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The Power Democracy Consolidated: the Essential Starlifter ...

Discussion in 'Civ2 - General Discussions' started by Andu Indorin, May 13, 2004.

  1. Andu Indorin

    Andu Indorin Retired Druid

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    Part 1 of 4

    The Power Democracy (Consolidated):
    The Essential Starlifter


    Introduction: It's been almost two years since Starlifter last posted in the CivFanatics Forum, but in his heyday he was probably the most prolific writer on Civ II. Since then, players have occasionally asked about the Power Democracy, of which Starlifter was a master practitioner, and its first and most vocal advocate. This occasional interest -- and the fact that there are still many players who prefer Civ II to its successor -- has prompted me to compile and organize his principal discussions on the Power Democracy and to present them in a more accessible form. Hence, the "Essential Starlifter."

    This compilation has at least two benefits. First, his most pertinent discussions are "scattered" among his almost 4000 posts; and they are usually presented in a "fragmented" form as responses to other players' questions, often using specific examples from Games of the Month. (Indeed, some of his most important posts, like that relating to his trade system, are not even included in the "traditional links" concerning the Power Democracy.) By presenting his most important writings in a single location, and by "expunging" material related to specific GotMs, I have reduced the amount of searching required to track down Starlifter's views on the Power Democracy. Second, in terms of playing the early game, Starlifter more or less comes from the "expansionist" school (e.g., "a smaller empire of 100 cities"); consequently, some of his "benchmarks" for a Power Democracy (number of cities, units, etc.) may appear intimidating to players more accustomed to the "perfectionist" school. Collecting Starlifter's writings in one place offers me the opportunity -- as a "perfectionist" practitioner of the Power Democracy -- to collect my own thoughts and present them as additional perspectives on the PD; variations on a common theme, as it were. -- Andu Indorin




    Maxims and Standards: Defining the Power Democracy

    While the Power Democracy has never been formally defined, the following selections provide an idea of the basic principles and potentials of a Power Democracy. --A.I.

    Democracy is, flat out, the best government in the game, and it is far and away the best government for a long, violent, bloody war. ... But the caveat is that you need to get it up and running, and this can take many turns to do so.

    In Demo, get trade (gold and science) and grow. Let nothing stand in your way, even war!

    In a Demo, what you are shooting for is Caravans/Freight, delivered overseas to a large trade-rich republic/democracy city.

    At times, you might have 20 to 25 ships, in huge chains, snaking around the planet. But the return on a large (or even normal) map is staggering.

    In the mid-game, starting around Industrialization, you can take in 3,000 to 8,000 gold and just as much science every single turn. With a few citizens set as Scientists, a mere 10-20 beakers will thus yield you an advance every turn. ... You might shoot for 1 tech every turn, within 5 or so turns after reaching Corporation.

    In a "standard" game (deity, 7 civs, large map, raging hordes, any terrain), many AI's will never reach gunpowder by the time you reach Stealth. After flight (or at least after Computers), you can be researching at least 2 new techs every turn. Maybe a single AI civ might reach Industrialization before you hit FT001.

    Properly run, a Democracy will return you a new advance every turn, with 0% science, 70% tax, and 30% lux (continual WLTP growth, ALWAYS!). Improperly run, a Democracy will scorch your tail feathers and leave you singing the praises of Fundy forever.

    At first, getting used to the war planning, city planning, unit redistributions, etc. is a pain. Not to mention all the money you will likely spend on Superhighways, Airports, Mass Transits, etc. None of these items can shoot, but all are essential to a power democracy.

    A democracy will earn more gold than even a Fundy gov't, when properly developed. ... You can rush buy entire navies/armies/air forces in one turn if you wish ... Even an all-out war with the AI rarely consumes more than 25% of the resources of a Power Democracy.

    If your democracy is going well, only the most bizarre of circumstances would cause you to benefit from a switch.
     
  2. Andu Indorin

    Andu Indorin Retired Druid

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    The Essential Starlifter (cont.)
    Part 2 of 4



    On Trade Policy: The Essence of the Power Democracy

    Trade is the life blood of the Power Democracy; and
    Starlifter's system of trade is certainly one of the most
    elaborate and "far-reaching". --A.I.


    General Comments
    Remember my 2 F's: "Freight Funds." In war, it's 3 F's: "Freight Funds Fighting." ... Once you get the system going, it is not too hard to maintain a steady income, even in all-out war. Usually about 3 or 4 freight will be enough to get you an advance every turn by setting 0% science and having 2 or 3 scientists. With a tax emphasis, you can easily rush Superhighways, Airports, Banks, etc. and fund any combat units you desire. ... Bottom line is many players might find 3,000 science and 25,000 gold gross (21,000 net) per turn useful. If so, careful trade is the way to go!

    ... This is the bottom line: set up all the trade you can manage, based on the game you're playing. But push hard on it and take risks (you may lose a few here and there), and you'll have a technology edge that will end the game hundreds of year sooner. As you can generate enough surplus caravan/freight to make routes even for your new, small cities (mid/late game), great ... but balance that with the wonder race.

    As you gain more medium sized cities, those cities need trade routes, and the effect on the empire is considerable. I am careful with the most valuable commodities, and often make a naval strategy that will ensure delivery of those valuable caravans/freight to the best overseas cities. (I use the junk commodities as the source for the routes with my smaller cities when it is essential for WLCD city growth). Eventually, every city gets 3 routes.

    (Note: in late game, the SSC and generated science will likely be irrelevant, if you are using freight and settled into researching a leisurely one tech per turn. If you're demanding 2 techs (or 3 or 4) researched per turn, you'll need to watch all your route values, esp. the SSC, very carefully.)

    There are some strategies to deal with the issue of giving the enemy too much trade by delivering your caravans to their cities. Mathematically, it can get complex, and doubtless many experienced players already have a general "feel" for the tradeoffs (no pun intended?). ... But you can minimize AI trade windfalls by concentrating all your deliveries in one or two key AI cities ... be sure to pick an overseas one with both SH and Airports, with at least 18 or so trade-terrains being used. Then you'll be maxing lots of deliveries.

    On Building a Trade Network
    In the early phases of the game, my core empire will do trade with the Colossus city (or a max-trade city if I don't have the Colossus). Since I don't pursue a trireme strategy, my overseas trade in early years is likely nil ... so I take the 50% hit on trade with my own cities. Most routes are internal, and produce several trade arrows with the Colossus city. However, as much as I like trade, establishing three routes per city early on is usually just not possible in most deity games, so only the SSC gets three routes early on. Typically, the wonder races are too tight, and it is a tightrope act to decide whether some caravans should build a wonder or start a route; you need the 'feel' of the game for those situations, e.g., where your science beakers stand, how much gold you need to bribe, where the AI civs are in their wonders, etc. ... Republic, Silk, and Whales are especially useful to get your source arrows high ... and if Colossus is not in your capital, give it a courthouse to cut corruption by 50%.

    By the time Navigation is reached, things might start to get into gear with caravels. Find an overseas Republic, with a large city that has roads and/or what you know to be good trade terrain. Set up a ship chain, and deliver caravans to that city. I won't get into the usual algorithms, math, and formulas here, but just try to max the distance, get Magellan's, and locate a few ripe foreign cities. Peace is nice to have at this point in the game, BTW ... at least in the oceans where you are running a few trade routes.

