Sullla's AI Survivor Season Seven - Game 6 Thread

Jul 3, 2021
Sullla's AI Survivor Season Seven continues Friday, May 19th on Twitch at noon EDT, 5pm BST.

You can catch Game 5 on Twitch and YouTube.

Game 6 is at a glance more straightforward than most games thus far. Julius Caesar, Saladin, and Willem form a neutral core, with warmongers Brennus, Mehmed, and Tokugawa on the periphery, and, oh, the lone high peace-weight leader on the map, Darius, tucked into a distant corner. The other notable dynamics include Rome truly in the middle with four symmetrically opposed neighbors and that vast eastern region between the Celts and Persia.

Game Six roster.png

Watch the preview here, read up on the game here, and make 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 CFC's own odds offered by @Fippy!
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Given the starts I can't wait for Willem to reach Satellites and globally broadcast his regret at not teching rifles while Japanese guns proceed to wipe out his civilization :lol:.
Japan has that honey badger start.
Only thing stopping me from picking Caesar.
Will Caesar pull a Joao only with Praetorians?

Will Brennus leave Darius alone to fight Saladin?
Saladin looks like the weakest civ this map surrounded by most danger.

Instincts are whispering Mehmed.

Then I'm back to the Dutch and Rome situation and pondering Darius left alone to tech.

Maybe Darius really will be left alone to tech if Celts and Arabs found dueling religions.

Financial and double gold and immortals right out of the box.

How many barb cities can they capture?
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Worried a bit about Mehmed possibly getting boxed in a bit with some bad land, but I really want to pick him. Willie's start looks quite nice - mined marble should not be underrated early for deity AI production. Things could get a bit tight though. Willie does have a bit of a dark streak although his tech preferences often hurt him. Darius has nice stuff going on too, but still think he is going to have some issues with his neighbors. JC could have middle of the map issues - not picking him whatsoever.
Worried a bit about Mehmed possibly getting boxed in a bit with some bad land, but I really want to pick him.
Just pick him as runner up then, I am guessing he has the left alone all game Churchill potential here. He is likely to pass over Arabia and help Saladin to stop Brennus. Religion brothers.

Anyway, I am having this Season 3 Game 6 vibes here. And damn a bit too much of that unfair game map.

Instead of Zara and Pericles, there will be Willem for Julius to punch through. But he might just get disturbed by Japan that cause him to lose his economy. Unless JC does not end up as first to die then I really don't expect Tokugawa to win at all.
Mehmed might dogpile Rome too depending on religion, but I really suspect that happen, if expectedly religions found by Saladin and Brennus.

I don't think Willem can stand a 1v1 JC early game. And sometimes Willem is quite aggressive and might attack Darius too. He definitely dies in any 2v1 here. Nevertheless he is the best leader here. Just not the best start.

Darius has the best start. And if you test that S3 Game 6 map autoplays, Elizabeth has like %90 win rate .Too bad the game does not have alternate histories made back then. And it might be the case where Darius completes half of the wonders alone and techs far away. Only danger is eventually if some other civs eat others and get too big and finally focus him at the end. If first to die will be post 200 turn just like last game then that pretty much gives him the victory.

If Brennus AI does not end up diplomaticaly outcast then he could have a really good chance to win as well. It's hard to guess here. It seems worse AIs have better corner starts this game.
Decent odds Willem throws the game in one of two ways: ignoring Rifling or pursuing culture.

Will Brennus leave Darius alone to fight Saladin?
No, I would rate Brennus and Darius at low coexistence potential :)

Just pick him as runner up then, I am guessing he has the left alone all game Churchill potential here.
Agreed. He is just far enough away to be both protected and largely out of the running for first.

I don't think Willem can stand a 1v1 JC early game. And sometimes Willem is quite aggressive and might attack Darius too. He definitely dies in any 2v1 here. Nevertheless he is the best leader here. Just not the best start.
The three neutrals are so close, any configuration of early wars is possible, especially when you consider that anyone other than Tokugawa is likely to found a religion--would be interesting to see what your tests yielded on that question. I think Willem has a bit of an edge in an early war with Julius Caesar, as he has metals and a good chance of settling the vast eastern expanse, and Caesar is just that much more in the middle.
Will be insanely hard for me to not pick Darius with that start, and so much space.
I don't like JC easy targets close, could get into conflict with Mehmed & Toku easily.
Might be worth picking him still if the contest wouldn't be ~50% JC but they will be, so.. ;)
Spoiler screenshots :


WinnerRunner upFirst to dieVictory TypeDate

In defence of Mehmed,he often sticks to end and then gets outteched a bit and destoryed at the end losing many runner up places in this particular test. Anyway this is all invalid for your competition map.

