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Sullla's AI Survivor Season Eight - Game 2 Thread

Jul 3, 2021
Sullla's AI Survivor Season 8 continues Friday, June 7th on Sullla's Twitch Channel at noon EST.

AI Survivor is back and off to a great start! For the second round on June 7th, only Justinian and Gilgamesh attracted above average fantasy bids. This will be the debut game for Eauxps and Henrik, who will be fielding Tokugawa and Bismarck respectively.

Game Two Roster.png

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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At first glance, I think I like Gilgs' start the best though Genghis probably has the best start cap on the map. Wang's start is terrible but I'm sure he will find some way of trolling the game. Cathy's start looks destined to fail. Justy is always strong but the overall setup does not look great for him here.

Genghis always finds a way to mess up his chances, but I could see him as a dark horse if he gets out to a strong start.
That northwestern corner is very interesting and I have no idea what will happen there. Genghis has the strongest start and most space of the three leaders, but most of it is jungle and is he really going to take the time to improve it?

Gilgamesh has to be the odds-on favorite for this map. He has both a generous amount of starting land (especially with those peaks making a natural border with Mongolia) and the best access to profit off of potential dogpiles of Bis/Wang.

We shouldn't count Bis out either after last game. He doesn't have an uber capital but he does have some very nice land around his capital. All he really needs to have a chance is for Toku and Justin to start fighting.

On the other hand, I don't think Wang has enough land space or quality to really make anything from this game; with seven AIs even a second place backdoor is unlikely.

Toku is my fantasy guy on this map mainly because he should be able to profit nicely if Bis gets dogpiled. Quantity over quality might allow him to beat Justin as well if he goes that direction. Now, there's a very real chance that he simply falls behind, with no econ traits and pretty poor land, but I think the potential is there. We'll see just how lucky I got to pick him up!
Gilgamesh has to be the odds-on favorite for this map. He has both a generous amount of starting land (especially with those peaks making a natural border with Mongolia) and the best access to profit off of potential dogpiles of Bis/Wang.
I agree with this sentiment. One reason I liked his start the best was the position and what appears to be some extra land down there that he will most certainly settle. He is always a strong leader. It'd be cool to see Genghis win a domination.
Agreed, Gilgamesh has a good start, breathing room, metals, and a natural target. Wang Kon's start is likely to be unimproved for a while, but at least he'll have some production in the opening turns! What reasonably would counterbalance Gilgamesh? Perhaps if Genghis Khan goes wild, or expands to the south, or somehow Justinian consolidates the north, or Bismarck settles the continent...

I don't mind Catherine's start, especially after Peter's coastal performance, but she would seem to have equal odds of being overrun or participating in a dogpile against Justinian, for instance. It seems plausible that Justinian would pick up copper with a holy city to the southwest or southeast, but I am hesitant to say more than that given Mao's missed opportunity.

Genghis Khan's start is interesting. While the double ivory should keep him afloat, the metals look like potentially awkward settles, so it's unclear when he'll begin plotting. And what is his path to victory anyway, snowballing over the cramped northern leaders?

I am least enthusiastic about Tokugawa and Wang Kon's starts. The latter, though, could found a religion that Gilgamesh adopts through conquest at the expense of the northern leaders.
It seems plausible that Justinian would pick up copper with a holy city to the southwest or southeast, but I am hesitant to say more than that given Mao's missed opportunity.

While I'm not looking at the map right now and not commenting on the specific scenario you're thinking of - it's worth keeping in mind that Mao's whole problem was not researching Mysticism for 70 turns, while Justinian starts the game with it.
I didn't like any of the starting positions particularly. Most of them are heavily forested which the AI doesn't handle well.
Genghis has the most explosive capital by far imo, he doesn't need those forest tiles much early.
But if he goes into the jungle for his 2nd city that could already be game over for him..
Hannibal never recovered from that , okay it was very extreme but Genghis also won't have any early :health: (needs agri first for at least corn).
Anyone's guess, might as well go with my gut:

Spoiler :

I have no idea what to make of this field. Game one's was blander than a pile-up of white bread trucks. This one is something of a rogue's gallery, save for poor Bizzy.

1: Giggles
2: Tokugawa
FTD: Bismarck
Wars: 12
Victory: Space
Turns: 350

I don't like Justinian's start at all. No copper in the immediate area, and he's sandwiched between Cathy and Toku. Feels bad for a former contender to be railroaded like this. But Hamster have proved in the last two opening games to never say never.

Giggles can be inconsistent, but I like his start. He has some good sites besides his capital, and plenty of space to himself. He's disappointed me before, but this is such an unpredictable field that I kinda just have to go with my gut.

Bizzy, poor Bizzy. Troll Kon might not attack you immediately, but that's because it'd be too predictable. Toku is less inclined to be merciful. Even if they ignore you, the best you can hope for is sitting in the corner while the other kids actually have fun.

Cathy will be up to her usual tricks. I expect her to aggressively settle in Justinian's face and make life difficult for him. How well she does in her own right will likely hinge on her interactions with Genghis.

Speaking of the big lug, Genghis doesn't have an immediately obvious target, like Bismarck, so the outcome on the game could depend on if he attacks Cathy or Giggles.

Tokugawa will likely sit in his corner doing Toku things, until he gets into a border scrape with Justinian or decides kicking Bizzy acround would be fun.

Last not least, we have the man, the myth, the legend himself, Wang Kon. The third member of our resident trio of trolls with Churchtroll and Mao Zetroll, Troll Kon is the wildcard of this game. He can make life difficult for Giggles, he can kick Bizzy while he's down, or he can attack somebody across the map. Oh what fun!

