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Two-city challenge?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by ABCDPuppies, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. ABCDPuppies

    ABCDPuppies Warlord

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    In a one-city challenge, the disadvantage of having only one city is mitigated to an extent by the fact that in that city you can build 5 national wonders, and without the 6 prereq buildings usually needed for most of them.

    Recently I've been toying with the idea of a two-city challenge -- in essence, a game on normal settings where a player commits to only building one additional city, and to razing any enemy cities captured. While two cities are better than one, the obvious disadvantage is you would be unable to build any national wonders except National Epic, Heroic Epic, National Park, Maoi Statues, Mt. Rushmore, and West Point.

    I'm curious whether people think this would be easier than a one-city challenge or harder, as well as what approaches one might try to such a challenge. Obviously a lot depends on the set-up, so here are some thoughts I had. If it seems like an interesting idea, and if I can get a good map, perhaps I will post it as a forum game.

    Note: If I do end up posting this as a forum game, the following discussion may amount to having some (more or less specific) map spoilers. If you're interested in playing the resulting game, and want to go in completely blind, you may want to stop here. That said, I hope some people will read and contribute their opinions. :D

    ---

    Difficulty

    Obviously this is something people could adjust individually, but what would provide a reasonable challenge for most players? My instinct is Emperor, although my ambitious side is drawn to Immortal..

    Leader

    I'd like to avoid an explicit presumption towards wonder-whoring, i.e., no Industrious. To keep things sporting in this context, then, I'm leaning towards a Philosophical leader -- but not Gandhi, because he's a little too obvious for a (quasi)-OCC. With this in mind, the three that jumped out were Alex, Pericles, and Liz.

    All three are strong leaders, but I'm drawn to Alex in particular to encourage something more interesting than the peaceful building you often see in OCC. :whipped:

    Start

    I'd like to provide a strong start, but one that does not in itself determine early strategy. So, no Stone for the first city, and probably also no Marble. What I'd really like is something that is flexible and encourages creativity in early decision making, which to me means lots of food and production, rather than lots of commerce (especially for a Philosophical leader.) So probably no gold or gems either, but a couple food resources, hills and/or production specials, and lots of trees.

    In addition to this, the start should probably also have a strategic resource in at least the second border-pop if not BFC, although I'm not sure it matters which one. Oil should probably be placed so that there is at least a 90% chance the player will have it in his borders by the time it becomes relevant.

    Map

    The second city is another matter, however. What I'd like is to have a couple good potential second city sites nearby, which have different advantages the player must choose between. So for example there may be a stone/marble site or a gold/gems site nearby, but taking one of these would require foregoing a killer GP site or a great production site with an important strategic resource.

    Realistically, having several potential second city cites probably means a Pangaea or Continents map, where the player's start is fairly centrally located. Between these I would lean towards Pangaea, although Continents could be an option if the start is coastal (which incidentally would possibly be a good match for Greece's Fishing start.)

    For neighbors, I'd ideally like a nice mix of insane war-mongers and religious zealots. :)

    ---

    Well, those are the main things I can think of. Let me know what you guys think!
     
  2. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    I don't understand the people's obsession with "small is better".
    Let's look how fun for CIVvers is CiV which obvious design decision target is to play with bunch of city states thrown around the map and for me it doesn't function...

    maybe it would be better if you revive the OCCC (club) instead of cas....

    edit:

    what about you are allowed to build only 2 cities and the rest you have to take? with less cooked maps
     
  3. ABCDPuppies

    ABCDPuppies Warlord

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    It's just for the sake of variety. :)

    But I do also think there's some merit in thinking about what different strategies you can pursue (particularly early on) depending on on how you set up your second city.

    I thought about allowing cities to be captured. My reservation was that would be just like lots of regular games where you build two cities and then rush.

    As for the map being cooked.. I probably wouldn't literally do that in world builder. I would however probably generate a lot of maps and peek into world builder to make sure some/most of my criteria are met. But the specifics I mentioned were just examples of what I might like to find. Ultimately I prefer an 'organic' map.
     
  4. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    let's just not make it too organic ;-)

    yeah you're right that it will usually involve some form of rush, but I think it will have to be usually delayed rush (on imm+ you could with long distance basically kill yourself) and no the horror if you don't get early strategic! :)

    Dunno I don't play OCC games, since that just doesn't somehow click with me (idea of 1 small empire to impress 99% of the world with launch? come on!)