1)Willem 24
2)Saladin 20
3)Julius 10
4)Brennus 9
5)Darius 5
6)Tokugawa 2
7)Mehmed 0
especially when you consider that anyone other than Tokugawa is likely to found a religion--would be interesting to see what your tests yielded on that question.
Ok I checked first 3 religions here

Game numberMeditation BudhismPolytheism HinduismMonotheism Judaism

Game 1-1931 ADWillem (Amsterdam)Saladin (Mecce)Willem (Utrecht)
Game 2-1949 ADWillem (Amsterdam)Mehmed (Istanbul)Saladin (Baghdad)
Game 3-1953 ADSaladin (Mecce)Brennus (Bibracte)Willem (Utrecht)
Game 4-1956 ADWillem (Amsterdam)Saladin (Mecce)Saladin (Medine)
Game 5-1960 ADSaladin (Mecce)Brennus (Bibracte)Darius (Susa)
Game 6-1973 ADSaladin (Mecce)Darius (Persepolis)Julius (Cumae)
Game 7-1979 ADWillem (Amsterdam)Saladin (Mecce)Brennus (Bibracte)
Game 8-1980 ADWillem (Amsterdam)Saladin (Mecce)Mehmed (Ankara)
Game 9-1988 AD (Darius win)Brennus (Bibracte)Darius (Persepolis)Darius (Pasargadea)
Game 10-1988 AD (Willem win)Brennus (Bibracte)Saladin (Mecce)Mehmed (Konya)

I will leave the counting for you. I never knew willem with no mysticism would go for religions this badly.


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Thanks for the test results! So roughly 50/50 on religions between Saladin/Brennus and others. I had a feeling Saladin could do rather well, but that seems less likely on the game map.
I think this game's easier to read than last week...

Spoiler :

Let's start with the easy stuff: Tokugawa.
Boy, did he get shafted. His land sucks, and with his capital 3 tiles from the coast, half of what little there is will be left unexploited.
Conflict with JC seems inevitable, and if it's 1v1, he'll lose and may end up FTD.
But even if he gets help and JC bites the dust, he won't have broken out yet: it will be the same situation again, with whomever helped him dismantling JC as his new, stronger gaoler...
Bottomline: the hole he has to get out of is so deep that while most other AIs here play for the win, he's playing for an invitation to the wildcard game.

Things don't seem much better for his neighbour, Julius Caesar.
No Copper, so no early build-up, leaving him very vulnerable to an early, deadly, 1v2 situation. I can very well see an early attack by Willem (who will have early Copper units), combined with a backstab by Toku, leading to an early elimination. Or JC attacking Saladin, backstabbed by Toku, piled on by Mehmed. Etc.
Even if he escapes an early elimination, he'll need to conquer Japan before anything else, and I doubt it'll be a fast conquest. When he's done, he'll be in a decent position... for a second place finish.
A win seems out of reach here.

I believe all five remaining leaders have a shot, though.
Saladin's seems by far the longest shot. And while him winning wouldn't be a shocker, I think it's very unlikely.
For the simple reason he should die in most games, and be the first to do so in quite a few of them.
He's very likely to found one of the first religions, with the other one going to Brennus. If it doesn't go to Brennus, it'll go to Mehmed or Willem. And Willem could also go for an early Monotheism.
So Saladin will have border tension with 4 other AIs (Mehmed, JC, Willem, Brennus), with a quasi certainty that some of them are going to be on the other side of the religious divide: he's dogpile meat.
Now, if he gets lucky with the religious situation and survives the early game, he's a decent leader who could go all the way. No second place finish for him: he'll win (unlikely) or die (very likely).

Now, his neighbour, Brennus, is a different story.
First look at the map: his land may not be the highest quality, but there's lots of it! Then two expansion opportunities (Saladin, dog-pile bait, and Darius the Disappointing) to really get rolling.
He looks like the previous' game Kublai... but he shares Boudica's main drawback from that game: he's very likely to found an early religion... and remain its only follower.
So he'll do well early (no real threat of an early elimination I believe), but thing might get a tad more complicated after that.
I can very well see him attacking Darius after Saladin's elimination, and suffer a deadly backstab by one of former war allies.
Conflict with Darius seems indeed unavoidable, and there lies his path to victory or to defeat: Darius will not be a pushover in this game.
By the way, if he does end up winning... while Domination seems the obvious choice, I bet he will induce much facepalming by going for Culture.
He can't plot at Pleased, which won't be an issue initially (religious conflict with Saladin, peaceweight difference with Darius), but may very well block him from further expansion in the later game. Plus, he'll have the early Holy Cities, and will get most of later ones through conquering the early tech leaders (Darius, possibly Willem).
So he could also get into a dominant position, and get beaten by a space launch while he's going for a late Culture win.
FTD chance: low, Win chance: better than average, Second place finish chance: average

