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Sullla's AI Survivor Season Eight - Game 1 Thread

Was it Dom by Hamster? Church 2nd?

ah..nvm...I see Cow's post above

ha..i probably got 0 points
At least Koobleye didn't win...that is a lot of folks
Hammurabi should be one point behind Boudica, Shaka, Willem, and one ahead of Asoka. Churchill tied with Saladin, two points behind Zara, a point ahead of Shaka and company, and probably more likely to make something of the playoff round again.
Yeah, I don't love his start there. Not enough food compared to this game's dream start and back in the middle! I guess he could pull high peace weight neighbors, but I'm not sure what his edge would be against Mansa and Darius, for instance :undecide:

Meanwhile, Churchill starts with double gold in another corner... Playoff Game Three
Imagine if Mongols attacked Hammy instead of English at the start. Such a different game. Just kept hammering away at a brick wall getting nowhere.Even with a free city.

Keshik are not immune to first strike so Churchill would of been better defending against them. 2 first strikes on archers/longbows. Then the phants. Plus the hill. Even with the withdrawl chance it was probably not good. Sometimes you just skip a city and pick an easier target. AI just doesn't do this much.

My first assessment of Mao dying first was right. Mongols just got unlucky and just picked all the wrong techs at start. We knew Hammy had a great start but we all ruled out due to peace waiting. Double corn and agriculture on T1.Such a huge bonus.

Didn't pan out way anyone expected really. Apart from English second.
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I definitely figured Hammurabi had a decent 5-15% chance of victory based on a great start and his performance last season with hostile neighbors. He exceeded my expectations enormously in terms of taking on the world, but I do think this could turn out to be an exceptional game due to the Kublai's lost settler, and Mao's liberation of Shanghai what with sleeping on an early military edge.

I discounted Mao as a first-to-die pick. I figured Kublai could get tied up in a forever war with one of his Protective neighbors, and that Boudica, Hammurabi, or Peter would be overrun early on. Did not expect the stalemates to result in a late first-to-die. What did people see in Mao's position to draw that conclusion?
What an opener! Some post-game thoughts on the overall dynamics of the map and what I'd expect to see from the alternate histories:

  • I definitely underestimated how strong of a start Hammurabi would get out to - I knew his capital was good, but I didn't realize it was THAT good! I think my reasoning for putting him FTD was sound (the dogpile indeed happened more than once), but he got off to a strong enough start (and had the dogpile delayed enough) that it didn't matter.
  • A while back I ran an Alternate Histories set on a Season 1 game where Isabella has a very strong central starting location, and ended up either dying or winning by Domination in every replay. I think we might see something similar from Hammurabi on this map, good odds both to win and to die first. I don't know exactly how often he'll pull out in front though; this was a pretty favorable situation for him all things considered. It will be interesting to find out.
  • I should have never doubted Churchill... for second place. Silly me for putting him as the winner instead! This felt like a pretty typical game from him. I imagine most alternate games will either see him come in second to Hammurabi, or else eliminated by a combination of warmongers in games where Hammurabi dies.
  • Peter also definitely outperformed expectations, and since he has the only coastal start I imagine that it will be pretty common for him to land those water wonders and do a good economic job that way. I expect he will perform quite well in games when Hammurabi dies, and poorly in the other games.
  • Kublai is the leader I'm probably most curious to see the AH results for, since I really have no idea how typical his performance here was. On the one hand, he got out to a terrible opening that crippled him - but on the other, it seems like a lot of that was from mistakes that he could avoid in alternate games. So that might suggest a good performance, but we never saw the fallout of a potential Mao-Kublai conflict, and I'm still confident that will happen in some games. We shall see. As for the actual game, Kublai is probably one of my least favorite leaders in this game (definitely more lucky than good IMO), so seeing him properly go down for once was pretty cathartic.
  • Boudica will probably be the most irrelevant leader in the AHs. This game made me realize how much losing the free starting techs cripples her and I don't think this map offers her the avenue to make up for her weak openings.
  • Finally, I expect Mao will also perform poorly in the AHs. That culture avoidance was no fluke, it's well-established as a habit of his, and coupled with his cramped start I think it will sink him in game after game. I feel very vindicated in doubting him as much as I did.
I knew Hamster had the potential to surprise us after last season's opener, but HOLY TOLEDO what did I just watch? If he survives the play-offs I'm gonna lose it.

Kicking myself for doubting our boy Churchtroll's ability to backdoor second. Peter, you were so close to sniping Hamster's capital, you broke my heart. :sad: At least you weren't bland this time.

Kublai, I didn't expect anything beyond being the least bad of a bland lot, and he still managed to screw it up. Go sit in the corner and think about what you've done.

Huh? Oh yeah, Mao was in this game too.
Biggest missed chance for Peter was the peace treaty after he had finally broken through vs Boudica in their first war. The conduct of the war was also terrible. He did have the superior forces needed for a clean invasion but mismanaged them badly.
Just got around to watching it today - what a ride! Great that the game was in balance for so long, and that strong play was rewarded.

Can’t believe Hammurabi has won 2 opening round matches in a row, although he deserved this one a lot more than last year’s.

Shanghai flipping was a ‘wow’ moment; various peace treaties were ‘doh’ moments, the AI really seems to struggle to know when it’s ahead!

Anyway thoroughly enjoyable - bring on game 2!
Biggest missed chance for Peter was the peace treaty after he had finally broken through vs Boudica in their first war. The conduct of the war was also terrible. He did have the superior forces needed for a clean invasion but mismanaged them badly.
Some of the leaders are clearly better at warring than others. It seems to be about having the right balance of build unit prob (more units in a stack is usually better), unit type build preference (collateral is good because it means they aren't stuck with one catapult) and attack bravery (needs to be high enough so they take the initiative if they have the advantage in a siege before the unit gets stuffed full of defenders but not so high that they throw all their units away like Shaka) plus DOW chance and the power difference that they will DOW at (again needs to be a good balance between seizing initiative and getting involved in wars versus likelihood of war success).
Peter left some units in his staging cities, particularly his elephants. He also had 4 units sitting in a forest 2 tiles east of the target city doing nothing. I don't think any of the AI switches impact that kind of behaviour. Just deficiencies of the AI warring algorithm. If Peter had brought those 7-8 units total with his stack the border city would have fallen easily and quickly.
So this is fun. For years, one of the regular entrants in the picking contest has been a set of picks made using random.org. In the past that's been managed by a Reaoms Beyond regular; I took over this season since he can't devote enough attention.

For Game 1, outside of the silly "Test" pick, random.org was literally the ONLY entrant to predict that Hammurabi would win by Domination. :crazyeye:
I made a dedicated thread like last year if anyone wants to talk about the alternate histories.

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