    I am here to build empire...the 2 city build is decent idea to me for making it more difficult, but still allows building of an empire!
     
  5. ABCDPuppies

    ABCDPuppies Warlord

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    You're not just still bitter about your OCC Culture non-win are you? :D

    But seriously, I think two-cities-then-conquer is a fine idea for a game. So would one-city-then-conquer for that matter. Maybe I'll give a couple of these formats a try offline and see if any of them are actually fun in practice...
     
  6. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    well not really. That map was ridiculously cheated in the sense that you settle on stone, have horses in BFC, wet corn, fish, clam, crabs the only 3 coastal tiles, gems and ridiculous amount of forest around (for later national park) and that all being Hyuna Capac (and marble just outside of BFC).
    so no real loss involved, I just clicked it through anyway to see how it can go in the "usual" OCC. I used tactic that I saw in TMIT's OCC with Bismarck on YT. but still i think i didn't do the buildings right (delayed GT in advance of TGL)
     
  7. Caeserportugal

    Caeserportugal Prince

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    I haven't tried much OCC games so I can't say if it would be easier or hard though it would be an intersting read to say the least.:coffee: Hope you do it:)

    I think Immortal would be good for most players. Like you said players can adjust to how they like it's really up to you.
    Defenatly Alex would be interesting though Liz is not a bad choice out of itself Financial/Philosophical is a very good combo and you get readcoats so you can still have some warfare if you want.

    Yes Stone and Marble just make the OCC game that much easier. I suggest have cooper or Horses along with the oil in the first city. Not Iron if you want to have a little chelange to the game.

    I would go with an Archipelago Sneaky Continents. That way you would guarantee enough land and still be coastal so you can take advantage of the water. (Both Greek Leaders and Liz do benefit from it)

    Easily Montezuma and Isabella. They fit both descriptions.
     
  8. LuCiver

    LuCiver Warlord

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    I think it sounds like fun, but I don't see why you want to cook the map- that just forces people to play the same way as you. IMHO the advantage of 2-city vs 1-city challenge is that players will get to put their own unique stamp on the scenario through their choice of 2nd city location. I would vote just roll a map, have someone check to see it is not an isolated start, and then get cracking!

    As for map type, I have been having fun lately with Big and Small/Massive continents/Islands mixed in. Tends to generate not-quite-pangea maps with lots of island settling potential and often some galley-reachable neighboring continents.

    As for leaders, I am also on an 'unrestricted leader' kick. I think I've played so much that I am a bit bored with the stock leaders. Fun to see what combinations kick in. My current off-line game is Washington of Mongolia: CHA Keshiks are freakin' unstoppable.
     
  9. ABCDPuppies

    ABCDPuppies Warlord

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    Hmmm, well maybe I'll rethink how picky to be about the map, if at all.

    To be clear though, my thought in trying to get a map with something like these specs wasn't to get everyone to play just one way. On the contrary, the whole idea was that having a starting location that didn't determine just one strategy ( as e.g., stone -> pyramids might) and several potential secondary locations with different strengths, was to get people to play in a variety of different ways.

    (Well admittedly I did also want a setup that would encourage some military action rather than all the wonder-building you see in a lot of OCCs. But I think I can hardly be blamed for that. :D)

    As for the point about ensuring the player has access to strategic resources.. to me this makes sense in this context. The whole issue with CiV is that while it is largely a game of skill, there is a lot that is left to chance in the map generation. In a normal game this can be corrected for to an extent, because if you start on bad land you can always conquer more. If you're limited to only one or two cities though, you're really at the mercy of the map generator. And I just didn't think it would be fun, or produce the best games, to let the player's options be artificially limited too much by the RNG.
     
  10. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    What you could do is make a tiny little custom mod so that only two buildings were required to build Oxford and the Globe Theatre - might give a bit more flexibility. Just got to change <iNumBuildingNeeded> in the XML.
     
  11. ABCDPuppies

    ABCDPuppies Warlord

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    Not a bad thought! Maybe I'll give it a shot when I have a free minute. However, to be honest the enthusiasm for the idea original did not seem to be overwhelming. :rolleyes:
     

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