Speaking of Darius...
I bet that as the only high peaceweight leader in this game, with a warmongerer as a neighbour, and a rather lacklustre record, he's going to be a heavy favourite for FTD. Well, I don't see that happening here.
He might get into war with both Willem and Brennus, but each of them has looming threats on their other flank, so lots of opportunities to get out of the 1v2 situation. And with the land at his disposal, I don't see him collapsing to an early 1v1.
He'll fight Brennus, and one of them isn't going to make it to the end. Which one... is hard to say. Darius will have the early advantage, then be at a disadvantge while he's skipping Rifling and building infrastructure, then, if it's still a draw, get the upper hand again (better tech, better production one AL is reached).
But most likely, that conflict will be decided by who decides to join in, and on which side. Darius, with his peaceweight, seems likely to get the wrong straw here, but the religious situation might make thing more even than they look. Mehmed seems to me likely to often be the deciding actor (and factor) there.
Obviously, if he wins that conflict and survives, him winning by spaceship would then become a very real possibility... with another caveat though: Willem. Games where Darius does well are likely to be games where Willem does well too, and he guards that flank. But then, which comes first: Darius' spaceship, or Willem's culture?
Win chance: better than average, Second place finish:average.

Mehmed is the opposite of Brennus, and not just geographically.
While Brennus is bound to face early conflict, which he can then use to snowball, Mehmed's only early conflict will be with the barbarians. Sullla's said he had a backline at his disposal... but where's the food? Only barbs are going to settle that barren wasteland.
I suspect Mehmed will have a slow, sheltered start. Then he'll have to breakout. With "cannot plot at Pleased"... that'll probably mean an across-the-map attack (Darius: peaceweight, Brennus: religion). But with his crazy unit-build emphasis, if one AI can make that work, that's him.
(Then again, he could get lucky with JC for instance following a different religion, and get a closer to home expansion opportunity.)
So a Mehmed win would probably start with a late medieval/renaissance conquest at the other side of the world, for a late snowball that would se him to the stars. As for Brennus, and for same "Cannot Plot at Pleased" reason, he'll look like he's headed for Domination, but will probably get thwarted and have to settle for space instead.
Owing to a late blooming, there's also a decent chance he'll finish second behind an earlier bloomer.
Win chance: slightly better than average, Second place finish: better than avergae

Last, Willem.
I'd say he has the best chance here, but not by much, and fraught with danger.
With his early Copper, I can see him going to war early, against JC or Saladin most likely. He'll be a tech leader, along with Darius. The both of them working together (at least not killing one another), would almost ensure that they share the top spots, but conflict at some point is pretty likely. Probably not a decisive conflict, but one that dangerously weakens them both.
Conflict with Caesar seems unavoidable, and that would usually spell doom for the Dutch leader, but with a caged Toku behind Caesar's back, I actually rather fancy Willem's chances here. Then with Saladin to the north, that's a second expansion opportunity. Willem doesn't need a lot of land to be competitive, and he could very well grab a lot here.
If he does, Willem winning by culture would be almost certain.
But it's not a slam-dunk by any measure.
For starter, he could fail to expand: Willem usually gets a few settlers very early, but then gets into wonder-building mode. He could end up severely boxed-in, with very little available land.
I can also see him running afoul of a stronger leader (Brennus for instance) at the time of danger for Dutch: when they're skipping Rifling to chase after all the "first-to" bonuses in that part of the tree, when their opponent, with 1/3rd the beakers, beelines Rifling...
Win chance:better than average, Second place finish: average to low

Winner : Willem (30%)/Darius(20-25%)/Brennus(20-25%)/Mehmed(20-25%)
Second Place: Anyone but Toku/Saladin, really. Highest chance to come through would probably be a Willem/Darius ticket, safest bet Mehmed (as him coming second is compatible with any other winner, while a Darius/Brennus ticket is highly improbable at best).
FTD: Saladin > JC > Tokugawa
Victory condition: That one's easy. Domination. See, I'm fairly certain that it will not be Domination. It's going to be culture (Willem, Brennus), or Space (Darius, Mehmed). And I've been wrong every single time this season. So Domination seems a fair bet. :lol:

...but even more unpredictable! :lol:
With the way this season has been going it's hard to remember what an easy to predict game is even like :rolleyes:. That said my read is that Willem is going to pull the most Willem of all Willem moves, out-Willem himself one might say, and somehow manage to turn what should be an all but guaranteed victory into a spectacular disappointment. The only question is which leader will either slingshot Willem's land into a victory or get crazy enough ideas RE: Culture (the holy cities poison pill ;)) to hand the win over to someone else.
Willem's starting city has good land, but that is mostly it. On average, Julius's land is better (and, with Horses and Iron). Darius's start is the best, definitely, plus he starts with Hunting (Horse, Pig) and Agriculture (Corn), and he has a lot of room for cities (together with Brennus) - but Darius has a higher peace weight, which might make him sit quietly while others eclipse him (Willem wins a peaceful victory against Darius, and if this is not a peaceful game - which it won't be - then Darius can sit back all he wants while Mehmed or Julius take a Domination win). He might get lucky if Brennus declares war against him but then loses said war, giving Darius the opportunity to take more land, but that seems unlikely.

Brennus drowns in food, which as Zara taught us isn't really handy for Deity AIs (they need production). Brennus does have a lot of room for cities though - but presumably Saladin (who is in the middle of the map), and maybe Mehmed or Willem, will end up with different religions and this will prevent Brennus from winning.

Saladin's land is trash (desert, jungle, sea), but he might befriend Julius or Mehmed through religion. Which will spell his defeat, because if these three are allied through religion, Julius wins. Saladin might also outright die to Brennus.

Mehmed also has a food-heavy start. He's a very solid AI, and without looking at the map I would choose him to win, but he's caught between tundra and jungle, and lacks production to fully utilise his military skills. Although I predict him to expand faster than Tokugawa and thus get a decent slice of land anyway, and the quantity of land can make up for quality in that sense. Probably goes off to attack Brennus at some point because of religious differences.

Tokugawa is off in the corner trapped between tundra, desert, and ocean. He will either die to Julius or to whomever replaces Julius (if in a 2v1 scenario - if, say, Mehmed and Tokugawa team up against Julius, that makes Mehmed a superpower, and Tokugawa won't profit much from it or even die to Mehmed later on).

So Julius wins, unless he throws away his early game. But if all civilisations are allowed to grow normally without committing suicide by futile wars (a way too big if, I know), Julius rolls over Willem eventually (what is a rifle?), Julius finishes off Tokugawa at some point (maybe it takes a bit longer with Protective, but the outcome won't be in doubt), Julius befriends Saladin and/or Mehmed through religion, or Julius kills Saladin - maybe there will be a nice showdown between Julius and Mehmed?

Julius, and religion, are the deciding factors of this game. Which means that the runner-up will be Darius (highest chance of keeping up in tech and remaining at peace, beating back Brennus who proceeds to die later on because of religion), Brennus (too large a chance that religion will make Saladin and/or Willem hostile), or Willem (a likely target for Julius - but Willem could survive that if it is in the Axemen-but-no-Praetorians-era!). Mehmed and/or Saladin might survive, but wouldn't be second in this scenario.

Julius wins Domination at 1950 AD, Darius comes second, Tokugawa is first to die. Death to the plains cow!
I had no idea that these games were being discussed at CivFanatics until someone mentioned it on my Discord. I'm glad that there's so much interest in these silly AI games! I hope that all of you are doing better than me this year in the picking contest. :lol:
If you really pick Tocowgawa i will give out another bravery medal :popcorn:
I really picked Tokugawa. You don't need to give me a medal for it, though. I didn't enlist for the accolades; I enlisted for the cows.

I had no idea that these games were being discussed at CivFanatics until someone mentioned it on my Discord. I'm glad that there's so much interest in these silly AI games! I hope that all of you are doing better than me this year in the picking contest. :lol:
Yep! We've had a prep thread for the season as a warmup and a new thread for every game that's been played. Fippy is also running a betting ring locally on the outcomes.

In regards to the last comment:
Those selecting winners/2nd/FTD purely based on plains-cow starts/tiles are scoring higher than Sullla in the picking contest.

....let's GOOOOO, Toku-cow-wa!
Thanks for hosting these. They're a real blast! I look forward to them every Friday. I even make a special meal and chill out to watch.
I think Darius being a Fin leader with 2 Gold mines will tech insanely fast. Given how much land there is on the East of the map, solid chance Brennus doesn't come knocking till he has Longbows. I got Darius winning Spaceship here. Julius could snowball or he might not. Attacking anyone other than Willem could be a mistake and he's surrounded by dangerous AI's.
I put my prediction. I said
Darius space turn 330
Mehmed second
Saladin first to die
12 wars

Turns out %50 picked JC to win and %30 picked Darius to win. Willem has %10 somewhat. I think Brennus is under estimated with that huge back side land and might surprise us. Or gets stuck in 2v1. Lets see.
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