T98 Science Victory with Cooked Settings

Minou

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765
T92: We are really getting down to the wire. The tech tree is done and all we have left to do is wait for Magnus to arrive and chop the Exoplanet and Lasers. So, most of what we do this turn is just for fun and I will break the report into "real" and "fun" sections.

Real Stuff:

With near perfect timing we hit 110/110 Aluminum. Since we can accumulate one turn above the surplus between turns, we are good for 4 LeGrange Lasers. With more focused efforts we could have probably gone to 5 but I doubt 6 was possible given the distribution of Aluminum on the map.

More wind, solar, and geothermal go up giving us enough power for 6 Terrestrial Lasers as well.

Galileo completes the first Future Tech. Not sure if this actually matters but it is possible the 5% boost will help squeeze in an extra Laser somewhere....
Untitled 63.jpeg



Pillaging gets our gold all the way up before Big Ben:
Portugal 661g+485f
Brazil 220s+30f
Poland 1222g+30f
Canana 330s+661g+30f
Sumeria 660s+60f
We actually pillaged almost 1000s this turn which means we were too slow - all that is "wasted" since we already have Offworld Mission complete. Of course we couldn't know we would need so few techs due to the great tree and free Cybernetics.

Sinbad uses his last charge for one final 400g. Looking at the pillage haul above, you can see how Sinbad feels less impressive in the late game.

We also harvest 353g.

Two chops completes Big Ben in the old reliable city of Fort Oscar. The thing was very nice since the city expanded onto another forest this turn saving us the 400g needed to by it. We have 11,552g so we score almost 6,000g more from the wonder. That should be more than enough for a Reyna Spaceport (7,200g) and all the remaining tiles we need - I tallied 5,773g this turn but the cost will go up a bit with scaling.
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One dumb setback - I used BM Crassus to add a fourth ring forest to Socks Rig to allow another Laser chop there, but I was not paying attention to the fact that the forest is within three tiles of Socksopolis so gets added to that city instead. What a stupid move!

Fun stuff:

The Coliseum is complete. It reaches 4 cities. This would have actually helped us about 40 turns ago, and I feel like we neglected the wonder for too long despite having Isidore on the map early. It looks kind of out of place next to a space age city on a snowy river....
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In other happiness news we finally gain control of Cahokia with 3 more envoys. That took forever. It's the last piece of the happiness puzzle, of course too late to matter but provides a nice side quest of getting all cities in the green before the last turn.

We get our first Great Admiral, Artemisia.

Those free Special Ops from huts actually serve a purpose as they let us get a Corps we need for an Inspiration.

Funny to convert Fez itself for 80s bonus plus an envoy.

We chop a second Drone for Lasers (ironically not a pre-req for space laser projects). One misstep we made earlier is not building a second Observation Balloon in time. Once we got free Computers from that hut, we were forced to hard-build one Drone and to be honest we should have done so earlier to remove Lasers from the pool of texts before er rolled for our free tech with Nalanda.

Civics: Mass Media

Techs: Lasers, Future Tech
 

Minou

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Joined
Apr 19, 2013
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765
T93: We have reached the final sprint.

Let's start the turn off with a hut - hilariously we get 40g. Woo-hoo!

Before we chop any space projects, I chop out a Nuclear Power Plant in Tabopolis to complete Fusion and slightly raise the chop value.

Magnus arrives in Rupert Exobase, so it is showtime! We are at 120/120 Aluminum but have 134 with overflow so we can chop 4 Lagrange Lasers this turn and another each of the next two turns.

First, we finish up the Mars Colony with Pingula's help.

Second, we chop Exoplanet (each forest is worth 273h with Magnus and a whopping 340h with Hong Kong and Future Tech).
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Third, Rupert Exobase keeps chopping with Magnus to complete 2 Terrestrial Lasers and 1 Lagrange Laser. Somehow I messed up though and end up half a chop short of a 4th Laser here. Uh, what sloppy planning - must have done the Hong Kong / Future Techmodifier math wrong....

Fourth, Socks Mars Base chops all but one of its remaining forests for another 2 Terrestrial Lasers and 1 Lagrange Laser. Somehow we also are short one chop here too! Man, I screwed up bad and cost us 2 turns of Spaceship movement.

