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Sullla's AI Survivor Season Eight - Game 1 Thread


Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!)
Hall of Fame Staff
Mar 11, 2008
Sullla's AI Survivor Season 8 begins Friday, May 31st on Sullla's Twitch Channel at noon EST.

Finally, after about a year's wait for a new season of AI Survivor, we will soon be treated to another clash to the death between Civ IV AI leaders. Sullla's AI Survivor has become increasingly popular over the years, expanding into friendly side competitions like fantasy and casino. For the first matchup on May 31st, it appears we have a fairly solid group of leaders, though not one truly dominant.


Watch the preview here, read up on the game here, and join in the fun by making your predictions here. And a hearty welcome to all to discuss the game in this thread and follow along for what will hopefully continue to be a dynamic and entertaining season!

And if one contest just isn't enough, check out the friendly casino thread presented by @Fippy (AKA My)!
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By popular demand, the Game 1 thread is up. :D

Next week I plan to post an announcement article for the game on the CFC Home Page and do that every week.
Kublai is probably the safe bet.

Mao's positioning between two Agg leaders could go either way. Low peace weight means he can befriend them and ride their coattails to silver or wildcard like usual, but he if angers them for some dumb reason, (this is still the AI we're talking about) he's out.

Boudica's game likely depends on her sharing a border with Hammurabi to give her the opportunity for military expansion.

Churchill is always hard to read; either he sits in the corner or he goes out and does some trolling.

As the only wonder spammer, Hammurabi's survival (or not) will be down to how quickly Boudica and Kublai get their hands on him and on what Churchtroll does.

Oh, yeah, Peter's in the game too.
I feel like Kublai 1st/ Churchill 2nd is a pretty safe bet. Boudica is certain to found a religion and go off on a couple crusades and I think her and Peter are the possible upsets/wild cards. Mao and Hammurabi are likely non starters.
Agreed, Churchill has a good opportunity to backdoor silver or wildcard being up in his own corner.
Yeah tough one to call for sure! I would say all starts are decent, no one can have too many complaints!

I think I’m going to back Churchill - partly as I don’t like backing the favourite. Also, I worry that Kublai will ignore mining for ages despite his gold.

It’ll be interesting to see who picks up the second early religion.
I never learn from past mistakes and I can't really see how Churchill won with that similar diplomatic situation in season 6 game 6. Peaceweight diplomacy works so much in the old final map by commodore but not so much in random shaped pangeas or other organic map scripts probably because of not having so much borders with others. Maybe he repeats that here. But too late I voted for Kublai to win days ago.

Sometimes I wonder why they invented this peaceweight system instead of making the religion and adoption different civic a stronger factor in diplomacy. Leader with theocracy could have negative diplomacy points versus someone who adopted free religion etc.
I would guess because peace weights factor in from first contact to the final turn, whereas civics can take a while to get going (imagine Lincoln needing to reach Democracy to run Emancipation before he gets a negative diplo modifier with civs running Slavery - most people would likely be switching out around that time if they haven't done so already) and eventually the UN will force everyone into the fifth civics, completely removing that diplomacy aspect off the board.
Okay found the thread. :)

English always fail on the peace weight (6!!!!). That and inability to delcare at pleased.. If English do something silly and skip agriculture/mining that would be bad.

Hammy does have ivory but might he might trade it away too? Least he starts with agriculture. So double corn improved from start. Will he actually chop the forest away?

Russians are nicely tucked away here. Bad starting techs for the nearby resources. Can declare at pleased.Lots of forest not good.

Mongols creative and a lot of land to east and south to expand in. Lots of flood plains so could tech fast. No great food resources but he could farm the FP if he techs agriculture. Guaranteed iron and maybe horse later. Looking pretty strong and if he gets close enough could be a big issue for English. Can declare at pleased!

Celts will likely take the religion pill at start. Which is a problem with their starting techs. This could spread but maybe not quick enough to keep Mongols at peace? I worry for their start.

Gap between north and south AI is at least 12 tiles. I wouldn't want to be in middle of the map.
Chinese first to die trapped between 2 war mongers? Creative AI always good for warmongering.

I want the English to do well but you have to assume eventually Mongols will attack north or west. Likely west first?
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Spoiler Current voting (for those who want to look) :

I’m surprised how much of a favourite Kublai is!

Not that much of a shock that poll. Unless he gets dogpiled a firm favourite. Bet Russians are glad they are on other side of map.
Pasting my Poll Response:
Kublai's a solid lock for the gold.

My usual picks for silver/backdoor shenanigans (Mao and Churchill) are uncomfortably close to him, so I guess I'll pick Peter for second as he's up in the corner and is less likely to receive a surprise visit.