    War can stunt this process ... if that happens, you should definitely set up your ship chain such that your caravans are not sunk at sea. Ship chains are expensive ... a major 20 ship chain can cost 800 shields to build, about the cost of two early mid-game wonders. And caravels can cause unhappiness in a Republic. You'll "typically" need about 12-18 ships for a decent chain, with a few for branch routes and backup. Caravans can be 'pulsed' through the chain, and on the next turn the ships can be re-positioned for another delivery cycle. Often, you can pre-position some caravans in AI territory, perhaps with a musketeer defending on a road just outside a delivery city's radius. This buildup can ensure a good selection of caravans to properly balance the beaker production. You can easily gain from 500 to 4,000 gold and science in a single turn, but more than about 1,000 in a single turn at this point in the game will result in wasted beakers. ...

    As I approach Automobile, I quit delivering freight (but still pre-position it in AI territory, and defend it with forts/mountains/roads/vets, if necessary) unless I have to ensure tech advances or get gold for something essential. ... Generally, I have a pretty tough rule that cities don't do trade until they have the proper improvements, namely Superhighways and Airports, assuming those have been discovered; and those improvements are rush built on the turn they are discovered ... the resulting gold fund the rush cost. A couple turns before Auto, my bigger cities switch to some junk city improvement and build a few shields and when I discover Auto ... bam ... the most important trade cities get Superhighways immediately, or incrementally rushed up to 160 shields, if the city can pump out 40 net shields per turn. Then the next turn, my pre-constructed (and pre-positioned, hopefully) freight are given the green light to resume deliveries. This is what I meant when I talked about limiting my cities on trade based on improvements. On a typical freight worth, say 1200g, that means withholding delivery of that freight for a couple turns until the home city has a SH will give you 600 extra gold and 600 extra science. A single, well-delivered freight can thus pay for a rushed SH. The science is gravy.

    Likewise, after Flight. (Like the Railroad, Flight reduces the normal trade bonus by 33%). This is why I make it mandatory in late game trading (especially trade between my own cities) that both cities have airports or I don't waste a 2,000 gold freight on the route. ... But if both cities have an airport, you get a 50% increase in both the bonus and route value. (If only one city has an airport, there is no effect.) So I forbid freight delivery until both cities of mine have an airport. It also means after Flight, I will immediately get Radio ... and usually on the same turn. And my key airports are pre-started, then production switched and PRB'd or RB'd. Any way you cut it, one turn later, I got lots of airports; but the planning was all done long before. And, once you have airports, trade is faster because you can simply airlift the freight to all or most of your own cities, and deliver it one turn later. War with enemies that have fighters may limit safe airlift of freight to some of your cities, however.

    Late Game Trade
    Skipping my usual math analysis for the moment, I'll just summarize and explain a few generalizations for an average mid-late game empire.

    I pick my destination cities carefully and use them as the "target" for my core cities. I'll find the most distant civ(s), and thoroughly investigate them as far as growth, city sizes, progress of roads, access, improvements, and especially the basic trade of the cities. I'll locate one or two or maybe 3 cities that will become my Target Cities (TCs). Ideally, those cities already have 3 good trade routes with other civs. Normally, I like to have at least two road/RR/ocean routes for a caravan/freight to reach the TC(s), so my incoming hordes of freight will not get jammed up when the AI leaves an engineer, military unit, or something else blocking the primary road/access.

    If I can keep peace with the target civ, great. I'll even send my own engineers in to help their stupid engineers put roads on all the rivers, plains, grassland, etc. ... anything to increase the base trade of my chosen TC. It usually takes one of my spies to lead the way through the ZOCs to get the roads built.

    It is not uncommon for me to reposition the AI's workers onto the best trade terrain, too. It won't work if you're allied, but I'm never allied at this point in the game anyway. While making the AI citizens do your bidding is not the topic here, it is worth noting that it takes spies and military units to re-arrange the enemy citizens working on terrain within their city radius.

    Anyway, once everything is set up, massive amounts of freight from all over the empire begin funneling their way onto a network of transports, and piling up in roaded (later, RR'd) fortresses just outside the TC's city radius. Several turns of deliveries will be accumulated, in case the deliveries of freight are interrupted for some reason, (usually war and/or a sneak attack). This will also give a cushion for emergency cash, if necessary, for bribing a juicy opportune city, for instance. ... I don't build 1,000 freight simultaneously, but 70 to 120 is what I have setting around ... lots in reserve to be used as necessary for RBs and PRBs, or spaceship parts. Typically, I consume about 5 to 9 freight per turn to get one advance from freight.

    Part of the mid-game strategy is to keep the target civ in Republic (and later, Democracy) and out of Fundamentalism. It is sometimes possible to do this by nudging the AI into democracy, including giving them Democracy if Fundy is imminent. Try to keep them at peace with their neighbors, and give them minimal reason to deploy unhappiness-causing units to meet a 'threat' from your forces.

    It is essential when Radio is discovered for you to either get the AI to build an airport in the TC, or choose a new TC with an airport and high trade. It is often advisable to give the AI radio ... but don't delay ... give it ASAP, so that critical airport gets built, or at least one gets built somewhere you can use.

    Unless the commodity is exceptionally valuable (that is a discussion for another time), incoming freight will go to one of the TCs. As a guide, even an average salt/hides caravan should net from 800 to 1200 gold with the TC. By limiting the number of separate trade routes that you allow the AI cities to have with your empire, you can drastically limit the trade benefit to the enemy and get a monster return (over 3,000 gold every turn). Each of these routes should yield at least 26 trade, with 28 to 32 being common. The value of these routes are so great that typically that TC is the last or one of the very last enemy cities I conquer. When you take ownership of a heavily traded TC, you might have a 5-20% drop in yearly economic output, empire wide.

    Typically, with about 100 cities, about 60% of them will eventually get 3 foreign routes. Those routes will all produce double or more, relative to a similar domestic route. The economic benefit is staggering, empire-wide. On average, you have 14*3=42 extra trade, every turn, in every big city. With city improvement multipliers in finance, that translates to 42*(0.7)*2.5=73 extra gold per large city per turn. If you have only 50 fully developed, suitable democratic cities -- that is around 3,600 gold per turn (assuming 70% tax) in return for your skill in setting up a good TC ...

    ... With trade properly developed, 5,000 gold and 60,000 science is a reasonable baseline to expect from your democracy in a very late, large map game, or about 25,000 gold and no science. Your freight should ALSO give you about 15,000 more gold and science each turn. You can rush buy entire navies/armies/air forces in one turn if you wish ... but most often, this money is mostly put back into perfecting the cities to make the empire economically/scientifically more powerful.
     
  3. Andu Indorin

    Andu Indorin Retired Druid

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    The Essential Starlifter (cont.)
    3 of 4



    The Power Democracy and War

    Fighting a "total war" in a Democracy is something of an art, and the following selections cover many of the basic points involved in maximizing the power in the Power Democracy. I should add that these excerpts were written while the Emissary's Ploy was still being tested, a technique which has increased the effectiveness of a Democracy's conduct of war. --A.I.

    The most important thing to know is that you cannot just go out and fight a "fundy-style" war in democracy. Very likely, that would cause a gov't collapse. But if you adapt your play style to the strengths of democracy, it will be unlikely that any form of government can come close to competing with the total power of a wartime democracy.

    Long ago, I learned to fight/build in a democracy. Be patient. Learn to read the AI. ... Force the AI to sneak attack you. Set traps. Antagonize every turn! Eventually, after you've been stabbed in the back enough (or it gets late in the game), the Hawk party will come to your aid and allow you to be just as violent and bloody as a Fundy gov't. ... Keep your forces mobile and small in a Democracy, and when you fight, hit hard with an exact plan, down to the unit, of every move. Take all the cities you can in one turn, and carefully plan exactly how the partisans will occur (if the AI has communism & gunpowder). Make sure you don't come face to face till your city killing is done, cause the senate is gonna put a stop to the war when you do. At that time, you consolidate, build, and grow the conquered cities and begin baiting the AI again ... put a caravan or freight in there and let the AI sneak attack it ... then take some more cities.