Fifth, well - another misfire. In a perfect world, Hercules would create anther Spaceport this turn so we could chop a few more Lasers. But, he is annoying STILL healing. The backup plan was using Reyna. I thought we would have enough culture to complete Mobilization after boosting it last turn but we end up a sliver short. This means we don't have the last Governor Title to promote Reyna and allow her to buy districts. How embarrassing! Looking back, we should have just ignored Voidsingers Chorus and promoted Reyna instead. All these Laser mishaps are going to cost us 2 turns by my math....

According to the math the spaceship should move 3 light years (1 normal + 2 Lagrange) this turn. The Terrestrial Lasers will "power down" two cities even though they already have 10 power each, and take effect next turn when the ship will travel 7 light years (plus any additional distance from more Lagrange chops)

Well, despite the disappointment of mucking up the Lasers I can at least enjoy our first Aquarium.... Manx Bay was basically a nothing city captured with no infrastructure and 1 chop, but now has 12.1cpt.
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marcopolothefraud

Chieftain
Joined
May 5, 2018
Messages
40
Minou - do you think Norway could be a better competitor than Babylon at getting a sub-100 Science Victory? On one hand, boosts won't instantly complete techs...on the other hand, pillaging grants more science and culture. With a lucky map generation with lots of coastal tiles (i.e. a Fractal map), Norway could have lots of low-maintenance ships wreak havoc over and over.
 

Minou

King
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Apr 19, 2013
Messages
765
I'm not sure - it would probably be close. I think Norway would easily win in a game with cheese like intentionally letting cities flip to endlessly pillage/repair/pillage tiles. Barring that, things will be close. For example I scored free Cybernetics from a hut, which was worth 2200s - 1320s more than Norway would get from only boosting it 40% . It would take about 6 late-game mine pillages to equal that. Add up all the boosted techs and you end up needed a LOT of mines, given how the AIs always seem to spam farms instead of useful improvements. On the other hand, I never made it to Globalization in the Babylon game but Norway should be able to do that and thus get much more domestic science output too.

Babylon does get a nice boost from the free buildings / envoys for first district of each kind that is hard to calculate in terms of turns saved off victory date. The buildings probably add up to only a turn or so since in most cases you could chop them anyway, but a few times that extra envoy was critical to keeping the conquest going by adding another levy army.

This game took my FOREVER to complete between trying to be careful and pausing to take screenshots. If I ever have the time I would like to replay on the same settings with Babylon and do try to not mess up the late game as much. I actually thought Norway would be worth a shot if I try another game afterwards, so if you want to test them please report the results.
 

Minou

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Apr 19, 2013
Messages
765
T94: We have three remote huts left and can reach two this turn. One gives us a Nuclear Program inspiration and the other 120g.

Although too late to matter, we also recruit two Great People, both named Ibn by chance. GM Ibn Fadlan boosts our trade routes by 2f each and GS Ibn Khaldun increases the bonus for happiness. No impact on the game with the spaceship already flying, but fun to juice the stats.

We need to complete one final Civic to unlock Renya's Contractor promotion, which we can accomplish by shelling out 1680g for a Bombard Corps to wrap up Mobilization. We could have saved the gold with better planning but we have enough of a surplus that it doesn't matter.

With Reyna ready, we can spend another 7200g to buy a Spaceport in Socks Laserport and chop out 2 Terrestrial Lasers. These are costly since neither Magnus nor Pingula are there to help. We have enough forests for 2 more Lasers, but the city was founded so late we couldn't get that enough Builders assembled to chop all four at once.

Rupert Exoplanet and Socks Mar Base can also chop out the delayed Lagrange Lasers as well. We are now out of Aluminum. We also need to build another Solar Farm in Rupert Exobase - I stupidly thought we had 3 up, but one of those tiles was the actual Spaceport! That cost one light year of Spaceship movement since only one of the two previous Terrestrial Lasers was powered.

Hercules is finally at 100HP and we can delete him and bring back for 1360f. The delay to heal him back really costs us as he is one turn too late to make a difference at this point. Wish I would have known that inured Heroes cannot be deleted, I would have never used in in later battles.

Untitled 66.jpeg
 

Minou

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Apr 19, 2013
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765
The endgame is here. Nothing left to do but watch the Spaceship fly and build things for fun. Only a Spy could hurt us now but I don't think any of the AIs has even built one yet.

T95: Spaceship is officially at 16/50 light years traveled.

