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Sullla's AI Survivor Season Seven - Wildcard Game Thread

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Jul 3, 2021
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The regular season may have concluded, but the Playoffs begin Friday, June 16th on Twitch at noon EDT, 5pm BST!

You can catch Game 8 on Twitch and YouTube.

What can I say...I haven't even had time to run tests on this game :lol: The peace weights have a whopping range of 0-4, so we could see anything from a record-breaking number of wars to an early Diplomatic vote, who knows? While we have three seeded leaders stranded here, Shaka is notably the one leader in this game who has a concrete shot at breaking into Pool 2 next season if he places first :mischief:

Wildcard Game 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, @Fippy is back with another round of picks for the Playoffs!
 
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I haven't made a map to run tests as well, I have this huge annoying central sea donut map I made almost a year ago and I am not sure if it worths to test at all. But I can try.

As for the wildcard game map, I really hate Shaka starting position a lot. I always hate amazon belt starting positions. No matter what, amazon belt starts happen to be low production no resources until calender tech starts.He is a first to die candidate to me.
Julius Caesar looks terrible. Another loser start. Peninsulas always lose. I just watched the preview video, Sulla says its not rigged. Lol duh?, like there is a %90 chance for a start to have iron anywayz. Pretorians don't win wars %100. His best luck is another first to die candidate Napoleon gets attacked from other side.

As for other six leaders, Huayna is always there, tech leader, culture leader. Likely to win if he avoids early 2v1 frontwars. Him,Saladin and Boudica. The starting religions matter there. HC and Boudica finding two religions might be a bigger threat for Inca. Saladin is a very good AI as well, but he is highest pw here. And both him and Huayna finding religions means his religion spread could be blocked by Incan empire, I guess. Unless someone attacks Inca there is not much chance for him to be something big.
Gilgamesh may not have a decent economy though to win. He will have tundra land. Barb problem? And Peter looks a little crampled too. Shaka to ruin his game? Tokugawa and Boudica have left alone less crowded potential runner up starts, unless they snowball and win the game. I really expect one of them to be second.

I will definitely pick HC or Saladin to win. Gilgamesh and Tokugawa has good chance too. I respect their pickers. Napoleon, Boudica and Peter, maybe they can. Boudica really dissapoints in tech speed and gold rates. Napoleon needs to take out JC on his own and snowball there.
I will probably pick Tokugawa for second place. The only thing I can't estimate here is raging barbarians spawn locations.
And I think Shaka ftd is more likely than JC or Napoleon. I will comment again when I am completely sure :)
 

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Shaka may depend greatly on where he settles his first city. If he moves SW toward Pete he should be ok, but still could end up bogged down in the jungle. Shaka should have little to no barb trouble. The two starts I like the least here are JC's and HC's. JC as his starting area does not suit him at all and I see him possibly getting really boxed in early (same for Peter too). HC for lack of food even with the crazy gold start. Ofc, he tends to do more with less.

I'm leaning toward a particular leader right now, although I worry he may take the brunt of barb rush and likely won't have better than archers for some time.

Gigs will likely have copper hooked up very early, which could potentially be bad. I see him being the first to rampage.
 
I like Sal's start the least :)
He will be swarmed by barbs (unless he rolls lucky and techs masonry fast, connects his stone and builds TGW).
If he goes reli first (usually does), what can he improve or build?
Sal's start is not great and...yep..he's one to likely have quite the barb problems. He does appear to have some land to settle.

Who do you think I'm favoring at the moment? :)

edIt: Only Boudi and Sal do not plot at Pleased. Sal and JC are the highest peaceweights here, which is not saying a whole lot. This game should be a bloodbath.
 
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Hmm..from your hints i'd guess Toku or Boudi ;)
Both have some good amount of land but are also in barb danger, with no copper really close.
Yep..Toku ;) I do worry about the barbs and no early metal, and maybe horses too. However, conversely, it should hopefully give him some time to build up and not do suicidal early wars.

You know, Boudi's start is not bad actually. Just not for commerce, but she has a few good cities nearby.
 
Yep..the Northern tundra and ice area really stood out to me first thing. It is quite large and deep. At least Toku has the protective thing going on. Lotsa pillaging to happen. The Antarctic is much smaller and Gilg's borders will help out a lot down there.
 
So I remember what I picked:

1st - Huayna Capac
2nd - Tokugawa
FTD - Shaka
Spaceship
Turn 334
18 Wars

I did a bit of testing on random maps/positions but tbh with 9 leaders and raging barbs it is just a lot of luck as to what happens. Most likely there will be a lot of trolling which should make entertaining viewing.
 