    For me, the top priority in a late game, all out war is Freight. I often deliver it to the very civs I am conquering. Nothing stops my Freight production and delivery. And if you keep Freight going at all times, you will have a good transportation network and guess what ... military units can tag along and do some fighting for you!

    I always have a complex system of modern unit production ... always vets, and always rehomed to a system maximizing Democratic growth. This means Armor and Howies, plus Stealth and Spies with an invincible vet navy. I never, ever build bombers, and only one or two nukes, and maybe one or two CMs if necessary. Stealth Fighters usually occur about 10 to 15 game turns after Flight, so I rarely build more than 3 or 4 Fighters.... but often over 100 Stealth Fighters in a large game. Stealth Fighters are the most versatile attack and defense unit in the game, and Vet Spies are the most powerful overall ... except for the almighty Freight! One Freight can be worth an entire wing of SFs, or 3 or 4 vet BBs, or 5 or 6 vet AEGIS (love the vet AEGIS!).

    My cities are planned to achieve pre-ordained production quotas in Modern warfare as far back as 2,000 or so BC. For instance, Armor ... a city will be specially designed to obtain a correct multiple, like 40 or 80, to produce an Armor unit, and it will spew them out turn after turn. Since an 80s city will likely be exactly 80s, or maybe 82s, when the multiple drops to 79, the pooch is screwed ... units must be rehomed to keep tanks flowing out (I'm always in Democracy, esp. in war). So the new tanks must be transferred to other cities, esp. Shakespeare. This keeps the multiple at 80s or greater, and moreover, prevents unhappiness. ... though an 80s city is almost always fully-grown. But I like all cities celebrating, in case I need a sudden push for combat engineers or instant size 4 or 5 cities.

    Happiness is Job #1 in a PD (Power Democracy). Continuous growth of one citizen per turn has top priority, unless emergency defense is necessary. ... Some ways to overcome unhappiness are entertainers, or relatively high luxury rates. Also, careful management of units is necessary. Continually spread your military units among existing (and future planned) cities. Get Women's Suffrage and JS Bach. NOTHING can duplicate the effect of JS BACH, and it is the #2 must-have (behind Michelangelo) in my book for this reason ... and colosseums can often provide a crucial margin of difference. ... Also, use Shakespeare's Theater as a staging point for combat ships, bombers, NUKES!!, missiles, assault units, sentry units, etc. Make sure Shake's can generate lots of shields for support, and spare no expense to give (buy!) that city anything it needs, incl. Mfg Plant and Solar Plant.

    Plan your attacks very carefully. If the AI is in Democracy, you'll have to take all their cities by force, which means you'll lose lots of the city improvements! If the AI has the Communism tech, things will take careful planning & lots of high-movement units & engineers, if you want to rip thru lots of AI cities on one turn. You should control every partisan that appears, and every meeting (face to face) throughout an entire turn. Don't allow surprises ... these will force an abrupt cease-fire/peace during an attack. If you can't control the enemy [partisans] to wipe out 10 or 20 cities on one turn (using engineers, dips, spies, freight, and units), then you're going to have a slow campaign. ... Freight "kills" partisans. It is one of the most deadly units to eliminate partisans ... if you use the freight right. Since my freight is swarming, even in enemy territory, it becomes a key player in preventing partisans when I take cities. In effect, one freight can "kill" (prevent) one partisan! And then it can move to the next city and "kill" another. Sometimes, one freight can "kill" 10 or 15 partisans in one turn, LOL!

    One advantage I give the AI is that I don't nuke them, either by NM or suitcase spy. I self-impose several constraints, and this is one. Besides, the loss of population and damage to terrain is too much for a fast-advancing blitz. Almost all my engineers can be tied up in a large invasion, and I don't have time to stop and clean up terrain along the way. ...

    I'd have to say that modern Naval combat is probably one of my strengths, and I'm a strong naval proponent. Almost all seaside cities are cleared with ships (+ spies to get the coastal fortresses). And the AEGIS Cruiser protects my Battleships, destroyers, and transports, as well as a providing mobile SAM for my cities (if necessary). Vet AEGIS will defeat almost anything, even non-vet BBs sometimes. Stacked with a vet BB, they are practically invincible. Stack 2 or 3 vet AEGIS with a BB, and you can suck all the AI Cruise missiles out. And as I use lots of freight, even in war, vet AEGIS protects them all (in their transports). I usually try to get a 100-shield city to crank one out every turn, and stop off at the Shakespeare city to swap ownership to keep Democratic happiness.

    Ditto for BBs. IPRB one vet BB per turn, and maybe 2 BB producers for short periods. No AI ships are allowed to roam the seas. With Magellan, about 20 destroyers, and infinite BBs & AEGIS, the oceans are lethal to enemy sea and air power. Enemy partisans don't last too long near a vet BB, either, hehehe. ... But it is the vet AEGIS that keeps the BB healthy and able to move 4 or 5 or 6 per turn. AEGIS often get pummeled, and a new AEGIS must be rotated in to take over. ... hence the need for lots of vet AEGIS. Lastly, I use destroyers to sweep for subs, and at least one Vet BB in a transport pile. 5 or 6 freight worth 12,000 gold and 12,000 science is just too valuable not to make & use the right Democratic navy!!

    The Power Democracy and Hyperexpansion

    While a fully-developed Power Democracy is the best government for the prosecution of total war, its superiority in growth is even more pronounced, thanks to its unique ability to "replenish" Engineers, which allows not just expansion but what can be termed "hyperexpansion". --A.I.

    It is critical for me to have some "core" cities fully developed and working in a DEMOCRACY ... between 30 and 40 cities whose "job" it is, in effect, to "build" 100 cities from scratch.

    I expect the city to be a powerhouse in about 16 game turns from it's establishment. That is, it better be making me 40 shields per turn at that point (to churn out more engineers), or 50 (to churn out freight). I won't tolerate slacker cities in late game ... time is too short.

    I rarely build improvements ... I buy them. Or more accurately, PRB (PRB=partial rush buy). I cannot afford to have cities sit around and grind out improvements, so I study the shield multiples, and use gold to assist while minimizing shield wastage. The reason for buying, RB and PRB, is math ... improvements are by far the cheapest to buy, at only 2 gold per shield. So BUY improvements, esp. if they will help income (like marketplaces) ...

    In a democracy, new cities usually start off at size 3, not size 1. I want the WLTP day from the very outset! You will gain 9 to 15 turns of growth if you do. Normally, these cities go straight into rush building about 10 improvements in 10 to 15 turns. In the late game, I consider part of the cost of a new city rush buying the improvements. No new city is allowed to build an improvement. If a city is a combat city, it might build an Airport, SDI, City Walls, Coastal Fortress, etc. instead of the normal economic improvements. Occasionally, a few cities rush or PRB units for conquest, if necessary (dips/spies, usually). Otherwise:

    1. Supermarket (Instant Rush Buy)
    2. Harbor (Instant Rush Buy, if applicable)
    3. Marketplace
    4. Bank
    5. Aqueduct (Six turns after founding, all new cities will be size 8)
    6. Stock Exchange
    7. Sewer System (Four turns after Size 8, city will be size 12)
    8. Colosseum (usually must have by size 13 or 14 to keep growth at Deity)
    9. Superhighways
    10. Airport (and three freight now come in)
    11. Depends on city's function (trade, production, fortress, etc.)

    The Supermarket fuels my torrid late-game growth rate. It sustains legions of engineers (sometimes over 1,000). Even size 3 cities are expected to support engineers as they grow, and the supermarket (and sometimes even an offshore platform) is required for this.