Hammurabi is a lock for FTD just by relative peaceweight.

Have to say though, love this gem someone else posted:
After Churchill is also done for, we could see a slower game with Mao still looking for Mysticism, Boudica still looking for roads, and Peter still looking for a personality.
I think the most interesting part of this map is the fact that Kublai and Mao's starting positions are a mere eight tiles apart. By Turn 11, there will be at most three tiles of unclaimed land between the two. Basically as soon as one of them settles that beautiful river valley that lies between them, there will be border tension racking up.

Since both are aggressive, both start somewhat far away from Churchill and Hammurabi (distance to capital is a part of the calculation for whom to declare war on), and both will declare at pleased, there's a very real chance that they go to war early on. Perhaps it's even the likely result. What I don't know, and will be most interested to find out, is what exactly that means for the rest of the match. If Kublai and Mao are stagnating each other then Hammur and especially Churchill suddenly have the potential to do something.

Kublai is the obvious favorite for this map as he has the most land and his overall situation is strong, the potential for a fight with Mao being the biggest issue. Even if he and Mao do stalemate for a while, it can tend to feel like a case of "well, who ELSE is going to actually win?" He is far from a lock but the easy choice if you want to make a safe bet.

The other low peaceweights have the advantage of numbers, but I'm not super fond of any of their starts. Mao is too cramped and simply won't get big enough; even the valley between him and Kublai doesn't hold much promise as he's unlikely to be able to hold it culturally. I think he has the worst odds of the map outside of maybe Hammurabi. Boudica's area is mediocre and she's the worst-positioned to benefit off of a dogpile of the high peaceweights, so it will be difficult for her to snowball much. I like Peter's position the best for gaining land from Hammurabi... but his land sucks.

Churchill and Hammur got the best starting land, but their positions don't have a lot of room either and the weight of numbers is against them. Hammur in particular has the highest peaceweight of the group and a central position; if he was Mansa or someone there'd be some chance of him racing out in front before getting dragged down, but it's Hammurabi. He'll be attacked too many times and won't be able to get anywhere. Churchill has more of a chance, out of the way as he is. If Hammur can live as a meatshield for long enough and/or Kublai can be distracted enough, he has a chance to build into a good position, but if Hammur falls quickly then Churchill will be next to go. And Churchill's more of a second-place kind of leader than one who's really likely to win the game - are even his chances that great?

My read is that the two most likely out comes are: a) Hammur and Churchill get dogpiled and Kublai wins off the strength of his start, or b) the low peaceweights stall enough that Churchill can get in front and lay some smackdown, in which case either he or Kublai (if they avoid fighting) wins. There's also some possibility of Boudy or Peter starting a snowball from the other side of the map but I think it's less likely. I'm going for the less likely option that I'd rather see, so my pick is Churchill to win by spaceship. I also picked Peter second and Hammurabi first to die, both of which I think are pretty conservative picks.
At first glance, this looked like sub-T300 domination for Kublai. Now, I'm thinking more along the lines of the border tension Eauxps brings up. To me, it looks likely Mao will settle the floodplains to the north, giving him early copper and border tension with Kublai. Of course, this could be a limited engagement where both turn to other targets the moment they sign peace. The other major issue is that the southern hemisphere has a total of one ivory, two gold, and one silver split between Mao and Kublai, suggesting potential happiness issues especially for the latter.

To the north, what is going on with Peter's start? He has seafood, nine forest tiles, and no tech synergy. Looks like he has 4 hills with awkward resource distribution for settling. I much prefer Hammurabi's start with a potential gold/pigs/copper first settle and an improved archer. I think Hammurabi could take Peter in an early war with no intervention. Naturally, that is one big condition! Even with weak starts, Peter and Boudica could still 2v1 Hammurabi with possible participation from Churchill (not to mention Mao and Kublai).

I suppose I am more open to Hammurabi surviving on this map given his performance in last season's opening round, where he managed to fend off Shaka with a worse albeit more sheltered start. That said, perhaps it is more straightforward for Churchill to benefit from a) Mao and Kublai's border tensions, and b) Hammurabi surviving.
Well I picked Mao 1st and KK 2nd so hopefully they can live together in peace and beat up the rest together.
FYI - Game 1 Announcement posted to the Main Page!
Nice! You ought to get a shout-out from Sulla for that.
Predictions have been posted on the website. Apparently Kublai's 80% share of the "who will win" vote is a bigger majority than was seen in ANY game last season! The sentiment among the Discord crew seems to be that this is significantly overrating him on this map.
Sulla has a discord?
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