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The Other Domination Limit

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by superslug, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    EDIT: It turns out my little theory is only that, a theory. The practical application just didn't pan out, so remember that while you read it. I've left the article up, however, for anyone interested in such reading, even if false.

    Introduction


    Standard milking theory within the Hall of Fame holds that you should expand to within one tile of the territory domination limit, grabbing the 66% of the map with the most food and then ramping up your population as high as possible while keeping one AI city quarantined in order to hold off on actually triggering any win condiditons. This strategy has been employed for years, as conventional wisdom dictated this was the best way to ensure the most points scored.

    I’ve recently discovered this may not be entirely true.

    Based on another thread, I began to wonder what would happen if the human player stayed under the population limit instead of the territory limit. Instead of having as much population as possible, you could then grab as much territory as you wanted. In order to avoid the population domination, the player would have to ensure that the quarantined AI stayed at 34% of the map’s total population.

    HOF Milking Application

    It was time to do some number crunching from Huge maps, where serious milking is done. Specifically, I wanted to look at an archipelago, and for sake of thorough calculations, the game in question needed to have been milked to the best possible degree.

    That of course left only once choice: Moonsinger’s Sid #1, the highest scored game in HOF history.

    A CRpMapStat scan of her final.sav shows that Moonsinger had a domination limit of 4562 tiles, 4561 tiles within her territory, 4626 happy citizens and 3347 specialists (with no content citizens). Per the score formula of one basepoint per turn for each tile and specialist, and two basepoints per turn for happy citizens, Moonsinger was gaining 17160 basepoints per turn during the post-growth milkphase.

    Now, assuming full irrigation, rails, harbors, ag civ, etc, 100% city coverage and cultural borders covering two tiles of water (all coast and sea), the total map's available food is approximately 20800. 34% of this is 7072. Divide that by 4 (railed irrigated grassland) and you can get 34% of the total map food with 1768 grassland tiles. That would be given (via fully improved and grown cities) to the quarantine AI. The player would then take the other 66% of the food and all the territory you want.

    In the case of Moonsingers map, that would be 13728 food over 6970 tiles.
    Since that's barely under 2 food per tile, we can assume no content citizens, nor specialists. Since happy citizens require 2 food and give 2 basepoints, the player would get 13728 basepoints per turn from citizens. Add the 6970 basepoints from tiles within borders, and the player would accumulate 20698 basepoints per turn.

    20698/17160=20% more score during growth-cap milk phase!!!

    100,000?

    Some weeks back in the HOF forum, I made the claim that 100,000 points was possible in an HOF legal game of Civilization III. At the time, I didn’t back up the statement. Now, perhaps I can.

    As a general rule of thumb, 60% of a milked game’s points come from the milking. This means that 53131 of Moonsinger’s 88553 final points were from the milk phase. Boosting that by 20%, the map would have been theoretically capable of 63757 milk points, putting the final score at 99179 points.

    What’s the catch?

    The proposed milk method isn’t without complications:
    • The quarantined AI should remain quarantined, eight units surrounding each city. If so much as a single worker gets out of their cities and mines a tile, they drop their food and you have to drop yours. To make matters worse, it means cleaning up their pollution for them.
    • That obviously means that you should be in good enough standing with the last AI that you can have a constant right-of-passage.
    • It also means keeping military units around, more than the usual milkphase. While unit support isn’t an issue, there would be a slight loss of disbandable shields for milk improvements in your own towns.
    • An Ag civ is best for the AI in question. They should also have a preferred government that doesn’t offer poprushing.
    • The territory domination warning bell on CRpMapStat will go off everyturn. Disabling it is tempting, but for other games, perhaps a bad idea.
    • There’s not a true population domination warning in CRpMapStat, so I had to rely on the Victory Status Screen. 65% was rarely safe, but 64% was. This meant constant trimming of my own population.
    • Said trimming has to be done carefully. Cash rushing workers/settlers might be best, as poprushing and drafting done too much could hurt happiness. I did use Communism for my editor test though, and by rotating the drafting through all the cities I never saw unhappy citizens.
    • Keeping multiple AI cities around might mean some cultural border pushing. It’s okay to push back, as you’ll already be over the territorial domination limit. Just remember not to step into their 34% of the food.

