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SirPleb's Diplo Race

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Hall of Fame Discussion' started by SirPleb, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Nanaimo BC Canada
    A Chieftain level game with a Diplomatic victory at 210AD

    Links to related threads:
    DaveMcW's fast space victory which set the pattern for this type of game.
    Sandman's Diplo Fastest Finish
    Ronald's Diplo Race

    Getting Started

    Map settings: Russia, Chieftain difficulty, Standard size, Pangaea with 60% water, Sedentary barbarians, Wet/Warm/5Byears, Least Aggressive rivals.

    I selected seven scientific opponents: Persia, Ottomans, Korea, Sumeria, Germany, Byzantines, Greece. All of the scientific Civs are in the game except Babylon - she's the excluded one so that Ceremonial Burial is not known by anyone at the start.

    I used Moonsinger's MapFinder utility to produce candidate maps. I selected for maps which had a river and at least two cattle visible.

    Looking for the perfect start, I played the first few turns on each map fairly quickly. If there was no obvious reason to move (e.g. settler on cattle or not on river) I settled at the start. I began by irrigating cattle, producing a scout, and researching Ceremonial Burial at maximum.

    A perfect start would have more bonus tiles nearby, would have a fair bit of river (commerce bonus and no aqueducts are both important), would quickly pop a settler or a well-positioned village from a hut, and would get a SGL (Scientific Great Leader) early in the game to rush Pyramids.

    I didn't have a hard and fast rule for rejecting maps. If I popped a settler or village very early (first turn or two) then I'd play longer even if the surroundings weren't perfect. If I found lots of bonus tiles I'd play a bit longer even if I didn't get a settler/village immediately. Most maps were rejected quickly. If I didn't get a settler within 3 or 4 turns and the start region didn't have a lot more going for it than the two starting cattle, that was it, I'd abandon the map.

    The map I played out looked like this after settling Moscow:



    I moved the scout to the south mountain to use up a turn. (A settler can't be popped on the first turn.) On the second turn the scout popped a settler and he moved one step:



    This wasn't the best of starts because the food bonuses were a bit weak. (Starts with four cattle visible at the second turn are not terribly uncommon.) But with the very early settler it seemed worth playing out to the discovery of Ceremonial Burial.

    At 3600 I learned Ceremonial Burial and got a scientific leader. The start region still wasn't looking great - no additional bonuses yet. But it had lots of rivers and the fast second town plus the SGL made this one well worth continuing.

    My next research was Mysticism. I'd met Greece and traded for Alphabet, so Writing was a candidate. But Mysticism is 1/2 the price to research and it is good odds that Writing can be popped faster than researching it.

    My scouts started popping every hut they encountered (vs. bypassing ones close to home) to try for Masonry ASAP so that the leader could rush Pyramids.

    In 3100BC I learned Mysticism and got a second SGL!



    The start region still didn't look awesome (no additional cattle, just one luxury visible so far) but I no longer cared. With two early SGLs this was the start I'd play out.

    I had five scouts and two workers at this date.

    Ancient Times

    At 3100BC I had learned CB and Mysticism, traded for Alphabet, and popped Warrior Code, The Wheel, Horseback Riding, and Masonry. I didn't have Writing yet. I set research to Iron Working at zero to block that from being popped.

    In 2900BC I popped Writing and began researching Philosophy. Still had just three towns but I was up to seven scouts (all I'd produce) and four workers.

    In 2510BC I learned Philosophy. I'd popped Code Of Laws already, took Republic as the free tech, and revolted inter-turn drawing a four turn anarchy.

    While in anarchy I settled a coastal town and used my second SGL to rush Colossus there. This took care of 1/2 the requirement for triggering a Golden Age and would give a research boost in that town.

    In 2390BC I was in Republic. I had 5 towns, 7 scouts, and 6 workers. I used the bit of gold I'd stashed to rush one library:



    At this point I'd popped all remaining Ancient techs except Construction and Monarchy. I set research to Monarchy at zero to block it. I had one concern at this point - I'd met just four rivals so far. If I entered the Middle Ages there was a fair chance I wouldn't get all three starting techs.