Socks Laserport chops the final lasers, 1 Terrestrial and 1 Lagrange. There was a minor issue here as I thought should have had 60 Aluminum at the start of the turn but we ended up with 59 for some reason... this powers down the city so we will lose two light years from the existing lasers but gain those back over the next two turns and be one light year net ahead on T98 when the spaceship should arrive.

Hercules makes a Spaceport in capital just because it looks cool.

We can pillage in Predictive Systems just for kicks, and all free Builders can start spamming Cahokia Mounds.

We also pop the very last hut, which yields some Faith.


T96: Spaceship at 30/50 light years.

Our last Great Person is recruited: GS Emilie Du Chatelet. He is great for Babylon, but we needed him about 25 turns ago.

T97: Spaceship at 44/50 light years. If we had planned better and had 2 more Builders on T93, we could have won this turn, and better use of Hercules could have shaved off another turn. Ouch!

England recruits the Hero Su Wukong. This just goes to show how incredibly slow the AI can be at claiming Heroes!

Two more Zoos complete. We still have many cities only at +2 Happiness, despite no War Weariness.

T98: Victory!

Of course no AI threatened to win the game, and we also were in no danger of an accidental Cultural Victory (8/36 tourists).

Final stats are 588.1spt, 719.7cpt, 387.5fpt and 203.1gpt. The low Science speaks to the power of boosts and pillage versus domestic Science in a Babylon game, and the high faith shows how good Old Gob Obelisk is (we only built one Holy Site the whole game and captured a handful more).

Let's take a tour of the empire to celebrate the pre-T100 win.
Untitled 69.jpeg

Here is our Capital on the last turn, with157.3cpt (not even sure how this is possible!) and a beefy 105.1hpt. Not visible below the Commercial Hub on the city screen are the three wonders (Oracle, Apadana and Temple of Artemis. Note +7 happiness, thanks to the late game addition of an Entertainment Complex and double Cahokia Mounds.

Untitled 70.jpeg

Old England is one of our most powerful regions, since we had the most time to build up these cities. Over time, the once marginal Fort Oscar secured our religion (thanks to a free Holy Site from Hercules), built up a Commercial Hub and eventually Big Ben. Port Oscar was key primarily for chopping Hercules and also provided some Navy, Encampment-related boosts, and a decent producer of science. Oscaropolis has very nice terrane but we captured it so late it actually contributed little to our science. I thought out poor Naturalist could make a National Park on the tile he is standing on using the mountains above, but apparently that is not the case.

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Old America was another very strong contributing province. Taboplis is our #1 production city with 116.2hpt and churned our Government Plaza, a fully decked out Industrial Zone, and Ruhr Valle thanks to strong terrane and lots of chops. Tab University was great for the mountainside Campus which scored Printing Press and Astronomy boosts and Harbor for Cartography and the Mausoleum. Sadly it was never really able to work many Mausoleum tiles. Tab Air base was a late addition but helped with an Aerodrome. I wish we had a few more turns improve the land here with Cahokia Mounds, Alcazars, and Mahaviharas just to make it look nicer.


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Old Scotland was icy, but actually turned out to be very strong thanks to a few key Iron mines, enough chops to whip out Pyramids and Colosseum, and marshes that benefited greatly from Etemenanki. I really love the image above with the snowy Colosseum and the odd juxtaposition of the Pyramids with the science marshes.

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Here is old Khmer. The land was a bit low on chops but Ik-Kul was perfect for Oxford and we at least squeezed the second Harbor and Holy Site needed for Cartography and Divine Right out of it. At the end of the game we control 18 of the 22 City States, and have some really nice Trade Routes thanks to Kumasi, Chinguetti, and Ibn. Cross Cultural Dialogue is up to 46.2spt, a real boon.

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Here is our Great Works stash. Not much to look at, as we never even made it to the first Great Artist. I do love that Cat Mummy though.
 

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Minou

King
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Apr 19, 2013
Messages
765
Thank you Nigel_Tufnel2 and shapecharge! It is great to know some people are reading this. In the good old days there was more activity on the forum but I think a lot of people are now waiting for Civ 7.
 