    I don't build colosseums until late game, when cities grow past the 13 or 14 citizen size (at deity); but if a city does not need a colosseum, it don't get no expensive colosseum! ... You can overcome a few unhappy citizens in the late-teens growth stage of a deity city by using entertainers, though I often use the "colosseum crutch" at that point. ... But colosseums are expensive, and provide no real economic benefit by their existence, so I don't like them until they are required. I build them when a city passes a population of 14 or so (at deity), unless there is an issue that arises sooner, like the stupid AI insisting to add new citizens to tradeless tiles like mines and forests. Also, before superhighways (or new trade routes), it might be a lesser path of resistance to rush a colosseum and just stick a fork in the problem at size 8 or 9. ... Colosseums are a crutch because they are not essential for most cities in a democracy to reach maximum size.

    Now to be honest, there are certain times when even 20,000 gold is not enough to buy improvements in all the cities I want, and at such times, I may hold off on 3 to 5 new cities going to size 3 instantly. That's because it is pointless (to me) for a city to start celebrating, and have it interrupted for any reason. Better (in general) for a new city to hold off until I can afford instantly buying all its improvements, and use the money to keep other cities growing.
     
  4. Andu Indorin

    Andu Indorin Retired Druid

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Colorado Spgs, CO
    The Essential Starlifter (cont.)
    Part 4 of 4



    Other Pertinent Selections

    The following selections, while perhaps not directly related to the workings of a Power Democracy, provide additional insight into how Starlifter builds a Power Democracy. -- A.I.

    On Early Game Wonders and SSC development
    Mike's Chapel is hands down the most valuable single wonder in the game, especially for a large, sprawling empire at Deity; without it, an entire empire will grind to a slow halt. Consequently, it always gets commensurate attention from me. The instant, global availability of cathedrals, no maintenance, and indestructibility (except the MC city) are just too powerful. At deity, new cities just won't grow very quickly if you had to build/rush buy cathedrals. The cost to build cathedrals even in a smaller empire of 100 cities is 120*100=12,000 shields. The recurring cost of said cathedrals is 3*100=300 gold per turn.

    JS Bach is my #2 rated wonder, behind MC. It cannot be duplicated or replaced, so you must build or capture it. It's essential for growing an early Democracy, esp. if you are in a war.

    The SSC has top priority over everything in the empire. Even wars wait on the SSC. ... The Colossus and all science wonders (plus Shakespeare's) are irreplaceable and cannot be recovered properly by capture. Even MC (the most valuable wonder in the game to me) can be captured if you don't build it. But you can't move science wonders to your SSC, so you must build those, in the right city, yourself. ... Usually, only my SSC get the best treatment with the best improvements early on. And my wonder cities (and SSC) don't build temples or settlers. The SSC, and any true wonder city, have their improvements RB'd or PRB'd. I buy improvements, not wonders (2 gold vs. 4 gold per shield). I don't buy wonders, too expensive. Buy caravans, or improvements.

    One key wonder is Marco Polo. With it, the AI civs are your science slaves, esp. at Deity where the AI can actually complete (in a timely way) the research you "command" it to. I don't like getting early advances indiscriminately; it's better to control the timing with Marco Polo. Forget the Great Library if you have an SSC and plan on Republic or Democracy. It is totally unnecessary and can give you all kinds of "wasteful" advances. ... Another crucial wonder for a good democracy is Magellan's Voyage. With it, you can outrun bad guys and reduce your number of cargo ships by about 25-35%.

    If it comes down to it, I'll give up the Pyramids for the Colossus. ... Many like Leo's (and I do too!), but if you really keep on a torrid science race, your Stealth Fighters and Armor will be attacking warriors ... and Leo's can be put off. Or just go capture it before it expires.

    On Foreign Relations
    In terms of trading technology, I trade when I'll get something that I actually need. I hate early game advances that I don't want yet, since it slows science. But once my SSC is up and humming, I kick their teeth in and take/trade it all.

    The question about tech gifting is not cut and dry. But in general, the AI gets everything. I used to withhold flight, and at times some of the higher techs, but if the AI is under control, they get it all. My one exception is sometimes Fundy ... they tend to switch to fundy if you give it to them, and I don't want them cranking out lots of units. I want them in Democracy, one city left, and choked off so they can't support many units.

    ... Once I get the Alliance, I won't let it go until I'm ready to kill the civ. I ensure that I can withstand a first attack (sneak) at any time, when there is no alliance. ... How to keep the Alliance? Answer: minimal ground unit contact, and Gifting. ... Keep the AIs civs separated by your expansion. Don't let them meet, and they can't exchange techs. You want to control who gets what and when. It will not be possible 100% of the time, so make sure everyone who is cooperating has roughly the same techs, and make sure you are the one that benefited from giving any techs to them. They will get it anyway.

    Everyone worries about the AI ... I give the AI everything anyway, and then take all their gold in conquest.

    Budget, Entertainers, and Maintaining WLPD
    I usually set luxuries 40% to grow for an early sprawling democracy. 30% is pretty much the setting for the last half of the game. I will not tolerate cities that refuse to grow, or stop growing in WLTP days ... all must max out without delay, and pump out the max gold, science, and shields possible at any given time. Since science can be set to 0% and still give one advance each and every turn via Freight, taxes get the other 70% most of the time. I simply lock luxuries to 30%, and sometimes jockey the tax/sci rates, if I really want 2 or 3 advances in a single turn. After Stealth, taxes typically get 30%, sci 40%, and I settle for 3 advances each turn (deity, large map). Lux still gets 30%.

    I have 2 policies that I almost never violate:

    #1 - Never use entertainers until a city reaches size 37, or if necessary to continue WLT__ days in Republic or Democracy.

    I don't like entertainers, and use multiple taxmen in monarchy to control happiness. Irrigation and MC allows size 6-8 cities with a couple taxmen when they typically stagnate with about 50 to 80 cities on a large map.

    #2 - Always set 0% Lux in Monarchy or Communism or Fundy. Always set 60% in Anarchy. Almost always set 30% or more in a Democracy (starting about Industrialization, I almost never stop growing ... and I feed my cities a plateful of Luxuries to keep it going smoothly). Republic varies wildly ... I'll raise Luxuries, even up to 80%, to get those cities big, then drop back to 10% or 20% LUX and let the science/taxes/trade bonuses roll in. Then, if the caravans are running like they should be, I often have 80% taxes set, and will shunt the 20% to luxuries, if my caravans get through intact. This will usually keep the Colossus city (at a minimum), and usually a few others, celebrating.

    For me (at deity on a large map), one turn of anarchy (even with the Statue of Liberty) will cost me typically 5,000 gold and 15,000 science. It will also cost some production, and since many of my cities are 50's, 70's, and 80's... that means one turn of unit production will be affected, too. Therefore, I do not allow anarchy or revolutions once my democracy is established and humming along (typically about mid-game, around the Corporation at latest).

    Helpful Early Game Techniques ...
    I count science beakers in early game, and check it all against each other at the end of each turn ... Micromanagement is important throughout a game, but especially in the first half. Micro-manage your T/S/L settings... check your trade advisor for exact science costs. One turn, I may have 0% tax, and the next 80%. It depends on the science progress, and the military needs. And you gotta take any slack up with caravans. Deliver caravans to get gold and science. ... Caravans are the key to gold, and can balance and fund you most important efforts in the early years.