    Three of my scouts waited beside huts as the other four continued exploring. At 2310BC I'd met two more Civs and decided to go for it. I popped the huts, got Construction, and entered the Middle Ages.

    Middle Ages

    Inter-turn 3 of my rivals got Engineering, 2 got Feudalism, 1 got Monotheism. Using Republic I traded for all three. My free tech was Invention.

    From this point on I used deficit spending for a long time, running at 100% on the research+luxury sliders. At Chieftain level there's no penalty for running a deficit. To stay within the HOF rules I didn't make any gpt deals with the AIs. Not that they had anything to offer me :lol:

    The challenge at this point was to increase research capacity as quickly as possible. To some extent I think this kind of game (the headlong science rush) self-balances at this stage. The sooner one reaches the Middle Ages, the lower one's research capacity at that date. So the first tech or two takes longer to learn and that loses some of the speed gained in Ancient Times. To complicate things further I had no luxuries at all in the home region. The nearest luxury was the incense far west of home. I couldn't spare the resources to connect it for quite a while yet. I had to use the luxury slider a bit and had to limit the size of my towns. At the start of the Middle Ages in 2310BC my projected time to learn Theology was 19 turns.

    Triggering a Golden Age was a priority. During a Golden Age I'd get a boost to my research speed and I'd be able to hustle production of libraries and universities. I had a build of Mausoleum Of Mausollos on the go to trigger the GA.

    It took 14 turns to learn Theology, 10 more to learn Education, then 7 to learn Gunpowder. During this time I continued expanding of course - three of my core towns had +5 food/turn and they kept churning out settlers and workers. I got my first luxury connected in 1700BC and my second in 1375BC. I sacrificed some core development (a team of three workers and a settler) for each but they were well worth it.

    In 1275BC I completed Mausoleum of Mausollos and began a Golden Age. My world looked like this:



    I got Astronomy in 6 turns and that was the last slow research. Banking, Chemistry, Physics, ToG, Magnetism, and Metallurgy took four turns each to finish the Middle Ages at 610BC.

    QSC Status

    At 1000BC I was learning Chemistry and had:

    25 cities, 90 population
    19 workers
    Pyramids, Colossus, Mausoleum of Mausollos
    12 libraries, 3 universities, 2 harbors, 2 aqueducts

    Industrial Age

    I gifted my rivals forward inter-turn. Two got Steam Power, two got Nationalism, and three got Medicine. I traded for all three, starting by leveraging Republic which was still unknown to Byzantines. And my free tech was a lucky one - Electricity!

    At this point if everything went perfectly I could finish in 40 turns. But four turn research was going to be a problem - I wasn't up to the much higher cost of Industrial Age techs yet.

    I had a Forbidden Palace by this time. I wanted four more wonders: Copernicus', Newton's, Theory Of Evolution, and the UN. I had Newton's and Copernicus' each about 1/2 built. The other two could wait until I got factories with coal plants - I started a prebuild for one of the factories.

    At this point I had a big "oops" moment - I didn't have iron! In every game I can remember I've had iron by this time so I just hadn't given it any thought till now. Coal was available and just needed a road. But iron? The nearest source was in Greece. I switched a number of builds to Longbowmen in the cities nearest that border. Six turns later I had 7 Longbowmen ready and invaded Greece. Even that few turned out to be overkill. The Greek capital was defended by just two Hoplites. I took it easily, then settled near it to grab iron (and ivory while I was at it) quickly without needing border expansion. Nine turns after entering the Industrial Age I was finally able to start railroading. I had 49 workers at that point and railroading went quickly, soon resulting in three production powerhouse cities to build ToE and the UN. (I set up two cities to prebuild separately timed UNs to allow for the unlikely but possible event that I didn't learn Fission immediately on entering Modern Times.)

    Taking that one city from Greece was the only warfare in the game.

    At the start of the Industrial Age Industrialization was projected to be a six turn research. I ended up getting it in five, and when I learned it I got another SGL. I used this one to rush Newton's in my Colossus city, to leverage its income. (At size 12 it ended up producing 156 beakers/turn after corruption!)