    20%? Are you sure?

    Er, almost. I did make a few approximations:
    • I rounded the theoretical food per tile to 2, it was actually 1.97~.
    • 60% of scores being milk points is a rule of thumb. For Moonsinger, I wouldn’t be shocked to determine it’s higher.
    • For the equations, I assumed that the AI would be on all irrigated grassland, and there’s enough on that map to do it. However, their cities would only produce 3 food per tile, not 4 as the equations assume. On the other hand, that could possibly be compensated for with bonus foods.
    • Speaking of bonus foods, I didn’t factor that in.
    • Setting up a map for milking via the traditional method takes time. It’s possible that setting up the AI for this new method would take longer, thus shortening the milk phase.
    • I assumed a 1:1 ratio of coast:sea tiles.

    A Funny Consequence

    Since territorial domination is irrelevant under the theory, you'd want to push all your coastal city borders out two tiles to grab as much food as possible. Actually, my equations assumed that. That means The Internet might actually have a practical use. :lol: :eek:

    Conclusion

    Even if the differential isn’t fully 20% on a huge archipelago, it’s obvious from both the numbers and the test map that staying under the population domination limit can yield more points than staying under the territorial limit. However, it does carry the burden of complex AI/map manipulation, and does result in even more micromanagement than the traditional method.

    Then again, true milkers won’t mind that much. A point is a point.
     
  2. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    This may go without saying, but I'll state it anyway: I used Moonsinger's #1 game as an example not to criticize her milking ability, but actually quite the opposite. In order for the math to provide valid results, the test subject needed to be the best milked game ever.

    Article edit1: Shrunk 2nd picture.
     
  3. Gyathaar

    Gyathaar Warlock Retired Moderator GOTM Staff

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    Very interesting....
    and I still have a nice map sitting idle halfway though conquest phase... :)
    I might put this to the test when I start my vacation next week..
     
  4. bed_head7

    bed_head7 Chieftain

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    This discovery may just be enough to deter me from ever doing a serious milk run. But, whoa. Amazing that there is something this huge which hadn't been thought of until now. Amazing how complex a game this is. Amazing.
     
  5. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Indeed! You can well imagine my disbelief when I discovered this. The game's been out how long? It'll be interesting to see if CivIV's domination is again a double-limit. If not, this tactic may have a short shelf-life.
     
  6. bed_head7

    bed_head7 Chieftain

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    I just realized that the effect of your discovery will completely unbalance GOTM again. Jason scoring needs to be completely revised, or your method will put up unbeatable scores.
     
  7. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    For what's worth to the GOTM staff, causing them headaches certainly wasn't my intention. ;)

    I would like to point out that for a 10x10 pangaea, the differential was 8%, and 20% for a huge/archipelago. For standard sized maps, the percentage increase will probably land in between, with some variation for how the maps are designed.
     
  8. Svar

    Svar Chieftain

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    I'm sure the math is right but how do you get the AI to cooperate? I haven't played in a month but I seem to remember that I have over 66% of the population long before I get to 66% of the territory. People will have to completely rethink their strategy to implement this, like only settle in plains and desert areas to keep the population down. The biggest problem will be keeping the AI reined in for the whole game.
     
  9. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    For HOF milk runs, I'd say this is pretty factual, yes.

    I'd think you'd have to wipe out all but one AI and take the last one down to one city, just as before. During that time, your 66% of the population can be in the grassland towns you're constructing for them. Then simply gift them. After that you can build the rest of your cities.
     