    Irrigate/road key cities, and skip the rest until you have time and/or get engineers. ... I build key roads for a defense with minimal units early on with my NONE settler (Deity gives 2 settlers). This road system is key for barb defense, it is key for trade, and it is key for early wonders. ... I get started on a wonder almost immediately, sometimes by the 2nd city. The wonder city (usually capital) does not have a temple. Happiness at Deity is a problem, and the wonder city has one unit. Newer cities must produce settlers and control units.

    Cities with lots of excess food generate settlers. My SSC does not. Ever. (Well, if I fumble around and don't get Sanitation before it is ready to grow from 12 to 13, I'll let it make a settler.) Its function is to grow, not spawn. My wonder cities don't support (and usually don't build) units, either. ... Usually, only my SSC get the best treatment with the best improvements early on.

    Early on, I tend to work hard to get my Republic cities up to 7 or 8 quickly because I want production and economy rapidly ... In some ways, the harbor can be the most powerful improvement in the game. Once it is built, all the food and trade from ocean squares will practically assure a size 7 Deity city. Then, once the city is grown to 7 or 8, I move the citizens to land squares and begin production of Caravans, etc. ... Until a solid core of about 12 to 15 cities is grown, I can't really run as wild as I'd like.

    In the early game, you don't have the gold for everything. I spend more on improvements and barbs early on, and generally bribe cities later. ... Cash flow is eventually solved as the cities grow and caravans get going. Seek out and kill those barbs. Play Raging Hordes ... the 150g helps a lot. Try to ally with civs early on when you are weak, then avoid contact for 4,000 years (unless you are adept at reading the AI intentions).

    I'm not much into ancient combat, but may slowly be changing my mind after watching some good early game warmongers. Most of my early offensive army comes from huts and barbs, and the dips do the dirty as much as possible. I will go after a capital with no walls, and sometimes after a capital with walls if I won't lose out on an upcoming wonder, like MC or KRC.

    Myself, I tend to sacrifice a strong early military, and skip ancient naval use. I aggressively hunt Barb leaders, and this is a primary function of what little ancient navy I have. ... Many of my cities are not defended with military units. No time, and I don't like shield support; diplomats can snag plenty of barbs if you use Raging Hordes. ... Hunt barbs very aggressively. Play at Raging Hordes, set traps, find (or cause) a barb "farm" city. Leaders are worth 150g, and 150g can help a lot in the 1st half of the game. ... Writing is an early priority for me, right after Monarchy. One dip per every 3 or so cities at first. gotta gotta gotta have them to get the barbs if you have no walls and caravans as defenders. And you gotta gotta gotta keep some gold (about 100) in the bank to bribe, or be ready to sell temples and (UGH!) use entertainers or luxuries as a stopgap. Better to keep gold in the bank.

    Horsemen mostly put out the fires of unhappiness (Deity) in early game, plus kill barb leaders. Horsemen are also vital in some games to win early wonder races, especially before Trade & caravans. ... When I build horsemen, it's for mobile happiness control/wonder production. If I can't get a barb horseman, and I get stuck with HBR due to a stinking hut, then I'll probably build a very, very few horsies. Their function is to trap and kill barb leaders, and to quickly rush from city to city to keep happiness depending on turn-by-turn happiness and shield needs. ... This is JIT (Just In Time) management theory, applied to Civ 2. The horsies are often critical to keeping all citizens working in the 2 or more wonder cities by this point, but they often have to chase barbs. I can't tell where the barbs will be, so it is critical to be able to make pretty massive military shifts in one turn. You cannot afford to ignore barbs, both for the money, as well as danger to cities ... so out the defenders go, to force the fight outside the cities. But the wonder cities must maintain happiness at all times ... so I'll bring in horsies from cities away from the threat, and let the cities they came from choke on unhappy citizens until the fighting is done ... then everyone shifts back to their "spring-loaded" positions, to await the next threat.

    Dragoons are where I start to come to offensive life. Vet Ironclads are great, and recent talks with some people have almost convinced me about the Lighthouse + Magellan’s + Sun Tzu = Super Ironclads (I usually just take Magellan’s + Sun Tzu = Fast Ironclads). ... The Cavalry (Vet) is the first time I really will start attacking thru walls. ...

    Keep war away from your SSC!!! ... Keep any wars near the AI's cities, and not near your weakly defended ones. Get lots of NONE units ... troll for barbs ... Bribe AI NONE warriors & let Leo's make NONE Riflemen. ... If war is necessary before Industrialization, use Republic. Build courthouses, esp. if you must remain in Republic for a long time due to war. Move your capital (RB it) to your SSC if you must stay in republic for a long time.

    As you get used to Democracy, you'll almost never have disorder. But you have to check the cities at the end of each turn. Never, ever allow the SSC to have a disorder. A one-turn Elvis is much preferred to disorder.

    For those who are newer to Democracy, or considering trying it: Probably the biggest mistake I've seen most people make is switching to Democracy before they're ready ... redistribute the military units, adjust production, get your Marketplaces & temples built (or have the gold in the bank to do it right after switching) & make sure key happiness wonders like Michelangelo’s Chapel and JS Bach are built, etc. Remember, it is wasteful to switch to Democracy, yet not begin torrid growth. Even a switch from republic should signal your larger cities to max out. If one does not begin to grow right away, you'll likely run a shield and possible a food deficit, and even a gold deficit (when compared to the same sized mid-game Fundamentalist Empire).

    Principal Source Material:
    Power Democracy start? (The Sevorak-Starlifter Exchange)
    Thoughts on Trade (Starlifter's Trade System)
    Democracy at War
    Also stuck on Prince Level (a Democracy vs. Communism debate)
     
  5. Andu Indorin

    Andu Indorin Retired Druid

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    Part 1 of 3

    The Power Democracy (Consolidated):
    Variations on a Theme


    A Perfectionist's Perspective

    The Power Democracy might best be defined as the "capital intensive" civilization. The Power Democracy exploits trade and capital reinvestment (i.e., rush buying) to build an overwhelming and ultimately absurd advantage over any AI civilization. A Power Democracy can be divided into four constituent parts: (1) Trade, both in the short run (Freight deliveries) and the long run (established trade routes); (2) a Transportation Infrastructure that guarantees Freight deliveries for high profit in one or two turns (i.e., Railroads, Transports, and Airports); (3) a Capital Infrastructure that maximizes the "earnings" from Trade (i.e., Marketplaces, Banks, Stock Markets, Superhighways, and Airports); and (4) a Budgetary Policy (Luxury=WLPD) that guarantees continual growth through either the "vertical" development of city growth, or the "horizontal" development of geographic (and military) expansion -- continual growth, at least, until the limits imposed by Civ II's game design are reached. Or, to look at it very minimalistically, a Power Democracy is a civilization that can rush produce a Freight unit one turn; deliver that Freight next turn for an obscene profit; and then immediately reinvest the profits.

    This last observation is relevant, because a Power Democracy does not have to be a sprawling empire that can often typify the "expansionist" school of thought. One does not need 100 to 150 cities to establish the Power Democracy; as Starlifter has alluded to, and as I once mentioned elsewhere, the critical mass for an operating Power Democracy is about 12 to 15 cities -- well within the parameters of a perfectionist approach to cultivating a civilization.

    The perfectionist approach to the early game -- "investing today to conquer tomorrow" -- offers some distinct comparative advantages over the expansionist approach. For example, the management of citizens is somewhat easier, requiring less military units for "crowd control," and with practice, bypassing the construction of temples altogether. Likewise, by limiting initial expansion, one comes into contact with other civilizations less often in the early game; consequently, defense needs tend to be limited to the occasional Barbarian interference. Furthermore, by avoiding "geographic friction" with other civilizations, it is easier to maintain good relations with those civilizations, thus reducing the need to defend your growing trade empire. Indeed, this is perhaps the most distinctive comparative advantage of the perfectionist approach over the expansionist approach, since the comparative lack of geographic friction allows greater flexibility in developing a foreign policy -- of practicing the fine art of diplomacy.