    And after Industrialization I was able to maintain a four turn research pace the rest of the way. It was a constant struggle with population growth, new roads, and new city improvements just barely increasing income enough to handle each tech. A couple of times I temporarily reassigned many citizens in outlying towns to scientists to squeak through a tech in four turns.

    And that was it, nothing else of interest to report. At the dawn of Modern Times in 210AD two rivals got Fission inter-turn. I was able to easily trade for all four Modern Times start techs since I didn't need to pay a monopoly price to get started. (And after winning I saw that I'd gotten Space Flight as my free tech.)

    Lots of gifts, ROPs, and a few military alliances assured that most rivals would vote for me. I flipped the prebuild to complete UN, called the vote, and won easily in 210AD with a Firaxis score of 2185.

    Amusingly, at the end of the game the AIs were so far behind that most had not even met each other! Four of them knew only one Civ other than me. Two knew two other Civs, one knew four. The AIs ranged in size from three to six cities at this date. My world map at the end:



    A Faster Finish?

    I am sure that a faster Diplomatic finish is possible. I'm not sure by how much. I think that on a perfect map it might be possible to finish eleven or more turns earlier with a BC date. But how much effort is required to find such a perfect map? I don't know.

    To improve on this date I think what would be needed is:
    o Equally good luck with an early settler/village, with one early SGL, and with the free techs at each new era.
    o At the same time as that luck, a great start position with lots of cattle and rivers and a couple of luxuries in the region.
    o Reasonable to good hut luck. I don't think great luck is needed here, just a lack of bad luck. I could have entered the Middle Ages a bit sooner with better hut luck. But I'm not sure it would have made much difference. I did have a lot of huts left over - popped about fifteen more after entering the Middle Ages while exploring the rest of the map.

    I think the rest is reasonably predictable given the above factors. Some luck is important in meeting enough rivals quickly enough. But that's for knowing them on entering the Middle Ages, not for trading with them. I only got one Ancient tech via trade. Getting more SGLs after the first one will of course help. But I think they aren't as a big a factor as having good land.

    I'm mulling over whether I'll take another run soon. I'm going to keep running MapFinder to save up some maps. I'm also starting to think about a fast Sid Diplomatic strategy...
     
  2. Sandman2003

    Sandman2003 Chieftain

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    Great game as I said in my thread.

    For a faster finish, I am wondering if a drier start would help. True you want lots of rivers by the start, but all those jungles and marshes from a wet start slow down your scouts for contacts and hut popping, and slow connection of vital resources.

    Good luck on your sid strategy!
     
  3. Smirk

    Smirk Chieftain

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    Sounds like an excellent game.


    I noticed the same balancing effect when going to early MA, and I tried to deal with it by halting growth at what I felt were enough cities.

    Anyway, rough estimate it looks like you have about 40 cities do you think you needed that much growth to sustain 4 turn. I'm assuming specialist research is not harmed by corruption? If thats the case then many useless cities with specialists can take the place of some of the slower to create city infrastructure.
     
  4. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    Köln, Cologne, Colonia. Finally.
    A fine game, and most important, thanks for this most elaborate sharing of ideas, strategies, and the idea behind.

    Should be interesting to compare if Byzantines (coastal bonus, faster contacts) or Sumaria (faster growth) could compete with EXP Russia. You will surely need longer to enter MAs, but should be able to research faster here.
     
  5. Mistfit

    Mistfit Chieftain

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    Wow! wonderful game and write-up.

    I notice the almost complete lack of military units. Aprox. How many did you build thoughout the game?

    Am I correct in saying that at the QSC period you had 0?
     
  6. Dianthus

    Dianthus Small but hardy

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    It wouldn't surprise me. How long since you played a Chieftain game Mistfit? I'll bet you'll be surprised how easy it is, and how much better you are now than when you first joined this site :).
     
  7. Bartleby

    Bartleby Remembers laughter

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    Thanks for the write-up, SirPleb. And indeed, credit where it's due to DaveMcW, Sandman and Ronald. It never ceases to amaze me what is possible in this game...for those with the skill :D
     
  8. EMan

    EMan HOFer: Milk-Cow?

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    Nice game and write-up, SirPleb! :goodjob:

    A few questions:

    1. Are you using something like ScreenShotAssistant to save screenshots in the early game......on the off-chance that this is THE game?

