech are well known. It is something you can count on. If only one AI has the tech, then you might end up paying more gold then for research. If several AIs have it, then it becomes cheaper and this effect might be stronger then the discount on research, thus it might be cheaper. A disadvatage in buying is of course that in addition to spending the money your are also giving it to AI.

I did a game without spending a single beaker on research once. That can work out. But in the end my conclusion is that maybe most of the time research is preferable, if only to buy the tech when you are 1 turn a way from researching it.

If we compare stealing a tech vs. researching it the favour may change. At Sid stealing a tech with spies can give you a substancial discount, even if we account of the costs of failed attempts. If however we also account for the diplomatic costs of such failed attempts the picture may change again.

Edit: Stealing tech tends to become economically in the industrial age, before then research is still too cheap.
 
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SuedecivIII

Warlord
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
135
Thanks @justanick for the direct answer. I'll keep that mind, it validates my decision to buy in situations where I'm even or at parity with about half the civs, and behind the other half. I'll also keep espionage in mind as an option. Honestly I probably should have used that as a hail Mary in my last failed attempt.
 

Dahrug

Chieftain
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
1
Hey Suede, your stream has inspired me on trying my first Sid game outside Archipelagos! I would have been completely out of the game without the great library, but got lucky to get it even without a great pre build, managed to get things under control and just got to the Industrial Era with techs parity. Fairly enough, I did a few reloads, had some previous knowledge of the map, and I'm playing as Iroquois against bad civs. I also put the AI with minimal agression, which seems to be helping.

I completely agree that teching is impossible, it's amazing how fast the AI goes, I have no idea how I would have done it without TGL. But there's some trick I like to do with it: after getting theology, I usually start teching Printing Press, and it almost always works to get monopoly on it, which usually helps getting Astronomy or Gunpowder/Chemistry, it worked here on Sid as well.

As for the cost comparison between buying and researching, I sometimes do some quick testing by checking the price the AI is charging, and comparing with how many beakers I produce x the turns needed to research. After the AI loses monopoly, they get similar costs, but I'm not sure now which is higher, I'll check again later. We also have to keep in mind that when we buy, this gold doesn't disappear, we are giving it to the AI, so I try not to buy much from the leading civ. This gold will probably end up with the leader anyway, as the other civs will be buying techs from them, but that's still ok, I try to keep other civs teching well as it gives us more diplomacy option and cheaper techs. I still think it's way safer to rely on gold instead of teching, as it's much more flexible and it gives you the option to switch from buying to stealing, also, we're already building marketplaces anyway for happiness, while libraries are easier to skip.

If one civ starts pulling way ahead, the only realistic way to catch up is by stealing techs, just embrace that you will fail a lot, be in constant war, steal everything and sell to the others so you can continue stealing.

On the teching/buying debate, something that I do sometimes on deity is buying techs on the Middle Ages and switch to teching on the Industrial Era. Teching is only really useful if you can get some monopolies, and this is the moment that you know the AI will waste time researching nationalism/fascism/communism, so it's the only moment in which you can be sure to get a monopoly. By selling some techs and guaranteeing the Theory of Evolution, it may be enough to pull ahead, as once you start this going you get really rich by selling to the AI.

Good luck on your game!
 
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justanick

Emperor
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
1,324
Location
Germany

This may be useful for reference. On a standard map at Sid researching corporation(COST=100) will cost 6000 beakers without discount and goes down by up to 7/14 to 3000 beakers.

If dist=20, level=3, base=10, techs=50, techrate=240, then Steal Technology will cost 20*3+10*50*240/100=1260 gold.

Chances of success are 32% for an embassy, 48% for a regular spy and 60% for a veteran spy. At 48% chance stealing barely makes it cost wise. Not counting in the cost for the spy itself and the diplomaticc fallout it is 1260/0.48=2625 gold you would need to spend which is slightly less than research would cost. If however you steal against a monopoly, then it clearly is the better choice in terms of gold.
 
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