  10. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Chieftain

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    Your city layout in Test #1 is sub-optimal. Try maximizing sea tiles and avoiding mountains.
     
  11. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    :blush: You're right. I'll run another test tomorrow.
     
  12. Bartleby

    Bartleby Remembers laughter

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    I'd never thought of it in that way, but I have staved off AI domination by maintaining 33% pop in peaceful xCC games.

    For me the internet is usually useless because it would probably force a culture win. I'm almost addicted to finishing with exactly 160k culture.
     
  13. eldar

    eldar ChiefTank

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    I presume the way to go with the quarantine AI would be to set up their "prison" with your own cities, gift them those cities, and wipe out their remaining core (before you're at the tile domination limit)?
     
  14. Timko

    Timko King

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    You would be pretty unhappy when they launched their spaceship though, wouldn't you? If they got to the latter stages of the tech tree you would have to switch back to milk-method 1, and reduce them to 1 city, and reduce your land to 65%.

    Also, on the higher levels, what are the chances that an opponent (with 34% of the population on a huge map) wouldn't build up enough troops to decide to attack?
     
  15. Gyathaar

    Gyathaar Warlock Retired Moderator GOTM Staff

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    Just keep a MPP running and they wont attack
     
  16. Offa

    Offa Bretwalda

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    This is entertaining.

    I suggested this in another thread, and no less a milker than Moonsinger shot me down, and I didn't think any more about it. It seemed like too much work to me anyway, and I really don't like milking.

    I had rather envisioned using tricks like gifting the AI bloated cities as required, kindof like a dogpile for the AI, while keeping 80+% of territory for myself. It probably wouldn't actually infringe the rules as they stand.

    As you would need to be completely in charge to run a game like this, I think lower difficulty levels would be easiest.
     
  17. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Well, this is definitely turning out to be a work in progress. I appreciate all the feedback thus far.

    In progress.

    In this case it would not only grab all the available sea tiles, it could prevent the AI from getting a culture win. If they do have a huge culture lead, their cpt will drop from being restricted to x amount of cities, and all the human has to do is stay above half their total. Then 160,000 is irrelevant.

    Setting up the prison cities on your own and gifting them is critical to the theory, in order to ensure proper placement. As far as wiping out their remaining core, I'd personally prefer to do it before the gift, but either way could work I suppose.

    I just think knocking them down to one town first would be easier, in case some of their quarantine cities might need to be on grassland once owned by them.

    No, I'd have exercised preemptive aluminum denial.

    You're welcome, I guess. :confused:

    I'd be interested in reading that thread. I don't recall every reading something quite like this before.

    HOF rules? Certainly not. I can't speak for GOTM though.

    A well executed traditional milk game assumes the player to be completely in charge of the map anyway.
     
  18. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    I've finished the second test on the same map. When properly milked via the traditional method, the map gives a higher score to traditional milking, not the theoretical way.
     
  19. Offa

    Offa Bretwalda

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    I meant entertaining as a compliment :goodjob: . I look forward to Moonsinger's comments.

    The other thread was this one:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=118422

    As you can see my remark was a bit of a throwaway one liner, nothing like your clever analysis. The thoughts about reverse dogpiles etc I kept to myself, as I didn't really think there was much mileage in it, at least the way I play. Frankly I thought the whole thing might be tricky to set up, only to risk a game either not scoring all that well or getting banned retrospectively.
    I haven't attempted to do this at all myself, not having milked a game in years.

    I didn't know the rules stop you gifting the AI a huge city? Clearly you could easily change them to make sure they do.

    I can't believe this sort of game will be easy on Sid, but perhaps Gyathaar can show us it is possible.
     
  20. Dianthus

    Dianthus Small but hardy

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    I think you're going to have to change your test map to prove the point. You really need to minmize the amount of territory the AI requires for it's 34% pop, which means all of it's territory should be railed-irrigated-grassland. The AI had quite a bit of coast in your example.
     

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