    2. Are you setting Ms MS' MapFinder to ONE Fresh Water, thereby accepting maps with lakes and/or rivers? (Or perhaps setting the FW to 2, in order to reject those pesky 1-tile-lake-NO-river start positions?)

    3. I notice in one of your screenshots a build for Courthouse. Was this for-real or a pre-build? :)

    Look forward to seeing you in Sid-Level action! :goodjob:
     
  9. Moonsinger

    Moonsinger Settler Retired Moderator

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    Very good game, indeed! :goodjob: Very nice write-up! It's going to be really tough to get a faster finish.
     
  10. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    At the end my best 25 cities were producing virtually all of the science. That many cities is probably enough. Specialist research is unharmed by corruption, it is always 3 beakers/turn. I used specialists in outlying cities to squeeze research down to four turns a couple of times and it works just as you describe. I'm not sure though whether I might have had more research capacity by leaving the citizens used to create settlers for the outlying cities at home and thus building infrastructure a bit faster. Hard to say.

    They might be competitive, I wonder! They both have another advantage over Russia - they can easily trigger a Golden Age at any desired time without a big shield investment. The big question I think is whether they can pop huts and make contacts quickly enough.

    Yup, I had none at 1000BC. A while after that (I didn't note the date) I built a couple of warriors because an AI had a warrior exploring in my area. I don't think the AI would have attacked even a completely undefended town it happened to move beside but I didn't want to chance it - I moved a warrior to towns which might be too tempting. Later when I had spare production capacity I built one cheap unit to fortify in each border town. And I also did some production shifting, building units in towns which had finished all of their improvements and disbanding those units elsewhere to boost production. The game ended before I'd done much of this and I don't think it was necessary.

    No, I just keep save files while playing the game. When I write about it I then go back to pick the screenshots I want and any figures (unit counts etc.) which seem of interest.

    I don't save anything until a map starts looking good. I first saved this game after getting an SGL. I still didn't start any notes. After getting the second SGL I started making brief entries in a log and saving at the end of just about every turn from then on. To get the first two screenshots in this thread I restarted from the 4000BC save.

    :blush: I'm running an older version of MapFinder. I guess I should upgrade. Anyway, the version I'm running is before the recognition of fresh water was added so I just get starts with rivers.

    For-real. Early on I built courthouses in cities which had a lot of corruption but weren't totally corrupt. Later in the game I even built courthouses in most of my core cities. Not something I usually do but in this game I wanted every bit of science I could get. After core cities had built everything else they needed (library, university, marketplace) I had them build courthouses to squeeze a bit more science.
     
  11. bed_head7

    bed_head7 Chieftain

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    I am curious why you went with markets before courts when playing on Cheiftan. You can do negative research, and I was assuming that you did. You also don't seem to have many nearby luxes. In fact, I can only find one luxury, a lone incense, though I could be missing others. So why markets?
     
  12. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Even though I run this joint I don't dare presume to speak for SirPleb, but I would like to point out that proper 4-turn research is superior to negative-gpt. If n-gpt were capable of better results than a well executed map, I never would have allowed it.
     
  13. bed_head7

    bed_head7 Chieftain

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    That is certainly true. Courthouses provide benefits to commerce as well as production, while marketplaces provide a great deal of benefit to only commerce that goes to taxes. Even on a level above Chieftan, it might become better to build courts before markets outside of the core. At least I would think.
     
  14. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    You're right that the marketplaces were no use for income, I was doing negative income research for most of the game. But luxuries were very important. At Chieftain four citizens are content, after that they're unhappy. Without a marketplace a size 12 city would need eight luxuries to allow all the citizens to work without using the luxury slider. Eight luxuries would have been very hard to get. And I did not want to use the luxury slider of course, I wanted 100% science. With a marketplace five luxuries would be enough. Five I could get. I didn't get the fifth one connected until 550BC at which date my minimap looked like this:



    The yellow circle is on my incense town. The red is a town which squeezed in a fur connection between Greece and Persia. The three greens are towns which claim three more luxuries. At this date I was finally able to have productive core cities larger than size 10 as long as they had marketplaces.
     