I would be shocked if Justi isn't the clear picking contest favorite again ;)
Giggles was the favorite last I checked. Probably due to the breathing room he has vs. Justinian.
Wang is a hopeless AI and with a bad start I would say that he has pretty high odds of getting dogpiled constantly like Hammy and being FTD. The one thing which might prevent him being FTD is that he is a bit tucked away in the corner and a bit of a way from Genghis.

Genghis is one of the biggest unit spammers in the game and is very prone to having an awful economy and being an era behind in tech. His only chance of a win is by getting a very early snowball going but I think it is unlikely. Might be a good 2nd place candidate though.

Gilgamesh is a very overrated leader I think. He doesn't have a killer instinct and doesn't get involved in enough wars whilst also not being amazing ecomically. He sometimes does a weird late switch to a cultural victory attempt in the industrial era when it would be quicker for him to try for space or domination. His land isn't amazing but he might get the peninsula and more cities is usually not a bad thing for the AI.

Toku is just Toku. Not enough killer instinct, economy will be middling but in the running for a 2nd place.

Catherine is one of the big players. She either throws it away like last year or rolls over the map but she won't be passive in any case. Expands very quickly early on and blocks off a lot of land with culture which can be a good thing although also creates early border tension.

Justinian I think is a competent leader although maybe not quite as good as his seeding suggests. Better than Gilgamesh though. Problem for him is that it is quite luck-based which wars he ends up getting involved with because he can't declare at pleased. He also sometimes peaces out of wars when he is winning which is dumb.

Bismarck is a stronger leader that most people think. He economy is usually decent and he builds a solid army. His problem is that he is too passive though and does not declare wars very often even when he has a high power rating which can lead to one of the other leaders taking over the map.
Game 2 announcement is now posted on the Main Page

I've made my prediction earlier than normal, as follows:

1st Place: Genghis Khan
2nd Place: Toku
FTD: Cathy
15 wars

I'm banking on GK getting off to a fast start, but not too fast as My mentioned ;), making enough early gains to roll to a Domination Victory. Toku survives in second place by virtue of being Toku.
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I think Wang Kon has the worst start of the season easily. Maybe his capital isn't the absolute worst (although it certainly isn't good) but look at the surrounding land - just empty desert for miles. He has no good future city spots at all. He has no shot no matter how well he plays and how lucky he gets and at some point gilgamesh and/or toku will mop him up every single game. Those two are going to be the ones running the map and most games are going to come down to epic late game clashes between them.
To echo the Wang Kon sentiments: terrible start, terrible leader. My main concern here is how long it will take to grow the capital. Until he researches hunting or animal husbandry, there is no chance for a tile with more than 2:food:! I hope he opens with hunting, as that at least will give him four improvable tiles as a start. And then a wait until bronze working to improve the rest of the capital.

The most likely first settle would appear to be the deer and sheep to the northwest. This would pretty much ensure conflict with Gilgamesh, all the more if it became a holy city. There are more distant settles for the rice to the north and crabs to the north east, but both of those brush up against Bismarck.

A heavily forested capital, limited growth potential, one natural settle, two contested regional settles, and no natural allies--is Wang Kon going to earn any points in the Alternate Histories?

I see a couple possibilities: Genghis slams into Gilgamesh, and Bismarck focuses on the north. In the first case, Wang Kon could get some breathing room and even dogpile his neighbor. In the second, even if Bismarck simply settles to the north, Wang Kon could snap up the rice and crabs, securing a lot more (albeit subpar) land. If both of these situations develop, Wang Kon could easily settle more land and possibly even take some off his neighbors. If he makes it to T200, Wang Kon could be the tech leader with some resources to throw against this conflict-prone field.
The thing with Troll Kon, is that he's never in to win it, he just wants to see the world burn. And unless Giggles rolls over him early, he has ample opportunity to do so.
My official prediction is in. The safe bet is Gilgamesh, but where's the fun in predicting that? I'd rather hit the mark with an unexpected result, since I'm never going to keep up in the picking contest anyway!

Thus, my prediction is for Bismarck. I don't think his odds are as good as Hammurabi's, but if left alone for long enough (which seems pretty plausible - he's fairly isolated and Toku is closer to Justinian, who will be exerting more early cultural pressure on him) then he has some strong land. If he can avoid a dogpile (which, again, seems perfectly plausible on this map) then he can become a real power player and it's perfectly feasible for him to come out on top. I don't think it's the most likely outcome, but I don't think it would be a crazy result. I am specifically predicting a Domination finish as this path would eventually see him roll over Toku and Gilgamesh; I get the feeling that this map is pretty inclined towards that victory condition given the militaristic field.

With Bis as the winner, I settled on Justinian for second place. I like his odds the best in the northwestern corner, as Cathy is just too squeezed even with her traits and Genghis seems too likely to torpedo his game through overaggression (his capital is great, but all that jungle in the vicinity...) Plus Justin and Bis have very close peaceweight and would thus be natural allies; a joint conquest of Toku might be exactly what they need to snowball in front. My First to Die pick, though, is Cathy, who will be small and forced into conflict early. I don't like her odds for this map at all.
Last week someone's test prediction to sneak look on so far other people's prediction votes won the contest so why not :) Thinking does not help here.
I actually feel bad for picking Gigamesh/Toku myself too, but I made my predictions the first day of maps released before what anyone else said so I can't betray myself.
As for the game, Bismarck can be real surprise and so can Catherine. It really depends for a dogpile on Justinian happens or not.
Either Tokugawa gets cleaned between Justinian and Bismarck or Justinian gets cleaned between Genghis,Catherine and Tokugawa.
Gilgamesh is likely to be solo busy with Wang Kon.
What I really wonder is does the AI perform differently when human passes turns one by one vs letting AI autoplay. There has been so many outlier results that never repeated itself in alternative histories.
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