Given the way this season has gone so far I wouldn't be surprised if the most troll-prone map ended up overflowing into pure serenity...or as serene as a game with Raging Barbs can be, at any rate :mischief:.
 
great I think I will go the same.
HC winner
Toku second
Shaka ftd
Space
20 wars
344 turn :)

and spoiler time
Spoiler predcition percentage :

60 VOTES

HC % 70 to win
JC and Gilgamesh almost %10
Toku %7
Napoleon and Shaka has no pickers to win the game at all

 
Let's just hope the game itself isn't as predictable...or at least manages to reach the expected finish line in an entertaining way ;).
 
great I think I will go the same.
HC winner
Toku second
Shaka ftd
Space
20 wars
344 turn :)

and spoiler time
Spoiler predcition percentage :

60 VOTES

HC % 70 to win
JC and Gilgamesh almost %10
Toku %7
Napoleon and Shaka has no pickers to win the game at all

Copying me but just slightly different trying to try and pip me in the standings I see :p

To be honest that is a fair shout on the number of wars. Now I am thinking I should have gone for 19 or 20. My tests ranged from 15 wars to 26(!) wars so there was quite a lot of variance but the median was 17.

Turns are probably going to be around that ballpark. Thee barbs and more AIs tend to slow down the early game a bit. My tests ranged from 290 to 375 but that turn 290 game was very much an outlier, the others were all over 300. 333.5 was the median.

A few observations from my test:

- One of the early religions often spreads to a lot of the leaders quickly. Not uncommon to see 7 or 8 AIs with the same religion leaving a lone AI as an outcast and a 50+ gold shrine somewhere.

- Space is most likely victory condition. Cultural is only going to be HC really. Domination is hard (only 58% land required but that still requires a lot of warring as there are more AIs and more land). Diplomatic is possible but needs a lot of things to line up (had one game where Napoleon was slightly short of domination and friendly with the other leaders so looked like Boudica would grab a space win but then his mate Peter handed him a last-second diplo victory).

- The barbs can be an annoyance and there is probably a 25% chance or so of someone losing their capital or 2nd city super early and then probably a slightly greater chance of some 3rd cities or settlers getting captured. It is mostly dumb luck and dice rolls but if an AI loses an early city is is basically game over for them. The tundra is the worst for the barbs due to lack of AI scouting units fog busting. Had one funny game where HC won a cultural victory where his 3rd legendary city was Tokugawa's original 2nd city on the other side of the map which had been captured by the barbs early on and then captured by a random HC unit. HC also lost his original 3rd culture city in an earlier dumb war.

- Early wars are not always decisive as there is more potential for other leaders to jump in and for leaders to peaceout. Most leaders will be on both ends of a 2v1 or worse at some point during the game.

- The game is a lovefest due to all the similar peaceweights. Usually lots of pleased and friendly faces on the diplomacy screen. It doesn't stop the leaders warring as most of them will declare at pleased but can hurt Boudica a bit in the later stages if she is pleased with everyone as she will have no potential targets.

Huayna Capac - Is definitely the strongest leader in the field and won the most games as well as nearly winning a couple more which he threw away with dumb war declarations . Weaknesses are 1. Poor expansion due to wonder building and not being the best at dealing with the barbs 2. Picking the wrong religion 3. Declaring dumb wars when he is weaker and not sending enough units to take cities 4. Being a bit ineffective at warring like we saw in game 8 (doesn't bring enough siege, loses cities that he had just captured, wastes his stack on a well-defended city etc.) 5. Doesn't defend himself well enough and makes himself a bit of a target (tried to always-peace mode an early 9 city cultural victory in one game with Shaka as his neighbour which very nearly worked out, I think Shaka's capital being fully surrounded by Incan culture finally pushed Shaka over the edge :p).

Tokugawa - Never really a threat to win but very consistent at surviving to the late game and picked up the most 2nd place finishes. Doesn't declare many wars but fairly good at staying out of trouble and can expand and tech fairly well. Just never quite strong enough at the end of the game compared to whichever other leader had taken charge of affairs

Napoleon - Can be strong and get big. Had a win and a couple of 2nd places. Will be involved doing something. Early game is fairly critical for him as he needs to win some of the early wars decisively to stand a chance, otherwise he falls behind his tech. Fairly consistent at reaching the final selection of leaders.

Boudica - Similar to Napoleon but less effective. Gets involved in lots of wars which may or may not go well for her. Suffers from not being able to plot at pleased in a field which usually has lots of pleased and friendly relations.