    On Foreign Relations

    Once I was an isolationist as well as a perfectionist, unleashing my Power Democracy upon the unsuspecting world rather late in the game. Now I pursue a foreign policy of active engagement with AI civs from the beginning, making alliances, trading/gifting techs, exchanging maps, and in general maintaining excellent relations until I decide the ultimate fate of the other civilizations. ("Excellency, let us sharpen our diplomacy first ... and our swords later.")

    Marco Polo's Embassy, of course, is the real key to developing a coherent foreign policy -- of practicing Realpolitik -- and building that Wonder is the first order of business once I've finished researching Republic and then Trade. For if you are going to build a trade empire from which will emerge a Power Democracy, it always helps to have maps to plan your trading policy and to provide you with a general direction you should send your first few triremes and caravels. Likewise, early maps allow me to plan my eventual expansion while minimizing the risk of geographic friction and thus poor foreign relations -- if that is my intention. And throughout the game, I continue to trade maps, not just to keep up with the development of the AI civs, but also because map trading can be a very reliable indicator of the AI civ's attitude toward your own civilization. When an AI civ refuses to exchange maps, it's time to mend some fences or consider an invasion.

    Likewise, I like to swing an early alliance or two. An alliance can always be of value for a Power Democracy, both as a reliable, safe destination for overseas trade, and as a quick and dirty way to start a war. Here again, since the ability to form alliances are influenced by Power Rankings, the perfectionist approach often has the advantage over the expansionist approach. In some cases, with the tech progress and maps of other civilizations in hand, I'll actually make an effort to reduce my power ranking by a combination of gifting techs and building settlers, thus increasing the chances of securing an alliance or two. Marco's Polo's Embassy has those other important uses too. Between tech trading at the appropriate time, and by gifting techs to reduce beaker costs, one can decisively accelerate the acquisition of key techs in the early game, speeding up one's research program immensely.

    Nonetheless, there are some limits to MPE. I find that coordinating the research of AI civs through tech trading is subject to declining returns as soon as caravan deliveries to foreign civilizations begin to drive scientific research; of the "third generation" of techs, I will usually get Seafaring and Bridge Building, and sometimes Astronomy and Engineering from the AI civs. But after that, caravan deliveries via ship chains will usually yield my desired research results much faster than tech trading with any of the AI civs; and in my drive to acquire Engineers, Democracy, and Refrigeration (the "Early Modern Triad"), I simply will not wait for an AI who happens to acquire an irrelevant tech out of a hut or tech exchange and thus impede my rate of tech acquisition.

    Even tech gifting can get somewhat irrelevant to research when Caravans, and later the Freight of the Power Democracy, start driving the scientific research; I seldom bother with extensive tech gifting once I reach the all-important Triad. Consequently, I'm still rather picky at gifting techs to AIs, and do so primarily to maintain my "preferred trading nation" status (i.e., keep them happy so they don't attack my caravans). Republic is usually the first tech I'll give the AI civs; I want that extra trade in their cities. And I will, of course, try to gift AI civs Sanitation (for bigger cities) and Explosives (quicker building of roads/RRs). Industrialization (usually packaged with RR) is another tech I'll gift if I want to maintain good relations in the later mid-game; I've long believed that Industrialization serves as a kind of trigger for AI civ animosity. For the same reason, I'll gift AI civs Gunpowder, the other tech that rates a base 8 value among the AI civs. As for the Automobile and Radio, I'll eventually gift these to my Pet Trade Civs; the problem with gifting them to others civilizations is that they usually don't have an opportunity to build a Superhighway or Airport before my Howitzers starting rolling up to their city walls.
     
  6. Andu Indorin

    Andu Indorin Retired Druid

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Colorado Spgs, CO
    Variations on a Theme (cont.)
    Part 2 of 3

    On Trade Policy and Modernization

    Like Starlifter's very elaborate trade system, my approach to trade -- in its current evolution -- is interconnected with other aspects of my overall game play, most particularly to my mid-game process of Modernization that establishes a Power Democracy. Indeed, a review of my trading system cannot be "extricated" from the Modernization schema. Nonetheless, the pattern of my trade tends to fall in distinct phases that correspond to the immediate and concrete purpose of trade, i.e., scientific research or capital generation, and with an eye to present and future foreign policy considerations.

    In the early game, in Republic and having squeezed the most desirable techs out of the AI civs courtesy of Marco Polo, the emphasis on trade is to accelerate scientific research as much as possible. Consequently, almost all Caravans pass through my World Trade City (WTC), which contains the Colossus and where the Caravans are "rehomed" to maximize the immediate returns on trade. (As the chief instrument of building the Power Democracy and as the center of a World-Economy, the Colossus has long been rated my #1 Wonder.) After rehoming the Caravans, they are sent overseas to AI civs to maximize the science bonus from trade.

    Initially, I'll trade with the closest civilization using Triremes to get the process going; and then reinvest the early profits in more Caravans and more ships to incrementally and progressively lengthen the reach of my trade through ship chains toward more distant AI civs and their markets. As the ship chains lengthen, the returns on my investments increase as well; in general, I'll select a distant ally over an even more distant "questionable" civ since I hate having to defend Caravans at this early stage of the game.

    As Starlifter has mentioned, Magellan’s Voyage is a key wonder by increasing ship speed, thus reducing the number of ships with their correspondng production costs and potential unhappiness (before the advent of the Galleon). Building this Wonder immediately after the discovery of Navigation is the top priority. Indeed, at this stage I never bother with Copernicus's Observatory that becomes available with the Astronomy prerequisite of Navigation. A Power Democracy does not need an SSC; when fully developed, the mature Power Democracy can usually achieve its scientific goals by SETI alone. Thus, early on, production is better spent on more commodity Caravans; in fact, committing six Caravans to building Copernicus at this point may actually slow the rate of technological advance. Another early priority is upgrading any Caravels to Galleons as soon as Magnetism is discovered; and here good foreign relations obviate the need to defend these unarmed ships.

    This basic pattern of trade will continue until I obtain Explosives, Democracy, and Refrigeration; and like Starlifter's Republic, my budget policy will vary wildly, but it does tend to emphasize scientific research.

    Once I achieve this "Early Modern Triad," my civilization commences a process of preparing for Modernization. The purpose of this regimen is to "prime" my civilization for the rapid exploitation of modern technologies, i.e., the potentialities of a full Power Democracy. In part, this is desirable because having produced almost nothing but Caravans and Caravels/Galleons in the previous fifty or so turns, my civilization usually has not established enough cities to reach the "critical mass" for a Power Democracy. But more so, a Power Democracy needs Engineers as much as it needs Freight; and I try to achieve at least a 2:1 Engineer to city ratio before commencing Modernization. So for the next 25 to 40 turns, the purpose of trade is generating gold to fund the building of Engineers and the construction of capital improvements (Marketplaces, etc.) in the core of my civilization. Having established what is already an insurmountable technological lead over the AI civs, I can afford to take the time to do this.

    Since scientific research is no longer the top priority, I take the opportunity to diversify my trade base by switching the source of trade to AI civs from the World Trade City to my other cities (i.e., no longer "rehome" caravans in the WTC); I try to get all three trade routes established in each city of the core, though with vagaries of supply and demand, I rarely achieve this objective since I still try maximize profits by meeting foreign demand. Earnings from these new routes go into rush building Markets, Banks, and if feasible, Stock Exchanges, (i.e., "capital accumulation") plus any and all available "quality" commodity caravans to fund the Power Democracy's future "hyperexpansion." More importantly, it goes into rush building Engineers and Supermarkets for Engineer support. (At this point in the game, I usually cap a city's population at 16 to avoid pollution later on, and devote the remaining food production into Engineer support.)