Minou

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Apr 19, 2013
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765
Final Thoughts

This was a very enjoyable game, and I think I learned a lot about the path to a pre-100 victory. In a "normal" game with no special modes this may still be possible using the pillage/flip/repair/pillage cheese. Otherwise, I doubt it would be possible without both the wonder start and the Heroes bonus mode. I am interested in both trying Norway and trying the same settings again with Babylon but not sure if I will find the time soon.

So, what went right and what went wrong?

Good luck:

0. I won't list the wonder start as "luck" - it was amazing but I rolled a few dozen times to get it. If I had infinite time/patience I would roll until I got a Paititi start where I could settle on a fresh water tile next to the wonder and work a faith-producing resource to have a shot at Religious Settlements.

1. First and foremost, a nearly perfect tech tree. This was probably worth ~15 turns compared to the worst case scenario.

2. Second, finding Hercules and Himoko early was key to a blazing start, militarily and infrastructure-wise. Himoko single-handedly created the armies that took the first 4 or 5 captured cities, and Hercules kept up the pace with boosts/inspirations, got us a Religion, and contributed to the wars.

3. Third, England was both close enough to attack really early (when gaining cities matters most) and also declined to attack us ~T10 when we could have actually been killed! In some games the AIs are farther spaced, the starting continent only has two or three AIs, or annoying mountain chains burn vast amounts of move time.

4. Fourth, Horses are so crucial and having 2 in range of the capital and another in our second city was big for the transition to Horseman. This let us move quickly in the second wave of conquest, and is also key because you want to get at least 8 Horsemen trained before they become obsolete and the window is suprisingly narrow with Babylon. We didn't have as quick a jump on Iron, but in this type of game Horsemen are way more valuable than Sword or Man at Arms upgrades.

5. Fifth, we had great luck with Walls. Most of the AIs on our continents failed to get walls up before we smashed them. Meanwhile walls were going up much more quickly overseas where it didn't matter.

6. Sixth, we had some good luck with Barbarian Clans. That early Galley was key in both taking the second English city and meeting City States on the second continent. The Eagle Warrior was nice - not as great as it could have been due to getting stuck in England and whiffing on several Builder steal chances, but can't complain about 3-4 free Builders.

7.Seventh, we met the most important city states early, especially Nan Mandol and Johannesburg.

8. Eight, we had good luck with Oxford hitting two needed techs (I swear I get Stealth and Guidance Systems 90% of games) and Nalanda completing Cybernetics.


Bad luck:

1. Probably the one place our luck failed the most was juuuust missing out on Religious Settlements. With early God King and the Vatican City first contact envoy, we had a legitimate shot at the pantheon and founding a second city close to the wonder on T18 or so would have really sling-shotted us.

2. Da Vinci being the first Medieval Great Engineer also would have been huge. Technically we can't consider this bad luck as we only had a 1 in 3 shot, but if we did luck out it might have shaved ~3-4 turns off the game.

4. We had kind of bad luck with the very sparse pillaging in the early game. It seems like we only found 1 mine for gold pillage in the first 40 turns. This plus getting Sinbad really late created a few bottlenecks where we had unlocked a unit like Man at Arms or Cavalry but lacked enough gold for upgrades.

5. Finally we had bad luck precisely because of our good luck in the free tech popping phase. We hit a whopping 3 free techs from tribal villages but didn't actually need any of them. It was above-average luck to get 3 techs from 13 huts (average would be about 2) but because the tech tree was so good they were wasted (other than increasing chop/pillage)


Moves I felt were good:

1. Heros are key and going all out for Himoko and Hercules as soon as possible was key.

2. The military conquest segment of the game went just about perfectly. I am proud of the organization of the early wars with every unit in place at the right time, Heros teleporting exactly where they were most effective, and a smooth transition to chopping out mounted units. The only change I would make in retrospect would be giving up on taking London and moving on to Korea as soon as we hit Shipbuilding. London had no districts, so it would have been better to capture some of those Korea cities with 1-2 districts each instead of wasting a dozen turns only to be turned back. Then again, if we took too long moving and arrived just as walls went up in Korea it would have been a bummer.

3. We hit almost every plausible boost except for Engineering and Steam Power, and even for those we had to have SOMETHING to absord out domestic science output

4. We got every important wonder, with Oracle and Apandana being the riskiest two. Also got Ruhr pretty fast (for flight).

5. Saving all those huts until the end of the game was a good move. Even though we didn't get any techs we needed, those shots at a late game tech were more valuable than midgame boosts we could complete organically or getting some random units and gold in the middle of the game.

