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[C3C] Weird exploit? I got 38931 points on my first Deity playthrough


Feb 13, 2022
I encountered something unusual on a recent playthrough of civ 3. I don't know if this is the first time this exploit has been documented, but I couldn't find any evidence of it after a bit of Googling. I also messaged the youtuber SuedeCivIII and he hadn't heard of it either. He suggested I ask you guys, so here I am. I'm new to the forum so apologies if this isn't an appropriate place to post this.

I was trying to beat the game on Deity for the first time and so I tweaked a few of the base settings- no "mods" or "hacks" (Wouldn't even know how to do that stuff) and nothing I felt to be too against the spirit of the game. Just stuff that I felt would make the game a little more friendly to a player trying to ease into a higher difficulty. (The seed was random. I got these images after the fact by hitting "play last world")

This was just after I had beaten my first Demigod game playing as Xerxes and doing an Immortals rush for the early game win, a strategy which worked so well that I was keen to try on the next level up straight away. My first city (recreated again using the "play last world" feature) was next to a volcano which scared me a bit, but it was also next to two wheats, so I decided to just roll with it and hope for the best.

The game started off okay by my standards. Because I was playing on a small Pangea map I was able to meet two other players and trade a few techs early on. I hadn't seen any barbarians yet, and I was getting ready to make a second settler. I clicked the next turn button and was suddenly greeted with a message informing me that I had beaten the game in only 13 minutes, an astonishingly fast time that was handsomely rewarded on the scoreboard. 38931 points! Any chance that's a new global high score?

(For anyone wondering why there are only 2 games in the high scores screenshot- I uninstall Civ 3 pretty regularly because, as I'm sure we all know, it can be something of a productivity hazard to have it just a click away during the workweek.)

My win was attributed to military victory, despite my never once engaging in any combat. Bewildered, I clicked through to the "timeline of world history" thing and tried to figure out what the hell happened. It played out exactly as I'd imagined, with one exception- apparently, on the final turn, my capital (and only city) had been destroyed. By what, I couldn't tell. But it didn't appear to be near anyone else's units, and it was definitely "destroyed" and not captured, so I have to assume the volcano was the culprit, as I'd gotten a notification that it was "active" moments earlier.

Obviously that still doesn't explain how this figured into a win for me. Maybe it's some kind of rollover glitch? Suede suggested maybe all three of the other players were destroyed by volcanoes too, but their cities were still alive according to the world history recap, and I think all three of them had plunked a second city down by that point as well. I tried reloading the game and playing it out again to see if I could attain the same result, with no luck- I guess because when the volcanoes go off isn't based on the starting seed. So if anyone can share any insight as to what's going on here, I'd appreciate it.


Here's the HOF for Conquest victories http://hof.civfanatics.net/civ3/index.php?condition=Conquest&mapSize=Any&submit=Go so your score appears really high. I agree with the hypothesis about volcano activity; IIRC, the AI might get an extra initial settler at Deity level which would explain the additional cities you saw on the replay. But like you, I'm puzzled how you could *win* when your first & only city is torched by a volcano. Maybe the AI civs lost theirs on the interturn?
You've come to the right place with that question! Winning due to a volcano erupting sounded vaguely familiar, so I plugged it in to the forum search tool... and sure enough, it's a bug that if you lose your first and only city to a volcano, you win. Chieftess mentions in in this post, and a few other people commented about it in that thread as well. The next year, Chieftess responded in another volcano thread saying that she'd have played a One-City Conquest next to the volcano - the joke to those in the know being that it's a way to win a "conquest victory" if you just give it enough time.

Now, the astute observer will note that both of those sources predate my joining CFC. That suggests there might be another, more recent post discussing the topic as well, but if so I haven't found it tonight. Perhaps I just happened across one of those posts back in 2009, when they were already a few years old.

Congratulations on the Deity victory, and welcome to CFC! :band:
IIRC, the AI might get an extra initial settler at Deity level which would explain the additional cities you saw on the replay.
Yes, all AI-Civs get an extra Settler (plus yet more Workers, defence-units, and attack-units) at Demigod+. So on the replay, you'll usually see their capitals founded in 4000 BC, with their second towns founded 4–5 turns later, depending on how far they walked their second Settler (CxxxC or CxxxxC).

Each town will also be instantly guarded by at least one of their starting-defenders, so it won't be long before it has its second defender in place (a Warrior costs 6–7 shields at DG–Deity, so a Pop1 town getting 2-3 SPT would have one built in 2-4 turns) — and then they'll start building additional Settlers (or possibly a Temple, if Religious)...
Soren Johnson said in a talk that the game got designed so that the human player could win every game or at least understood why they lost. Patty says that one couldn't tell what destroyed their capital. If the volcano explosion killing the only city lead to a loss, would the first time or new player be able to understood why they lost?

It's not obvious how volcanoes work for the first time player I imagine. I easily could imagine them erupting only over their own tile. One has to have played some to understand that they can erupt over their own tile or over adjacent land squares only.

So, I think this counting as a win was intentional by the designers. Also, what is a military win exactly? Is it unique to this sort of scenario, or do conquest victories also count as military wins?
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