  15. bed_head7

    bed_head7 Chieftain

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    I figured it was for happiness purposes, but from the maps you showed markets would do no good. Although I think I can see the top of a wines in one of the screenshots, now that I look more carefully. The only other reason I could think of was late MA and late IA when the techs can be researched in 4 with a surplus, at which time you may be able to rush improvements, but that definitely isn't a reason to build a marketplace before a court so I knew that you wouldn't have done that.
     
  16. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    I tested some Byzantine starts, and I think they really have a chance. My best game so far was crippled by getting Chivalry and Ironclads, as well as one Civ on a really remote island in on odd corner of the map (but still, I could get all mandatory MA/IA techs). The difference I noticed is that I could research every MA/IA tech in 4 turns at 90% science or less (triggering the GA with Newton's to help with the early IA techs); and thus , Markets where very useful - since you could accumulate cash to rush stuff.
    And, you can get a Settler and some techs with a non-EXP Civ easily. The Curraghs are helpful to locate Civs; for the most time, you cannot make contact, but you spot the borders, and know where to send your Warriors.
     
  17. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    I've been trying some Sumeria starts. I think they also have a chance. The tough part is popping huts quickly enough. I'm finding that an early settler can be popped on a reasonable number of maps. I have MapFinder selecting 1 cow + 1 hut starts as well as 2 cow starts. Where a hut is available three worker turns can be wasted to pop it and that gets a settler on a reasonable percentage of maps.
     
  18. Ronald

    Ronald Chieftain

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    It was very interesting reading your story. Congratulations to the fastest time. :goodjob: :goodjob:

    The main difference I could find between our two games was, that you expanded faster to have more cities early on where I grew my core and built improvements and expanded slower:

    My QSC:
    13 cities, 59 population
    1 marketplace, 3 temples, 10 libraries, 6 universities, 1 cathedral
    20 workers
    1 scout
    pyramids, mausoleum, copernicus
    I am in my GA (triggered my bilding mausoleum and copernicus) and one turn away from discovering Physics

    Your QSC:

    At 1000BC I was learning Chemistry and had:

    25 cities, 90 population
    19 workers
    Pyramids, Colossus, Mausoleum of Mausollos
    12 libraries, 3 universities, 2 harbors, 2 aqueducts

    We both had maps with little luxuries. It took you some time to connect iron, it took me some time to connect coal.

    You entered the middle ages in 2310 BC, 9 turns earlier than me (1950 BC)
    We entered the industrial age at the exact same date in 610 BC. So initially my concentration on the core gave me a better science output, but in the long run your larger empire provided more research.
    I did go to sanitation (which was a blunder, it costed me two turns, I replayed it without sanitation. Instead of adding all the workers into Moscow I added them to the first and second tier cities to have all at twelve), you wisely did not.

    If I have some time, I will give it another try. :D

    Ronald
     
  19. Smirk

    Smirk Chieftain

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    What neither of you really discussed but was evident from the replays was the ton of leaders present. ;)

    I quit an attempt the other day once I compared it to your two timelines, and while developmentally I was in the middle of those two (QSC time) I only had pyramids having only got one leader up to that point. Although I was really lucky with huts and entered MA around 2500BC. (I would park scouts near huts and await a finished research so I could select the cheapest. At any rate the first time I did this I got 3 out of 4 techs and the second I got 2 out of 3 techs.)

    I think I need to stay in despot longer and pop rush some, wonder if either of you did much of this? I found I couldn't get research down enough, and not being in GA may be the difference (no colossus or MoM).


    @Ronald, why the temples and cathedrals? Just for content faces and with nothing else to build? I would think this would hurt research capacity longterm, or I guess not if you were running negative the whole time.
     
  20. Ronald

    Ronald Chieftain

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    The main problem with my map was, that I only had access to one luxury. It was a major effort to connect luxury 2 to 4. With one luxury I could not have the science slider at 100%. Therefore I built temples in my core cities (the cathedral was an accident. I started to prebuild copernicus in moscow and got an SGL, so I switched the prebuild to cathedral and then rushed copernicus).
    In hindsight it would have been better to build more cities instead.

    Ronald
     

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