[C3C] The Nine Conquests

Toxicman007

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To be honest: I have already looked at some of the choices and was planning on taking the Abbasids... Do you think that would be too easy?
They do control Jerusalem, but the starting land is not necessarily that great.

Well personally yes, but I am not a Deity level player and don't fully grasp the ideal conditions to win, so take my advice with a pinch of salt. I have had several Middle Ages games where the Abbasids win on points despite me conquering most of Western Europe, for example, but some of my more memorable games have been as the Abbasids (I tried to limit myself from mass stacking on Jerusalem and instead focused on war with Byzantium, the Fatimids and the Turks), and also as Byzantium and the Turks. I would recommend Turkey, as they have a decent start, no pre-settled cities IIRC for easy core setup, and of course they are the only civ that can make Sipahis, one of my favourite UUs in the "standard game", never mind just in this scenario!
 

Lanzelot

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I would recommend Turkey, as they have a decent start, no pre-settled cities IIRC for easy core setup, and of course they are the only civ that can make Sipahis, one of my favourite UUs in the "standard game", never mind just in this scenario!
Yep. I had looked at some more nations and also liked the Turks. Unfortunately they do start with 3 pre-settled towns, two of them (including the capital...) in crap locations, so the first action will be to settler-disband those and jump the capital. But other than that, their start is great for a Deity game, and the UU is probably the best. And they can also build Assassins! I'd rather play with them than against them on Deity... I think I made up my mind: Turks it will be!

Byzantium is probably the strongest start, but 2 core cities need relocating, their horse-based unit (Cataphract) has only 4-3-2, which is the worst of all: Sipahi 6-3-3, Knight 5-3-2, Ansar 5-2-3 are all much better... And they start right in the middle of it, so will probably get attacked from all sides...
 

Aiken_Drumn

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Could I make a small request that you spoiler your different posts? The first page is getting a monster to scroll through to find the content :)
 

tjs282

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Could I make a small request that you spoiler your different posts? The first page is getting a monster to scroll through to find the content :)
Or at least Spoiler the large images?

Alternatively, since you (@Lanzelot) seem to have been retroactively inserting new posts amongst the nine you made originally (abusing your Moderator superpowers a little bit there? ;) ), maybe add a contents-section in Post #1, so that we (and future perusers of this thread) can jump directly to the section we/they want to read?
 
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Quintillus

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Hoo boy, those Hun(garian)s sure delivered a whalloping with the help of their gods. You've got a hole to dig out of now! How are the victory points looking? I imagine you got a few victory points by combat, but they probably racked up a lot more?

Getting Sipahi and Assassins and being able to fight back seems imperative. What good are 50 cities if all you can build in them are Spearmen and Horsemen? I'll be curious to see if you can pull a rabbit out of a hat after that setback.
 

Lanzelot

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I am not yet happy with the format for this content myself. A "Table of Contents" will definitely be necessary. Will it perhaps be a good idea to put every Conquest into its own thread? But I wanted to have everything in one thread and feel that this would be better.
One idea I also had, is to "insert" empty padding posts after each Conquest to fill up 20 posts (yes, tjs282, the moderator tools allow little "tricks" like this...), then each Conquest would start on a new page. (Unless people can customize the number of posts they want to see per page?! I haven't seen any setting for this yet, but that doesn't mean none exists...)
Any ideas how to present the Nine Conquests in a better way are welcome!
 

need my speed

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Why not post new posts normally, as in, your next update comes after this post of mine, and then use your very first post as a table of contents to link to all these posts? Then you solve the issue of one page taking ages to load and ages to scroll through, and it allows everyone to easily read new content (either by looking at new posts or by using the table of contents), no?
 

Lanzelot

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Well, if one has to jump to posts #17, 23, 45 and 51 to read the story of lets say Fall of Rome, it's not very reader friendly either...
New update btw.

I keep forgetting: are images pre-loaded, even if I put them inside a spoiler? Otherwise I might start improving the load time by doing this, until I have a better idea...
 
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need my speed

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Do threadmarks not exist on Civfanatics? As in, you have a table of content, and every post that is linked to in the table of content, has a 'previous' and 'next' at the bottom, so you don't even need to open all of them from the table of content, you can just keep clicking 'next'. I suppose you can replicate this by editing every post you make, to link to the previous and the next one.

EDIT: I don't see a new update? :p
 

Quintillus

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I'm a fan of regular posts + table of contents that links to updates via the permalink you can get in the address bar after clicking the post number (e.g. #70). This makes it easy to jump to posts #17, 23, 45, and 51 from the table of contents, and also means that if someone is following the updates regularly, they often only have to go to the end (or near the end) of the most recent page to see the latest update (sometimes the previous page if subsequent posts have been made).

Next/previous within the posts would be nice, but I don't know of a way to automate their creation.

Spoilered images are not loaded until the spoiler is opened. I've gone back and forth over the years on whether to spoiler story posts. Right now the first page loads 50 MB of content, without counting the most recent update, which is kind of a lot. Not a big deal on my home connection, but I can see why those with slower connections, like the hotel connection I had last week, would find it to be slow-to-load.
 

choxorn

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You could always put every post from the same conquest on the same page back to back, like have Mesopotamia start around the start of the thread, then RoR at the top of page 2, FoR on page 3, and so on.
 

choxorn

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Conquest, which is probably only a "theoretical" winning possibility, as there are 17 nations on this quite complex map. Eliminating all 17 nations would require so much fighting, that one would probably win by victory points long before even half of the rivals are eliminated, even if one would use Assassins and only target the King units?!