6. We had space cities in time (and enough chops in the space cities). This takes advance planning

Things we should have done differently:

1. One mistake was trying for Leonardo. There was only a one-third chance of success, so we invested a lot of production for nothing. More than that though, we slowed down pillaging to try and time free Chemistry and Radio. It would have been better to just go flat out for earlier Rockerty with pillaging.

2. I mishandled Hercules badly near the end of the game. Initially I thought I could just delete him at any time and recall them the same turn. However, because a unit needs to be at 100HP to delete, the timing was off. This caused Hercules to basically leave three districts on the table! Looking back I would have of course held him out of combat later in the game but aso probably used the first two charges of his second appearance for Industrial Zones or Campuses and then his last charge for the first Spaceport with 3 more from his third and final appearance.

3. Happiness was a fool's errand. I though with Cahokia, Buenos Aires, and Zanzibar plus Colosseum and some Zoos we could get most cities to Happy/Ecstatic but we only hit those levels near the end of the game. I am not sure if the solution would be to capture less cities and control growth more carefully or to just give up on happiness buildings entirely and use that production on something else.

4. Finally, I totally botched the Laser chop phase, first by not either having enough Governor Titles to buy a Reyna Spaceport or having Hercules back in time, second by being 2 builders short in 2 separate cities, and third by accidentally thinking a Spaceport was a Solar Farm and thus "powering down" one city for a turn. Should have started shifting one-charge builders to their destinations 5-10 turns earlier in a few cases (hard when they have to sail half way across the amp in barb-infested waters) and also started buying more earlier (I underestimate how much extra faith I would actually have thanks to pillaging).
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
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I also enjoyed your play-through. Nice start, great strategy, and lovely names for your pets! Also, a lot of patience for the write-up. Thanks for playing/sharing!
 

Arcaian

Warlord
Joined
Oct 27, 2013
Messages
219
Thank you Nigel_Tufnel2 and shapecharge! It is great to know some people are reading this. In the good old days there was more activity on the forum but I think a lot of people are now waiting for Civ 7.

Thanks for writing this all up - was an interesting look at the very high end of optimal play for SV, and was well-written and fun to go through! It certainly got me checking these forums a little more frequently than I otherwise would.
 

ValleTomate

Chieftain
Joined
Aug 15, 2022
Messages
1
As always an amazing writup. I have been reading fastest sv HoF Thread and this thread for a while, trying to to improve my own game (just started to break through the sub 150s on standard settings) and it's incredibly to see how much time you put into sharing every detail of your game despite the relativly small audience.
 

Minou

King
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
765
Thanks for all the comments, its great to know people are still enjoying the forum. Not sure what to try for next, a second attempt at this type of game using the lessons learned or a fast Science Victory without all the modes.....
 

Planktonic

Warlord
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
168
Would like to add my voice to the chorus of Congratulations. Great thread, made all the better by the meticulous way you documented and presented it.

Would love to see you do the same thing without all the Modes- do you think a sub-100 is even possible ?
 

Minou

King
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
765
I am somewhat skeptical sub-100 is possible with no special modes without cheese. Specifically, it might be possible by playing as Norway and just letting cities flip repeatedly via loyalty so you can pillage the same mines over and over. Perhaps possible also with Babylon and "city chopping", a term ATEX coined for gifting cities with Campus/IZ to an AI just so you can declare and pillage those districts for massive science.

Without these, pulling off a normal game would be tough - without Himoko the early wars would be waaaaayyyy slower and wihtout Hercules we would have needed a ton more gold to buy Spaceports. Secret Societies provided a lot of faith too, and the very early Governor Title for Amani is underrated. Clans/Corporations matter less.

Then there are the settings. Paititi was obviously superb and though I rolled for it, it is alot easier to draw it with only 5 wonders selected and Legendary start. Chosing the CS matters a lot too, especially Nan Mandol Hong Kong, Nalanda, and Johannesburg.

All in all I think T125 with no modes and no cooked settings would be more impressive than T100 with them.
 

Ordnael

Warlord
Joined
Dec 9, 2021
Messages
124
This was an impressive read. I felt immersed in your gameplay and strategy although I never dared to try playing a game this efficiently. Great way to cut the mid - late game slog, by winning before JC was born!
 
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