Winning on 5BCC : Long Term Strategy

DaveShack

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We are playing with self imposed limitations designed to make the game more challenging by reducing the impact of the human advantage. Instead of the game-imposed soft limit on productive cities, which in any winning game results in the player's complete domination up to the point of the player's fortitude in stretching the timeframe of the game out, we have imposed a hard limit on number of cities which limits our population, production, income, research rate, and access to resources.

By placing limits on ourselves, we are implicitly challenging ourselves to sharpen our human strengths of better strategy and tactics to overcome the opponents looming advantages in the above mentioned areas, most importantly production and research rate. I don't think we're really meeting that challenge right now, hence this thread.

We should start with criteria which must be satisfied to have any winning strategy. From that we can build such a strategy driven by aspects of the game which make the game fun for the most people, combined with the attributes of our location and our opponents.

Obviously, winning strategies all share the attribute that it is possible to win using that strategy. Taking each of the victory conditions we get:
  • Conquest -- Superior units, which can be achieved by technology advantages, advantage in numbers (difficult to achieve in 5BCC due to production limitations) and resource advantages.
  • Domination - not possible
  • Diplomatic - Squeaky clean reputation, good relations, helpful to have a tyrant opponent, build the UN
  • Spaceship -- tech lead or parity, careful use of prebuilds
  • Culture -- build culture as early as possible
  • Histograph -- overcome the other civs population advantage

This thread is not about choosing a victory condition
 

DaveShack

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Looking at the per-victory-condition list on my previous post, it is clear that two themes are prevalent across all victory conditions.
  1. Control the size of opponent civs
  2. Having a tech lead, or at least parity, when the time is right to take each action.

Imperative #2 is taken care of, until education is learned, but it could be a fatal mistake to ignore setting ourselves up for its use.
 

greekguy

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If this thread is not for choosing Victory Condition, then what is it for?
 

Black_Hole

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Space race would be best, we need to get a tech lead which should be easier with the GL... After getting a lead we simply live to the late moden age...

I am 100% against a diplomatic victory, it is way too easy
 

Provolution

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I think we need lotsa wonders for our cities in order to boost production and get more land.
 

DaveShack

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greekguy said:
If this thread is not for choosing Victory Condition, then what is it for?

Well, I guess the citizens can use it for what they want... ;)

But the real purpose from my point of view is to talk about all the things we have to do in order to win this variant using any victory condition.

  1. Control the size of opponent civs
  2. Having a tech lead, or at least parity, when the time is right to take each action.
  3. Not allowing any civ to get more than twice as much culture as we have new this version of the list

Taking imperative #1, how are we going to control the size of opponent civs? The ones on our continent are relatively easy, just beat up on them until they are either elminated or stuck in an unproductive corner of the land. For off-continent civs one way is to keep them in conflict with each other.

A second part of controlling the size of other civs is that once we've knocked them back so they are no longer a threat, we need to keep them from re-expanding. This means catching settlers on open ground and capturing them before they can build towns, which means we'll be at war most of the time. I question the efficacy of Republic when constantly at war, and see our fascination with that government as a failure to understand the "often war" strategy we must pursue in order to keep the AIs small enough to beat.
 

Donovan Zoi

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DaveShack said:
A second part of controlling the size of other civs is that once we've knocked them back so they are no longer a threat, we need to keep them from re-expanding. This means catching settlers on open ground and capturing them before they can build towns, which means we'll be at war most of the time. I question the efficacy of Republic when constantly at war, and see our fascination with that government as a failure to understand the "often war" strategy we must pursue in order to keep the AIs small enough to beat.

All nearby civs should be eliminated (save our token conquest city), so we only have to deal with barb uprisings from time to time. Then all we have to protect is our roads to captured cities and/or colonies.
 

TimBentley

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I think #3 goes along with #1. I think you overestimate the amount of war needed to control the AI. For example, in my recent Emperor OCC, Arabia conquered the rest of the continent, but I still had a large tech lead over them (being fascist certainly hurt them, and the military situation could have been disasterous, but that's the reason to do more in this game than I did). If they build more cities, they will be less productive than their original cities, and they can be razed with less difficulty than their original cities. Republic will help with imperative #2.
 

Provolution

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I also disagree on this early total war doctrine.
I would much prefer to build five strong cities, then focus our efforts when we know the gameworld better.
 

greekguy

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I don't think we need to go on a killing spree to win the game, just have a few wars. I definitely think though that France, Rome, and Germany would love to killl us, and as such I think we should take care of them in the next 1,500 years or so. :p
 

DaveShack

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Once we clear out our opponents on this continent, we'll be using colonies to get the resources formerly held by those opponents. There is nothing to keep one of our off-continent opponents from landing settlers to acquire those resources. When that happens, our only reasonable option will be to take out the settlers -- which means at least cycling wars with the off-continent civs because they will try to land settlers. It also means breaking peace agreements if they land another settler with 20 turns, which means we'll be persona non grata if we want to win by diplo -- unless we want to do without resources for up to 20 turns until it is "ok" to restart the war.
 

TimBentley

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The other reasonable option would be to buy resources (probably can't get all luxuries that way, at least, however; also, there may be some strategic resources that other civs may not have multiples of). Cheap resources is one advantage of limited cities.
 

Donovan Zoi

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Provolution said:
I also disagree on this early total war doctrine.
I would much prefer to build five strong cities, then focus our efforts when we know the gameworld better.

I am not saying that this proposal should be carried out today; I just look at it as our ultimate goal for this continent.

Dealing with civs from another continent will be more tricky, as we have no immediate means of containing their growth. But let's secure this area first, probably sometime in the mid-Middle Ages when we have built up some Knights.
 

DaveShack

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Provolution said:
I also disagree on this early total war doctrine.
I would much prefer to build five strong cities, then focus our efforts when we know the gameworld better.

Nothing I've said is meant to imply that these wars will be early. We're in this for the long term, so we will eventually need coastal coverage, and we'll need to work off-continent too.
 
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