I was gonna say Conquest was a theoretical winning possibility in some other scenarios, but the only other one it's enabled for is Sengoku, I guess because it's the other one with King units- and that one I could actually plausibly see you winning that way if you killed all the other Daimyos before you got enough territory to reach the Domination limit, but I think Sengoku is the only scenario where it would be remotely plausible to eliminate all of the other civs before winning in some other way.

he question now is, what to do next? I could either shrink my pop factories back to 5/6 for settler&worker production, but meanwhile a lot of the eastern space has been settled by the AI. (Even the far away French and Celts have sent settlers all across the map to the far east?!?)

Yeah, that tends to happen on this map, or any kind of custom map where there's an area far from where most of the civs are- any empty space will get claimed.
 

Quintillus

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Nicely done coming back in the Middle Ages! I thought you might be out of luck after that second war with the Magyars. I probably would have signed Poland or Germany up to help even with the huge expense, simply to have some of the AI taking out their troops on each other. But it worked out! Those conquest victory points really add up... it looks like the other AIs were fighting a lot but not conquering very many cities.

Age of Discovery was always kind of fun, ferrying the sugar and tobacco and so forth back to the Old World. Never tried it on an upper-level difficulty though! I suppose if you can keep peace it might not be too bad, but it could get interesting trying to ferry treasure back and forth if a Deity-level AI or two gains naval superiority.
 

need my speed

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That was a surprisingly quick victory. Do you feel that this scenario would be more fun if it required a lot more victory points? It feels like barely anything happened - you accidentally got into a dangerous war, you survived, you're making your comeback, conquering nicely - and then it ends. Or do you, as the one who played through it, feel differently? Nice job, at any rate!
 

choxorn

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That was a surprisingly quick victory. Do you feel that this scenario would be more fun if it required a lot more victory points? It feels like barely anything happened - you accidentally got into a dangerous war, you survived, you're making your comeback, conquering nicely - and then it ends. Or do you, as the one who played through it, feel differently? Nice job, at any rate!

I'd imagine the pace of VP scoring depends on difficulty level, on a lower level there wouldn't be nearly as many AI units to kill. When I did this one on Monarch it took me a lot longer to score that much and I needed to take one of the relics to Jerusalem to finish the job.
 

Lanzelot

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Nicely done coming back in the Middle Ages! I thought you might be out of luck after that second war with the Magyars.
Well, I knew that the Sipahi in the hands of a human player is a deadly weapon, and that once I had a decent number of them, I would be able to do some damage. I was a bit unlucky that I got into two wars too early: in the first war it was still a long way to Sipahis, and in the second war I had just started producing/upgrading them and had only 4, of which I lost a few due to bad RNG luck. (Extremely bad RNG luck was also a major factor in the first war.)
But I was lucky, that I never got into a hot war with one of the superpowers of the game, Byzantium and the Abbasids. These two were fighting it out for most of the game, and I had no worries on the southern border. Also in the end, once I finally had Sipahis, I had very good luck with MGLs. Sipahi Armies are unstoppable and fast and allow taking towns quickly from the "avarage" AIs I was fighting. So the trick here is to avoid wars with the (nearby) superpowers and take towns from the average AIs (Rus, Bulgar, Magyars, France) or from a far away superpower (Germany). And Germany was also quite a superpower in this game: my scouting Horseman, who never was able to return back home, saw their big stacks of Knights on the French and Burgundian borders, and they had hundreds and sometimes even thouthands of surplus cash throughout the game.

Age of Discovery was always kind of fun, ferrying the sugar and tobacco and so forth back to the Old World.
AoD is indeed a very queer scenario, and I am very curious, how the AI will handle that. Could either be an easy one, or a quick loss due to conquest in Europe or if the AI figures out what to do with those treasure units... But before we get to that, there is another even stranger scenario: Mesoamerica. I've prepared a little writeup of all the rule changes and required strategies for that, which I'll post as a teaser shortly...

Do you feel that this scenario would be more fun if it required a lot more victory points? It feels like barely anything happened - you accidentally got into a dangerous war, you survived, you're making your comeback, conquering nicely - and then it ends.
Yes, that describes it very fittingly. The end came a bit surprisingly to me as well, kind of like an anticlimax. Never thought I could rack up these VPs so quickly. I think, the problem is like choxorn says, that the VP system becomes kind of "unbalanced" on the higher difficulty levels:

I'd imagine the pace of VP scoring depends on difficulty level, on a lower level there wouldn't be nearly as many AI units to kill.
The "problem" seems to be twofold:
  1. On Deity, the AIs settle quickly and grow fast. So there are lots of big towns or even cities to capture. And 100 VPs for one pop point becomes overpowered then: for example the Rus had many size 10 and 11 cities, which give you over a 1000 points a piece.
  2. But when an AI fights an AI, they somehow don't seem to employ those monster stacks which are capable of actually taking a city, they attack mince-meat a few units at a time, where ever they happen to have a few?! (Perhaps they get into war early, before they have accumulated these SoDs?!) And as on Deity cities are heavily defended, these small scale attacks never actually take a city, and when the next small-scale attack happens, the defender had by then been able to heal and refill. - Rinse and repeat...
    So the AIs only get these small VP amounts from killed units (half the unit's shield cost - the defenders are usually 20-30s, the attackers at most 60-70s, so that's between 10-35 VPs per unit), but never the really big amounts for a captured city, which can be up to 1200 points!
    The human player on the other hand knows to concentrate his firepower on one single spot and take it. Heal and bring up reinforcements - and then take the next city. That way I have been able to take 2-3 of the Rus towns&cities every turn at the end of the game. That's 2000-3000 VPs every turn, not counting the killed units... You'd have to kill hundreds of units every turn to get to the same VP rate...
    The very good road-network, that the Deity AI is able to set up, also helped me a lot here, to bring the newly produced Sipahis from the core right into action in only 1-2 turns...
 
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