Julius Caesar - A bit disappointing. Had one game where he roflstomped everyone with a 250+ unit stack to an early domination victory but in most games he just kind of petered out before eventually getting eliminated. Would expand well due to imperialistic, get involved in quite a few wars but more often than not they would stalemate before he would fall behind in tech due to a poor economy and eventually get kicked out in a dogpile against him. No 2nd place finishes which tells you he was never really there at the end of the game.

Salidin - Was going to say that he was another dud leader as he did not do much and and often got dogpiled leading to him being FTD twice but then he won the last two games by convincing space victories so who knows (the last one was definitely rigged by the map generator with a 5 grassland gems near to his start though :p). Being the wrong religion is probably his biggest weakness but he can be solid if he survives the early game.

Gilgamesh - Also disappointing. Too passive for his own good. Even if he expanded to a decent size he just wouldn't do very much and rarely declared his own wars. FTD a couple of times.

Shaka - Madlad, FTD a couple of times. Not as effective with his early warring as more chance of someone else declaring on his other flank. Got big a few times but never quite keeps up in tech well enough (although had one game where he 3rd-wheeled HC's internet build to help HC catch up to Peter in tech as well as dropping nukes on Peter and Boudica who were raining nukes on HC to help HC sneak a space victory).

Peter - Only got one win and no 2nd place finishes but never FTD (despite one game where he lost his capital to the barbs). But he did seem more effective than that, was often the tech leader, got big a few times and was often a big player at the end of the game. Missed out on wins just by bad luck a couple of times so maybe a dark horse.
 
Huayna 1st
Boudica 2nd
Saladin FTD
T325
Space
15 Wars

Eh, war count may be conservative for this crowd. Saladin is the only one I'm kinda confident of because he is the highest peace-weight and starts next to someone else with Myst. Huayna is probably the favorite, but this map is so cramped and filled with maniacs he could get caught with his pants down while wonder-spamming. Boudica has room to expand up north, and isn't Toku so... eh? 15 wars may be on the conservative side. :lol:
 
I like Sal's start the least :)
He will be swarmed by barbs (unless he rolls lucky and techs masonry fast, connects his stone and builds TGW).
If he goes reli first (usually does), what can he improve or build?
Dunno...
With Raging Barbs, improvements are transient anyway.
He's got lots of Flood Plains, which, even unimproved, are decent tiles. He's Protective, which helps a little (not as much as it should since the AI tends to use its archers offensively against barbs). And there's very little forest around his capital, which is a good thing (less defensive terrain for invaders).
Now, if HC builds TGW, then yeah, he'd be in real trouble.
He'll be slow to expand, but he has a decent backline making up for it.

He'll probably end up in conflict with HC (geography + religion), at a bad time for HC : when there are sooo many shiny wonders to build, and soooo many religions to spread, that building units is a no-go.

So not sure that Saladin's position is that dire.
It reminds me a bit of Season 4's wildcard game, where Saladin was facing a similar situation and struggled indeed vs barbs initially (he was usually very late to his 3rd city, turn 50ish)... and yet turns out he was the most likely to win that game, winning more than Mao with his excellent start, and more than Sury who roflol stomped the live game iirc.

Oh, and he's got a Plains 🐄
 
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20 wars
344 turn :)
To be honest that is a fair shout on the number of wars. Now I am thinking I should have gone for 19 or 20. My tests ranged from 15 wars to 26(!) wars so there was quite a lot of variance but the median was 17.

Turns are probably going to be around that ballpark. Thee barbs and more AIs tend to slow down the early game a bit. My tests ranged from 290 to 375 but that turn 290 game was very much an outlier, the others were all over 300. 333.5 was the median.

Can more or less corroborate war/turn ranges based on initial tests. Not seeing Huayna Capac do much, though, so we will likely diverge on that pick :undecide:

It reminds me a bit of Season 4's wildcard game, where Saladin was facing a similar situation and struggled indeed vs barbs initially (he was usually very late to his 3rd city, turn 50ish)... and yet turns out he was the most likely to win that game, winning more than Mao with his excellent start, and more than Sury who roflol stomped the live game iirc.

Not sure what you started with, but sounds like you are taking away some perspective from your own alternate history campaign!

I have not seen this discussed so far, but if you fetch your loupe, you can make out a very long river network that links Boudica, Huayna Capac, Napoléon, and Saladin--all three mysticism leaders! I am seeing an east-west split in religious blocs based on coast vs. river spread. This seems to mean Boudica is more likely to be exposed to religious tension, whereas Saladin is more likely to be sheltered (and thus unable to declare war on his neighbors).
 
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