    As a matter future trade policy, I'll also build new cities with an eye to establishing rail-and-ferry connections between the existing landmasses of my trading empire as well as toward any current and future trading partners; this will exploit the advent of the railroad and so reduce reliance on long ship chains to deliver Freight in a single turn. Furthermore, I'll try to establish the foundations of supplemental Trade Cities for my civilization, that is, cities that will eventually carry a greater volume of trade in the post-Colossus era. If such expansion makes the acquisition of an AI civ desirable, I'll rush build some vet Cannon, Cavalry, and Alpine Troops (once Tactics has been discovered), have myself an Oedo revolution -- if necessary -- and conduct a "pleasant" little war. Another priority at this stage is to build Leonardo's Workshop; when I hit the Corporation, I want all Caravans immediately upgraded to the more profitable Freight, and all Galleons to the more "spacious" Transports.

    Throughout this phase of development, my science budget is set at 0% with one scientist, and Caravan deliveries pace the rate of research. Again, my research regimen is dictated largely by trade policy, and aims at guaranteeing the opportunity to acquire the Corporation immediately after Industrialization. Thus, in addition to researching all the useful pre-Industrial techs that I bypassed in my drive for Engineers and their support (typically, Feudalism to Tactics/Amp.War, plus Economics, Theory of Gravity, and Theology), I'll also research the "useless" Fundamentalism and the altogether "premature" Atomic Theory. This leaves a direct line of research: Steam Engine, Railroad, and Industrialization, which opens up to the Corporation (normally unavailable if Atomic Theory or Fundamentalism have not been researched). Often, and especially in large map games where my trade-oriented expansion will lengthen the preparation time for Modernization, I'll "turn off" my scientist prior to Steam Engine and/or Railroad but continue the Caravan deliveries for capital generation -- keeping an eye on the accrued bonuses such that 32,000g "barrier" is not broken.

    But once I determine the date for the Modernization to start (what W.W. Rostow called the "Take Off" -- "the great watershed in the life of modern societies"), I'll begin to coordinate my Engineers, who've been busy catching up on a backlog of irrigation projects, with a view to building railways. And two or three turns prior to the start of Modernization, my Engineers, using the "O" command (i.e., "precharging the Engineers"), will start laying railways in Forests, over Rivers and Hills, and through Swamps/Jungles; and I'll begin repositioning my ship chains to establish ferries between land masses. Then, with discovery of the Railroad, all those Engineers build the railways proper, usually completing a core rail net on the same turn that the Railroad is discovered.

    That same turn, Darwin's Voyage is rushed to completion; and the next turn, Industrialization and the Corporation are discovered, Caravan and Galleons become Freight and Transports; and the Power Democracy is officially established. And I have done so without taking the 33% hit to the capital generation potential of Caravans that occurs when the Railroad is discovered. (I used to consider the RR as part of the Early Modern Triad, but have since realized my error and now consider Refrigeration for Engineer support as the third part of the Triad.)

    With the advent of the Power Democracy proper, trade policy and Modernization becomes geared to intensive capital development (Rostow's "Drive to Maturity") and hyperexpansion; and research aims at the four-turn acquisition the Automobile (Cmb,Ref,Ste,Aut). Like Starlifter, I'll rush build Superhighways in every worthwhile city on the same turn that the Automobile is discovered. Once these Superhighways are built, I'll start establishing trade routes between my own cities and the WTC (which still has the benefit of the Colossus). Since foreign cities usually have not built Sewer Systems yet and will not build Superhighways for many years to come, trade between my own cities that have Superhighways will yield higher trade bonuses with only a marginal decrease in the trade route value.

    After the acquisition of the Automobile, research switches to an "expansionist" line of research before shooting for the Airport; i.e., Mass Production (for immediate pollution control and increasing my city size from sixteen to twenty for "full" production); Miniaturization (Offshore Platforms for Engineer Support); and Genetic Engineering (Cure for Cancer, as a replacement for the HG). And since AI civs quickly tend to "get in the way" of my civilization's hyperexpansion, I'll prepare for "inevitable conflicts" with Communism (United Nations), Espionage, Mobile Warfare, and Robotics (via Computers). While this line of research is being pursued, my core cities will be rush building Engineers, usually one a turn, to establish new cities, whose improvements will be rush built.

    All of this rush building requires relatively enormous expenditures. Hence a considerable number of Freight must be delivered to profitable markets. It's not unusual for me to deliver Freight up to the 32,000g limit for turns at a time. (After 32,000g, the scientific research runs negative, and one needs deliver another 32,000g in Freight just get back square one!) When I reach this point in the game, I find it useful to run "Toggle Trade Routes" between my World Trade City and one of my newer, supplemental Trade Cities; that is, a route where each successive delivery of one commodity (say, Oil), will "unblock" the demand of another high value commodity (Gold, Silk, Spice, etc.), and then vice versa. This may not result in the highest returns on Freight deliveries, but sending one transport of such Freight per turn greatly speeds up game play. And hey, one of great things about the Power Democracy is you can still make enormous profits from your less than optimal trade routes.

    The advent of Flight means the expiration of the Colossus; like Starlifter, I'll usually ensure that I discover Radio on the same turn, and then rush build numerous Airports on the turn of discovery. Often, I'll fund these expenditures with a "Freight Bombard" on my ally's strongest trade city; again, perhaps not the most lucrative use of Freight, but sooner or later the Pet Trade Civ(s) may get around to building a Sewer System, and will be "rewarded" with the Automobile; and when they get around to building a Superhighway, they'll be "rewarded" with the Radio. I also regularly gift my allies modest amounts of gold to discourage them from demanding technologies that I prefer them not to have; no sense in their building improvements or units that I don't need. Until then, trade policy emphasizes establishing new routes in cities that need them (and always with Superhighways/Airports); and supplemented with the Toggle Trade Routes when a high level of expenditures make then desirable.

    To conclude: Don't be too concerned with always finding the highest possible payoff for a Freight delivery. But it is important to formulate a coherent trade policy, one that maximizes profits over the long run, and one that meets the specific needs of your overall game strategy (i.e., scientific research, capital expenditures, and foreign policy). And then, never stop trading.
     
  7. Andu Indorin

    Andu Indorin Retired Druid

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    Variations on a Theme (cont.)
    Part 3 of 3

    Democracy, War, and Hyperexpansion.

    Back in the days when I usually ignored foreign policy, more often than not I found myself in a major war (or two) at outset of Modernization -- especially if my mid-game expansion established "containment positions" on the AI civs. Consequently, total war often coincided with the Modernization process, and a larger military-industrial complex was both required and planned for. With a more "enlightened" foreign policy (by fully exploiting Marco Polo and especially the U.N.), I now fight wars more sequentially, and usually as a part and consequence of the hyperexpansion process. That is, when my expansion becomes hindered by the presence of an AI civ, it's time to create an diplomatic "incident" with an AI civ that up to now has had nothing but the highest regards for my civilization, and therefore has never found the need to launch a "sneak attack."

    With the development of the Emissary's Ploy, I no longer have to rely on the "blitzkrieg" style of war that aims at the capture of a civilization's cities in one turn (though for fun, I'll occasionally still do this). Instead, I rely on much smaller military forces, always rush bought rather than built. And I tend to draw out my conquests, allowing Freight deliveries (three at least) to enemy cities to determine my rate of territorial acquisition and thus taking only a few cities per turn.

    My forces, while comparatively small, are the elite: veteran Howitzers, Armor, Alpine Infantry, and Stealth Fighters; plus the supporting Spies, Freight, and Engineers. Being a member of the "Old Guard," I prefer not to bribe cities; in general, I'll only take cities by bribery from allies (and starting gifting money to repair the damage), or when military action will result in the destruction of an unwalled city. (Used to bribe far too many Barbarians too; ended up with a lot of Cavalry on "parade duty.") With this "new" style of warfare, I would calculate that military spending consumes no more than 10% of my civilization's resources, and often less than 5%. Such are the benefits of accelerated scientific research in the early game, resulting in an absurd disparity in military technology; and in the maintenance of generally good foreign relations throughout the game.
    On hyperexpansion: As I mentioned earlier, the growth potential of Power Democracy is second to none. With the core of a civilization starting with a 2:1 Engineer to city ratio, it is quite possible for a civilization to double its number of cities, all starting with a population of 3 and WLPD, in the space of ten turns and still maintain this optimal 2:1 ratio.

    A few variations on Starlifter's methods here. First, on the first turn of its founding, I'll have a new city rush build whatever high value commodity freight is available and in great demand; since some cities will change their commodity list when they grow to size three, I play on the side of caution to ensure production of that highly demanded freight. This also gets an earlier start on the sixteen-turn cycle governing supply availability. I then add the second and third engineers to establish WLPD on the following turn.

    Second, on the build order: mine is more or less the same, with one important exception. In what is probably just a habit from his pre-Power Democracy days, Starlifter's build order should be modified from Aqueduct-Stock Exchange-Sewer System to Aqueduct-Superhighway-Sewer System. The extra trade arrows from the Superhighways provide a sufficient "boost" in the luxuries at 30% to guarantee WLPD growth up to a size 20 city, provided that excessive non-trade squares are initially avoided. This eliminates what he calls "the dead zone" in city growth, and it thus obviates any need for a Colosseum.

    Finally, during my phase of hyperexpansion, I'll often build engineers in between assorted improvements if surplus food is available. While this slows a city's growth somewhat, maintaining an approximate 2:1 Engineer-city ratio is usually required to maintain an accelerated rate of expansion -- you've got to build roads and irrigate/farm some squares to guarantee city growth. And, once all city improvements are built, I'll usually commit new cities primarily to Engineer production (plus high-value Freight, if and when available). Hence, when I establish the initial trade routes for that city, I occasionally will not receive the optimal bonus from a size 20 city; but at this point of the game, Engineer production takes precedence, and I can always just make another Freight delivery if the cash is needed.
     
  8. TimTheEnchanter

    TimTheEnchanter I...am...an Enchanter!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    :eek: :thumbsup: :worship: :goodjob: :beer:

    Haven't even gotten through it all yet, but an awesome collection of brilliant advice from both of you. Still much to learn. That must have taken a ton of work. Thank you!

    (...and probably thanks to Thunderfall for turning the search function back on to make this possible! ;) )
     
  9. funxus

    funxus Orange Cycloptic Blob

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Where you wish to be!
    Wow! :eek: :goodjob:

    Like Tim, I haven't read it yet, but I definitely intend to. I'll probably print in in school on Monday.:) Thank you.:D

    Unless you think it intimidates new people, and if it contains what I think it contains, it would be nice to sticky this one, along with Starlifter's acronym thread. It took me several months to e.g. realise the meaning of celebration and many of the acronyms, and a single thread for that would have been nice back then.

    Does anyone know what happened to him? Is he still out fighting? Anyway, many thanks to him as well.:goodjob:
     
  10. DvR

    DvR ½ man, ½ amazing

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    443
    Location:
    Utrecht, Netherlands
    Great stuff!!! I've only read a tiny bit, but I'll definatly read the rest any time soon..

    :thumbsup:
     
  11. Archer 007

    Archer 007 Rebirth

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Messages:
    10,687
    Location:
    The Empire State of the South
    Thank you for all of this good work.
     
  12. Roke

    Roke Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Messages:
    25
    Thanks for putting all this information about the Power Democracy in one place. I Haven't started reading it yet (I'm going to print it off first so it's easier to read) however this will be a great help to me. Being new to CivFanatics I wondered what all this talk about the Power Democracy was and this will hopefully help me improve my game.

    Thanks.
     
  13. funxus

    funxus Orange Cycloptic Blob

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2002
    Messages:
    3,390
    Location:
    Where you wish to be!
    The search function either hasn't been turned on for all users, only mods, or it is down again...

    Anyway, Here's a thread that is useful for new people having trouble with understanding abbreviations and Civ2 expressions.

    I thought it might be appropriate to mention it here. :)
     
  14. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    3,818
    Location:
    Ontario
    Great stuff!!! It must have taken very long to write. I read the first 4 pages and will probably read the rest soon. It almost makes my eyes do this: :crazyeye: :crazyeye: :crazyeye: :crazyeye: :crazyeye: :crazyeye: :crazyeye: :crazyeye: :crazyeye: :crazyeye: , but it is very very good.
     
  15. Specialist290

    Specialist290 Terracotta Statue Man

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
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    1,334
    I think I'll print this out and add it to my stack of papers on Civ2 strategy that's about this thick. *makes hand motion for about 5 inches*
     
  16. funxus

    funxus Orange Cycloptic Blob

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Where you wish to be!
    I have printed it all and use it as toilet-read... am now more than halfway through.:)

    Andu, do you know of any link to a game played by you or Starlifter that includes all of the game years (saves) and a log? I have read numerous of posts and know the basics of Power democracy, but I still have a very hard time implementing it. Maybe some old GOTM?
     
  17. A+ombomb

    A+ombomb Actuary

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    426
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I feel that building a city with your second NONE settler is far more productive than keeping it for improvements, as the potential building power of an early city exponentially increases growth.
     
  18. The Person

    The Person Deity +2

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
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    2,712
    Location:
    Trondheim, Norway
    I haven't read it yet, but still, thank you. I assure you this will improve my Civ2 games a lot.
     
  19. Andu Indorin

    Andu Indorin Retired Druid

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Colorado Spgs, CO
    Of the games that haven't been lost during the transition between systems (or some such thing), Starlifter's contributions can be found in GOTMs 5 thru 8, and 16 thru 18. For myself -- regretably -- probably the best example is my old HOF contribution, the saves and games which remain on my "out-of-state" computer. I should go through and track some of my Succession game contributions that provide more limited examples of the PD in action. ... and I have started a new HOF-style game that has some promise, and which I'm planning to post in the Stories and Tales section, as time permits. ...

    Generally a good idea in the early game. What's better is using the STYOM corollary to Samson's Hut Outcomes and shoot for an Advanced Tribe (or two) at the very outset of the game.
     
  20. Old n Slow

    Old n Slow Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Vienna, VA, USA
    Great stuff. (no smilies required.)

    Worth re-reading as well.

    A nit to think about. Reading through Starlifter's thoughts about non-demo governments and toggle ratios -- one might consider a celebrating fundy/ commy/ etc. situation vs. a lux of zero. Some great civ players have shown that total returns (read $$$) might be higher in a celebrating fundy, say 70% tax, 30% lux, than an 80% tax, 20% science where one doesn't care about science -- and the extra trade returns with deliveries make even a stronger case.

    Second note -- for those who love other forms of government -- I think that the demo advice applies as well -- great finances make for an easier war effort; a strong economic base allows a better tech base, etc. If I recall correctly Starlifter used some of those same ideas (trade, trade, trade) with his early thoughts on Power Fundy -- no reason why it shouldn't work with "Power Commy" as well.
     

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